Sunday, May 11, 2008


Let Him Who Has Ears...

By Ramone - May 11, 2008
"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

- Revelation 2:29, etc.
Last night I was thinking about various "views of Revelation" that have been going around for years. There is some value in studying them, but...

At the end of the letters to each church in Revelation 2 and 3, Jesus says, "Let him who has an ear hear what the Spirit says to the churches." And at the beginning of all the prophecy in the book of Revelation, John said,
I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. On the Lord's Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, which said: "Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea."

- Revelation 1:9-11
Just as John "heard" all these things "in the Spirit", so too we must be in the Spirit if we want to understand!
For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

- 1 Corinthians 2:11
We need to come together with the goal of waiting on His Spirit to reveal to us what He is saying to us today through Revelation. (See 1 Corinthians 14:26 for starters, and John 17:26 and Hebrews 2:12 for wonderful promises that personally make me weep in His love!)

There is some value to the theories, but the theories are theological constructions that generally crunch certain places, ignore certain texts that contradict the theory, and force certain parts to fit that really just don't match.

I feel God's heart crying for us to come together in His presence and wait on His Spirit to understand instead of searching here and there for what others have written about the book of Revelation. The Spirit is crying out, waiting for us to come into His presence and wait upon Him to speak as He has promised He would and will.

He is loving to lift up Christ among us. He is longing to birth praises in us. He is longing to remove the veil to reveal to us beautiful and glorious things in the the Son, Jesus Christ. He is longing to be our Teacher, to take us to a deeper level of intimacy and learning than we have ever thought was possible.

The cry of Christ in Revelation is,
"If you have ears, listen to what MY SPIRIT says to you!"
That means that we must come together in foolishness and wait upon Him to speak, trusting that He will speak as He has promised where two or three gather in His name, that "revelation will come to one who is sitting down", that "everyone will be given a hymn, a song, a tongue, an interpretation" and more. That He will reveal His heart through His body, and we will all be edified.

What I felt last night in His heart is that this is how He will "reveal" Himself in Revelation to us more and more... that the theories and so forth of interpretations of Revelation have naturally come short because we have not fully entered into His timing for our understanding, and that even when we do enter into His timing for our understanding, we will only understand as we seek His voice, His Spirit, and wait on Him to speak and allow Him to speak among us.

This is a picture I saw and felt (not clearly, which is why it is fuzzy) of His people gathered around His Spirit, waiting upon Him, and being filled with His fire. He wants to be our light in this dark night in the world!


Addendum: The Spirit of Christ

May 25 - Just in case, I want to clarify something for anyone who may feel like the atoning work of Jesus Christ is not present in this picture or its message, that it focuses too much on glorifying the Holy Spirit for His own sake.

In a word, No.

Beyond that, firstly God is One. The Son is God. The Father is God. The Spirit is God. And all testify to His glory and to our salvation in the Son's finished work - in His cross.

The Spirit speaks to us and is with us always, and ministers to many different parts of our lives. His ultimate goal is to bring us into fellowship with the sufferings of Jesus Christ -- into the fellowship of the Father and Son and sharing in their love for one another and for us.

The Spirit testifies about Jesus (John 14:26, 15:26, etc.) yet His "testimony" is not limited to our typical route. The Spirit also testifies to Christ by healing us -- body, soul and spirit -- and restoring parts of our hearts that have been wounded, become numb, or hardened. Sometimes the Spirit testifies by speaking of things of the future. Other times the Spirit testifies by bringing peace to us, or in other ways. The Spirit of God is not tame. He will testify of Jesus (in fact, He is also "the Spirit of Christ" - Rom. 8:9, Phil. 1:19, 1 Pt. 1:11), but He may do so through a route that might not immedately conform to our intellectual desire to have everything spelled out like a sermon for us up front.

When this picture came by the Spirit of Christ, I knew that it might be possible for some to read/see it as "missing" Christ, as if it were all about the Holy Spirit. But that "it's all about Jesus" was something I thought should have been obvious. It's obvious and true for me, but I realize it is not always obvious for others. Others--God bless them--will see what I've said or written as if it is giving unbalanced glory to the Spirit instead of to Christ. I didn't want to have to say something special about this like a "disclaimer" -- I didn't want to have to spell out what I am writing right now.

But here I am doing just that. I realize that while I have the freedom to not have to explain everything, at the same time various extremes have existed in the Body of Christ -- sometimes the Spirit exalted and Christ marginalized, the cross and His atoning work seen as "entry-level" or "elementary"; and among others Christ is exalted but the Spirit is marginalized through doctrinalization and intellectualization, resulting in a great fear whenever someone metions the Holy Spirit without adding qualifying statements, and even greater "alarm bells" when someone speaks of the Holy Spirit moving, acting and speaking today in the same way He did in the Bible days. The Spirit and the Word (Christ) are not mutually exclusive, but are in harmony -- they are each whole and each part of the One, in the Trinity. But this is something that needs healing in our hearts, minds and in our understanding in the Body.

As I wrote the story of this picture, I felt the caution that it might be misunderstood by some coming from a background where "Christ" and "Spirit" were seen as contending with one another (based not on Scripture, but based more on the fear of avoiding extremes seen elsewhere in the Body). I didn't want to have to spell this out, but perhaps it was Your love, Lord, which nudged me then and nudges me now to love others where they're at, even if it is in a place that doesn't seem to understand what I think should be obvious. Your patience, Lord, is so loving. Thank You for being patient with me, Jesus! Forgive me for not heeding Your loving caution and patience. Forgive me for pushing right through.

I must tell you about this "fire" in the picture, this fire that is the Spirit of Christ among us, in our meeting. He is the Holy One. He is the holy passion. He is the "flame of Yah" in Song of Songs 8:6. He is the One who speaks to us today, ministers to us, purifies us with His flame, melts our hearts with His passion. He is the One, the Spirit of Christ, speaking to us of what He has done and applying all blessings that flow from the cross to us today. He is wild, the One who is not tame nor in our box, who continually opens our eyes to the expanse of the heavens beyond what we can understand or systematically theologize. He is the Holy God, and I praise You, God!
Spirit of Christ
A passion, a fire
The very flame of Yahweh
A love, a cry of adoration
of You, Father Abba

With You among us
We meet
With Your fire, Your passion
We burn

In Your love we see
What You have done
And who You are now
And by Your flame we cry
As we are healed:

Your love is better than wine
Thank You
For what You have done for us
Thank You
For who You are

Forever and ever

Addendum II: Addendum to the Addendum!

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is Mine and making it known to you.

- John 16:13-14
I felt directed to John 15 tonight, and read onto John 16 and stopped at this, realizing that it summed up all I meant to say both in the "addendum" above, and all I meant to say in this picture as well. What I realize now is that I somehow didn't communicate clearly the simple spirit (so to speak) of what I was getting in this picture.

This picture is about getting together to wait on Him for understanding, for revelation. Putting Him in the middle. It isn't diminishing the cross, but saying that we need the Spirit to witness to us of His love and what the cross means. Because the church has a long history of getting religio-ritualistic and quenching the Spirit, we need to say, "No, we are going to wait on the Spirit to reveal Christ to us just as He promised."

Jesus promised, "Where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." It is ironic and telling that we exist so often with Him in the midst of us but do not ask Him what He thinks and what is on His heart.

Okay, I'm weeping in the Spirit now. Thank You, Lord. That is what this is about, this picture, and all I meant to write. It is not enough to get together and simply preach to one another or intellectually study the Bible or methods. We need Him Himself among us. And not only that, but we need to do more than just ask Him to "be there" and then run off to do whatever we'd planned or think we should do. He has promised to speak through each part of His body, to guide us into all truth, to remind us of what He'd said, to comfort, help and console us, and to declare Father's praises in our midst. He wants to speak in our midst. He wants to burn our hearts with His passion, His fire. The Spirit longs to glorify Jesus Christ in our midst. Most often we quench, limit, or even shut Him up simply because we are afraid of being deceived away from Christ if we let Him out of our religious rituals and limits. But He is the fire, the passion that burns most intensely of all in the universe for the glorification of the Son.

Holy Spirit, burn in our midst, burn in our hearts. Glorify Jesus Christ in our midst, Holy Spirit! Do so at our expense, Holy Spirit. Forgive us for quenching You so often because we have been afraid of being deceived. We know You long to lift up the Son, so remove our fear that You will not do as You (and He) have promised. Grant us enough faith in His Word so that we remove our imposed controls that we think protect us, but actually hurt us and keep us from seeing the burning light of Father's love in His Son.

As John the Baptist prayed, let us "decrease" in our meeting together. Let our preaching, our ways, our rituals, services and whatever we think is "it" - let all of "us" decrease as we meet together so that You may increase, Jesus, by Your Spirit's bringing You glory in our midst. Grant us the humility to wait upon You and let You operate in all Your ways, Holy Spirit, and the trust that You will indeed glorify Jesus Christ among us. In Jesus' name, amen.

It occurs to me as I put up this picture's tatami index thumbnail, that this picture is God's heart for us in response and holy passionate reformation to His breaking heart in this picture: Let His Light Shine!"
Ramone, I believe that studying doesn't preclude listening to the Spirit. That's partly what the church is meant to be. Sometimes the sharing in the Spirit is done thru small groups, other times thru writing and reading what another has written and taking it before the Holy Spirit to see what He thinks about it.

In the end it is likely that we will have a fuller picture if we put all of the puzzle pieces together. I love waiting on the Lord and allowing the Holy Spirit to speak great and wonderful things that I do not know. And, I love reading some of the great and wonderful things that the Spirit has spoken to others. In that way we function as the church Christ prayed into being.

I love the scripture that makes it plain that the Holy Spirt and Christ are one, "And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ." Romans 8:9 (NIV)They are so intertwined in purpose that the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Christ. So we do no disservice to Christ to honor and long for the Holy Spirit.
Another picture came along the lines of the "addendum" above: "The spirit of God"
Just after inking this picture, my spiritual mum Hazel and I had some email conversations about recent worries in the church which hit on the note of the "addendum" above. She tinkered with her email and put it up here on her site:

Ears That Hear What the Spirit of Truth is Saying to the Church

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