THE VOICE LIKE A TRUMPET
Revelation 1:10, "... And heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet." John was in the Spirit, and when he was, he saw the great and wonderful day of the Lord Jesus and all His holy power. The future was about to unfold for God was about to teach him. John did not say it was a trumpet. It was like a trumpet. Now when a trumpet is blown it has an urgency about it. It is like the herald, the king's messenger, coming to the people. He blows on a trumpet. It is an urgent call. The people gather to listen. (Israel was always assembled by the sounding of a trumpet.) Something important is at hand. "Listen to it." So this voice had the same urgency of appeal as did the trumpet. Clear and strong it was, startling and awakening. Oh, that we might hear the voice of God as a trumpet this day, for it is the `Gospel Trumpet' sounding forth the `Word of Prophecy' to make us aware of, and prepared for, what is coming upon the earth.
THE COMMAND TO WRITE
Revelation 1:11, "Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia: unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea." Here it is. The First and Last, the Alpha and Omega: that's ALL of it. The one true God. The Voice and Word of God. Reality and truth is at hand. What a thing it is to be in the Spirit. My, to be in the presence of God and hear from Him... "What thou seest, write in a book, and send it to the seven churches." The voice that sounded forth His Word in the Garden of Eden and upon Mt. Sinai, which voice was also heard in the excellent glory of the Mount of Transfiguration, was once again sounding forth, and this time to the seven churches with a complete and final revelation of Jesus Christ.
"Write the visions, John. Make a record of them for the ages which are to follow, for they are the true prophecies which MUST come to pass. Write them and send them out, making them known."
John recognized that voice. Oh, you will recognize that voice when He calls if you are one of His own.
THE GOLDEN LAMPSTANDS
Revelation 1:12, "And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks." John does not say that he turned to see the one whose voice he heard, but he turned to see the voice. Oh, I like that. He turned to see the voice. The voice and the person are one and the same. Jesus is the WORD. John 1:1-3, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made." If you can ever get to really see the Word you will be seeing Jesus.
When John turned he saw seven golden candlesticks. Actually they were lampstands. And according to verse 20, they are the seven churches: "the seven candlesticks that thou sawest are the seven churches." To represent the churches they could hardly be candles. A candle burns but awhile and then is burned out. It dies. There would be no more to it. But lampstands possess a lasting quality not found in candles.
If you want to get a beautiful picture of the lamp, read about it in Zechariah 4:1-6, "And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep. And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof. And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my Lord? Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my Lord. Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the Word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by My `Spirit', saith the Lord of Hosts." Here is another lamp of pure gold. It is burning brightly because it has plenty of oil which it is getting from the two olive trees, which stand on either side. The two trees represent the Old and New Testament, and of course the oil typifies the Holy Ghost, Who alone can give the light of God to the people. The angel who spoke to Zechariah was as much as saying "this what you see means that the church cannot accomplish anything by its own might or power, but by the Holy Ghost."
Now examine this lampstand. You will notice that it has a large bowl, or reservoir, that is central to seven arms that come out of it. This bowl is filled with olive oil which flows through seven wicks which are placed in the seven arms. It is the same oil that burns and makes a light at the end of the seven pipes. This light never went out. The priests just kept pouring oil into the bowl.
The lamp was lit in a special way. First, the priest took fire from the sacred altar which was originally lighted by the fire of God. He lit, first of all, the lamp that was sitting on top of the bowl. He then lit the second lamp from the flame of the first lamp. The third lamp received its fire from the second lamp, as did the fourth receive its from the third, and so on, until all the seven lamps were burning. This holy fire from the altar, being passed from lamp to lamp, is a wonderful type of the Holy Spirit in the seven Church Ages. The original outpouring of Pentecost (which outpouring came direct from Jesus on the Mercy Seat) is enduing His Church through all the seven ages, and showing forth perfectly that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever, the never changing God in His essence and His ways.
In John 15, Jesus said, "I am the Vine, ye are the branches." He is the main Vine, that which comes out of the original root from the original seed that has the life in it. Now the vine does not bear fruit; it is the branches that do that. Now watch this: You can take a citrus tree such as an orange tree, and graft into it a grapefruit limb, a lemon limb, a tangelo limb, and other kinds of that variety, and all those limbs will grow. But those grafted limbs will not bear oranges. No sir. The lemon limb will bear lemons, and the grapefruit limb will bear grapefruit and so on. Yet those limbs will be thriving off the life in the tree. But if that tree ever puts forth another branch of itself it will be an orange branch and bear oranges. Why? Because the life in the limb and the life in the trunk are identical whereas it wasn't so with the grafted limbs. Those grafted branches had their sources in other kinds of life from other trees, from other roots, from other seeds. Oh, they will bear fruit all right, but they won't bear oranges. They cannot because they are not the original.
That's the way the church is. The vine has been split and limbs have been grafted in. They have grafted in Baptist limbs, Methodist limbs, Presbyterian limbs, and Pentecostal limbs. And those limbs are bearing Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, and Presbyterian fruit. (Denominational seeds from which they produce their fruit.) But if the vine ever brings forth another branch of itself, that branch will be exactly like the vine itself. It will be the same kind of a branch that was brought forth at Pentecost. It will speak in tongues, prophesy, and have the power and signs of the resurrected Jesus Christ in it. Why? Because it's thriving on the natural resources of the vine itself. You see, it wasn't grafted into the vine; it was BORN in the vine. When those other branches were grafted in, all they could do was bear their own fruit for they were not born of that vine. They don't know about that original life and original fruit. They cannot know for they were not born of it. But if they had been born of it, that same life that was in the original stem (Jesus) would have come through them and manifested through them. John 14:12, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father."
Denominations which are man directed cannot be born of God; for it is the Spirit, NOT MAN, that gives life.
How thrilling it is to think of those seven lamps drawing life and light from the resources of that main bowl because they had their wicks dipped therein. Each church age messenger is depicted here. His life is on fire with the Holy Ghost. His wick (life) has been immersed in Christ. Through that wick he is drawing the very life of Christ, and by it gives out light to the church. What kind of a light is he giving? The very same light that was in the first lamp that was lit. And right on down the ages to the present time of the last day messenger the same life and the same light is manifested by a life that is hid with Christ in God.
Not only can we speak thus of the messengers, but every true believer is dramatically depicted here. They are all drawing from the same source. They have all been dipped into the same bowl. They are dead to themselves and their lives are hid with Christ in God. They are sealed in by the Holy Ghost. Ephesians 4:30, "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." No man can pluck them out of His hand. Their lives cannot be tampered with. The visible life is burning and shining, giving light and manifestations of the Holy Ghost. The inner, invisible life is hidden in God and fed by the Lord's Word. Satan cannot touch them. Not even death can touch them, for death has lost its sting; the grave has lost its victory. Thanks be unto God, they have this victory in and through the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen and amen.
NO LONGER THE PRIEST
Revelation 1:13, "And in the midst of the seven candlesticks One like unto the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle."
There He stands, One like unto the Son of Man. As the jewel is beautified by the mounting of the ring, so He is glorified in the midst of the churches. It is the Lord's Day; for John sees Him standing, not as a priest, but as the coming Judge. The golden girdle is no longer girt around the waist where the priest must wear it as he ministers to God in the Holiest Place, but it is now around His shoulders, for He is not now the priest but the JUDGE. Now has John 5:22 come to pass, "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son." His service has been rendered. The priesthood is over. The days of the prophecy are finished. He stands girded as the JUDGE. 7ch005.htm
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