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Posts Tagged ‘The Overcomers’

Glimpses of Christ
in The Book of Revelation

PART SEVEN

Revelation Chapter 5

The Sealed Book

“And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice,
Who is worthy to open the book,
and to loose the seals thereof?”
Revelation 5:2

Even in the midst of all the glory and wonder the apostle John was seeing there was one thing that clouded his heart: the sealed book. Consider the awesome splendor of all he was beholding in terms of God’s glory; the angelic hosts, the seven lamp stands, the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures. Yet he is found weeping because of the sealed book.

“And I wept much,
because no man was found worthy
to open and to read the book,
neither to look thereon”
Revelation 5:4

John knew instinctively that the fate of the entire scope of creation hung in the balance of this sealed book. All creation was in fact groaning and travailing for this Book of Life to be opened by the loosing of the seals placed upon it due to the disobedience and rebellion of man. It had been closed by the righteous verdict of God Himself and the only way for this book to be unsealed was by another man who had overcome the scourge, the horror and the defiling of all creation. The seals could not be broken by any other creature than a man; for the curse had come by man and in turn been pronounced upon man (being the head and authority of all creation itself). The failure of the First Adam could only be undone by the Second Adam. That Second Adam had to overcome (in total submission to the Father) the disobedience of the First Adam.

“For there is one God,
and one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus”
1 Timothy 2:5

All the promises of God hinged upon the one transaction of a flawless Man through perfect obedience and submission having won the right to open the Book and loose the seals thereof. Even Abraham saw this day of the Revelation of Christ Jesus our Lord!

Abraham’s Faith

The faith of Abraham was concerned with the heavenly things, and as he walked with God the promises of an earthly land faded into the pursuit of the heavenly city. The faith of Abraham was concerned with the heavenly things, and as he walked with God the promises of an earthly land faded into the pursuit of the heavenly city.

“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God
Hebrews 11:8-10

The earthly land of promise seemed a strange land to him as he became increasingly aware and enthralled with the heavenly City of God (The New Jerusalem). He was a sojourner in the land of promise because of a greater thing to come. In the offering up of Isaac he saw, by faith, the revelation of THE LAMB of God who would come to lift the curse and stain from the human race thus making the City of God the habitation of “just men made perfect”! Jesus declared:

“…Abraham rejoiced to see my day:
and he saw it, and was glad”
John 8:56

All the laws, rituals and commandments of the Old Covenant were to bring men to this One Thing; the Lamb of God and His Salvation. There is salvation in no other. No one in heaven or on earth could loose the seals of this Holy and Sealed Book except the One whose name is Jesus!

This bears repeating. While John stood before the very Throne of God he wept because deep down within the recesses of his being he knew that his fate and the fate of all creation rested in the sealed book (Romans 8:24-30). As John was standing in this place he heard a strong angel cry out:

“Who is worthy to open the book,
and to loose the seals thereof?”
Revelation 5:2

The man who could open this sealed book had to be worthy. John’s weeping in this heavenly place was based on the fact that no man was found worthy.

“And I wept much,
because no man was found worthy
to open and to read the book,
neither to look thereon”
Revelation 5:4

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, Elijah and all the other ones mentioned in Hebrews Chapter Eleven could not open this Book.

“And these all, having obtained a good report through faith,
received not the promise”
Hebrews 11:39

The promise, though seen through the eyes of faith in all of these faithful ones, could not be received until the Book of Life is opened by the One in whom all the promises of God abide.

“For ALL the promises of God in him are yea,
and in him Amen,
unto the glory of God by us”
2 Corinthians 1:20

Men and women cannot look to anything greater than the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the blessed Lamb of God and the Great High Priest who is after the order of Melchizedek! This Melchizedek, to whom even Abraham paid tithes, was greater than Abraham. By types and shadows of things to come it revealed that all the Levitical priesthood paid homage to a greater who was to come; an eternal Priest in whom all the covenants would be fulfilled by virtue of Him prevailing in perfect obedience!

“Now behold how great this one was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils; and indeed those of the sons of Levi receiving the priesthood have a command to tithe the people according to Law, (that is, from their brothers, though coming forth out of Abraham’s loins), but he not counting his genealogy from them has tithed Abraham, and has blessed the one having the promises. But without contradiction, the lesser is blessed by the better. And here dying men indeed receive tithes, but there it having been witnessed that he lives; and as a word to say, through Abraham Levi also, the one receiving tithes, has been tithed. For he was yet in his father’s loins when Melchizedek met him. Truly, then, if perfection was through the Levitical priestly office (for the people had been given Law under it), why yet need for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek and not to be called according to the order of Aaron? For the priestly office having been changed, of necessity a change of law also occurs. For the One of whom these things are said has partaken of another tribe, from which no one has given devotion at the altar. For it is clear that our Lord has risen out of Judah, as to which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. And it is still more abundantly clear that if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, who has not become so according to a law of a fleshly command, but according to the power of an indissoluble life. For it is testified, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” Psa. 110:4 18 For a voiding of the preceding command comes about because of its weakness and unprofitableness. For the Law perfected nothing, but a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God”
Hebrews 7:4-19

As John was weeping over the fate of the sealed Book he hears the most blessed words:

Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah,
the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book,
and to loose the seven seals thereof”
Revelation 5:5

It is by virtue of His prevailing that this Book is opened, the seals are being loosed and soon all creation will be released from their groaning in futility and bondage (Romans 8:20-23).

In the following pages of the Book of Revelation there is an unfolding of all that Christ is and the rendering of judgments in the earth. In the removing of each seal there is a corresponding manifestation of God’s righteousness revealed in judgments and great upheavals in the earth. Who can withstand these things? Who can hinder the ongoing loosening of the seals and the revelation of His Justice! We will see the final triumph of God over sin and death and the full revelation of the Risen and Reigning Christ! Unto Him Be Glory now and forever more!

“And he came and took the book
out of the right hand of him
that sat upon the throne”
Revelation 5:7

What a thrilling and glorious moment! The Son, by virtue of utter perfection and submission to the will of the Father, takes this sealed Book and begins to lift the seals one by one. (In His submission He became the Captain of our salvation, Hebrews 2:10) How can we not praise and honor Him with our very hearts and lives!

The Book of Revelation is not about events. The events are merely the ramifications of the One who has won the right to open the sealed book! In the opening of the sealed book creation is released, sin and death are destroyed and those who overcome as He overcame will rule and reign with Him for eternity!

“To him that overcometh
will I grant to sit with me in my throne,
even as I also overcame,
and am set down with my Father in his throne”
Revelation 3:21

Salvation is a free gift of the grace of God but ruling and reigning with Him is given to those who by virtue of His Life in them overcome in the same manner as He!

Revelation chapter 5 is the fulcrum for what follows in the rest of the Book of Revelation. In chapter 6 John begins to describe the loosening of the seals and the repercussions of each upon the earth.

“And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals,
and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder,
one of the four beasts saying,
Come and see…”
Revelation 6:1

Hallelujah! This is the DAY of the LORD! May all who walk and are present tense alive in Him, consider and walk worthy of the hour in which we live. He who has triumphed over all is at work in the heavens to the end “that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that JESUS CHRIST is LORD!” and “that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God”

To God be ALL the Glory!

Conclusion of Part Seven of coming book.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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TO HIM THAT OVERCOMES

PART ONE
EPHESUS

“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write…
Nevertheless I have this against you,
that you have left your first love”
REVELATION 2:1-4

This portion of scripture (written in approximately in 90AD) is the last recorded message from Jesus to HIS Church in the Bible. Paul had been martyred around 69 – 70AD. The Church had been infiltrated from without and within; she had become compromised and was beginning to fall into the way of man. These seven letters to the Church located in Asia Minor contain strong exhortations to overcome the corruption WITHIN the Church. The overcomers were those who overcame the false teachings, the separation of the “clergy” from the laity, the acceptance of false prophets; and in one city the rise of a religious atmosphere in which Jesus was on the outside and not even in it. We need to grasp the tenor in which Jesus addressed HIS Church in order for us to understand how HE SEES and how HE SPEAKS to the Church in this hour. It does not require much reading of these seven letters to see that the “overcoming” spoken of to the Church in every location was written concerning the corruption of the Church; not the world without but the Church within! May the Lord open our eyes and our ears to HIS WORD that we may have hearts that will re-evaluate the state of things today. Just as these seven letters were written to the Church of that day, the warnings, promises and the exhortation to give ear to the voice of the Spirit is equally valid to the Church of our day and “even more so as we see the day approaching”.

EPHESUS

Of all the letters written to the Church the assembly located at Ephesus had more positive things written to it than any of the others. It was an assembly that had received the grand epistle of Ephesians; in many respects the most profound unveiling concerning the truths of the unity, the glory and the purpose of the local church. Several times Paul is so overcome with emotion that he stops to pray for them as he is caught up in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Even in a casual reading of that Epistle one can touch the fervor and glory of its sacredness. The Epistle was written around 60-62AD while Paul was imprisoned in Rome.

The letter written to the Church at Ephesus starts off with a list of noble qualities for which Jesus commends them. They obviously had discernment; their labor, patience and hatred of evil were all acknowledged by Jesus. We tend to have a very slack view of HIS IDEA of HIS CHURCH. Within the midst of all these good and commendable things we read a word that changes the flow of the message to the Ephesian Christians; “NEVERTHELESS I have this against you”! Somehow we think that if we are doing a few things right that we can neglect the issues that God has with us individually or corporately. Because we do not know HIM as HE IS, we excuse and shrug off the notion that HE is HOLY. We console ourselves with a few good things and we become lax in our desire to please HIM in all things. In the Old Testament, if the priest’s garments were worn in such a way that the bells did not ring when he was in God’s presence, he was warned that God would strike him dead (Exodus 28:33). God has not changed. The one thing that God had against the Church at Ephesus was of such significance that left unresolved, it would result in the Lampstand being removed. The removal of the lampstand signified the removal of HIS HOLY SPIRIT from their midst; a judgment of such proportions that it is staggering in light of the present day condition of His Church! When men lose their purpose in God they are no longer contending for the faith and they allow ungodliness and worldliness to permeate the local assembly. The most terrifying of all God’s judgments is that HE simply removes HIS presence and the Guidance of the Holy Spirit to such an extent that they are left to themselves and HIS church, in reality, becomes their church. They decide what is preached, what the “agenda” and focus will be, instead of following the Lordship of the Holy Spirit.

What was the one thing of such consequence that it would bring such a harsh response from Him? What was it that would negate all the good things found in them? They had LEFT their first love. Men do not LOSE their first LOVE, they LEAVE it. They let it drift and slowly fade within the sanctuary of their own hearts. Without this Love for HIM everything is just religion; we are no longer concerned about HIS thoughts and HIS desires in the things we do. When the church becomes the center and the reason for the things we do, or they are done out of a sense of duty rather than Love, we are in a place of great danger.

“Nevertheless I have this against you,
that you have left your FIRST love.
Remember therefore from where you have fallen;
repent and do the FIRST works,
or else I will come to you quickly
and remove your lampstand from its place—
unless you repent”
REVELATION 2:4-5

Only FIRST LOVE can produce the FIRST WORKS. The Greek Word translated FIRST here means PRIMARY or PRINCIPLE. It speaks of a love that overrides all other loves, of a singular passion that seeks to please the ONE upon whom it is focused. Only those who know of this FIRST LOVE can produce FIRST WORKS for LOVE is the fountain from which the life is lived. God has ONE WORD for those who have left that FIRST LOVE…REPENT from the place where we have fallen. It is the critical and essential work within the heart of every believer is to keep the heart aflame for HIM (see Jude 20-21). When our hearts begin to grow cold, and our lives become lukewarm and tepid in our desire to worship and please HIM, it is time to repent from the things that have drawn our hearts away from HIM.

The WORD OF PROMISE
FROM THE LORD
To the OVERCOMERS
Who live in the
Assembly of the Church at EPHESUS* is…

“He who has an ear,
let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life,
which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”
REVELATION 2:7

APATHY AND NEGLECT
are the fruits of the life
in whom the flames of love
have grown cold in the grave of religion

“Mourn not the dead that in the cool earth lie
But rather mourn the apathetic throng
The cowed and the meek
Who see the world’s great anguish and its wrong
And dare not speak”
Ralph Chaplin (1887–1961)

*NOTE: The Church at Ephesus represents people who have had much teaching, who understand the deeper things of God, who to all appearances have a good walk and are consistent and stable; yet for all their knowing there is a complete lack of doing, caring and seeking the welfare of the people of God. They are isolated from the issues in the church as a whole. They are separated and have pride in the things they know. Their knowledge has become their confidence. His answer for such a people is repentance.

“Repentance is not a fatal day when tears are shed,
but a natal day when, as a result of tears,
a new life begins”
Ilion T. Jones

Brian Troxel

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“Behold, I have set the land before you…”

Deuteronomy 1:8

The land of promise lies before us and the faithfulness and failures of the preceding generations lie behind. This is the day of Decision. This is the Day of Faith and Vision. We have come to the Day; we have come to the hour of the full purpose of God in Christ. An hour of great suffering – and glory, of great darkness and great light, of death and life, of great battle and peace, of defeat and the final conquest for all eternity. The full revelation of the two mysteries: the mystery of iniquity and the full revelation of the mystery of Godliness. We stand at this last river, the River Jordan, where a people stand ready to be baptized into the experiential identification of His Death that we might know the power of His Resurrection. Throughout the history of the true and living church there have been countless brothers and sisters who have willingly laid down their lives for the testimony of Jesus. This is the day for that number to be fulfilled that the testimony of God in the earth may reach fullness and the Great Judge arise and avenge their blood upon the earth. It is HIS DAY! It is the day of revelation; it is the day of the unveiling of the fullness of wickedness and the fullness of the Glory of God and the Kingdom of Righteousness. Let the faith, hope and love of God grip us to face this hour in the Power of His Life. For it is in Him that we will overcome the peril of this hour. The teachings of men will fade, the mountain top experiences will fade, but they that DO the will of the Father will abide forever. As we enter this hour we realize that every man has built his house, the fate of the 10 virgins has already been determined, the parable of the talents and pounds has already played out, for this is the day of the REVELATION of each man’s life. This is the day of the return of the Master to His vineyard, the day for men to give an account to the Master of the talents and pounds, the hour of the Midnight Cry when the lives of the virgins will be exposed; it is the Day of the Storm that will reveal the house that has been built on the sand and on the rock. It is the day where the worshippers of God are measured and all things are finally consummated in the SON. It is the Day of Judgement and Rewards. It is the Day of HIS GLORY!

Even in this late hour let us hear afresh the call to turn from our ways and with great brokenness rend our hearts to be found in Him not having our own righteousness, but to stand in the righteousness that is the product of the operation of His Faith in our lives. We must realize that the positional truths of God are precious but that His Faith has come to MAKE us stand in the actual righteousness of God. “Be ye holy as I am Holy”. The purpose of Faith is to see that which is in Christ brought into reality in the earth. “That as He is, so are we in this world”!

Wherefore we do well to give heed in this hour to the voice of the Prophet Zephaniah:

Before the decree bring forth, before the
day pass as chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord
come upon you, before the fierce anger of the Lord
come upon you. Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth,
which have wrought His judgement; seek righteousness,
seek meekness, it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.”

Zephaniah 2:2-3

The land of Egypt lies behind us, the trials and purging of the Wilderness has been passed through, and we stand at the banks of the river Jordan. It is the day of the entering in. It is the day of the passing away of former things. It is the Day of the Revelation when everyman’s works will be brought to light.

“Walk while it is yet day, for the night cometh when no man can work”

“Behold, I have set the Land before you…”

Brian Troxel
December 31, 2007

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