The Lord has been showing us that the Book of Revelation is an unfolding of events in a somewhat chronological order. These events have taken place and are continuing to take place in the world, the worldly church and in the true church, the Bride of Christ, since the book was written at the end of the first century. The opening lines read, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants--things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John." (Revelation 1:1, NKJV). It is a book filled with symbols that was written to us who would follow the Lamb wherever He goes. It is filled with warnings and examples for those who would be HIS sheep so that we can overcome, but its message must be spiritually discerned.
Before we go any further with this discussion we must answer the questions, When are ''the last days?" and "When did they start?" Many teachers want to believe that it is all in the future or has happened in the past, but never in the present. The Book of Hebrews says, "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds." (Hebrews 1:1,2, NKJV).
Religious men wait for a temple to be built in Jerusalem so that the antichrist can be enthroned there as a sign of the last days. But John said that the antichrist was already alive and well in his time almost 2000 years ago.
"Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. (1 John 2:18, NKJV)
The sad news is, the antichrist is already enthroned in the hearts of men, created to be the true temple of God, and in the hearts of many who consider themselves Christians at this present time. (See "The Antichrist Spirit" on our web site).
So with these verses in mind, we see that we are well into the "last day" or "last hour" and the "things that must shortly come to pass" are already well underway. As we take a look at the seven churches in chapters two and three of Revelation, we see a steady digression and deterioration of what was in place in the beginning of the first century, founded in the moving of the Holy Spirit among the infant church. By the time Revelation was penned, Jesus is seen walking among the seven lamp stands (Greek luchnia) and warning the seven churches that unless they repent and return to the glory they once had as they made their abode in Him, their lamp stand, the spirit of that church, would be removed.
Finally, the seventh church is depicted as having its door shut against the Lord with Jesus saying, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." (Revelation 3:20, NKJV). This is not just a verse to be quoted out of context for the purposes of an altar call. It applies to this Laodicean, lukewarm church we see today. And what is the attitude of those who are snuggly secure behind that closed door and how do they reply to He who knocks? "I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing." Jesus has another assessment of the state of this church.
How does Jesus answer this spiritual blindness within a fortress of man-made security and wealth? "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."’ Over comes what? Overcomes their complacent, self-righteousness and self-sufficient attitude that excludes Him. How? By casting themselves before Him as totally bankrupt and void of His Truth in their lives, willing to let Him show them that they are truly" wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked" behind that closed door.
If we stand before Him "undone" as Isaiah found Himself before the throne of God, then and only then we will be able to buy from Him gold refined in the fire, that we may be rich; and white garments, that we may be clothed, that the shame of our nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint our eyes with eye salve, that we may see. Remember, Jesus warned those who think themselves whole, have no need of the Physician.
It was to John, Isaiah and other men of faith who had humbled themselves before Him, who had eyes to see and ears to hear that the invitation was given, "Come up here." They were living proof that we, too, can overcome if we will leave the subterfuge of the things of this world behind. It was "After these things" that John "looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven." (Revelation 4:1, NKJV).
The invitation is going out at this time as it was to John then in the last days to COME UP HERE! There is a highway that leads to the city of our God, open to those who "buy" from Him and strip themselves of everything tainted by this world. These are the ones who find an open door into the heavenlies for they are willing to pay the price.
Today the one thing that holds so many back from finding that door is an affinity toward the god of mammon. Yes, it is a demonic god. Mammon was the name of a god of prosperity worshipped and sacrificed to in ancient Babylon. Those who worshiped at his feet sought to acquire wealth and success from his hands. It was THIS god that Jesus spoke of that is the antithesis of serving His Father.
Jesus encountered a rich young ruler in Israel who came to him quite satisfied with his ability to be righteous by keeping he law., He asked Jesus what he must do to be perfect. Jesus told him to sell all that he had and give it to the poor, THEN come and follow Him. At this the young man's quest for perfection burst like a bubble. The price was too high and he went away sad. It was after this scene that Jesus warned his disciples, "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."
So dear saint, where is your heart? Would you truly seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and let these other things be added unto you as He sees your need? (see Matthew 6:25-34) Or would you rather, like so many Christians in their western cultures, serve the god of mammon?
So many are deceived and wonder why they can't find that open door into the heavens that John found. Worse yet, there are many who are snug behind their own church doors, not even knowing the difference. These are they of whom Paul spoke who "have a form of godliness but deny (reject) the power thereof." We can't have our cake and eat it too.
The hour is late. The choice is before us. Will we buy from Him white garments to cover our spiritual nakedness? Will we admit to Him that we are truly blind so that we might see? Will we buy of Him the only gold that can make us rich and forsake the gold that keeps us spiritually poor? Or will we be like the seven women (seven churches) who take hold of Him and say, "We will eat our own food and wear our own apparel; Only let us be called by your name, To take away our reproach." (Isaiah 4:1, NKJV).
Near the end of John's book he describes a woman of Babylon who was rich beyond dreams in the worldly sense, but at a terrible cost. She had become a harlot and mother of harlots and her candlestick had been removed. Will we find ourselves there after it is too late? To her Jesus said,
"The light of a lamp (Greek luchnos ) shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of Bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived." (Revelation 18:23, NKJV).
Yes, the where there is no candlestick, there is no Spirit. Where there is no Spirit, there is no Bridegroom and no Bride, but there are plenty of merchants and great men of the earth to be found there.
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; (1 Corinthians 1:26,27, NKJV).
Remember it is a heart issue. Our heart dwells where our treasure is. We cannot serve both Jesus and mammon. Don't let the prince of this world deceive you. "Let he who has ears hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches…. Come up here!"to top