Atlas Apologia (Formerly IDC)

Ep. 170: Christ's letter to the Seven Churches

September 21, 2023 Aleko
Atlas Apologia (Formerly IDC)
Ep. 170: Christ's letter to the Seven Churches
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

What if you were to view your spiritual journey through the lens of the only book in the Bible that guarantees a special blessing to its reader? Ever wondered about the authority within the church, its role, and the concept of spiritual leadership? This is precisely what we discuss in our latest podcast episode which offers a profound exploration into the intriguing realm of Revelation. From the churches of Revelation that serve as a report card to the Eklesia, to the complex relationship between salvation, overcoming, and the second death, we weed out the intricacies of these fascinating Biblical aspects.

We go a step further and delve into a stimulating conversation about the purpose and function of the church and its fivefold ministry. The episode also throws light on movements like the Missionary Church and highlights the dangers of religious hypocrisy. You will find our discourse around the concept of Satan, personal struggles, and how the flesh often proves to be more of a challenge than the devil particularly engrossing. 

To conclude this episode, we implore the spiritual realm through a heartfelt prayer for unity in the body of Christ. Engage with us as we dissect the Biblical text, questioning conventional narratives while stimulating your thought-process. Whether you're looking to broaden your understanding of Christianity, or simply interested in spiritual philosophy, this episode promises a compelling journey through the world of spiritual authority, leadership, and personal struggles.

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Speaker 1:

IDC Podcast would like to thank our listeners and supporters at BuyMeACoffeecom forward slash ID Podcast for making today's show possible. Please be sure to subscribe, rate our show with your podcast provider of choice and, as always, share with others, as that's how we grow. Also, be sure to check out Episode 137 for the complete Pillars of Intelligent Design audiobook, at no cost to our listeners.

Speaker 2:

Welcome to the IDC Podcast. This is Aleko, and I hope you're well. So at long last, michael and I were able to get together again to discuss Revelation. This is a third or fourth Revelation study that I think we've done in 20 years. We've already done one on this podcast, but we like coming together to discuss it every now and again because it's a lot of fun, and Revelation contains multiple allusions to the Old Testament and forces one to do a study of the entire Bible. It's all of Scripture and a microcosm, so it's a great exercise in dwelling on our Christ and learning the Scripture, as we've been asked to. Revelation is also the only book in the Bible that promises a special blessing to the reader, and whenever we come together to discuss it, we intend to claim that blessing, and we hope that you do too. So, without any further delay, let's get into our study of the Churches of Revelation, what many consider to be a report card to the Ecclesia or the body of Christ, and what some people consider to be the most important books of Revelation Christ's epistle, his letter to the Churches themselves. Just as a side note for the end of September, up until the middle of October, I will be traveling through my family's home country, greece, and also through my wife's home country, england, to visit family, so I won't be on Instagram or the podcast very often, though we are going to maybe attempt to do another book club on September 30th and we'll see how that goes. Got allowing, and then, you know, maybe if I am out traveling I'll record a video or two, as we do intend to upload them at some point soon. Got allowing, so without further delay, let's get started. I'm also going to record on Skype, just for redundancy, and maybe we should pray for a special blessing on the meeting. So, nothing too bananas goes down, I guess. Yeah, too crazy. All right, heavenly Father, I thank you for allowing Michael and I to join today to discuss the book of Revelation. I mean, ask that you bless this meeting and edify us with wisdom, kind of our thoughts, direct our conversation in a way that would be edifying to others and allow us to have a good time and to fill your presence with us and around us. And thank you for all of your blessings, both the good things and the bad. In Christ's name, we pray Amen. All right, welcome Michael. How are you Good? Yeah, how about you? Good, good, good, it's gosh. So we're on pace for 2030. Finish of this. This, I guess, revelation study.

Speaker 4:

Well, I think you know it's going to give us some good insight into the return of our Lord.

Speaker 2:

Because we know this, we have to be able to explain Revelation perfectly to everybody first, I feel like on the next one we're just going to be in the middle of it. We're going to hear like trumpet outside. So yeah, I definitely. What have you been up to? Before we get into it, Maybe I'll just ask you what you've been up to, how your summer has been. Did you travel anywhere? I can't even remember.

Speaker 4:

I went back to Las Vegas my wife's from there Autumn, and so we went back there. I actually had something for work there as well, so it'll dovetail together really well. I'm not the world's biggest fan of Las Vegas, but to visit is nice once in a while. We do about I do about once a year and Autumn, and the kids get back usually another time. Yeah, it was good. And earlier this year we went to England. That was more like spring, middle of spring, in May, but yeah, it's been good. It's been good. I just did a gig last week yeah, I think it was a week ago, a week from yeah week Saturday and that was really fun.

Speaker 2:

I heard that went really well, by the way.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, yeah, it did, it went really good, what's the name of your band? Never Made.

Speaker 2:

Silence Never Made Silence. Yeah, and I know that I'm just asking, maybe to share with others, but what kind of music do you guys perform?

Speaker 4:

We have a couple of original songs, but most of it's like singer, songwriter stuff, because it's acoustic and so lady sings. Obviously she's a lady, so we have a female voice. I'll sing some songs, we'll do some harmonies. I really want to turn it into more of a variety show. We've had a couple of guest singers before and we're talking about getting her boyfriend in on bass guitar and then getting some like a lot of guest singers, because then you can kind of I just like the vibe of that more. I think music should be something to share. So if you get like four or five people that turn up that know how to sing and kind of mix it up, I think that'd be even more fun than just playing a gig straight. You know you're kind of getting everyone involved, you know. Yeah. My view on church. Really, you know, everyone has something to contribute. So I like the idea of that, so we might work towards that.

Speaker 2:

Sure, yeah, there's another band that does something similar that I used to listen to a little bit of, called Postmodern Jukebox. Have you ever heard of them? No?

Speaker 4:

I haven't.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, they do covers of famous songs, but I think it's the same group of instrumentalists but they always have a different front person, you know lady or man or whatever. You can go to YouTube and see some of their stuff. They're actually really, really talented. I really enjoy their stuff. Melanie and I used to. When we lived in Fuzhou in Southern China, there was a whiskey lounge that we loved going to and they always had Postmodern Jukebox on there. They'd have these really kind of trendy looking music videos where it's just somebody done up in like 1920s style garb, you know great Gatsby type of thing, and they would take a song like a grunge song from the 90s and just turn it into a you know kind of a swing song, but like they had incredible voices and it was really fun to listen to.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, it sounds awesome. I think that's what I think music should be about fun and enjoyment. Obviously there's worship, but I mean as far as like quote unquote, second of music, I feel like it should be more about people enjoying themselves and sharing that expression. You know, sure the whole idea of it being an industry is not really something I think should happen, but it is what it is.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, it's unfortunate. And, speaking of industries, we're going to get into the churches today and that last one, that last one, dovetails into a couple of really bad industries. So Very true. Yeah, but yeah, I am excited to sit down and talk about this one with you. I think we've done two revelation studies on IDC but I mean, over the years you've been studying it at length, as we've talked about before. I think you have obviously a great mind of your own that's influenced by Christ, the Holy Spirit, but you also have a couple of people that you glean from. That, I think, are they have some very interesting insights, like Preston EB, and I think we've mentioned that a few times. Yeah and yeah, I draw from whoever I see. I typically will hear about somebody in an interview and then I'll just I'll grab their book. More recently I've been into Michael S Heiser. Obviously, chuck Missler is an influence, although I don't absolutely agree with everything they say, I think that's one of the most interesting insights. But I think the issue with revelation is it's difficult to compartmentalize some of this information because it's all overarching, it's all attached, and to try to do two and three in a vacuum without discussing a dozen other things is going to be a challenge. Yeah.

Speaker 4:

I think it's a good you know to just discuss them and jump around as needed as well, because they do all dovetail. You know, in a revelation three or no, revelation two talks about, you know, overcomer is not hurt by the second death, when technically the second death is not introduced till many chapters later. Yeah, so you know, it kind of references itself. So yeah, whatever, whatever needs to happen, I don't mind jumping around or constantly pulling back to a more holistic view, things like that.

Speaker 2:

Sure, yeah, yeah, I think you got a great idea there and if you're willing to move a little bit back and forth I am, we'll try to keep this. I guess punchy maybe within an hour, but who knows got allowing it. It'll just be edifying and see where it goes right. So I had a couple of. The last time we met, we talked about the Messiah 2030 video and I don't want to go too far down a tangent, but I guess they released a second one and I had a couple more. Just I wanted to pepper the conversation right from the get go with a couple more six thousand years to the Messiah prophecies, because the scripture is replete with examples foreshadowings rather of a six thousand year period from Adam to the return of the Messiah. That was second coming, as it's sometimes known, of Christ. So I'll just do these really quickly. Job 519, here's a really easy one. He will deliver you from six troubles in seven. No evil shall touch you. I really like that, I really like that. And then also in Job 42, 12 through 17,. You have all, and this is it's worth another tangent, but I'll just say superficially, you have all eight days of the prophetic week numerically presented. You have, job is rewarded with six thousand camels, a thousand oxen and a thousand female donkeys. So I think that's really interesting, just the numbers there are. You know a lot of people think of these as just perhaps superfluous details, but they're really really important when you pay attention to them and you see how much of a pattern there is throughout all of the scripture. I think Definitely.

Speaker 4:

And when you think that the millennium corresponds to the Sabbath, I find that really interesting too. Even when Christ was rebuked by the, I think it was like the head of a synagogue who said he was annoyed at him healing someone on the Sabbath. And he said six days there are to cut, that you can come and be healed, but not on the Sabbath, basically. And Christ said who wouldn't pull your oxen I'm paraphrasing but who wouldn't pull your oxen out of the ditch on the Sabbath and let alone heal somebody? But it's interesting because Christians are pretty unanimous in thinking that God's dealings with mankind kind of freeze in place once Christ comes and there's no more healing, there's nothing being done beyond that in the millennium. It's basically like your destination set and everybody's either completely healed or going into condemnation. There's no more kind of workings of God and I think even from that perspective to me that's symbolic of there's going to be continued workings in the millennium. There's lots of prophecies of the age to come anyway, showing that it's still an active age, even though it's the Sabbath rest in a sense as well. But I think it's interesting that Christ indicated that he's still active on the Sabbath day. He'll still heal, he'll still bless people on the Sabbath, amen.

Speaker 2:

I mean, christ is our rest right. So, yeah, really good points, really good points. Well, so I thought we would get into Revelation 2 and 3 and perhaps we could, if you're into it. I had a couple of notes. I don't know if you want to maybe work off of those, your wealth of knowledge. I require something written on paper. Because of my feeble brain, I just can't contain anything for very long without just slipping out an ear or something. So I had a couple of notes. I don't know if you want to build off of these, and then maybe I thought we could read through the scripture. So there are some people who believe that chapters 2 and 3 are the most important chapters of Revelation, because I mean, first of all, it's an epistle of Christ himself. It is a letter personally from Christ to the seven churches and it acts like a report card. You know, there's a little bit of what was done right and what needs to be fixed. And also included in the letter is where every segment of each church that is addressed is a remedy how to fix that thing that needs to be remedied, essentially the criticism, how to fix the criticism right, as we've talked about before, and this is going back into chapter 1, it's the only revelation. It's the only book of the scripture which promises a blessing to the reader, and Revelation consists of at least that we know, of 800 allusions to the Old Testament. So I think just diving into Revelation is an opportunity to do a study in the entire scripture and it gives you a glimpse into ancient Jewish practice and thought and all of that stuff. Right, yeah, okay. So what else do I have here? Let me look through my notes. Okay, so I've got these in bullet form. In chapters 2 and 3, just a couple of things that I wrote down Christ is among the lampstands on earth, and in chapter 4, the lampstands are in heaven and some people see this as a suggestion that the church will be removed during a time of tribulation. I don't know if I agree with that necessarily, because I think you're on the same page with me. I remain neutral on the whole physical rapture thing, but I think it's worth noting that in the Gospels, christ mentions two things One, that the kingdom of heaven is invisible to our eyes and that it's here. So you know, there's a couple of things that you could surmise from that. Right, you know that there's something, in my opinion, perhaps more supernatural going on, regardless of what people might think of the eschatological segments of Thessalonians. I think it's 2nd Thessalonians where you have what people think is a mention of the rapture. There could be something much more supernatural going on there, but I am open to learning and open to reinterpretation, because I think that we won't know until God shows us.

Speaker 4:

I think my issue of the rapture in general, especially the pre-tribulation rapture, one of my main issues of it is. It's, I think, one of the kind of and I hate referencing pop culture too much, but I think one of the red pill moments is the red pill in the Matrix, right, yeah, I think one of the red, the perhaps the biggest red pill moment during a Christian walk is the moment where you start to see the kingdom as inner rather than outer. Now, don't get me wrong, all things are going to be subject to God and he is over all things, and that includes the visible exterior things. But I think there's a point at which you just start to understand the inner realities of Christ and the reason it's so important is things like we are seated in the heavenlies of Christ. You know, paul tells us you are seated in the heavenlies of Christ. That doesn't mean that we're kind of. You know, there's a spiritual us that's sitting on a throne in the sky somewhere and our physical bodies on earth. It means that you know the life of Christ is in us and we are like being seated is a metaphor for authority, like the authority of Jesus is within us, because His Spirit is within us and when you realize that Christ truly dwells within you, you can stop really looking for an exterior God. I mean, god is still a God with the exteriors. As far as you know, there's things he's controlling. You know, I am not God, I'm part of Christ's body, but the Spirit within me is, you know, my life, my reality, my, you know my connection to the spirit world. And I think the idea that, because our bodies might be lifted off the earth, that puts us in heaven, I think completely, you know it, doesn't it completely misses the point that we're already spiritual beings. As soon as we're made alive, which we already have been spiritually, we're already spiritual beings. We're already interfaces between the spirit realm and the physical realm because Christ dwells in us. And if Christ dwells in us, we have become the expression of Christ in the earth. You know, christ was the expression of the Father in the earth because he was a physical, tangible, visible vessel that the Father fully operated through, and we as the church. Now that Christ is invisible and he can make Himself visible, obviously he has a glorified body, but now that he is generally invisible, his body is His expression, and you know, to the earth. So the Spirit of Christ is working in all of His body and I feel like the whole thing of like we're not in heaven now, but if he lifts our bodies up into some cosmic location then we'll be in heaven, I think kind of misses the point about what heaven is and what the spirit realm is. You know, to me it's about learning to get out of the way of the spirit. You know, like God is refining us from almost like burning the flesh away so that the spirit of Incan be revealed more and more. Ourselves dying, you know, learning that Adam is actually crucified, that the life of Christ might become our life increasingly, and it's this whole process and when that process is complete the church will shine on the light of the thousand sons because there'll be nothing to hinder the glory of Christ. And I think like it totally misses the point to be like someday my hope is that my body is going to be caught up to some cosmic location. You know the Scriptures don't even talk about us going to heaven when we die. The Scriptures really talk about heaven coming to earth, like God is now dwelling with man, like the climax of Revelation is. I would dwell in them, you know. So I feel like it almost reverses the whole point, like just hoping that someday my miserable Adamic flesh will be caught up to a cosmic location, even if people think you're going to be glorified. I think it really misses a point at what's going on, which is God judging our flesh as the church. Right now, judgment begins with the house of God, god judging our flesh and us learning to reckon the flesh is dead and understand and experience what it means for Christ's life to become our life, and that's so much greater than oh, at some point I'll just be, you know, lifted up, and so to me it's just a change of perspective. The church is being looked at from a heavenly perspective, in four, you know. Yeah. We're seeing the earthly problems in two and three, and in four we start to see things from a heavenly perspective. But I think, even whatever form the rapture does or doesn't take, I think it really is missing the point to be a great hope like, oh, I'm just the miserable worm here, but someday God's going to catch me up and then he's also going to zap me and perfect my character. God doesn't ever zap anyone to perfect their character. He perfects our character here on earth with the trials and tribulations and constrictions that come along with an earthly life. You know, yep, amen, yeah, very good points, very good points.

Speaker 2:

And I'm nothing to add to that. Yeah, I think you make really excellent points. I think that it I'm still open to. You know I'm not stratified in anything happening, as I know that you're not either. You know in terms of what it might physically look like, but I've always emphasized and I agree more and more as I've gotten into the study, that people tend to over-physicalize things and anthropomorphize things. Where they try to make these things into and I don't know if that's the right word, they try to make these things into analogous terms that humans would understand and it really, it figuratively takes God off the throne and makes it much more small, like the idea of a physical Jerusalem coming out of heaven, and it turns it into a diminutive thing, right, it tries to put it into the mind of man and the mind of man tries to express it and it seems so much smaller than the glory that will actually be expressed in him from God. Does that make sense or is that too much?

Speaker 4:

No, that totally makes sense. You know, I knew Jerusalem is something I always talk about because it even gets you to clue by the angel introducing it as the wife of the lamb. So there's literally no excuse to see New Jerusalem as a real city or as a literal city. I also think and we're going to go through these, I'm sure, but you know, like you referenced the fact that there's a remedy in all of these letters For the churches that need it. Obviously, two churches don't really have any major failings, but there's also a promise to each church and in some ways the greatest promise is to lay to see it. But all the promises to me pertain to the life of God in us in some way. You know the first one, that Tim will come, I'll give to eat from the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God. Again, I mean, a tree of life is Christ, you know. Ultimately so it's, and fruit of a tree is something that gives you life. To me, this is us eating from Christ constantly to where he's become our life, because, again, the tree of life is in the midst of New Jerusalem, which we know is not literal. So the tree of life, I actually think is parabolic itself. One of the big things I always I feel like God's talk to me a lot about is the two trees. You know how. You know there is, I don't understand audience and outs of exactly what the two trees were as far as it was there any physical aspect to them, but I think, the spiritual aspect to them. You can just look around and see that almost everybody, both in the world and in the church, are still eating from the tree of the knowledge and good and evil, because most people think that life is about choices and about right and wrong. But right and wrong is just a way of saying good and evil, and the tree and there is good and there is evil, like the world, eats from a tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and Jeffrey Dahmer is terrible, terrible evil and there are people that don't know Christ that still do good deeds in the flesh. There are still good and evil within that tree, but the reality of God is life and death. So really all of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is death and the tree of life is life and we should be feeding from the tree of life, which is Christ, so he will become our life and the flow of his life is what we live in and we do everything we see Christ doing in the way he did, everything he sees his Father doing, and that is true life, like the abundant life of the Spirit flowing through us. To him who believes, streams of water coming out his belly. What Christ was saying to the Not leaving so much in the flow of the Spirit, you don't really need to worry about right and wrong, good and evil choices. You're living in the flow of the Spirit, doing whatever the Spirit moves you to do. And I think everybody in the world, obviously, but also mostly in the church, still see everything as right and wrong and there is good and evil and there is right and wrong as far as this action is better than that action. But to be consumed with that and have no concept of life because you're not eating from the tree of life is actually just still death. It's still death to spend your whole life just being like if I can train Adam to choose right, choose right, choose right, choose good, choose good and your whole life you're just trying to train your Adamic flesh to choose, to do good, which you can, adam can still be good at times, but there's Christians that spend their whole life just trying to restrain Adam. Oh, adam's just messed me up again. I've sinned again, which is Adam. Christ doesn't sin. So again and again, you're trying to train Adam to be good. I'm going to make better decisions. I'm going to train Adam to be good. I'm going to make better decisions. I'm going to train Adam to be good. And it's all the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Still, when you begin to learn that there is a life in you that cannot sin and that that is actually the life that God looks at in you as his new creation, and that once you learn to kind of be abandoned to that life, that life just flows through you more and more and more and more and more. That's the tree of life and it's a completely different experience. You know and I really believe it as well, because I feel like I've experienced both I know what it's like to eat from that first tree and I know what it's like to eat from the second tree, and I really believe most of the church, as well as the world, is still eating from the tree of knowledge and good and evil. They're still trying to make Adam good enough to deserve God, instead of understanding that there is a new creation within us that and that Adam is not destined to. You know, adam is not destined to be cleaned up and rehabilitated. Instead, it's a new creation in us that is destined to gradually grow in us, a seed that germinates and grows and, when it reaches fulfillment, is going to be the image of Jesus Christ. I mean, it's a radically different experience to the tree of knowledge of good and evil and I think you know those promises tend to pertain to that. You know the first one's about the tree of life. The second one's, the second one's you won't be hurt by the second death and obviously that means you're fully abiding in his life. The third promise is hidden. You know, or give someone a hidden manna and a white stone and a new name. The manna is the bread from heaven, which is Christ. The new name is a new nature, which is God's nature, written in your heart. I mean, and you go on and on and you know I'll give him. The fourth letter says I hear overcomes. We have power over the nations. This is the authority of the spirit. You know each one is like really it's making a promise about. It's not like I'm going to give you this heavenly reward. It's a token from like a heavenly arcade that you can redeem. It's it's promises about you becoming an overcomer, becoming someone that completely resembles Christ and authority in how they live, in everything you know, to where you can't be hurt by the, by the lake of purification. You can't be. You know. You have the full authority of the spirit because you've grown in complete maturity. You have that new nature to white stone. You eat the bread from heaven which is Jesus Christ. All these promises are to what you will resemble. You resemble Christ when you overcome. They're absolutely, stunningly wonderful promises. But it all pertains to that tree of life which is in the first promise and we're not going to get there by being obsessed with cleaning up Adam. And the irony is, when you stop obsessing of cleaning up Adam, when you stop obsessing about the tree of knowledge of good and evil, you actually stop sinning effortlessly. It doesn't mean you never sin because Adam still rears up. You know the flesh still rears up. But it's a lot more effortless to not sin when you're eating from the tree of life and in you know connecting to that flow of Jesus Christ within you. Like Paul said, you know it's Christ in me. Now you know it's not I that lives, but Christ in me. When you get to that consciousness, even if it's just spotty, and you're learning it to be in that consciousness more, it's effortless because it's Jesus living through you. And a lot of Christians haven't even learned that as a message or heard that as a message. They're still desperately trying to clean up Adam, desperately upset when Adam fails them again. You know, I'm still struggling with the same sin and I keep just like clenching my fists and bowing. I'm going to do better next time. I'm going to be good, I'm going to make a better choice when I'm in this situation next time. It's like you're not going to be saved from your, from your besetting sins as a believer by making better choices. You're going to be saved from your besetting sins by being in touch with the flow of Jesus Christ within you, which effortlessly doesn't seem, because that new creation can't sin and it's, and it's completely scriptural. This is not some ethereal new age nonsense, it's completely scriptural. But it's something that most Christians miss and they end up, just you know, constantly struggling, constantly struggling because they haven't even been told that they can really connect to the Holy Spirit of Innamen in a way to where they're eating from the tree of life, or beginning at least beginning, to learn to eat from the tree of life.

Speaker 2:

Amazing points. They are really, really amazing points. I have nothing to add to it, but other than to point out that Michael can go off book a lot easier on this one than I can. Let me pull out my script again and I'll continue on my end. But yeah, I think those, those points are so fantastic about not focusing so much on eating from the tree of good and the knowledge of good and evil and focusing on cleaning up the old Adam, but rather feeding on Christ and essentially allowing him to clean clean you right and to make you more in his image. I think, yeah, really amazing points. All right. Well, yeah, I guess, before jumping in, the last few bullets that I had were just on the some of the unique properties of these churches. And you know, obviously some people ask why, why these churches and not some other churches like Jerusalem or Antioch or what were some other major churches back then Rome. You know why, why, why these seven churches? And you know, obviously they have homo-elitic applications. So each, each letter, or each, each church addressed, at the very beginning, it says he that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. So it's clearly not not just addressed to the historical churches, which did indeed have the problems that are being raised. But it's it's meant for everyone to to read and listen and understand. As you said, these are all things that are meant to correct us and to to provide edification. And then the final one, I think is a little more controversial, the final application. I think you and I have discussed this a little bit. I think it's kind of interesting. But there are some people who hold the opinion that these seven churches in this order also are a foreshadowing of church history throughout the 2000 years, into the return of Christ or the millennial reign of Christ, and I heard recently I thought this was kind of interesting One of the indications of that is that the promise to the overcomer, the place of that, changes within each depending on what church is being addressed. So the first three it's in the post script and it almost indicates a past tense, according to some people, and I don't. I don't lean too heavily into that. I just think it's kind of interesting, almost as if to say that those churches, while spiritually they still may be present on earth, the, the core of that church, is really kind of historical and it's not really with us as much, whereas the, the promise to the overcomer, is in the body. I believe in the remaining churches, almost as if to say that the, the great majority of that church, is physically still on earth. I'm not sure if I'm wording this very well. It should be mentioned that I had about three hours of sleep last night, so I didn't even know we were going to have this, this get together. But I was so pleased to find out Michael could join. So if I'm stumbling over my words, at least I have an excuse to lean on. But what are your thoughts on? On that, the prophetic application of these churches? I mean, we're going to get into it, but, um, I think that there's some interesting parallels there. I think the most most interesting is gonna be in Thyatira. When we get to that, maybe I'll bring it up, and I'm sure you're well aware of it. But have you heard this before? Have we discussed it before?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, we have. Yeah, and I, I think, goes about saying I know you've agreed to this as well that like these, you know, seven aspects are always gonna exist, even if there is a prominence in an era. Like you know, the persecuted church, I mean as a, there's an argument the true church has always been persecuted because even when the visible church was the Catholic Church and they're burning people at the stake you know a lot of people they were burning at the stake in the Middle Ages were the true church. You know, yeah, you know I've read and again, this is something that's just hearsay, I haven't really, you know, confirmed this blood for red that more people, more Christians, were persecuted or martyred in the 20th century, then all other 19 centuries combined. But I guess with that you would have to, you know, have a disclaimer that the earth's population has grown so much as a percentage of Christians. You know that the early persecuted church had a higher percentage of Christians being persecuted, like so, even with all the people that remarked, and it's when the of century. You know, you have so many Christians in Western countries that lived in peace and quiet, basically, but a whole 20th century and never Were persecuted for their faith. You know properly as far as like persecuted to death for their faith. So that's interesting. There's there's a lot of caveats there, but, um, yeah, I think it's quite feasible, but obviously and I know, like I said, I think you've agreed this before it'd have to be more. You know the prominent aspect, if it was because there's always Believers are always being persecuted somewhere. You know there's always, you know there's. You know the laid-as-see. You know I think laid-as-see in the LA has applied a lot because of how the Protestant Church is behaving. You know telly evangelists and all of that. But yeah, when you think about it, that attitude has been in the Catholic Church for a long time. They've had riches. You know the pomp and Ceremony and riches of the Vatican sure have been around, have been around for a long time. So there's, though there's there's some, you know there's definitely some nuance to it as well, yeah, I'm not at all opposed to it. As a theory, I think there's, but I think it'd be more. Like you know, Certain aspects might be more problem than the certain times you know really good points.

Speaker 2:

Well, I thought I might read a little bit. I'll do Ephesus first, but I'm gonna be reading from the new King James version. I feel that, as CSB right now, I would say is my rather the Holman CSB is my favorite Translation. That's not say it's perfect. I think there's actually a better translation that I've been meaning to read more of. It's from David Bentley Hart, who he, he, believes. I think he, his theology, aligns a lot more with you, especially considering the book that you just wrote. But he, he tends to agree with you on some of those matters like Was it you would you call it? Is that universal salvation, where you, you know the?

Speaker 4:

universal reconciliation. Ephesians God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, yeah, and that Jesus has actually taken away to send the world rather than bringing it back when you know at certain times. But sure, I'm slightly aware of him because I think I saw an interview and where ironically I was I was disagreeing with some of the stuff he said yeah. But so I don't. I don't know that much, because I think he was talking about I think it's all about women priests in it. What do you say about? who's a completely different subject, but I'm definitely you know aware of him tangentially so.

Speaker 2:

As far as I know, he converted to Greek orthodoxy, so I don't. Is he he so he's okay with women priests, or what is his deal? I?

Speaker 4:

Just know, in the video is basically saying he was saying that women are better priests. Oh, that they're not, just they should be priests, but they're better priests than men can possibly make, which I get it to a degree. I think women are really, you know, often given a real doubt or really hard hand, even even in the West, where women are often Reverenced, you know, as like to the, to the, to a wrong degree objectified you know a lot of time. But but women still have to fight against a lot, you know. I mean, if we're being honest, it's easy to kind of complain about oh, you know, I held open a door for a woman and she got mad at me, or something you know. Silly little things, but compared to, you know, I would, feminism means women get mad when you hold a door open from, or something like that. But I mean, ultimately women do are dealt a really rough hand and have so much to offer and Often have more moral courage than men if you look at the fact that the women were the ones that stuck around for the crucifixion. Yeah and I think we're rewarded with being the first witnesses of the resurrected Christ. Do you think you think how women? Women were treated at the time Basically, often regarded as almost chatter or livestock. You know, in the ancient world at times, and maybe not to that degree, but you know, you think, the amazement of you know, women being the first witnesses of Jesus Christ, the most fantastic, beautiful event has ever happened and ever will happen in the timeline of Earth's history, and women were the first to behold it. You know yeah, pretty music God has definitely honored women enough and I hate I never actually weighed into the whole. You know, can, can women do x, y, z in church thing, because I think it I don't know some sometimes to me I think it misses the point, because sometimes I think it's about what modern church is structured as, like can women be a head pastor? I don't think head pastor is a biblical Roll. You know so and so as far as I seen a New Testament church, there was, like Paul said, that two or three prophets speak and if something's revealed to one that the neck, that the other one keeps silent. You know, in other words, there was a plurality of people that were gifted to speak, that were almost like having this conversation and the spirit would be speaking through them. Well, I know that. You know the script. The scriptures reference women prophesying because it references if a woman prophesies or a head uncovered, and I don't really understand A head covering thing. I just have that on the side if I ever understand it. I understand it. I don't understand it at all, but it says if a woman pray, praise or prophesies or a head uncovered, therefore women can prophesy. It also says that Philip had Four daughters that were prophetesses. Therefore, women can prophesy. So I think, with the way the New Testament church was clear, women were clearly involved and clearly able to prophesy and things like that. So I think a lot of the argument is based around, you know, a structure of the church that we don't have have anymore and I don't there. There are other things Paul says that I Confess I just don't understand exactly where the balance is on certain things. But I think so many arguments is like can a woman be a head pastor? And like well, to me I don't think a man should be a head pastor because I feel like it's a business role that's been created for the way we've structured the modern church. It's not something that you see in the Bible. So in a way it's a pointless discussion because we're we're asking about something. It's not a scripture role to begin with, and there is a discussion to be had because Paul was talking about women, the scriptures but but I think some of it is a moot point to begin with because it's asking about modern, modern concepts of church leadership that didn't necessarily even exist in the scriptures.

Speaker 2:

Well, you know, I think that I would push back just a little bit and I know that you know where I'm going with this. Obviously, with with the Acts of the Apostles Episcopos, pres Viteros and the Oconos, bishops, priests and deacons are a thing I think that you try to tether being. I think one of the Translations of bishop is overseer, I Think you, you know sorry, was it elder? I always confused what the, the modern translations are, but Episcopos is bishop, or Latin bishop, and pres Viteros is priest. But you do you try to tether one of them to age, and I think that's a conversation worth having, but I think that what I think is age.

Speaker 4:

I think it's spiritual maturity. Oh, I see I see, those are more spiritually advanced, but I think the key one for me about that is Some of it is those are real roles, and I think that's where the balance is I'm talking about. Yeah. I was talking about certain your roles that were in the New Testament church that we don't have in the same form nowadays. So we're arguing the modern role when, really, because we don't even see the church being Done in the way it was in the New Testament, it's, it's almost a moot point because until we have the church coming together in the way it did come together, we're not even meeting. And to what? To my mind, we're not meeting in a biblical way because it's it's a business-based hierarchy. What is the Protestantism? You know me, I feel like you know. Peter was clear. As far as priesthood, I think we're a royal priesthood of believers, I think amen to me, the rub of the priesthood is a priest is someone that is an interface between God and men. So the high priest is Christ, and I think the issue for me with saying that there can be a priesthood within the church is that Everybody that has Christ in them is the interface between God and man. Yeah, yeah you know. So if you say priests are between there's a thing called a laity and there's a strata of what's called priest, and then there's God, you're basically saying that there is also an interface between God and believers.

Speaker 2:

So it's yeah, I agree. I think that maybe priest is a mistranslation, though that is the colloquial term, for you know who you have running essentially in a Catholic church or an Orthodox church. I think that better is is elder, so I suppose because they and this is a completely separate conversation but they don't necessarily believe that that is the case, although maybe some Catholics do. I completely agree that we are. We all are kings and priests in Christ. But I think that you know my first, my first interaction with a congregational church was in Hanoi in Vietnam, and I lived out there for I don't even know how long maybe three and a half, four years and we attended a congregational church and one of the issues was there was an authoritative crisis, nobody was in charge and therefore no theology stood and we saw things get intermingled or people attempt to intermingle and we'll get to Put a gamut that the, the church of the, the mixed marriage, right, but we saw people try to draw in Things like Reiki. I don't know if you're familiar with Reiki. Is what it's like? Some type of hippie crystal healing or rock healing. You know they believe that and it's true. I mean, scientifically, we know that some rocks do have energy, but they're they're trying to. You know intermingle Reiki and like false spirituality. And you know other things that are completely banded by scripture. Are you know the gay marriage just ushering in all kinds of things that are not allowed because, quite frankly, everyone was. You know it was, it was, everyone was in charge and you had no real spiritual leaders, no elders, nobody with spiritual maturity and no one with any sort of Theological prowess. And I know I'm not giving it to the wise and saying you know that, that you know someone with wisdom is going to, you know, be the appropriate leader. But someone with knowledge of Christ, someone with the spirit and Someone who is an authority should be there to kind of govern some of these things.

Speaker 4:

That's the key. I think that's the key is spiritual leadership. I think spiritual is a word that's used Often as just like a label on top of something that's very airfully. You know, I like someone is your spiritual leader because you adhere to a religious institution and they're high up in that religious institution. Therefore they are, and they've studied and got a degree. Therefore they are qualified to oversee your faith. I think that has absolutely zero to do with overseeing someone's faith. Being high up in a religious institution I mean there's a guy high up in the Catholic Church who's talking about Jesus having sinned. That guy is officially somebody's spiritual leader and saying that Jesus sin. Yeah it's got nothing like. So I think a big thing is. First Timothy 3. Right to start. First Timothy 3. It says this is a faithful saying if a man desires the position of a bishop, he had a desire as a good work. This is new King James. That word position is not in the Greek and this is a way in which translations perpetuate ideas of hierarchy and, you know, an earthly institution. Why put position in what it says in Greek is if anyone desires to be an overseer, and I think that there are definitely these roles, but they are spiritual. When it's talking about who is qualified, it says a bishop which is an overseer must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober, minded of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, gentle, not course and not cover. To See the thread here. It's spiritual character. It's somebody that has the character of Christ. If you look at the apostles, they weren't the theologians of the time, no theologians at the time, with a Pharisee the apostles were people that had been with Jesus, so the people that had spiritual authority. It basically, if someone was going, if an apostle like Paul was going to appoint an elder, he was going to look for someone like this that had the character of Christ, who would then oversee somebody else's faith without Loading it over them and trying to actually take our for authority, in a sense, and be like I say jump, you say how high yeah. It's someone that was gonna oversee. I guess it's like, okay, we're all sheep, but we're all sheep that belong to Jesus and so Paul would appoint overseers that would understand that she belonged to Jesus. Where's most people that see it as a position and starts thinking the sheep belong to them? If you look at most ministers now it's like all they people talk about sheep stealing. When people go get attracted from one church or another, all he stole my sheep. It's like we're all. Jesus is sheep. Everything that is done with is is Under shepherds. Everything is done with a view to understanding the church belongs to him. If we're faithful, we're not going to try and ravish the church. We're not going to try and hit on the church. We're gonna prepare the bride like a unit. You know the units that prepared Esther when she was getting ready to get married. You know a unit could obviously symbolic of someone that can't even touch her if they want, if they wanted to, you know. But if someone, it's not going to violate the bride of Christ, you know, whereas we have two centuries of eight people basically acting like the bride of Christ is there to be hit on, is there to be seduced, is there to be bedded. You know, faithful spiritual leadership is always going to point people to Christ as the full authority. And so just because someone's got an agree and rises up in a religious institution, that does not give them a one eye out of spiritual authority. Because you look at Christ, when he came it said he taught as one having authority and not as the Pharisees it's like. Well, hang on. The Pharisees were the highest religious leaders, were together in the Sadducees. These were the highest religious leaders and most advanced the loans at the time. How can you say he did that when he told authority it wasn't like them, like so.

Speaker 2:

So I, you know, I read William Lane Craig talking about this once and he said that what they meant by authority was. He would often say I, truly, I tell you, and he would not be referencing the scripture and by doing that, you're using yourself as the authority, you're using yourself as the basis for which you speak. And that was what irked them, because he wouldn't say hey, you know, it says in Leviticus that you got to do this. He would say truly, I tell you, in his he was the authority right and and and William Lane Craig explicated that a little bit better. And the other thing is I obviously, to use the same word, no authority in in ancient Greek. I, you know ancient Greek much better than I do, but I also know that there are a lot of inferred words, because a lot of the ancient Greek was written in shorthand, especially Matthew, if I'm not mistaken right. So, hearkening back to the mention of the Quote-unquote Position of the bishop, which you know doesn't exist in the Greek, it just says Bishop, or if one desires to be a bishop and not desires the position of Bishop, I think that I Don't know if that's as big a fallacy as I would. You know, I don't know if it's as big a fallacy as you make it out to be, although I agree with every other point you made surrounding it, that it is a spiritual thing and it's not something that can be merely acquired by a diploma, right? So I agree 99% of the way, but also I think that there's room for there's room for it to be a position, but just maybe not the way that the church has structured it or the Institutional church has structured it. So I agree with you almost all the way.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. I think it's a really worthy Discussion to hash out. Obviously not necessarily now, because we're on the revelation. Yeah, although we're gonna talk about Nicolations, which is quite pertinent but let's do it. Yeah, I think it's a very worthy conversation and Get to the bottom of, because Any everybody knows that the thing that is now the system is religion, whether it's Catholics, whether it's orthodox. Yeah, it's process. Then they all approach it differently. I have certain I respect orthodoxy more than I respect Catholicism, things like that. You know, not exactly the same, but but there's still an understanding that we're gonna train people in our schools, we're gonna give them a degree and then we're gonna tell them that they're a leader and then you need to submit to them as believers. You know there is a Given kind of system that we're all supposed to adhere to in our religious leadership is accepted and you know, I think from me it's very different. For me is, you know, the? I feel like if we're all part of body, if the body the all agrees to hold to the head, then the head is gonna direct us. I've heard so many people say if you don't, if you don't have a system in place, it's gonna be chaos, and I'm like well, that's like saying Christ as the head is chaos. If everyone is truly joined to the head, it wouldn't be chaos. Now I understand you can get in a subjectivity of people saying hey, I'm joined to the head and I'm go, I'm smoking dope, but I'm joined to the head and you know you can. You know there is an aspect where you know you can imagine ways in which things can get out of control. But at the same time the head, the authority of the head, does flow through the body. If we are gathered unto Christ, do you thought, like if you're a meeting, saying someone's home, and people start to speak and there's a liberty for everybody to speak, you could tell them a few minutes who's been with Christ, who's been with him a long time, who has authority in just the way they behave and and their character? Anyone with discernment it's not hard to tell. You know, I'll just, you know, say that. But no, no, not at all, not at all. But we are talking about Nicolaitians here. Even within Ephesus, you know, he said one of the. Perhaps the only nice thing he said from them is that no, he says Well, do you?

Speaker 2:

want me to go ahead and read through it real quick and then Okay. So to the, to the angel of the church of Ephesus right, these things says he who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands. I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars. And you have persevered and have patience and have labored for my name's sake and have not become weary. 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. But this you have, which you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 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. Alright, nicolaitans. So they were real people. But I think the common translate or the common perspective and I tend to agree with this Nico in Greek is victory. Leotons would be, as in laity is, in the common folk. So those who rule over the common folk, why would you agree that it's the king of England and the Pope? I'm sorry, I'm backing you into the corner. It was funnier in my head when I said it. I'm teasing you. I'm teasing you because I so Nicolaitin's crisis. He does not like the clergy ruling over the people, right. And he kind of breaks down that you know basically our marching orders when he washes the feet of the disciples. And you have, in my opinion, the two biggest versions of this are the Pope and the King of England, the Pope obviously being over the Catholic Church, the King of England being the head of the Church of England, which I guess you could say is would that be, in terms of institutions, the pinnacle of Protestantism or what would that be exactly?

Speaker 4:

Well, at this point it's like ruling over a cemetery, basically. Yeah, yeah. No, I agree with that aspect. I think the King of England has a right to rule England, but, yeah, he shouldn't be regarded as any kind of spiritual authority. No, no, no. I totally agree with that. And there's only one. Well, I say there's one spiritual King, but we know he's making us into kings as well, so that's why he's King of Kings, you know. But, yeah, charles is not someone that anyone should be. No, no, no. Now, I do think Elizabeth was a great example and I think she was an earnest Christian, sure, but I still think the role is, I just don't think. I just don't think the Church is an institution.

Speaker 2:

Definition is oh, I lost your. What's that? I lost your audio there for a second.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I just, I think, like the definition of the Church is important. I think legions of generations have grown up with the idea that the Church is an institution and it's the building on the street corner. And, you know, in the New Testament it was the Ecclesia that called out, you know, and it was the people, you know the people, the body of Christ, not just the Church, but the temple. You are the temple of the living God, you know, and that whole point of the Church is that we are. You know, the body of Christ is a very real. It's metaphorical in one sense, because I'm not literally, you know, a toenail, but it's very real in another sense, in that a body is a vehicle for expressing something that cannot be seen. We cannot, like I said earlier, we cannot see Christ. The body of Christ is supposed to be the vehicle for the invisible, christ being manifest and seen, just like Christ, you know, came to do as the vehicle of the Father. So, you know, it's the called out and it's the priesthood, and I feel like everything, like there's another scripture, an old, dig it out here, where it talks about you know, I think we're talking. Well, let me just dig it out, because it's talking about the reason why all these gifts are given. I want to say yeah, so Ephesians 4. So Ephesians 4, you know, you know, everyone talks about the fivefold ministry and he gave. He himself gave some to the apostles, some prophets, some evangelists and some pastors and teachers. Four, the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry. Four, the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Amazing I mean amazing passage. There. It tells us, you know, he gave some of us for all these different way to gifts, but it's for the saints in general that all of us would be equipped for the work of ministry, so that we would all be able to ministry, but also that the whole body would be edified together. And it's until we all come to the unity of the faith which is interesting because it shows we're not necessarily there yet and to the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, all these gifts are given that the body of Christ would come to resemble him and be able to minister him to the world, and it's not that so. My thing is like if these ministries are functioning correctly, they should not all be about themselves. They should be about the people that are being ministered to within. The body should be growing. If God gave these ministries for this purpose, we should see the evidence of these individuals in these ministries being godly ministers by the growth of the saints that they're ministering to. The saints under them are becoming able to minister themselves. The saints under them are coming to the perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ and growing in Christ. It's not really the case in most churches. Most churches exist for the vision of whoever the head honcho is, and if you go in there today and if you go in there 10 years from now, there won't be a difference in the sermons. There won't be a difference in the growth of the congregation. Anyone that grows too much is likely to outgrow the congregation. It's not a reflection of this passage. Anyway, you know God has specific purpose for giving these ministries and it is for the saints to grow. It's for the body to grow into the full stature of Christ. That's the destiny of the church to fully resemble Christ so that the world might see. You know, christ said he who has seen me has seen the Father. Our destiny is for people to be able to point to the body and say he who has seen the body has seen Christ, you know, and he who has seen Christ has seen the Father. Therefore, there is a complete flow of expression from the Father through Christ into His body and out to the world. And I think so much of that gets lost in hierarchy, you know, and earthly considerations, and earthly, it's just the very earthly system, and I don't want to focus too much on the system, you know, except that obviously we are in Nicolation, so we're talking about the revelation. So there is a certain. I don't want to get too bogged down in it because we're talking, you know, we're talking about the revelation of Christ Himself, but I do think, yeah, they're all really brilliant. There's a lot of these passages that are so euphoric and so climactic about what it's all about and they're just, if we're being honest, they're not reflected in what we see out there and I don't buy this whole. If you see a perfect church, don't go to it because then it won't be perfect. It's like no, this system is. It's broken. You know it is a broken, broken system. It shouldn't even be a system and it's not filled with. I've known a lot of ministers and I love them all there's. You know, I would have lunch with any of these guys from the past, but I'm not naming names. I'm not saying this to be mean spirited, but I've known a lot of pastors that didn't really have much faith and struggled to even have any faith and were in a position that didn't feel natural to them and weren't really gifted and hadn't really been with Christ in a way that justified them overseeing anyone else's faith or even teaching other people. You know it's a position you can aspire to as a career. You can get a degree and then you can go be a spiritual leader of people. That's not. That's not beneficial to the body.

Speaker 2:

I agree, no, I agree completely. I agree completely. All right, I'm going to do the next one. And to the angel of the church of Smyrna Wright, these things says the first and the last who was dead and came to life. So, before we go any further, really quickly, I think this is a really interesting point For anyone who's still stuck on it. You have a couple of deviations from Christianity in the form of Mormonism or the LDS church and Jehovah's Witnesses, who believe in one of the earliest church heresies, which was started by Arias. I believe that Christ is not co-eternal with God the Father. There are so many indications throughout the scriptures, but this is one of the most obvious ones the first and the last who was dead and came to life. It doesn't get more clear than that that he is the first and the last and was dead and came to life. All right onward. I know your works, tribulation and poverty, but you are rich and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are of the synagogue of Satan. Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison that you may be tested and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death. All right, so Smyrna is synonymous with myrrh, which is something people were embalmed in in death. I think it's really interesting that Christ was given Gold, frankincense and myrrh right, and some people see those as parallels of his glory. In the Gold, the Frankincense, I believe, was his earthly ministry and the myrrh was his crucifixion. And I believe in Isaiah it says something like the Lord will be given in the millennium. The Lord will be given Gold and Frankincense, but there's no mention of myrrh, obviously because his death is once and behind him. Just speculation. But I think it's quite poetic and I kind of like it. So what are your thoughts on this one?

Speaker 4:

I think the most interesting thing is he who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death, and the reason I think that's the most interesting is that most Christians just think that every Christian has the same reward and that our reward is basically God thanking us for quote-unquote choosing him and that when we go to heaven we get some kind of mansion type deal and harp, but there's like a generic reward you get Just for God being pleased that you decided to be a Christian. I don't believe being born again is about our choice. Personally, I think that it's God's choice and he purposed it within himself and the foundation of the world. But be that as it may, one of the reasons all these letters are interesting is because the promises are not to Christians. The promises are to overcomers and anyone who can read all of these letters and think that everybody he was talking to all overcame in the end. It's just not the case. I mean, if you look at let's just take a hypothetical person, you know a tele-evangelist, not a literal tele-evangelist, a hypothetical tele-evangelist.

Speaker 2:

You should give him a make-believe name like Schmoll Schmostin. How about that?

Speaker 4:

Let's just call him, you know, I don't know, Mr Coinseeker, I don't know, but anyway, he does believe in Jesus. Ultimately. He does believe in Jesus, but he prostitutes that belief into a principle of like word of faith or whatever, to where he becomes very rich and then he takes those riches as godliness and then he dies. He does believe in Jesus and he dies having just done nothing but fleece the sheep for decades. This has happened, you know, this has happened. That man is not an overcomer, I'm sorry, you know he's not an overcomer. He's going to be judged and so not all people overcome. These promises are to a subset of believers. Listen to Paul. Paul says I do not yet regard myself as having apprehended what this is. Paul, who has beaten, who has, you know, given the lashes, who was stoned and left for dead, who was shipwrecked, who suffered all kinds of persecutions. And he didn't regard himself as having apprehended yet. And yet we in the 21st century sit there watching our favorite secular TV shows and eating our steak dinners and being, oh, I can't wait for God to give me my reward. I'm not trying to make this about works. Sure. Paul was saying I haven't totted up enough works to please God, but he's understood that our life is a progressive, you know, sanctification if you will of Christ being formed in us to perfection. I don't know what the demarcation point is for an overcomeer versus someone that doesn't overcome, but I believe it has to do with being formed into the image of Christ. To a certain degree, you know. Beyond a certain degree, you know, I think degree.

Speaker 2:

I agree though I think there are gradations when he said he has not apprehended. I think that the modern church, especially the Church of the Reformation, tends to oversimplify things. And I think that you know, when you have a scripture that exists that says something the effective love covers a multitude of sins. Why would you need multitude of sins covered if you know it was kind of once and done by simply accepting Christ? And you know there is something. Obviously we're not doing it ourselves. We are not our own salvation. Christ is our salvation. Faith in him is what's going to get us there. But I mean, james said that you know, essentially, love and works, faith and works walk hand in hand. I'm sorry, go on.

Speaker 4:

Works is the evidence of faith. Ultimately, I think the thing is getting in the right way around. James is saying make sure you have them the right way around, like, don't go out to do at work that's not based on faith and be justified by the work. But understand that if you have faith, the works have to follow. You know, christ appointed. He said I've appointed you. You know, or I think Paul was saying God appointed us good works that we may walk in them. And Christ chose the twelve apostles that they might go bare much fruit. And you know, philippians says work out your salvation, because it's God that works in you to will and to do to his good pleasure. So by his spirit it dwells in us in a new creation. He's working as well into us. But it has to be worked out in our experience. But you know so it is all about this and this is where the Orthodox have it right. It's a progression. The New Testament talks about salvation in past, present and future tense. It says you were saved, it says you are being saved and it says you will be saved. It doesn't make sense unless you understand it's a whole process. You know the key, the reason this is so interesting. So we agree that there's only some people overcome, others don't. The only people in the entire scripture who are said to not take part in a second death then are the overcomers. If he will overcome, shall not be hurt by the second death, then the Christian that doesn't overcome is going to be part of the second death, is going to be in the lake of fire. And obviously for me you know this is one of the texts I use when I'm talking about hell and salvation and the meaning of it all, Because I believe that I mean the Greek word for fire was P-U-R, which is where we get purification from. Fire was an ancient purification agent. So for me, the lake of fire is the ultimate purification. It is judgment, it is correction, it's symbolic of God being a consuming fire and consuming all the chaff in our character and it's a process. And the reason the scripture is so important is it shows that Christians will be in the second death. Whatever it is, whether it's metaphorical, whether it's literal, there will be Christians in that lake of fire because only he who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death. If every Christian was not going to be hurt by the second death as soon as they received Christ the first time, it would just say it won't even be a promise to an overcomer, because it's like, hey, this is not a promise to an overcomer, this is something that's already baked into our inheritance as Christians, you know. I think it ties in very well to 1 Corinthians 3, where it talks about anyone that builds on the foundation of Christ with Wood, hay and Stubble. The day will try their work and their work. You know, what they've built on Christ will be tried by fire, and if their work's burned up, they will suffer loss, but they will still be saved. Yet, though it's by fire, and this is talking about believers. You know, if you are a believer and you have that foundation of Christ and there is just Wood and Chaff and Hay and Stubble built on that, it's going to burn up, spiritually speaking. So to me it's like you've not, you know, anyone that's not gone through the processing of God in this life, to where the character of Christ has come forth. There is still a processing to go. You know, it doesn't mean you're not saved, but it does mean there's still correction, there's still judgment. I mean, the Scriptures say judgment begins at the house of God, one of the most underrated aspects of judgment is how often it applies to the people of God rather than outsiders. So the weeping and gnashing of teeth every time you see that phrase in the Gospels it's applied to servants, you know. It's applied to people that should have known, that should have known their masters will and didn't do it. And it talks about the sons of the kingdom weeping and gnashing their teeth when they themselves are in outer darkness. But they see people come from the east and west and north and south and sitting with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and the kingdom of God, yet they themselves, sons of the kingdom, are cast out. You can be a son of the kingdom and yet still be in outer darkness for a spell. You know and still have to be processed, still have to be judged, and this Scripture is is really always gets skipped over. But it's like, hang on, we've made the second death all about unbelievers, but it's only the overcomers that's not going to be hurt by it. So, whatever you believe about the Lake of Fire, be aware there's going to be Christians in there. You know one way or another, because this Scripture shows it's a promise. To not be in the Lake of Fire is only to the overcomer.

Speaker 2:

I'm blown away by I think this probably rides on the heels of you just writing your book recently, but you've got all of these things in the chamber ready to go. I'm just blown away by how quickly you can pull them up in your head. But I wish I could do that. But yeah, that's why I'm here to learn so and I definitely want to. I think you sent out your book, but I'm going to have to ask for that again and I'll tell you specifically why once the call is over. But, that being said, I only have about 10 to 15 minutes left because I need to be up pretty early in the morning, so I'll just read through this next one. And you made some really fantastic points when I listened to this again, as I'm editing the audio and trimming out all the parts that I thought made me look dumb, I'm going to which is probably most of it, but I'm going to definitely maybe jot down a few things and look into it again, because we're always kind of at the precipice of another really interesting conversation in these things and I definitely want to explore more. Okay, and to the angel of the church of Porgamos I'm going to roll the R here. Porgamos, or Porgamos writes these things, says he who has the sharp two-edge sword. I know your works and where you dwell, where Satan's throne is, and you hold fast to my name and did not deny my faith even the last days in which Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold to the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit some sexual immorality. Thus let's try the page here. You also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaotans, which I also hate Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches, to him who overcomes, I will give him some of the hidden manna to eat and I will give him a white stone and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it Alright, pergamos, mixed marriage in Greek. I think a distillation of that would be basically mingling the world with the church. What are your thoughts? Yeah, yeah. So doctrine of Balaam. I thought this one was interesting. It was one I had to look into again. So Balaam in the Old Testament wanted Israel to be out of favor with God. So he arranged for the Jews to fornicate with some beautiful women, so that God would essentially turn against Israel. And that's precisely what happened. They were mingling with pagan women. Is that correct?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I believe I'd have to look it up, sure.

Speaker 2:

So I once read that there were certain this is just a, probably a drop in the ocean but there were certain Greek temples that had images of Jesus next to Hercules. Obviously, the type of intermingling in idols that are brought into the church are, I would say, far more egregious than that today, where you have people who are endorsing everything pornography, false spirituality, you name it all kinds of basically just marrying or trying to graft evil things into holiness. And yeah, christ is against that.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I think there's definitely some amazing metaphors in here as well. Like, I think, I think you know I'd always also false image of who we believe the true God to be. And you know, eating is often used of like doctrines and teachings, you know as well. So, like, if you have a false image of God that leads to false teachings and then you ascribe to those false teachings and you digest them and you, you know, let them become a part of you and it's all based on a false image, even a false image of our God, you know, then that's eating, something sacrificed to an idol as well. Um, and sexual immorality as well, obviously, is to me just um, you know, uh, we really mostly, I think, uh, what is lots of ways of having spiritual sexual immorality, but, like the virgins that we see later in Revelation, I don't believe they're literal virgins. I think there are people that just haven't, haven't had their true love of Christ and fidelity to him, tainted by the world or by religion, you know, or by anything that's not of him and that just maintained a pure faith. It's not, you know, it's not a literal thing in that sense, and I think that with sexual immorality, obviously there's literal and I'm sure that was literally happening. But I think there's also like a spiritual, sexual immorality where we allow ourselves to get juiced away from Christ. You know, um, the other thing I really like about this uh, what sounds silly to say I really like about scripture. But, uh, you know how, he introduced himself as the one who has the sharp, two-edged sword and he'll fight against him with the sword of my mouth. And I think this is really important because the sharp, two-edged sword is the word of God. You know, hebrews talks about the word of God being sharpened in the two-edged sword. And when you find a two-edged sword elsewhere in scripture, it pertains to the word of God and Christ has that two-edged sword coming out of his mouth. So, like again, I think, revelation 19, it talks about people being killed with the sword that came out of Jesus' mouth. And in Psalm I think 149, it talks about the saints executing a written judgment on the nations with the two-edged sword in their hand. And I think it's really important to understand that, like, the word of God is powerful and that the word of God can judge and the world, like the saints are going to judge the world and we're going to judge it by the word of God, um and uh. So you know it's, and it's interesting that talking about the word on the promises is like a new name written, you know, because obviously having something written pertains to it, to a word as well. So we'll have a, we'll have a new nature written on on on a stone, as it were, on a white stone which, you know, like a symbolizes purity, obviously, um, but written by the word. You know, when something's written, it's written, it's a word and we're going to become, we're going to become the word of God ourselves, I think, ultimately, because the word of God is an expression of God. One of my favorite ways in which I've heard what people call the trinity described. I don't actually believe in, uh, um, literal trinity. If there's three beings that are like, well, it's actually, we're actually one, even though there's three of us, but we're really just one. But really this, but how? I? The best way I've heard it described, because I think there are three different aspects of God, but I think it pertains to our soul, spirit, body. I heard someone say that when, um, when someone goes to speak, that the air moves along our you know, whatever um vocal chords, and then the word comes out, you know. And so God, the soul of God, is the father, but the spirit is like the wind, the breath, and then the son is the word, the expression, you know, and that ties in really well. You know that son is the body, the spirit, obviously the spirit. The father is the soul. So there are three attributes of God, but God is one and he can still be one because he has, you know, the person that wants to, to, to, to express. And then there's the air, the spirit, moving along the divine vocal chords, in a manner of speaking, and then there's the word that expresses the father and the manifestation of the father, you know, by the spirit, and that's why, you know, mary could be overshadowed by the spirit and it not be the spirit. That was the father of Jesus, because it's all one. The father was giving birth, in a sense, to a word, by the Holy Spirit moving along his vocal chords, again in a manner of speaking, and that which was produced was Jesus. You know, god creates by, by speaking. You know, let there be light, let there be a baby conceived in this womb. You know, the father, by the spirit, produces the word in the womb. You know it's a real, beautiful harmony. Yeah, that is justice, but it's. It's the best way I've heard it described anyway.

Speaker 2:

Amazing point, yeah, really amazing point, okay, thyatira. So enter the angel of the church in Thyatira, right? These things, says the son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire and his feet like fine brass. I know your works love, service, faith and your patience. As for your works, the last are more than the first. Nevertheless, I have a few things against you, because you allow the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce my servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things, sacrifice to idols, and I give her time to repent for sexual. I gave her time to repent for sexual immorality and she did not repent. Indeed, I will cast her into a sick bed and those who commit adultery with her into the great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am he who searches the minds and hearts. I will give to each one of you according to your works. Now, to you, I say, and the rest of Thyatira, as many as I as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden, but hold fast what you have till I come, and he who overcomes and keeps my works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations. All right, he shall rule them with a rod of iron and they shall be dashed to pieces like the Potter's vessels, as I have also received from my father, and I will give him the morning star. And he who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. And forgive me again if this is a bit awkward or strange. Very, very tired, overcoming this sleepiness to have Michael on because it's such a pleasure to be able to talk to you. But all right, thyatira, so this is the one that I've heard some people parallel with the, the Catholic Church, although we see, you know all of the churches, kind of you know, I guess, across every single believer, right, but the big one that somebody pointed out that was really interesting was Jezebel. So Jezebel in the Old Testament arranged an inquisition to have Namath put to death falsely, so he was accused falsely in order to acquire his land by the king. So one of the institutional churches where we see some of the highest volume of false inquisition or false accusation to acquire money and land is within the Catholic Church, historically at least, and that's not to say we haven't seen that type of thing in other institutional churches. But you know, there are quite a few examples there. I thought that was kind of interesting and that it's frowned upon, evidently, to steal. So, yeah.

Speaker 4:

I mean, you know, ultimately you know I might mention this before, I know I have offline review before, but I really think that everyone's waiting for a great falling weight into the age. But I think the greatest falling weight has already happened. And it happened. I was already beginning to happen even in the early days. But I think when the church became the state, turned into a state religion, when formerly Christians had been persecuted and it became the state religion, you know, around Constantine's time, I think that was the fall in the way. I mean, we've had times where it was illegal to translate the Bible, where the regular person had no access to the Bible, where, you know, people were persecuted to death for trying to translate it. We had people burned at the stake, you know, just an intense spiritual darkness that came with all that, you know, and I think we're still there's some recovery happening, but there's still, you know this is just a there's been a tiny bit of recuperation from that, but I think the falling weight already happened. I mean, yeah, there could be another falling weight in the age because we see things that are happening in, you know, politically influenced things that are happening in church that are revealing the true heart of a lot of and I say the church system. But you know, a lot of things that are pronounced from the pulpits, that are very political, that are bowing to the spirit of the age, to where you're kind of revealing the true heart behind a lot of these pulpits, sure, but you know you can't really fall away more than burning Christians at the stake. I mean, they burned other people at stake, but they burned Christians at the stake. You can't. You can try and match up to your former deeds but you can't really top that, you know. Yeah. So, I think, and also the Bible's out there now. It's always going to be out there, even if it's made illegal. It's always out there. It's in so many languages so I don't mean you're ever going to get to the point where the scriptures are locked up in Latin again, you know. So, yeah, and so I can definitely. I can definitely see that. One thing I'd point out to you and this is a bit of a tangent, but his feet like fine brass. I heard someone say once and I think this is quite feasible that there's a lot of talk about God's feet and Christ's feet and scriptures and that a lot of it people take as prophetic towards believers at the end of the age. Because if you look at a body, you know the first part of the body of Christ to exist was the head, jesus. So, in a manner of speaking, you could see the church that's been revealed throughout these 2,000 years as like a body taking shape from the head down the shoulders and that would make the feet the last part of the body to be completed. And there's a lot of scriptures about the feet, you know, making the place of your feet glorious and all this, and people often tighten to like the great, you know, anointing that lovers expect at the end of the age, like the latter rain and the kind of final spiritual battle of the age. And you know, christ's feet are like fine brass, and brass and scriptures are symbolic of judgment, bronze and brass. And when it actually introduces him in Revelation 1, it says, I think it says his feet are like bronze, it's been refined in a fire, you know. So that could be tied into like the end times body is judged by God to like refine it. You know, because when we first meet him it's like feet refined in a fire. And then we meet him here it says his feet are like fine brass and it's, if you take that and again there's some conjecture there but if you take it as his feet are symbolic of something happening, that we might be like fine brass, you know. But there is a judgment in the fire coming and a, you know, a spiritual battle coming, and that's just. I'm just throwing it out there. It's certainly nothing to be dogmatic about, but just something as a seed for anyone to ruminate on, because there are a lot, there is actually a lot of talk about God's feet in Scripture, more than you think. I don't think I've talked about my own feet more than once or twice in my entire life, but the Scriptures talk about God's feet a lot, so it's something that's worth considering and reading up on, I think.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, really really interesting points yeah. I don't think I've ever heard you mention your feet before. I've probably mentioned mine a few times, but it's because I had athletes foot for a little while. That's not really an avenue worth going down, so, all right, yeah, really excellent points, though, kidding aside. Okay, so I'm going to do these last. How do you wrap up the last three quickly? I have a couple of notes on all these and then, yeah, I'll probably want to be done within the next few minutes, but enter the angel of the church in Sardis. Right, these things, says he who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your works, that you have a name and that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. Remember, therefore, how you have received and heard, hold fast and repent. Therefore, if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. You have a few names, even in Sardis, who have not defiled their garments, and they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before my father and before his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. All right, sardis, pretty scathing review.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, to be dead is worth. So where in your research, where has this been given as like falling in historically?

Speaker 2:

Well, that's the thing, If this is all conjectural. But if Thyatira is the Catholic Church, then Sardis would be the Protestant Reformation. What are your thoughts on that?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I mean, I couldn't imagine that, because ultimately, you know, luther came out of Catholicism and then ultimately he was just trying to reform it, but he just created another. You know, lutherism just became another dead monument really. Yeah. It's not like it moved on with the Spirit. I feel like the Spirit's kind of restored truths, and then people just turn it into the nomination and then it just classifies, you know, yeah, so I think that's definitely quite possible.

Speaker 2:

I just had one other note. I thought it was kind of interesting and just a pleb you know, sort of regurgitating a thought here, but I noted that Christ said if you're not watching, I will come upon you as a thief. To me that would mean if you are watching, then he wouldn't come upon you as a thief, and the indication there. And I think a lot of people paint with broad strokes and you probably knew this well before I did, but a lot of again. We've talked about this in times past about how Christ's return and revelation can mean so many different things, but people always put it just under the moniker second coming of Christ, right, when there are many types of Christ's presence joining us, and the Scripture is replete with examples of, you know, the Spirit of God joining people or Christ's presence being with somebody and that person accomplishing a thing because of that right. So this to me would indicate, you know, people often put this just under the moniker oh, a second coming of Christ is going to come upon you like a thief. This is just some type of, in my opinion, a general appearance of Christ in the person's life coming upon you as a thief, because he's specifically speaking to this church, right. Yeah. So I mean, clearly, that's not some type of grand appearance, that's just, you know, the presence of Christ, which of course is grand anyway, but you know it's, I don't know, just spitballing here.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I mean the word second coming. The phrase second coming is not in Scripture anywhere. I think the coming of Christ is one of the most understood aspects. There's a lot of Greek underlying it, so I think there's six or seven words that are all translated as coming at different times and they mean different things. There's like point A to. Point B is Archimae, and I'm using just an English accent for Greek. You have a better accent for Greek, but just got to roll the R. Exactly Ancient Greek. Basically, no one knows exactly how ancient Greek was pronounced, so there's people that pronounce it as modern Greek, or there's people like, but as a school of thought, where it's like we don't know, so we're just going to pronounce it in a regular accent.

Speaker 2:

We have an idea though.

Speaker 4:

I did a regular accent because I have terrible diction so I'm not going to try and act. All you know exotic with it.

Speaker 2:

But there is an idea though. So if you and this is a complete other tangent but if you, if you're willing to roll with the punch of apostolic succession that the Orthodox Church claims, then you might be able to accept their pronunciation of Kene Greek, or what some people know as Koinea Greek.

Speaker 4:

So what I do have a the other reason I don't like to accept it, and this is just kind of sure yeah. Yeah, and this is just purely aesthetic. A lot of vowels are all pronounced E, e and diphthongs are all pronounced E in modern. Greek Sure, sure. Yeah, like E, I combined and and if you use I think it's the Erasmian pronunciation, then you actually get like they'll have variety in how they're pronounced. So I actually like that as well. Like I've tried to learn modern Greek and got like at least to like advanced basic with it or early intermediate. Oh wow, but I've noticed all the vowels are like you know, so many of them are just pronounced E, even like O, I is E and E I is E. Okay. So there's not as much variety. So part of thinking about and I think it's the Erasmian, where you just kind of pronounce it as if you're speaking English book, but like they do differentiate the pronunciations, that I kind of like that too Sure. So like, but yeah, I mean it's no big deal, but I'm trying to think what we were talking about. Now I can't remember. Oh yeah, the coming of Christ. There's all these different words, yeah yeah, like one of the means coming point A to B. One of the means presence, parousia, presence, or you know especially that presence. Alongside there's epiphania, where we get like epiphany from there's, which is kind of like you know it's a compound word but it's like an appearance there's. There's apocalypsis. Really I don't know what apocalypsis is, it would translate coming, but that's the revelation of Christ. But there's there's, there's, there's other ones too, and you know, people have been trained to just see every coming of Christ in scripture as second coming. But there is a great coming. That's going to happen and it's prophesied, and the one that you're labeling in your mind second coming. That is going to happen, but it's not ever called a second coming in scripture. And the reason it's important to make a differentiation is if you understand that it's, yes, it's a great coming and it's something we're looking for, but it's not if you think it's the second coming and you think Christ has been gone all this time. He's not been gone. He came back as the Holy Spirit. He's been here the whole time. You know, and if you think he's gone, then you're always looking for an exterior. God, oh man, jesus is in heaven. I just can't wait for him to come back. You know like I just wish he was here right now. And it's like he is here, he lives in me and he's working and he appears to you and he comes to you. And he comes to you in different forms. He comes to you in judgment, he comes to you in correction, he comes to you in blessing, he comes like the rain, he comes like the clouds, he comes like the wind. He is always working and active. And when you understand that, then you stop taking every single coming of Christ as the second coming. Yeah, and that's that word. Second has done a lot of damage to people's perception of Christ's work in these 2000 years.

Speaker 2:

I agree, yeah, I agree completely. Really good points as well. Okay, let's see. Okay, next one, of course. And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia, right, these things says he who is holy, he who is true, he who has the key of David, and he who opens, he who opens and no one shuts and shuts and no one's, no one opens. I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door and no one can shut it. For you have a little strength and have kept my word and have not denied my name. Indeed, I will make those in the synagogue of Satan who say they are Jews and are not, but lie. Indeed, I will make them come and worship before your feet and to know that I have loved you because you have kept my command to persevere. I also will keep you from the hour of trial which is to come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly. Hold fast what you have and no one may take your crown. He who overcomes I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God and he shall go out, no more. I will write on, I write on him the name of my God and the name of my, of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God, and I will write on him my new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches Philadelphia. Okay, brotherly love.

Speaker 4:

So what is this? What is this with the historical, historical thing? Again?

Speaker 2:

I don't know. This one's been labeled the missionary church, so do with this what you will, but perhaps you could even conflate it with the parts of the evangelical church, although I know that that's a dangerous ground because there's a lot of shaky evangelical practices out there. But the people who I don't know, maybe I'll throw some names out there, maybe the, the John Wimbers of the world, or the, who are some, some other big names. I think that the Jesus movement of the 60s is kind of interesting, even though it's laced with a bit of heresy and a little bit of nonsense. I think that people acting in the gifts of the Spirit and inviting everyone in and avoiding institutional practice, but that that in and of itself became an institution at a certain point. So yeah, I don't know, I guess it's in God's hands to really determine what umbrella that is over, but what that umbrella is over, excuse me, yeah, yeah that's an interesting one.

Speaker 4:

Philadelphia definitely, and it's never been a worse name city than Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. Sorry, that's me. Yeah. I actually have a really good friend in Philadelphia. It's just the cliche that it's a bit rough and tumble and not necessarily running over and probably love all the time.

Speaker 2:

Man. I have seen some videos coming out of Philadelphia. That's another conversation. Okay, last one. And to the angel of the church of Laodicea, right these things, says the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God. I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you could be cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth, because you say I am rich, have become wealthy and have need of nothing, and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy me, to buy for me gold refined in the fire that you may be rich with white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed, and anoint your eyes with eye salve that you may see as many as I love. I rebuke and chasten. Therefore, be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come to him and dine with him and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will grant to sit with me on my throne, as also, 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. Alright, interesting stuff. I just wrote down Osteen and Creflo Dollar and I also had. Yeah, laodicea means people rule, so it's a church ruled by the people. This is the church that's run by committee, that is, they have their crowd pleasers, dollar seekers, money seekers or whatever you want to say. And I think it's really interesting that that last verse more, not last verse, but the third before the last, behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice, and if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him and he with me. That's often used as a sort of almost aphorism that you see. I remember buying a poster from St Paul's Cathedral in London with a famous painting of Christ knocking on a door and it's this kind of warm and fuzzy image. But in my opinion and I don't mean to be a reverent toward Christ, I don't know where he is or what he's done, but the implication there almost is that Christ is not inside that church, he's outside. He's knocking and he's saying hey, let me in, I'm not in your church, I'm not doing anything with you guys, so and he's not even appealing to the leadership, he's just appealing to anybody that might want to like.

Speaker 4:

You know he's not. You know this is often used like he stands at the door and knocks at our hearts, like so that we would have initial believing faith or whatever you know, and it's misused in context. Yeah. But that's very much the context of what you said. Like he's he's not going to the church leadership saying, hey, can we have a meeting, because I don't feel like I'm getting enough airtime. He's like I am outside. Yeah. Anyone fancy is opening up the door, great, I'll come in and dine with him, but he's not. He's he's opinion to just anybody that has a heart at this point. Now, you know, yeah, so yes, and you know I feel like anything that's insidious and obvious, like you know what Joel Olstein, griffith, lowe, the faith word preachers, do you have to, you have to have a master's and self deception to buy any of that. You know, we all know what it is. It's obvious. But that is dangerous only to people that are willfully gullible and willfully deceiving themselves. But anything that's obviously insidious is often there's a, there's a much more subtle form, that's in seed form or or or a lot more toned down form, you know. So that's why we use exaggeration to make an argument. We use exaggerations not because we're, you know, because it's a good device. If I'm, if we're, debating something, and then I take an example of something and I blow it up to an absurd degree in exaggeration, it's to make a pointless more subtle, but I'm blowing it up to an extreme to kind of help make that point. I don't know if that makes sense, so what? I'm saying is this. This is the extreme that we can look at and be like, okay, joel Olstein, this lot. But if you take that down and tone down the colors, that's something that can exist in our heart. That can exist in other pulpits where they're not. They're not as obviously money-grubbing, but they're saying that God's blessed the church because, you know, the church building fund enabled them to build another building out back and it's the message that you know, god's, god's favor is in earthly riches. You know, and it might be like, and or it might be the subtlety of how our prayers go, where it's just like you know, I really need that, that material item, and if God's going to bless me, he's going to give me that car. Or, even more subtle than that, it can be just a misunderstanding of what it means to to be wealthy, because he says those people are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. You know what it means to see spiritually, what it means to be rich spiritually, what it means to be joyful spiritually, what it means to be clothed spiritually, is all to do with Christ himself. And you know there's all these ways in which we can, you know, equate things to God's blessing, and it might be God's blessing. I mean, like you know, there's plenty of things that happen to be earthly, where God's timing was amazing, and when God gives us earthly things it is a blessing. Paul didn't say I've been content to, I've learned to be content in poverty, or in one. He said I've learned to be content in abundance and in one. In other words, whatever God measures to me, I've learned to be content with it. But I think there is a vein running through a lot of Christianity where it's like if things are going well, that's God's blessing, if things are going badly, satan's out to get you. And that's a really like, really, really bad way of looking at things. You know as seeing it always like how our earthly circumstances are going. God might be blessing you by putting you through tribulation. You know he might be blessing you by shrinking your finances so that you have to learn to rely on Him and maybe he blows them back up later to give you some rest or whatever. But I think it's important to see things from God's hand and not constantly be looking for the devil behind every bush and I know that's a bit of a tangent, but you know it's easy to just see the absurd extreme of something, but it's always in a much more subtle form, you know, with toned down colors. That's where we really have to be aware of it. You know it's easy enough to spot Joel Alstein. It's harder to spot that kind of bless me, bless me with finances thing in my own heart. That's hidden in there somewhere, you know.

Speaker 2:

Great points, yeah, yeah, really great points. I've nothing to add to it, but you're right. So we do amplify these things to provide an example, but there are much more dangerous and insidious things going on. I mean, it does say that and I am maybe going against what you said here and leaning into the whole devil argument but it does say that the serpent is the most subtle beast in all the field. And even if you look at the name of the devil in Greek, I think it translates colloquially to slanderer, the Avalos, even though the Avalos means to be of two minds. but you know he's known as the slanderer and seek the truth and skew it slightly.

Speaker 4:

I think that Satan is in your life as much as you want him to be, though, because if you read the scriptures, even Satan always asks permission for stuff. So Jesus said to Peter Peter, satan has asked permission to sift you like wheat. And Peter himself said beware, the devil walks around like a roaring lion, seeking who he may devour. Resist him, and he will flee from you. I don't think that there was any authority over believers whatsoever, nor did the demons. I think, like a lot of Christians spend way too much time in spiritual warfare, like fighting what they don't have to fight, like praying over territorial powers and like really engaging with the dark side. The only actual power I think the dark side has left is deception deceiving us to get our focus off Christ. It's the people often say sin. If you focus on sin, you end up sinning because you're like okay, I need to not do that, I need to not do that, I need to not do that, I need to not do that, you know, and then you're just thinking about that all the time, whatever it may be, you know, and I think it's that like. Satan is definitely real for sure. Demons are definitely real for sure. We saw Christ casting them out, but they play as much of a role in the believer's life as you want them to. Really, I barely ever think about Satan and it's not really hurt me at all in my walk with Christ, because it's the positive and the negative. If I'm focused on being in Christ, if I'm focused at looking at His face, if I'm focused on seeking the flow of His spirit within me and that life becoming my life, everything else is gonna take care of itself. You know I'm gonna be able to. If the devil comes in human form and with a pitchfork and tries to confront me, I have to like Christ is in me, christ speaks through me, is manifest through me. Yet Satan is definitely real, but people give him too much place to where they testify of him constantly. Our devil was trying to mess with me yesterday and I was just a devil. This is just a devil and it's like, whatever the case may be, the devil's real, but people testify about him constantly, constantly, and it's like find that flow of life within you, seek that flow of God's life within you, seek the throne of God within you and the blessed presence of Christ within you, and you will not need to worry about the devil and his demons. You just won't. It's the positive and the negative. If your eye is single, your body will be full of light. If your eye is on that light, if Christ is being formed in you, if Christ is being displayed in you, then the devil has nothing in you, because the devil has nothing in Christ. It's seeking the positive, not focusing on the opposition, so to speak. And yeah, again, devil's real demons are real. God might call you to cast out some demons at some point, but I hear people talk about the devil like he's their best friend, except they've fallen out. They can't stop talking about it. That's not the testimony of the scriptures that Satan's mentioned, but really I think the flesh has probably mentioned as much as something we struggle against, if not more than Satan. So yeah, it's just things being in the right place. The devil doesn't really have any place in my life. Like, don't get me wrong, I struggle sin or I do sin. I shouldn't say I have these massive struggles going on, but I mean, like everybody still sins till the kind of perfection of Christ. What I'm saying is I never think about Satan, I never think about demons. I don't spend my life just going on about them, because the solution to anything, if I fall into a sin, the solution is Christ. It's not to start shadowboxing the devil, it's to seek Christ. It's to seek the flow of the life of Christ in me. It's not to be like, oh, the devil got me again, okay, saying you and me are gonna have it out right now, half hour of conversation. You're basically praying to Satan. At that point you know he's not got anything in me if I am in Christ.

Speaker 2:

Hey man, yeah, really amazing points, and I think that's definitely stuff I'm gonna meditate on, and I found the conversation very edifying. And do you mind if I conclude it with one question?

Speaker 4:

Sure.

Speaker 2:

Well, harking back to your discussion of the imagery of Satan with the pitchfork, do you get that from the Will Ferrell and Garth Brooks sketch, where he was the devil and he shows up to teach Garth Brooks?

Speaker 4:

how to say that, yeah, that's a guitar of any pitchfork.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, yeah, that's right.

Speaker 4:

That's a hilarious sketch, though, and that is absolutely hilarious.

Speaker 2:

Whereas where Garth Brooks said he wanted to sell his soul and to sing a song or something, or he said something like I'd sell my soul.

Speaker 4:

Well, basically what happens is Garth Brooks tries to sell his soul because he's a bad songwriter. That is down on his luck. A really ridiculous devil appears, played by Will Ferrell and. Will Ferrell and the devil's like. I'm gonna sell you a song to make you huge. And they're dumb songs and he keeps playing songs that are just really terrible, to where Garth Brooks just turns him down and says, no, actually these songs are too terrible, and just kind of sends him on his way. But the reason he skits so funny. I play guitar and write songs myself, and the songs I don't know if Will Ferrell just ad-libbed them or if he made it or if they were pre-written, but they're so hilariously bad that it just sells the whole concept very, very well. So yeah, I mean it's not to make light of a serious subject but I think it's the lurid, the lurid, silly personification of the devil. That's not at all like what Satan really is. It's just kind of a caricature. But it's really how hilarious the music is in that skit. It's just hilariously bad.

Speaker 2:

All right, good stuff. Yeah, it was a great conversation. I hate that we had to condense it, but I had just a little insight into what I do. In the mornings I'm involved in supply chain for an airplane company and in the mornings we have very, very important meetings. What I buy is propulsion and landing gear and we have these important meetings where we have to be on our toes and well rested and it's almost never the case with me, but right about now is when I started getting ready for tomorrow, getting my mind.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I appreciate being at the jump on it. It's always really edifying.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we've had to postpone it so many times for a lot of reasons, but yeah, We've raised our pace from one chapter every year to like two chapters in one session.

Speaker 4:

So, we've gone from zero to 100 like a Ferrari here.

Speaker 2:

I'm glad. I'm glad and I'm gonna be leaving for Greece very soon and it's just another span of time where we can't really continue in the book. But yeah, I really find it edifying. We should get together just to talk about something else at some point. I think there's a lot of other interesting topics right now going on in the world, and you just wrote your book, which I would like to read, maybe on the airplane ride. It's pretty short, right, yeah?

Speaker 4:

it's only like eight chapters and it's not massively long, right, it's still there's like spelling mistakes and grammar mistakes and I read it and I'm like I can't need to. You'll find some errors, but and it's not exhaustive, but it's supposed to be a good introduction to certain subjects.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, yeah, I'm very keen to read that. So I love you, man, and I was really good hanging out. Do you wanna do a closing prayer?

Speaker 4:

Sure Father, thank you for this time, a fellowship, and for being able to talk about you, and we pray that these things, that the positive things of your revelation, would become our experience, that you'd be revealed in us and that you'd be revealed in all. That we would take these things seriously, that you'd give us a mind to understand you already have given us a mind to understand, you'd given us the mind of Christ but that we would learn to plug into your mind and not trust in the mind of flesh. That we would live out the flow of your spirit. That we would have the one principle of sitting at your feet and being changed from glory to glory as we behold your face. That all believers everywhere would understand the great mystery that we are part of your body and the beauty of that and the mysterious essence of it that goes far beyond what we can create ourselves to try and house your spirit, and we just thank you for the understanding you've given us and also that you continue to add precept on precept and we'll just pray for the unity of the body that Christ might be expressed in all your glory and beauty. It says that we are the fullness of you who fills all things and that is a mystery far beyond what I can understand. But I just pray that you would continue to fill us, that you continue to burn away the flesh, that your glory might be clearly seen and just give you thanks. I pray for Aleppo's day tomorrow and his week and his trip coming up and just thank you for my brother and all the believers in Christ's name. Amen. Amen, all right brother, bring your song things that you can all yearning for.

Discussion on Revelation and Music
Exploring Revelation and End Times Prophecy
Heaven and the Spirit Realm Concept
Eating From the Tree of Life
Exploring the Prophetic Application of Churches
Roles and Authority in the Church
The Authority of Leaders in Religion
Purpose and Function of the Church
Salvation, Overcoming, and the Second Death
Church Warnings in Pergamos and Thyatira
Christianity's Impact and Symbolic God's Feet
Analysis and Interpretation of Biblical Text
Examining the Dangers of Religious Hypocrisy
Discussion on Satan and Personal Struggles
Discussion on Book and Closing Prayer