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The seven letters of Jesus Christ to the seven churches in the Revelation to John are seven letters to churches that had all strayed from the Narrow Path of the instructions and commands of Jesus that were given to the eleven disciples. At the end of the Gospel of Matthew, it is written: Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw Him, they worshipped Him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”[1]

The fact that they went to Galilee to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go meant that they did not listen to the women’s message that the Lord gave to them: “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see Me.”[2] Jesus’ original intention was that they should see Him first on the mountain at Galilee and not in the locked room that evening as it is written: On the evening of the first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”[3]

As such and I say it again, we do not know what Jesus had prepared for them that Resurrection morning on the Mount of Transfiguration. I say the Mount of Transfiguration because they were by the Sea of Galilee when Jesus first took Peter, James and John up that high mountain where they beheld His glory and heard the Father’s voice. We do not know what was prepared, but we would not be too far from the truth if we say that perhaps the Lord was going to transfigure them, as He was transfigured.[4] Whatever was planned originally, it did not happen.

Just like Adam, the eleven broke the first command given to them by the Creator and Father of the New Creation, Jesus Christ. The first instruction was as Jesus said to Mary, “Do not hold on to Me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.”[5] And to the rest of the women, Jesus said, “Greeting, do not be afraid. Go and tell My brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see Me.” Jesus must have come back to the tomb after He realised that the women had not delivered the message the angels gave them when they first entered the empty tomb.[6] And if they did, they were not believed, for it is written: The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him.’ Now I have told you.”[7] It is written that the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell His disciples. And Matthew wrote: Suddenly Jesus met them.

It gives you the impression when reading Matthew that the women went to the tomb, found it empty, received the angelic message, and then as they went back to the disciples, met Jesus who repeated the message they had heard from the angels a few minutes earlier. And then they went and told the disciples who then went to the mountain Jesus had told them to, in which case, my earlier comments are in error.

What many do not realise is this: Each Gospel gives only a variant or synopsis of the event, and it is only when you reconcile all four Gospels together that you see the true picture. Earlier in Matthew’s version of the feeding of the 5000,[8] Matthew will leave you with two false impressions: The first is that the five loaves and two fish came from the disciples. For it is recorded: Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to Me,” He said.[9] Whereas, John’s Gospel sets the record straight, recording that Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they ago among so many?”[10]

Secondly, Matthew’s Gospel gives you the impression that Jesus sent them across the lake so that they found themselves buffeted by the wind.[11] But Mark and John’s Gospels set the record straight. Mark recorded that Jesus sent them immediately to Bethsaida,[12] and John recorded that they disobeyed, waited till evening and set out for Capernaum.[13]

So likewise, the impression of Matthew’s recording of the Resurrection morning’s events is incomplete, and you must reconcile the recordings of the other three together to see the complete picture. For Mark recorded the same message of the angel: “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go; tell His disciples and Peter, “He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you.” Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.[14] He recorded nothing of the encounter with Jesus except to tell us: When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene,[15] which means Mary’s encounter with Jesus in John 20:14-17 is the first time anyone had seen Him, so that the encounter of the women with Jesus came after Mary’s encounter.

Once you see this, you realise the women were first told by the angels to tell the eleven to go to Galilee, and they did as recorded in Luke 24:9, and Mary told them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put Him!”[16] Even Mary told them the angelic message the first time. And we have John’s record of him and Peter going to the tomb with Mary to confirm that it was empty. And that is when Jesus encountered Mary and then the other women, repeating to them the message of the angels that they had forgotten. And this time, when the women went back the second time to the eleven, John recorded: Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that He had said these things to her.[17] Yet, still the disciples did not go, so Jesus had to come to them that evening.

What happened? Twice the disciples were told by the women the message from the angels and what they saw the first time. The disciples did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb.[18]

What can we learn from this and what can we do about it? The first lesson, and it is hard for many to accept, is that the disciples broke the first commandment ever given to them by the Lord after His resurrection. They ignored the message of the angels and then they ignored the Lord’s message to meet Him at Galilee. Thus the perfect plan of God for the church never got carried out from the beginning and everything else after that was merely an ad hoc compromise, which was a consequence of that disobedience.

Because there was no Mount of Transfiguration that morning, there was then the encounter with the two on the road to Emmaus and the meeting in the upper room that evening, and so forth. Because there was no Mount of Transfiguration that morning, there was the need to wait for the Holy Spirit’s outpouring. And no matter how good, how great, how incredible the subsequent events were on the day of Pentecost – Peter’s first preach and the miracle at the Beautiful Gate – it was never what was really meant to happen. So, it should be no surprise to any of you who have listened to Jesus to see that the church of Jesus Christ is nowhere near where it should be, that it does not speak as it should, nor act as it should, and neither does it think as it should.

We have not seen what the history of the church would really be like if the eleven believed the angelic message and the Lord’s message, and did meet with Him in Galilee. You may say that I am reminiscing on something that cannot be proven, and if you think that, then it is because you have never understood the work of the Holy Spirit. He is with us to make known to us that which belongs to Jesus, for Jesus said, “He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is Mine and making it known to you,”[19] which means He will make known to the church that listens to Him the original plan of Jesus that should have begun for the church at the Mount of Transfiguration on Resurrection morning, and not when they finally got there later.

We will never know what the original plan should have been as long as no churches listen to the Holy Spirit who alone can make known to us all the plans of Jesus as they should be, not as they are the way we have compromised them. So, it is essential we become such a church, one that listens to the Holy Spirit. And to do that, we need to ask for forgiveness of the original sin of the church, just as Adam should have asked for the forgiveness of the original sin of man, instead of blaming God and Eve.

We have to ask the Lord to forgive us, the disciples, that we did not obey His first post-Resurrection command to us to meet with Him on the Mount of the Transfiguration, and we have to do this with the right attitude. That attitude must be this: If we were Peter, James and John or any of the eleven, we would have disobeyed that day, just like if anyone of us were Adam, we would have also disobeyed and cast blame on God and Eve. It is with this attitude that we are all sinners; we all have fallen short of the glory of God that we do not become accusers of the brethren, that is, we do not become Satan. For it is not in the mind of God that He raises up a generation to accuse those of the past, but rather, as Jesus said many times to the people of His day, it is the people of the latter days that have been given much more than the people of the earlier days. What Jesus did was that He warned the people of His days that the people of the past would judge them, as He warned Capernaum, Korazin and Bethsaida that Sodom, Tyre and Sidon would judge them.[20] And also the people of Nineveh and the Queen of the South would rise in judgement to condemn it.[21]

So, as much as your training so far has been to see the mistakes of the past, be assured, it will not be you who will rise and judge them, but it will be they who will arise and judge us if we repeat their mistakes. The mistakes made by men better than ourselves are so that we do not make them, because we have been given much more—the entire written word as inspired by the Holy Spirit so that the mistakes and triumph are recorded for us and the Holy Spirit can then use it to correct, rebuke and encourage[22] us. But who are we to correct, rebuke and encourage another man’s servant except by example and by testimony.

So, do not for a minute think that you are privileged to see the mistakes of the eleven so that you may say, “If it had been us, we would not have done such a thing.” But humble yourself and truly make yourself one with all disciples, the first eleven and all who went to glory before you and those who are alive with you now and those yet to be born. See that you are a fellow disciple repenting of and cleaning up the mistake that we all made from the beginning, for there is no temptation that has seized you except what is common to man.[23] When you can make yourself one with those who are alive with you and with those whose mistakes you live with, then the glory of the Lord will truly be displayed, and the world will know the Father had sent Jesus.

So, what should we do? Admit to the truth and repent so that the Holy Spirit can make known to us what the Book of Acts would really have been like if the eleven had met with Jesus at Galilee that morning. And how will the Holy Spirit show us? By visions and dreams so that you can run around like a prophet who says, “I had a dream! I had a vision!”? Rather, would He not show us exactly what Jesus had in mind by giving us the power to testify to it? That is, by giving us the power to live the life of the church that did go to the Mount of Transfiguration 2000 years ago, and what such a church would be like 2000 years later as it continued to teach and obey everything that Jesus had commanded them.

Just like the Jews of Jesus’ time and even the Jews of John 8, it is time for us to admit to the truth and say, “Though we are Abraham’s descendants, yet we have been slaves more than once and even now, we are slaves. So, show us how we can be set free with this truth You will show us. For us, we need to acknowledge this unpalatable truth, which will make many vomit as one who has drunk blood, we are not what we should be, so whatever we say or do is not what should have been said or done. Show us what we should have done, and help us to do it right this time.”

If the Holy Spirit has such a church that repents of all its sins and wickedness, then He will show us what Jesus had in mind, what was planned, and what should have been said and done so that all can witness the true purpose of why the Father set up the church for Jesus and what it was really meant to do.

This is the exciting promise for us now and for all who have ears to hear. What the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches if they will repent… if we will repent… of our original sin and acknowledge that everything we have done to date has not been the perfect, pleasing and good will of God, then those who repent with the attitude of reconciling unto God all things said and done, will live the perfect, pleasing and good will of God during these days of distress that are coming. Those who will not repent and acknowledge their sin against Jesus and the Father will be distressed by the days to come.

So the forgiveness we need as individuals is the forgiveness of our sins. But the forgiveness we need as the body of Christ is the forgiveness of our sin against Jesus. The Head said, “Meet Me at Galilee,” but the body did not respond. From that moment on, we acted like a body not completely controlled by the Head. At best, we were clumsy. At worst, we were disastrous. And the world never beheld the power and the true grace that should have flowed from the body of Christ, the church, the grace to forgive and the power to set free everyone from the ravages of the four horsemen of Revelation 6. For the church was meant to be the mighty men spoken of in Zechariah 10:5 to overthrow the horsemen, so that Satan, war, lack and Death would be defeated everywhere the church went. Instead, we continued and multiplied war, lack and death, and Satan roamed the Earth unopposed. So now, be reminded that the Lord our God does not change and He remains the same today as He was yesterday and will be tomorrow.

And so He said, “My anger burns against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders; for His flock, the house of Judah, and make them like a proud horse in battle. From Judah will come the Cornerstone, from Him the tent peg, from Him the battle bow, from Him every ruler. Together they will be like mighty men trampling the muddy streets in battle. Because the Lord is with them, they will fight and overthrow the horsemen.”[24]

In the light of His anger, who can but repent? Amen


 

[1] Matthew 28:16-20

[2] Matthew 28:8

[3] John 20:19

[4] Matthew 17:2; Mark 9:2-3; Luke 9:29

[5] John 20:17

[6] Mark 16:6-7; Matthew 28:5-7

[7] Matthew 28:5-7

[8] Matthew 14:13 -21

[9] Matthew 14:16-18

[10] John 6:8-9

[11] Matthew 14:22-24

[12] Mark 6:45

[13] John 6:16-17

[14] Mark 16:6-8

[15] Mark 16:9

[16] John 20:2

[17] John 20:18

[18] Luke 24:11-12

[19] John 16:14

[20] Matthew 11:21-24

[21] Matthew 12:41-42

[22] 2 Timothy 4:2

[23] 1 Corinthians 10:13

[24] Zechariah 10:3-5

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