Overview to the
Seven Churches: God is Love. I believe that since the beginning
of time we have judged between the "most righteous
and the least" as we fight war after war, and expose ourselves
to danger from sin and unbelief. Now at the end, as we realize how
much He does love us, we who are living will be the judge of ourselves
as that knowledge is opened to us.
The messages to
the Seven Churches are key to understanding Revelation. The
Churches are the subjects of all events in Revelation. The sounding
of the Seven Trumpets beginning in Chapter Eight announce the
founding of each of these 'churches', with characteristics of
each noted in the metaphor describing the effect of each trumpet.
The people of
Christianity have a tradition of believing they (as a religion) are
in control of spreading the Gospel. This it true up to a point since
it was the commission Jesus gave Christians - however in so-called
'heathen' lands the willingness of Christians to expose themselves to
persecution has been lacking, at least since the Roman Catholic
Church era (with the exception of courageous missionaries).
It cannot be
stressed enough that racism and bigotry of any kind is
anathema to God and Jesus. God has taken care of His people around
the world - His 'sheep' - even though Christianity has 'dropped
the ball' in many parts of the world. The inspired Scriptures
mentioned earlier allowed His poor and oppressed to cope in an
increasingly sinful world down through the centuries.
If anyone harbors
respect of persons - it's time to stop. Jesus loves the weakest
newborn in the remotest part of Africa just as much as He loves you
and I. Which is more than humans are capable of loving in these
ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love
thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons,
ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors." (James
See Also: First
Seal | First
Trumpet | First
the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that
holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the
midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and
thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them
which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles,
and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast
borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured,
and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee,
because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence
thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I
will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of
his place, except thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou
hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He that
hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To
him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is
in the midst of the paradise of God." (Revelation
Find out more
about this Church by reading about the First
Beast of Daniel Chapter Seven.
Stars, Seven Candlesticks: Jesus identifies the source
from which the Spirits of all Seven Churches, represented by the
Seven Candlesticks, originate: the God of Abraham who chose the
Children of Israel as a special people.
with what Jesus says here and with the sanctuary of the Tabernacle of
Witness, where the origianal seven-branched candlestick was kept, is
enlightening. The Psalmist says:
way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a
God as our God? Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast
declared thy strength among the people. Thou hast with thine arm
redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah."
(Psalms 77:13-15 KJV)
Chapter One Jesus explained the meaning of the seven stars in His hand:
seven stars are the angels of the
seven churches: and the seven
candlesticks which thou sawest are the
seven churches." (Revelation
Since this message
is to Judaism, it's notable that it contains a confirmation that the seven
lamps of the candlestick that God designed for sanctuary in the
Tabernacle of Witness also stood for the Seven Churches of
Revelation, which are also tied to the Seven Spirits of God that John
describes as being before God's throne in Chapter 4. Also, the table
of shewbread in the sanctuary pointed to the twelve apostles
- who would distribute the "Bread of Life", the
Gospel, throughout the world in the same way they distributed bread
from Jesus' hands when He fed the multitudes.
and its services pointed to the promise and sacrifice of the Messiah.
know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience: Like
Muslims, the Jews believe they are still subject to salvation by mainly
by the works of following the Ten Commandment Law (which
spiritual law is now one with Jesus administered by Grace), though
interpreted by men.
The Jews have labored
to stay distinct from the world, study God's word, keep His statutes,
and have continued to follow the Old Testament statutes of healthy
and righteous living.
The Jews still patiently
await a Messiah whom they believe to be a great political and
military Leader. What they don't recognize yet is that the Word of
Jesus Christ has been the greatest political and military Leader of
the last 2,000 years - empowering and strengthening the meek and
humble of mankind to shake off the bonds of oppression.
thou canst not bear them which are evil: Jews do not
suffer the existence of evil on their home turf well, an attribute
shared by most religions. But this 'intolerance' is particularly
strong in Judaism.
hast tried them which say they are apostles,
and are not: In
addition to Jews being aware of errors in the teachings of the
Apostles, there is the great paradox: If the Apostles believed
in Jesus' miracles and witnessed His teachings to Jews like
themselves, they cannot be objective witnesses of Him because
But if a witness
does not believe in miracles - does not believe in Jesus' teachings -
how could that witness verify either as from God? By this logic the
Apostles are indeed found liars because non-believering
witnesses do not back up their claims.
Jews also dismiss
most of the prophecies of the Old Testament that tell the story of a
persecuted and meek Messiah. They want independent, non-spiritual
verification of a Messiah whose ministry was Spiritual.
for my name's
sake hast laboured: This
church has laboured for the appearance of the Messiah, as Judaism
continues to do.
have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do
the first works:
shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments,
and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein,
spue you not out. And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation,
which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and
therefore I abhorred them. But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit
their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a
land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the LORD your God,
which have separated you from other people." (Leviticus
hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans: The Greek word
'Nicolaitans' is a composite word. Transferred into English it
means "conqueror of the laity" or "ruler of the
people". Such an idea in religion is anathema to Jesus'
structure of the Kingdom
of Heaven, which requires each person to have a personal
relationship with God - with no human intermediaries.
One of Judaism's
main objections to Jesus Christ being considered as God become Man
(the Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity), is that to do so would
be clearly impossible, because God cannot become subject to the
physical laws that He Himself created:
Claims G-d became Physical: The notion of G-d becoming physical is
an impossibility. He Who created all of physical existences, is the
One Being not subject to those laws. G-d governs all physical matter.
To suggest G-d can become physical and be subject to His own physical
laws, means that He does not control the universe. A clear
contradiction and impossibility." (www.mesora.org)
Thus does Jesus
acknowledge Judaism's strong objection to the doctrine of the
Trinity. This same theme of the characteristics of the Nicolaitans is
reversed in Jesus' message to the Church of Pergamos below.
That Church is rebuked for following the doctrine of
See Also: Second
Seal | Second
Trumpet | Second
unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith
the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art
rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and
are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those
things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some
of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have
tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will
give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the
Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be
hurt of the second death." (Revelation
Find out more
about this Church by reading about the Second
Beast of Daniel Chapter Seven.
things saith the first and the last: Many Christians
forget that Jesus was indeed given power over heaven and earth by God
when His Kingdom was established:
Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto
me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all
nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things
whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway,
even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matthew
As earth's King,
One with God, Jesus is to bring all earthly kingdoms under God's footstool:
every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they
that are Christ's at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he
shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when
he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For
he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet."
(1 Corinthians 15:23-25)
For the Christian
then, the only explanation for Islam's existence is that God
inspired the Prophet Muhammed through Jesus Christ, as the Word of
God for Arabic speaking peoples whom Christianity has largely
ignored. Jesus did not ignore them:
Holy Spirit has brought the revelation from thy Lord in Truth,
in order to strengthen those who believe, and as a Guide and Glad
Tidings to Muslims." (Surah
who read the Qur'an objectively will recognize the divine inspiration
within it, although the 34,000 forms of Christianity that exist today
have been so influenced by paganism and man's traditions as to make
many Christians unable to recognize the simple, yet powerful, lessons
in righteousness taught by the Qur'an.
The Qur'an teaches
that the Holy Spirit was with Jesus, and also confirms the virgin
birth. It teaches that all prophets are equal, as Jesus taught when
describing John the Baptist - as indeed Jesus Himself will be when
returns the Kingdom to God, and joins us:
when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son
also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that
God may be all in all." (1
The Qur'an also
has many Old Testament stories, along with new information about
those stories, and poetic interpretations of many.
accurately states in the Qur'an several times that its existence is
to confirm the Torah and the Gospels that preceeded it. With
this basis in the Ten Commandment Law shared by both, there would be
no Qur'an. The testimony of Muhammed in the Qur'an is as inspired
as the Old Testament, though like the Old Testament it also
contains references to traditions and statutes from the time during
which it was written. Clearly the voice of God rings True throughout
the Qur'an, however. As exemplified below:
is in the heavens and on earth, let it declare the Praises and Glory
of Allah: for He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise. To Him belongs
the dominion of the heavens and the earth: It is He Who gives Life
and Death; and He has Power over all things. He is the First and
the Last, the Evident and the Immanent: and He has full knowledge
of all things. He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in Six
Days, and is moreover firmly established on the Throne (of
Authority). He knows what enters within the earth and what comes
forth out of it, what comes down from heaven and what mounts up to
it. And He is with you wheresoever ye may be. And Allah sees well
all that ye do."
was dead, and
is alive: Here Jesus addresses an issue between
Christianity and Islam that shouldn't exist. For centuries the
respective leaders of these two religions have fomented distrust
between their peoples as each has attempted to distance itself from
the other. Some Christians claim that the Qur'an says Jesus did
not die, but ascended directly to heaven. Traditionalist Muslims
claim that Jesus was taken to heaven without dying, or that a
stand-in body did the dying for Him.
Yet in fact the poetry
of the Qur'an is completely in line with the Bible on this issue when
both are read in the Spirit of Love:
because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of
Mary, Allah's messenger - they slew him not nor crucified him, but
it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning
it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit
of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain." (Surah
Him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them."
Christians claim this verse denies Christ's sacrifice and
resurrection - but in reality it is a snare meant to trap the hidden
hatreds of those scholars who judge the Word of God without the
assistance of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus' own version agrees
with the Qur'an:
doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might
take it again. No man taketh it from me,
but I lay it down of myself.
I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This
commandment have I received of my Father."
(John 10:17-18 KJV)
and Muslims, ignoring the sublime implication of God in the Qur'an,
and ignoring Jesus' plain implication in the Bible as well, use Surah
4:157 to divide rather than to acknowledge the wonderful Love of God
that would put the blame on no man, especially the Jews whom
many Christians still blame for crucifying Jesus - though any society
on earth would also have crucified Jesus for His teachings.
know thy works: Like Judaism, Islam still regards
righteousness under the Law to be of paramount importance. Faith
without works is not sufficient for salvation. The Qur'an especially
stresses this in order to see that the poor, widows, orphans and
indigent are cared for through alms and charity - the works
God cares about most.
tribulation: Most of the people of Middle Eastern Islamic
nations are ruled by oppressive dictatorships - many supported by
Western governments in order to have a stable oil supply. These
governments, to be seen as Islamic, believe in the harsh
administration of so-called "Islamic" justice rather than
relying on the judgment guidelines and Mercy of God commanded through
the Qur'an. Today this tribulation would also include the War on
Terrorism, the goal of which is to subdue Islamic fundamentalism
itself, introducing a western-style democracy that would destroy the
structure of Islamic society. It will not succeed.
poverty, (but thou art rich): Though much of the Islamic
world lives in poverty under the oppression of dictators, kings, and
non-elected presidents, Islam has established an excellent
structure for educating and caring for the poor, orphans, widows,
and strangers among its people. This is due largely to the teachings
of the Qur'an, wherein God's commandments to look after the poor and
to give alms are many and very specific. For example, as part of
one's repentance for sin a person may obtain mercy by caring for the poor:
will not call you to account for what is futile in your oaths, but
He will call you to account for your deliberate oaths: for expiation,
feed ten indigent persons, on a scale of the average for the
food of your families; or clothe them; or give a slave his freedom. If
that is beyond your means, fast for three days. That is
the expiation for the oaths ye have sworn. But keep to your oaths.
Thus doth Allah make clear to you His signs, that ye may be grateful." (Surah
Because most of
Islam faithfully supports this structure by educating orphans and
feeding the poor, even though poor themselves, Islam is spiritually
'rich' in God's eyes.
know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but
are the synagogue of Satan: The synagogue of Satan
described here is the Apostate state of Judeo-Christian
belief systems. Both of these faiths have allowed paganism,
mysticism, and/or the traditions of men, to divert the plain
teachings of their scriptures away from Kingdom of God under God's
Law. From the beginning God intended that all men live equally by
His Ten Commandment Law. God and God only was to be the King of
each man and woman. Only God knows the intentions of the hearts and
reins, thus only God is capable of judging His own creations.
The leaders of
both Judaism and Christianity instead attempt to interpret God's Law
for themselves, in order that they may exalt themselves over others
by virtue of the knowledge they gain from reading scriptures using
human wisdom. These human-inspired interpretations allow
traditions and other beliefs foreign to God's real Word to be
imported into religions, and added to whatever truth that religion has.
In this way
Judaism ended up expecting the Messiah to be a human King who would
politically and militarily lead the Jews to lead the world to God.
Christianity has become a mystical divided religion with a wide range
of differing interpretations of God's Word, mixed in with the
traditions of pagan and apostate men of both faiths.
Of all the
religions believing ing the God of Abraham, Islam is indeed the
most righteous and closest to what God intended when He tried to lead
the Children of Israel to righteousness. Nevertheless, Islam has
also imported many traditions from men - and no religion has yet
understood the Love of God and His goal for His creations spelled out
as the Plan of Salvation.
devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and
ye shall have tribulation ten days: This 10 days in prison
is the 10 years which many of the Al-Ikhwan Al-Muslimun (The Muslim
Brotherhood) were sentenced to by Nasser in 1954. These included Sayyid
Qutb, the most influential thinker of fundamentalist Islam, from
whom Osama bin Laden got many of his ideas on Islamic fundamentalism.
that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death:
Fear of The Day of Judgment (or The Day of Resurrection) is a prime
factor in motivating many Muslims to obey God and His Messenger. The
fire of the Bible is the punishment for unbelievers and
evil-doers when that Day comes.
Islam is the
fulfullment of God's
covenant with Abraham to bless his son Ishmael by fathering
twelve princes from whom a great nation would result. Ishmael was
included in the covenant of circumcision, the covenant of the Law,
but not of the Promise made to Abraham for Isaac.
Hinduism / Buddhism / Taoism / Confucianism
See Also: Third
Seal | Third
Trumpet | Third
to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he
which hath the sharp sword with two edges; I know thy works, and
where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou
holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even
in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was
slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. But I have a few things
against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine
of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the
children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and
to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the
doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent;
or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them
with the sword of my mouth. He that hath an ear, let him hear
what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I
give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone,
and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth
saving he that receiveth it." (Revelation
Find out more
about this Church by reading about the Third
Beast of Daniel Chapter Seven.
sharp sword with two edges: The twoedged
sword in this case means to expect high metaphor and symbolism
from Jesus - prepare for the unexpected!
Satan's seat is: See below for the location of the seat
holdest fast my name, and has not denied
To the Church of Philadelphia, which is the church of the scattered
children of God who become the 144,000, Jesus makes the promise:
that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he
shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God,
and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which
cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him
my new name." (Revelation
I believe the new
name Jesus means in the verse above, and the name held fast by this
Church of Pergamos, are one and the same. His new name is Maitreya,
who will be the next 'Buddha' to appear on earth. To understand how
Buddhism was changed during the 1st century AD after Jesus
crucifixion, read about the Third
Beast of Daniel Chapter Seven.
Buddhism grew during the 1st century AD, so also did the idea of a special
Buddha who would appear sometime in the future - Maitreya, the
Buddha of loving-kindness. Maitreya's arrival is awaited by many
in the East as Jesus' arrival is awaited by Christians.
important new concept in Mahayana is that of the bodhisattva
or enlightenment being, as the ideal
toward which the good Buddhist should aspire.
A bodhisattva is an individual who has attained perfect
enlightenment but delays entry into final nirvana in order to make
possible the salvation of all other sentient beings. The bodhisattva
transfers merit built up over many lifetimes to less fortunate
creatures. The key attributes of this social saint are compassion and
loving-kindness. For this reason Mahayana considers the bodhisattva
superior to the arhats who represent the ideal of Theravada. Certain
bodhisattvas, such as Maitreya, who represents the
Buddhas loving-kindness, and Avalokitesvara or Guanyin, who
represents his compassion, have become the focus of popular
devotional worship in Mahayana." (Encarta)
expected by Religions of the East will be Jesus when He returns.
in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr: Antipas
means "like the father". Mahatma Gandhi is
"my faithful martyr Antipas". Among the well-known,
Ghandi's character most closely resembled God's own in modern times,
at least as far as we can attain here on earth.
following praise of Ghandi from Christianity Today Magazine:
I read the history of Mahatma Ghandi alongside the history of the
Christian church, I cannot help wondering what went wrong. Why
did it take a Hindu to embrace the principles of reconciliation,
humility and vicarious sacrifice so clearly modelled by Jesus himself? Ghandi
credited Jesus as his source for these
life principles, and he worked like a disciplined soldier to put them
into practice. What has kept Christians
from following Jesus with the same abandon?"
(Philip Yancey, Christianity Today)
was slain among you: In January 1948, at the age of 79,
Ghandi was killed by an assassin as he walked through a crowed garden
in New Delhi to take evening prayers.
seat is... where
Satan dwelleth: The Bible describes the sin that caused
the fall of Lucifer (Satan) as self-exaltation. He felt that the
system of Love, under which God's
government of brotherhood operates, prevented him from being
exalted over others. His eventual wish was to be exalted over the
angels and man - even God if possible.
India's caste system
is the perfect example of how oppressive the system that Lucifer
promoted could become. People were born into their position in
society, and they could not change what they were or advance
themselves. Those at the bottom of the caste system, called
"Untouchables", had dark skin.
traditional caste system of India developed more than 3000 years ago
when Aryan-speaking nomadic groups migrated from the north to India
about 1500 bc. The Aryan priests, according to the ancient sacred
literature of India, divided society into a basic caste system.
Sometime between 200 bc and ad100, the Manu Smriti, or Law of Manu,
was written. In it the Aryan priest-lawmakers created the four great
hereditary divisions of society still surviving today" (Encarta)
The castes were:
The lowest caste,
limited completely to menial tasks and kept outside of the social
order, were the dark-skinned "Untouchables", and were
oppressed mercilessly. In the 1930s Mahatma Gandhi applied the term
"children of God" to this group.
were the Dravidians, the aboriginal inhabitants of India, to
whose ranks from time to time were added the pariahs, or outcasts,
people expelled for religious or social sins from the classes into
which they had been born." (Global
India, where first
Hinduism and then others observed the caste system which successfully
denied rights to millions, is described by the twoedged sword as "the
seat of Satan".
that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a
stumblingblock before the children of Israel,
to eat things sacrificed unto idols,
and to commit fornication: The
"doctrine of Balaam" followed by Balak is described
in the book of Numbers. As it is usually read, using beautiful
Midianite women the doctrine involved introducing sexual
immorality into Israel. A terrible plague of disease resulted
from this action that is not identified in the Bible.
The doctrine as
referred to here references the influence of the Kama
Sutra, which brings sexual pleasure into the
realm of worship, but encouraging multiple partners and
Kama Sutra, the Lotus Sutra was
clearly written using the twoedged sword, and includes parables
similar to Jesus' parables in the New Testament
hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans,
which thing I hate: The
Greek word Nicolaitans is a composite word. Transferred into English
it means "conqueror of the laity" or "ruler of the
people". Such an idea in religion is anathema to Jesus structure
of the Kingdom of Heaven
which requires each person to have a personal relationship with God
- with no human intermediaries.
This holding of
the Nicolaitan doctrine here by Pergamos is contrasted with the hatred
for that doctrine held by the Church of Ephesus, or Judaism,
The Hindu religion requires
that people who desire to obtain enlightenment do so through a person
called a satguru, who is supposed to teach the searcher about God
satguru is someone who is considered to be merged with God
and is in their final life. A satguru is someone who has had
knowledge passed down through a traceable lineage of satgurus and who
uses the Vedas as divine authority. Satgurus most often identify
with a chosen form of God, such as Siva. Devotees of satgurus say
that they can feel their satguru's spirit sheltering them like
an umbrella during their daily life." (www.hindunet.org)
The point of
Mahayana Buddhism, under the Lotus
Sutra doctrine of strengthening common people, was to offer a
spiritual relationship with God to the common man. The satguru,
besides making the blasphemous claim of being one with God,
complicates God's relationship with the people themselves. Many were
- and still are - led astray from the simple path of Hinduism to
whatever the their satguru taught.
This issue has
parallels in Christian church hierarchies, but Christian ministers,
pastors, or priests do not claim the status of divine perfection, as
having attained Oneness with God, as satgurus must yet as only Jesus
give to eat of the hidden manna: The Hidden manna, or
'bread' as in Word of God, is the Lotus
Sutra. Used with Jesus teachings this scripture is an excellent
tutor of discipleship.
To those of
Eastern religions who aren't familiar with them, the Hidden manna
would be the Gospels of the New Testament, describing in-depth the
coming Buddha Maitreya!
him a white stone: The Greek word translated here as
"stone", psephos, actually means
"pebble". Tibetan Buddhism is the only religion that has a
consistent teaching illustrated by the use of a "white
stone" or "white pebble":
early Buddhists of Tibet were known as the Kadampas they were
simple people, herders and carpenters and small farmers, who took to
the new ideas like fish to water, in their simple but exquisite way.
They carried around a small bag of pebbles, half white and half
black. Whenever they had a very good thought, or said something very
positive to another person, or did someone else a kindness, they
would take a white pebble out and put it say in their left
pocket. Every time they had a negative thought about someone else, or
said or did something unkind to another person, they would take a
black pebble out of the bag and put it in their right pocket." (Michael
Roach - The
was once a shepherd who was determined to improve himself so he went
to a wise hermit to ask his advice. The hermit told him to take two
bags of pebbles, one with black pebbles, one with white. While
sitting looking after his sheep, he should watch his thoughts: if a
negative thought came in his mind, he should take a black pebble and
put it on one side. If a positive thought came in his mind, he should
take a white pebble and put it on the other side. The shepherd
did this, and after a while, he saw that the pile of black pebbles
was really growing high, while the white one was very small. He was a
little worried, and went back to the hermit to ask what he should do.
The hermit answered, "It doesn't matter. Don't bother. Just keep
on as you are." After a while, slowly, slowly, the two piles
became similar, and after some time, the white pile became bigger
than the black one." (Ringu
Tulku Rinpoche - Four
Ways of Changing the Mind)
was a tradition amongst the Kadampa Lamas who usually decided to
spend all their time practising Dharma, to keep a collection of white
and black stones. They would sit and watch their minds and whenever a
virtuous thought such as Bodhicitta or renunciation came, they would
place a white stone. If a delusion would arise, they would
place a black stone. At the end of the day they would check how much
virtuous activity and how much non-virtuous activity and delusions
were involved in their day. They would practice accordingly if the
virtues were many or do purification and confessions if the
non-virtues were greater." (Lama
Ribur Rinpoche - Dharma
in Daily Life, 1998)
in the stone a new name written, which
no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it: The new name
refers to a personalized Mantra. Mantras are words or
syllables that are chanted during meditation. It is believed that the
soothing vocal vibrations caused by chanting mantras have spiritual benefits.
history, cultures have believed in the sacred power of words, and
have believed that uttering certain words or names could control the
external world, or control the unseen forces, like gods or spirits,
that they believed acted upon the world..."
was particularly so for the words that we call "names".
In ancient India it was believed that if you knew the true names of
the gods, then you could call upon them and compel them to do your bidding..."
early Buddhism used chanting as a means of practice, and used the
recitation of verses as a way of cultivating an awareness of the
qualities of the Buddha (Buddhanusati), the use of mantras doesn't
seem to have come into Buddhism until the rise of the Mahayana traditions,
which incorporated elements of the non-Buddhist approach to
spirituality known as 'Tantra.' Tantra made extensive use of mantras
as ways of communing with and influencing the gods..." (www.wildmind.org)
adopted in the late 50s by the TM - or the Transcendental
Meditation people. Remember Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the Beatles?
TM movement claims that its secret mantras are chosen specifically
for the individual, who must not reveal his or her mantra to anyone
else, or even discuss their meditation practice." (www.wildmind.org)
(name) given by Jesus no doubt will be truly individual to each
person who overcomes, as He promised here.
Religions that are the Church of Pergamos are also referenced in the
Bible, the clearest reference being that of the Magi who visited
Jesus after a two-year journey, following a bright Star in the night
sky as also recorded in the Lotus Sutra:
palaces display a brilliance
it because of the birth of some heavenly being of great virtue,
because the Buddha has appeared in the world?
have never seen such a sign
with a single mind we seek the reason.
we must travel a thousand, ten thousand, a million lands,
we will search out the cause of this light.
it is because a Buddha has appeared in the world
save living beings in their suffering.
See Also: Fourth
Seal | Fourth
Trumpet | Fourth
unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith
the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire,
and his feet are like fine brass; I know thy works, and
charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works;
and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a
few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman
Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to
seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things
sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her
fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her
into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great
tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will
kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know
that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will
give unto every one of you according to your works. But unto you
I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this
doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak;
I will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye have
already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth
my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And
he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter
shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And
I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him
hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." (Revelation
hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire: Eyes that see
all, the fire of conviction, repentence, and sanctification.
feet are like fine brass: A reference to the Catholic
doctrine of eternal
consisting of an eternally tormenting fire in which sinners dwell.
In Revelation Chapter One John describes the feet of Jesus as "...feet
like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace",
referring to the fiery furnace of the book of Daniel where "one
like the Son of man" saved Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Catholicism
teaches a hell similar to that furnace.
thy works; and the last to be more than the first: The
most recent works of Catholicism are much better than its first works
of the Roman Church from which it has evolved, which included forced
conversion, oppression of the poor, and the Crusades - at least in
the West - to name but a few.
sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess: Jezebel
is the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary,
practically raising her over Jesus Himself. "Calleth
herself a prophetess" refers to the spiritual powers now
associated with Mary.
teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication: Forcing
celibacy on monks and priests, then putting images and statues of
the virgin Mary throughout their living quarters and their church was
at cross purposes, and needlessly exposed God's servants to a temptation
forced upon them by their very beliefs.
to eat things sacrificed unto idols: Teaching
"to eat things sacrificed unto idols" refers to the
Holy Eucharist, the Catholic version of communion in which the
bread representing Jesus' body is believed to actually turn into His
flesh when ingested.
I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not:
The space to repent lasted until 1854 when Pope Pius IX made his
"Declaration of Immaculate conception of Mary", forcing
all believers to acknowledge Mary as Holy.
I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her
into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds: The
"great tribulation" refers to the sexual scandals over the
last 40 years or so regarding affected priests.
I will kill her children with death;
and all the churches shall know
that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts:
and I will give unto every one of
you according to your works: All
the churches shall know: Look at what the Roman Church has done with
its strange doctrines. It has made His name into a laughingstock -
clinging to pagan beliefs and practices and ignoring just judgment of
the poor and righteousness in world affairs. Roman leaders strut
around in fancy churches poking their fingers at their parishioners
over ancient pagan rituals they have no business performing in the
Next time they cry
for an aborted baby they should recall that they have made
religion and moral behavior so repugnant to people because of
their strange and confusing doctrines, unconfirmable in God's Word,
that people have more and more turned to atheistic unbelief. The
Roman Church so defiled His Word and doctrine before the world that
the "Moral Authority" it claims from Him is treated as a
mere remnant of ancient tribal superstition.
The God who
searches the hearts and reins will reward all according to their works.
unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and
which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak: This
statement acknowledges the Episcopal/Anglican Church, and Eastern
Orthodox Christian Church.
he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I
give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of
iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers:
even as I received of my Father: Here
Jesus confirms again that the Church represented as Thyatira
evolved from the Roman Empire, and so today is the Catholic
Church. See the comments on Daniel
Chapter Two, describing the Kingdom of God represented by iron
and clay which cannot be held together.
shalt break them with a rod of iron;
thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's
(Psalms 2:9 KJV)
The "rod of
iron" is similar to the twoedged sword. Armed with it, and
with His all-conquering love, the person who overcomes will
participate in returning believers to the teachings of Jesus.
I will give him the morning star: Jesus is the morning star:
Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the
churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright
and morning star." (Revelation