There’s a great delusion that ancient people weren’t that clever, just because today we know more information. For example, ants in an anthill built a new tunnel, which turned out faster than the ones made before, but they didn’t cease being ants because of that. We’ve invented microwave and internet, but didn’t get closer to God, but on the opposite. It is unlikely that we can even trace times in the Apocalypse. If to take the noise made by the locusts, it can be either helicopters or tanks – hard to say whether it’s Middle Ages or 21st century. The book of Apocalypse doesn’t even make any emphasis that anything has gotten better in the 21st century.
And from the first chapter where Jesus appeared to the last – Jesus is the same. So as man was sinful from the first chapter, under the judgments, to the last he is the same. Today I sometimes listen to the thoughts of the ancient and remember the word “regard the ancient” and learn from them. So the idea, which entered in us through genetics that “the ancient weren’t that smart, that Middle Ages are dark ages – it’s a great delusion, they are not dark at all, but enlightened both by the Renaissance and great strivings of the saints.
Today it is difficult to find true strivings of the saints. We just sang a couple songs and I thought they contain metaphysical yearning. Is this right? Should it be there in a good set of events and our good spiritual condition? Yes, it probably should be there, because we preach Christ crucified, and this is always sorrow, this is the price for our sin, which is still in our bodies.
I heard from the ancient that “in a twinkling of an eye”, if translated from Greek, it is “atomos”. They already knew this word “atom” in the Middle Ages, only astronomers had it as a unit of time, not as a particle. And who of them is more right – I don’t know. I like it more that atom is time, it’s about 0,16 of a second. This is very interesting – they knew that you can transit into perfection instantly. And they sought this experience, which was not subject to mind or imagination, but by experience, which we call revelation.
There’s a word in the Scripture that we have been made perfect by one offering (Hebrews 10:14). This is a very mysterious Scripture place. We imply that sanctification is a hard painful process including denial, redemption, repentance, self-control. For us sanctification is impossible without self-control, that is you have to endure, in order to be sanctified; endure and suppress your desires, which draw you to sin. And with all our genetic inside we realize that sanctifications includes struggle with the sinful body, struggle with sin “with a big letter”, the law of sin. Probably, this is true. But there’s a different experience, which saints sought – sanctification in a moment.
I remember even in the contemporary church history there were groups of people, after the Reformation, when they sought in faith rather that work, they did meetings of instant sanctification. I would love to see that – they made meetings where they were instantly sanctified, entered holiness through a “session”. And they taught this Scripture place: “By one offering He has made perfect forever those who are being sanctified.
Today Christians don’t work on this, having gotten lazy they simply live, go with the flow. “A good church” replaces the search of an individual with itself. And a “good church” becomes bad from this side, because people get relaxed there. Imagine that you are in a “bad” church, but you are zealous. Perhaps, you will be even a better quality believer, than in a “good church”, but a week believer – you have strong pastors, strong teachers, but you are weak on your own, live by the flesh, because the church is moving. But imagine you are in an non-zealous, carnal church, but you long for God, you seek Him and groan about the condition of the church. It is more likely that a better version of you is in the second case.
So this instant sanctification, atomos… It is interesting that this word is used in the Bible, when said about Jesus “in the twinkling of an eye”, in Greek it was written “atomos”, in this point “atomos”, part of a second, the Lord shall come. He won’t be coming slowly with nuclear explosions. He shall come the way He left, and it is written “in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, He shall appear… strike the lawless one with the breath of His mouth…”
So what is this moment? People who experienced clinical death, speak of this moment seriously, not lightly, because all this has a smell of eternity, and there it is finished, you can’t change anything, that’s a sentence, retribution. There it is only retribution, the result of your life. And what is your life today, which you will give to God, the quality of your life? The time that God gave you… We eat days through, chew them through, they pass by, and we throw away the leftovers, but eternity is rushing towards us, and we shall encounter it.
Therefore, saints must be saints. Because no one shall see God without holiness. And what is holiness is a very serious and multi-level question. There’s the quality of our striving for Him. Someone said that when the whole of man’s will and every single move of the soul and even in the body are aimed at Him, man obtains bliss on this earth. He obtains condition, which is called perfection.
Like in that tale when a swan, a crayfish and a tombak were pulling the load in different directionы, so it is with us. Our spirit (the swan) is pulling into heaven, the tombak – into the depths of the soul and the crayfish- into its own direction. So we are stretched not in one, but in different directions. Through this we achieve little, we lose a lot, and our results are inferior. But imagine if these three could move in one direction even with different speed, we get a different quality of life.
There is this word from the book of Apocalypse. The book of Apocalypse is a window, we continue to abide in it. Now this is the season of the Acts and Apocalypse.
“Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”
We think that today we’ve had the Scriptures for so long and it is easier for us to understand it than it was for John then. No. Why wouldn’t he understand? John was an Apostle of Jesus Christ, he leaned at His bosom and was inside the Revelation. We think all is clear for us, but actually not more than it was then. Yet he answers “Sir, you know it” – do you see the Kingdom culture? How he speaks with an elder, whose status is higher than many of the angels. The elder has been made perfect, one of the twenty four, who has his own throne. These twenty four have their own throne, which no one else can take. And one of them, who carries only a part of light from the Throne, asks John:
“Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir, you know.”
Today if we take the sermons preached from the Apocalypse, they all have something in common, it’s like homiletics. But I never heard preachers who could take the Apocalypse and have it laid out in a different language, who could reveal it and give it in portions with no hysterics.
“So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation”
We all imagine what the great tribulation is and usually think this is persecution of highest level including tortures, fires, beheadings. The common view at it is that the antichrist rules and altogether it is so bad for Christians as it has never been before, therefore this is the great tribulation. But this is one of understandings. We can make great tribulation inside ourselves even right now. Our attitude to things around us can take us into great tribulation. I think we choose the great tribulation, I can enter the great tribulation now. The book of Apocalypse is where I can enter in, this is why it is said “blessed is he who reads and who fulfills…” The book of Apocalypse can be obtained through an access. Apostle Peter says that one have to have an access to the Scriptures, that no prophecy of Scripture can be revealed by yourself, but only when you’re led by the Holy Spirit. Only through revelation can we comprehend prophecy. It is impossible to train your mind to speak prophetically. Well, you actually can, but that will be a role-play. But it is first of all God who allows you into revelation.
So we either enter in or we don’t. I believe we can enter in the great tribulation. Today already there are people who abide in great tribulation. Is it only about those who will be persecuted in the latter days? Are these people in white robes only those of the latter time? Aren’t these all those beginning with Adam? Think about this. From Adam to the last man on earth there were people taken from the great tribulation. Do you understand? This isn’t an even that will be, though the event will be, but it’s not only the event. This is where we either enter in or we don’t. And even now you can accept and be in the great tribulation already, and be taken from the great tribulation. Because this is your decision, the universe is inside you. Real cosmos is inside you, the whole of the universe is inside you.
Someone said that God draws those near Him, who are noble, who are made noble and have kept this nobleness, have kept their faithfulness to the higher things. Those who loved the Light, as the Lord calls Him, faithfulness to the Light. He may stumble still and fall, but he is like God – His child recognized by the angels.
“And I said to him, “Sir, you know.”
So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them”. (Revelation 7:14-15)
Two things, which are distinct here, we don’t pay attention to that, but now I want to speak them – “washed” and “made them white”. These are two different things, but we pass them by coma. They washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb – something great happened, and for that (therefore) they are before the Throne, not any far corner.
Washing includes forgiveness and cleansing – many Christians abide in that.
As the ancient said there are different statuses in God, different levels of faith. The first level is worldly faith. That is an average Christian who believes in a worldly manner. He knows God little and communicates his faith through the experience of his everyday life, how He helps in regular things, blesses his children, blesses with health, in his work – blessings of everyday worldly life. That is worldly faith. Think of this – if God is your helper in everyday life, that is, worldly faith! That is, He helps you in your fleshly life – is that faith at all?
And there’s a different faith, which goes further. That is faith of an individual, faith of loneliness, when you overcome yourself and come to know God by your own experience. That is faith, which is given only to you. You pave your own way, inimitable and unique.
It can’t be otherwise. That worldly faith is common – we sing songs together, feel goosebumps and share testimonies how He blesses us in our lives, using only worldly notions – this is the most primitive level of faith…
But this faith of loneliness is when you walk alone, pave your way, and then you call others who believe with worldly faith into this road, and they go after you. Those who pave it are prophets, Apostles, you can call them differently – leaders, God-wrestlers, overcomers…
The third status is perfect faith, when all of man’s life becomes a way. Those are biblical heroes, who have been made perfect, they are sealed. God put a seal on them and is not ashamed. That is they have become like God. Why is He not ashamed of them? – Because of their likeness of Him, because they have become like Him. They made mistakes, but inside their spirit there was this perfect love to God, God’s love, that is, it identifies with the nature of God’s heart.
Today it would sound banal, if we say we all should rich this kind of faith, it never happens like this. But God calls the chosen ones. Now I understand it so, that it is impossible to have everyone brought there, and it shouldn’t be done. Jesus never does that. He never wastes time and strength, neither makes attempts that are not going to be crowned. The chosen ones – He sought His children. And He keeps seeking those who hear. Therefore, the Lord addresses those, who have an ear and has love in his heart.
So they washed their robes is the first phase. But they also made them white. Making them white implies sanctification. “Washed” is clean but grey, but “made them white” is perfection of your personal faith. “Made them white” means sanctified – ascension into perfection.
“These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation” – there it is dirty. Tribulation is dirty, tribulation is sin, tribulation is demons, tribulation is people – most horrible beings on earth. Demons learn evil from people.
“ They washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God…”
My call today is “to make them white”, so that we may work not on the clean robes, but on making them white, which is raising the quality of life with God. That is increasing the oneness of all the strings of our soul; tuning our strings for the perfect. When a guitar is out of tune, it hurts the ear, it brings evil into the air, it interferes with harmony – better not to make such things. But when the Lord tunes it, then we God then we keep pace with Him.
And this atomos, which we today understand as an element, a substance, but the ancient understood it as a unit of time. A twinkling of an eye, atomos.
This Atomos today is revealed. A point of entrance into eternity, where you fly in and dissolve. Therefore, the Supernatural is here. But it has to be inside. Not a drop of the ocean, but all of the ocean in you, and you are in him. Christ said: “Abide in Me, and I in you” – this is the dissolving. And this Apocalypse is here. May God bless us.
We spoke before that that there is difference between Western and Eastern Christianity. Western is pragmatic. This pragmatism when we do works, run with evangelism – this is all important, we don’t write it off. Martha should be with Mary, because if Mary were alone – and they always were in a tandem, wherever it is said of Martha, so it is of Mary, where it is said of Mary, so it is of Martha. They both live in us. We hear both of their voices always together. There must be Martha in church, responsibilities are appointed, and Martha is the will of God. But Mary represents contemplative Christianity, possessing Christianity. She possessed Him. Martha was reaching Him.
This effort to be closer may be a false path. What does it mean for you to be closer? Closer to the object, who looks like a man on the throne? You are reaching out through the jungles to the One who sits on the Throne? This is what the Western church is busy with – she is looking for what she already has.
Pragmatic faith is always focused on the result. All that God reveals they turn it into success. They have to take it all down to earth, to project it and make it a result. This is all around today; all our the so called Protestant Christianity is turned to action, to action on earth! The “currency” of ideas, abstract things, inner experience has little value there. There the result is valuable: the number, the quantity, the weight, measuring units on earth, the matter. Someone even boasted that it is Western Christianity that achieved science-technical progress, and that is true. And all that humanism and Renaissance, when man woke up toward God and depiction of God began. They began depicting God holy, they gave Him a beautiful body – God became a most handsome man in their paintings. What was it? Did we really need it? Did it bring any good to us on earth? Did it bring the planet to repentance or make us closer to God?
Eastern Christianity – though I wouldn’t really call it so – is focused on contemplation. For such man intimacy, possession, access is more valuable than resultive things, than so called success, than the number of people in church. I imagine if I were a pastor of a five thousand or a hundred thousand member church – would it give me success in God, the way I see and understand Him now? This is dangerous for me not in the sense that I won’t manage the administrative aspect, but do I need this at all? Will I get saved through that? At the audience with God He won’t even listen about this! What will matter for Him is who I am, not what I did or what people thought of me. Probably I would have to make hundreds of compromises with my conscience in order to keep such a crowd. Well, everyone must believe the pastor, and you have to build your life so that people don’t leave, so that they are happy with me. Because there are many churches, a lot of competition, you have to please people, set a certain measure of pleasing them etc. I don’t want this. I wouldn’t like this. Only if the Lord tells me, then I have a good example, which is not actually good. That is Solomon. I would ask for wisdom. If You give me to govern Your people, then give me wisdom and ability to carry it well. And we know the end of Solomon. This is a very dangerous path – to be oriented at pragmatic Christianity, when through fruitfulness on earth we think that we please God, that we are getting closer to Him. But we can’t through the gifts that Jacob was pushing before himself please Esau. Because Esau wasn’t pleased, he was on his way to kill him, until he saw the man. And when Jacob went with his face down, Esau was hit through by his love and embraced him. The gifts didn’t help, Esau didn’t want gifts, he wanted his brother.
And we think that it will be an event when we stand before God, and we need to prepare for this encounter. No! Now we’ve got to stand before God and live so. This is what Kairos is. Not to be preparing for this encounter, you will never prepare, you will get worse and worse. Your patience won’t be enough, man’s will as a weak organ in our soul, it gets tired. Will goes before supersonic devices, it can’t break through into stratosphere. You can’t reach revelation through your will. If you gather all of your will, fast, pray and seek, and God comes to you – it will be solely at His initiative, because He either wants to come to you or He doesn’t. But you can’t “make it” to Him by your will.
So this point of Kairos or Atomos is already here. I believe and sense there’s an access to this Atomos now, here. It is a mystery and a great miracle – our life now, that we can breathe, our heart is beating and blood pumping.
So what is then important?
Remember those three types of faith: worldly, faith of an individual and perfect faith. And therefore let us make our robes white. Look at the promises there: because they have washed their robes and made them white by the Blood of the Lamb – that is with the help of God – for that “they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them”.
It’s not that it will happen, He has dwelt in them and so they have lived.
“They shall neither hunger anymore.” – They won’t have hunger for God. This is all because if sin. Love doesn’t need our labor efforts. Mary was sitting there and possessed, watching Him she had everything man needs. She never said a word that she loved Him, we never hear it from her. But her love was marked so that all the gospels speak of her.
“They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
And this metaphysical yearning will leave us as a curse, fall away from us as cancer, we won’t need it. And dare believe, we can obtain it now, but for the chosen ones. Therefore, he who has ear let him hear – so the Lord said.