Mantle of John for the Latter Days
Peter’s period. First era. There were such teachings as the Nicolaitans, there were all sorts of leaven – Herod’s (political), Pharisees’ leaven (hypocrisy) and Sadducee’s leaven (without strength), Hymenaeus, Philetus, Alexander the coppersmith – heretics who fell away and distorted grace. But nevertheless, missionary work began – there was the spread of the Christian faith. They began to move to Samaria, they began to move to Antioch, and the first Apostles sent Barnabas, who then found Saul – that is, the initial first Apostles of the Lamb were associated with Antioch, the church of the Gentiles.
In the south of India there are places where Thomas reached; Andrew went almost to Kyiv. Ambrosius was in Milan. This was a powerful expansion of Apostolic missionary work.
But under Constantine, they stopped persecuting the church, it “cooled down,” people who had previously died for Christ remained with a mystical aspect, they didn’t know what to do, and monastic orders arose, where people sought in asceticism, were in the highest search for spirituality, in restraint, seeking a higher reality, because going to church on Sunday was not enough for these people. Orders arose where people sought higher spirituality and a mystical experience of God.
We relate this back to the period of Peter, the Church was being established that would forever be the most powerful religion in the world, and this church was establishing its dominion on earth.
Today everyone knows Christianity, and this is due to the period of Peter. It was a very powerful period. I would even classify the Renaissance there as well.
The second period that arose and transformed the Church was the period of Paul. During Paul’s period the Protestant Church arose. And you know that Martin Luther developed namely the teachings of Paul, not Peter. Peter is considered the supreme Apostle of the Catholic Church, which takes its succession from the Apostles. The Pope is considered Peter’s vicar. But Paul’s church is considered Protestant church, and Martin Luther developed namely Paul’s teaching – about grace and law, about the Word of God, about the commandments. Calvin’s “Instruction in the Christian Faith” is a huge work in four volumes, practically, this is the rails for the Christian Reformation. He is an ascetic, a Protestant, and the vast majority of his theses are based on the Fathers of the Church – Augustine, John Chrysostom and others.
During Paul’s period the doctrine of the grace of faith arose. We call it Protestantism. Europe and America exploded with scientific and technological progress, and the church was able to very quickly connect with secular achievements. Catholics were not like that: they were more mystical. They were engaged in missions, and they had strong mystics: Teresa of Avila, Thomas Aquinas, St. Francis, Ignatius Loyola and so on.
And here we see that in the period of Paul the doctrine of the grace of faith – Protestantism – rises. It is interesting that it was the Protestant Evangelical Church that penetrated into the society of the world and got connected with society, even through education system. Martin Luther taught the book of Psalms and Genesis at a university in Germany to secular students. It was an incredible ascent. And he demonstrated how this could be done. Incredible achievements! Protestants went to the forefront. Countries that adopted Protestantism began to prosper financially. The teachers of the Protestant Church taught that the achievements of the world could be accepted by the church for the glory of Christ. That is, progress and the church joined.
As for the missionary movement, missions were also connected with discoveries. It was also an age of powerful geographical discoveries. These are very interesting waves of history. Powerful development began in mechanics and in other areas – those were incredible achievements. Humanity began to discover hidden artifacts of the ancient world. It was as if all this had been asleep before, and suddenly things began to open up: Egyptian pyramids, Mexican treasures, Cambodian monuments. Literally, it was a flash! The competition began as to who will be the first to the North Pole, and who will be the first to the South. It was as if no one needed it before. And they had only dogs and sleds available at that time. But something spurred them on! Discovery of new lands. Slavery – when missionaries followed on the heels of slave traders.
These trends in global progress on the planet had a direct influence on the church. And the church influenced them. There was a mutual exchange. Sometimes the Church lost, sometimes it won. But it was not separate. When the planet and us breathe in unison – that’s what I’m talking about.
Today those who are busy with themselves are very strange structures. How can we be connected to the world if we don’t even know what’s going on in it?! Do we call this holiness? – This is not holiness, this is isolation. Unhealthy isolation! Today we need to understand what the world breathes. Today you rarely hear a sober assessment of the picture of the world. We need to come back to something!
When we look at missions that were influenced by what was happening in the world, we see these trends. Wars, racial phenomena – all this influenced the Church.
If you consider this paradigm of the Church doctrine – there is Christian doctrine, as it has migrated in its emphasis – from Catholics to Protestants – to modern teachings – such as the African messiahs who believed that they were written about in the Bible, that they were Moseses and so on. That is, these are already neo-movements, there are also many of them even now.
What really impresses me here is that the Church was not outside of society. It was inside it. And the Church took advantage of the phenomena that were achievements of the planet. They were the springboard for many peace missions.
Analysts and prophets must understand what is happening today. How much involved or distracted we are.
And the third period that I identify is the period of John. It is here, after all the centuries, after two thousand years since the coming of Christ, that we see how Peter, who could not be affirmed in the knowledge through that revelation, asks John to ask Jesus to say what He thinks about who will betray Him.
This is a very prophetic global action – Peter asking John. Peter is older, he is the supreme Apostle – but he asks this young man, about whom it is even simply written: “the young man whom Jesus loved.” You know that he even ran away from Gethsemane naked, he had weaknesses, but he wrote more in the Bible than anyone else – he has the Gospel of John, and there is the book of the Apocalypse. That is, John had the last word. He said the last “Amen” in the Bible.
Look how much teaching Paul gave! Everything is filled with the teaching there, it is practically an administrative table, how to understand – he practically developed theology – salvation, redemption, gifts of the Spirit, the church, its structure, the presbytery with bishops, deacons, and so on. Paul! But it did not endure in history! This didn’t answer the question. And Paul’s churches need reformation today.
So, today is the period of John. What can you say about it? Unlike Peter’s Apostolic foundation, unlike Paul’s developed theology, it is the nature of relationship. And what John had with Christ was relationship. We hear very little about doctrine. Read the letters of John. First, second, third – there is practically no teaching there. It writes about love, about anointing, about the fact that Jesus is the Son of God, it writes about relationships. Basically, it’s like poetry that speaks about the state of the heart.
I believe, and not only me, but many prophets, that the last church will be the church of John – before the coming of Christ, which will develop a relationship with Jesus. Because many things are not so important and relevant, they are important – ordination of bishops, planting of structures, various gifts of ministry, understanding in the Angelic hierarchy – all this is important, but John seems to leave all this behind and goes into relationship – into the depths of mystics of the heart of Jesus. If I could sum up everything John teaches, I would say that John teaches about the heart of Christ.
Relationship take the place of knowledge. Wisdom takes the place of strength. And experience with Christ goes before doctrine. Doctrine without experience has no power. And he puts experience ahead of theory. Experience of love with Jesus.
This new world picture that he gives in the Apocalypse is amazing, because there are the beings, there are abysses, there is an altar, there an ark appeared from somewhere, there the doctrine begins from the Throne, the Lamb with the scroll, seals, trumpets, plagues. John reveals to us the picture of the Being, the picture of reality. That is, the Apocalypse is the reality.
And today new models of the world that it gives us – globalization, world culture, elite models – how people strive to the tops of the world, to the seven mountains – we see all this through the teachings of John. This is a revelation, this is not a doctrine, this is what he saw.
Today the church is entering a period of contemplation and worship. The place of mysticism becomes very important. Global preparation of the faithful Bride of Christ for the last signs and events on earth.
Now, if you understood that Christ would come soon, what would you do? This is what John teaches. This is the most important thing today. Understand that Apocalyptic signs are coming, and we need to appear as faithful. Despite all our vanity, duties, debts and responsibilities, which are dust in their essence compared to the mystical experience to which the Lord calls us today – to join with the Throne – who is capable of this? Accomplish your walk without taking your eyes off the Lord. Therefore, today we are preparing for the meeting and return of Christ for the Church.
This period of John is relevant in that it is a period of relationships. If they told me: “What do you want? To know like Paul, or to have as much as John?” The answer is obvious. What do you want? To be so “mighty and strong” at the foundation that your feet are like the pillars of Chalcolivan (burnished bronze), like Peter, or to have the tenderness and intimacy of John? In my opinion, the answer is obvious.
We are today in the period of John. It’s more about the images. Of course, you can’t literally teach it like that. This is more of a prophetic song. But the heart responds to it, because even in our life of little experience we understand that there is a foundation of faith, there is information from the teaching, and there is relationship. And relationship, in fact, is above everything. When you are joined with the Lord.
We want to pray to take up the baton and this staff, this torch and mantle of John.