As we begin with verse one in this chapter, let us remember what the Book of Revelation is about: THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST; Christ within you. John is not writing about something that is going to happen externally, but about Christ who has come to live within His people and to dwell in His temple or body. The imagery that was given to John by the Holy Spirit to write this book illustrates the transformation (spirit, soul, and body) that takes place individually, then corporately, as the body of Christ is united and ruled with the mind of Christ.
It is by this progression of transformation that Jesus Christ, who is the head of the body, will come in the fullness of His glory. The message throughout this book is not to be measured by what we do, but by who we are in Christ. When we live out the reality of our union with Christ, we will change the atmosphere around us. By renewing our minds to this union, we will outwardly manifest Christ's nature.
"And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him a hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads"(Rev. 14:1).
Notice that the first verse in this chapter begins with the word "and?" The separation of chapters and verses that we are familiar with in reading the Bible was not a part of John's original writings. To make any comments about verse one of chapter fourteen, we must go back to chapter thirteen and read these chapters as if there were no separation of verses.
Chapter 13, verse 16: "And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads."
I have addressed in detail the "mark of the beast" issue pertaining to what John was talking about in Vol. II. However, to make sure we are beginning on the same foundation, the "mark of the beast" was the mind of the first Adam; the number of man. Since we were born in this flesh, we received the mind of humanity (forehead mark), which creates the thought (mark of the right hand). However, our flesh is not who we are, but the vessel we are living in. While living in our earthen vessel, the Holy Spirit teaches us about our Christ nature, even when the old Adam nature tries to separate us from Him (Gen. 6:5). In this process of growth and development, we recognize that God is our Father who will never leave us or forsake us no matter how much we may stumble (Deut. 31:6). He is training us up in the way we should go (Prov. 22:6), "and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).
The "name" of anything carries the nature of the creation. If we accept that we are a Christ one, then we should be living our life from that nature. If we call ourselves a Christian but still hanging on to a first Adam nature, then we are living out of a double-mind which is not God's method. "A double minded man is unstable in all of his ways" (James 1:8). God does not produce confusion in our thoughts, but brings forth Peace in the midst of confusion so that He alone is glorified in His temple within our hearts (1 Cor. 14:33).
"The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it" (Matt. 13:45-46).
What is this pearl that would cause a person to sell everything? It is to have immortal LIFE now while in the natural body. For us to know in our heart, and speak with our mouth that God is our heavenly Father, and the Father and me are one today is a pearl of great value worth selling everything else.
"That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me" (John 17:21-23).
"Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Cor. 15:51-53).
Notice in Revelation 13:16 the word "all?" John is not writing exclusion for only believers in Christ. All means ALL. We must not add or subtract from the fullness of this word, or else we cannot receive the fullness of the word "all" such as when it is used in other places in Scripture:
Colossians 3:11, "Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all."
Luke 3:6, "And all flesh shall see the salvation of God."
A pattern that is established throughout the Scriptures is a company of "firstfruits" to bring forth the manifestation of what is written. "But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming"(1 Cor. 15:23).
Revelation 3:17: "And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."
This verse has nothing to do with being able to buy food or sell merchandise. It has nothing to do with being tattooed with the number "666," UPC Codes, or computer chips being implanted in the skin. As long as we continue to lift up the "mark of the beast" or the old Adam, we will buy what the beast, the mind of man, is selling. When we know with the intimacy of consummation that we are new creations in Christ, and that today we are married to the Lamb of God, then there will be no old Adam, and we will not be buying the creative imagination of man or the "beast" (Romans 7:2-3). How often do we listen to the media, or the opinion of others that bring separation and fear, only to find out that the knowledge shared was a partial truth to the big picture?
We are not to frustrate the grace and mercy of God, but renew our minds to the knowledge of Christ as we are seated with Him on the mercy seat of God (Gal. 2:21). "Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Romans 12:2). Jesus Christ died once and for all (Heb. 10:10). There does not need to be another killing, but a renewing of who we are already in Christ because His death was our death and His resurrection is the life we now live.
Revelation 3:18: "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six."
This is not a literal number, but a triple witness of humanity. We are a triune being (spirit, soul, and body). By His Spirit, God is working through our humanity to perfect our thinking in order to bring us back to our true identity in Christ. God is not separating us, but bringing us together in His love that surpasses all understanding. It is the Feast of Tabernacles, the Feast of Ingathering, and the Feast of Oneness. Christ is all and in all (Col. 3:11).
To get rid of the "mark of the beast" or mankind, we must renew our mind (Rom. 12:2) with the "mark of the cross."
"Knowing this, that our old man is (already has been) crucified with him, that the body of sin might be (has been) destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin (our imagination). For he that is dead is freed from sin (carnal understanding). NOW if we be (already) dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live (now) with him: Knowing that Christ being (has been) raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. LIKEWISE reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:6-11).
"For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel-not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength" (1 Corinthians 1:17-25 NIV).
This is a stopping point for most people. The idea that God is pleased through foolishness just does not compute to our thoughts and imagination. Our minds will desperately go into a malfunction mode trying to grasp the truth of what Paul wrote as a drowning man trying to take another breath. Only when the faith of God is released to go before us, can His Truth in us be unveiled.
When we read or hear something (information), we have a choice, a free-will, to decide if that information is to be processed and taken within the mind to become a part of the individual, or discard the information giving it no place in the mind or life of the person. Think about a famous painting, a well known poem, or even a movie that received top ratings. Ask yourself, do you truly grasp the fullness of what the artist, writer, or director was trying to release in their experience of what they are unveiling in their creation?
When a person writes information, draws or paints a picture, creates a song or poem, creates an art project, etc., these are expressions of the individual's heart. They may not be able to verbalize why they expressed themselves in these particular creative ways, or their creative form of expression may not be appealing to others. Never-the-less, it is an expression of what is going on within the individual's heart; an expression of an experience the creator is trying to release and give form to. The judgments and choices of liking or agreeing from an outsider to be able to grasp the fullness of the creation is irrelevant to the truth of what the heart of the creator is unveiling through their creation.
Scripture is the Written WORD. The vessels (Moses, David, Paul, John, Peter, the Prophets, etc.) that were used to write the Scriptures, each experienced a personal encounter with God that cannot be questioned by outside interpretation of what the vessels were releasing in the form of the written WORD. Only by the Holy Spirit can we experience a measure of the depth and life of what was written. Only when the WORD circumcises our heart (personal experience) can the truth of God's created identity in us be released to grasp His TRUTH hidden in the written WORD (Deut. 30:6). Only then does the "pot" stop questioning the Potter's creation, thus removing the issue of "free-will" to the Potter's hand to release the fullness of being created in His image that was placed in our hearts. God placed eternity, Himself, in our hearts (Eccl. 3:11) so that Christ in us (Col. 1:27) would be formed through us bringing forth the manifestation that as He is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17).