"If Anyone Has an Ear, Let Him Hear" (continued)
In the beginning words of the Book of Revelation, the redeemed are called upon to "read" and to "hear" and to "keep" those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand (Revelation 1:3). In the Expanded Translation of The New Testament, by Kenneth S. Wuest, the force and clarity of these words come to light as the Resurrected Lord begins to show His Own that which must shortly come to pass:
Spiritually prosperous is he who reads in the worship assembly of the local church and spiritually prosperous are those who hear the words of this prophecy and observe the things which in it have been written and are on record, for the strategic, epochal season is imminent."
"For the time is at hand." The strategic, epochal season is imminent. There is great gravity behind these words because a great season of peril is at hand, a time of great tribulation is threatening - a time of pressures from evils, a time of pressures from afflictions, a time of pressures from distresses. And, beloved, it is a "time" that all the redeemed must face and endure because the Book of Revelation is a book of that "which is, and of that which was, and of that which is to come" (Revelation 1:8). So whether it was in the "time" when John was commissioned to write these words, or whether it is now in our "time," or whether it is in the "time" which is to come, the strategic, epochal season is imminent.
Hence, the Lord instructs those whom He loves of the time of peril that is at hand. This is why there is such a great sense of urgency behind the charge He issues unto the churches, for the strategic, epochal season is imminent, and the Lord's orders are clear: "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." The Amplified Bible is even stronger: "He who is able to hear, let him listen to and give heed to what the Holy Spirit says to the assemblies (the churches)."
"He That Hath An Ear, Let Him Hear"
Seven times in Revelation, chapters two and three, and one time in Revelation 13:9, and seven times in the Gospels, the Lord directs, "He that hath an ear, let him hear" (Matthew 11:15; 13:9, 43; Mark 4:23; 7:16; Luke 8:8; 14:35). Fifteen times the Lord Jesus Christ speaks these words, and each time He is drawing our attention to truths which are of the deepest importance to the Church. And this is because each time the Lord speaks these words, a momentous, climactic time is taking place in God's Full Purpose: - one part of God's Full Purpose is being fulfilled and consummated In The Christ, and simultaneously, the next part is being brought forth into reality by by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is important to realize when Christ first speaks the words in the Gospels, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear," at that time two of the Greatest Portions of Gods Plan are imminent - the Cross and the Resurrection are about to become a completed reality. And let us not forget this, that at the same time and seasons that God is fulfilling each portion of His Purpose In Christ, satan is doing his evil all in his futile attempt to stop it. Consequently, we must take heed to the word of our Resurrected Lord, "he that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches ... for the strategic, epochal season is imminent."
The Lord chose the Apostle John to write these inspired words, and in Revelation 1:10 we find him writing: "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet, saying, "Write in a book what you see [implies the spiritual eye], and send it to the seven churches ..." And in the Spirit, in the realm of the Spirit where God is working all things after the counsel of His Own Will, this Book would continuously be sent by the Spirit to every church in every age.
John's words give us the key to hearing what the Spirit saith unto the churches, for John said: "I was in the Spirit ... and I heard." And we must be "in the Spirit" if we are to hear "what the Spirit saith. Therefore brethren, it becomes vital that we understand this phrase, "In the Spirit."
In Ephesians 2:19-22, the Holy Spirit tells of the all encompassing realm that is "in the Spirit."
"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; in Whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy Temple in the Lord: in Whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."
(continued with # 3 - (At the exact instant that each one of us is saved, we are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets))