Peculiar Leadership

Occupying a leadership role is a responsibility we all fill at some point in our lives. For some, this appointed position will last the span of their careers. For others, the leadership role will be seasonal. But whether short or long term, for the Christian, leadership is a call to illuminate the ways of Christ in a dark world. God’s children are called to transformational leadership.

I believe most Christians understand they are to walk as Christ, shedding the light of grace to those around them. But I don’t believe that every Christian understands when given the opportunity, they are to lead as Christ led, which ultimately means picking up a heavy cross and toting that cross into extreme vulnerability.

According to our Christ, His leaders are to be sacrificial slaves. Look with me at Mark 10:42-45:

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

John 13:13-17 records Christ’s example of servant leadership:

“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

Leadership must lead as Christ led to be considered Christian. Christ demonstrated servant leadership.

To be as Christ, we are to be vulnerable–the opposite picture of the strong-armed and flawless leader most of us wish to portray.

Strong or Weak, It Gets Confusing

After nearly thirty years in fulltime Christian ministry with several organizations, I can testify to some leadership confusion.

While there are plenty of books and blogs explaining servant leadership, still Christian leaders often reflect the world’s leadership values other than Christ’s values. As the Apostle Peter wrote, Christian leaders are to appear as aliens, contrasting the things of the world—suffering shepherds glorifying Christ. The leadership model of our world today is anything but a suffering shepherd. CEOs, CFOs, executives, and managers often seek their own glory rather than pointing to Christ. Leadership has become a badge of honor rather than a call to service. According to Peter, as Christians—whether leading a secular team or in a Christian ministry—we are to look so radically different from the world’s model of leadership, we will be called peculiar.

Counter Culture

As Christ was a threat to the traditional Jewish (and Roman) culture of his time, so we Christian leaders should threaten the status quo of worldly leadership which turns out to be dead-end games of manipulation, jockeying for power, idolizing our own ideas, and considering ourselves as more important than those we lead.

I’m perplexed as speakers in Christian leadership conference after leadership conference neglect the Bible and dazzle audiences with best sellers and successful businesses, calling these the outcomes of solid leadership. We’ve come to judge good leadership by standards of economic success or the size of our church congregations to our shame. Time and again, the Bible directs us to take the rugged paths of hardship, not the glittery roads to stardom.


Most of my leadership roles (beyond being a mother) have been couched inside Christian nonprofit ministry. Although I have been an entrepreneur and worked in a secular family business, I’ve been in the Christian nonprofit sector for most of my working life. It is here, within the various Christian ministries I’ve served, I realized how we Christian leaders mirrored the world’s models of management. For me, this needs to change.

I am guilty of embracing the world’s ideals for leadership. I’ve failed employees, volunteers, and my own family when it comes to servant leadership. This is why I write this blog—to challenge myself to lead differently—seeing others as more important than myself and building up those I serve to do greater things than I will ever accomplish. This is why I’ve formed the Take the Hill online group and sponsor live events for women.

Unfortunate Resemblance

One of the biggest areas of misunderstandings for Christian leaders, I believe, is in the relationship with employees or volunteers. Often, workers are treated as a workforce instead of the loving objectives of Christ’s affections. I find this odd as Christian ministries are one-hundred percent about people. Either serving the poor and needy, prisoners and widows, or sharing the Gospel with those who have yet to hear the good news. Christian ministries exist to serve people.

And yet, it’s the people within our immediate influence that are often overlooked in the process of ministry.

Employees are treated as objects or tools to achieve a greater call, stretched beyond capacity, guilted into service, and judged based other leaders’ theology. But when we look beyond the world’s organizational charts and into Christ’s leadership model, we see that Christ ministered to the twelve within His immediate influence, pouring His wisdom, knowledge, and love into those He called to come and serve beside Him. Jesus fed His disciples, slept in the dust with these men and women, washed their dirty feet, and equipped each to build a kingdom that would look radically different from this temporary world. He ministered to those directly under His care.

Eternal vs Temporary

We have been called to model the eternal kingdom, not the current one.

In Christ’s human economy, the first shall be last and the last shall be first (Matthew 20:16). He died because He so loved the world … all of the world’s people … not just the people yet to hear the gospel. “All people” means those under our influence.

Jesus Christ absolutely adores the people we lead. His will is for these humans to grow spiritually under our care. I’m not sure when this is going to sink into our worldly-conditioned minds. It’s not the mission we are to grow, its the people. The people, like Christ’s disciples, are those that will replicate and multiply the processes that lead to the Lord’s objectives. His objectives, not ours!

Under the banner of a mission, we’ve neglected a vital part of the mission—our own potential disciples.

Looking Peculiar

Exemplifying Christ in our leadership will be hard, excruciating, flesh-cutting work. We’ll have to give up:

  • Passive/Aggressive behaviors
  • Gossip
  • Our personal ideals
  • Our desire for control
  • The ungodly responsibilities we’ve placed upon our own shoulders (He is king)
  • Our personal preferences
  • Our need to dominate
  • Cravings for attention
  • Our addictions to praise
  • The idea that others should think as we do
  • Our passion for intoxicating power
  • Our love of accomplishment rather than people
  • The lie that the Holy Spirit speaks to us only and is incapable of speaking through those we lord over

In the coming months, I’ll write more on each of the above leadership pitfalls and share servant leadership points for those interested in doing leadership the peculiar way. In my role as founder and leader of Take The Hill Women’s Ministries, (FB group and live events) I’m looking to be a peculiar leader. What about you?

I hope you watch for more transformational leadership insight!

If I perish, I perish,

L.G. Westlake

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Revelation Blog No. 8


In our last blog of Revelation, blog 7, we marveled at the revelation of Christ as the Lamb of God, but also the supreme center of power of the entire universe. The symbolism is fantastic—our savior is a gentle lamb and a fierce lion.

What comes next, I admit, I do not fully understand. But these days when news headlines can jolt us to the core, it’s important to understand biblical prophecy. Roughly twenty-seven percent of the Bible is prophetic. Some of these prophecies have been fulfilled with the first coming of Christ. But many are yet to be fulfilled and are found in the book of Revelation. As we’ve discussed before, what the Lord has documented in His Word, we are to examine.

The Seals

In his book, the 50 Final Events of History, Robert J Morgan believes that chapter six begins the first half of the great tribulation. I tend to agree.

This chapter opens with Christ, the only worthy being in heaven and on earth, slipping His finger beneath the first of seven seals. One of the four living creatures (covered in Revelation blog #6) cries out in voice of thunder, “Come!”

Before we peer at what the living creature beckoned into earthly reality, I’d like to point out the significance of the number seven. The number seven is mentioned more than any other number in the Bible and represents God’s divine sovereignty, perfection, and rest (grace). The biblical accounts that contain this mysterious number-puzzle are almost endless. The heavens and earth were created in six days with God resting on the seventh; There are the seven I am’s of Christ listed in the book of John, with the writer of Hebrews using seven different titles for Christ in his writing. And of course, as we’ve already seen, the book Revelation is full of prophetic signs that include the number seven. The seven seals are significant of God’s sovereignty over what is about to take place on earth.

As each of the seals are broken, John’s vision moves from heaven to the events taking place on earth. When Christ breaks the first seal, John sees “a white horse and the one who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him; and he went out conquering and to conquer.”

Most scholars believe that though the rider of this white horse is given a crown, this is not Christ. Since our point of view has shifted from heaven now to coming events on earth, this crown was likely given to the rider by men. Also, the word crown in this passage is translated from the Greek word stéfanos—a perishable crown much like the olive leafed-garland placed upon the heads of the Olympian winners of the day. Christ’s crown is an everlasting crown of royalty translated from the Greek word diadema found in Revelation 19.

There is much internet speculation on who the rider of the white horse might be and speculation ranges from Christ himself to the horse and rider symbolizing the power of the Gospel moving forth across the world.

We’re only given this one sentence about the crowned horseman with a bow. But because we are looking at this prophecy from earth’s perspective, this symbolic rider could well represent the antichrist. The antichrist will look to us, at first, like a hero—a man who will take center stage during a time of worldwide conflict and crisis on earth. While this man will appear to have global, peaceful answers, in reality, he is a great deceiver.

I’m copying what the late Jack Kelly (Bible teacher), wrote in an article to further explain why I and others believe this rider represents the political arrival of the antichrist:

“The Lord’s weapon of choice is a sword. The reason he has no arrows is that he won’t use force to make his initial impact on Earth. He [the rider] comes as a peacemaker (Daniel 8:25). Since the Book of Revelation is filled with symbolism explained elsewhere in the Bible, I looked for a reference to a man with a bow, hoping to get an additional clue to this rider’s identity. I found it in Genesis 21:20, referring to Ishmael as an archer. It’s the Bible’s first mention of a man with a bow. Earlier God said Ishmael would be a wild donkey of a man with his hand against everyone (Genesis 16:12).”

It should be noted that Jack wrote this article in 2012 prior to his death in 2015 and eleven years after the tragedy of 9-11. In 2010 we witnessed the Arab Spring which was a pro-democratic movement among Arab communities that sought to end oppressive regimes. Today, the history of the Arab Spring is hallmarked by instability and oppression in many of the counties across North Africa and the Middle East. But those with radical Islamic views took center stage during the early 2,000s, seeking widespread control and also the removal of western customs from their own culture. It would make sense that during the writing of Jack’s article, Islam posed a threat to western ways of life and certainly to Christians around the world. And I can understand that through his biblical research, he concluded the rider upon the white horse could be from the world of Islam or a descendant of Ishmael.

Today’s threats on our Christian culture have multiplied, lining up with many of the prophetic signs found in Matthew 24. And with the prophesies of one great leader of nations found in Revelation 13 and Daniel 7, the timing is ripe for a supposed hero to come to the rescue of the worldwide crises knocking at our earthly doors. What the ethnicity or religious background of this leader is, I cannot say for certain. But Jack’s speculation of an antichrist coming out of the Islamic world is more than interesting.

Whomever occupies the saddle of the white horse, this person is given authority and power over mankind for a time.

Following the white horse, three more riders come forth as the next three seals are broken and things get very … well … apocalyptic.

Stay tuned for more and keep watch as events in our world unfold according to Holy writ.

It’s an exciting time to be alive.

And don’t forget for one second that Jesus is coming back.

If I perish, I perish,


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More From The Blog


VOLUME 1 – AS IT IS IN HEAVEN (Scroll down to link)

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Blog 2
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Blog 7
Blog 8

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You are Precious Fruit and More

James 5:7-8 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and latter rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

I love the way James compares our Maker to a farmer and you and me to God’s precious fruit. As the Farmer God waters and prunes His garden, the objects of his affections develop.

The Farmer keeps His eye on the coming, delightful fruit of His labors, anticipating the day He plucks you from the vine, holds you up in His palm, and examines His prize.

Fruit Bearing Takes Patience

While James’ point is patience, I couldn’t help but be caught up in the word precious. You and I are precious to Him. That is the mystery, the unbelievable and miraculous mystery of life. We are precious to the God of all.

But to James’s point, let us also be patient, waiting for the cultivation of God’s people. He’s still in the garden, pulling weeds and pruning wild vines. Though we long to see His coming—the great rescue before the days of wrath–there is work to be done. He is not slow in coming, (2 Peter 3:9), preparing to yield a great harvest. And that day is just ahead.

The Fruit Becomes the Worker

Here is another, miraculous mystery revealed in these last days: we, being the fruit are also co-laborers in fields about to be harvested.

1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

While we are the product of our Maker’s hands, we are also fashioned to work beside Him. As His prized production, we become His co-laborers in the garden. Our jobs are to search out the unruly vines and bring them to the gardener. We also fruit pluck. This is the mystery of God’s unchanging will–you and I are to be building a kingdom for Him to return to. To unravel this mystery, check out my Bible Brief Bible Study for only 10.99 on Amazon.

I have first-hand knowledge that the sharing of God’s Word around the world is speeding up. People groups who have not had access to the Word of Truth are given access through digital means and faster Bible translation efforts. There is work yet to be done, so let us pray, as we patiently wait upon the Lord, that as Jesus prophesied in Matthew 24:14, that His Word go to the ends of the earth, and then . . . the end (or the beginning, I like to say) would come.

The truth: He is coming. And we, anticipating this great and awesome day, should be up to our elbows in garden soil, preparing for a harvest.

Who is with me?

If I perish, I perish,


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Revelation Blog 7, The True Christ is Revealed

In the last blog (Revelation Blog 6), we reviewed the four living creatures John saw in the throne room of Heaven. In these next verses, we’re still in the throne room, but the scene is about to change. Before moving forward, I’d like to remind myself, and you—my favorite people—of the objective of this book. In verse 1 of chapter 1, the purpose of John’s vision is explained: The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His bond servants [you and me] the things which must shortly take place. Our purpose in reading/hearing this wild and wooly book of the Bible is clear: we will encounter Christ’s fill revelation and will be told (because our Lord desire’s it) what is coming in the future.

And just in case you find yourself a little overwhelmed with all the imagery and are tempted to move to simpler Scripture, let me remind you that in verse 3 we’re promised to be blessed for reading and/or hearing the words of this prophecy and for heeding the things which are written, for the time is near.

How cool is this? The time is near. God wants you to know stuff. And He blesses you when you want to know stuff.

Through the lens of the objectives (Revelation of Christ, a blessing, and the nearness of time), understanding takes shape. And interestingly, as we shape understanding, we’ll also come to terms with not fully comprehending every detail, but fully trusting the Lord’s plans.

I look at the coming prophecies in Revelation as God’s outline and timeline for humanity. Some of the events will be hard to imagine, but with trust and the desire to know what the Lord wants us to know, we’ll find a space of peace.

So let’s get started.

In this blog, we’re still in the throne room when John sees something in the “right hand of Him who sat on the throne.” It’s a book, we’re told, with important information written inside and on the back of this book are seven seals.

I find it mysterious and compelling that there are reports … news … intelligence written in heaven and kept under wraps until a specific time arrives.

Some scholars believe this is the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 13:8; 21:27) and others believe this is the scroll from Daniel 12:4. “But as for you, Daniel, keep these words secret and seal up the book until the end of time; many will roam about, and knowledge will increase.”  We’re not told the title, but as John watches, we realize there is an issue with the scroll/book and seals. Yikes! Evidently, these writings are sacred and only a worthy being can break the seals and reveal what’s inside. An angel cries out, “Who is worthy to open the book and break the seals?”

It appears there’s a search underway.

To John’s dismay, there are no worthy beings found in heaven, on earth, or under the earth who qualify.


Please hang with me on a short rabbit trail while we pull a couple of puzzle pieces together. According to Psalm 8:4-5, God’s created beings have categories and we humans fall below angelic creatures on the ladder rungs of hierarchy. Here’s a psalm that explains it:

What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.”

But in this room of glorious angelic beings who rank higher than humans, none are found worthy to open the scroll. No humans back down on earth measure up either. But the puzzle piece I’m slipping into place here is the fact that, as superior beings, angels, though ranked higher than man, are not worthy of this honor. Nor do angels receive salvation. The Son of Man never was or will be the Son of an angel. And, we’re told, angels are curious about God’s unique relationship to man. So curious they long to know more (1 Peter 1:8-12). Christ became a man, a being ranked lower than angels. And the man He became is … worthy and about to take center stage.

The Revelation

Before Christ enters the scene, John experiences a heart-sinking moment. He understands what is in that book must be revealed. But for a pause pregnant with grief, he realizes no one has earned the right to open the seals. Of all in God’s creation, there is none righteous or holy enough.

John doesn’t just tear up at this point—he weeps greatly. I imagine he sobs. Our John is broken with despair and disappointment seeing, for the first time, reality—none are worthy. None. No one anywhere is worthy to fulfill God’s sealed-up plans.

Truth Arrives

Then, right on cue … at the moment of hopelessness, one of the twenty-four elders around the throne reaches out with encouragement. “Stop weeping,” he soothingly tells John. “Behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and it’s seven seals.”

Drum Roll

As I started this blog with a reminder that Revelation was written to reveal Christ, we are about to witness the final revelation of all our Savior is. I say final because this is the last book of the Bible and this is where we see Christ, fully God, fully man revealed as the One who is worthy of bringing about the culmination of history.

The last eyewitnesses of Christ on earth were the disciples, watching him ascend into heaven after he commanded them to go into every nation discipling and teaching. There, we know from documented accounts, he looked different than when he walked with them earlier. But they do recognize him, walking and eating with Him after the resurrection. We conclude that though glorified, He had an earthly appearance, still resembling a lowly made man.

But here in heaven, John sees Christ in another form.

John tells us that between the throne and the twenty-four elders, appears a Lamb—as if slain. From Old Testament shadowing and our understanding of the sacrifice of the Son of God, we know immediately who John sees. But there’s deeper revelation here. John describes the Lamb as having “seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.”

I believe what we see here is the full embodiment of the trinity—Christ as the Lamb, the Holy Spirit as the seven Spirits, and God as the seven eyes. Because the number seven biblically represents complete perfection, we’re seeing the completed and perfect, all-powerful Christ. I believe the seven eyes represent God the Father (Proverbs 15:3), the seven spirits represent the Holy Spirit (Revelation 4:5) and the lamb, of course, is the sacrificial Son of God.

The seven horns on the lamb represent power as many times in Scripture, the horn is used as a symbol of power and authority or kingship (Exodus 27:2; Daniel 7:26). With seven horns, Christ is the perfect and completed king.

Wowza. I hope as you read this, revelation pours. Christ became a lowly man and sacrificed himself for lowly mankind. Now as man in part, He is the one and only all-powerful being in the universe—the trinity of holiness—worthy to break the seals of this important and future determining book.

What is man that you are mindful of him, asks the Psalmist (Psalm 8:4). After being a human for several decades now, I can’t find much worthy in me or in anyone I know. We fall; we fail.

But God.

But the Lamb.

God’s plans for mankind are incomprehensible, glorious, and so undeserved. That we, not angels, are the recipients of His grace and mercy is what fantasy story books are written about. If you were a visitor from another other-worldly universe, would you, after studying reckless mankind, believe this salvation story? Believe God put His glorious image on man?

Hard as it is to believe, this is the truth our enemies want us to never discover.

The book of Revelation teems with … well … revelation. The truth of Christ.

If you’ve liked this journey through Revelation so far, check out my newest Bible Brief, God’s Will, Unraveling the Mystery on Amazon. It’s only $10.99 and well worth the investment, I pray.

I’ll be traveling in September and October, but plan to pick up the Revelation blog in November. Until then, there will be other writings, thoughts, and notions.

Be blessed. You’re my favorite beings—people seeking to understand.

If I perish, I perish,


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Revelation 6th Blog- A Look at Angels

When I read through the book of Revelation, I usually begin to feel lost at the exact point where we are now—the witnessing of the four living creatures in the throne room (Revelation 4:6).

Up until this point, most of the things John describes—a throne with lightening and thunder, a sea of glass, twenty-four elders in white garments—are objects I’ve encountered in some form before. I can visualize what John describes.

But then … John sees something out of this world beyond our limited visual history. In Revelation 4:6(b), he writes “and around the throne, [there were] four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind.”

It’s the full of eyes parts that creeps me out just a bit.

He goes on to say: “The first was like a lion, and the second creature like calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man and the fourth creatures was like a living eagle.” These I can picture.

John continues, “and the four living creatures, each one having six wings, are full eyes around and within…” Could John see something on these creatures he’s never seen before and use the word “eye” to describe this ability to see all around? We don’t know. But what the Lord is allowing John to describe to us are surely creatures who have the ability to see beyond the scope of our human view be it natural or supernatural.

Every jot and tittle of the written Word is purposeful and we are given such detail for a reason. God wants us to know there are other created beings we’ve yet to encounter and John tells us what these fascinating creatures do. “and day and night they do not cease to say,Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God, The Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.’”

We’re told these four multi-winged beings praise God continuously and as they praise, John sees the twenty-four elders fall down before that throne of extreme energy and sparkling light.

And then John explains to us that these elders will cast their crowns before God and say, “Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; For Thou didst create all things and because of Thy will, they existed and were created.”

I’d like to take a step back here, beyond the imagery, and point out what we’re learning from this scene. This is a true worship service, my peeps. God is on the throne, His energy and power lighting up the skies around Him. He’s sparkling like a multi-faceted jewel and there is perhaps the largest transparent stone in the universe beneath his feet. The twenty-four elders, holding some form of authority, fall at God’s feet and claim He is the creator of all things and all things exist by His will alone. The four angelic beings who look some akin to we earthly beings sing out the truth: Holy is the Lord.

Truth surrounds this throne.

As lies not only penetrate our society, but lead to false doctrines, we’re shown an important state of existence here. God is and exists in truth.

Back to the Beings

This is not the first time these four beings show up in Scripture. The prophet Ezekiel documents these same angelic forces in Ezekiel 1:5-14. Not every detail is the same, but we must remember these were men seeing supernatural beings for the first time. We’re witnessing supernatural angelic lifeforms through the eyes of two limited, earthly men.

In Isaiah 6, Isaiah also describes similar angelic creatures when he is also shown God’s throne in heaven. He refers to these angels as Seraphim.


Throughout Scripture, we are given glimpses of additional angelic beings, too. These other-worldly sightings are not mysteries to be solved, but rather intended information to give us further knowledge about the invisible realm which is the realm from which our earthly existence was fashioned from (Hebrews 11:3).

Through angelic interactions and visions, we’ve come to understand there is an angelic order and that angels have differing responsibilities. We’re told angels have names and/or classes such as Seraphim, Cherubim, Archangels, dominions, principalities, ministering spirits, and hosts. They serve as messengers, fighters, guards, and helpers (Genesis 3:22-24; Daniel 10:13; Ephesians 3:10; Colossians 1:16; Matthew 18:10; Hebrews 1:14; Isaiah 6:1-3; Ezekiel 1:5-14; Revelation 4:6-9). The purpose of the four living beings around the throne, clearly, is to minister to God. In the two (possibly three) biblical accounts, they are with God and praising Him.

More on the Four

While we are not told why the four living beings John sees have different faces, an internet search will yield multiple articles and opinions. I was fascinated that many believe the beings represent the four gospels. Here’s a breakdown:

Matthew: The first beast is like a lion. In his gospel, Matthew presents Jesus as the king of the Jews—the lion of Judah.

Mark: The second beast is like a calf—the typical servant of the animal kingdom. Mark shows Christ as a servant of man.

Luke: The third beast is like a man. Luke’s gospel presents Christ as the Son of Man.

John: The fourth beast is an eagle. A high-flying and majestic bird, John presents Christ as exalted above all.

The Bible does not say directly that this representation is true, but considering that in an earlier blog, we determined that the things of earth were made as shadows of the things of heaven, then the earthly lion, calf (or ox in Ezekiel), man, and eagle are symbols to you and me of the things of heaven, not the other way around.

Through my own studies of the word and through teachers from various eras, I’ve come to understand that everything on earth points to Christ. He is all in all and our earthly purposes are enveloped in Him. And as we’ll see in the book of Revelation, Christ remains our theme.

Wrapping up this blog of what John sees first when he arrives in heaven, let’s finish up with what is revealed about Christ. The angels sing, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.”

The latter part of this statement is where our book of Revelation started, with Christ dictating the seven letters to John. He said, “from Him who is and who was and who is to come …” – Revelation 1:4.

Our revelation is this: He was. He is. And He is to come.

Eternal holiness.

Christ is God and is forever.

Thank you for taking this Revelation journey with me as together, Christ becomes further revealed in our hearts and minds. If you liked this blog, you might like my newest Bible Brief, available on amazon.

More to come!


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Revelation 5th Blog-The Energy-Enveloped Throne

I’ve been accused of being zealous for the end times. When I talk about heaven and how incredible it’s going to be to finally exist there, some folks have said I’m too heavenly minded to be any earthly good.


When speaking of the glories of heaven one day, a young man I work with told me that he didn’t pay much attention to prophecy because his parents’ generation and the generation before had expected the return of Christ and it didn’t happen. “It’ll happen when it happens,” he said. “It’s not for me to worry about.”

Can you hear my sigh through this page?

Scholars tell us that 27 percent of the Bible is prophetic in teaching. That’s a lot of Bible to not concern ourselves with! The Lord has much to say about the future because … (drawing a deep breath here) … it is the Hope of His glory.  

Let me say this in my own simple, simple way. Jesus died to save us from our sins because our sins have brought upon the judgement of God. The judgement verdict is a horrible wrath and the wrath of God will come upon the earth one and coming day. There’s an earthly time line, and this time line is set by the wisdom of our heavenly Father. It is prudent we know what He does and why. We are His children. I liken the look-the-other-way attitude to a family preparing to move to a mountain-top dream home in a community where everyone loves one another, has some interesting super powers (I know my description falls short here), and will serve a king who has ushered in a perfect government. But before they can move, there’s packing, purging, and training for mountain climbing. When the father of the family warns that a great storm approaches, do the children say, Forget the whole thing, or I’m happy in the preparation stage and so let’s just stay here?


The children ask of the storm. The potential fall out. The time line until they can get to the dream location they’ve been promised.


The word saved in the Christian world has become watered down, meaning more of a prosperous and joyful life—saved from our own potential self-inflicted destruction. However, the word saved in the context of biblical writ means the most extreme and most passionate rescue of all time for all time. What we are saved from is the wrath of God or that storm coming upon the earth. And once we fully grasp this, I believe we’ll be more than appreciative of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. We’ll be on our faces in wholehearted, grateful worship.

But in being saved or rescued from God’s wrath, we are also granted a new position in eternal life—one that we shadow as believers here in our earthly realm.

Shadows are thin, flat representations of the substance they shadow. Our lives as children of God here on earth are mere shadows of what is to come when we dwell with Him in heaven–the mountain top community with a perfect government.

Why Prophecy Matters

This is why prophecy is so very important.

 1. Prophecy warns of God’s wrath, giving us a truthful perspective with the consequences of sin.

 2. Prophecy prepares us for what is to come. For the saved by grace soul, we’re given these prophecies to be prepared. God in his loving relationship never wants you to have to say, I didn’t see that coming.

3. Prophecy gives us a hopeful look into God’s eternal plans—the hope we are all to be hoping for. The hope that in right standing with God, we are not only rescued from horrors, but we have an incredible new life ahead of us.

There is so much more to come. When we only focus on the here and now, we can get caught up in our selfish desires and plans. I’ve been experiencing disappointment at what isn’t happening with my writing endeavors. Book sales, website traffic, and even feedback are sometimes slow to come (I am so grateful to those who interact and support my ramblings). Don’t get me wrong, I don’t write for the sales, but I do hope that the time and passion spent on writing yields fruit for the Lord. If I focused on the now, I could feel like I’m wasting my weekends which are about 90 percent devoted to study, research, and writing (I occasionally dust the house). But because of prophecy and Jesus’s parables, I know that what I do in the here and now has impact on eternity. How cool is that? When I don’t view my here-and-now life as all there is, I’m able to keep going without getting weary.

Have you been weary? Disappointed? Disheartened. Look up. We have a hopeful future and in that future, we are promised every tear will be wiped away and every wrong made right.

Why Revelation

And so we have the book of Revelation—a glorious comparison of earth and heaven. In chapters four through twenty-two, the scenes of earthly hell and heavenly glory switch back and forth, giving us a real look at God’s coming wrath while encouraging us with scenes of what takes place in magnificent heaven.

In Revelation Blog 1, we started with the purpose of John’s vision and his description of Christ. Now we’ve worked our way to chapter four and the scene of the throne room, before the first Seal Judgements are pronounced.

It is important to understand that this Book is divided into the three parts: the what has been, what is now, and what is to come. Here are the chapter breakdowns:

1. What has been (chapter 1)

2. What is now (chapters 2 and 3)

3. What is to come (chapters 4-22)

We’ll camp out in the beginning of chapter four of Revelation in the what-is-to-come parts for the rest of this blog. Once we get into the various judgements, things will clip along faster. But it is important to grasp the holiness of Christ as He is revealed in heaven.

In the last Revelation, blog number four, we discussed the possibility of John’s call up to heaven being a shadow of the rapture. (Psalm 27:5). This is a debatable theory, and you may want to do more research for your own conclusions.

But now that John’s been spiritually transported into heaven, we’re given further revelation of Christ—the first stated purpose of this last book of the Bible.

The Throne Room in Heaven

“Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven and One sitting on the throne.” – Revelation 4:2

John goes on to describe what he’s seeing. I love the way Robert J. Morgan interprets this scene in his book The 50 Final Events in World History :

“Everything in this passage centers on the throne of Almighty God. The word throne occurs thirty-eight times in Revelation and sixteen times in these two chapters! The subject of God’s heavenly throne is one of the most fascinating and thrilling subjects in Scriptures. God’s seat of power is described several times in the Bible, in places like Isaiah 6 and Ezekiel 1. The descriptions are consistent and enable us to visualize it to the extent we possibly can. …”

I can’t imagine being John and having to describe the glory surrounding our Maker. But John starts his description of God with: “And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance, and there was a rainbow around the throne like an emerald in appearance.” (Revelation 4:3)

In his book, Robert Morgan shares this insight:

 “The word jasper in this text doesn’t refer to the opaque stone known by that name today, but to a crystal that reflects light and sparkles with beauty. It’s most likely a reference a stone like a diamond with shards of ruby-red refractions, and around it a brilliant rainbow, which is the biblical symbol for mercy. The one seated on the throne is God the Father, the first person of the Trinity.”

The Apostle John mentions another stone when describing what he sees at the throne. That stone is sardius which is also known as sardine. It is fascinating to note that these stones are two of the twelve stones placed in the breastplate of the high priest who ministered in the temple. Only the high priest wore the breastplate embedded with twelve stones which represent the twelve tribes of Israel. The number twelve represents governance. The high priest, a foreshadow of our Christ in heaven ((Hebrews 2:17, 4:14 to 7:28, 9, 10), wore the breastplate of governance (twelve stones) and he alone performed the priestly duties required on Yom Kippur, the Day the Atonement.

Oh my goodness, there is so much decipher here. The small stones placed into the breastplate of the priest foreshadow the brilliance of Christ. But the stones in the breastplate are tiny, tiny in ratio to the expanse of sparkling stone around the throne. What else can this tell us of the heaven we are destined for? The beauty here is the tiniest reflection of the beauty there.

Can’t wait!

As well, the high priest was a foreshadow of Christ entering the temple on Yom Kippur and enacting the required duties. The high priest represented the only One who could atone for the sins of Israel. Today, our true High Priest Jesus Christ is the only atonement the Lord accepts on our behalf. Puts a new spin on Christ bearing our sins, doesn’t it? 

But let’s move on.

After John describes Almighty God with earthly words I feel must fall very short, John tells us that there were twenty-four additional thrones surrounding God. 

Most Bible experts believe the twenty-four elders seated upon these lesser thrones are the twelve patriarchs of Israel and the twelve apostles of Jesus. John does not identify them for us, but because of their proximity to the throne, we can surmise these elders hold positions of authority.

Next John describes the powerful energy surrounding the throne: “And from the throne proceed flashes of lighting and sounds and peals of thunder.”


Lightening and thunder represent power. When we are in the throne room of our Maker, we are in the presence of super-natural energy–a power we’ve barely glimpsed here on earth.

The Holy Spirit

And then we’re introduced to the Holy Spirit.

“And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.”

Twice in Revelation, the Holy Spirit is shown to us as a configuration of lamps. As well, in Zechariah 4:2, Zechariah sees a single lamp with seven flames and this, most scholars believe, is the biblical symbol of the Holy Spirit, harmonizing with what John describes.

A Glass Sea and Foreign Creatures

In verse six, John goes on to tell us, ”there was, as it were a sea of glass, like crystal, and in the center, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind. And the first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle.”

What is our apostle seeing here? Interestingly these symbols show up over and again in Scripture. In Revelation 15:2, John will describe the sea of glass again, but this time he tells us the sea is mixed with fire and upon it stands those who have been victorious against the coming beast (more on that in another blog). Whatever John is seeing here, his description brings to my mind brilliance and illumination. Because Jesus told us He came as the light (John 8), which is a symbol of truth, then I believe what John sees is truth animated or enlivened. John witnessed holiness and is trying his best to describe it.

Take Action

Why not read these verses in your favorite Bible version and mentally camp out in the throne room all week? In Revelation Blog 6, we’ll dive deeper into these fascinating creatures fluttering before the throne—who they are and their purpose.

Until then, you might consider my Bible Brief: God’s Will, Unraveling the Mystery. This brief takes a panoramic view of God’s earthly plans for mankind. The Bible briefs are short, but deep, giving us direction and purpose in these interesting times. Or, if you’re in the mood for a good, clean suspense fiction, try my Calculated Series available on Amazon.

Be brave,

Laurie (L.G.) Westlake

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God’s Will for mankind … there is a plan!
L. G. Westlake’s Fiction–Fun and fast with a side of spiritual insight.

A Holy Gathering

Acts 2:46-47

Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

I confess, I’ve had a bad attitude towards gatherings of various kinds for more reasons than Covid.

Considering my confession, would you believe that I owned a B&B, hosted more than 22 weddings in our event barn, and fed more than 3,000 people through catering and Taco Thursdays in one year? I did.

And I burned out, the last of any Christian tolerance fizzling like tiny sparks into the dark night. Matrimonial ceremonies with their masses of partying young adults wore me out physically and spiritually. After a couple of exceptionally hard nights—a  drunk bridesmaid locked in a bathroom stall for hours, a tight-dressed gal pole dancing on one of our barn’s cedar beams, a groomsman vomiting in my flower bed, and a bride passed out, head down in the middle of her glorious and holy wedding table—I became disgusted with humanity. 

My brother had lovingly hung a nine-foot rugged cross on the south wall of that wedding barn. I remember one night in pure frustration with the drunken mob, tears pooling, I stood beneath that cross apologizing to the Lord that we humans had obliterated the holiness of matrimony—the picture of Christ and His bride. My heart plummeted and I had a hard time pulling it back into place.

These incidents are not necessarily why I left the hospitality business—the Lord opened a door for me to return to ministry. But these discouraging episodes certainly made it easier to walk away from the business I’d worked so very hard to build.

But God, But Now

In the last four years I have served as manager of a communications team with a worldwide ministry. In this service, our team of communicators and marketers have overseen events and these gatherings have been the opposite of the weddings I left behind. Coming together for inspiration, at the ministry events, we hear from speakers who work in the fields of harvest. Brave men and women who have taken the narrow path report to us that the Lord is at work in the world, even when spiritual conditions around us look bleak. We worship together, pray together, and break bread together, testifying of God’s goodness and plans. At a recent event, we watched a documentary featuring a people group out of Zambia who have experienced miraculous transformation after receiving God’s Word in the language and audible format that speaks to their culture. We cried jubilant tears, rejoiced with laughter, and celebrated what our Father is doing through us—His children—here on earth.

From a perch of observation at a back table, I heard how the Potter’s hands mold individual for vessels of glory. I watched the people love each other. I ate with friends. I took in nourishment for my soul.

And I remembered Acts 2:46-47.

This is church, I whispered.

The Gathering

Church is not about the steepled building on the corner or the meeting space in a hip downtown theater. Church is not about the excellent speaker or teacher or skinny-jeaned pastor. Church is not a nine-to-five business, conveniently opened on Sundays.

Church is so much more than any of these things.

Church, I’ve come to believe, is about gathering as family—anytime, anyplace. Yes, family gatherings can be dysfunctional and messy. Who hasn’t had a wild holiday experience when uncle Bob showed up drunk or cousin Eddie arrived in his broken-down RV? But because the blood we share belongs to Christ, we gather. We commune as one body despite the messiness of it all.

Perhaps the messy part has been the spiritual enemy’s attempt to keep us apart.

Or in straight-back pews facing forward instead of facing each other.

In the Scripture at the top of the page, we’re told that when we’re together with one mind, praising and breaking bread together (gathered around a table), Christ adds to our numbers.

Which is the point.

From the garden of Eden to the command to go into every nation and disciple, our purpose has been to add to our family numbers and glorify the Lord. When we bring Him glory, He grants us the fruit of our labors—new believers.

So I’m getting back to the basics of church—gathering with others and praising God.

Will you join me? On October 9th, 2022, at Milagro Farms in Forreston, Texas at the very place where I stood beneath that cross and cried, an army of women will gather and glorify the Lord. How ironic! How so like our Savior!

We will hear testimony, teachings, break bread together and pray. We will demonstrate to the powers of darkness that we, no matter the costs, will always come together in holy celebration.

Are you in?

Here’s the link to register.

Let’s not allow the enemy keep apart what God has joined together. Come and share fellowship with your sisters in Christ.

Book 2 of the Calculated Series

Revelation 4th Blog, all caught up.

In my last writing, Revelation Blog 3, Christ and the Body, we covered the seven revealing letters to the seven churches. I find it fascinating that while John served as a scribe for Christ’s letters, those words were penned with our current-day challenges in mind. It’s true that throughout church history Christians of the past have faced common challenges, but if the theologians who believe each of the churches named in Revelation also represents a different time in history, then at least two of letters (written to literal churches then) are prophecies of our churches today and in the future.

Mind blowing stuff here.

But as we move into the dramatic scenes of heaven and future events, I encourage all of us to keep in mind the purpose of these visions and events in this dynamic book: the revelation of Christ. 

The opening sentence in the book of Revelation is what we are to push every wild detail of this book through. Revelation 1:1 holds the key to interpretation and purpose. “The Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must shortly take place …”

There you have it. This is why this awe-inspiring book exists–so we bond servants can see Christ revealed and know the future.

Please take note of the word must. The use of the word must means the events we learn about in Revelation are not optional. They have purpose in driving God’s world plans forward with Christ on the throne. The events seen by John must take place. For me, this wraps up literal translation. If one of the two purposes of writing revelation is to show us what must take place. Then the events spoken of must be real.

Please, also, take note of the word shortly. The text does not say “far into the future,” or “at a time that doesn’t involve you.” Shortly is placed into this text for a purpose and I believe that purpose is so we will not be surprised when social and physical upheaval arise. Like we’re seeing in plain sight now.

There are scholars who say that every prophecy concerning the end times is in play in some form now. This could mean events are lining up for the Ezekiel 38 and 39 prophesied war and The Great Tribulation.

We shall see.

 But let’s get back to John on the island of Patmos and His heavenly encounters.

Come Up Here

After John wraps up the letters to the churches (I can see him packing those parchments into an old leather satchel at his side), I assume he glances over and up to see if Christ, who had been speaking to him, is ascending back to heaven as John had seen him do some 40 or 45 years earlier.

But John doesn’t see Christ ascending. He sees a door standing open in heaven.

Imagine John’s moment here! He glances up to the heavens and there is an open portal (looking like an open door) into the longed-for realm Christ spoke of in the earlier days– the kingdom of heaven is like … a man who casts a seed, a treasure hidden in a field, a mustard seed, a dragnet cast into the sea. The dimension where the real heaven exists just opened up for him.

I bet John’s jaw took a dive.

And then … that trumpet voice we talked about in a previous Revelation Blog, calls out to John. “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.”

Not only has John seen a supernatural portal, but our brother John, approximately 80 years old and imprisoned, has just been invited to go through that portal.


I’d like to take a stop here and talk about the possibility of this supernatural act not only literally happening to John, but about the idea this could be an indicator of prophesied events. When the voice said, “…and I will show you what must take place after these things,” the after these things were world and heavenly events after the letters to the churches and if one application of the letters is an outline of church history, then Christ clearly is about to show John what must take place after the church age.

Which would mean there is no earthly church in the future of which John is about to see.

Where am I going with this?


In1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15, the apostle Paul writes of Christ’s calling the church (his earthly body accomplishing Great Commission work on earth) into heaven. He describes this supernatural event as starting with a shout and blast of a trumpet. What John experiences here in Revelation could well be what Paul described in his earlier letters. While I try to keep an open mind about the timing of the rapture, I do lean toward the pretribulation interpretation for more reasons than this scene. But it’s fascinating to me that the church is no longer mentioned after the seven letters. In the remaining passages of Revelation, the focus shifts from the church to the nation of Israel. Could it be because the church is no longer on earth, but in the wedding chamber with her Groom, Jesus Christ?

It’s certainly a possibility.

More Support for PreTrib Rapture

There are a couple of other passages that have had an influence on my leanings. Zephaniah 2:3 says, “Seek the Lord, all you humble of the earth who have practiced His ordinances; seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will remain hidden on the day of the Lord’s anger.”

According to Zephaniah, there is a chance the righteous can be hidden during the day of the Lord’s anger.

Throughout Scripture, the terms the day of the Lord, Jacob’s trouble, the day of wrath, the day of trouble are all used to label a specific day or period of time of God’s wrath poured out on humanity in the culmination of His worldwide plans. The above Scripture hints that the there could be a hiding place for the righteous during this time.

In Psalm 27:5, the faithful of the day were given this promise that I believe applies to you and me as well. “For on the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; He will hide me in the secret place of His tent; He will lift me up on a rock.”

Again, here, the psalmist alludes to being hidden during a specific time of trouble coming upon the world.

And of course, found in the letter to the church of Philadelphia that Christ dictated to John, there is a promise that this church would be kept from the hour of testings. Here’s what Christ dictated to John, “Because you have kept the Word of my perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world to test those who dwell upon the earth.” – Revelation 3:10

Why is this the only church given this specific promise? If you go back and read the Revelation 3rd blog, you’ll see many scholars believe that while these letters were written to literal churches, these churches also represent different church eras throughout history. If this is true, then we are living in the era that the church of Philadelphia represents. This church is kept from the hour of trial coming to the whole earth.

Finally, many believe that the story of Noah is a precursor to pretribulation rapture. Noah as a righteous man, was removed and hidden away in the arc during the massive worldwide flood–the judgement upon the evils of earth at the time.

More Ponderings

Regardless of the timing, we have the privilege of seeing Christ revealed through John’s writings. What we learn is that Christ is all in all—while the church is on earth, He stands in our midst. He’s dictated letters to us, then goes on to open a portal into the heavens so we have the full story—the full revelation of the coming days.


I’ll leave you with this scriptural insight:

Isaiah 46:9-10 – Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My plan will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure.’

John 13:19 – From now on I am telling you before it happens, so that when it does happen, you may believe that I am He.

There’s more to come as we enter into the throne room of heaven with the apostle John.

Until next time you might try our latest Bible Study, God’s Will, Unraveling the Mystery.

Laurie (L G Westlake)

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Revelation 3rd Blog: Christ and the Body

In our last blog, Revelation Blog 2, Second Things, we discussed my favored method to interpret Revelation—through a lens of literal meaning. Even though some of the imagery in Revelation has been historically outside our limited imagination, as time speeds toward the culmination of God’s worldwide plans, we are able to understand Scriptures which ten years ago, blew our ability to visualize right out our prophetic windows.

But with the onset of a worldwide pandemic along with calls for one-world government, talk of no-cash-electronic financial systems, and upticks in religious persecution, some of the biblical statements that seemed far fetched a few years ago are suddenly imaginable.

As well, the last blog discussed how more than 300 prophetic verses about the return of Christ in the Old Testament have been literally fulfilled. This sets an important literal precedent in interpretation and expectation of prophetic completion.

Now we will move to the opening scene of John’s vision on Patmos, Christ the King standing among His churches. Because this is a blog and not a book, we’ll hit the main points of the seven letters written to the seven churches. But I encourage you to look deeply into these letters and discover revelation for yourself because, as we said in Revelation Blog 1, First Things First, you are already equipped with everything you need to understand the important message the Lord sends through this last and illuminating book of the Bible.

One of my favorite Bible teachers is Jack Kelley, a man who wrote biblical commentaries from His website, Grace Thru Faith. Jack went to dwell with the Lord in heaven in 2015. But in his study of Revelation, he explained that there are four levels of application within the church letters. While I’m not one-hundred percent supportive of all four interpretations, his view is certainly interesting to ponder. Here are the four applications he suggests we apply to these seven letters.

  1. Historical—these seven churches existed in modern day Turkey and were experiencing challenges.
  2. Corporately Admonitory—because all seven letters were to read all seven churches, the letters were warnings to all.
  3. Personal Call to Action—each letter holds a call to action and a promise to the individuals within the church who heed the warnings.
  4. Church History—read in the order in which they appear, the churches could outline earth’s church history.

Here is the outline of fourth interpretation, church history:

  • Ephesus: Apostolic or New Testament first churches
  • Smyrna: Second and third century church (suffered extreme persecution)
  • Pergamum: The State church beginning with Constantine
  • Thyatira: The rise of the Roman Catholic Church
  • Sardis: Mainline Protestants beginning in the 16th century
  • Philadelphia: Mission church beginning with William Carey (late 1700s; early 1800s)
  • Laodicea-One world church during pretribulation and into The Great Tribulation

While there is debate about the church history interpretation, I do agree with Jack Kelley and others who believe the admonishments were meant to bring our own shortcomings to light. The criticisms found in each letter were to be taken personally, not just corporately.

What I find fascinating about these letters is that in each, Christ refers to himself in a different title, and in each, there is a different promise for the one who overcomes or perseveres. But I’m getting ahead of myself. There’s a couple of important notes in the dictated prologue of the letters. If Revelation was written to reveal, then we need to stop along the way and question the meaning.

The greetings from John to the church on the behalf of Christ are beautiful. I like to read through this portion imagining that I’ve received this letter and am reading it for the first time. We’re told that the letter is from John and Jesus and Jesus is referred to as “the faithful witness, the first born of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of earth.

Like the vision of Christ in the royal white robe, eyes ablaze, we’re given another revelation of our Savior here. We are told He is the faithful witness. This, as you probably understand, is a description of a person defending some one or thing. A faithful witness is someone who can be trusted to give an honest testimony. Wow. We’re being told that when the accuser stands before the Lord and vomits out all the sinful acts your and I have committed, it is Christ who will walk up to the court and pronounce us sinless.


When Christ is referred to as the “first born of the dead,” I’m reminded that it was his resurrection that made the way for my resurrection. He is first and because He paved the way, I am among those who will rise after.

And then, the third title of our Christ in this letter written to the churches, Christ is called the ruler of the kings of the earth. This for me, is the ultimate revelation because we’re shown through world history that God has, all along, planned to rule His creation. What we didn’t realize in the Garden of Eden, is that God would become man, sacrifice himself, and rule after He conquered His own curse: death. But looking through the rearview mirror, we see where the shadows of what was to come cast glimpses of the plan. Our Bible Study God’s Will: Unraveling the Mystery will take you on a journey of God’s will from Eden to today and how you fit into the master plan. I encourage you to check it out!

Multiple Titles

But back to our letters. At the beginning of each letter, Christ refers to himself as yet another holy title, further amplifying the revelation of all He is. At the close of each letter is a different promise for those who heed the words. These promises are a continuation of who our King Jesus is: the Giver of every good and perfect gift.

Here are the Titles along with the promises:

  • Ephesus – Christ’s title: The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lamp stands. Christ’s gift: To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.
  • Smyrna – Christ’s title: The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life. Christ’s gift: He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.
  • Pergamum – Christ’s title: The One who has the sharp two-edged sword. Christ’s gift: To him that overcomes, to him I will give some hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.
  • Thyatira – Christ’s title: The Son of God who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are burnished bronze. Christ’s gift: And He who overcomes and keeps My deeds until the end, to Him will give authority over the nations.
  • Sardis – Christ’s title: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars. Christ’s gift: He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the Lamb’s Book of Life, and I will confess His name before My Father and before His angels.
  • Philadelphia – Christ’s title: He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut and who shuts and no one will open. Christ’s gift: He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it any more and I will write upon him the name of My God.
  • Laodicea – Christ’s title: The Amen, the faithful, and true Witness and the Beginning of the creation of God. Christ’s gift: He who overcomes, I will grant him to sit down with Me on My throne as I also overcome and sat down with My Father.

Ears to Hear

Another interesting point the letters have in common is Christ’s closing salutation. He uses the phrase, “He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches,” in all seven letters. I am assuming that you, like me, have an ear. Probably a couple of them. Therefore, we are called to hear/read what the Spirit says to the churches. Each admonition is something we need to heed in our own corporate, but also private spiritual lives.

I’ll leave it to you to read through the seven admonitions in the context of each church. But here’s a bulleted list for us to refer to:

  • You’ve left your first love
  • You believe you are poor but you are rich
  • You’ve allowed false teachings to slip inside
  • You’ve allowed a false prophet into leadership
  • You are dead and the entire church is at risk of death
  • No one can shut the open door I’ve put before you
  • You are a lukewarm church

How do each of these warnings/admonitions apply to each of as individuals? I see these as harmonious to the warnings that Christ gave his disciples years earlier: In Matthew 24, when the disciples asked Christ for signs of His coming, the first thing he said was “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying , ‘I am the Christ, and mislead many.'”

From the admonitions in the list above, I can say Christ warned of what has happened and is happening. False teaching and false prophets abound.

Keeping the Purpose–the Revelation of Christ

I have a challenge: Since Revelation was written as “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” I encourage you to take each of the titles Christ calls himself and write out what that tells you, personally, about your kind in heaven. He’s revealing Himself. Go ahead, get to know Him.

That’s all for today, but watch for the next Revelation blog: Revelation 4, What Must Take Place:

If I perish, I perish,


L. G.’s Fiction series
A gathering of spiritual women, Forreston, Texas (south of Dallas). Register here.