Fundamental to our teaching here is that the mainstream church has failed. Not in every way; good things have been preserved over the past two millennia. However, our primary complaint is the loss of the heart-led way. Faith, convictions and the voice of God are all in the heart, not in the mind. You cannot have faith unless your heart dominates your intellect. This is the heart of mysticism: Not a better grade of intellect, but something else entirely guiding your choices.
It’s not a simple story of how this happened. We sense in the writing of John the frustration of watching mysticism die as new leaders arose without the deep Hebrew background. It was bad enough that mysticism had virtually died within the Hebrew population itself, as Judaism was always a cerebral religion. It had taken over from the Old Testament Hebrew religion, and it was this that Jesus fought during His ministry. It should have been the most natural thing under Hebrew language and thought to restore the heart-led consciousness, but the bite of Hellenism was deep.
Thus, the nastiest part of the Judaizing influence afflicting the early church was the subtle insinuation that cerebral considerations rightly ruled religion. The Apostles themselves taught the necessity of digging into the Old Testament; that was their Bible for the first few decades after Christ ascended. But the Judaizers were perverting this process by seeking to reassert the Talmudic traditions that had already destroyed Hebrew religion, and to make Christianity Talmudic.
If you can understand this, then John’s Revelation makes a lot more sense. He wrote a prophetic book that utterly required mysticism — a heart-led consciousness — to grasp the parabolic message. If you read it from a heart-led position, you understand the massive onslaught of the forces of Hell seeking to bury that truth once and for all. That’s the whole point of the image of Armageddon. The take away from Revelation is two-fold: This is the nature of spiritual warfare, and the battle went against us after John passed from the scene.
Not that the heart-led way died off, but that the focus of church activity moved away from it. Thus, the records follow the departing mass of early Christians who lost their way and compromised with the world, becoming the Harlot Church. Those who remained heart-led were marginalized and forced to do their work behind the scenes. We see glimpses of it reasserting now and then in Church History, but without the whole message of the heart-led orientation from ancient times, it never took hold in the mainstream.
God has turned that around. We have this moment in history to try again. This time we will make it conscious in our teachings; we will seek ways to force the issue by how we talk about it. Instead of guarding the cerebral gates of mythical orthodoxy, we will acknowledge allies in places the historical churches have walled off as forbidden. We will recognize the manifestation of the heart-led way even when it doesn’t lead people to Christ. That’s a whole lot better than letting the name of Christ be locked in the tomb of dead religion with no heart.
Don’t repeat the mistakes of the past; let’s not have another apocalypse of true faith that haunted John’s final days on this earth. Let’s keep this alive.