2. An overview of the Book of Revelation
The book of Revelation teaches who and what Jesus Christ is. It reveals His glory and unveils His nature. Each chapter continues a further revelation of the anointed One and completes the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wrote of Jesus Christ on the earth in the days of His humanity. Luke in Acts wrote of the revelation of Jesus that came by the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and began the giving of an earnest of the Spirit during the church age. John in the Revelation writes of the complete revealing of Jesus Christ through “those that overcome.”
Before John stood the ascended and glorified Christ manifesting out of the heavens of God’s Spirit and to him came the revelation of Jesus Christ in the sons upon mount Zion, as the man-child on the throne and in the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven.
The mind of Christ has been released out of celestial realms. Seekers in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day understand it, as did John, who was also in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day to receive it.
The writing portrays the drama of God’s great plan of the ages from the divine perspective, first in the saints, then in the nations, and finally in all the vast creations of God. The all-conquering power of God’s Christ has written the spiritual drama of the Father’s dealings in our lives.
First a voice as the sound of many waters and God’s complete Christ is represented as Head and body, dressed in the garments of a king-priest, with hair like a lamb, eyes of fire, his countenance as the brightness of the noonday sun, with a two-edged sword flashing out of His mouth, and feet like glowing brass.
The Christ is seen in the midst of seven churches, representing the whole church during the age when God calls out and forms a people for His purpose. Faith, love, patience, good works and the word of the kingdom, but also carnality, sin, heresies, apostasy, ceremonialism, false prophets, fleshly control, satanic activity, lukewarm- ness and abominations of every kind. (Chapter 1 & 2)
A door stands open in the heavens. A voice calls “come up here and I will show you things which must be hereafter” — (after the church realm.) The invitation is to spiritually ascend into a spiritual realm. (Chapter 4.)
Jesus Christ upon the throne of the universe and upon His throne within our hearts is revealed as a centre around which we may build our lives in proper orbit within the heavens of God’s Spirit.
When the Christ within is sovereign as centre of our lives, the enthroned One sits at the intersection of heaven and earth within us.
The Word of God is filled with pictures of the Christ for Scripture is also a revelation of Jesus Christ. Many of experiences of the people of Israel with their journeys, their battles, their kings, their priesthood, their temple, their offerings, their laws, their rituals show the work and glory of God’s Christ
Reading the first sixty-five books gives insight into the types, shadows and allegories used in the book of Revelation to reveal Jesus Christ , in, through and as the many-membered son of God.
Herein, and herein alone, can be seen the real scope and magnificence of God’s working and purpose in His sons and in His kingdom. Here can be traced God’s redemptive and restorative plans to their consummation, showing the depth and power of the counsels of His love.
Spiritual life is enriched by understanding of the heavenly things written in the illustrative prophetic language of voices, seals, trumpets and vials; of suns,; of beasts, scorpions, dragons and coloured horses; of horns, crowns, thrones, moons and stars, rainbows and glassy seas; of angels, thunders, lightning, arks and temples; of earthquakes, meteors, fires, odors, olive trees and lamp-stands; of lewd women and chaste women, of a man-child on a throne, of a great city of evil and a city coming down out heaven full of the glory of God.
The revelation moves beyond the church age. As the book of consummation it contrasts with Genesis the book of beginnings. Herein is revealed a new name (nature), a new song (revelation, message), a new Jerusalem (people), a new heaven (government), and a new earth (order, expression).
Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev. 21:5).
The whole purpose is to declare the eternal passing of all that is old, and the establishment of all that is new.
Every utterance to the body of Christ in this book is by the seven-fold Spirit of God. It is always the Spirit who is speaking.
“He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev. 2:7).
Seven times in chapters two and three we read that it is the Spirit speaking to the churches.
Yes, says the Spirit” (Rev. 14:13).
Seven times — the number of completion and perfection — and note the admonition,
He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Those who hear the seven-fold Spirit will be overcomers. Overcomers will be sons. To be a son is to inherit all things and receive the fullness of the seven Spirits of God. The overcomers are members of the church who overcome and are worthy to sit in the throne. Not all Christians will attain to this honour.
Because the seven-fold Spirit is bestowed upon the overcomers, eventually the entire book is concluded in this way:
And the Spirit and the bride say… (Rev. 22:17).
In the beginning of this book the Spirit is speaking to the churches. At the end of the book, by the quickening and processing of the Spirit, the souls and spirits of the elect have been brought into union, the masculine nature of the regenerated spirit has wooed and won the affections and obedience of the feminine nature of the soul, and the marriage of the Lamb has come, for His wife has made herself ready.
The Spirit and Bride natures have become one — they speak with one voice.
The Spirit and the Bride in this passage is a compound subject. The two have become one within God’s elect. God is making overcomers one with the seven Spirits, and the seven Spirits are being fully worked into the overcomers. This is God’s great work. It is experientially taking place within those who follow the Lamb as the consummation of His eternal purpose within us.
A book that is written for kings and priests and not intended for the world to understand, neither will it be understood by carnal Christians. At the very outset the book is addressed to a peculiar class of people:
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him, to show to His servants things which must shortly come to pass. (Rev. 1:1).
The term “servants” does not indicate servants as contrasted with sons, but sons who are servants as was the firstborn among many brethren, our Lord Jesus Christ..
Behold, my Servant shall deal prudently, He shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. As many were astonished at thee; His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men: so shall He sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at Him; for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider” (Isa. 52:13-15).
The book is rooted in the symbols of the Old Testament. You will find there the temple, the sacrifices, the worshippers, the ark of the covenant, the lamp-stand, the city Jerusalem, mount Zion, the prophets, the priesthood, the king and the throne, the archangel, the serpent, trumpets, feasts, and many more.
By the spirit of wisdom and revelation all these things can begin to relate to your experience, your life, and your walk in God. All that was natural and external to Israel in the Old Testament now becomes spiritual and internal as the revelation of Jesus Christ in the elect.
Consider such mysteries with reverence for our Father has willed that we be partakers of His mind. The same mind that dwelt in Him will dwell in the sons of God. The mysteries of God, the wisdom and knowledge hid in Jesus Christ cannot be discovered by the natural humankind or the carnal mind, but God may reveal them to the elect by His Spirit.
Not in studying, searching out information and understanding, but walking in the Spirit and hearing what the Spirit says. The same Spirit that inspired the book reveals the book, opening the truth of the kingdom of Heaven to the sincere and seeking heart.
The visions of the book of Revelation are ordered and each of the keys to the book testifies of itself. The body of Christ as a company of kings and priests, graphically set forth in chapters four and five, suggests that the ministry is to bring people out of an old world order into a new world.
In Revelation there is so much that looks like judgment, destruction and retribution upon humankind and the earth — the grass, the trees, the rivers, the seas, the mountains and valleys, the cities, nations and peoples — but these are figures showing the passing of a realm of life, a way of existence and a state of being — the old Adamic order with all the systems, society, culture, institutions and ways of the fleshly mind and life.
The Spirit is speaking of the coming into being of a new heavens and a new earth within ourselves. God is raising up in the earth today a new people with a new mind, nature and heart, a new spirit, a new temple of God, a new order of priesthood and kingship, a new habitation of God, a new revelation of God, a new city of God, a new government of God, a new order of God within men.
As that which has been hidden in Jesus Christ is revealed, uncovered, brought out into the open and exhibited, the glory of Jesus Christ shines forth from His body to all the earth. Christ is in us. The revelation of Jesus Christ must be within us. Christ in you IS the hope of glory.
Glory is the expression of God’s nature through a human vessel. Christ in us is the hope of God expressing Himself through us to creation.
Revelation gives us the keys that unlock the events within ourselves that bring forth the manifestation of God. God will burn up the grass — those surface coverings and masks in our lives; destroy the trees — those deeply rooted things that grow out of our earthly nature; shake the mountains — those high and exalted kingdoms we have built up from our carnal minds; turn the sea of self desire to blood until every living thing in them dies — the raging passions, surging emotions, relentless, unsatisfied desires, and foaming agitations of the Adam nature.
John said that he beheld and there was no more sea,— there was no longer anything within us preventing the pure and full expression of Christ in ìour” earth. There is a new heaven and a new earth not because there is coming a great cataclysmic destruction in the outer world, but rather, all the walls and barriers that religion has built up in us, that have separated God from the earth, are to be obliterated so that there will be an expression of God’s Spirit through us to creation.
Religion has taught people that they have to die to obtain God’s fullness; others have taught that we will fly away to some far-off heaven somewhere to receive it while the world suffers the horrors of the damned and untold billions of humanity are consigned to eternal torture in the unquenchable fires of hell. We have been told a thousand things that aren’t true and have been used, beaten, threatened, controlled, bled of our money, time and peace, brain washed and deceived by the carnality of the harlot system that calls itself the church. Men have been tossed to and fro upon the violent waves of the sea of the doctrines, laws, methods, schemes, promotions, gimmicks, deceptions, fraud and foolishness of the church systems.
The day is coming when there will be no more of such a sea.
There is an inner working of His Spirit that leads to the full expression and manifestation of His glory. There will never be a new earth (visible expression) until there is a new heaven (inner, invisible reality), for humankind cannot change what they are outwardly until they have been changed in what they are inwardly. Trying to obey some set of rules, obeying the traditions of religion, being faithful to the programs and pleasing the church appears godly, but works no change or transformation of the nature. These things give no life nor do they in any way help us grow up into the power of the life of the Son of God.
God has planted within His chosen elect the good seed of the Christ life and the book of Revelation is the symbolical, illustrative, figurative, metaphorical, and allegorical teaching of how God deals both positively and negatively in His garden to bring forth the harvest of Christ within the anointed.