The Revelation of Jesus Christ

Chapter 3: He who is, and was, and is to come

Grace From Him

John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be to you

Grace from the Greek “charis” =unmerited[a3] favour; an influence that produces a result. The kindness of God in doing something not deserved and the spiritual essence, energy, power wrought within as He acts for us, to us, and through us. God’s divine grace is divine enablement.

More than unmerited favour God by his power within does what we ourselves cannot do. Humankind needs help. Mercy covers weakness — divine enablement overcomes it. Mercy forgives our sin — divine enablement conquers it and supersedes it with righteousness. Mercy overlooks faults — divine enablement causes us to rise above them.

For I am the least of the apostles that am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (I Cor. 15:9-10),

Paul acknowledged that his apostolic ministry was the result of divine enablement; more than “unmerited favour” grace enabled in abundance. Not only does the Father save by His kindness, and call by His own choosing, He will continue to give more grace as divine enablement to bring all to His purpose.

Peace from Him

and peace, from Him

To be filled with God’s peace, to be fully at peace with God, with ourselves and others, to have peace in every situation and circumstance of life and throughout the spiritual heavens is the mark of an overcomer. The Lord publishes peace and salvation in Zion bringing good tidings of great things by His Spirit.

Awake, awake; put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem…how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that brings good tidings, that publishes peace; that brings good tidings of good, that publishes salvation; that says to Zion, Your God reigns. (Isa. 52:1,7).

We are now come to mount Zion.

(Heb 12:22 NRSV) But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal[a4] gathering,

Earthly Israel was God’s land, the whole nation of His people. In Israel the city of Jerusalem, the capital city, the seat of government housed the ruling class.. Mount Zion is the highest natural mount in Jerusalem, and David the king over natural Israel established his throne there. His was the highest pinnacle of earthly kingdom glory. But that Zion was only a shadow of the true mount Zion to which we are come in the Spirit.

Christ is king over spiritual Israel and dwells on the spiritual mount Zion composed of those who in union with Christ the Head. These having reached the highest pinnacle attainable in the heavenly Jerusalem follow the Lord to His throne.

To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne (Rev. 3:21).

In Revelation a company of 144,000 standing with the Lamb upon mount Zion. The grammatical structure of the Greek indicates the 144,000 are also lambs.

(Rev 14:1-5 NRSV) Then I looked, and there was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion! And with him were one hundred forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. {2} And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder; the voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, {3} and they sing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the one hundred forty-four thousand who have been redeemed from the earth. {4} It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins; these follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been redeemed from humankind as first fruits for God and the Lamb, {5} and in their mouth no lie was found; they are blameless.

This company standing with their Lord are those who have followed the Lamb from death on mount Calvary to the glory and exaltation of Mount Zion. They are lambs and peace is the lamb nature.

He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened He not His mouth (Acts 8:32).

God has but one throne, and those who share that throne share it in the heights of the spiritual mount Zion. All who are dwelling in the high and holy realm of Zion hear the voice of the Son of God. Good tidings of great things, of full salvation, of perfection of holiness and power, the reign of Christ, and the peace of the kingdom of God are declared in Zion.

For the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation. This is my rest forever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it. There will I make the horn (kingship) of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed. His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon Himself shall His crown flourish (Ps.132:13-14,17-18).

When that word becomes life to the overcomers by the Spirit, the Lord fills them with the joy, peace, holiness and power of mount Zion. Then those qualities will flow out of the overcomers to fill the city of God, then the whole land of God’s people, and finally the whole earth and all nations. Haggai prophesied, saying of the glory of the latter house, the spiritual temple of living stones, each stone a quickened, living son of God,

And in this place will I give peace, says the Lord of hosts (Hag. 2:9).

The peace of God can only be ministered to the inhabitants of earth by the authority of Christ in the glory and power of His kingdom of sons and daughters.,

rejoice greatly, o daughter of Zion; shout, o daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your king comes to you…and he will speak peace to the nations, and his dominion will be from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth (zech. 9:9-10).

Christ our King rules from the top down, from the height of His throne in the heavenlies down to the lowest valley. Our King comes first to mount Zion, the sons of God; then to Jerusalem, the whole church, the bride of Christ; next to the land of Israel, that is, all the people of God on whatever spiritual level they may be; and finally to the rest of humankind in the ends of the earth. To all realms His word is peace

He who is now, and was in the past, and is to come in the future

from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come (Rev. 1:4).

In the realm of the Spirit the past, present, and future co-exist. Being lifted up into the throne realm gives the ability to see the past, the present, and the future all at once. Man in contrast lives and perceives a natural life on a present reality called Earth. Five natural senses convince humankind that what we see, hear, feel, taste, and touch is reality.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which do appear (Heb. 11:1-3).

That which we perceive as reality is temporal[a5] and passing and has been established out of something eternal and unseen. To walk with God is to step outside of the five senses and let the spirit gravitate into what God is, to bring spiritual awareness down into this earth until it takes on manifestation.

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, says the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty (Rev. 1:8).

Jesus in the Revelation is always the One who is, who was and who is to come. The Revelation gives a view of the kingdom of God from the divine perspective encompassing past present and future outworking of the Father’s purpose in the earth.

Not the “Eternal Lord” without beginning or end but the Lord which is, and which was, and which is to come being as God expressed in the dimension of time. The verb “to be” relates to time; was, is, and is to come are all time expressions.

The God of the ages is revealed in a Lordship within those ages. Time is a created phenomenon consisting of past, present and future just as man is a created phenomenon having youth, middle age, and old age. Temporal creation had a beginning, it will have an end. This Lord who is, and who was, and who is to come, is the beginning and the end and is God working out His purpose and revelation in time. Before the creation of the universe, there was no time. At the end of the ages the present material universe will be d replaced by a new, spiritual cosmos. Time as we know it will cease to exist and evolve into eternity. This Lord who is, and who was, and who is to come, is the Lord we meet in time, in His purpose for the ages.

Time and Eternity

The Scriptures are books about time and for time and say little of eternity.. They were written for man who lives in a temporal state and who is not yet a totally eternal being. We enter that state of being called eternity as He who is eternity becomes “All-in-all” within us. As we are spiritually metamorphosed[a6] into our eternal condition, as eternity becomes an absolute reality to us only then will temporal beings as we now are comprehend and understand. This change begins within our spirit as our spirit is quickened by His Spirit.

Eternity is a state of timelessness, not of unending time, a state of being without change, fluctuation or progression, resident in the very nature and person of God. Such concepts as past, present, future, before, after, change, transition, growth, birth, death, beginning, end, do not exist. Eternity IS. just as God simply IS. [a7]

Before Abraham was, I AM (Jn. 5:58)

The eternal God has injected Himself into time. “In the beginning God created…” Since that genesis the Creator has been the God of His creation, the God of heaven and earth, the God of the ages, the God of history, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of His people and the God of our salvation.

Time is being governed by eternity. Ultimate reality sits upon a throne and governs galaxies, solar systems, planets, creatures, time, and history. Generation after generation, through the rise and fall of empires, and the shifting sands of history, God remains. He works all His purposes in all things, and HE does not change.

Time and the God of the Ages

God in Christ became a man. God as man has tenses to His being: the yesterday of the past, the today of the present and the tomorrow of the future. This is not the eternal God, but the God who has dispensed His eternity into time.

Jesus Christ the same — yesterday, today, and for the ages (Heb. 13:8, literal).

And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come (Rev. 4:8). Day and night do not exist in eternity or in the heavenly realm of God’s Spirit. The scene is set in time. This God who was, and is, and is to come is worshipped and adored both day and night. This is God of the ages, the architect of history, lord of time, and king of the universe,

lives for the ages, whose dominion is an age during dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation: and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He does according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say to Him, What are You doing? (Dan. 4:34-35, Literal & KJV).

Reality is not back through the long ages to a Christ that walked the shores of Galilee, to a Christ that was. He is now. He lives. He is here.. He is not a far-off, untouchable God, “inhabiting eternity,” but a God made near, inhabiting the ages, involved in His creation, working tirelessly and unceasingly and unfailingly until His wonderful plan is brought to a successful conclusion.

The life we may have is a progressing, growing, conquering life — the life of the ages. It is life that has come through the quickening of the spirit by His Spirit, giving a new beginning, and the potential to become, in due time, all that He is.

What Christians for centuries have incorrectly called “eternal life” is in the Greek “life aionios” — the life of the ages; a time of evolution and change and God’s purpose unfolding. The new man in the redeemed is changing, growing, increasing, and maturing to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. To have received Christ within is a beginning but in the scriptures there is a call to grow, the formation of Christ in us and the increasing of God. To those who are as babes in Christ is written a call to grow.

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby (I Pet. 2:2).

Also to those pressing on to maturity

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ (Eph. 4:15).

Christ is being formed in us and it will take “the ages,” to unfold it to all. As long as there is need for growth, change, and advancement, there is need for time. Until redemption is complete the process will proceed in time. The finished work of redemption stands at time’s end, then comes eternity,

I am the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come.”

Evolving Spiritual life.

As God’s plan of the ages has progressed there has been a level of life, a spiritual vitality, for each age. Each age has been different. Men in antediluvian[a8] times knew God in a certain way and received life of a particular order. Israel, under the law and the ministry of the prophets entered into another degree of spiritual life.. There is a difference between “youthful” life, “middle age” life, and “old age” life. There is a continuing development of God’s life within us, until his fullness is attained, and there will be a continuing development of His life in the whole human family throughout the age and the ages to come until God fulfils His purpose.

God is cultivating within His children an eternal nature. The thoughts of God’s people are becoming boundless and eternal, no longer controlled and motivated purely by carnal memories of the past, by present events, or by dim hopes for an endless future in some imagined “paradise. The fledgling spirits of God’s overcomers as the first fruits of this evolution are growing up into the limitless expanses of God’s own changeless, eternal spiritual state of being. The whole of humankind is to become a new, eternal creation, no longer limited by the space-time-continuum. Our present bodies will be changed, fashioned like His body of glory. God’s maturing overcomers are seeing the reality of a state of being called eternity and their hearts leap upward toward that “plane” in God.

The Lord Who Is

In what way does He differ from the Lord which was, or the Lord which is to come? It is the same Lord, but there is a difference in administration and manifestation. It can be said that this Lord which “is” is His body. The Lord which is, is the same Lord which was, but with a difference.

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory (I Tim. 3:16).

Great is the mystery of godliness[a9] God was … manifested in the flesh as Jesus

If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.

He is God.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (Jn. 1:1).

Scripture declares that God manifested in the flesh of Jesus is the Lord which “was”. “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.”

The Lord which “was”, is also the Lord which” is”. That He is the present tense of God’s manifestation in Christ is expressed in the following.,

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me (Gal. 2:20).

Jesus Himself prophesied of this manifestation of God in His people,

If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with (in) him (Jn. 14:23).

God literally dwells in the redeemed.

Generally the thought of God manifested in the flesh is a man who walked by the shores of Galilee, walking among humanity, demonstrating what humanity was intended to be. But God has raised our vision beyond “He who was” and is causing us to see as” He who is”.

Not long ago but now you are the body of Christ. Christ is no longer walking in that body that trod the sands of Galilee. He is walking in another body today, in all those whom He is bringing to the realm of Him who is a glory beyond the “was” enabling a pressing into and participation in the “is”. Many may still look for the coming of the “was” in the clouds but the overcomer is growing into the One who” is”

Denial of He who is

Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist that denies the Father and the Son. Whosoever denies the Son, the same has not the Father: but he that acknowledges the Son has the Father also” (I Jn. 2:22-23).

What does this mean?

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know you the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come; and now already is in the world (I Jn. 4:1-3).

Antichrist is one who denies that Jesus is the Christ by not confessing Jesus Christ has come in the flesh.

All Christians confess that Jesus Christ was a man, born of a virgin and that He came in human flesh in Bethlehem. Millions of around the world, representing every kind of religion and false cult will admit these historical facts.

The verses are not speaking as history does of Jesus Christ having lived on earth as a man. The spiritual truth is the Christ actually coming into the flesh of the redeemed and becoming an eternal and inseparable part of them.(their flesh) Millions do confess[a10] the Him who “was” of history but comparatively few admit to the truth about the Him who “is” of now..

and every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is (now) come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist…ye are of god, little children, and have overcome them (the antichrists): because greater is he that is in you (your flesh), than he that is in the world (i jn. 4:3-4).

Every spirit that does not admit to the truth that Jesus Christ IS come in the flesh of the redeemed is against the Christ of now. Greater is he (Jesus Christ) that is in your flesh than he (the spirit of antichrist) that is in the world. (adamic flesh). Our very own natural, human consciousness will try to deny that the God of the universe dwells, and lives, and in all things triumphs in us. That antichrist is enthroned in our own carnal minds.

He that is in us will never leave us nor forsake us. This is the Christ from whose love no power or creature in heaven or earth can separate us.

But this treasure (Christ) we have in earthen vessels (II Cor. 4:7).

Christ is now being formed in our earthen vessels. Just as God was formed in Jesus within the womb of Mary, so is Christ being formed in the womb of our mortal flesh. Only the complete, mature formation of Christ within will bring the overcomers to manifestation as sons of God. Sonship is the actual quickening of the Christ life who has become the new man within. Christ within is both ageless and deathless, the actual Son of the God of heaven. He is being formed in all His nature, wisdom, glory and power in the human frame, even as He was formed in the firstborn Son, Jesus, to perform His mighty works.

The Lord which is to come

“Which is to come” is from the Greek erchomai, meaning “the coming one.” In present consciousness and experience He is yet coming to be all that He is. That’s what the processing is all about.

And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven…when He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in that Day (II Thes. 1:7,10). In the New Testament it was a great revelation that Christ was a many-membered body and that Christ was in them in spirit power. This truth became a reality as each member of the Christ body found his or her place within that corporate expression of the Lord. They also spoke of a coming day of Christ and the coming and revelation of the Lord in surpassing glory. They anticipated a full-manifestation of this Lord in the glory of manifested sonship.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God (Rom. 8:18-19).

Jesus Christ is to show Himself, to appear, to manifest, to be glorified “in” His saints and to be admired “in” all those holy sons of God who by His grace have come into His image through the ages. This is the fullness of the Christ.

To so reign with Christ and with Him usher all creation into the glory of God has been the vision of the prophets, the cry of the sons, the purpose of God, and the longing and expectation of all creation. He is the one Christ, yet His body is made up of many redeemed souls. He is the true Vine with many branches and the unique begotten Son of God leading many sons to His own glory. The only Saviour is bringing a company of saviours up to Mount Zion.

Such overcoming sons are the body of Christ and in that revealing and manifestation will be “Him who is to come” his is the fullness of Christ in you the hope of Glory. Christ is being formed within the overcoming ones and they are being conformed to His image

Christ glorified in the overcomers is HE WHICH IS TO COME.