Book of Revelation: Chapter One Part One
In our introduction we established that this book is about the unveiling of the person and work of Jesus Christ in each of us. As you study, it is important to first read the scriptures to familiarize yourself with what is being said. We will not be quoting each scripture, but sharing revelation knowledge given by the Holy Spirit. Much of this knowledge is given through the witness of other scriptures. As the Holy Spirit speaks to your spirit, you may have additional scriptures (not included in our discussion) brought to your attention as the revelation of Jesus Christ is brought into a spiritual understanding in your life.
In the very first verse of the Book of Revelation, we are given the key to understanding the rest of the book. The word "revelation" means the disclosure of truth concerning things before known. It also means that things that were hidden before are NOW made known to all. This is the key that unlocks the bondage of death, hell, and the grave. This key has been hidden in us until an appointed time by God for the Holy Spirit to disclose to each of us what was given before the foundations of the world. Selah.
This revelation of Jesus Christ was given to John by the angel of Jesus Christ. Angels may be glorified mystical beings, but for our purpose of applying this book to our life we will consider the Greek word for angels which is "aggelos" meaning messengers carrying the Word of the Lord. The word messenger can be any being that carries the Word of God with Truth, Light, and Love for the entire body of Christ. They may be people that have gone before us to be with the Lord, or they can be people who are still in their natural bodies. This is how you could be entertaining angels without knowing who they are in the eyes of God (Hebrews 13:2).
John also tells us in this first verse that this wisdom he received is "signified" by the angel of the Lord. The word "signified" is the Greek word "semaino" which means to make known by signs and symbols. This first verse is a witness to the writings in the Book of Hebrews chapter two. The keys to the unveiling of Jesus Christ begins with the understanding that Jesus is the head of the body, but the body of Christ (Colossians 2:17) must first identify with their unity and oneness with Jesus in order for Christ to be manifested in the natural. We were created to declare that as He is so are we in this world (I John 4:17). This book is the unveiling of our true identity that we were given before time as the sons of God under the headship of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
The world has gone through a period of over 2000 years of darkness and misunderstanding concerning the contents of this book. This has been necessary for the different parts of the body of Christ to be formed. However, it is time that we consider a new approach to John's writings in order for each word to be a blessing and not a curse in our lives.
Verse 2: We read that John is testifying to everything he saw spiritually in the Word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ. The word testimony means martyr. John wrote his testimony on the Island of Patmos, which means killing of the past, or to look behind and see the finished work. The coming of the Lord in us depends on us letting go of the past, and living a life by faith knowing that the work Jesus Christ completed at His resurrection and ascension has already taken place. John is testifying of the death of Jesus Christ and the finished work (John 19:30). The phrase "hind sight is 20/20" illustrates what John's perspective in his writing. This finished work is the manifestation of all having one mind; the mind of Christ, full of unconditional love and mercy for one another (I Peter 3:8).
God has declared everything from the end, not the beginning. He does not need time, because He is eternal. The realm of time is for us, not for His will, for He is Spirit. Before we were birthed in the womb, God had already completed the finished work of Christ in us (Jeremiah 1:5). He is the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world (Hebrew 4:3). In our natural and spiritual life, each of us must go through stages of growth at different times in our life. It is wonderful when we see our children grow and develop, but we don't want them to stay children forever. So it is with God. He sees all mankind as His children. He finished the process of salvation before we were created. He has made a way for us to boldly enter into the throne room called the Holy of Holies. It is located in each of us as our inner most being. The Deep (this is God), calls unto the deep, our spirit (Psalm 42:7). This is where true fellowship with God takes place, not in our intellect.
When the Holy Spirit has witnessed to our spirit that we are the children of God, it is God's timing for us to grow in Him. As children, we are already heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:16-17). However, if our spiritual growth does not continue past child like understanding, we are no different than a servant (always waiting on the master). God wants us to grow up knowing that we are sons, and if a sons, then heirs of God through Christ (Galatians 4:7). This is the travail that all of creation is groaning for with anticipation of the manifestation of the sons of God (Romans 8:19). It is the spirit in each of us which is like a cell of a body. Each cell has the DNA of Christ, but it takes every cell for the whole body of Christ to be manifested. If we allow our hearts to believe that some people will go to heaven and some will go to an eternal hell; we blemish the body, or bride, of Christ causing a hindrance for the Lord's return.
God came to establish grace (verse 4), but He had to come through law because of the accusation made against His bride in order for grace to be established. He is a God of healing and restoration. He does not fail, and His will is that none shall perish (2 Peter 3:9). His plan was finished before the second Adam, Jesus Christ, was established on this earth. The first Adam came as a living soul which contrasted the life giving Spirit of the second Adam (I Corinthians 15). Our soul is how we think, but it is the spirit in us which declares who we really are. It is the vanity of a religious mind to think that man has a choice of controlling the will of God (I Corinthians 5:18-19, I Peter 1:15). Because of this way of thinking, mankind has been kept from enjoying the full inheritance of being in the family of God. This is the mind that crucified Jesus over 2000 years ago, and is still crucifying His body today. Religion says you have to do something to gain access for God to be your Heavenly Father even though we already have the DNA of the Father. God sent His son Jesus to reunite His whole family. It is foolishness on our part to consider that He will leave a part of Himself in hell because of men's ignorance to the understanding of the Father's love and mercy.
The Holy Spirit has the responsibility to draw all men to the Father. In the Father's time and season, the Holy Spirit will give each of us the power to be a witness of Jesus Christ to bring forth the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:6-8). We truly have a mind of arrogance to think that the Holy Spirit is not going to be able to override the defiant will of man. We have hurt ourselves when we allow separation and division of the body by interpreting His word in this manner.
Chapter one, verse 3: "the time is at hand." These few words are packed with the power to transform lives. He can be a "now" in fullness and glory in our today, or He can be Jesus of the past, and/or Jesus of the future. The promise of the finished work is that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of lords and King of kings (Phil. 2:10-11). We are not unworthy "sinners saved by grace," but lords and kings submitting to Jesus Christ.
The thoughts and imaginations we believe will be manifested in our life (Proverbs 23:7). We are each one cell of His body. He is the Alpha and Omega. He is the circle of Life. If we were to begin at one point drawing a circle and end at the same point, which is the beginning, we would find that every place on the line of the circle carries equal weight. If we sliced into any part of the circle it would cause a hindrance to the flow of Life. The circle of Life cannot be destroyed, but time can cause a delay for the power of Life to reach its destination. In the process of delay, others may be hindered from receiving all that God has for them. The enemy of God does not care if we have received the Lord as our "personal savior." Our DNA cannot be changed, and it is of God. Defeat to the enemy comes when we live life in the power and authority of the Father, as Jesus did; a son giving total glory and honor to Him by doing the Father's business on the earth.
Think about a flat tire. The fullness of who He is must be seen today in each cell/person of His body for the fullness of resurrection life to come forth. The circle of life has always been there, but we are trying to produce life with a lot of "flat tires." Once we see the finished work of Jesus in our own life we can operate in the power of resurrection life as a son of God. In order to operate in the Spirit, we must see the finished work by His faith (Hebrews 11:1). We must see all men complete and whole in Him (Ephesians Chapter 1).
Many pastors today say they only want to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is the Book of Revelation, yet very few pastors are teaching it with the love and mercy of God. Gospel means "good news, good tidings" concerning God. Verse three tells us we will be blessed if we read and keep the words given to John. This is the same person who wrote the words of Jesus in John 5:24-28…
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which ALL that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."
Jesus became sin for all men, the good and the bad, clothing all with His righteousness. It is up to the sons of God to declare this Good News to the world versus judgment and condemnation. This is what the body of Christ, the church, should be declaring to the world.
After writing "the time is at hand," John is told to address seven churches with a message from the Lord. He begins with the words "grace" and "peace" from the One who is the beginning and the end. We cannot manifest the fullness of "grace" and "peace" if we have judgment on any level. The word "grace" is the divine influence in our heart given to us from God, and we are to reflect it to others. The peace that John writes about is the object of divine promise which is brought about by God's mercy, granting freedom and deliverance from all distresses of sin and strife.
The number seven symbolizes the finished work of God and a day of rest. It is a spiritual number, not literal. During this time in history there were many churches (not just seven). The church is the house or place where God resides. This number represents the key elements that must be dealt with in the body of Christ in order for her to become an over-comer who can rest as a son of God in the Holy of Holies. In 1 Peter 4:17 we read, "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God." In Matt. 7:1-2, "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." John is showing us that WE are the temple of God, the body of Christ. Our judgment today is to judge ourselves until the fullness of His grace and peace is manifested. We are not to judge others, but to see them as Christ sees us, for in Christ there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1).
In the book of Daniel, there is an illustration of three servants of God being thrown into a fiery furnace (chapter 3). They walked about in the midst of the fire, and they were not hurt, even their hair was not burned. There was a fourth form with them that was like the Son of God. In order for us to be willing to go into the throne room of God we must we willing to allow the fire to purify us and refine us into the image of Jesus Christ. We must allow all of "self" to be removed. The Holy Spirit will reveal to each of us how much "self" we still have hanging around, and it will happen when we least expect it. We will be caught off guard when the thief of "self" shows up.
In Deuteronomy 7:1 we are given seven "ites" that had to be destroyed in the land:
Hittites - violence
Girgashites - lying
Amorites - pride
Canaanites - rebellion
Perizzites - independent
Hivites - fear
Jebusites - religion
The "seven Spirits which are before His throne" is a reference to Isaiah 11:2. The Spirit of wisdom, the Spirit of understanding, the Spirit of counsel, the Spirit of might, the Spirit of knowledge, the Sprit of fear of the Lord, and the Spirit of righteousness. There is only one Holy Spirit, but the number seven is used to symbolize the fullness of God and His Sabbath rest. Again, this throne is where the Spirit of God is located around our inner most being, the Holy of Holies in each of us. These seven Spirits of God are also symbolized by John as the twenty-four elders. He is speaking of the mature in Christ that are before the throne, or the mercy seat of God.
Verse 5 exposes three lies about the deceiver that are brought out later in this book. This gives us Truth we need to set us free before we are trapped into a lie.
Jesus Christ is the faithful witness: this exposes the false prophet in Rev. 16. He is Truth, not a truth maker. He is eternity NOW, not a coming day. Today is the day of our salvation where we have our true identity in Him. This "today" is a point in time in each of our life when the Holy Spirit reveals TRUTH for the completion of the whole body to come into unity as one. Believers in Christ must love one another without judgment so that non-believers will be drawn to their Heavenly Father.
He is the first begotten (born) of the dead (first to be brought back to life): this exposes the beast in Rev. 13. Religion would like to apply this to the resurrection of Jesus Christ after Calvary, but if we think about it, he wouldn't then be the first born of the dead. There were several people the Bible mentions raised from the dead before Jesus. However, He was the lamb slain before the foundation of the world. As we mentioned earlier, God declared everything from a finished work. He completed ALL before He spoke Genesis 1:1, "In the Beginning."
He is the Prince of the kings of the earth: this exposes mystery Babylon in Rev. 17. Here Jesus meets the antichrist spirit on his own level as a prince, not a king. Jesus came as us and destroyed our enemy. We no longer have a battle to fight except what we allow our imaginations to create, and what we choose to believe that is not God. The antichrist spirit is manifested when we take the word of God and create our own interpretation that does not line up with the character and nature of God. Proverbs 25:2 tells us, "it is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter."
The word "thing" and "matter" came from the Hebrew word "dabar" meaning "word." God's glory is Christ. Jesus is the headship of Christ and we are the body, also known as His bride. The message John wrote in this verse tells us that we have already been made kings and priests to God, and His glory (the fullness of Christ) has already been given all power and authority. The "amen" tells us this is a fact that God had already established and cannot be changed. God has eternity for the manifestation of the body of Christ to reveal maturity and appropriate the inheritance already available to us. Jesus showed us that today we are kings with authority to destroy the enemy of our imagination by the faith of God in us which He gave to us through Jesus Christ.
In verse 5 we also read, "unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood." This love is God's love which can only be found in His identity, character, and nature. We tend to water down the word "love" with our intellectual understanding, but here we see that our true identity has been reestablished in His identity. HE washed (freed, loosened) us. It wasn't a choice for us to make and it isn't something coming in the future. It has already been completed. The blood is symbolism of the Passover when blood was put on the door post of the houses in Egypt for death to pass over all who were in the houses. These people did not experience death of their firstborn. Today, we are in the house of God. We do not have to experience death because the firstborn has already washed us with His blood. However, to be an over-comer we must have "ears to hear" what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches.
Verse 6 puts extra emphasis on the declaration that He has set us free. John writes to let us know that the work is completed, and that "truth" has been declared in "love." We are already washed from our sins and made kings and priests throughout the ages, and forever and ever. This is not a coming thing, but a completed work to be received NOW. The antichrist spirit will use one, or all, of these truths in a twisted, deceptive way to try and remove the "now," and place "truth" in either a past or future element of time. This is the same pattern seen in Jesus' temptation in the wilderness, and also in the discussion Jesus had with the two thieves on the cross. As we stated earlier, the antichrist spirit doesn't care that you are a Christian. The concern is do YOU know the power that you possess in Christ Jesus? Do YOU know your true identity as a son of God, or do you see yourself simply "saved" from eternal hell? Many times our view of salvation has an antichrist spirit hanging on it. We must remember it isn't about us, but about Him!
We close this teaching by sharing a daily devotion found in the book God Calling. On May 22 we read:
Yes! Claim, be constantly claiming. There is a trust that waits long, and a trust that brooks no delay-that once convinced of the right of a course, once sure of God's guidance, says with all the persistence of a child, "NOW." "Make no long tarrying, oh, my God."
You are no longer servants but friends. A friend can command his friend-can know that all the friend, the true friend, has is his by right. That does not mean an idle living at the expense of a friend, but the claiming the friend's means: name, time, all that he has, when your supply is exhausted.
Friendship-true friendship, implies the right to appropriate. And in God's service is perfect freedom. Heirs of God-you are joint heirs with Me in the inheritance. We share the Father's property. You have the same right to use and claim as I have. Use your right. A beggar supplicates. A son, a daughter, appropriates.
Small wonder when I see My children sitting before My House supplicating and waiting-that I leave them there until they realize how foolish such action, when they have only to walk into their Home and take.
This cannot be the attitude of all. There must be first a definite realization of sonship.
"Turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness" (Joel 2:13).
"For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2).