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If I knocked on your door and heralded with great joy, 'Messias has returned; come and see,' would you jump up and prepare to follow me, would you be curious, or would you think I was mad? If I told you that the appearance and confirmation of the promised Comforter is documented in a book that was written almost two thousand years ago, would you settle back in your seat, suspect I was trying to deceive you, turn away, and go back to what you were doing? Christian and Jew alike are waiting for someone to come and save them from the prison of ignorance while all this time the door has been unlocked!
Jesus promised his disciples in his day: "This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled" (Luke 21:32). This book explores the best evidence we have that Jesus kept his promise when he delivered the Comforter to all mankind in the book called The Revelation.
True to historic precedent,
the answers are neither the handout nor the form that we expected.
John waited expectantly for
sixty years to realize the substance of these statements, confirming
Jesus' provocative comment to Peter about him: "If I will
that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou
If the Children of Israel, four hundred years enslaved in Egypt, had known in advance the pathway out of their own depravity, perhaps they would not have taken so long to achieve that objective. If Christians today know the end from the beginning, perhaps they will strive for it more vigorously by following Jesus in the Way - healing the sick, rousing the dead, cleansing contagion, and casting out devils. Christ promised us that 'I will come to you' - the 'I,' Christ, will reveal all things to you. Six decades after his ascension, Jesus' presence returned to John. Are we dismayed because the description of that vision is not easily apprehended? Do we read it once, close the book and walk away, waiting for our ignorance to be forgiven? Jesus demanded us to work it out, not wait it out! Revelation is written in Spirit language and requires spiritual insight to be understood.
Revelation is the unveiling of Life, Truth, and Love that dawns on each one of us as we realize our proper place and identity as sons and daughters of God.
Scripture traces the evolution of man's spiritual quest to find reality. Like artists painting grand scenes, the prophets translated holy visions into physical symbols and written metaphors, which gradually became clearer and more detailed as the truth of being was better understood. Abraham built an altar on a mountaintop and prepared it for human sacrifice to illustrate his conviction that God is Father. Noah built an ark to preserve life. Jacob built a rock pillar as a reminder that God was there. Moses built a temple in the wilderness where the holy of holies and the ark of his testament presented evidence of the Mind of God. Mary conceived the idea of man as Messiah, and brought forth Jesus, who subsequently presented the clearest idea of Christ to mankind. Jesus offered direct evidence of man's divine nature and immortality by his resurrection and ascension. At the conclusion of the New Testament, The Revelation presents the supreme example of spiritual insight as the Bible reveals it. The apostle John was the first to record Jesus' presentation of himself, which includes a description of man's journey from ignorance and sin to beholding New Jerusalem and the cessation of time. Once we begin to see the holy purpose behind the symbols we can reflect back and see, for example, that Moses' temple was really a symbol for man-fleshy, ignorant, and opaque if viewed from the outside, as a mortal, and wholly inspired consciousness if viewed from the inside as the center of divine intelligence.
The nature and character of God is accurately depicted in all the symbols that inspired man has enlisted, but the interpretations are obscure until a way is opened that enables one to understand the message.
In this communication, Moses understood that he would see evidence of God but not the cause underlying it. Honesty would appear because Truth passed by, affection would manifest itself as the product of divine Love, thoughtfulness would be understood to be the product of the Mind of God, and so on, but Moses would not see Truth and Mind with human eyes.
THE TRUE COMFORTER
Being "in the Spirit on the Lord's day" as John was on Patmos, turning and seeing it for oneself, is the only way to receive the true interpretation of Scripture. From this standpoint, translating the symbols back to their original spiritual language is easy. We begin with a meek and contrite heart, looking away from a physical sense of earth and man and standing mentally still like Moses at the Red Sea. We must be willing to give up all-everything of this world-in order to gain the peace, joy, and life we are seeking. The Revelation assures us that there is no question of our redemption. We have no choice; we are the manifestation of God now. What it takes for us to realize this fact is symbolized in Jesus' book. We will either turn and behold the truth of being, or we will experience all the plagues written in this book until we are forced to admit the truth of being. As we discover the key to opening it, the Revelation of Jesus Christ becomes an open book.
Sometimes questions arise about
whether to literally interpret the Revelation of Jesus Christ
and whether the accompanying symbols refer to historic places
Revelation is presented to us
as a Christ help meet. Attracting and gathering lost sheep requires
two strategies: first, we are drawn by the sweetness and comfort
of the message; and second, we are bridled to keep us from our
propensities (wicked inclinations) until we learn to live by
grace alone and to love it. The great Teacher taught both the
beauty of holiness and the wretchedness of evil.
Do not be discouraged if you do not comprehend the full meaning of the book of Revelation at your first perusal. You must know the end from the beginning, so read through to the end and then begin again. We all must discover that Revelation is the unveiling of one's real self.
THE NATURE OF REVELATORY WRITING
If you think of the book of Revelation as if it were written on a sphere and you were to scan it from side to side, you would see a horizon on one side, a middle section, and a horizon on the other side. It may appear to have a beginning, a middle, and an end, but if you were to look again at the sphere from a different vantage point, a new beginning, a new middle, and a new end would appear; the message is the same and yet new because of the way you are looking at it. This makes the prophetic writing style unique in that you can open the book at random, start at almost any sentence, and begin reading. Needless to say, this rare type of prophetic writing is replete with meaning and needs to be thoughtfully and thoroughly studied.
Now, think of this sphere as if it were woven with concentric threads. It would be possible to follow one thread, or idea, all the way around the sphere, learning as you go, and arrive back where you started. If you were to start again, following around the sphere and retaining what you learned, new meanings would arise that were not apparent before. When you were satisfied, you might select another thread of truth to follow, and so on. This ascending pathway of divine wisdom and its attending grace is the nature of the human pursuit of revelation until it is delivered directly and instantaneously as it was to John.
Revelation is not written like a novel designed with a surprise or mysterious climax. The end is clearly stated at the beginning although we may not recognize it at first. To prepare our thought for each spiritual lesson, prophetic reminders are offered along the way. Like a scientific investigation, each vision magnifies the previous one as though we were repeatedly peering through a microscope with ever more powerful lenses until the mystery of evil is uncovered and man's true identity is revealed.
Revelation is divided into an
introduction, seven letters to seven churches, seven visions,
a conclusion, and a recapitulation. Symbols abound, including
mathematical prowess. For example, seven is a prime number and
stands for indivisibility. The sequence from one through seven
is also significant, and the seven days of creation in Genesis
sets the standard. Each primary element builds upon the previous
one as if colors were being added to a rainbow or instruments
to an orchestra. The sixth point, event, or vision is a climax,
key, or compound concept, which inevitably brings on an epoch
change or a grand mental chemicalization. The seventh in the
sequence presents the solution, a new state of being and wholeness,
or a mirror opposite of these.
In the first chapter of Genesis, creation begins with light and gradually develops over six days into higher forms of goodness until the highest state-man made in the image and likeness of God-is seen and acknowledged. "And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day " (Gen. 2: 2).
It is most significant that
the first record of creation in Genesis presents the universe
from God's point of view.
Therefore, man made as image and likeness of the divine 'I' or 'Us' is a God-projected man.
Beginning in Genesis 2:4, a second, distinctly different record presents creation as an inverted image of the first. Here, man is created at the beginning and is made of dust from beneath rather than light from above. In this usage, Lord God, Jehovah, is God from man's vantage point: a composite of beliefs and conclusions drawn from the experiences of the Jewish nation. This is a man-projected God knowing good and evil.
Revelation restores creation to its original record, exchanging man's view of God for God's view of man. Is this not the Comforter bringing all things to our remembrance? As the prophetic pattern is fulfilled in each one of us and the original view is restored in consciousness, we will acknowledge God's vision and rest in this grand fact on the seventh day.