The revelation of Jesus Christ is the bringing forth of the new man on the earth. In our last message we considered Jesus Christ and His revelation as being the primary theme of the book of Revelation. We saw that the Greek word for revelation is apokalupsis which means “to uncover” or “to lay open what has been veiled or covered up”. This revelation is the coming of the Lord we are all encouraged to be awake, watchful and eagerly waiting for. But, how is He coming? He is coming to be revealed more and more in us, His saints.
The unveiling of Christ in a people is a truth that has been altogether unknown by the church system. Yet it is the substance of all the figures and shadows which John saw in his vision. This manifestation is not just the central theme of the book of the Revelation but the entire bible. Even the accounts of the Old Testament are precursors for the coming forth of the many-membered Christ. Jesus said to His disciples: “’all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.’ And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures” (Luk. 24:44-45). I would put forth to you that the fulfillment of those prophecies of old that concern Him also concerns the body. For by one Spirit we have all been baptized into the body of Christ. It would serve us a great deal if we would know that Christ is a many membered body and not an entity in a distant heaven. “Just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ” (1 Cor. 12:12).
God is now knitting together this body in order to reveal the many-membered corporate Christ. This new man is the expression of a new mind, a new life, a new nature, and a new creation. The birthing of this man in our own experience should be utmost in our minds as we read the accounts of John’s vision. I cannot overemphasize the importance of looking beyond the literal interpretations of the symbolic beings, events and numbers which John saw. Bear in mind that everything detailed in the book describes all that transpires as a result of the work of the Spirit within you. Those images will come to life when you begin to understand each symbol and event as portraying your own spiritual experience in Christ.
The symbolism of the book is used to depict our own condition as the Spirit begins to purge the soulish and carnal nature that has dominated so much of our thoughts, desires, and actions. By His manifold dealings of judgment, correction and purging – by fire, by sword, by famine, by hunger, by the opening of the seven seals, by the sounding of the trumpet, by the pouring of the seven bowls, He does away with the corruptible to inaugurate the incorruptible. Each act depicts the coming of Christ in His saints, establishing in them a new mind and thereby removing their old Adamic consciousness. With every victory comes the increase of His dominion as Christ’s will and nature begin to find preeminence in man, stripping away the nature of the old. All this happens within us, in step with the principle of the kingdom of God that is within.
In line with this, I share from the pen of brother J. Preston Eby, who writes: “The book of Revelation gives us the keys that unlock the necessary events within ourselves to bring forth this manifestation of God. Before there can ever be a new heaven and a new earth in all the power of them there will be some mighty dealings of God that will burn up the grass — those surface coverings and masks in our lives; they will destroy the trees — those deeply rooted things that grow out of our earthly nature; they will shake the mountains — those high and exalted kingdoms we have built up from our carnal minds; they will turn the seas to blood until every living thing in them dies — the raging passions, surging emotions, relentless, unsatisfyable desires, and foaming agitations of the Adam nature which we must pass through to get to the other side. When John said that he beheld and there was no more sea, he meant that there was no longer anything within us preventing the pure and full expression of Christ in our earth. The reason there is a new heaven and a new earth is 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 shall be an expression of God’s Spirit through us to creation.”
As I begin to see my condition in the book, I can’t help but acknowledge how deep and complex my own heart is and how it is inclined to evil. Surely, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it [perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind]?” (Jer. 17:9 Amp). The heart can be such a force for evil, for our Lord Jesus said: “out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders” (Mat. 15:19). And if all the issues of life and all the ills of the world spring forth from the heart, how much more a force for righteousness would a regenerated heart be? Is this not why Paul repeatedly instructs us to put off the old man and to “put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24)?
Without exception a transplant is needed in heart and mind of every man. In effect, the book of Revelation is the accounts of God’s surgery table. With precision He will transplant man’s corrupted heart and replace it with the heart of Christ so that a new man in the His image may come forth on the earth.
With this understanding in mind, we should recognize that the COMING of the Lord is inextricably tied to this work of the Spirit within the heart of man. Whenever the scriptures speak of the coming of the Lord, six Greek words are used for the word ‘coming’. In an earlier message we have considered the meaning of the word ‘Parousea’ – which signifies the abiding presence of the Lord in the elect and not the act of His coming. But, contrary to the Parousia of Jesus Christ, the Apokalupsis of Jesus Christ refers to the outward expression and manifestation of His indwelling life. Thus, the Parousea and Apokalupsis point to two conditions in our progressive journey in Christ: His presence in us and His manifestation as us. The first is the present reality of His indwelling life in His body, His saints. The second is the manifestation or unveiling of that life from within.
In other words, Parousea and Apokalupsis indicate the veiled Christ and the manifested Christ respectively. It should be clear to all that we now dwell in the former condition. Despite the level of maturity in our relationship and union with the Lord, the totality of Christ’s life has yet to find its complete expression in a regenerated soul and body. Yet, this does not mean that He is not present. His manifestation does not signify His presence but His unveiling out from the veil of flesh; the old Adamic nature, which has hidden or veiled Him from finding expression.
Jacob sums up this truth saying: “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it” (Gen. 28:16). Elisha prayed that the Lord would open Gehazi’s eyes and he saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire. But the armies of the Lord had always surrounded the house just as the Lord had always been in that place with Jacob. In both instances, a revelation allowed them to apprehend that which was previously unknown or unseen. This is also true of the Christ that dwells in us. As we begin to live out of the revelation of His being as our reality; He draws us closer and closer to the manifest expression of His life. Yet, there is an hour of unveiling where the finale of this manifestation finds a corporate expression.
Dear saint, let us be done with the fairytales of Babylon. The hour is drawing near when Christ shall be revealed in an apprehended company of sons who will walk this earth operating in the fullness of the seven Spirits of God. These will reveal the Father unto creation just as the Lord Jesus Christ did in the days of His flesh. He was the first to manifest the Father on the earth, so that He could boldly declare: “he who has seen Me has seen the Father” (Joh. 14:9). But, there is greater works to come. The first manifested Son is the first fruit of a great harvest, the firstborn among many brothers (Rom. 8:29). He is the first because there are others to follow who will be the second born out from the dead. It is our Father’s good pleasure that this corporate man in the image of Christ will come forth to manifest Him unto creation.
May the fellowship and council of the Spirit guide us into deeper dimensions of His revelation as we press on into His fullness!