Apocalypse is a Greek term meaning the unveiling, disclosure and making known of something previously veiled. That is the term used in the title of the last book of the Bible – The Unveiling/Revelation of Jesus Christ. In recent weeks I have found myself drawn to the Book of Revelation like a spiritual magnet.
Almost daily I am reading and/or listening to this fascinating and glorious book of the Bible. Interestingly, I also find myself listening to the chapters in groups. For instance, I will listen to chapters 1, 5 and 10 together; then chapters 1, 2, 3 and 6; then chapters 1, 20-22. I am amazed at the level of revelation involving these Scriptures.
One thing is certain that I have discovered over the course of these days, we are imminently facing a tremendous and unprecedented revelation, unveiling, and disclosure of the Lord Jesus Christ to our generation. Like John, our understanding of who the Lord is and the power He embodies is about to be taken to an all new level.
Clearly, John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, had a great measure of understanding involving the Lord and His nature. After all, he had walked with Him for three years on the earth, and witnessed the crucifixion and His glorious resurrection. Following the Day of Pentecost, John became one with God’s Spirit and walked with Him for some six decades before finding himself exiled to Patmos.
It was on Patmos that John had this fantastic visitation that, no doubt, forever changed his perspective and understanding of who Jesus really is. Even all the years of walking with the Lord and witnessing His Spirit’s work did not prepare John for what he witnessed in that encounter. He saw the Lord as the Overcoming King and Righteous Judge, and the power of it struck John to the ground as a dead man. It was as though the Lord had to reveal Himself more completely to John before he could adequately pen the words that are now in the Apocalypse. John saw:
…seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength. When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man… —Revelation 1:12-17
I believe something similar is in store for us: We cannot adequately face the challenges and mandates placed upon us for the days ahead without a more complete and thorough revelation of the Lord Jesus. Like John, we desperately need to witness the sevenfold revelation of His glory.
Revelation of Jesus the Just Judge
Both Daniel and John were given phenomenal revelatory encounters with the Lord in His attributes as the Just Judge. His judgments are perfect and His ways beyond the scrutiny of man. His mysteries embody a promise for the welfare of His people and the unfolding of His Kingdom on earth. The mystery of His justice will unlock the virtue of Heaven.
The supernatural visitation awarded the apostle John while on the island of Patmos distinguishes in great narrative form the different aspects of His qualities in justice. John saw the Lord adorned in His royal attire, representing the constitution of His authority and reign to be delegated.
His Hair as White as Snow
The symbolic depiction of this image involving the Lord’s hair communicates the supreme wisdom by which He judges the affairs of mankind. The people of Israel vividly remembered the glory once resident in their nation through the leadership of Solomon. The Heavenly impartation of wisdom given to this king became legendary. Nonetheless, One greater than Solomon has now come. The One who is the very source of all wisdom will judge from the books of Heaven involving the issues of mankind and the restoration of lost heritage.
Both John and Daniel saw the purity of God’s wisdom in His justice portrayed through hair as white as snow. He revealed Himself as the suffering Lamb, however now we will see demonstrations of the overcoming King who comes to wage war with His enemies and render justice (see Revelation 19:11).
His Eyes as Flames of Fire
The penetrating and fiery eyes of Jesus the Just Judge have seen all that has taken place in the realm of mankind. Nothing has escaped His notice nor have the motives and thoughts resident in the hearts of people. Our thoughts are louder in Heaven than our words on the earth.
The eyes of God have roved to and fro throughout the earth to record every act of righteousness and document every injustice committed against the heritage of Christ. Not one will go without restitution and restoration. The Sevenfold Spirit of God is the all-seeing eyes of God.
For who has despised the day of small things? But these seven will be glad when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel – these are the eyes of the LORD which range to and fro throughout the earth. —Zechariah 4:10
Feet of Burnished Bronze
His feet of burnished bronze represents His right to stand in judgment. Bronze is a very hard substance that has been tried by fire. The sinless, spotless Son of God endured the harshness and recompense of iniquity and transgression on behalf of lost mankind. The fiery furnace of God’s wrath against sin was heaped upon the Lord Jesus. He took it to the Cross and won the right to release justice in the earth.
…because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead. —Acts 17:31
His feet will stand upon the land and sea to surrender justice in the realm of man. Only He can carry the burden of authority for this royal responsibility because of the great price that was paid through redemption. The prophet Moses prophetically saw the Lord coming in His glory revealing the attributes of both mercy and justice. As the Lord passed before Moses, He declared His eternal qualities of compassion and grace. He is slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness and truth. He extends mercy and forgiveness to thousands, pardoning iniquity, transgression and sin, but He will by no means leave the guilt of sin unpunished.
If sin and transgression have been released to the Lord Jesus through His Blood, then there remains no judgment for sin. Justice then relinquishes blessings, favor and grace to the righteous.
Voice as the Sound of Many Waters
Waters very often symbolically point to the multitudes of peoples and nations. Likewise, His voice is the voice of ultimate authority and power. Throughout the ages a prophetic message has been delegated and entrusted to each generation through the messengers of Heaven. There has been an allotted portion of Heavenly manna deposited throughout each juncture of Church history.
The prophet Daniel, in his prayer of repentance, acknowledged that the people of his day did not obey the voice of the Lord presented to them through His servants the prophets. He acknowledged,
…nor have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His teachings which He set before us through His servants the prophets. —Daniel 9:10
When the day of justice arrives, every voice that has declared the revelation of God to their generation will be sounded as one. That voice will be the voice of the Holy Spirit rendering justice.
In His Right Hand – Seven Stars
The Holy Spirit has utilized the agency of man to articulate His voice. The seven stars are the ambassadors of Heaven who carried and imparted the revelation of Jesus to their generation. The Scriptures plainly emphasize the meaning of the seven stars as messengers.
Clearly, the apostle Paul was a messenger and voice to the early Church, who worked in cooperation with the Holy Spirit and the host of Heaven. The message was oftentimes communicated to him and the apostle John through spiritual beings who embodied the revelation of God. That pattern continued throughout the Church ages and will be emphasized in this day. An accentuation of this reality has been plainly recorded in history. Martin Luther was a messenger to his day, bringing the restoration of truth that the just shall live by faith. The progressive recovery of lost heritage continued through the messengers of the next generation, including John Wesley, George Whitefield, John Knox and many others.
Likewise, the development of the 20th century also produced key prophetic voices who were pioneers that burned with a message of truth that could not be contained. The ministry of healing was restored to the corporate Body along with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit witnessed at the Azusa Street mission. Finally, this generation will experience a company of messengers who not only impart a truth but embody the Truth. That is our promise and legacy.
The Living Word is quick and powerful and sharper than a two-edged sword. Only the Lord can separate spirit from soul. He is the One who discerns the thoughts and intentions of our hearts. The Lord Jesus has the unique ability to examine and weigh our motives to determine if we are capable of carrying the authority of Heaven to our generation.
It is His intent and desire to live in and among His people, bringing the revelation of Himself and His Word. The book of Revelation depicts the Lord Jesus coming on a white horse with the declaration that He is faithful and true. Embroidered on His garment is the depiction of His person – the Word of God. The Word became flesh and dwelt among mankind. He once again desires to do the same through His Body.
Face Like the Sun
Resident in the Lord are manifold holy attributes. Many people still envision the Lord as a baby in a manger. However, He is now an awesome, victorious, overcoming King – great is His power and authority to be administered and experientially apprehended on the earth in a demonstration of His victory.
The Son of Righteousness will arise with healing in His wings to bring a fresh revelation of His Person to the earth. The residue of glory resting on Moses after his face-to-face encounters with God overwhelmed the people of Israel. He was forced to cover his face because of the tangible impartation of Heavenly virtue that he transported. How much more in this generation when the Lord demonstrates His victory and imparts His glory not only upon but within His Bride. Christ in us – the hope of glory. This endowment will come to those who view Him with an unveiled face.