The Revelation of Jesus Christ

Ἀποκάλυψις Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ
An Overview

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Rev 1:1 ¶ The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his
servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified [it] by his
angel unto his servant John:
According to Strong, the definition of the English word “Revelation,” the Greek word,
“apokalypsis,” is:

1) laying bare, making naked
2) a disclosure of truth, instruction
a) concerning things before unknown
b) used of events by which things or states or persons hitherto withdrawn from view are
made visible to all
3) manifestation, appearance

This same word here translated “Revelation” occurs, in its substantive and verbal form, in
numerous instances in the New Testament, and is variously rendered: Revelation (Rom
2:5), manifestation (Rom 8:9), appearing (I Peter 1:7), coming (I Cor. 1:7) enlightening
(Luke 2:32). According to Luke 12:2, there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed.
It is therefore appropriately employed to express the manifestation of iniquity, in the last
days, and the revelation or appearing of the Lord at His Second Coming. “The day of
Christ shall not come except there be a falling away first, and that man of sin be
revealed.”

Tenaciously, I have consistently maintained that the revelation of Jesus Christ was truly
the Revelation of Jesus Christ, the Word of God (Jn 1:1 and Rev. 19:13). Often, I’ve
inquired: “Sirs we would see Jesus,” it seems that an anti-Christ, from the very book that
is suppose to reveal the real Christ is brought forward. All too often in the quest to see
Jesus in the book of Revelation, after some theological incantations of divine sorcerers,
the likes of Jack VanImpe, Hal Lindsey, Tim LeHaye and even some of our own

Apostolic Sorcerers. a false Word is brought forward. Like the witch of Endor someone
will call up the ghost of Nero and the Roman General Titus to present to us from the
pages of the “Revelation.” By means of clever twisting of scripture, some idea of old
Jerusalem destroyed in 70AD by the Roman army is presented as The Revelation of Jesus
Christ. Other sorcerers will present a two hundred million member of the Chinese Army
crossing over a dried up Euphrates river. We are shown Islam, computer chips, an
American President, Russian armies coming down on horses to attack Israel, on and on,
ad infinitum the incantations go on from one news headline to another all of which are
intended to titillate the lustful heart bent down into the sensual principle.

I don’t distress over these teachers since they have been around for a long time in varied
attempts to reveal from out of The Revelation almost anything instead of Jesus Christ
who is gloriously identified and revealed within its sacred pages. In truth, “antichrist” is
only mentioned four times between the covers of the sacred text. Each appear in the
Epistles of John; three times in I John and once in II John, but never once mentioned in
“The Revelation.”

You ask these learned teachers concerning the glory of the church and the power of the
Kingdom of God to be revealed upon the earth, invariably, the vision that you get from
them is a beast rising up out of the sea giving everyone a number on their forehead or
right hand. Indeed, much wickedness and iniquity is also revealed in the pages of The
Revelation but such manifestation is to the extent that Our Lord Jesus Christ is revealed,
the discerner of the thoughts and intent of the heart.

You ask about the victory that overcomes the world, sooner or later, you will get a picture
of human blood flowing like a mighty river down in the valley of Megiddo running for
many miles up to the horse’s bridle, (Rev. 14). You will hear about Moses and Elijah
(possibly Enoch) coming back in the flesh to be slain in earthly Jerusalem where they
will lie in the streets before being caught up to heaven to be witnessed on a world-wide
television special. When Jesus Christ is not revealed, almost any scheme of interpretation
might be employed to establish yet another theory.

Side note: Once my son took the average amount of blood in each human body,
multiplied it by all the people in the earth, figured the distance and depth of the river of
blood mentioned in Revelation, he got a figure that would require all the blood of every
human being THAT EVER LIVED and still not be enough blood to measure up to the
horse’s bridle.

That aside…
The Revelation of Jesus Christ is not the revelation of Nero, Popes, Kings, Presidents,
Obama, Gorbachev nor is it the armies of China and kingdoms of this world, all of which
we’ve heard many times before. The book…The Revelation of Jesus Christ is just
that…the Revelation of Jesus Christ revealed, manifested, unveiled, made known,
appearing, shown forth, fully disclosed in HIS CHURCH. The Revelation is about Jesus,
who He is and as he is revealed to His church, in His church. It’s all about Jesus and His
church. It is about his loving and compassionate dealing with her, from the beginning to
the end.. The seven churches of Asia are merely a composite of all churches of all time
from then until now. Walk into any church anywhere in the world, it will be one of the
seven to whom Jesus spoke and addressed Himself so succinctly, calling upon all to
repent, save one.

As seen in Chapter ONE, the main introductory chapter to the Revelation, Jesus Christ, of
whom the book is written, identifies himself as the Almighty God:

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

After Jesus identifies Himself, he then reiterates His identification after which he then
expresses His intent for now speaking to John, taking him out in the Spirit on the Lord’s
day:

Rev 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest,
write in a book, and send [it] unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus,
and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto
Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

After Jesus identifies Himself to John, stating his purpose in speaking to him in the Spirit
on the Lord’s day, He then is seen in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, walking
among them. Who can but doubt that these candlesticks are the seven churches to whom
John is to write concerning those things which he shall both see and hear?
Rev 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw
seven golden candlesticks;

Rev 1:13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks [one] like unto the Son of man,
clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
After Jesus identifies who he is (God Almighty and where he is found walking among the
churches), from what follows in subsequent chapters, particularly chapters two and three,
which are the initial introductory chapters to The Revelation, it is plainly demonstrated
that the Words of Jesus to the seven churches are words to the entire universal Church in
the complex. As stated above, seven being the number of completion, every church of all
ages are in whole or in part revealed in words spoken by Jesus to these seven. The
spiritual state, that is to say, the condition of all churches of all ages are seen in His
message to the seven churches among whom he walks, holding them as stars in His hand.
Regardless of which of the Apostolic churches that you may walk into, you will be
walking into one of the seven churches described in chapters two and three or a
combination thereof. Which of the seven would you suppose yourself of being a part of?
When we are earnestly desiring to see Jesus, we need not hear the latest news headlines
nor is there any need to hear what the Palestinians are doing. It does us little spiritual
good to hear about wars and famines from news agencies. It lends no spiritual good to
hear about an evil man who is going to rule the whole world, of a computer in Brussels
that fill up a high rise office building that is going to give everyone a number, of Chinese
armies crossing over the dried up Euphrates river or even Russia coming down out of the
North. On and on. There are plenty of other scriptures that deal with those things…but not
in the Revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. I rejoice in the hope of the catching away, but
don’t try to find it in Revelation.

In short, our blessed hope and the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ in the clouds will
come to pass filling our hearts with joy at his return. Meanwhile, we must not forfeit the
greatest thing that will ever happen in the earth when Jesus will indeed appear in His
church, seen by her ruling with power and glory. These things are at hand, which is to say
“within our grasp.” Let us reach for Him. He is not far from the least of us, if we will but
feel after Him. He is at hand.

Unto them that look for Him shall he appear….
Again I say, every church from that day to this can be found in one or more of the seven
churches of Asia since those seven churches are all churches of all time in the complex.
Every God-inspired sermon preached to a church will address a resident condition found
in one or more of those churches. That is why it is important that no sermon should be
amiss by addressing the need of Smyrna when in Philadelphia…or preaching what should
be preached in Thyatira when in Pergamos. The preaching should be led of the Holy
Ghost for only He knows the singular need of each church.

It is worth noting that to each of the seven churches, Jesus makes his introductory
remark, “I know thy works…” In each case he concludes his remarks to them by saying,
“He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit sayeth unto the churches.” Jesus
is still speaking the same things to each of the churches today through his message to the
seven. He sees and knows our works by which we will be defined, and if we are spiritual
enough to be able to hear what the Spirit is saying to us, we may then have both presence
of mind and opportunity to repent of whatever deficiency may be as noted by Him who
searches us out. This is true whether we be of the nature of those in Ephesus, the first
church addressed or that of Laodicea, the last church addressed.

After Jesus makes His charges known to the church universal, the question then becomes
a matter left to the churches individually, that is, to repent or not to repent as called upon
by He who examines each church and says, “know thy works.” He who is all knowing
calls upon each of the seven (save one, possibly two) to repent. Will they? The rest of the
book is centered around those churches in spiritual decline and those churches who are
truly repenting to become the Bride of Christ. Here it is that we see those churches who
do not repent and the consequences to follow and furthered centered around the
overcoming church at last seen as the Lamb’s wife. In the end, there will be a virgin bride
of Christ prepared for His coming and there will be a harlot church fit for destruction.
Judgment is set in Chapter 4. This chapter concerns arrangement and preparation of all
things in heaven for the judgment, to be executed from the Word as from a Just Judge,
likewise concerning the acknowledgement that the Lord is the only wise Potentate and
God alone.

The churches that do not repent have available to them the same Revelation of Jesus who
alone walks in their midst, as all the other churches, but the affects on them are much
different than upon the churches that do repent and is the overcoming, victorious church.
All churches will be judged from His Word according to their works to the extent that
they repent, or do not repent, as seen by what follows through out the Revelation.
In chapter 6 you see the church in a general sense starting out in great glory, power,
purity and overcoming the world by conquest (first seal) represented by the rider of the
white horse. As time progressed so the state of the church evolve from such Apostolic
purity to accepting some error (the second seal), represented by red as a church from the
Word inflicting violence upon the Word. Then we find the church (third seal) become so
famished by ever increasing error to the point that in the end, the church, in a general
sense becomes so anemic, so chlorotic, that the only consequence of its unrepentant
condition (the fourth seal) is that of death. Hell then quickly follows close behind.
Going forward, chapter seven is about Jesus and His church. Chapter eight is about Jesus
and His church. Chapter nine is about Jesus and His church. Chapters ten, eleven,
twelve, thirteen, on and on until the end of chapter twenty-two is about nothing except
Jesus and His church.

My purpose in this short treatise is to underscore a different perspective of The
Revelation than what is presented by most religious traditionalist and that of many
prevailing persuasions fostered upon the true church by unregenerate publishers and
writers. It soon becomes evident that the spiritual disclosure of the text of the Revelation,
the unveiling of Jesus Christ, is the most powerful Apostolic book in holy writ.
It is too bad the Dispensationalist like Schofield, Larkin, Hal Lindsey, Jack VanImpe and
company, including a few of our own Apostolic prophecy teachers have committed so
much fornication with error as to become insane with lustful fantasies from their own
imaginations. They have so thoroughly corrupted The Revelation having successfully
blinded the eyes of many who would have otherwise and joyfully embraced these great
Apostolic truths found in Revelation, the Capstone of all Apostolic revealed truth, the
perfecting writings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Many of these emissaries of hell often spoke
of the infilling of the Holy Ghost as evidenced by speaking in tongues as being of the
devil. How it is that these agents of darkness could have their writings so well received
by so many of us who already love Apostolic truths and the Oneness of God, is to me, a
mystery. Not the least portion of The Revelation of Jesus Christ can be revealed,
unveiled, manifested and disclosed to men of regenerate spirits renewed by the Holy
Ghost by lecturers and authors who DO NOT KNOW HIM.

No part of the Sacred Scripture has been the subject of such deep and anxious study as
the Book of Revelation, and none has received so many and such various interpretations.
Of course, this may be accounted for by the nature of the book itself. At once prophetic
and enigmatic, it gives the greatest stimulus to human curiosity, and apart from divine
help, affords the widest scope of human ingenuity.

Those churches, the remnant that go on from glory to glory to become what God intended
for them to become are, at last, seen with their Lord, their lover and redeemer in all her
regalia forever to dwell with Him. “Blessed and holy are these who have part in the first
resurrection…” the first resurrection is JESUS, the first born from among the dead. They
who have part in His resurrection must necessarily have part in, to become identified with
Him in His death and burial. Blessed are they who have part in His death, burial and
resurrection who shall live to eternity to die no more. They shall see His face at last,
when that fellowship so long sought, is fully restored on the banks of the River of Life.
Those churches that did not repent, though earnestly entreated by Him who walked in
their midst, saying, “I know thy works,” He who loved them the most, He who would not
let them perish so easily, after much travail to save them, were finally lost after judgment
was complete. Apart from Jesus there is no life, only eternal death.

Jesus is made known, revealed, brought forth into view in every chapter, unveiling Him
in the church befitting the occasion presented in each chapter. Each of his seven spirits
(the Spirit of God in the aggregate) is manifested as he deals with the seven churches
which are a token of the whole of all churches.

When Jesus is brought forth in full view as it is done in Revelation, nothing will stir the
heart, vivify the mind, establishes Apostolic doctrine quite as well as it is done here. One
would no longer shun the book but rather cherish it as greatly as the Gospels and Acts
seeing the true promised blessedness that reside there for all who read it.

I would urge everyone who have these John Darby, C.I. Schofield, Clarence Larkin
views, albeit modified in various forms by some of our own Apostolic writers, remove
those opinions to a discarded heap and leave them there. Holding to them will effectively
rob our Lord of His glory which prevent Him from shining forth in His regal beauty and
divine majesty that would otherwise be possible. Darby, Schofield and Larkin nor the
proponent of Preterism never had of the Holy Ghost for illumination that they should
become teachers of Apostolic truths. In fact, Larkin said of Pentecostals and the
experience of speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives utterances, to be of the devil. Why
should any of us give ear or attention to such seducing spirits? Let us remove their
fallacies from the citadel of our minds by repenting of them of their lies that we may hold
in our minds.

When we read, “shortly come to pass” in the text, it should be understood to mean “what
is foretold here in this prophecy will surely come to pass.” This owing to the knowledge
there is no time in the spiritual sense of the Word, but rather “certainty” instead
depending on the spiritual state of the church from the time those various states unfold
themselves. When we read, “at hand,” we should understand that to mean that those
things prophesied here will be embraced, depending on how a church respond to the
warnings and charges given in the second and third introductory chapters of Revelation.
On the one hand, we can take hold upon death and hell by rejecting the loving reach of
our Lord, who is urging his beloved to repent. On the other hand, we can also take hold
of life by repenting of those things that Jesus charged the churches within the same
second and third chapters. These things are “at hand,” and will certainly come upon the
churches depending on how they receive the Word of the Lord unveiled here in this most
marvelous text.

Jesus is seen as the eternal lover of his church who have taken the warnings to heart,
repenting of those things he warned against. The long enduring ambition of God since the
beginning, is that He might fellowship with and live among men whom he created for
this purpose. This, His highest ambition is seen by His great love of fellowshipping with
Adam in the garden during the cool of the day when he descended in human form for
loving fellowship, walking and talking personally and intimately with him. Together,
each enjoyed blessed fellowship and communion until the horrible break caused by
rebellion and disobedience. This awful tragedy will not be repeated by the last church.
She is predestined for His purpose. We have a choice whether to be a part of that
overcoming church, or not to be. Let us choose wisely.

This same state of fellowship and loving intimacy with man will be restored by the
Revelation of Jesus when He raises the level of holiness in his church by the unveiling of
His Word within man that he can draw close and personal with men until it is finally said,
“Behold the Tabernacle (Jesus) of God is with men.

The beloved church, the last church, Adam and Eve, being the first, will restore all things
together with her heavenly bridegroom which was lost by the first church in the garden so
long ago. It is imperative that we do not allow the arch enemy of the Kingdom of God to
abort within us His wonderful plan for you and I and the church collectively, by religious
traditions evolved from speculative theology, handed down to us by unregenerate men
who held pure Apostolic doctrine in contempt. Rather, let us buy the truth and sell it not
at any price, by exchanging error, (regardless however much we may cherish it) for the
glory soon to be revealed is us as we continue to walk in the light of his countenance.
The conclusion of the matter is this: The revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ is not
revealed to those who make God three and our Lord two. The whole of Trinitarian
dogma is darkness in which the least of divine light is absent. The revelation is withheld
from the wise of this world among the academia but is revealed to His Servants often
seen, as the early disciples, ignorant and unlearned men. Though it does not have to be,
scholastic achievement is often a detriment, nourished by pride.

At the risk of being too redundant, may I again emphasize an earlier point, Jesus is seen
identifying Himself in Chapter one and walking among his church. He is seen counseling
his church individually and collectively in chapters two and three. These three chapters
are the introductory chapters to the Revelation. Chapters four and five are preparatory to
judgment in the house of God by Jesus, the head of the church. Chapters six give us
graphic illustrations as to how a great church will begin as an overcoming church having
great glory with purity of Divine truth but, with decreasing love and attendance to the
Divine allow for heresies to creep in to rob it of its power and glory. Afterwards famine,
not of bread but of hearing of the Word becomes pronounced. Finally, in the end of a
church which began in great glory, the church is seen followed by death and hell fast on
its heels. From this point through to the end is how the churches respond to the call of
repentance and the consequences that follow until at last there is in the end, a church
triumphant restored to what God intended for her to be from the garden. The church of
Jesus Christ will become either a harlot woman or the virgin bride, depending on The
Revelation that she receives and the light from it that she walks in, or fails to walk in.
How men conjure up so many fantasies to apply to the Word of God that by tortured
reasoning can be so deluded as to dream up some of the things that they often do is
beyond me to understand. How it is, that on one hand we will reject the Roman doctrine
of the Trinity but on the other hand accept the Roman doctrine of Preterism is quite
amazing to me. (I mean no offence to my Preterist friends any more than I mean offence
to my Trinitarian friends). While we reject the doctrine of the Reformed who not only
hold to the doctrine of the Trinity but in addition to it have added the doctrine of salvation
by Faith Alone and Eternal Security, yet so many of us fully embrace their
Dispensationalist teaching while they say of those of us who speak in tongues are devil
possessed. How can such light come out of much darkness? Truthfully, it cannot.
Everything they offer is a lie, including the Dispensationalist teaching.
Pro 4:18 But the path of the just [is] as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto
the perfect day.

Let us lay aside every weight (of error)….and run with patience.
Psa 89:15 Blessed [is] the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD,
in the light of thy countenance.

Jesus is seen as the eternal lover of men who took the warnings at heart, repenting from
the heart those things he warned against. The highest ambition of God has always been to
live and fellowship with him whom he created. This is seen by His great love of
fellowshipping with Adam in the garden during the cool of the day when he would come
down in human form and fellowship, walking and talking personally and intimately with
him. Each enjoyed blessed fellowship and communion with each other until the horrible
break caused by rebellion and disobedience. This will not be repeated by the last church.
This same state of fellowship will be restored by the Revelation of Jesus when He raises
the level of holiness within man that he can draw so close and personal with men until it
is finally said, “Behold the Tabernacle (Jesus in the flesh) of God is with men. ”
The beloved church, the last church, Adam and Eve being the first, will restore all things
together with her heavenly bridegroom lost by the first church in the garden so long ago.

Yours in Christ
Rayford Strange

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