Sunday, May 5, 2019

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE 209

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
(A study in Book of Revelation Part 209) by J. Preston Eby.

THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB (continued)
“And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:9).

How precious the knowledge that we have a God who hungers, thirsts, deeply desires, to feast with His people — a God who from the beginning has tried to show us that His greatest delight is not in showing His authority or His power, but in enjoying intimate and close fellowship with His own. He set a feast of fruits before Adam and Eve, the like of which man has never been able to reproduce, and He came in the cool of the day and communed with them face to face. He ate and talked with Abraham in his tent at noonday. He spread a table in the wilderness for the entire nation of His chosen, and He gave them the very bread of heaven. He instructed the priesthood how to make twelve loaves of bread, called the bread of His presence, and had them eat it there in the tabernacle of His abode. Jesus performed His first miracle and began to show forth His glory at a wedding feast. He fed five thousand on a hillside. He did not hesitate to attend feasts, but sat at meat with many, even the rich and famous, and went up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feasts of Yahweh. Even after His resurrection He grilled fish upon the fire and ate it there with His disciples. And He has established the New Covenant with a feast, the great spiritual feast, wherein He has given His sons and daughters His own body for their meat and His own blood for their drink, that death might be swallowed up of Life.

God has promised through the prophet Isaiah that in the latter days He would make a great feast of spiritual blessings and benefits for ALL NATIONS, upon His holy Mount, the mount of His glorious Kingdom. “In this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined” (Isa. 25:6). God Himself has prepared this feast! And right now, the Lord is in the process of preparing this banquet for all the peoples of earth. The Lord is telling us in essence, I’ve saved the best wine for last, and now I’m pouring it into the vessels of my called and chosen elect who shall pour it forth before all people. All the families of the earth shall be gathered to this feast and partake of wonderful things in the presence of the Lord! Now, the mountain where this feast is spread is very significant. It bespeaks a holy place, the house of the Lord in the tops of the mountains (Mic. 4:1) where the presence, glory, and power of the Lord is manifest. It’s a place where the Lord’s people become the feast by being filled with all the fullness of God! The mountain of God’s presence, glory, and power is an important concept for His elect, for everything that the Lord shall do in the earth in these days is contingent upon His fullness formed in a people. Believe me, there is a spiritual mountain that is high and holy where God is preparing a glorious feast! God intends to work an amazing display of His glory that will overwhelm our minds and hearts! And He’s had all this planned since before the world began! This feast of fat things, of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, speaks of a people who aren’t satisfied with the milk of God’s word or just His gifts. They seek to know the Lord for themselves, to know Him in all His glorious fullness, to have the fatness of His word raised up in them, and to become within themselves His refined, aged wine!

It is my conviction that this is the greatest feast of all — the marriage supper of the Lamb — which ushers a people into the most intimate relationship with their Lord! It is not in meetings, preachings, teachings, prophesyings, singing, dancing, or any outward exercise that we enjoy the marriage supper of the Lamb; it is at the marriage union of our “soul bride” with our “spirit bridegroom” that we discover within ourselves the glorious marriage feast provided by our Father! God cannot spread a table in His holy mount for all people until we have this feast prepared within ourselves. Little wonder, then, that John on Patmos admonishes, “Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb!” The word “blessed” makes this a beatitude — a new beatitude, the fourth one in the book of Revelation. This beatitude proclaims the blessedness of them who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. The perfect passive tense of the verb speaks of these blessed ones as people who do not just have an invitation and may accept or decline, but as people who have accepted the invitation and are ready for the feast. They for sure are blessed — their happiness is guaranteed!

A marriage feast is a time of great joy and festivity. Those who have tasted something of this heavenly meal know how bountifully the table has been spread with His presence and glory and power! I have good news for you. Many are called to partake of this supper! Not all shall know Him as the bride knows Him, but vast multitudes shall be at attendance at His feast and be filled with the overflow of the abundance that is provided upon His table! The attendants will be there, the friends of the Bridegroom and the bride will be there, and guests from far and wide will be there, and what rejoicing and music and dancing there will be as we all eat of His meat and bread and drink of His wine! What quickening, what impartation, what fulfillment, what strength! As we leave this feast in great strength, it shall mean a new day of hope and deliverance and glory for the whole earth as the Lord comes as the heavenly Bridegroom to spread the great and glorious feast of HIS FULLNESS!

What constitutes the marriage supper of the Lamb? When we think of a feast we are prone to think in natural terms and picture a banquet of rich foods and an evening of superlative entertainment. There was a day when Jesus and His disciples came to Samaria. The day was long and the disciples of Jesus were weary and hungry. The disciples went to buy food and tried to get Jesus to eat. He refused, and said to them, “I have meat to eat that ye know not of.” This statement troubled the disciples, they wondered whether someone had brought food to Jesus. Then Jesus explained plainly, “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.” To do the Father’s will! That is what Jesus lived for; but it is also what He lived ON! “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that is proceeding out of God.” Nothing could satisfy Jesus’ appetite but this: He hungered to do the Father’s will! And nothing else could fill Him. The truth of these words is simply this: the strength of life for the firstborn Son of God was to do the Father’s will. He did that will by eating of the Father, allowing the Father to live in and through Him as the expression of His life. “As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me” (Jn. 6:57). Now this is a great and surprising revelation to many. When we have thought of eating and drinking and feasting with Christ we have entertained such carnal concepts. Roast beef and potatoes — indeed! This is not what the Christ feasted upon, and it is not what those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb feast upon! We are commanded to feed upon Christ Himself, to eat His flesh and drink His blood, “for my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed” (Jn. 6:55). Those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb no longer feed off the husk’s of man’s sustenance, no more do they feed off the putrification spread upon Babylon’s polluted tables, but are drawn to feast on the bounties of the fullness of Christ in an exceedingly rich and intimate manner!

Jesus promised that when He returned He would “gird” Himself and make His servants to sit down to meat, and that He would “come forth and serve them…meat in due season” (Lk. 12:35-44). In these days at the transition of the ages we have in a unique way and in an abundant measure experienced the very fulfillment of this promise. The Bridegroom is here! He has come and has served “meat in due season” to the elect household of faith. Rich indeed, faith strengthening and spiritually nourishing has been the fare made available by Christ in the spirit and by the spirit, as He has spread upon His table profound truths of the kingdom of God reserved for this hour. Only those who are prepared to enter into a deeper and more mature and intimate relationship with Christ are bidden to come and sit with Him at this reserved table at the feast — HIS TABLE! In the natural, babies do not have teeth and therefore must drink milk or eat baby food; neither do babes in the Lord have mighty faith to feed upon His deep truths and His rich word and His incorruptible life; but God metes out to them the milk of the word, and the food that is specially prepared for babes. He sends them His word and promises, presented in such a way, most often by charismatic and entertaining preachers, teachers, and programs, and on such a level that they are able to take them; and He gives more than they can ask or think, not according to their faith, but according to His grace and mercy. But — BLESSED ARE THEY THAT ARE CALLED UNTO THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB!

I would be remiss if I failed to point out in clear and unmistakable words the fact that the “marriage of the Lamb” is not exclusively a future event as the preachers are wont to proclaim. Let me make it quite clear before we go any farther that what our Lord is speaking about under the figure of the marriage feast is an actual personal experience which every soul may have, something intensely real and precious, not in the sweet bye and bye, but right here in our today. What it is, is a past event, a present event, as well as a future one! It is an on-going reality in the same sense that initial salvation is past for some, present for some, and still future for others. Millions of souls have through the centuries experienced the Lord as Saviour, some are now receiving Him, and many more will experience Him in the future. The future will indeed be greater by far than anything in the past! In like manner, the “marriage of the Lamb” is a relationship of union with Christ entered into as a result of spiritual growth and participation with the Lord. The marriage supper of the Lamb has already become a reality in the lives of countless saints who have responded to the gracious appeal, “If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Rev. 3:20).

There is an old song of the church that has a profound meaning. It says, “Jesus has a table spread, where the saints of God are fed; He invites His chosen people, Come and dine!” That table is in the heavens of God’s Spirit, and in the Spirit and by the Spirit we are seated there. Paul confirms that we have been “raised up, and made to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6). There is a table of the Lord spread for us in the heavenlies! Jesus said to His disciples, “I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father has appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom” (Lk. 22:29-30). Moses, Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and the elders of Israel were at the Lord’s table on mount Sinai. “And they saw the God of Israel: and there were under His feet as it were a paved work as a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. And…the nobles of the children of Israel…saw God, and did eat and drink” (Ex. 24:9-11). What an awesome picture! Seventy-four men of God, seated with Him in the height of a mountain peak, eating and drinking! What a supernatural table! What glory was there! It seems from the record that it was so overwhelming that none but Moses could take it in. Can we not see by this that the one thing the Lord seeks above all else from His chosen ones is COMMUNION AT HIS TABLE! Oneness around His heavenly table! A continual abiding in Him as our food, our nourishment, our strength, our enjoyment, and our life!

To sup with Christ is to commune vitally with Him; it is to fellowship intimately with Him and freely partake of all that is proffered by His Spirit. He comes in to dine! That is His heart’s desire. It is there, deep within — in the inner union of soul and spirit — as nowhere else, privately and alone, that spiritual edification and the understanding and participation in heavenly things begins and continues and consummates. Numerous yielded souls have attained this glorious experience, sitting with Him at His table; it is now happening for others, and it shall yet happen for multitudes of others. It is, first and foremost, an individual experience for believers. Multitudes are called to the feast, but for those chosen ones who sit at this feast with Christ at His table, it occurs for the individual when he reaches a condition of being ready for marriage — to fulfill the responsibilities and privileges of truly BEING A WIFE. Not many of the teeming millions of earth who profess to know the Lord are ready at this time for this high and holy calling, but those who do make themselves ready will be married to the Lord here and now in this life. It is a blessed and glorious fact that the marriage of the Lamb is taking place now, but only those with spiritual understanding know it. The rest are “star gazing” — watching the clouds — waiting to go to a banquet in the sky! While they wait, snug and smug in their childish denominational beds, the Lord is taking a bride! The Bridegroom stands knocking at their door — but they sleep on.

If you will step from the little boat of human understanding to tread the waves of revelation with Christ, the following experience between the Shulamite and her Beloved will speak to your heart in liberating, transforming power. “I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my Beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night. She answers him, I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them? My Beloved put his hand in the hole of the door, and my heart was moved for him. I rose up to open to my Beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock. I opened to my Beloved; but my Beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer” (S. of S. 5:2-6).

Beloved reader of this message, have you ever heard your Bridegroom’s voice calling you to come apart with Him, to leave everything and every one that hindered you and come into a higher place of revelation and separation unto Himself? Have you kept your Lord waiting while you pampered your flesh, or while you did something that you wanted to do, or while you clung to the religious excitement of a lower realm of so-called church life, instead of coming away with HIM? Have you heard Him chide you because you neglected Him, because you were not giving yourself to seeking His face, because you were not putting Him above all else, because you were not following on to know Him in deeper measures? When you have heard His voice in these and other ways, have you risen up eagerly and quickly hastened to obey? Or have you asked Him to wait until a more convenient season? Did you have some “religious” work which you felt was very important? Did you have some association you felt you could not break? Did you tell the Lord to wait until you could leave them, or finish what you were doing? Not always in words do we tell Him to wait; we just go on with our “work,” with our little religious games, with the carnal programs of Babylon, with the demands of family and involvements with the flesh, with the admiration of friends, with pleasures and pursuits. We are going to respond and obey, we are going to come out and go away with Him, we are going to arise and commune with Him, we are going to explore the deeper measures of His wisdom, purpose, and love, His power and His glory which He waits to disclose to us, but not until a more propitious moment when we have finished what we are doing!

In this vision of the marriage of the Lamb, the Spirit of God has given us a strain from the heavenly choir, the theme of which is CHRIST AND HIS BRIDE. Has this divine music sounded upon your heart until your spirit has been caught away to the Mount of the Lord? Have you received a deeper revelation of your high calling in Him, and the processes by which we may attain? Has the Spirit revealed clearer visions of those things that mortal eye cannot see nor ear hear, neither can the human heart contain, even the things that God has prepared for you and me? If you will draw close to God, He will anoint your eyes with heavenly eye salve: He will give you a divine perspective; He will cause you to behold the things that are unseen and eternal as you lose sight of the things that are seen and temporal. He will bring you into His banqueting house and your soul will be ravished with the revelation of His love. The noise and glitter of Mystery Babylon the Great will fade from mind and heart until it seems but a dream dreamed in the long ago. There is a remnant of the Lord’s people over the whole earth that have heard the cry, “Behold, the Bridegroom!” This remnant has arisen, trimmed their lamps, and with vessels full of oil and lamps shining bright have fixed their eyes upon Jesus, they are looking away from the earth, from people, from church systems, from everything to the Everlasting Hills of God.

WORSHIP NOT THE ANGEL
“And I fell at his (the angel’s) feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren which have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19:10).

Do not forget that in the book of Revelation everything is communicated to us in the form of signs and symbols. Just as the horns, beasts, candlesticks, horses, etc., are symbols of spiritual realities so are the “angels” also figures that stand for something else. The word angel simply means messenger. In the Revelation an angel or a messenger signifies a message communicated. Never get stuck on the angel! The angel is unimportant and irrelevant except as he relates to the message that he imparts. Now think about that blessed day when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to announce to her that she is to bring forth a son, and this son will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of his father David: and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.

Ah, can you comprehend, can you imagine with me the unutterable awesomeness of that moment when one of the mightiest of the angels from heaven stood there in Mary’s humble house, delivering that message from the Lord God of heaven and earth! It wasn’t just any angel, either, it was Gabriel himself. He stood there, right there, in her home, and delivered to her this word from the throne of God. Just imagine with me for a moment what Mary’s reaction might have been to this remarkable event. Let us suppose that the following day Mary begins to tell some of her friends that Gabriel had appeared to her. She brings them into her house and says, “He stood there, right there. His feet touched my floor there by that chair. Gabriel stood there! Right there! This area will always be sacred to me because that is where Gabriel stood. In fact,” she continues, “can’t you see the burn marks from the glory that radiated out of his feet?” And I can imagine that she put some posts with a rope around that holy spot. Perhaps later she received an inspired idea and started charging twenty shekels for people to come in and view the spot where the mighty Gabriel stood and left the burn marks on her floor! And thus Mary’s house became the primary tourist attraction in the town of Nazareth. I’m sure by now my reader realizes that I am truly being facetious!

But you see, my friend, should Mary have done such a thing she would have missed the point altogether! Gabriel was not the issue. Gabriel was not the item of importance that blessed day in Nazareth of Galilee. In fact, Gabriel disappears completely from God’s holy record following that event — he’s never mentioned again anywhere in scripture. It wasn’t about Gabriel. The message was the point! We don’t hear about Gabriel any more after that day, but we certainly hear a lot about THE SON OF THE HIGHEST! Gabriel spoke a word from God, a word of power, and that word produced a son in Mary. Gabriel faded away, but the Son of God is still seated upon the throne! His kingdom is unfurled from sea to sea and from pole to pole and His mighty work of redemption and restoration continues its triumphant march to subdue all things unto God!

I’m just a flesh and blood man, but upon me today there is a word. Out of me there flows a message. You may not think much of me. You may be able to discern my weaknesses and perhaps you can see some of my flaws. You may not like me. I don’t even like myself very much! But I know who I am and I know what Father has sent me to do. It makes no difference whether you like me, whether anybody likes me, or whether I even like myself. No difference at all! Because I’m not the issue. I’m of no importance. I am irrelevant to anything except as I relate to the message I bear. None of the “kingdom preachers” today are of any special importance within themselves. None of us matter. Never get your eyes on the angel! Never fall down and do obeisance before the messenger! If you get your eye on the angel, you’ve missed the point! I do honor the men of God who bear the revelation of the Lord in this great hour. But we are not called to participate in a Mutual Admiration Society or to exalt any man. We are called to deliver and to hear every word that is proceeding out of the mouth of God! It’s the word! It’s the message! And the spirit of our prophecy IS THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS CHRIST!

The great lesson here is that God speaks through man. Have you not heard the Spirit speak through man? Peter said that we proclaim the good news with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven! Not only do spiritual men read by the Spirit, hear by the Spirit, see by the Spirit, and know by the Spirit — they also speak by the Spirit! “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God” (I Pet. 4:11). I have heard the voice of the Spirit through a great many men and women during my lifetime. The word of the Lord and the revelation of God that flow through my pen in these days are not original with me. I cannot deny that the Holy Spirit has spoken many things to me right out of the depths of my being, out of the most holy place of my spirit. But much of our knowledge of the things of God has also been imparted to us as the voice of the Spirit has spoken to us through many chosen vessels across the years. Almost daily I hear the voice of the Spirit through precious letters we receive from members of God’s elect all across the land and around the world. I have both seen and heard great and mighty things from the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in God’s people! But we are never to pay homage to the vessel, we can never fall down to worship the messenger through whom God expresses Himself! We have to watch the esteem we give to the man God uses — for many have become followers of men rather than followers of God. This “angel” which showed John these things was in fact the spirit of a man, a saint from the other side of the veil, a fellow-servant of God, and one who with John bore the testimony of Jesus Christ. But he spoke by the Spirit! It was the Holy Spirit of God speaking through the man, unveiling to John the mystery and the glory of these wonderful truths! But John made the mistake of falling down to worship the man, the messenger — yet God Himself ordained this as an object lesson for us out of this book of pictures and symbols! He was straightway commanded, “See thou do it not!”

And I command you today — never get your eyes on me, beloved, nor on any other of the voices of God in the land today! I am but a vessel, a voice, a messenger. The voice is that of the Spirit, the testimony is of Jesus Christ, it is not my voice nor the testimony of myself. The sincere love and steadfast faithfulness of all those precious ones who esteem and value the ministry the Lord has been pleased to flow through us is truly appreciated on our part. But do not esteem us too highly, beloved! Be not followers of men, but be a follower of Christ Jesus the Lord! Do not worship at the shrine of any man, whether he calls himself an apostle, a bishop, a prophet, a teacher, a king-priest, a son of God, or any other title. And do not obey my word or their word above the witness of the spirit in your own heart. All — if indeed they are the messengers of Jesus Christ — are but servants, of thy brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! That is what the Spirit is teaching us in these things.

THE SPIRIT OF THIS PROPHECY
“I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren which have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19:10).

The book of Revelation is without doubt one of the most important and wonderful books ever written. It is, in my opinion, the most important book for all who are called and chosen as God’s government of kings and priests! It is difficult for many people to understand because it is written in highly symbolic language, understandable only to the spiritual mind. Long millenniums ago Joseph spoke a wonderful truth when he asked the burning question, “Do not interpretations belong to God?” (Gen. 40:8). Moses said, “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this teaching” (Deut. 29:29). Many preachers spend far too much time delving into future speculations about world events. Time invariably repudiates their futile predictions. God did not give us a heavenly version of NEWSWEEK magazine, but the Book of Life!

When the book of Revelation was written, John was in the Spirit! This is a fact of extreme importance. The realm of the Spirit is a realm beyond the reach of the natural. Spiritual things are all about us to such an extent that we live and move and have our being in them, yet the natural man can never see them until the Spirit draws aside the dusky curtains of our carnality and opens our eyes to the realities of the spiritual world. Thus it was with John, in exile on barren Patmos, a place of few inhabitants and always swarming with pirates and banished criminals of various sorts, but the record says of him, “Who bare record of the word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw...for the testimony of Jesus IS THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY” (Rev. 1:2; 19:10). Preachers and teachers ought to heed this wise counsel and concentrate on the testimony of Jesus which is the spirit of prophecy, rather than futuristic forecasts of earthquakes, plane crashes, riots, nuclear disasters, political coups, invasions, wars, terrorist attacks, foreign policies, world government, etc. When God gave us the Holy Spirit, it was not to take soundings of uncharted depths into the future of America, Russia, China, Europe, or the Jews, but to develop a SPIRITUAL CHARACTER, to put on the mind of Christ, and follow the Lamb whithersoever HE goeth!

The ministers of God were not meant to be soothsayers but truth-sayers. We were not called to predict all the changing events in the kingdoms of this world, not to herald a future antichrist, but to proclaim the ETERNAL PRESENT CHRIST! The book of Revelation is not primarily intended to teach world events. It is intended to teach the purposes of God and spiritual realities! Men have put so much stress on outward things, so much carnalizing of the word of God which is spirit and life, that when we read the scriptures we oft times overlook the real truth the Spirit is speaking.

The world is full of people today who are prophesying about a great many things. I never cease to be amazed at those who prophesy world events that are to come to pass. So many of them have prophesied and they were not right; their prophecies failed! Some of them have never prophesied anything that has come to pass, yet they keep right on prophesying, and their followers quickly forget the things that didn’t happen and continue to cling tenaciously to each new prediction. Some have called me a prophet. I don’t claim to be a prophet, though I have prophesied through the years, and do believe that my voice is a very small part of the many waters of God’s corporate prophet who speaks in this new kingdom Day. I know what prophecy is. I know Jesus who is the author of all true prophecy, and IS HIMSELF THE TRUE PROPHECY. “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy!”

In the spirit of Jesus is the real truth and it cannot be found in any other place! Jesus is alive in you, my brother, my sister, and He is alive in me. God has given us the spirit of His Son! The testimony of Jesus within ourselves is the spirit of prophecy! The spirit of prophecy most often speaks of Christ — of that of Christ which is becoming reality within us. Yes, the Spirit of God can reveal things to come in the outer world of politics, economics, warfare, the rise and fall of nations, disasters, etc. God has on occasion revealed such things to me. But those things are only incidental to the great spiritual realities of the kingdom that God is raising up within His elect! THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS IS THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY! The Spirit bears witness to God’s Christ — that is where true prophecy will be found! A true prophecy contains the testimony of Jesus — the word which energizes and causes the life of the Son of God to be raised up in us! It is a spiritual testimony, therefore its fulfillment does not come literally — it comes spiritually and is realized in Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ has come within us to reveal in us the unseen things of the kingdom of God!

Some people contend that the book of Revelation cannot be a spiritual book because the spiritual interpretation takes away from the true prophetic nature of this book. I ask, however — How in the world can spiritual understanding take away from the prophetic nature of the book when the book itself declares that “the testimony of Jesus IS the spirit of prophecy.” The testimony of the antichrist is not the spirit of prophecy! The testimony of the beast is not the spirit of prophecy! The testimony of the false prophet is not the spirit of prophecy! The testimony of the dragon is not the spirit of prophecy! The testimony of Daniel’s 70th Week is not the spirit of prophecy! The testimony of the rapture is not the spirit of prophecy! The testimony of what is going to happen in Israel during the tribulation is not the spirit of prophecy! The testimony of the Third World War is not the spirit of prophecy! It is the testimony of JESUS CHRIST which is the spirit of prophecy! And Jesus Christ is the glorious, risen, ascended, exalted, spiritualized, omnipresent, omnipotent, eternal GOD-MAN! We are the body of Christ, and the testimony of Jesus Christ is within us!

“The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” The application of this expression is given a more specific meaning by both Rotherham and the Emphatic Diaglott when they translate the Greek as saying, “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of this prophecy.” The fact that it reads “this prophecy” instead of merely “prophecy” indicates that there is a special relationship between the spirit of Christ and the words of this prophecy. The definite article is found in all the oldest manuscripts discovered, even though it is not expressed in the King James Version. In other words, a special work would be performed in relation to this prophecy. The prophecy itself is the word of God. But the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of this prophecy! The letter of this word is a lamb with horns, beasts, elders, locusts, women, angels, cities, wars, etc. But the spirit of this word is JESUS! The spirit of Christ within us is that which bears witness within ourselves to the true message of this book! And the spirit of Christ within us is that which accomplishes within us all the truth and reality of this book! The end of everything you will learn or experience out of this book is Christ! It can only be understood, known, and experienced by the spirit of Jesus Christ within us!

Understanding the book of Revelation spiritually is the only view by which you can interpret the book by the Bible. Every other view requires one to understand history, geography, politics or world events; and to have access to Newsweek, Time, USA Today or CNN in order to compare contemporary happenings with the symbolisms of the book. I have made the necessary discovery that the book explains itself, and I do not hesitate to tell you that this is the only view that makes the book relative to our spiritual life today as well as to the spiritual life of the saints of every generation. It is the only view that makes the book relative to anyone, anywhere, at anytime who reads or hears the prophecy of this book and keeps the things that are written therein (Rev. 1:3).

“The time is at hand” for all who come into an experiential revelation of Jesus Christ! When the unveiling of Jesus Christ within us becomes the power of our life, the book of Revelation becomes a NOW book! Every other view makes the Revelation either a past book, or a future book. Let every child of God know for a certainty that it is now, in our today, that we are experiencing the unveiling of Jesus Christ! We will not be helped spiritually one iota by an understanding of what Titus did to Jerusalem in A.D. 70, or what the Moslems did in the eighth century, or by what the Pope did during the middle ages, or by what some future antichrist will do after the church has gone to heaven. Those are, one and all, exercises in carnal minded foolishness that have absolutely nothing to do with THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST!

In this connection George Warnock wrote, “People continue to cry out: ‘We need another Elijah! We need another John the Baptist!’ But God has something even better in mind. Twice John fell at the feet of this shining one who was showing him heavenly things. And twice the man rebuked him for his error. For this angel was a man who had gone on, perhaps one of the prophets; for he said, ‘I am thy fellow servant, and of…the prophets, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus.’ And he said to John, ‘Worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.’ Is he not reminding us, who are often captivated by the charisma of some great prophet — that the testimony of JESUS in the earth is something better than having a great prophet? It is a corporate Testimony, a people moving in such union with Christ that they speak with one Voice, and shine as one Light, in this world of darkness” — end quote.

Those who interpret the book of Revelation literally give us only the “letter” of the prophecy and miss altogether the “spirit” of the prophecy. The “letter” is merely the outer shell, the husk, the chaff, which is inedible and fit only to be cast aside. The “spirit” of the prophecy, however, is its inner kernel, its essence, its substance, its marrow, its reality, its life! The “spirit” of this prophecy is THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS CHRIST! It testifies of HIM! If you cannot see God’s living Christ in every chapter and verse of the Revelation you have not yet come to or touched the “spirit” of this prophecy! That is the mystery.

To be continued…