Revelation Chapter 1
Good evening and God bless. Our Scripture is Habakkuk 3:1-6 which speaks of God's revelation to Israel in the midst of Daniel's seventieth week but employs some of the imagery of Revelation 1.
"A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth (Heb.) "ecstatic triumph".
O LORD, I have heard Thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive Thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.
God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran [or Sinai – Malachi 4:4-6). Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. And His brightness was as the light [as we see in Revelation 18:1]: He had horns coming out of His hand [which are the Seven Church Ages - Revelation 1:16; 5:6]: and there was the hiding of His power. Before Him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at His feet (Numbers 16:46-49; Ezekiel 10; Revelation 1:15; 8:5). He stood, and measured the earth: He beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow (Daniel 7:9-14; Revelation 6:14): His ways are everlasting".
The Book of Revelation has been in appropriately named by the publishers of my King James Bible, "The Revelation of Saint John the Divine". It is as the first verse states, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ" which was shown to John for Christians in every age. The Roman Catholic Bible names this Book "The Apocalypse" which is the Greek word for revelation or unveiling. It progressively discloses the Person of the Lord Jesus and His future work in the coming seven Church Ages through Daniel's Seventieth Week until He has put down Satan and delivered the Kingdom to God in the new heavens and new earth.
Brother Branham has taught us, if we are true seed we will esteem revelation of and obedience to His Word above our necessary meat. "If the people get the true revelation of the true Church and what she is, what she stands for and that she can do the greater works, she will be an invincible army. If they get a true revelation of the two spirits within the framework of the Christian church, and by God's Spirit discern and withstand the antichrist spirit, Satan will be powerless before her".
Although the Roman Catholic Church would have us believe God is building His Church on Peter and the Protestants believe He is building it upon Jesus, Jesus said its being built on the rock of Spiritual revelation of the Word. And that the gates of hell shall not prevail against faith or Spiritual revelation.
It is a revelation because the disciples did not know these truths for when in Acts 1 they asked Jesus if He would at that time restore the Kingdom to Israel, which would be to commence the millennium, He replied "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has established by His authority. But you shall receive sufficient understanding of the matter as will enable you to witness both in Jerusalem and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and to the Gentiles".
These things were unknown to Jesus while He was on earth. Speaking of dispensations in Matthew 24:36 He said, "Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only". However, after His ascension, we read how God GAVE this revelation to Jesus who gave conveyed it in symbols by the prophet-messenger to the Laodicean Church Age, William Branham (1909-1965), to John through a series of visions between AD95-96 during his captivity on the Isle of Patmos.
We can positively identify the angel of Revelation 1:1 as that of Revelation 3:14, 10:7 and elsewhere because the mystery of the Old Testament symbols revealed in the Voices of the seven thunders was sealed with Seven Seals until Christ fulfilled His mediation, claimed the Book of Redemption from God, tore open the Seals, and revealed these mysteries to the angel to the Seventh Church Age.
Expounding the first resurrection in I Thessalonians, Paul said, "Of the times and seasons, brethren, you have no need that I write to you". Had he written, Paul could have only presumed as to "the times and seasons", for the Book was revealed to one man who would be born almost 1900 years after Paul's death.
The revelation of God for each age can come in that age only, and at a specific time. All God requires of His saints is that we walk in all the Light He is revealing for our day and watch for more Light to unfold. Hence Paul called the Thessalonians "children of Light" and admonished them to remain watchful from behind the Spiritual armour.
Now the appropriate time or dispensation was at hand to reveal these prophecies for those men who have willingly bound themselves as servants to do God's will, disregarding their own interests. I refer to the upcoming seven Church Age messengers and Israel's two prophets through whom humbler ministries and saints throughout the days of man would require to know the "things which should shortly come to pass" as they unfold through the Church Ages (I John 1:7).
Like the rest of the Bible, the Book of Revelation can be revealed only to the elect. Only His sheep can understand His Word because It requires the teaching of the Spirit or It never becomes clear. Those who can understand and "keep" or hold fast to the revelation (or logos) of this prophecy are blessed of God, because It is the revelation of God that will give us authority over the Devil. And those who would add to or take from It are accursed.
Brother Branham thought this blessing referred to the Old Testament custom of priests reading from the law and the prophets (Exodus 24:7; Nehemiah 8:2; Acts 13:15; 15:21; II Corinthians 3:15).
In each of the Seven Church Ages, as in the Seals, Trumpets and Vials, there is a marked division into three and four—Divine and human—which, when they embrace produce Spiritual perfection. (3 + 4 = 7). The Fire lit by God on the day of Pentecost died down through the first three Church Ages, and rekindled by man through the Reformation, as God told Moses that he should hew the two new tables of stone on which He would restore the commandments.
In the first three Church ages, the exhortation, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches" comes immediately before the overcomers' promises. In the last four, its immediately after, because the Word went out and was slain. Then the Reformers called the believers to overcome the nicolaitanism and balaamism of the false church system. Only then can they hear what the Spirit was saying to both groups and distinguish between them.
John's record of what he saw in the visions commences in verse four is addressed to seven churches in cities in Asia Minor whose histories and characteristics type the spiritual attributes of the coming Seven Church Ages. The revelation contained in the visions will impart grace in a new birth by the sevenfold Spirit of God as It anoints the Messages of the angels to these Church Ages.
II Peter 1:2, "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord". The measure of God's grace increases in proportion to our faith.
John is declaring what He has seen "in the Spirit in the Lord's day" because the sevenfold portions of the Spirit are back before the throne of God, after revealing "that which was in part".
Revelation 1:5, "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood."
We were bound in sin by the blood of our natural birth but washed or loosed by the created Blood of God. "He that is washed needs only to wash his feet to be completely clean" (John 13:10). He who is not washed could not discharge the office of a priest. And He has made us a Kingdom and priests. We are New Jerusalem, God's Kingdom and dwelling place. Priests have the peculiar privilege of near admission to the presence of the king. The priests or chief rulers of David's kingdom were his sons, a type of the Bride (II Samuel 8:18).
Though we are kings, we rule as priests, with the ministry of reconciling the world to God by the revealed Word (II Corinthians 5:18; I Corinthians 2:15; 6:2-3; I Peter 2:5). Jesus said, "Let he who would be great among you be your minister" (Matthew 20:26). Zechariah foretold the Gentiles would come and build in the house of the Lord (Zechariah 6:15; Exodus 19:6).
Revelation 1:7, "Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen".
Of old the Cloud was the symbol of God's Presence with His people (Exodus 13:21; 40:34-38; Luke 9:35). Christ's parousia coming was signified with Clouds (Matthew 24:30; Acts 1:9-11). This passage distinguishes three groups who see His parousia with the eye of faith at three distinct periods of time. First the end-time Bride. Jesus said, "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but you see me: because I live, you shall live also (John 14:19)." Three and a half years after our translation, 144,000 Israelites whose forefathers "pierced Him [will] see His parousia". Then "all kindreds" will recognize they have missed the full adoption, and must lay down their lives to keep their names on the Book of Life, wail because of Him. The Greek "Even so" and the Hebrew "Amen" signifies this prophecy is unchangeable.
Revelation 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."
Jesus declares Himself to be A and Z, the Word manifested in the Bride at the beginning and the restored Word manifested in the end time Bride (Malachi 4:5-6; Matthew 17:11; Acts 3:21). But He was not what was in-between, "that which was in part", the part-Word Church Age Bride for whom He had interceded.
John here identifies Jesus as the God of verse 4, "which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty", manifest in flesh. He is the High Priest, He was the Prophet and will be our coming King. This how the 144,000 view Jesus when they see His parousia. Revelation 15:3, "And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, Thou King of saints." We're the saints and that's our King, Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord God Almighty.
Revelation 1:9-12, "I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the Word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great Voice, as of a trumpet, 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. And I turned to see the Voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden lampstands;"
All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution, or tribulation. John was suffering the tribulation of imprisonment on the Isle of Patmos. But as all things work together for good to those who love God and are the called according to His purpose, so John's fortitude wrought faith to catch the vision and record what he saw.
Physically, John was on Patmos in man's day. But in the Spirit he was caught up in the Lord's day after Israel's Seventh Trumpet (Revelation 11:15) which is the Voice of God that reveals their Feast of Trumpets. So John looks behind him, back to earth and man's day, and he sees the seven golden lampstands. This symbol is revealed in verse 20 as a representation of the Seven Church Ages. In chapters two and three, John sees how they were made up in each age. Then in Revelation 4:1, the Voice calls him to a higher plane to witness the close of Christ's Mediation, His taking the Book of Life, opening the Seven Seals, taking His Father's throne as King of Kings and Judge, and revealing the mysteries for the Bride Age.
If we imagine John in the heavenly temple, he would be facing the golden Menorah in the south and is about to see Brother Branham in 1963 reveal the history of God's dealing with we Gentiles in man's day, prior to returning to Israel. The golden lampstand represents the church of all ages or Bride made by God's Spirit (Zechariah 4:1-6).
Revelation 1:13-16, "And in the midst of the seven lampstands One like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire (Daniel 7:9); And His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His Voice as the sound of many waters. (The Voice of the Bride - Ezekiel 1:24; Daniel 10:6).
And He had in His right hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: (That's His Word Which does not return to Him void (Isaiah 55:11; Revelation 19:15). The Sword of the Spirit in the Spoken Word, not in converting winning power but indicting for judgment. John 12:48, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not My Words, hath one that judgeth him: the Word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." Revelation 10:1, "And His countenance was as the sun shines in His strength".
This one like unto the Son of Man is the elect Bride drawn out of all Seven Church Ages as He reproduces Himself in His Bride. And as this is the Lord's Day, she is girt around the breast as judge. I Corinthians 6:2-3, "Don't you know the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Don't you know that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?"
This is also the Lord Jesus.
Revelation 1:17, "And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:"
I like this. Throughout the Book John represents the end-time Bride. Here Jesus laid His right hand on ME, the Bride, signifying we are completely under His control and yielded to Him, drawing our Light from His right arm of Authority and power, reflecting His Light in meekness and kindness and patience.
The mark of the beast in the right hand of the lost signifies they are under Satan's will and command (Revelation 13:16).
Again Jesus shows that He is God, the first and the last (Isaiah 41:4). He laid His right hand (or power) on John, the Bride, and raising us as a token of our resurrection says, "Don't fear, I'm your type, the first resurrected Son."
God always held the saints in His right hand - Revelation 5:1, 7, "And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a Book written within and on the backside, sealed with Seven Seals . . . And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne." We are that Book. Nothing could separate us from the love of God.
Romans 8:31-39, "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (We're joint heirs).
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is He that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, Who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we're accounted as sheep for the slaughter. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Revelation 1:18, "I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death".
"Fear not, I am not come to bring fear and failure, but love and courage and ability. Because I live, you live also. All power is given unto Me and it is yours to use in the third pull which is to build your faith for rapturing grace".
He has Himself conquered Satan's trinity of death, hell and the grave. By death we go to the grave, and being sinners go to hell. God in one Man dwelt among us and conquered the enemy, having power to bring Life back again. He WAS dead and is NOW alive for evermore and has become the holder of the keys of hell and death—hades or sheol, the place of departed souls still on the Book of Life, and the grave.
Peter had the keys of the kingdom, the Spiritual resurrection or new birth, the key that the churches have lost. "He that heareth My Words and believeth on Me hath Eternal Life" (John 3:18).
Jesus has the keys of the physical resurrection Paul describes in I Thessalonians 4:16. Because He raised we are already raised in Him. He is the type and firstfruits of our resurrection. Romans 8:11, "If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you".
Christ has the keys to our resurrection. He can unlock the natural and the Supernatural.
Romans 8:29, "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren".
Colossians 1:18, "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence."
When Jesus puts hell and death under His feet, He will cast them into the lake of Fire and deliver the Kingdom to God (Revelation 20:14; I Corinthians 15:25-26)
Revelation 1:19, "Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;"
John was instructed to "Write the things which you have seen" in the Patmos vision of Revelation 1:12-16, 20. And "the things which are" or Seven Church Ages of Revelation 2-3 which ran from AD 53-1963. "And the things which shall be hereafter" the Church Ages which is NOW, Revelation 4-22.
Revelation 1:20, "The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in My right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches."
Jesus positively identifies the significance of the symbols in the first chapter. And you'll note seven Church Age messengers, like the Bride, are identified with His right hand, signifying they are under His pre-eminence and protection during their ministry. bb970514.htm
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