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The Book of Revelation and "End Times"

Much has been said and written concerning speculations of supposed Doomsday predictions or prophesies. A sensible conclusion is that there is no point in wasting good time speculating on such predictions. Living in the here-and-now, abiding patiently in the never-changing Christ-Spirit – makes it meaningless to speculate on some type of future apocalyptic-type event; living in the mental sphere means departing from the Christ-Spirit, it is a distraction from "What Is", and a blurring of the simple message of Christ - and indeed of the Person of Jesus Christ. As the Master stated: Have no anxiety for tomorrow for tomorrow will take care of itself.

There are as many opinions of the book of Revelation as there are individual souls. Someone will always be able to find in the pages of the Sacred Record, what it is they wish to find as it mirrors what is in the mind. It is a large, rich collection of books, and if someone is determined to find their preferred truth then they will find it. After all, even a stopped clock will be very correct twice in every 24 hour period.

Revelation 1:1 states: "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:"

Note the word "of": "The revelation of1 Jesus Christ (Ἀποκάλυψις Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ)" (Rev 1:1).

1 Here the word "of" can mean that the revelation is both by Jesus Christ and is about the unveiling of Jesus Christ from the existing scriptures.

It is also stated that this message is "signified"2.

2 (ἐσήμανεν) [Noun: the meaning or idea expressed by a sign or symbol, as distinct from the physical form in which it is expressed];

It is proposed that the book of Revelation is expressed using the signified poetic language of the Bible (in the main, the symbolism3 of Old Testament) in order to reveal Jesus Christ Himself to a particular people at a particular time, namely, the early generation of Christians, many of whom were heavily steeped in Judaic culture.

3 Symbolism understood by the mind-set of the people to whom John was writing, was used for current events (in the first century AD) in order to show a persecuted people that God was in charge of all events. For instance, the cruel emperor Domitian demanded that twenty-four choral singers precede and praise him wherever he went (in contrast to the twenty-four elders in the book of Revelation); and that everyone must bow to Domitian when he passed them or be put to death (in contrast to the Living Saviour who is responsible for everlasting life and to whom "every knee shall bow"); and the "divine" infant son of Domitian being the head of the gods surrounded by seven stars (in contrast to the seven stars held by Jesus, the son of God).

The purpose of the book of Revelation was never meant to be interpreted by the minds of modern-day Christians as some type of end-times prophecy – this was never the intention of Jesus Christ.

This signification of Himself - Jesus Christ - in the book of Revelation, was to many who were firmly established in the symbolic and apocalyptic language of the Old Testament scriptures before becoming followers of Jesus Christ – i.e. those who were persecuted and who suffered great tribulation. John specialised in communicating with those of the "circumcision" (Gal.2:9), and the book of Revelation would be understood in the unmistakable form of sacred language by those whose spiritual life was thoroughly acquainted with the Judaic symbolism of their scriptures - whether born into the culture or having converted to it.

The symbology used is not created anew but is reused symbology from the Old Testament of the Bible – a symbology ingrained into the very thinking of a people steeped in tradition.

The book of Revelation shows that Jesus Christ was and is the culmination of the Old Testament by drawing parallels from it. It is that simple, there is no need to overdraw or complicate this simplicity.

For instance, should a deeper search be made, it is seen that direct parallels are drawn between the book of Ezekiel and the book of Revelation (i.e. Rev. 4 and Ezek. 1, Rev. 5 and Ezek. 2-3, Rev. 6:1-8 and Ezek. 5, and so on). It is unequivocally clear that in the representation of his visions from Christ, the Old Testament symbology is utilised by the Seer to properly engage the hearts and minds of his intended readership - i.e. the people he came from, whose culture and religious understanding he knew thoroughly, as did his parents and their parents.

In the same manner, other words and phrases in the book of Revelation need to be treated as symbology being expressed for the minds of the contemporary Jewish population. End-Timers often mention the "Lake of Fire" as if it is meant to literally exist as part of God’s plan, but this is a symbolic depiction of first century Jerusalem (i.e. fires that destroyed Jerusalem). End-Timers declare other words found in the book of Revelation as literal occurrences or beings but in reality they are various symbols referring to concepts held in early Jewish minds, such as the apocalyptically-described "death" (i.e. Law system), "devil" (i.e. false accuser), "dogs" (i.e. evil doers) and missing names (i.e. Jewish book of life).

On the whole, the book of Revelation is Christ’s testimony4; indeed, He said that He had come to fulfil the law, and furthermore He fulfilled everything that was before – He fulfilled it in Himself, in His Person5. And so His testimony is Himself expressed in the Biblical symbology of Revelation: Jesus Christ – both the fulfilment of the Biblical past and the completed work of the Saviour of the world.

Testimony – noun:

4 Spoken or written statement that something is true.

5 Evidence testifying to something

The signified Message of the book of Revelation is simply Jesus - the long-awaited Christ of God, the Messiah, the Saviour of the world, the Redeemer. One can almost hear the thoughts of the writer, they may perhaps be paraphrased: "He has come, it was Him in the flesh, can you see, can you see! Have faith, be strong, face every tribulation and overcome it steadfastly and with purity; have no fear, you are already saved but you must be pure and strong; Jesus Christ has fulfilled every prophesy for your comfort, He who came to take away your sins. Believe His Promise that you will never, ever see death, be joyous in your troubles, knowing that nothing can harm you, nothing! See the power of the Christ, see His Love, see His overseeing and all-knowing care!".

A fuller understanding of the Love of God is blurred either through the cessation of the continuity of life, or through the anticipation of a future apocalyptical-type event. Furthermore, just because there is no future apocalyptical-type event as reported by End-Timers, this does not mean that there is no individual judgement - from that nobody is exempt; but that judgement is a large collection of judgements on all of life’s events, motives and omissions, which is brought to mind at passing; and the measure will be against the life of Jesus Christ Himself. So one should be wise and study the life of Christ, first, middle and last.

To the spiritual mind, the revealing of the Person of Jesus Christ to the appropriate contemporary people in the book of Revelation is total and complete as it stands – there is no need to add anything to the Message of the book by using the abstruse calculations of the physical (mental) mind such as modern-day End-Timers have been doing - creating a foolish dogma which becomes cemented as fact.

End-Timers also concoct literal meanings from spiritual teachings found in the New Testament. For instance that the writing: "There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body", means that a spiritual body exists at the End Times conclusion, but in spiritual reality the physical body and the spiritual body co-exist in the same person. The spiritual body is affected moment by moment according to alignment and harmony with the Christ Spirit – it is affected by the motives, desires and actions of the owner. This is the perspective to adopt concerning the message in the book of Revelation - the time is at hand, indeed, Now Is The Time. There are two bodies: "one body is left for carrion and the other body is taken by angels" - the physical body and the spiritual body respectively - two bodies, but of just one person.

What father has not hurried home from work to catch the innocent laughter of his child and to hear the joyful cry of "Daddy" as he walks in the door? What mother has not felt the unbearable tug of pain when her child has been seriously hospitalised for a while and has felt the overwhelming relief when her child is well enough to grace the home once more? What! Then which parent would dream of putting their child into a comatose state for many years out of "love", in order to carry out some erratic and nonsensical plan to better their life! What truly loving parent could opt for such a choice?

Then what of the Parent of us all? When the child turns his or her mind and heart upward towards Him in recognition, then in response His great Heart burns with unbounded joy and relief that - at last - He is being given the love from His child that He has waited for over time unthinkable to the human mind. What! Is it like Love then to send that child into some kind of mindless torpor where the desirous love of His child towards a yearning Divine Father ceases for centuries! Who, with any true love in their heart, could attribute such a choice to the loving Parent of us all?

The subject of the continuity of life through the love and grace of Christ, whose own reappearance as Jesus after physical death is perhaps the greatest and most understated demonstration of the fact that there is no death – is beautiful and justly supernatural.

It is wonderful to perceive the justice and fairness of God by understanding that souls leave the physical body and become increasingly spiritualised once having performed their duty in the body according to the way laid down by Christ but now "living according to God in the Spirit"; this understanding is straightforward, loving, and in perfect harmony with the unchanging consistent God, compared to ideas where a child of God disappears somewhere in a deep sleep or is half-conscious under the earth for a designated period of time until some far distant "judgement".

The knowledge of the continuity of life that brings immediate solace to those who have hitherto gone mourning for their loved ones through lack of explanation, is not a new message, no, it is the original Message of Christ, the Gospel of Love and Light; it is His appearance as man in the flesh and the demonstration of His reappearance after death for the salvation of all, for the healing of all - it is the old Christ Message afresh, renewed, and brought to mind.

Love is the Instructor, Christ is the Instructor, God is the Instructor; all three as One and inseparable – and it is the loving Master, Jesus the Christ, who is the Answer to it all, including the book of Revelation.

The Christ of the book of Revelation given to a certain people of a certain culture two thousand years ago, is the same Christ given to humanity today as the bridge – the connection - between the Supreme God and humankind; as the perfect sacred template by which all humankind can be guided and redeemed; as the Divine hope of life after the death of the physical body; as the Saviour demonstrating the Heart of the God from whom He came.

People today have far less excuse than those of old to believe the literalising of spiritual visions and coming up with "End Times" dogmas as they do. The end time of a human being's Earth life is a more important and urgent assessment of "End Times", and the inevitability of the human being's reaping of the sowing. What could be a more spiritually beneficial vision to a person still in a body of flesh than a forceful explanation that the coming to the end of one's physical life on Earth is not in reality the end at all, but merely the beginning of something else: a Reckoning.

What has been recorded of the vision in the book of Revelation does not concern the destruction of people living on Earth in the "End Times". The Nature of the loving Christ, who taught the forgiveness of enemies and the turning of the other cheek, does not change and become maniacal, avenging, vindictive and angry. He who said that there was no greater gift than the laying down of one's own life for another does not suddenly adopt the most horrific lower emotions of the basest human and start enjoying mass torture. No, the whole thrust of the book of Revelation concerns the warning of each individual about the consequences of a wicked life reaped at physical death.

The modern division of Christianity propagating the so called Rapture and "End Times" theory is, in reality, basing its deductions upon selfishness and self-preservation - so unlike the example set by the Master Christ. His followers should forget about being "swept up" in their body into the air by Jesus because of nothing more than a theological belief and perhaps an exposure to a certain level of the Unseen.

Instead, such a follower should realise that other messages should help mould their view, such as that which came to Paul about not being deceived the law of the sowing and the reaping; the person who says that they follow Christ should realise that it is a definite fact that the sowing and the reaping is for them too, and that no matter how many times they claim that a belief is all that is necessary for salvation, they will face every single deed of their life - good, bad, large, small - as attributable to them. They should not be deceived as to this.

That is the important Biblical message overall. The Supreme Divine Being, God, does not wish to see or feel His wayward children bring any more pain upon themselves through violation of the laws of Divine Love - laws which cannot be circumvented, laws which do not grant favour to anyone based upon their religious concept of salvation alone.

The soul will not be instantly "saved" by a one-time cry for mercy to a vengeful being requiring the death of a beautiful Human Being to placate a warped sense of justice; but rather the soul must work out its own salvation and everything will be accounted for, one way or the other: "for by the same measure by which ye mete, it shall be meted again to you" - and this came from the lips of the Master Jesus.

Some people in the church of the early Christians are documented in the book of Revelation as being steeped in active sin and corruption; yet, as the God who is Love never leaves His children without guidance, they received a strict and severe warning via Spirit Agency - no salvation for them based upon the acceptance of a metaphysical concept but rather avoidance of spiritual death only by the repenting and turning from evils ways: ..."I know your works (ergon: acts, things done, products). You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die..."

The book of Revelation urges from the very beginning recognition of the fact that "the time is at hand" - the time is near, not at some time long in the future. This message is about soul development - or its undesired opposite, involution - as directly relating to the death of the physical body. It is a warning that there will be accountability regardless of whether man has beliefs or a lack of beliefs - everything is revealed in the book of each one's life - motives, deeds and omissions.

The laws of God work on the soul with precision. The change we call physical death simply means the shedding of a material body, the "person" remains exactly the same. Tellingly, towards the end of the book of Revelation it is explained: "Let the one who is doing harm continue to do harm; let the one who is vile continue to be vile; let the one who is righteous continue to live righteously; let the one who is holy continue to be holy" (Rev. 22:11 NLT) - indicating levels of purity within the soul, nothing more, nothing less. That is what happens at so called death.

Christ, the One through whom was wrought Creation has stated: "Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his works". Yes, this has a clear meaning - the Law Of Consequences brought into being by God through His Christ reacts to "works" in a perfectly just and expiatory manner. Yet, those who state that we must all believe the literal words of the Bible have decided that such a policy does not apply in this case, because neither their Rapture theory nor their salvation theory would make any sense.

The Truth is in front and revelation is correlative with man's ability to receive it - and so it has always been. And now the Holy Spirit, using the gift of Spirit Communion, provides further and progressive teaching - the Christ teaching indeed, which simply needs the re-enlivening touch of His true angelic messengers in order to allow the Spirit of Religion to throw off the earthly shackles imposed upon it by the material mind of man over the centuries. And when true Spirit Communion is mentioned here, it is referring to that of angelic intervention into mankind's affairs - this does not simply refer to the spirits of recently departed loved ones.

Literal, secular-time predictions should not be drawn from the book of Revelation which needs to be discerned spiritually. The "soothsaying" attitude of modern conservative Christianity is derived from the material viewpoint of the book of Revelation. Spiritual analysis will show that God's time for Earth's upliftment to another spiritual plane is based upon spiritual preparation - when humanity is ready - and not on earthly years.

It is hoped that this small explanation of the book of Revelation (and its connection with so-called modern-day End-Timers) helps give an understanding of where many using the Name of Christ have misconstrued Truth.

Tony Bisson

Relating to this subject matter, also see:

Analysing The "Second Coming"
In The Light Of Spirit Communication

"Sleeping" Until A Final Judgement

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