Eschatology is a branch of theology that is concerned with such final things as death and judgments; heaven and hell; the ultimate destiny of men, etc. (Advanced English Dictionary). There are correct premises to approach eschatology, otherwise, the outcome of all our facts, figures and postulations will be to produce crippling fears instead of ‘making the bride ready’ (19:7).
Focused on the Person of Jesus Christ and not on the Apocalyptic Events!
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants – things which must shortly take place”. Revelation 1:1
The book of Revelation as the name implies is first and foremost the ‘Revelation of Jesus Christ’. Things which must shortly take place in the planet results from the posture and temperament of Jesus Christ who is the epicentre of the entire book.
12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden girdle round his breast; 14 his head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters; 16 in his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth issued a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand upon me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one; I died, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.
Jesus proceeded to address the 7 churches (the churches of all ages and epochs) in the next two chapters. Every address was firstly preceded by a revelation of Himself –
‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. (2:1); ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life. (2:8); ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword. (2:12); ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze. (2:18). ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. (3:1); ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens, and no one shall shut, who shuts, and no one opens. (3:7); ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. (3:14).
If you do not focus on Him – His revelation (his stance and or temperament) first, you will not understand the context and content of his message and you will therefore not respond correctly. The overarching purpose of his addresses was to get his church to ‘the bride has made herself ready’ and ‘the bride says come’; it was never to paralyze the church with fear of the apocalyptic judgments or worst still cripple her with the fear of an Antichrist.
When Jesus said, ‘I am the Resurrection and Life’, it was in the context of challenging a religious position of that truth being conceived mainly as an event and not as a person. The resurrection of all believers will indeed take place as a supernatural event at the time determined by Him; but first and foremost, ‘I am the resurrection and the life’. I am the one fully in charge of resurrection and life, when it will happen and how. And I can still outside of the event resurrect and give life to whomsoever I will.
In like manner, Jesus said, Fear not, ‘I am the First and the Last’. (Revelation 1:11, 17). Last is derived from the Greek word ‘eskhatos’ and means, farthest, the final end of (of place or time), uttermost. Evangelical eschatology sees eskhatos not as a person but as a series of chronological apocalyptic events. But Jesus said, ‘I am the eskhatos’; therefore, fear not!
The book of Revelation contains series of apocalyptic events no doubt; but present truth apostolic position is that we have so much to yet learn and discover about the revelation of Him who is the ‘First and the Last’ in this book. We equally have so much to yet learn about who we are designed to become in the last days; because as we behold Him, we are being changed into His likeness from glory to glory by the Spirit of God.
Revelation is one book of Bible designed for us to be dynamically interacting with the revelation of Jesus Christ for the seals to be snapped. It will be a share waste of time and energy, just to sit down in a theological school setting and seek to understand the truths of this book. The seals are only broken as we dynamically interface with God’s present initiative, namely the Apostolic Reformation which is a sustainable movement to the finish of God’s purposes.
Chapter 4 introduces us to what the throne of God looks like (at least, to the extent mere mortals are permitted to understand). Chapter 5 tells us of a declaration that was made of who was worthy to take the book from the Almighty God and remove the seven seals. It was another revelation of Jesus Christ, Selah! None in all of God’s created universe was found worthy besides Him. The apocalyptic events began in chapter 6 as He began to remove the (7) seals from the scrolls. If you do not interact with that revelation of Him, all you will be focused on will be the events and not on Him who is behind the events.
And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. Exodus 6:3
The manifestation of the name JEHOVAH was time-coded and so Abraham, Isaac and Jacob never walked in that revelation because it was not ordained for their generation. Moses had to walk in that revelation before there could be an Exodus (exit) from Egypt. There are revelations of Him that relates with Him as being the First and there are other equally consistent revelations of Him as being the Last. We must come into these revelations of Him as the Omega in order to finish.
Our Lord said to John, “Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. (1:19). We need to pay more attention to the things which are and the things which John had seen up to that point than on things which will take place further away in time. Until our eschatological position shifts our attention back to Him who is the “Eskhatos” and we begin to dynamically relate with His revelation – manifestation, dispositions, temperament, stance, postures, and emphasis in the context of the ultimate days of the earth, then our attention is in the wrong places and on the wrong things.
And they answered and said to Him, “Where, Lord?” So, He said to them, “Wherever the body (carcass) is, there the eagles will be gathered together.” Luke 17: 37
Where, Lord should our eschatological emphasis be? Wherever HE is (present tense), there should eagle sighted believers gather. The dialogue that brought about this question and answer was on events that will precede His return – the final days on earth. Wherever He is should be our major emphasis and not on events.
So, when they were together, they said to him, Lord, will you at this time give back the kingdom to Israel? And he said to them, it is not for you to have knowledge of the time and the order of events, which the Father has kept in his control. But you will have power, when the Holy Spirit has come on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judaea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:6-8
To be where He is and what He is currently manifested as, should be our major preoccupation and not the knowledge of the time and the order of events, which the Father has kept in His control. These events will happen in the time and in the order, God has ordained them irrespective of what we know or what we believe. Be my witnesses; go and represent me to the world as you interact with me; that should be your pre-occupation.
When we begin to see Him differently like John the beloved, ‘One like the Son of Man, with eyes like a flaming fire, with feet like burnished bronze, and a thunderous voice as the sound of many waters; out of whose mouth proceeds a sharp two-edged sword, and whose countenance is like the sun shining in its full strength’, walking in the midst of the seven golden lampstand (His Church); then we will fall at His feet as dead men – dead to our inventions as His fiery evaluative eyes pierces through the inexactitude of our works and inner motives. We will quickly die to our arguments and rationalization of the personal kingdoms, which our competitive spirits have inaccurately built, if we catch one glimpse of Him.
We need to behold Him, the Lion and the Lamb who has already overcome and who alone is worthy to take the book (of life) and break its seals. We need to see Him who stands in the very centre of all the apocalyptic events of Revelation and be secure in our faith in Him; because ‘the kingdoms of this world have already become the kingdom of our LORD and of His Christ: and He will reign forever and ever’. Amen! The present chaos and crisis of the earth is not happening outside of Him or outside of His firm control. He is, in fact, the epicentre of it all. He is the one administering the destiny of the nations as He brings them to the threshing floor of judgment.
It is the breaking of the seals that actuates the apocalyptic judgments. Selah! We are therefore not at the mercy of any circumstance or situation that is unfolding in the earth today. Others will see events called the apocalyptic judgment and cringe with fear like the folks described in the book of Revelation. We see it too but more than that, we rather see Him who is in the centre of it all and grow robust in our faith and get more confident in the midst of the crisis. It is the Lord Jesus Himself, who alone was found worthy to receive the sealed scrolls who is now breaking the seal.
What does breaking of the seals mean? In the book of Daniel chapter 12, we saw that prophetic revelations were sealed until the time of the end. Therefore, even though he saw those prophetic revelations he could not decipher them because they were sealed. Seals in prophetic language mean secrets are coded and cannot be accessed; it is the code that grants access to unravelling the secrets. Breaking of the seals, therefore, means breaking of access code so that understanding could be accessed to secrets. Our Lord Jesus Himself is inundating apostolic figures with advance revelational understanding about the processes of the Church’s exit from mortality. This is maturing the body of Christ and causing us to occupy advanced positions of the faith. In the spirit realm, this is causing angels to fly, crisscrossing the globe. In the natural, it is destabilizing the earth.
If we exist in a context where dynamically interacting and interfacing with these truths is a practical impossibility, then people will continue to be imprisoned in wrong eschatological positions. But more fearful is the fact that it leaves people ill-equipped in the capacity of their faith to deal appropriately with the times of crisis and thus leaves them ill-prepared for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Selah! Paralyzing fear of the Antichrist will continue to be the norm.
We need to see Him who is called Faithful and Truth as He gallops on the white horse judging and waging war in righteousness among the nations. He is King of kings and Lord of lords; His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on His head are many crowns. He has a name written that no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. Out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, with it He will strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. If we can’t catch this revelation of Jesus Christ, we cannot be part of the armies of heaven that follow Him as He charges into the final battles of the end.
CORRECT ESCHATOLOGICAL POSITION SERIES.