Discussions Relating to Universal Reconciliation > Book of Revelation

A tender aspect to the book of Revelation

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I was getting ready to read the book of Revelation this evening  from Rotherham's translation when the Holy Spirit touched me very deeply with a thought.  We know that the book of Revelation was originally addressed to 7 Churches in Asia.  There's no disputing that.  The only questions have been as to whether it had literal or spiritual fulfillments, if it's fulfillments were exclusively 1st century, or for the near future from then or now, and/or if it has multiple fulfillments, or if it should be taken as explicit Christian allegorical porn whose objective isn't the exposure of human flesh for Christians to see, but the exposure of the nakedness and impotence of wickedness in the presence of the finished work of the Christ.

Here's the part that the Holy Spirit touched me with very deeply: as you read through chapters 2 and 3, those 7 churches DEFINITELY DID NOT have it all together -- from the natural way of looking at things -- with their tolerance of those holding the doctrines of Balaam, of Jezabel, of the Nicolaitans, etc.  Some were praised for seeing through false Apostles and false Jews, but others were condemned for fornication, whether literally or in the sense of a book of Hosea reference; there were condemnations for the eating of sacrifices to idols; a condemnation on getting caught up with the wealth that's the natural outcome of the Gospel working in one's life in it's entirety: they were condemned for straying from being rich towards God; there were rebukes for forsaking one's first love, etc.

Whatever the book of Revelation means, and whatever it meant to it's first century audience -- they didn't have to be proficiently walking in spiritual maturity without sinking in their attempt to walk on the water with the Lord [like Peter did] before the Lord could give them such a grand Revelation.  They didn't have to have it all together before the Lord would give them such a grand revelation.  Paul spoke very strongly to spiritual babies about not being able to show them anything because of their inconsistency in the faith, their wavering in love, and their fluctuating hope because of being caught up with the affairs of this life.  Sometimes in reading those comments from Paul in 1Corinthians and elsewhere, it can be a little discouraging when from our own perspective, [so often] if we could just see a few steps further than where we're at, then we'd be able to walk a straighter line with the Lord, or at least have more hope and praise towards the Lord.

When there are seasons of our lives that Christ's Ephesians 4 gifts to us of whatever Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers that He's placed in our lives -- when we're in those seasons that they can't really get through to us because of whatever's going on in our heads, in our lives, in our pains, etc. -- one of the purposes of the book of Revelation is to show us that even when we don't have it all together, He's still able to get through to us in His own way to show us the triumph of Christ over sinners; of Jerusalem over Babylon; of Good over evil.  He can still show you exceedingly, abundantly, above, and beyond all that you can ask, think, or imagine according to His power -- even when you feel condemned and as though He'd have absolutely no reason to, because you don't feel like you're even trying with what He's given you thus far.  He's not limited by your performance, even in the things that He's able to show you.  He's not limited by the strength of your roots.  He's still willing and able to show you all kinds of things, even when you're emotionally a total mess!

Jesus is still hearing things from the Father that He fully intends to pass along to you -- inspite of what you just did, or failed to do; should have done, wished you'd done/hadn't done -- whatever!  Perhaps like John on the isle of Patmos you've thought that this latest whatever means that your life, ministry, relationships, or whatever are completely over with because of this latest incarceration by your flesh or the natural realm around you.  He'll speak to you again.  He'll touch you again to where you'll fall under the manifestation of His Presence and Power, and you'll get up on your feet totally refreshed by Jesus, your High Priest.  You'll understand the mystery of all of the glory that surrounds Him, that you're called to inherit and walk together with Him in.  Perhaps it won't be a Jewish menorah that He'll show you, but it'll be the mystery to your own family, to those that you're STILL called to minister to, inspite of feeling like you're in chains and powerless to speak or to be heard.

It says in the Gospel of John that those who believe on Jesus, as the Scriptures have said (about Him, no doubt) then out of their belly would flow rivers of living water, which the Gospel of John goes on to interpret for us as the Holy Spirit's baptism upon our lives.  In the book of Isaiah, I believe around the 12th chapter we're assured that with joy you draw water from the well of salvation.  Yet here in Revelation 21:3-8 we're told:

3And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

 4And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

 5And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

 6And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

 7He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

 8But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

I know we tend to each be already fairly comfortable with our interpretations, for the most part.  But is this passage in Revelation 21 saying that the Lake of Fire isn't something that you're thrown into from the outside, as the imagery of Revelation 20 by itself would seem to indicate, but by contrasting it with the fountain of living water is this saying that the Lake of Fire is synonymous with the condemnation [and wrath] spoken of in the Gospel of John chapters 3 and 5 that would be the portion of unbelievers for the duration of their unbelief? 

Is the Lake of Fire nothing more than the agitation that erupts within an unbeliever when [through the preached Word (Mark 16:15-20)] the Spirit of the Lord draws near in convicting the world about sin because they don't believe on Jesus, of righteousness because Jesus is at God's right hand and we don't see Him any more, and of judgment because the prince of this world has been judged?

Do we go from Lake of Fire to fountain of living water, according to the above passage in Revelation 21:3-8 and everything else that you know about the New Testament, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the message of the Universal Restoration in the Scriptures??

Good stuff Martin! Something rings true in my spirit while reading your words. I had very similar thoughts concerning these scriptures latley.

It's starting to make more sense to me that the Lake of Fire is something that happens within you as a response to the Spirit of the Lord drawing near, if your heart isn't right, than to say that it's this big execution pit.  When you're heart is right, then from your faith and it's contact with the Holy Spirit rivers of living water will flow from your innermost being, or rather from your belly as the KJV is actually pretty faithful to the Greek on that point. 

Many of us have had terrifying fears before that would arise within us either in response to a dangerous situation or to something stupid that we were seeing in a movie.  When fear comes up like that because of wrong information and a wrong heart where our Lord is concerned while He's come into our presence in an extra special way then where else is there to run from the fear?  It will just intensify because you're anticipating the worst from the only one in the entire multiverse that would be capable of doing to you everything that you're fearfully imagining. 

That's not to say that He ever would, but enough wrong information, self deception, and fear running wild and you could turn 1200 thread count bed sheets into something frightful in your own mind.  A lot of people miss that when they come across Scriptures about the terrors that someone will experience in the Presence of our Lord if their heart isn't right.  It's self-inflicted torment for the most part.  If your spirit had hair on top of it's head and you turned every single hair completely white with your fear because God approached, that wouldn't be a reflection on Him.  That would be your own knees knocking.  And I'm not minimizing the torment that could come out of that.  A horrendously guilty conscience is an intolerable burden!

The torments of the Lake of Fire are your own conscience boiling like an egg in the Presence of Jesus.  The reality is that He wouldn't have to do anything to you except for getting a little closer and if your heart isn't right, you'll scream like an ax murderer is taking his sweet time taking all of your skin off, one dry razor burn after the other.  Revelation 21 says that the Lord has made His home among mankind, and some are experiencing that as a fountain of living water, while others are experiencing a very unpleasant burning in the pit of their stomachs over it.

A lot of people look at the fact that the gates of the Holy City will never be closed at any point, but that there are angels at each gate. They think that that's to keep anyone out because outside of the Holy City are all of the people with all of the problems.  Outside of the Holy City are the people with unresolved sin and worship issues before our Lord, fear and reluctance issues to come and bow before Him and to yield to all that He would have their lives to be through the power of His Holy Spirit.  But how does the book of Revelation end?  The Spirit and the Bride say "Come! Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely!!"  In other words, no one has to be a prisoner of a guilty conscience, the rebellion of their past, and the weight of everything that they've become liable for with all that they've done while not being submitted to Jesus Christ.

That burning fear can stop.  Those burning memories can lose their sting.  That agony over having disappointed both themselves and their Lord Jesus can stop.  The only inherent virtue in the fire is when it brings you to the point that you don't want it to burn any more, and you're ready to say "Lord Jesus, not my will, but Yours be done!"  Revelation 5:13 and 1Corinthians 15:28 tell us that it's going to happen someday, because according to 1Timothy 2:6 Jesus Christ is still the corresponding ransom for all.  That He's the corresponding ransom for all means that they're emphatically His, regardless of what anybody thinks that He will or ought to do with them.  He'll show each of them the same grace and patience that He's shown to each of us.

Their burning will stop.  Their thirst will be quenched with the Words of Jesus.  The torment will stop.  All tears will be wiped off of all faces the Lord's face and the face of every single person that's ever existed or that will ever exist by that time period.  Everything's already been taken care of.  Everything has already been fixed.  All of the problems, globally, are more mental and emotional than any kind of spiritual reality of darkness or anything like that.  All things will be clarified and reconciled.  The work of Jesus Christ, according to Romans 5, brings justification of life.  That's not just talking about personally being made righteous or sanctified or anything like that.  That means that there's something that's been released from the Heart of God into the Creation that will ultimately permeate absolutely all of it.  It will make all of the previous pain and everything else that we've gone through totally worth it to get to see what we'll each see of wholeness and oneness for all of Creation with our heavenly Father.

Each of us has our part to play in the suffering.  Each of us is that quantum event that when we resist a temptation, we've resisted it for all of Creation.  When we refuse to walk in the old man, we're creating resistance for each individual in all of Creation to be able to put off the old man and to put on the new man through Jesus Christ.  It's all related and we're all connected.  Creation has fallen together through Adam and is rising together through Jesus Christ.  Each temptation to vary from the pattern of Jesus Christ in our lives completely overcome by the power of our new lives in Jesus Christ is the second hand on the clock leading us towards the New Heavens and New Earth that God has for each and every single one of us.  It's not a particular date on a calendar, like 2012, 2042, 2046, or 3010 when Jesus will come back and when the present heavens and earth will be engulfed into the New.

It's every act of rebellion against sin, every act of rebellion against hatred, ever act of rebellion against any word that's not a Word of the Gospel that'll get us there.  There are only a certain number of temptations for each of us [to overcome] before Jesus screams the quickening Word and the Holy Spirit does something absolutely miraculous through our bodies that's unspeakable in conforming these vile bodies into the image of His own.  Every temptation not overcome doesn't count in the final count.  Every temptation not overcome is just one more temptation that'll need to be overcome.  Every temptation not overcome won't push that button of life in the machinery of the heaven of heavens, that we're each awaiting the pushing of so that we can get on to the higher level of existence that each of us have been awaiting.  We've each known there was something stronger, higher, better, richer, and more pure than this existence that we've been awaiting whatever our views of the last two chapters of the book of Revelation, whether literal or figurative or somewhere in between.

Each of us has our Cross.  All of us are already on it.  We've just got to push our own nails out to be able to get off of it and to enjoy the fuller realm of life that Jesus Christ has created for us, both in this world and elsewhere.  Each of us have been crucified long enough, but some yield to every emotion and every thought that's not the purity of the Gospel, so they prolong their own crucifixion needlessly.  The Holy Spirit is the strength and wisdom within you.  He's not a hand that'll pull the nails out for you and peel your butt off of that wood.  You're going to have to push.  You're going to have to rebel against death.  You're going to have to rebel against what's "common."  He's waiting on us.  We're not waiting on Him.  He's done what He's going to do.  He's just along for the ride now enjoying the fellowship with each of us.  He's [still] saying what He said in John 14:12-15 "you've seen and heard all that I've done now top it!"

Has anyone ever noticed that the "Marriage Supper of the Lamb" of Revelation 19 is between Jesus, or the Holy Spirit and the Babylon that received all of it's punishment in the 18th chapter?  That's the first time I'd ever seen "what" brought John to his knees in that chapter wanting to worship [and in his case misdirecting it towards the angel] 'cause it did the same thing to me!!  Just a few minutes ago, I read the whole book of Revelation from my Concordant Literal and when I got to that part I was like :omg:


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