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The Apocalypse

(Part 2)

Publication #204.08

 

"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" Revelation 1:1.

We noted in our previous article what most people believe when it comes to the subject of the end of the world. Generally speaking, that which moves to center stage of one's mind is the Antichrist, 666, the mark of the beast, and the false prophet. These icons of terror and disaster stand as horrific portents in the forefront of their thinking. They see convoluted images of a world in convulsions due to Babylon the great, falling stars, deadly locusts with the stings of scorpions, huge hailstones that sink seafaring ships, the battle of Armageddon, and the four horsemen who bring worldwide plagues, famine, economic woes, and unmitigated destruction. All these are usually summed up as — the Apocalypse!

Contrary to the misguided beliefs people have of the Apocalypse, we saw it is none of the above. Apocalypse is a transliterated word which comes from the Greek, apokalupsis and was translated quite accurately in the King James Version of the Bible, as well as many others as, appearing, coming, lighten, manifestation, revealed, and revelation. These words speak of an unveiling, uncovering and bringing into view. The New Testament Greek Lexicon says that apokalupsis is used of events by which things, states, or persons are hidden from view until they are made visible to all. Thus, the Apocalypse!

Rather than the apocalypse being "A cosmic cataclysm in which God destroys the ruling powers of evil," as many dictionaries define it, the final stage of the Apocalypse is the unveiling and bringing into view the very life and majesty of Jesus Christ, and this includes His glorious body of the sons of God. Paul spoke of this fact a few years before John wrote about it while on the Isle of Patmos. He said, "For all creation, gazing eagerly as if with outstretched neck, is waiting and longing to see the manifestation (apokalupsis) of the sons of God." Romans 8:19 (Weymouth NT).

A dear sister and longtime friend recently wrote:

"I also want to comment on your recent article beginning the teaching on Apocalypse. You are opening a beautiful subject and I know God will expand upon your thoughts. One thing which was quickened to me as I read is you mention the ‘veil that is over the face of the people.’ Do you recall that we sing the song from the scriptures where Isaiah saw ‘the Lord high and lifted up and His train filled the temple?’ Years ago the Lord brought to my understanding that the ‘train’ is a part of the Bride’s garment. The veil is what covers the face of the Bride –– at the wedding the veil is removed. When, and as the veil is removed off the individual, as well as the collective, corporate Body of Christ –– the redeemed soul (by the Blood of the Lamb), the Bride, is caught up to the Bridegroom (Spirit) and there is UNION we become One in Christ –– no longer duality –– the deadly wound of carnality is healed, and this is the Company of Saints joined unto the Lord as well as individually."

Truly, there will be that union when the veil is removed, a oneness to be openly seen worldwide; for the revelation/apocalypse of Jesus Christ includes His body, i.e. the sons of God of whom the above verse (Roman 8:19) speaks, and to be reminded — we are his body and members in particular. 1 Corinthians 12:27. We are bone of His bone, flesh of His flesh, and spirit of His Spirit. Although veiled, in every respect, we are as He is! We were created and hidden in Him in the Beginning, and we will be revealed together with Him in the End. Paul made this point clear in his letter to the Colossians: "When Christ, our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." Colossians 3:4. There are some who have a hard time grasping this fact, while a growing number believe this marvelous event has already taken place, that everything is finished, and there is nothing we should be looking forward to.

In my humanity I would like to be able to generate enough faith to step into the perfection of Christ's manifested glory, or to simply believe it. This would certainly make it a lot easier on my flesh if that were possible; but it is not, for it would be contrary to what the scriptures read and not to mention what the book of our own lives read. Whether we like it or not, the processing will continue to the end, and then His appearing.

You see, the processing unveils a man’s secrets that are etched ever so deeply in his life. They expose the intents of his heart. Everything is dealt with and manifested in such a way and expressed to such a degree that nothing greater could bring about such a perfect work in the man. "God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil," Ecclesiastes 12:14, and then "God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ" Romans 2:16. This is part of the processings, and until it has worked its work, they will continue. These are spiritual realities, plain and simple. They speak of the processings of God in judgment right now, right here, today in the life of every son of God who is being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, and the process unveils within their books a number of things. Prior to the unveiling of Him and His body to the world, there is an unveiling to His body some things that must be dealt with, such as, the harlot, the false prophet, locusts, beasts, the dragon, and his angels of which the book of Revelation speaks. The processing helps to unveil these things for the purpose of bringing the elect unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. It is not in anger, nor is it to embarrass His chosen vessels, but to glorify them.

One of the processes includes being plucked from our vine of life, as Jesus was plucked from His and finally taken to Calvary. As it was with Him, we too are severely bruised, crushed beneath great pressures as the fruit of every good vine is crushed. However, we hear some saying, as it were, "I am a full grown, ripe grape of God. Royal purple of deity is my covering. I am deliciously sweet with the overflowing presence of God’s life. I know my origin, and I am attached firmly to that everlasting vine. I am, therefore, finished. There is nothing that lies ahead except for me to simply be. For I am, and this I am that I am will feed the nations from the fruit that I am in this perfect state of the I am." In one sense, this may very well be true; but don't we know that once the fruit of the vine is ripe, the time for being plucked has come and the processing to begin? Ripe fruit of the vine of life may be tasty; but creation is not longing for a cup of unprocessed grape juice or clusters of churches, but the new wine, the last wine, the best and finest wine of the ages.

The crushing of Jesus began in the Garden of Gethsemane. It continued throughout the night before the high priest's court of vicious interrogation and false witnesses, and then before Herod and Pilate. The crushing continued by being scourged, taunted, and ended after nine excruciating hours upon the cross.

We, likewise, are crushed, made helpless, shamed, and we lay dead, as it were, in the darkness of the tomb, in hell, where those good things within that are held captive can be freed to rise with us in resurrection life. We have to go to the depths of our being, the very hell of ourselves in order to lead it all captive. It is then, praise God, we rise victoriously alive as unveiled overcomers in the world that creation so eagerly awaits. And as it was with our Lord, it is by the resurrection from the dead that we are declared the sons of God. That's the way it was with Jesus, and so will it be with us: "And declared...the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." Romans 1:4.

If it was not until His resurrection that He was declared the Son of God, I seriously doubt that we will be declared the sons of God by any other means. We certainly can't declare it ourselves, and if we do, our declaration won't make it so. Although Jesus was called the Son of God on various occasions, such as, at His baptism in the Jordan River, which symbolized His death and resurrection, when He alone heard His Father say, Thou art my beloved Son; in whom I am well pleased, and again to Peter, James, and John upon the mount of transfiguration, it was not until His resurrection from the dead that He was declared to the world that He was the Son of God. The declared order is first to the individual who dies to self and rises alive in Him. The second unveiling and declaration is to His body. And finally, to the world. This apocalypse is yet to be seen.

Doing miracles, healing the sick, and casting out demons does not qualify or make a person a son of God. Many who are workers of iniquity can do that and are certainly not sons of God: "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matthew 7:22-24. Although miracles like this are wonderful, and can be by the power of God, they do not make one a son of God; but birth, death, and resurrecting from the dead does.

His resurrection was God's declaration to the universe that Jesus was His Son! That divine fiat signed, sealed, and delivered a Son — not a child, not a man walking upon the waves of the sea — but a resurrected, manifested overcomer who had all the authority and power of His Father. What an Apocalypse! Yet, greater to come will be the Apocalypse joined together with His glorified body of the sons of God all over the world!

There is a body of people who are being processed at this present time. They are a great work of God in progress, and He is making sure that nothing is left unfinished. We are confident that since His first born Son was able to accomplish what He was sent to do, being obedient to the very end, and finished it in open display at Calvary, He is well able to finish His work in us as well. What He finished in Himself and for the world, He will finish in us. He gave up His life by fulfilling Passover, He imparted His life and fulfilled Pentecost, and He will surely fulfill Tabernacles by being gloriously manifested in His body all over the world. Until then, we will be in the fiery process of being made ready for that great Apocalypse.

A dear friend wrote concerning this preparation:

"A strange but wonderful statement from the inspired pen of the prophet Isaiah says, 'When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the people, there shall be as the shaking of an olive tree, and as the gleaning grapes when the vintage is done. Wherefore glorify ye the Lord in the fires, even the name of the Lord God of Israel' (Isa. 24:13,15). Those of God’s elect who walk in the dealings of the Lord in this hour have truly learned to glorify God in the fires! We glorify God in the fire when we bear it patiently. We glorify God in the fire also, when we are really and fully persuaded God will not put us in the fire except for our good, and His own glory. We glorify God in the fire when we say, ‘Lord, don't let the fire go out until it has purged away all the dross.’ Then we glorify God when we wish for the good of the fire, and not to have it extinguished; when the soul can say, ‘Here I am, my God, do with me as seemeth good in Thy sight.’

"We glorify God in the fire when we are not grumbling and complaining, but humbly submitting to His will, content to walk by faith and not by sight. We glorify God in the fire, when in the midst of the fire we can sing God’s high praises. Years ago we learned to sing the high praises of God in the assembly of the saints, in great joy and rejoicing. But now, praise God, we have learned to glorify God in the fire! Thus the children of Israel glorified the Lord; the song of the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace is a sweet song! as are all songs that are made in the fire. Then we glorify God in the fire when we can bless God for not letting us alone; but we glory in tribulation, knowing that tribulation worketh patience. Blessed are you that have gotten into Christ’s fire! Blessed are you that have found His fire in your souls, in whatever fires He has been pleased to send you, and into whatever furnaces He has been pleased to cast you!

"Our hearts and souls are the workshop of God. It is there that He is changing us and bringing us into union with Himself in the spirit. And what a mighty work it is that He is doing there! The change comes not by a wonderful spiritual experience with waves of joy and glory. Oh, no! It is the blow of His hammer that breaks our hard heart! It is the stroke of His ax that strikes at the root of our life! It is the plunge of His pruning knife that cuts away the natural, worldly, and religious things that sap our spiritual strength! It is the furnace heated seven times hot that consumes our dross! It is an overthrow, a shipwreck, utter desolation that He brings to our carnal mind and our old religious ways! It is His bitter cup of suffering that mellows our self-confident spirit! And without ceasing God works — the everlasting God, He neither slumbers nor sleeps, sang David in one of his sublime psalms. Absolutely without sleeping He works. He visits us in our dreams, He searches our reins and instructs us in the night seasons, as if He had no other man’s perfection on His hands but ours! We see, we hear, we taste, we feel Him and His work in us every day and night, and every hour and moment of the day and night! This is the experience of every son of God who walks with Christ in the spirit and is being changed into His image and likeness!" (J. Preston Eby, FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE, Part 61).

The cross was the final phase of His mission in the world. The cross was the finishing tool for Jesus to end that physical realm in the form of the first Adam. It brought an end to it so the greater could be known. It ended His life that a greater could be held. It finished his life as a single Son of God that a great harvest of sons could be raised up. That rugged cross was the instrument that shed His atoning blood so every soul could be and would be saved. Although the cross shed His most precious blood, it did not take His life; for when He knew there was nothing left for Him to do, He laid down His life: "No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father." John 10:18.

Until He had drank the entirety of the cup, even the bitter dregs that was given to Him by His Father, John 18:11, he refused the vinegar. In humble obedience He had suffered to the very end. Then He asked for it, which to me was a testimony to the world that the cup He drank outwardly, He had drank inwardly:

"After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 29Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. 30When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." John 19:28-30.

Jesus finished what He was sent to do on this side of the veil, and His last words announced the conclusion of His most amazing journey — Mission accomplished! It is finished!

Such an earth shaking, life changing journey on behalf of creation that could only be done by the uniquely, first begotten Son of God. As tremendous as it was, that was only the laying of the cornerstone for what was to come afterwards. You see, the house was not finished when He said, "It is Finished." The first phase was finished, not the whole house; but the process had begun.

We are concerned when we hear friends that we love dearly say that everything was finished on the day of Passover, that there was nothing left to be done, or that our new life is fully manifested, that our journey is over, and there is no processing to be done. To believe that, one would have to disregard the scriptures, deny reality, and forsake the spirit of truth, not to mention turning a blind eye to the experience in the crucible of affliction of every overcoming saint that we all have ever known, including ourselves. The scriptures would be made out to be a lie if there is no processing, and if that were so, we might as well toss our Bibles on a shelf to gather dust.

It is also espoused by some that there has never been such a thing as sin, that it began and only exists as an illusion of the mind.

Our friend, John Gavazzoni, sent this timely e-mail recently which says something about this:

"...That moment during a meeting with Harry Robert Fox that I referred to, and you asked me to share again was indeed a memorable one, so much so that if I were an Old Testament patriarch, I'd have built an altar on the spot. It was one of those times, Elwin, when the doors of our hearts were beginning to open wide to fresh considerations not allowed us within the boundaries of conventional orthodoxy.

"We were engrossed in a really spiritually vital discussion that brought us to feeling the need to define the nature of sin in the light of God's marvelous grace. As I recall, grace was the central subject of that part of the evening. Well, as it sometimes happens when hearts are being opened to fresh reconsiderations, we weren't aware that we were allowing something quite 'stinky' in along with our 'fresh' reconsiderations.

"I can only describe the process as one in which we were heading in the direction of concluding that sin was really nothing at all, just an illusion. I do remember feeling some growing discomfort with the direction we were going in our loosy-goosy theological meanderings, when someone actually went all the way to the end of the direction we were heading, and in so many words, actually said that sin amounted to nothing.

"Well, Harry, who is usually quick to be supportive, and slow to be confrontational, obviously realized that we had gone much too far down that path, and suddenly brought us all up short with a stern, paternal interjection: 'So Jesus died for nothing, then?' It was the equivalent of the time-honored discipline meted out by old-fashioned parents, i.e., having our mouths washed out with soap.

"Harry's been a gift from the Lord to many of us, as you can understand from the above." — End quote.

There is an undeniable fact: If there were no sin and/or processing of those afflicted with it, if the finished work of Calvary took care of everything, there would be no sanctification, which is a process of being delivered from and overcoming sin. There would be no cleansing by the washing of the water of the word, which is a process of being delivered from and overcoming sin; no discipline nor chastening of the Father, which is a process of being delivered from and overcoming sin; no putting off of the works of the flesh, which is a process of being delivered from and overcoming sin. There would be no mortifying of our members which are upon the earth, which is a process of being delivered from and overcoming sin; no purging of the old leaven, and no refining fire by which the sons of Levi are purified that they might offer an offering in righteousness unto the Lord which is also the same process. If there is no processing there would be no washing of our robes to make them white in the blood of the Lamb, and there would be no pruning of the branches that they may bear more fruit. The soul must make herself ready for her marriage union with Christ, which is likewise a process of being delivered from and overcoming sin.

Let us think with our spiritual senses about this, and in doing so we will be able to see that being forgiven our sins is not the same as being delivered from them. You see, a wife may forgive her husband for cheating on her; but it's quite a different thing for him to be delivered from the very desire to commit adultery. His wife can forgive him while he still harbors that spirit of lust and infidelity in his heart. However, a certain amount sorrow, of hellfire, anguish, and heartache (processings) can deliver him from that sin, and so it is with our own processings. It is good that we were forgiven 2000 years ago by our Lord's death; but there will be no manifestation together with Him until we are delivered. Until the process works deliverance and changes hearts, we will have no part in the Apocalypse. This is some of what the book of Revelation is about when it speaks of lightning, thunder, the false prophet, the beast, the harlot, etc.. These are some of the things that reside in the many membered body of Christ; that is, until the time of their unveiling, judgment, and destruction. The book of Revelation not only points out (in signs) the glorious victory of life over death, but also reveals those things that lay hidden in darkness, deep within every soul of the elect of God. Within the body of Christ are dark things that we know nothing about, that is, until that part of the Apocalypse comes about. This unveiling, of course, is not to the world, but to ourselves alone. It is then that those things that were bedded down in darkness are discovered, dealt with, processed, and conquered. Job must have known something about this mystery that lies in darkness, for he said, "He discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the shadow of death." Job 12:22. (KJV). \pard plain "He reveals mysteries from the darkness, And brings the deep darkness into light" Job 12:22 (NASB). And the New King James Version has it this way: "He uncovers deep things out of darkness, And brings the shadow of death to light."

The mysteries of God are hidden in deep darkness, and they have been kept there since the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil was first sampled. Only a few in ages past have been privileged to see and hear those things to which our depths are ever calling. The windows of darkness and death were opened to a few at the advent of Jesus Christ, the Life and Light of men. They saw with the natural eye the outward manifestations of the Son of God — healings, demons cast out, the dead raised — and a smaller number saw Him by the Spirit as the Son of God. And now, at the end of this age, we are privileged to see and hear what has been hidden and covered for millennia by the dark shadow of death.

How is it, do you suppose, that these mysteries are being revealed to such lowly people with no credentials to speak of? Did they come to such visions and revelations of our Lord by attending power-filled meetings? Are they finding God’s mysteries in the great, theological libraries of the world or ancient texts such as the Dead Sea Scrolls? Do they come by reading the best of Sonship and the Kingdom of God newsletters. Or are the mysteries, perhaps, unveiled because of sacrificing one’s will and time in fasting and prayer?

If any or all of the above methods could prevail and reveal what is beyond the veil, there would be no mysteries yet to be solved. Teaming millions of scholars and religious zealots would be enlightening the world at this present time to such marvelous mysteries of God. But since those efforts have failed, His secrets remain wrapped in darkness and unknown by most. Only a few has He chosen to confide in and reveal such marvelous riches. This privilege, of course, has not come easily nor without cost, and by experience we can now know what Paul meant when He said: "...We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." Acts 14:22.

Although much can be gleaned from the fields of anointed meetings and conferences, and especially prayer, they are not necessarily the keys that unveil the reality of these mysteries. They may play a part in the whole picture by laying foundational groundwork for building up the house and imparting life changing truths; but very seldom do we see God's apocalyptic mysteries manifested in the earth as a result, and there are at least two good reasons for this. For one, it is not God’s season; and two, man’s carnal mind veils everything that pertains to the Spirit. Even with spiritual minds, if it is not the season for the mysteries from darkness to be known, they will remain veiled.

No amount of human intellect, speculation, or drawing up dispensational charts will bring about the unveiling of Jesus Christ, no more than the greatest of scholars and religious speculators could bring forth the birth of the Messiah before His time. Therefore, as we are thoroughly processed unto a perfect man, together with creation, we will earnestly await on tiptoe the great Apocalypse of Jesus Christ!

To be continued...

Elwin R. Roach



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