THE FINAL REVELATION ~
There are quite a few mysteries of God that were unknown before the prophecy given called ~ “The Revelation of Jesus Christ”. The New Covenant reality and knowledge of God was not automatically fully manifested to all of the Apostles. Remember how even Peter and Paul disagreed on doctrine even after both had received and been filled with Holy Spirit.
After over a decade of ministry Paul had “A revelation” but declared to the Corinthians that they were “eagerly awaiting THE Revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ”. Peter also spoke of John’s Revelation as something that was presently coming to them! 1 Peter 1: ~“13Wherefore having girded up the loins of your mind, being sober, hope perfectly upon the grace that is being brought to you in THE (emphasis mine) revelation of Jesus Christ…”That’s why John introduced his 22 chapter prophecy as “THE Revelation of Jesus Christ.” It’s called the revelation because it was literally “The unveiling.” Not the unveiling of Antichrist (which was not even mentioned one time) but, the complete unveiling of Jesus! This prophecy was supposed to make the mystery of Jesus clear, not more mysterious.
Many mysteries that had previously been hidden were about to be made fully known. I believe one of them is the mystery of the “New Creation”. Paul had already declared it in 2 Cor.5 concerning all who were “In Christ” and I believe John’s prophecy was about to unveil it further. For sake of clarification, I will refer to it as 2nd Creation.
A NEW FOUNDATION ~
Throughout the Old Testament, Jesus the Messiah was prophesied as a future “Cornerstone” that would be laid as a New Foundation. Isaiah saw the time we live in more clearly than I did for almost the first decade of my Christian life. Isaiah 28:16 ~ “16Therefore thus says the Lord GOD,
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone,
A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed.
He who believes in it will not be disturbed.”
But what is Jesus the foundation of? Yes, He is the foundation of God’s New “Spiritual House” and the New Jerusalem but, what if there is more to see?
2 times in Revelation, John used a term unique to his prophecy. “The Lamb slain before the foundation of the world.”
Did John mean that Jesus had been slain before the first creation in Genesis? If these only 2 instances are meant to be understood that way; does the rest of Scripture support that idea?
I believe not. Consider what Peter said a few verses after the ones I mentioned above where he prophesied John’s “Revelation of Jesus Christ”.
18knowing that you were redeemed…19but with precious blood, as of a faultless and pure lamb, the blood of Christ; 20who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of times for your sake” ~ 1 Peter 1
Jesus was foreknown before the foundation of the world BUT revealed at the end of times! Interestingly, Peter did not think the “end times” were something in the distant future but, something they were currently experiencing.
In Hebrews 9, the author continued his theme of contrasting the Old Covenant and progressively being revealed New and Better Covenant. His focus in 9 was mainly on the inferior Tabernacle, Covenant, Priest and Sacrifice. (Interestingly, these themes also play a major role in “Revelation”.)
Concerning the intertwined Covenant and Sacrifice in 9 ~ “11But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood…”
The point I want to draw out is that Christ had only recently appeared and only recently entered the Heavenly temple with his blood.
Heb.9 ~ “15Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. 16For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. 18Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood.”
He is clarifying that the New Covenant was only made available after Jesus died! Because even the first (old) Covenant had too be inaugurated with blood! (Remember Abraham and the “sign” of circumcision)
We also know from Matt.26:28 that the New Covenant was not initiated in Matthew 1 or even during Jesus’ 3+ years of ministry. Unfortunately what Scripture called the inauguration of the New Covenant; religion has tried to limit to the initiation of “The Lord’s Supper”.
Back to Heb.9 ~ “23Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.”
The TRUE Atonement was finally initiated! The shadows of the Old Covenant/Levitical system were finding complete fulfillment and NOW (at the time this was written) Jesus the Lamb was appearing in Heaven!
Heb.9 ~ 25Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, 26for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”
Did Jesus have to die and offer himself often (like the Old way)?
He did not have to suffer more than once! He even contrasted how Jesus did not suffer more than once from the beginning of the world but now at the end of the ages!
How many times? Once and for all!
Hbe.9:27And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
He died once! He would appear a second time to save those who are (WERE) eagerly waiting for him! Hebrews is NOT written to us. It has value FOR us but, it was written to Jewish believers who were waiting for the end (culmination) of the Old system as prophesied by all of the OT Prophets from Jacob to Moses to Daniel and Malachi…even John the Baptist and Jesus!
Jesus was the Cornerstone of the Foundation of a New World, a Second Creation. Old things had passed away (in the spirit realm) and all things had become new.
A NEW BEGINNING ~
Col.1:18 says of Christ ~ “He is the head of the body, the assembly, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”
Jesus, the Cornerstone and Foundation of the Church is also a New beginning (literally Genesis) because the New Genesis is those who have died and been reborn in him! (Remember 2 Cor.5)
and Eph.1 ~ “21far above all principality, and authority, and might, and lordship, and every name named, not only in this age, but also in the coming one; 22and all things He did put under his feet, and did give him — head over all things to the assembly, 23which is his body, the fulness of Him who is filling the all in all,”
We aren’t waiting for Jesus to return and bring a Second Creation. We are it!
The Second Creation is Christ IN US! It’s an internal God reality (through Christ alone) that we manifest externally by faith and WE fill up the universe with Christ in us!
Like Paul, we are ministers of the Gospel “10so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.11This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord!” ~ Eph.3
It’s already been accomplished! Now we have the privilege of manifesting God’s infinite wisdom to the universe by faith in what Jesus has done!
Since we are His body that is (present tense) filling up the universe with Christ; shouldn’t we know how to be filled up with God to do it?
Ephesians 3 continues ~ “17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”
Faith working through love is how we are filled with God’s fullness. We grow in our belief of God in us and with us which creates deeper, more pure relationship with him. We abide in love. Because whoever does not love does not know God. However, the one who abides in love abides in God because God is love.