Rev.1: 1 “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John”
We have indicated that this Book is written in prophetic symbols for it was ..sent and signified.., We can see that The book of Revelation falls into a form of writing called “Apocalyptic literature”. This was developed as a distinctly Jewish genre. It began with them and developed with them and then the Christians continued to use it. It is a form of writing that is highly symbolic and yet prophetic.
It was commonly employed by the prophets in their writings, especially Books like Ezekiel etc. They were more or less like parables, and you found that Jesus employed similar manner of teachings, such that he will tell the disciples, for you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom but for those without these are done in parables. And anytime he finishes teaching like this he will say,
“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear!” (Mat. 11:15). Same thing he said to the seven Churches in Asia..“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;”
Now , the very nature of a symbol is that it means something else other than what is being said on the surface, otherwise it would not be a symbol! For instance, in the Greek language the word angel means a messenger and so in the book of Revelation the angel stands for a message and the messenger! Not necessarily a wing creature like we have been made to believe. In Luke 7: 24, we are told of the messengers of John.
And the Greek word here is aggelos, ang’-el-os- ..a messenger; especially an “angel”; a pastor:–angel, messenger.
This is why we read of the “Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write…” ( Rev.2: 1). which actually means, unto the pastor of the church.
Infact we read of John and Jesus being messengers in Malachi.
“1 ¶ Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Mal.3:1). The first messenger here was John who prepared the way for Jesus, the messenger of the covenant.
So in Rev.1:1-2, we are told, “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: who bear record of the word of God…”
Now look at the sequence of the delivery of this message, the Book of Revelation..(1) It was the Revelation given to Jesus Christ. (2) He Jesus Christ will have to show it to His SERVANTS.(3) He sent and signified this message to his servant John by his ANGEL.
That means his angel is the one that delivered the message to John. Meaning for you to receive this message by his angel you have to be a bond servant to Jesus Christ., one who have voluntarily decided to be a slave to Jesus Christ because of your love for him. It is not everybody that can receive this message, that is the condition being given here. It is for his bond servants.
In (Rev. 22:16).we are told “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches” So who is this angel of Jesus Christ that he is sending to deliver this message to his servants?
Let us take a look at some scriptures. Jesus talking of the Holy Ghost before he left into Glory told the disciples..
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come…for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that He shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you” (Jn. 16:7,13-15).
Comparing other scriptures on what He said as to the duty of the Holy Spirit, it is self-evidence that the Holy Spirit is the angel of Jesus Christ that was to reveal the Book to John in the Island of Patmos according to Rev 22:16.
Again the Lord said, “, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me” (Jn. 15:26).Now the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of Prophecy.
Paul Himself said , It is only the Holy Ghost that will reveal the things that eyes have not seen or what they have not beard..”(I Cor. 2:9-12). It is no doubt therefore that the Holy Ghost is the angel of Jesus Christ that he was referring to in Rev 1:1-2. Wow!
The angel that Jesus sent to John was therefore the Holy Spirit, no more no less, and it was in the capacity as the prophetic spirit, because it was the testimony of Jesus. This is so because, from within the Holy Spirit, we have the gift of prophecy, wisdom, discerning of spirit etc. But there is the spirit of prophecy different from the gift of prophecy. (Isa.11: 1+) “And HE saith unto me, Write…” (Rev. 19:9).
So it is what the spirit, the angel of the Lord said that John was writing and that is what he wrote for us to read and believe in.
Note it that every prophet that has ever lived, carried a prophetic spirit with which he could know and dispense that which the spirit is revealing to him.
“Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.(1 Pet.1:10-11)
Again, “Knowing this first that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” .(2 Pet 1:20-21)
Meaning the spirit, which is the angel of the lord here, carried a prophetic grace and that is what John received with which he wrote the Book.
Where does that leave us? It is that you cannot read this this Book and interpret it carnally for it is a prophetic Book delivered to John with a prophetic spirit. “The Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show unto His servants things shortly to be done” (Rev. 22:6).
And this is where we are having the problem with our interpretations and so canalizing the Book to fit into our human Philosophy and religious theologies
The truth of the matter is, Christ has sent into the world only one angel of his, to fully, powerfully, and profoundly reveal the Christ to the elect servants within His body on earth! Ant that one that is sent is His “angel,” His “messenger,” the One who teaches us all things and guides us into all truth and he is within us.
Therefore the word says. “And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come…for I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book…” (Rev. 22:17-18).
Once again we say, this is a spiritual Book and must be interpreted spiritually for us to be able to get the mind of the author and the intents thereof. Canal interpretation of dragons, literal thunders, Armageddon that will take place later in Israel etc. etc have nothing to do with this Book. These are all our human interpretations. Let’s us come up hither in order to see as he intents us to see.
To be continued…
© 2016 – Dr. David O. Ogaga