The Greek word for “revelation” is apokalupsis. Its definition is “to unveil, uncover, or reveal a particular thing, person, or concept.” However, when it is used in the Scriptures it has a deeper meaning. That is, the spiritual definition of “revelation” involves much more than the simple “Webster” definition. For example, when Jesus came forth in the days of His flesh, He was revealed to the natural senses of man. They could see Him, hear Him, and even touch Him. But He was not known of them. They did not have a revelation of His divine nature. His Messiahship was still veiled. They did not know that He was the Son of God. Spiritual revelation goes even beyond that. One can believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and still miss the depth of revelation of Him that is needed. Real revelation, scripturally speaking, reveals who He is and more. It is also the means by which an input of His life is made into your life.
Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto His servants things which shortly must come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John.
The first phrase, “the revelation of Jesus Christ,” is the key to the entire Book of Revelation. It is true of every book of the Bible, but especially is it true of the Book of Revelation. Its main function is to reveal the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are many reasons why people do not receive a revelation of the Lord through this wonderful book. One is because that is not what they are looking for. The majority, even among Bible scholars and theologians, study the Book of Revelation with the sole purpose of interpreting symbology. What and who are represented by the living creatures, the sun-clothed woman, the harlot, false prophet, beast, antichrist, etc.? Where do the seals, trumpets, and woes fit into history? Most people who write commentaries and expositions of the Book of Revelation write with the same slant, because it sells books. And that means money! More people are interested in what the devil is doing in the last days than what God is doing.
With these things being the main focus, the “gold” in the Book of Revelation is bypassed. The main purpose of the book is to reveal the Lord Jesus Christ. But most people are more interested in the “things which must shortly come to pass” than they are of a revelation of the Lord. There will not be an accurate understanding of those things without there first being a revelation of the Lord. Everything else must flow out of a revelation of Him.
People also tend to relate the “things which must soon come to pass” to satanic and antichrist activities, and other events having to do with tribulation, judgments, etc. However, they involve other things of greater importance. “Things which must shortly come to pass” also encompass the promises of the Lord concerning His Kingdom, the Body of Christ, and our walk with Him. They involve our spiritual growth and oneness with the Lord. These are things we want to come to pass quickly. Psalm 144:12 speaks of “sons being as plants grown up in their youth.” Now that is the kind of thing I want to see come to pass shortly.
John 16:12-15 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot
bear them now.
13 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 show you things to come.
14 He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you.
15 All things that the Father hath are Mine: therefore said I, that He shall take of Mine, and shall show it unto you.
The purpose of the Holy Spirit and the Book of Revelation is to reveal the Lord Jesus Christ to us, to reveal all that He is and all that He has, that we might know Him and walk with Him.
Isaiah chapter six speaks of Isaiah’s revelation of the Lord. I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple…Then said I, Woe is Me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Isaiah 6:1,5. When Isaiah saw the Lord, he also received a revelation of the corruption of his carnal nature. And when we receive the revelation of the Lord that comes through the Book of Revelation, we won’t be wondering any longer who the beast is. We will realize that the beast we must be concerned about is the animalistic, beastly nature of our flesh. Human nature hinders more people from a walk with God than any other thing. What we need is for the Lord of hosts to come forth within us, riding upon His white horse, conquering our old nature (Revelation 6:2).
John 5:37-40 And the Father Himself, which hath sent Me, hath
borne witness of Me. Ye have neither heard His voice at anytime, nor seen His
38 And ye have not His Word abiding in you: for whom He hath sent, Him ye believe not.
39 Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.
40 And ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life.
No one was more diligent in the study of the Scriptures than the scribes and Pharisees. Yet they did not have a revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Their continual and meticulous study of the Scriptures did not lead them to a knowledge of their Messiah. Jesus told them, “You think you have eternal life because you search the Scriptures, but they are they which testify of Me (they reveal Me).” Now this may bother some fundamentalists, but it is not the Scriptures themselves that creates eternal life. The Lord Jesus Christ is the life (John 1:4). The Scriptures are the vehicle for His life. Fundamentalists often accuse the Catholics of Mariology, because they worship Mary for bearing Jesus into the world. Many Fundamentalists are just as guilty of Bibliology. The Scriptures enhouse the Lord Jesus Christ so that He may be birthed in our hearts. Thus, Jesus said, “They are they which testify of Me.”
The letter of the Word ministers death, but the Spirit of the Word ministers life (II Corinthians 3:6). If you feed upon the Lord in the Word, then His life comes forth within you. But if you feed upon the letter of the Word, then you are dying spiritually. Don’t misunderstand me; the Scriptures should be reverenced. The problem comes when people use the Scriptures without relating to the Lord. Some seem to think that all they have to do is quote Scripture and things happen. The effectiveness of the Word you speak is directly proportional to your submission to the Lord. If He is not the Lord over your life, the Word you speak is dead letter.
It is absolutely essential for us to have a revelation of the Lord. Those Pharisees thought they had eternal life because of their intellectual knowledge of the Scriptures, when in reality they were spiritually dead. In fact, Jesus said they were of their father the devil (John 8:44). So it is possible to know the Scriptures and still not know the Lord of whom they testify.
It is not enough to know about the Lord; we must know Him. The Pharisees knew about Him. They knew everything the Scriptures said about Him, but they didn’t know Him. Even when He stood in front of them, they didn’t know Him. Even when they saw Him work miracles, they didn’t know Him. John 17:3 says that to know Him is eternal life. Romans 5:9,10 says that we are justified by blood, but we are saved by His life.
You must know Him! You must have a revelation of the Lord. Just because you believe that He is Lord, doesn’t mean you have a revelation of His Lordship. All Christians say He is Lord, but very few allow Him to be the Lord over their lives. They want to be saved and still maintain rulership of their lives. They are like Israel of old: They feared the Lord, and served their own gods. II Kings 17:33. Don’t think that most Christians don’t have their other gods, they do. They bow down to the gods of their carnal nature. The first step to Jesus being the Lord over your life is death to the self-life and all its gods. Many Christians are going to have a rude awakening when they stand in the judgment. And many pastors will be held accountable for not teaching their people how to walk with God and for not bringing them under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Matthew 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall
enter into the Kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of My Father which
is in heaven.
22 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?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.
It is obvious that Jesus is speaking about Christians here, because non-Christians do not prophesy in His name, or cast out devils in His name, or do many wonderful works in His name. He says that not everyone who calls Him Lord will enter into the Kingdom of heaven. Jesus is aware that while many will accept Him as Savior and will recognize that He is Lord, they still will not submit to His Lordship. Jesus is the King and Lord of the Kingdom of heaven. To enter into the Kingdom of heaven, one must submit to His Kingship. He must be the Lord over their lives. The Kingdom of heaven then, is a realm beyond just being saved. So when Jesus says in verse 23, “I never knew you,” He is not saying they are not Christians and He has never known them. He is saying that He has not known them on the Kingdom level.
The word “iniquity” in verse 23 in the Greek is “lawlessness.” So they are not iniquitous sinners who have never accepted Christ as Savior. They are lawless Christians because while being forgiven of their sins they are a law unto themselves. They are doing their own thing. They prophesy in His name, but they do it for their own glory. They cast out devils and do many wonderful works to make a name for themselves. Like many ministers, they are building their own kingdoms. Jesus said that the one who enters into the Kingdom of heaven is “he that does the will of My Father which is in heaven” (verse 21). It is impossible to do the will of the Father without submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The will of God is a state of heart, not the doing of certain acts. The prophesying, casting out of devils, and many wonderful works were the right acts, but they did not constitute the will of God, because their hearts were not submissive to the Lord. They called Him Lord and believed He was Lord, but they didn’t have the revelation of His Lordship that creates the proper relationship with Him. You may believe He is Lord and still not have a revelation of Him as Lord.
Matthew 16:13-19 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi,
He asked His disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that Thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
The People had various opinions of Jesus’ identity. But when He asked His disciples the same question, Peter spoke up and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!” Peter and the disciples already knew in their minds that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. But on this occasion God made it a reality to Peter’s heart. It is one thing to know something with your mind, to have a mental assent to a truth; it is quite another thing to know it with your heart. Knowing with your mind, having a mental agreement that Jesus is Lord may bring some changes to your actions, but if it is a revelation to your heart it will bring change to your nature. Revelation is the channel by which the nature of the Lord can be transferred to your spirit.
Peter said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered, “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven.” “Flesh and blood” is just another way of saying “man.” Man did not reveal the Lordship of Jesus to Peter; God did it. It was a revelation from God. This knowledge of Jesus to Peter did not come from another man, or from the man of himself. It was not knowledge conceived in his mind. Revelation knowledge comes from God to your spirit. It is from Spirit to spirit. And it does not come from God through your mind to your spirit. The route of revelation is from God to your spirit, and then to your mind.
Then Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build My church.” Now Peter is not the rock. The revelation Peter had is the foundational rock of the Church. The Church is built upon the revelation of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Most churches today are built upon creeds and man’s opinions. They are built by man and controlled by man. Man is lord over them. The true Church, on the other hand, is built upon a revelation of the Lord. He, and He alone, is the Lord over it.
Verse 19 speaks of the authority that is given to the ones who have a revelation of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Spiritual authority is directly proportional to the submission to His Lordship. If He is the Lord over your life, then you have the keys to bind and to loose, to shut and to open. Another way of saying the same thing is “a revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ is the open door that allows Him to function through your life.” The will of God is worked in and through the Church that is built upon the revelation of his Lordship.
I Corinthians 1:6-8 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: (The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy. Revelation
7 So that ye come behind in no gift: waiting (expecting fully) for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ;
8 Who shall confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This passage of Scripture is not talking about the Second Coming of the Lord. The Greek word for “coming” in verse seven is apokalupsis, which should be translated “revelation.” Also it is plural. So it should read, “…waiting for the revelations of our Lord Jesus Christ….” One revelation of the Lord does not reveal all that He is. Spiritual growth is a result of many revelations. When we have a revelation of the Lord, then we have experienced a spiritual coming of the Lord to our hearts.
I John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.
See this verse as a spiritual coming of the Lord. When He appears to us by revelation to our hearts, we become like Him. Revelation, then, is the channel, or the means, by which some aspect of the Lord is transferred to us. You could say, “What you see is what you become.”
II Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Peter is saying the same thing as John. The Word is the channel for a revelation of the Lord, which is the means by which His divine nature is transferred to us. Now just reading and studying the Scriptures will not do this. The Pharisees proved that. We must feed upon the Christ in the Word. We must receive a revelation of Him. When we see Him, we will be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
Copyright © 1995 by Henry DuBose