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Considering the Book of Revelation and
the so-called "Rapture" and "End Times"

The Book Of Revelation

There are always two main levels of interpretations in a scripture - a localised or current interpretation and a spiritual interpretation.

From a localised point of view, as it were, the symbolism used in the book of Revelation to the early Christians and its use in the rebuttal of contemporary Rome, in particular the emperor Domitian and his requirements to be worshipped as "Our Master and our God", is powerfully represented.

A few examples of this contrasting symbolism could be as follows: Domitian demanded that twenty-four choral singers precede and praise him wherever he went (in contrast to the twenty-four elders in the book of Revelation); and that everyone bow to Domitian when he passed them or be put to death (in contrast to the Living Saviour who is responsible for everlasting life and to whom "every knee shall bow"); and the "divine" infant son of Domitian being the head of the gods surrounded by seven stars (in contrast to the seven stars held by Jesus, the son of God).

So, from a direct and more localised viewpoint, as well as a reprimand for sinful behaviour, the book of Revelation was an encouragement from the Living Christ - the Beginning and the End - to His early followers in the churches, and their sporadic persecution and martyrdoms for His sake by the Roman Empire which was driven by evil. There was a plan for the world, and its ending was most assuredly controlled by God.

The more spiritual nature of the book of Revelation is dealt with further on in this article.

An Example Of Literalising Religious Scriptures

Over the last Christmas period, this writer received emails from an American student adamant that Christians should not celebrate Easter or Christmas but only the festivals that, so he insists, God has told us to celebrate in the Old Testamant. This is in spite of the New Testament proclaiming fairly clearly that followers of Christ should follow a law "not written with ink but with the spirit of the living God; not in the tablets of stone, but in the fleshly tablets of the heart".

This demonstrates how the human mind can fix on a concept derived by literalising certain words or phrases in a Scripture, whether those words are derived from Biblical or any other religious Scripture. Such a concept is often influenced by cultural bias and sealed with some kind of encounter with the supernatural, assuming their experience must be Divine and unique. When the mind is in this state it cannot entertain any other way of thinking as containing truth. Such is the mind of the "Fundamentalist" thinker.

Truth Is Too Vast To Be Wrapped Up In Earthly Sentences

The scope of Truth is so gigantic that sometimes the immediate mists must be allowed to clear to reveal something deeper yet clearer.

It has been stated or inferred by some highly developed Spirit teachers that, in order to provide perspective, we could think of them as being closer to us on Earth than they are to the great Source of Truth, and they state that they are careful not to place finality on some issues. So it's perhaps not a good idea to pull teachings given by Spirit Agency out of context.

The Visions In Revelations Are But The Outer Shell

One band of Spirit teachers has communicated that the description in the book of Revelation is but the outer shell of the vision related in words by the human Seer, John; and that the deeper truths that came to him were of such a fine spiritual nature that they could not be put into words, spoken or written. So while the visions of the book of Revelation had a message for others, there was also a personal, intimate message.

"Revelation", By Definition, Must Always
Be Newer Than The Old Revelation

Without revelation man would be nowhere at all. Surely, to the receiver, revelation is a form of new life, it is living "newness" - and there is no greater blessing than new life, ever-unfolding Divine life. Therefore, to assume that one level of revelation is the be-all-and-end-all of Truth is a great mistake - a fundamental error for the seeker of Truth.

Revelation develops the spiritual consciousness, and God has never stopped providing revelation through the Holy Spirit - indeed He said that He would send the Spirit in great measure to provide knowledge, and the Spirit has been working on humanity all that time.

Pouring New Wine Into Old Wineskins

Therefore, to take a spiritual consciousness which has been enabled to progressively develop because of further Divine revelations, and attempt to fit it's spiritual capacity into an older revelation which was given to a less spiritually developed people with a less developed spiritual consciousness, is perhaps analogous to the placing of new wine into old wineskins - it just doesn't work properly and was never meant to be.

New wine should be seen for what it is - a later produce from grapes that have been developed through the passage of time; as should old wine be seen for what it is - an earlier produce, fine in its time, but the grapes today have now been further developed and matured by the Landowner over the centuries.

Understanding The Changing Collective Consciousness Of A People

The narrated visions of the Seer in the book of Revelation, recorded in the name of John, were applicable to a culture of a time when the collective consciousness assumed that the stationary flat Earth was the centre of the universe, dead people existed "beneath the earth" until a day at "the end of time" or the "age", and heaven was a physical area upwards and above the clouds somewhere; a time when the superior 'elohim - Jehovah - was subjected to such anthropomorphism by the large majority as to be merely a national deity superior to all other deities (ha'elohim), and who apparently required blood to be spilt to appease his moody, fiery and unjust temperament; a time when mental and emotional superstition was a vastly greater part of daily life than true spiritual fact; a time when eschatological understanding was not a major issue and was more strongly influenced by a number of external belief systems such as those of Assyrian, Egyptian or Greek origin than it was from any internal revelation.

Vision Of A New City

The New "Jerusalem" is broadly a defining explanation, a template, of a change from one state into another; and which is more specifically related to the change from an Earth-body to a non-Earth-body which is to ideally exist in a higher Spiritual World; a process where the soul-body becomes ever-more refined as the soul becomes ever-more like the Nature of the Spiritual Christ. The Cities into which the ever-more spiritualised soul must pass at each stage of are themselves ever-more spiritualised and refined in purity, spiritual beauty and nature.

The warnings given to the churches in the book of Revelation strongly emphasise turning from the sinful motives and deeds. Indeed, one of the churches has become so involved with sin-production that only a few of the community are deemed as worthy - the significance of "white garments" is not lost on believers in continual soul-spiritualisation and purification.

The Inviolable Law Of Consequences Cannot
Be Bypassed By A Mere Metaphysical Belief

The severe warnings are addressed to churches existing two millennia ago, but the nature of consequences for violating constant and existent spiritual laws has not changed. Thus, for the unrepentant and consistent sinner there was to be a "second death" and the import should be clear to all who would listen. Regarding these visions in the book of Revelation, the reader is meant to take the main thrust of the meaning of the underlying message, the general gist of it, the "feel" of it, as truth.

The mistake is made when the mind of man starts literalising, adding say, a thousand earthly years here, a earthly thousand years there, and so on, and coming up with what to many is a frightening prospect which they will take as true and wouldn't dream of thinking otherwise.

Not The End Of The World But
The End Of An Individual's Earth Life

People today have far less excuse than those of old to believe the literalising of spiritual visions and coming up with "end times" dogmas as they do. The end time of a human being's Earth life is a more important and urgent assessment of "end times", and the inevitability of the human being's reaping of the sowing. What could be a more spiritually beneficial vision to a person still in a body of flesh than a forceful explanation that the coming to the end of one's physical life on Earth is not in reality the end at all, but merely the beginning of something else: a Reckoning.

What has been recorded of the vision in the book of Revelation does not concern the destruction of people living on Earth in the "end times". The Nature of the loving Christ, who taught the forgiveness of enemies and the turning of the other cheek, does not change and become maniacal, avenging, vindictive and angry. He who said that there was no greater gift than the laying down of one's own life for another does not suddenly adopt the most horrific lower emotions of the basest human and start enjoying mass torture. No, the whole thrust of the book of Revelation concerns the warning of each individual about the consequences of a wicked life reaped at physical death.

Christ Comes For Each Individual At Physical Death

At the end of a person's Earth life, the Master Christ comes to that soul with His angelic host, and if he or she has been a faithful servant then he or she finds themselves transported to a Spiritual World; conversely, the committer of evil, the constant violator of Divine Law, finds himself transported to a place worse than life - he dies a physical death and now finds a far worse prospect, he is living a spiritual death.

The Follower Of Christ Is Meant To Follow His Way

The modern division of Christianity propagating the so called Rapture and "end times" theory is, in reality, basing its deductions upon selfishness and self-preservation - so unlike the example set by the Master Christ. His followers should forget about being "swept up" in their body into the air by Jesus because of nothing more than a theological belief and perhaps an exposure to a certain level of the Unseen.

God Is Not Mocked - Be Not Deceived

Instead, such a follower should realise that other messages should help mould their view, such as that which came to Paul about not being deceived concerning the law of the sowing and the reaping; the person who says that they follow Christ should realise that it is a definite fact that the sowing and the reaping is for them too, and that no matter how many times they claim that a belief is all that is necessary for salvation, they will face every single deed of their life - good, bad, large, small - as attributable to them. They should not be deceived as to this.

That is the important Biblical message, not just of the book of Revelation. The Supreme Divine Being, God, does not wish to see or feel His wayward children bring any more pain upon themselves through violation of the laws of Divine Love - laws which cannot be circumvented, laws which do not grant favour to anyone based upon their religious concept of salvation alone.

The Law of Retribution Is Rigid But Theological Stance Is Liberal

The Christian who misses this message of the book of Revelation in favour of a lesser message is providing a disservice to humanity as a whole. Yet, it should be remembered that anyone who influences others to take stock of themselves to become more spiritually self-disciplined and to seek something less base and of a higher spiritual purpose, is blessed by the God who is Love. And this demonstrates the need to banish entirely notions of a God who thinks like a base human being and, instead, to attempt to move towards the manner in which the Great Supreme beholds Truth concerning theological beliefs - not so pedantically as the men of religion might have all believe.

God Is the Giver Of All Good Gifts

To correctly interpret visions, religionists must envisage God as being much less human and far more Divine. The good in every religion should be adopted and made one's own; and the guide to knowing what is spiritually good is clearly demonstrated in the perfect life and teachings of the Christ of God made man, Jesus of Nazareth.

Not Instant Salvation But Good And Ill Are Duly Rewarded

The soul will not be instantly "saved" by a one-time cry for mercy to a vengeful being requiring the death of a beautiful Human Being to placate a warped sense of justice; but rather the soul must work out its own salvation and everything will be accounted for, one way or the other: "for by the same measure by which ye mete, it shall be meted again to you" - and this came from the lips of the Master Jesus.

Some people in the church of the early Christians are documented in the book of Revelation as being steeped in active sin and corruption; yet, as the God who is Love never leaves His children without guidance, they received a strict and severe warning via Spirit Agency - no salvation for them based upon the acceptance of a metaphysical concept but avoidance of spiritual death only by the repenting and turning from evils ways: ..."I know your works (ergon => acts, things done, products). You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die..."

The Time Is Now, Not In The Distant Future

the book of Revelation urges from the very beginning recognition of the fact that "the time is at hand" - the time is near, not at some time long in the future. This message is about soul development - or its undesired opposite, involution - as directly relating to the death of the physical body. It is a warning that there will be accountability regardless of whether man has beliefs or a lack of beliefs - everything is revealed in the book of each one's life - motives, deeds and omissions.

Physical Death: Changed Yet Unchanged

The laws of God work on the soul with precision. The change we call physical death simply means the shedding of a material body, the "person" remains exactly the same. Tellingly, towards the end of the book of Revelation it is explained: "Let the one who is doing harm continue to do harm; let the one who is vile continue to be vile; let the one who is righteous continue to live righteously; let the one who is holy continue to be holy" (Rev. 22:11 NLT) - indicating levels of purity within the soul, nothing more, nothing less. That is what happens at so called death.

"One Body Will Be Left And The Other Body Taken"

"There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body", and they co-exist in the same person. The spiritual body is affected moment by moment according to alignment with the Saviour Jesus Christ affected by the motives, desires and actions of the owner. This is the perspective to adopt concerning the message in the book of Revelation - the time is at hand indeed, and it comes to all - physical death. There are two bodies at the end time, "one body is left for carrion and the other body is taken by angels" - the physical body and the spiritual body respectively - two bodies, but of just one person.

The Traditions Of Men Handed Down And Influencing Scripture

Fundamentalist thinkers merely follow the traditions of men, traditions derived from the long history of the culture of men; they cannot face the simple truth, something blocks off the answer to the question: "What is a more noble thought and feeling, what is most Christ-like? A Divine Law that blesses the soul which exhibits selfless motives and loving deeds as exemplified by Christ, even regardless of theological stance, with further spiritual progress and increased happiness as a result; or a teaching that heinously punishes a loving soul for having a different theological point of view for, say, a thousand years, with the tyrannical aim of forcing that soul to accept a metaphysical idea?"

If those of Fundamentalist outlook were able to free themselves from the notion that the purpose of Christ's death was to somehow literally "propitiate" His own Father from whom He came, supposedly holding the worst of human emotions completely alien to the Divine Being who is Love, then they would be able say: "The noblest answer is that which is the most fair, just and loving based on the love and selflessness in the heart and mind".

Indeed, this is exactly what He said, a commandment which is the greatest of them all upon which hangs everything: "Love others as I have loved you"; far too simple for the mind of man which forever seeks circumvention of God's unalterable laws by introducing complicated religious dogmas which buy him supposed freedom from his sins.

The Literalist Only Accepts What He Or She Wants To Accept

The One through whom was wrought Creation has stated: "Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his works". Yes, this has a clear meaning - the Law of Consequences brought into being by God through His Christ reacts to "works" in a perfectly just and expiationary manner. Yet, those who state that we must all believe the literal words of the Bible have decided that such a policy does not apply in this case, because neither their Rapture theory nor their salvation theory would make any sense.

However, the calm offering of scriptural interpretation is fine but into base bickering a person should never go - the priests of Christ's time were known for such behaviour - behaviour which detracts from the wider, more spiritual view received by accepting the message with a simple attitude - simple in the Christ sense. The greater Truth is there for those wishing to seek purer lands - a Truth which transcends the written word, the Truth of the Spirit.

Forward To Spiritual Progression - Not Backward To The Dead Past

Modern "charismatic Christians" get carried away with essentially creating something that will never happen in the way they portray it - the "Tribulation and Rapture" - because this is a human construction. However, one can understand and sympathise with a whole nation of long ago who, for many centuries, would quake at the teachings of the priests and the conquering motivations of national leaders concerning the jealousy and vengefulness of Jehovah 'elohim, the deity of war and pestilence - and one can sometimes pick out the stories derived from political minds where the kernel of truth has been all but lost.

The conservative Christian mind wants desperately to wrap Truth up in a collection of Earth words - a ridiculous endeavour it must be said. Instead of going forward, having the faith to never look back in a progressive march following the brightest Star of all who is Christ. However, Christendom glances backwards to a previous level of revelation in order to see where it is going, and in so doing it blinds itself and stumbles. Faith in Christ is not blind; it is lit by the most perfect element of Light in existence, and the Holy Spirit guides the seeker with faith in Christ.

Revelation Is Correlative With Man's Ability To Receive It

The Truth is in front and revelation is correlative with man's ability to receive it - and so it has always been. And now the Holy Spirit, using the gift of the Discerning of Spirits, provides further and progressive teaching - the Christ teaching indeed, which simply needs the re-enlivening touch of His true angelic messengers in order to allow the Spirit of Religion to throw off the earthly shackles imposed upon it by the material mind of man over the centuries.

Spirit Messengers Of Christ Are Received By Today's Religionists
As Christ Was Received By The Religionists Of His Day

Yet Christendom often seeks to call: "foul, deceiver, devil" to the messengers of Light sent by Christ. This should be no surprise; this is what happened with the scribes and priests of old who poured through their scriptures with fine comb to entrap the Truth Bringer - to convict the Christ - when He brought His Light and His Truth and enlivened a dead religion from which the spirit had departed from the carcass. So it is today with a Christian religion which man has obscured by painting over it with his own theological creations such as the Rapture theory; and the Spirit teachers who come to re-enliven the same Truth that the Master taught are shunned in the same manner by those who think that they obey their God.

True Messengers Of Light Come By The Holy Spirit

Problems arise because the spiritual collective consciousness continues onwards, slowly of necessity, while Christians keep rehashing views of a vision given as a past revelation. But God has given further revelations due to the changes brought about by the effects of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Way that He taught, without which humanity would have no such revelations from the Holy Spirit.

In essence, the message of the book of Revelation could be said to be a broad brush seeking to save each soul individually from heaping upon itself unnecessary misery through listening to the enemies of Christ and opposing spiritual laws, thus engaging the operation of the laws of retribution which are ultimately part of the laws of spiritual redemption. This visionary intervention of course saves pain to the God who is Love.

Spiritual Versus Earthly Interpretation Of The Book of Revelation

Literal, secular-time predictions should not be drawn from the book of Revelation which needs to be discerned spiritually. The "soothsaying" attitude of modern conservative Christianity is derived from the material viewpoint of the book of Revelation. Spiritual analysis will show that God's time for Earth's upliftment to another spiritual plane is based upon spiritual preparation - when humanity is ready - and not on earthly years.

Tony Bisson

Relating to this subject matter, also see:

Analysing The "Second Coming"
In The Light Of Spirit Communication

"Sleeping" Until A Final Judgement

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