Jesus was the greatest prophet who ever lived. He stepped onto the world scene at that critical moment in history in which the prophets of God began to not only prophesy of things to come, but from John the Baptist forward would both prophesy, and fulfill prophecy (Matt. 11:9-15).
Jesus spoke of John, saying, “What went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” John was on the cusp between the Law and Grace; between the time of prophesying only of things to come, and the time when prophets would also fulfill prophecies. Nevertheless, “He that is greater than all,” past, present and future, was the one who bestowed that honor upon him: Jesus, The Consummate Prophet.
Jesus prophesied in various ways. Some of His prophecies are rather straight forward. Others, such as Matthew chapters 24 and 25, are a little more difficult to understand; and to be able to comprehend the lessons which He taught in parables requires a special kind of skill (Matt. 13:10-16, 34-35).
In Matthew 19:27-28, Peter asked Jesus, “We have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?” In response to which, Jesus gave an excellent example of just how straight forward He could be. He answered very simply, saying, “Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Although the answer which Jesus gave was clear enough, I find that it also raises other questions. For instance, I am prompted to ask, “Who shall sit upon the other twelve thrones of the twenty-four thrones which shall be around about the throne of His glory?” That is to say, “Who shall rule the Gentiles during that time?” (There will be twenty-four thrones around about “the throne of His Glory,” because Jesus will imitate His Father in everything.) Apparently Jesus implied more than He explained in His clear and simple answer to Peter’s question.
Of John the Baptist, Jesus said, “If ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.” So say I unto you, If you will accept it, half of those Twenty-four Elders, in Revelation 5, are twelve Gentile apostles, who God will give to the “Messenger of the Covenant,” and together they will prepare the way for Jesus to come to reign as “King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” God will send a messenger before Jesus Christ, because God never changes! God sent John, the son of Zechariah, one of the 24 priests who burned incense on the golden altar, to prepare for the first coming of Jesus. John’s lineage was very important, because anything less than his rank in the priesthood would not have served to transfer the priesthood from the Sons of Aaron: the sons of Levi to Jesus, who was a son of Judah. God had sent John to launch an entirely new lineage of “generations” of the leadership of His people. Jesus submitted to the baptism of John, because it was a very important part of the transfer process (Mark 3:15). That is why we see Jesus deferring to John by working in another area, until John was cast into prison (John 3:22-24; Matt. 4:12-14).
John the Revelator partially answered my question in Revelation 5:8-9. When that lamb had taken the book out of the hand of Him that sat upon the throne, “The four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of the saints, and they sang a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation, and hast made us unto our God Kings and priests: and we shall reign on the Earth.”
And at the ordination of the “Seven” in Acts 6:1-4, Peter said something which helps to show that the Jewish “Twelve” are half of those twenty-four. He said, “It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. But we will give ourselves to prayer, and to the ministry of The Word. Praying (offering up incense) was not simply “one of the things they did.” It was part of their job to thereby strengthen the prayers of all saints by lifting up their own voices in support of them, fulfilling Isaiah 56:7, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people.” God took “The daily sacrifice” away from the Levitical Priesthood in the middle of that 70th week of years, in Daniel 9:24-27, in about 37-38 A.D., and gave it to the Jewish Twelve Apostles, to carry Israel’s prayers to God. (Acts 3:1; Acts 4:1-Acts 6:4).
The function of someone, so to speak, relaying the prayers of others on to God was never given to any others after the martyrdom of the Jewish apostles. However, a group of twelve Gentiles Apostles shall very soon be called into service to do that work, and that very soon, when God shall take away the daily sacrifice from Gentile Christianity. This event is foreshadowed in the latter end of Job’s life. God sent Job’s three friends to have Job pray for them, “For you have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.” The Gentile Christians have taken it full circle, and fallen into unbelief, just as God’s people had done in the first century A.D. Therefore, Romans 2:6-11 shall soon be manifested in its fullness. As Paul said, “Indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also to the Gentiles.”
When Jesus shall sit upon the throne of His glory, it is the Gentile “Twelve” who shall be the Kings, on the one side, and the Jewish “Twelve” who shall be the Priests, on the other side. In the Old Testament shadow of these things, there were four and twenty priest who burned the incense, and John the Baptist’s father, was one of those twenty-four at the time of John’s birth (1 Chon. 24:10; Luke 1:5; Isaiah 61:4-5).
If we are to understand the book of “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” it is very important that we first understand chapter 1, verses 1-3. John wrote us that foreword, so we would not misunderstand the main theme of this book of prophecy.
John declared his prophecy to be, “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 bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
“Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”
The Revelation of Jesus Christ is not primarily about “The Dragon, The Beast, and The False Prophet,” although it does prophesy about the workers of evil who shall withstand God and His work during the Grace Age. It covers the work of Jesus Christ and those of His disciples who are “called, and chosen, and faithful.” It is about those faithful saints who made up the Church of God in the first century of the fifth millennium, and those who have worked, and will yet faithfully work, in this last 120 years of the sixth millennium, to raise the Church up again in this last time, for Jesus Christ (John 6:39). That group also includes the “great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people and tongues, with palms in their hands, (who) came up out of great tribulation” (Rev. 7:9-17), between the fall of the early Jewish church, near the end of the first century, and the rise of the Gentile Church in the twentieth century. In that He said that they had palms in their hands, He is telling us that they will be the ones who give Jesus, and His bride an abundant entrance into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (John 12:12-14; Mark 11:1-11; 2 Peter 1:9-10).
The “Book of Revelation” is a record of “the word of God,” and of “the testimony of Jesus Christ,” and of “all things that John saw.” It is absolutely necessary that we have “The Testimony of Jesus Christ,” if we are to comprehend what the book is about. That testimony is not our personal testimony of being redeemed. In Rev. 19:10, John was diligent to tell us exactly what it is: “The Spirit of Prophecy.” If we simply try to guess what it is from its mention in Revelation 12:17, we might easily come to the wrong conclusion. So we will go with what John said, and which Jesus supported in John 5:39, saying, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they that testify of Me.”
As is shown Revelation 12:17, there will be a group of people who have that Spirit of Prophecy, and will do work of fulfilling the prophecies of God’s people making preparation for Jesus to come: King of the World. Therefore, John said, “Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” The man who is prophesied of, to “read” the Book of Revelation, is already here, prophesying in the “spirit and power” of John, in fulfillment of Revelation 10:11. Already there are some of them with him who are able to “hear” the truth of this revelation, and they are engaged in the process of its fulfillment.
John told us, in verse one that the book is about “things which must shortly come to pass.” Then, in verse 3, he told us that a man would come, who would be able to read: that is to explain the prophecies of those things (Isaiah 29:11-12), and that a group of people would be blessed to hear: that is to understand the words of that prophecy, and keep: that is to fulfill, “those things which are written therein” (Isaiah 29:18). Even so, God has already revealed many prophecies, and those elect of God have faithfully fulfilled them in their due season, much as Jesus did during His ministry
In Colossians 1:24-25, Paul showed this precept working in his own ministry, saying, “I now rejoice in my suffering for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body’s sake, which is the Church. Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the Word of God.”
In Revelation 1:19, Jesus appeared to John, and told him to “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.” So, in Rev. 7, John wrote of the Jewish Church being brought to “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (144,000, the measure of a man, that is, of the angel [Eph. 4:13; Rev. 21:17]). Then, in chapter 14, he wrote of the Gentile Church coming to “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Then, in Rev. 21:9-10, he wrote that one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, told him, “Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem.”
I challenge you to believe John, and to believe that the angel showed John the Bride the Lamb’s Wife. That is what the angel said he would do, and that is what he did. If you will believe that, you will find it very easy to learn what the Bride consists of. The twelve Gates: the twelve pearls are the Jewish Church in the beginning of the fifth millennium, and the twelve angels, which are by them, are the Jewish Twelve Apostles. The wall which was made of Jasper represents the Gentile Church at the end of the sixth millennium, and the twelve foundation stones are the Gentile Twelve Apostles.
It would be reasonable to conclude, then, that the measurements of that city reveal that the 144,000 in chapter 7, and the 144,000 in chapter 14 are brought together at the resurrection to make up the Bride the Lamb’s Wife, who shall sit with Him on the throne of His glory. (Songs 6:13)
God is even now forming that group of Gentiles. They are a humble, and godly, and dedicated group of people (Malachi 3:16-18) who will be willing to allow God’s “messenger of the covenant” (prophesied of in Deut 29:1 and Malachi 3:1-6) to cleanse them and espouse them to the Bridegroom, even as Eliezer of Damascus espoused Rebekah to Isaac (Genesis 24), and as the Apostle Paul espoused a group of Gentile believers to Christ (2 Cor. 11:2). Please note that Esther could not go in to Ahasuerus until she had gone through a year of purification: “six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odors, and with other things for the purifying of the women” (Esther 2:12).
In Revelation 19:6-10, John wrote, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to the Lord God Omnipotent: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he said unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
The Marriage of the Lamb will take place within the next four years. Are you making preparation for it? Would you dedicate a year of your life; purifying your life so as to be worthy to be a part of those who receive the honor of being that close to Jesus?