A Different REVELATION of Jesus Christ
The last great book of the Bible opens with the words: “The revelation of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:1) and from these words it derives its title: “The Revelation.” In this book of the Bible the Messianic Apostle John deals largely with the 2nd coming or return of Christ in glory to judge and then reign in His long-promised Millennial Kingdom on earth.
2 Thessalonians 1:7 tells us that one day “the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven… in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that… obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This is what the book of the Revelation is basically about.
This phraseology, “The revelation of Jesus Christ,” is also used in Paul’s epistles, as seen in Gal. 1:11-12 when he tells us how he received his “gospel of the grace of God”:
“I certify you, brethren, that The Gospel which was preached by me [Paul] is not after man, for I [Paul] neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but By The Revelation of [from] Jesus Christ.”
Surely this is not the same “revelation of Jesus Christ” of which John wrote in the book of “The Revelation.” Paul refers not to John’s “the revelation of Jesus Christ” in glory, but rather to “the revelation of Jesus Christ” in and by His Grace while He Delayed the 2nd coming Judgment and Millennial Kingdom.
So, Paul’s “revelation of Jesus Christ” was not Christ’s revelation to the world in His 2nd coming nor at the Rapture of “the body of Christ,” but rather Paul refers to the revelation of Jesus Christ to the world … through Paul himself, as the chief of sinners, saved by grace.
Let me explain how unique Paul is to the plan of God and the personal and intimate revelation of Christ for believers today.
In Galatians 1:15-16, the Apostle Paul says: “… it pleased God… to REVEAL His Son IN Me” - that is “In Paul.” Paul was God’s example of the revelation of His great grace to a sin-cursed world when God saved Saul (later called Paul). Paul had been Christ’s bitter, blaspheming enemy! Paul tells us about this truth here in 1Timothy 1:13-16, where he says:
“[I Paul] Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
14 And the GRACE of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation [of being accepted], that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I [Paul] am
chief [Gk. protos, the Prototype].
16 Howbeit for this cause I [Paul] obtained mercy, [so] that in me [IN Paul] first [as the prototype] Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering [patience],
For A Pattern to them [such as us] which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” (1 Timothy 1:13-16 (KJV)
This explains why Paul in Galatians 1:15-16 wrote as seen above:
“… it pleased God… to Reveal His Son IN Me.”
By saving Paul as “the
chief [the prototype] of sinners,” as Paul calls himself in 1Tim. 1:15, God shows us Paul as the ‘pattern’ as an example of how He is pleased to save any admitted sinner. For Paul also wrote;
“for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
This is also why Paul’s grace message is important to all grace believers;
“[Paul] To whom God would make known [reveal] what is the riches of the glory of this mystery [the long-held secret plan of God] among the Gentiles; which is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory:” (Colossians 1:27 (KJV)
“For in him [in Christ] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” (Colossians 2:9)
The “Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” is right now In Us Believers.
- portions adapted from Cornelius Stam -