"Studies of the Spirit in the New Testament - Revelation"
July 01, 2021

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July 1, 2021

"Studies of the Spirit in the New Testament

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95-96 AD


     Revelation is a love story as the Spirit prepares the Bride for what is ahead. There is intensity displayed in His evaluation of the seven early churches. He points out weaknesses and strengths and shows the Bride how she must cleanse herself and arrive at the place where there is no separation between them.

Spirit confirmation is all the Bride needs to encounter whatever lies before her. The Spirit and The Bride are intricately woven together as they are seen in the closing words of the book when they speak as one entity, "the Spirit and the Bride say, Come." The work of the Spirit is all about the Bride and preparing her for the Wedding Feast.

She is not to falter when dark days threaten her. She will not fail as the pressures of the last days come against her. Her reliance upon the Spirit for discernment and direction deepens. She has a clear picture of the martyrdom which may befall her. She has supernatural understanding of her worth to her Bridegroom.

Regardless of worldwide decimation teetering, crashing, and burning, her faith is strong and her resolve increases. The corporate Bride never trusts any other source for her completion than the Spirit. They are inseparable. Her dependency on the Spirit expands throughout history, until the very moment the Bridegroom appears.

There is no such thing as The Bride apart from the Spirit!

Aside from the blessing associated with reading this book, there is finality in Revelation's pages. The drawstrings of history close around the actions of events. One eclipses time and inters into God-sphere. Heaven is close, as the Spirit transports John into different realms of existence and prompts him to view behind the veil. John is able to view matters through God's perspective. He is illuminated about the inseparability of The Bride and the Spirit.

John, full of his gospel and exulting in his epistles, moves into higher realms through the Spirit, causing the reader to "journey with him." Though exiled to Patmos because of his faith, he travels in the Spirit with freedom as history unfolds before it occurs. Attuned to the Spirit, he hears a voice (perhaps it sounds like the same one he heard on the mount of transfiguration).

Revelation 1:9-11:
9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last," and, "What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."

(Ah, there is a confidence in being "in the Spirit" and knowing the "Comforter" is present even in exile!)

Eclipsing earth's madness to enter realms of glory is what we all need to experience. Yet, John is brought into the presence of Jesus and directed to write what he sees and hears and send it to seven churches. (Many scholars equate the seven churches as seven conditions which all churches exhibit. Others believe the seven churches represent seven phases they pass through before the end-time, Laodicea being the last.)

"Being in the Spirit" is an absolute necessity in order to hear from God. It is the Spirit realm where revelation comes from and the will of God is known. (The question that arises today is, "How many believers experience being, 'in the Spirit?'")

John heard a voice behind him and it is the voice he has heard before-Jesus. He turns to receive from that voice. There is only One who can say, "I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last." Jesus is in the midst of His churches (Agapao is a Greek word which begins with alpha and ends with omega-translated, it means the highest form of love).

Revelation 1:12-20:
12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. 17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. 19 Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. 20 The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.

John felt that wonderful right hand of the Master and he heard that familiar voice - it is the same voice that cried, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how oft would I have gathered you as a hen doth her brood, but you would not."

John is ordered to focus on The Bride, beginning with Ephesus. Very quickly, John relays what Jesus and the Spirit said concerning each body. The Bride needs to hear from the Spirit. Let it be known there is no Bride without the Spirit.

The Bride in Ephesus:

Revelation 2:1-7:
"To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, these things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: 2 "I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary. 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place - unless you repent. 6 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

7 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God."'

Ephesus had been warned by Paul, and now they are being judged by Jesus, about leaving their first love. The church Paul started and Timothy pastored was being told to repent. The Lord said they were in jeopardy of losing their lampstand, and it is up to the pastor to lead out in this matter. They had good works, patience, discernment (Nicolaitans) and a tenaciousness (not growing weary), but those traits meant little because of the one missing element, their first love! They are told to repent and receive in that order. Their reward: would be to eat of the tree of life in the paradise of God.

Uniquely, the call "to repent" requires a Bride with a tender heart; hence, the "love-desire" to be what her lover wanted her to be. That is what is meant by Jesus when He said, "You have left your first love."

The Bride in Smyrna:

Revelation 2:8-11:
8 "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write,

'These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: 9 "I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

11 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death."'

There is a caring sweetness from the Spirit as He reveals what lies ahead for Smyrna.

Yes, the Lord acknowledges their works, tribulation and poverty and how they have had to deal with Jewish elitism and persecution. The Spirit knows real Jews are those with a circumcised heart - these are not them and are part of the religious organization of the devil (the Synagogue of Satan).

The Smyrna Bride is soon to be tested by the devil with tribulation for a short period of time.

They are told, "Do not fear ANY of those things which you are about to suffer." "Fear not" is the constant cry of the Word. They are to be overcomers, even if it requires their death.

The tenderness of the Comforter toward Smyrna is beautiful to see.

The Bride at Pergamos:

Revelation 2:12-17:
12 "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,

'These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: 13 "I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. 16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.

17 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it."'

Pergamos was a compromised Bride. Situated in an evil environment, "satan's throne," they fielded some members who succumbed to the society around them. The Jerusalem council had ruled that Gentile believers should not eat of things offered to idols nor participate in sexual immorality; Nicolaitans participated in the local festivals and the loose morals in them. Therefore, these were stains on the garments of the Bride which must be dealt with. They needed to repent and overcome those spots. Their reward would be to eat of hidden manna and receive a talisman of great value.

(I know personally about receiving a talisman from the Spirit when I finished the book, Solomon's Secret. I knew this book's understanding was revealed to me and the unlocking of its message came through the Spirit. Yes, there are Spirit awards on earth.)

Manna was Israel's daily provision in the wilderness, hidden manna is a provision beyond the natural - it is supernatural provision. The talisman of a white stone with a special inscription is a romantic secret passed between lovers.

The Bride at Thyatira:

Revelation 2:18-29:
18 "And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write,

'These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: 19 "I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. 20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. 22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. 23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.

24 "Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. 25 But hold fast what you have till I come. 26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations - 27 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron;

They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels' - as I also have received from My Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star.

29 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."'

The "Jezebel spirit" is evident even today and it must be dealt with. Again, she was fostering the very things the Jerusalem council had forbidden. Notice, those who cooperated with her were judged severely.

Note verse 23 and "I am He who searches the minds and hearts," This is a powerful truth for He can see the full intentions of every saint. Likewise, Jesus takes the high position with this body.

For Him to say, "I know," "I have," "I gave," "I will," "I say" and "I will put," shows the direct involvement Jesus has with the Bride at Thyatira.

To those who repent--they will receive power over the nations, to rule them with a rod of iron. The Bride and the Groom are destined to rule the nations together.

The Bride at Sardis:

Revelation 3:1-6:
3 "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write,' These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: "I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore, if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. 4 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

6 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."'


Dead churches are not the Bride. Almost dead churches can still repent. The Sardis church is similar to the congregations today. The Bride was that inner core of the "not defiled." Christ offers an opportunity for the others to join them and receive a white garment and their names remaining in the Book of Life.

The Bride at Philadelphia:

Revelation 3:7-13:
7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, 'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens": 8 "I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie - indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.

13 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."'

Open doors for greater works, power over their enemies, knowledge of His love and keeping them from the testing which is coming on earth are just part of His blessing. Honor will be given them if they overcome and continue to persevere by making them a pillar in the temple of His God. Also, they will have the name of God and Jesus' new name written on them.

The Bride at Philadelphia is to be identified as His.

The Bride at Laodicea:

Revelation 3:14-22:
14 "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,

'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' - and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked - 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore, be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

22 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."'"

Being wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked did not match Laodicea's self-estimation. However, His love (v. 19) offered them opportunity to repent. If indeed this church matches the end-time church, there is little time remaining to repent, but the reward for doing so is great. Verse 21 offers a place to sit beside the Son equal to the place of the Son which is next to the Father.

The Bride must sit beside Him, and it is to the Bride the appeal is made to repent and buy gold and garments of white. She must be well outfitted for the wedding in heaven.

In the Spirit:

Following the message to the churches, John finds himself "in the Spirit" and ready to see the Throne of majesty and power.

Revelation 4:1-6:
4 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this."

2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. 3 And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones, I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. 5 And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thundering, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.


Although it may sound trite, there is a need to say "revelation" and the Spirit are inseparable. A portal opened to heaven and the invitation to use it was given to John. Instantly, he was in the Spirit. All things are open through the Spirit. The closer one walks with the Spirit, the more that person will experience spiritual insight. John saw the throne of God and the attendant matters which surround it.

Ten chapters later, John hears from the Spirit after he encounters the fate of those who receive the mark of the beast.

Revelation 14:12-13:
12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: 'Blessed are the dead who die In the Lord from now on.'"

"Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them." NKJV

It is the Spirit who affirms the priorities of life and allows the saint to have insight to what really matters in their walk with God.

Three chapters further, it is the Spirit who transports John to see The Mystery Babylon.

Revelation 17:1-3:
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication."

3 So he carried me away - "in the Spirit" into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.


All history is spiritual history.

John sees into the future and the Spirit transports him to the time zone in question. However, the panorama portrays a harlot drunk with saints and martyrs' blood.

Revelation 17:6:
I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.

Loving not their lives unto the death (Rev.12) is a common factor in being a saint of God. The world hates the believer. Currently there is a growing awareness of such hatred.

The beast and his proponents portrayed in these passages are shown to make war with the Lamb of God.

Revelation 17:14:
These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful."

Four chapters later, the Spirit transports John to behold the Bride.

Revelation 21:9-13:
9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife." 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. 12 Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.

Next comes the unity of the Spirit and the Bride.

Revelation 22:16-17:
16 "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star."

17 And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

Just as the ending of the Song of Solomon is, "Come, my beloved, come quickly." The Spirit and the Bride join voices to call for Jesus' soon return.

Revelation 22:20:
He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming quickly."

Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Until Next Month,

Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.


From Pastor Samuel and Anusuya Karunanithi; International Missionaries:

Founder and President of Living Word International Outreach, USA.

In last month's Newsletter, we detailed the expanded ministry of Pastor Samuel and Anusuya Karunanithi. OEA (Oliver Evangelistic Association) has contributed $2,500, thanks to our faithful supporters, to assist in the shortage of food and supplies in the areas where Dr. Sam ministers.

In this month's newsletter we have detailed many of the supplies provided to needed families.


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