Thursday, July 8, 2010


Preparing to study the Book of Revelation
There are seven (7) things to remember about scripture:

1. The full authority of scripture

2. The Deity and Centrality of Jesus Christ

3. The Victory of the Cross

4. The Kingdom of God will come and time and conditions as we know it will end. God destroyed and recreated the earth once before, He will do it agaibn.

5. God commands we live Holy lives

6. We must anticipate the entire world being reached by Christ. (Scripture specificies how He does it and it's not the way we think ..

7. We must anticipate a falling away from the spiritual by many who claim to believe. The grey area of Christianity w
ill disappear. (See Post on the Judas Vine)

There are certain truths to be realized from scripture and specifically the book of Revelation.

1. The church today needs to remove itself from denominationalism and move back toward a relationship with Jesus Christ. The Church nees to rediscover apostolic Christianity.

2. Scripture is not fallible - only those who read it casually and do not study every word and phrase.

3. To properly understand scripture, sentences or phrases must be placed in context and agree with all other scripture.

Over the centuries some of the most prominent theologians have avoided preaching and teaching Revelation. This is because they did not understand the true theme of the book and that the time was not yet come as ordained by God that we may understand it.

2nd Timothy 3:16 All scripture is profitable

Rev 1:3 - A two fold blessing is promised for the person who reads this book and lives by it.

This promise applies to all scipture, however, God ordained that this promise is registered in Revelation.

The entire bible is summed up in the book of Revelation, therefore, all scripture contains blessings.

The book of Revelation is complete truth summed up, however, many do not study it.

John wrote the book so that those in his day, being the Christian community would understand it in light of Old Testament Scripture and not one else. In other words it is written in code deceipered only by other scripture.

John identifies himself as the arthor of the book four times in Revelation and claims divine inspiration for the information: Rev 1:1, 1:4, 1:9 & 22:8......Rev 22:6

A lot of information used to verify events in the bible come from historical works that for one reason or antoher were excluded from scripture but nevertheless have remained as historical documents throughout history as historical resources.

This comes into play when giving consideration to the dating of the writin of Revelation by John. John was exiled to the lonely island of Patmos by the Roman ruler Domitian as punishment for writing that the Roman empire would quickly be rooted out. When domitian's reign ended John left Patmos and returned to Ephesus and lived out his life there. The book was probably written between AD 68 - 70.

The book of Revelation is full of figurative language and symbols because John is describing heavenly realities to earthly people, therefore, he must use physical comparrisons to describe spiritual truth. he ofter uses "as" or "like" to show these comparrisons. John works from the known to the unknown describing what he has seen by comparing it with what his readers things that are familiar to the reader. By using figurative language he was able to avoid censureship by the Roman government. john never mentions Rome by name, but everyone could imagine the identity of "the beast"

Remeber, John saw things we readily recognize today, but were unknown to him at that time. John would not have recognized tanks, helicopteres, missiles or even television.

Do you ever think about the day in which Jesus lived? Do you ever wonder what Jesus looked like?
I really don't think what he looked like is important, but it is important that I see him spiritually. The Bible does give us a picture of Jesus.
Revelation 5:10-15 In the book of Revelation we are going to "see" Jesus spiritually, with our spiritual eyes.
During His time on earth according to scripture Jesus was a servant. He came to minister to the world and to seek and save that which is lost. In Revelation we will see the glorified, risen body of Jesus Christ. We will see Him as Almighty god with eyes as a flame of fire that pierce and burn. This Jesus is the lamb of God, but is seen in Revelation as the judge before whom all humanity will stand and be judged. In Revelation chapter one He is seen as the Lamb of the tribe of Judah and His eyes are as a flame of fire. The picture in Revelation is a picture which John saw while he was a prisoner on the island of Patmos, in exlile.
John was undere duress when he wrote it as were most of the writers of the books of the bible. God has an excellent opportunity to speak to us when we are in distress. Throughout history it is in times of duress when people have experienced God the most and when they have been used more by Him.
Moses wrote the Pentetuke, the first five books of the bible, in the wilderness.
David wrote many of the Psalms while running away from Saul.
Isiah lived in difficult days and died as a martyr
Ezekiel wrote in exile.
Jeremiah's life was a life of trial and persecution.
Peter wrote his two letters just before he was killed.
When Paul was in Antioch he tried to prepare the Christians for a life of duress.
Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must go through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
It is through tribulation that people come into the Kingdom of God
Paul suffered much and gave his life for his belief in Jesus and the carrying of the gospel to the world.
Tribulation is the common heritage of the people of God. John did not escape persecution for it was his vibrant testamony for Christ that caused the Roman ruler to put him in exile on Patmos. There he was isolated from family and friends and interaction with any other human beings. In this setting John was given the most extensive revelation of Jesus Christ and the future events which will take place in establishing His kingdom. John was shut out from the world and shut up to God.
Patmos is a small island in the Agean Sea ten miles long and six miles wide. It is located ten miles southeast of Ephesus. Revelation 1:9 says John was there "for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ" meaning he was there because of his stand for Jesus.
Exile was always preceded by scouraging and fettering. It was a time of trial and persecution. John was the patriarch and leader of the Church of Christ in Asia. he was a powerful preacher of the world of God and lived in Ephesus.
2nd Timothy 3:12 says all that live for Christ will suffer persecution. Satan's job is to stop the word of God from advancing. He does this by infiltrating the church with people who have spirits that are working for him. They work to disrupt, discredit and destroy the Pastor and the true Saints of God. He comes against the staff, teachers, deacons and any others in authority. He blinds the laity. If you are under persecution rejoice. If you are not examine the spirits that are guiding you, repent, and pray for deliverance.
John touted himself as the disciple Jesus loved. This was not pride, it was an explanation that he understood why he was persecuted. It is only through Jesus finished work on the cross that we are redeemed. There is a path to the cross but it is filled with trials and tribulations along the way.
Revelation 1:10 John says he "became in the spirit on the Lord's day". This means the normal bodily condition of limitation of time and space was momentarily set aside and he became in the spirit realm. He moved in the spirit realm in two directions, upward and forward. he moves upward to heaven to see things he could not have ordinarily seen. He moves forward into time to see the future he could never live in his body.
This is the "day of the Lord", not Sunday as many suppose. John was taken in the spirit to the day of the Lord. The greeks could not say this in the way the Hebrews say it. In the interpretation the Greeks had to say it the long way, therefore, the Lord's day is means the day of the Lord.
John was saying he became in the spirit, taken up to heaven and moved forward in time to see the universe in heavenly form and see ahead to the great day of the Lord.
John was ordered to see the vision, write it down and send it to the seven churches in Asia Minor. Our Lord kept reminding him to "write it down"
John sees seven golden candlesticks which are the seven churches. Lampstands are made for the night which tells us the church is the light of the world. Jesus said "I must work the works of him that sent me while it is day, for the night cometh" The day comes when no man can work, as long as I am in the world I am the light of the world.
Now that Jesus has been taken out of the world we will have darkness until he returns and it is day again. The Church is the only light in that darkness. Does our light grow dim? Jesus left the lampstands (churches) to provide light to His people until he returns.
In the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and gird about the paps with a golden girdle stood. The locations of the seven chruches of that day were in a circle. John sees Jesus standing in the center of these churches. He is standing there as the Glorified, Risen, Son of Man.
Others have seen this Glorified, Risen, Son of Man;
Moses on the mountain saw him and came down the mountain with his face glowing with His radiance.
Saul saw him and fell down and claimed Him as Saviour.
Isiah saw Him, then saw himself and cried out " I am unclean"
Now John sees Him and falls at his feet as if he were dead. What John saw is for all of us because Jesus told him to write it down.
The phrase "son of Man" is found often in the Bible, several times in Ezekiel and at least once in Daniel. Seventy times it is used in the Bible to describe Jesus.
1. Notice Jesus position in the midst of his church Rev 1:2.. He wants to be in the center of His church Matt 18:20. He wants to be in the midst of His people. Is he the center of your life, your church?
2. The portrait of Christ: It is symbolic, but presented to us in human terms. I doubt if anyone could paint it.
Clothing: two parts of his clothing is described: a long flowing robe down to the feet.
Makes me think about Isaiah 6: In the year King Uziah died...the train of the Lord's robe filled the temple, a Golden Girdle wrapped around His breast.
Jesus girded himself with a towel to wash the disciples feed - but here in Revelation He is not the servant, but the risen Christ. In all His majesty.
John goes on to describe his face and his hair.
His head and his hairs were like wool, as white as snow; and is eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his stength.
And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
I am he that liveth, and was dead: and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Daniel 7:9 John sees Jesus standing in the midst of His churches closthed in a long white robe with a golden girdle about His waist and with hair like white wool and eyes as flames of fire.
John was the closest to Jesus while He was here. He saw Jesus eyes filled with tears, now what a sight this must have been to see Jesus eyes like fire, seeing all, knowing all. Nothing is hidden from Jesus, nothing escapes his eyes of fire. Scripture tells us the eyes are windows to the soul and through John's description of the eyes of Jesus he is ready to judge the nations of the world.
Hebrews 4:13 No one is going to fool God, His eyes pierce through our entire lives and he sees all our motives.
Psalm 11:4 His eyelids will try the children of men. his feet like unto fine brass, as if burned in a furnace, and His voice like the sound of many waters. Brass always speaks of judgement and the brass here speaks of judgement when Christ will put all His enemies and evey evil power beneath His feet. Burnished brass is like "military brass"
Isaiah 52:7 There are several contrasts here. His eyes and His feet. Now His mouth - His voice- His voice can be as soft as a bubbling brook, soothing, or the roar of a mighty body of water, the roar of the ocean.
His judgement comes in the circumstances of a wrecked world and a ruined church. His voice on judgement day will be the most awesome sound ever heard in the universe. We cannot imagine that sound.
Christ stand in the midst of His churches and He has in his right hand the Pastors of the churches. This is an encouraging word for Pastors. Preach the whole gospel brothers and do not dispair, Jesus has us in his right hand.
Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
Paul saw the face of Jesus on the day he was redeemed and was blinded. Jesus face is the central part of His being and represents everything He is. The bible is filled with records of the brilliance of Jesus face.
Matthew 17:2 The transfiguration
Acts 26:13 Paul is giving his testamony before his King and describes Jesus face
2 Peter 1:19 A day star arise in your heart.
Rev 22:16 And the bright and morning star.
The picture of Jesus standing in the midst of his churches is not a picture of the friendly Lord, it is the picture of the Lord mighty in judgment, protecting his church.
2 Thessolonians 2:8 and then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, ans shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.
Every eye shall see him and they that pierced him.
When he comes all the stars will be gone along with the sun and moon. It will be dark. In this darkness caused by the tribulation events Jesus will come with a brightness.
Genesis 1:3 and God said, let there be light; and there was light.
Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights, there greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night.
Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.
Jesus was the light of Genesis 1:3 and he is the light of Rev 21:23
Revelation captures the expression on Jesus face: Here is the Son of Man, clothed with power and majesty,with awe and terror, that long royal robe, that golden buckle at the breast, the hair so glistening white, like snow on which the sun is shining. It is so bright it hurts the eyes. His eyes are flashing fire (judgment), eyes that read every heart and penetrate every corner of one's being, the feet glowing in order to trample down the wicked; the loud reverberating voice like the mighty breakers booming against the shore of Patmos; the sharp, long, heavy sword with two biting edges.
His appearance is too much for human eyes. It is an awesome picture of the one we will see face to face one day. This is Christ coming to purge his chruch.
John falls down in fear, but Jesus lays his hand on him and gives him three reasons not to fear.
1. I am the eternal God. I am the first and the last. There is none like me, I am first in the sense there is not other, last in the sense no other shall come after me. I am the living one, forever.
2. I am the resurrected Christ. I now live forever more.
3. Fear not, for I have the keys to hell and death. I alone hold the future in my hand. I am the righteous judge.
He is Jesus
He is the Christ
He is the faithful witness
He is the first begotten of the dead
He is the Prince of the Kings of the Earth
He is the one who loves us and washes our sin away with His own blood
He is the one who comes in the clouds
He is the one who was pierced for us on the cross
He is the Alpha and the Omeg, the beginning and the end
He is the first and the last and all that is in between
He is the Almighty El Shadi
He is the Son of Man
He is he that liveth and was dead and is alive for evermore
John saw the awesomeness of His coming... John has written it down for us.

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