Some have chosen to rebel against His love and government, and the results will be perilous times. It is the love of God that has made it necessary for Him to reveal the future to us so that we can prepare for what is coming. We can know in advance what is coming so that we can take shelter before the storm. And make no mistake—a storm is coming, relentless in its fury.
Many will perish due to lack of knowledge Hosea May you choose to be wise and understand. This book lays out our understanding of the eight major prophetic events yet to happen before the Second Coming. The Scripture references provided lead you to where you can read about these events in the book. When does this start? Daniel The construction stage will take some time. How much time? Maybe 70 weeks? Daniel 9. Daniel , , , , Revelation Meanwhile, despite the apparent victory in defeating Islam, the toll of global terrorism and nuclear war reduces the United States to a third world nation Daniel , People will be clamoring for peace, and the little horn Daniel will propose a solution for world peace, and what better place for him to reign than the city of peace, Jerusalem Daniel ?
How long after the temple is built? There are some who believe that these eight events will add up to seven years total. This is when persecution begins — you MUST be ready for days of hell on earth by then, which means we must prepare in advance. This is why God has given us these prophecies, a heads up, if you will. Since there are two daily sacrifices, how many sacrifices will it take to add up to ?
This fact will be confirmed further when considering the time span between the days and the days, as both are festival markers, and the time between the Day of Atonement and the end of the First Day of Unleavened Bread, leading into Firstfruits at sundown, is exactly days. This completes her 3. This event is the abomination of desolation. The day death decree begins Revelation They did not even know to wash their hands between surgeries. Today we have traveled to space and mapped human DNA. The rate at which our vast knowledge and advanced transportation has increased in recent years is amazing.
The Apocalypse - The Wise Shall Understand
A bar graph of either is most telling—a prolonged, gradual and nearly insignificant increase for thousands of years. Then suddenly, in the space of but few hundred years, the graph begins an upward climb, rapidly increasing until spiraling to near vertical proportions. It is interesting to note that a similar graph depicting world population would closely resemble this graph. Introduction Perhaps the most telling indication of these last days is the arsenal of mass destruction and our very real potential for global devastation.
A graph cataloging the count and potency of these weapons might be similar. Without even considering biological and chemical weapons, the collective arsenal of nuclear warheads already possessed by but a few nations is more than sufficient to destroy all conscious life on earth, if not the entire ecosystem. Clearly, if left to ourselves, destroying the earth is exactly what we will do; and we will do so in short order.
Destroying the earth is a modern event. It was not happening when John wrote The Revelation. It was not happening one hundred years ago. But it is certainly happening today, and with great abandon. Numerous passages from both the Old and New Testaments tell us of these last days. Like pieces of a puzzle, when considered in context and cross-referenced to other similar passages, the grand picture begins to unfold. However, despite being given many specifics pertaining to the social, political and economic climate of the last days, as Jesus foretold, it largely falls on deaf ears.
Just as in the days of Noah, people will be preoccupied with themselves and the niceties of life, having no desire or need for God in their hearts. They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all,. Paul paints a very dismal picture of the Antediluvians. In general theirs was an immoral, hedonistic society, indifferent to reprimand and driven by a self-serving agenda that consciously excluded God from its thinking.
God therefore handed them over to disgraceful passions. Their women exchanged the normal practices of sexual intercourse for something which is abnormal and unnatural. Similarly the men, turning from natural intercourse with women, were swept into lustful passions for one another. Men with men performed these shameful horrors, receiving, of course, in their own personalities the consequences of sexual perversity. Moreover, since they considered themselves too high and mighty to acknowledge God, he allowed them to become the slaves of their degenerate minds, and to perform unmentionable deeds.
They became filled with wickedness, rottenness, greed and malice; their minds became steeped in envy, murder, quarrelsomeness, deceitfulness and spite. They became whisperers-behind-doors, stabbers-in-the- back, God-haters; they overflowed with insolent pride and boastfulness, and their minds teemed with diabolical invention. They scoffed at duty to parents, they mocked at learning, recognized no obligations of honor, lost all natural affection, and had no use for mercy. The similarities with today cannot be overlooked.
Indeed, this list of negative, base characteristics could easily have been written about the present human condition. Inventers of evil devises, disrespect of elders, self-serving, arrogant, belligerent and boastful sociopaths. Also, as then, sexual immorality in general is accepted as normal behavior. The religious underpinnings are in place as well, as people, worldwide, worship and serve the creation more than the Creator. Then primitive, organic life organized itself from these self-created inorganic materials.
In need of nutrients as are all organic life forms , somehow this primitive, self-created life form sustained itself on other nonexistent, organic nutrients. Not only did it sustain itself, it reproduced and evolved upward into ever more complex life forms. Certain advanced physical life forms became animated. Then yet another giant leap occurred. Evolving beyond the mere physical, certain advanced life forms developed the metaphysical ability for cognitive thought processes. Then, collectively, they realized a universal ethic.
They also came to understand that each of them possessed a metaphysical life force contained somehow within their physical forms. All of this, of course, they attributed to the grand explosion of theretofore nonexistent material. Can there be anything more ludicrous? But, logic can never convince passion; and those who hold to this idiocy are passionately opposed to the very idea of a Creator.
Therefore they cling to anything that might appear to give them legitimacy. The political alignment of nations in this final world stage is also as we would expect. European nations are uniting, even as the Western World, at large, pushes for a one world government. The world economy is in jeopardy. Governments are being toppled. Nation is rising against nation. Increasingly, we are on the brink of a world war that threatens total destruction. Israel is back in their Holy Land with the Middle Eastern nations, as well as many others, bitterly pitted against them.
This return of the Jews to Jerusalem is of great significance. God said in the last days He would cause His people to return to their land. They would reestablish Jerusalem, which, until recently, they have not controlled since their 6th Century BC Babylonian captivity, nor occupied since their dispersion in AD Since that day they have been scattered over the face of the earth. However, God promised that in the last days He would gather His people, bringing them once again to their promised land.
I will bring them from the North Country, and gather them from the uttermost parts of the earth. I will gather them out of all the countries, where I have driven them in mine anger, and in my wrath, and in great indignation; and I will bring them again unto this place. Thus says the Lord Jehovah: Whereas I have removed them far off among the nations, and whereas I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them a sanctuary for a little while in the countries where they are come,.
I will gather you from the peoples, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel Eze. A few decades later after the appalling treatment of the Jews during WWII , a widespread, albeit fleeting, support began for a Jewish homeland.
In , a small group of underground Zionist lead by Menachem Begin attempted to force the British troops from Palestine. The Jews named their state Israel. The Arabs, however, refused to accept the division and continue to fight against it to this day. But this too was prophesied. I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the peoples round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
Today, Jews from all around the world are moving to Israel and, as predicted, this continues to be a source of tension for the surrounding Arab nations. For the last several decades world leaders have been trying to orchestrate peace in the Middle East; specifically between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
It has been a major agenda for each American president. But this peace will not happen until the antichrist—the charismatic leader of the final world empire—arrives. Here, one week is a reference to the Jewish week of years; thus a seven-year peace treaty. But the current efforts and the global obsession for peace in the Middle East do have meaning; they set the stage for this coming treaty. In light of the current Middle Eastern situation, it seems plausible that a key factor to this covenant could be the rebuilding of the Jewish temple on the coveted site of the Dome of the Rock, which is presently under Palestinian authority.
Perhaps this charismatic and persuasive figure will orchestrate a deal in which the Palestinians exchange this site for land to establish their own sovereign state. Whatever the details may be, one way or another, the antichrist will arrange a seven-year treaty between Israel and the surrounding nations. During the first half of the covenant he will have a near hypnotic affect upon the masses Dan. The push for a one-world government is significant. We know that in these last days remnants of the ancient Greco-Roman world, though seemingly dead, will rise again to world dominance. A modern and powerful union of ten nations will rise from the dust of the dormant empire.
I say dormant because even though we speak of the Roman Empire as having fallen, upon close scrutiny fallen is hardly the correct term. But in many respects the ruling powers merely shifted to the religious-political authority of the papacy, while the wealth largely remained in the hands of certain families of aristocracy.
To this day the religious, as well as political and financial interests of these splintered nations have far-reaching tentacles that influence much of the world-trade market. In time, ten nations from this fallen empire will unite. From them, a dynamic, blasphemous leader will rise swiftly to power He will orchestrate a seven-year peace treaty between Israel and the Arab nations. However, some nations will not look favorably upon this new leader.
Likely in an attempt to thwart his authority, Israel will be attacked by several collaborating armies. As the prophecy is expounded, many nations are mentioned by name: Persia the ancient name for Iran , Ethiopia, Libya, as well as Meshech, Tubal, and Togarmah each in modern Turkey ; and Northern armies of Gomer,2 Gog, and Magog. Nationally, Israel will be converted, at once realizing Jesus is indeed their Messiah.
Although we are not told the exact time of this invasion, we are given several details from which we may deduce that it will occur immediately after the peace treaty. Here is what we know Eze. The attack on Israel is during a time of peace. God will immediately destroy the attacking armies. At the defeat of these armies, Israel will be converted, having realized Jesus is the Messiah. These details seem to reveal its chronology. Israel is converted immediately upon the destruction of the invading armies.
This places it after the seven-year peace treaty is signed, in that if it were before, the converted Israelites would be translated with the Church. The invasion takes place during the time of peace. If this took place well into the tribulation, the burning of the weapons would extend into the millennial reign of Christ. All these clues together seem to place this attack at the very beginning of the seven-year tribulation. It is possible, even probable, that the attack upon Israel will be an immediate and direct rebellion against the new leader and his treaty.
Although the antichrist will probably lay claim to the victory over these invaders, Israel will have none of it. The Jews will know it was God who saved them. This will spark a national conversion, for at last they will realize that Jesus is, indeed, their Messiah. In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you, Oh Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes,. And my holy name I will make known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let my holy name be profaned any more; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel,.
I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they shall look unto me whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born Zech.
As this dynamic, charismatic antichrist grows in power and popularity, I suspect Islamic terrorism will continue. Three and one-half years after the peace treaty is signed, this leader will enter the Jewish temple and demand obedience. This is the abomination of desolation of which Daniel and Jesus spoke Dan. The antichrist will claim to be their Messiah. However, having already realized Jesus is their Messiah, Israel will reject this impostor. What follows is a terrible onslaught against the Jews and anyone else who rejects his authority.
Citizens around the world will receive an identification number to signify their capitulation to his rule. No financial transactions will take place without this identification. Those who refuse the identification number will be exterminated. No doubt, they will be considered terrorists. I suspect popular world opinion will rapidly turn against Israel, with the same warped logic of current political figures who point to Israel as being the cause of terrorism today.
I suspect this twisted logic will continue. They will reason that if only Israel would leave Palestine, we could have world peace. Given the current and growing state of global terrorism, which is generated by hatred for Israel, it is easy to envision a generally well-received personal, global identification number designed to isolate and apprehend the perceived terrorists, the enemies of the State—the Jews and all others who come to believe in Jesus during this time; for it is their belief in the Lord that prevents them from submitting to this false Christ.
Rebellion will brew and armies from around the world will converge upon the Valley of Megiddo or Armageddon for war. It is then that the Lord returns in power and glory to establish his reign upon the earth. Jesus warned his listeners not to let anyone deceive them, for there would be many signs clearly signifying the end of the Age.
Paul reassured the Thessalonians in the same manner. Today that stage is set. Multitudes travel about the world from nation to nation every day. Knowledge has increased exponentially. Worldwide, people are rising up against authorities. Wars continue to increase.
A one world government is anticipated. Immorality is celebrated. The Israelites are at home and the world hates them for it. Certainly, the foretold final state of affairs is but a heartbeat away, ready to be unleashed as soon as the restraining power permits. As never before, the time is clearly at hand. For this reason, the study of The Revelation is especially germane to our time. And once these events begin, they will progress quickly.
Although the earliest manuscripts were titled The Apocalypse of John,6 as many as sixty different titles are found in subsequent manuscripts. Here, the term apocalypse is not the modern, popular usage which denotes disaster or catastrophe—a meaning that came about due to the general misunderstanding of this book , but the original meaning: to unveil or reveal. It is imperative to understand this phrase in both the subjective and the objective genitive. In the subjective sense, this is the revelation that God gave to Jesus.
In the objective sense, it is the revelation of Jesus himself. This would make the various forthcoming characters and events to be the major theme of the book; in which case we are soon bogged down with dragons, beasts, angels, nations, thunders, judgments and a seemingly endless list of creatures and proceedings.
While these subjects are very real and very pertinent to the book, they are not the theme of the book. When the phrase is also understood in the objective genitive, it becomes a reference to the unveiling of Jesus Christ; thereby making him the theme of the book. While of earth, he was veiled in a robe of flesh, but now we see him in all his glory; and we see him in many different aspects and with many different names—all of which portray various characteristics of his person. To neglect the objective genitive is to miss the entire theme of the book—the apocalypses of Jesus Christ.
It is interesting to note that the earliest known manuscripts titled this book The Apocalypse of John. Could this mean that God revealed things to Jesus that he did not know? It cannot be! Do not forget that our Lord is both divine and human. As deity he knew the thoughts of man, as illustrated in his conversation with the scribes and Pharisees concerning his ability to forgive sins. This is illustrated again when he perceived the thoughts of the disciples concerning who should be greatest among them Lk. However, that being said, I do not think it applies to this circumstance.
That is, the content of the message is not information to which Jesus is no longer privy. But now he is glorified; no longer veiled in humanity, no longer deprived of his divine attributes. Rather, the context simply indicates that the Godhead conveyed this message about Jesus in the subjective genitive sense to John via the person of Jesus in the subjective sense.
It does not necessitate or imply his prior ignorance of the message. There is a mystical union between his deity and his humanity that you and I will never understand until at last, we see him as he is. That Jesus when in his human state was unknowledgeable of certain things is very complex. That the glorified Jesus is a knowledgeable messenger is not complex. The Purpose There is yet another important topic to consider in this introductory passage. That is, the purpose of The Revelation. Unlike Daniel, who was told to seal up the words of his prophecy until the end Dan.
God expects this book to be read. Furthermore, he expects it to be understood. This is not the Apocrypha—the hidden, it is the Apocalypse—the revelation. But there is a qualifying point to understanding The Revelation. Here, the meaning is plain. God has limited the understanding of The Revelation to those who have willingly placed themselves under his authority. To all others this is but a confusing allegory, a fable. The abject ignorance our politicians have concerning the significance of world events never ceases to amaze me.
It is all so clear that even a child could understand it, yet our world leaders are clueless. What makes it even more amazing is that although so many of them have been informed by those in the know about these prophecies; they not only refuse to believe them but they simply cannot see their possible fulfillment. It is Imminent Spectacular, cataclysmic events, a demonic world power and a time of great trouble for the whole world are predicted. So too is the advancing Church Age, and the imminent return of Jesus.
As such, understanding the chronology of this book is very important. Jesus provided a few key words to help us understand when the events in The Revelation will take place. This is the word from which we derive our English term tachy; from which we make words like tachycardia and tachometer. Because Paul used different terms to express the swiftness at which these dreaded events will occur, his phrasing gives additional insight. Jesus has told us two things about the timing of these events: they are imminent and when they begin they will happen quickly. The Blessings Therefore, he declares three things: blessed, blessed, blessed.
There are no sanctifying powers connected to the word. It merely describes the sentiment of those who meet the qualifying terms of its invocation, as in the beatitudes Mt. This is the first of seven blessings mentioned in The Revelation ; ; ; ; , Modern Christian literature sports numerous sermons and books discussing the various promises of Scripture. Too often as aptly illustrated in the currently popular prosperity gospel , these promises are taken out of context and forced to make application in ill-suited circumstances.
Although these are promises everyone can claim, so few desire to do so. It takes little reflection to realize why these promises are given. What a shame that so many ignore it. Blessed Just to Think of It The first reason for the blessing or happiness encountered by the reading, hearing, and keeping of The Revelation is that it is the manifestation of Jesus in all of his glory. He is our life, our hope, and our theology. Pastor Bruner used to speak of this as a love story.
The Church is the bride waiting for her husband to return from a distant city where he has gone to prepare their new home. He has been away for a very long time and her young heart yearns for his return. He has sent her a picture of their new home, which she has placed on her nightstand next to their family portrait. Every night as she goes to sleep and every morning after awakening, she ponders the two photos.
Her thoughts bring buoyancy, flaming feelings of hopefulness and anticipation. Because the picture of their new home is only a one- dimensional view of the front side of the house, many details are unknown, but it sparks imagination and she treasures the thought of it in her heart. She anticipates living there with her husband: lounging on the sofa, sharing meals at the dinner table, having tea on the veranda, holding hands and gently swinging under the maple tree, sharing all the comforts of their new home. Thus, blessed are those who contemplate and keep the words of this book.
Blessed Because of Future Glorification The second reason for the happiness derived from reading, hearing and keeping the things in this book is the promise of glorification. Then it will all become clear. Although later we are given specific details concerning this glorification, in our current sinful state we can scarcely envision it, even with this information.
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Blessed to Understand The third reason for the happiness has a special significance for today. As the time draws near, perplexity, confusion and global unrest in general will grow. Yet, in the midst of these troubles will be a people able to discern the signs if the times.
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They will understand. Daniel spoke of this very thing. I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, Oh my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go your way Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified and made white and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand Dan.
In his discourse on the Mount of Olives, Jesus also spoke of those who would have understanding of these things in the last days. However, the condition and events that must lead up to this abomination of desolation cannot occur in secret; for they are global in nature. Therefore, by knowing what to expect in the last days, those who read, hear, and keep the things in this book will not be frightened by the growing unrest that shall seize the final generation.
In contrast, those with this knowledge will be happy, content, even excited to be living in the midst of such troublesome times. Their contentment comes from knowing their Lord is at hand. Unto the one who loves us and loosed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to God and his Father. To him be the glory and the might unto the ages of the ages. And all the nations of the earth will mourn over him. Even so, Amen. It is the most frequently used term to reference God.
The Jews considered it so sacred they had stopped even pronouncing it. We translate this as I AM. While debating with the Pharisees, twice Jesus made an obvious reference to the tetragrammaton when he claimed ego eimi for himself. Later, in the same conversation, he. Ultimately, they formally charged him with blasphemy and it was this ego eimi, his claim of YHWH, for which they hanged him on the cross.
It is of great significance, and therefore worth noting, that all Christian cults have one thing in common. They deny the gospel. Specifically, they deny three things: 1 They deny that man is separated from God by his inherent sinful nature; 2 They deny the deity of Jesus Christ; and 3 they deny his physical resurrection from the dead. Although these false teachers will try to deny this is Jesus speaking, a continued reading of the passage through verse 18 will cause them great consternation; for it is an overt claim to deity.
And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me saying, Fear not; I am the first and the last and the living; and I was dead and behold, I am living unto the ages of the ages; and I have the keys of death and of Hades Driven by passion and bent upon destruction, they have no thirst for truth. The final blow leaves them dumbfounded when Jesus claims deity so clearly they cannot, in good conscience, deny it.
So that while some of these heretics might accept the truth of our Lord, most will run for cover, scurrying back to their like-minded, passionate dissenters. Behold, I am coming quickly, and my reward is with me to render to each man as his work is. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.
I Jesus have sent my angel to give you this testimony When discussing the gospel with one of these heretics there is but one objective: the person of Jesus Christ—his deity and his physical resurrection. Do not be diverted from this topic. The heretic will attempt to introduce numerous other issues—red herring arguments, deflections designed to turn us away from our goal.
But stay on topic, the deity and the person of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the gospel; all other issues pale in comparison. Prophet, Priest, King And from Jesus Christ—the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
Unto the one who loves us and loosed us from our sins by his blood We see Jesus in various roles throughout The Revelation. Here, we see his three-fold capacity of Prophet, Priest and King. Although Jesus is not currently, physically reigning on earth as King of kings, still, he holds this position even now, for it is not a time sensitive post. Therefore, all governments, all rulers on earth have their power only because the Lord has permitted it to be so.
This emphatically includes the evil rulers as well. All things, including evil governments, work ultimately for the glory of God. This is mentioned again in The Revelation. You are worthy, our Lord and our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, for you created all things and because of your will they are and were created The often overlooked significance of this is that governments, even evil governments, are in place for a purpose and it is not the role of the Church to challenge their authority. Conversely, Peter clearly charged believers to be subject to such authorities.
For so is the purpose of God, doing good to silence the ignorance of foolish men 1 Pet. It speaks to will, design, intent, or choice. As such, it is unmistakable; God has a purpose, a plan for the course of humanity. Civil rebellion is not an option to the Christian, for there is a larger objective in view than mere temporal justification. But this idea of civil submission does not sit well with many of us in the America.
We are a country born in rebellion. The argument, of course, seems to justify our behavior.
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Our rebellion was to procure freedom, social justice and to fight against tyranny. Admittedly, all of these may be just causes for social revolt, but none is a just cause for the Christian to rebel. For although we are in this world we are not of it; our home lies yonder Jn. I submit that it is a mistake for the Church to promote or participate in civil unrest against the government. Any supposed righteous cause is a cloak for the malicious discontent of temporal-minded soldiers. While the temporal case for freedom and justice may be advanced for a time, the eternal cause is offended.
We would know nothing of His justice or His ability to forgive. We would not know of His grace and mercy. The idea of a good God would be meaningless; there would be nothing to which we could compare His goodness. Even our knowledge of His love would be incomplete. The list continues, but the point is made. The very presence of evil in those whom God loves, whom He made after His own image, unveiled certain, theretofore, unknown attributes of His character; thereby providing all creation with a clear understanding of exactly who God is.
Oh, how He loves us. While addressing the Ephesians, Paul suddenly bursts into a beautiful doxology; then, quite naturally, returned to the subject Eph. He did the same thing when writing to Timothy 1 Tim. Priests Not only did Christ willingly purchase, pardon and sanctify believers, by freely shedding his blood as the sacrifice for our sin, he took it a step further. Believers have been granted the power of kings by which we overcome the world and will eventually sit in judgment of it. As priests we have been granted access to the throne of God. It is the root from which our word poem is derived.
The Septuagint used this term in Gen. As many others have pointed out, each author has his own style. Steinbeck sounds like Steinbeck. Hawthorn sounds like Hawthorn. Twain sounds like Twain. Nee, Lewis, Bunyan, each has his own flare, his own voice. Likewise, God has His own style of authorship, His own style of poetry. The poetry of His orderly mind is found in the laws of mathematics. The mathematical precision of the universe is glorious, clearly revealing the necessity of an intelligent Creator.
Creation is so precisely ordered that in the Day of Judgment no one will be able to offer an excuse for his or her disbelief. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork Ps. Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shown it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse Rom.
The irony is that the more science discovers about the universe the more clearly it dictates an intelligent Creator; yet unbelievers adamantly ignores this reality, thereby heaping even more judgment upon themselves. Numbers are also important in Scripture. The first chapter of The Revelation provides an apt illustration of the mathematical themes in Scripture. There are seven churches, seven spirits,10 three persons of the godhead, three things said about each of them and a three-fold progression of salvation. There are seven lampstands and seven stars. These numbers are not coincidental.
The threes are symbolic of divinity and indivisibility. The sevens speak of perfection and completeness. A failure to understand the significance of these numbers results in a failure to understand many nuances in The Revelation as well as many nuances of Scripture at large.
An amazing discovery was made a few decades ago by the mathematician, Dr. Eliyahu Rips. He found that by applying a mathematical skip code to the contiguous letters of the Hebrew text of Genesis, key words concerning related information came forth in a fashion similar to a crossword puzzle. He discovered specific details about several historical events and persons, each contained in single Old Testament passages.
He tested the process on other Hebrew literature but none produced similar results. When other mathematicians attempted to disprove his findings they unexpectedly confirmed them. Although, Dr. Rips had calculated such a pairing of related words concerning a given topic should be one in a million, nevertheless, when applied to Genesis he found them time and again. This skip code implies a very specific order to Scripture. But if Dr.
Rips is indeed onto something, I suspect he has only scratched the surface. I suspect the coding to be far more in- depth. Perhaps the text is to be cubed or triangulated versus the mere contiguous linear format. Can we imagine the detailed information that such a three dimensional design could contain?
The possibilities would be phenomenal. Of course this is just a thought. For who knows the depth and breadth of the mind of God? Every Eye Shall See Him There is nothing in the annals of antiquity to parallel the majestic scene of the seventh verse. Moses saw the burning bush. Israel witnessed the thunders above Mount Sinai. For I am a man of unclean lips. But none of these compare to the scene of Christ returning to the mount of his humiliation in power and glory with the host of heaven in tow.
All hell cannot stop him. And the one hearing let him say, Come. The term nai itself is a strong affirmative, meaning even so, yes, of a truth, surely, verily. When coupled with the Hebrew idiom amen so be it or it is true it seems to provide added assurance. Our Glorified Redeemer 9 I John, your brother and companion in the affliction and kingdom and patience in Jesus, came to be in the island called Patmos on account of the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
The seven stars are the messengers of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are seven churches. No lofty title, no demand of Apostolic respect; simply, John. It is a prime example of leadership. Those with confidence, secure in their position, can afford informality. On the contrary, those unsure of themselves almost always demand titles: Doctor, Counselor, Reverend, Sir, Bishop, or something of the like.
It is a sign of their insecurity, which they mask by demanding the respect they perceive is garnered in their title; as if the title itself gives them value. But God alone can demand respect. Those leaders, who understand the nature of man and know their own place before the Lord, realize they cannot demand respect. They know respect is something that must be earned. It is immature to demand it, and foolish to expect it merely based upon some title or appointment.
We might take this yet a step further. There are negative repercussions to any leader who demands respect versus earning it. The coveted title will be granted nominally at best. Aside from stroking the ego it will merely create divisiveness, further separating the leader from those whom he or she desires respect.
Soon such leaders face rebellion and generally lose any respect they might have achieved. Still, the officer donning the uniform must earn the personal respect of the troops—that is, if the officer expects to be an effective leader. Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, not by compulsion, but willingly, according to God; nor for greedy gain, but eagerly; nor as being lords over the masses, but becoming examples of the flock 1 Pet. God has continued to use adversities to his advantage. Perhaps he would not have fit well into our modern Christian Era, which seems to believe that because of our righteousness God has blessed us with abundance.
Those of us who are really righteous as evidenced by our gifts to the televangelist are blessed with untold wealth—closets filled with shoes, name brand garments, nice vehicles in the garage, and all the gadgets our hearts desire. Believers are not of this world. Our home and our wealth are laid up in our future, glorified life. It was here he received The Revelation. This small undesirable island, not visited by merchant ships and seldom visited by any ship at all, featured three rocky masses joined by isthmuses, barren mountain peaks and bleak valleys with little to no bottomland.
Of course, John was not the only Christian to suffer under the idolatrous rule of the Roman emperors. Though imperial worship had long been the custom, Domatian was the first to openly encourage it, and Trajan AD , the first to demand it. Consequently, the Early Church was severely persecuted for its refusal to participate. Antipas of Pergamos, like many pastors, lost his life.
Polycarp of Smyrna was burned at the stake, while Ignatious of Antioch was one of the first to be clawed by the wild beasts in the coliseums as the crowd roared approval. And this persecution did not end with the leadership. All Christians were considered fair game. Indeed, their slaughter under some rulers was more than encouraged, it was demanded. Paul, himself a martyr at the hand of Rome, encouraged the Corinthians explaining that believers are pursued, yet not forsaken; smitten down, yet not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our body.
So then death works in us, but life in you. Thus, the psalmist had offered his comfort as well. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will we not fear,. Be still and know that I am God. Jehovah of hosts is with us. Jehovah of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge Ps. There is a vast difference between a divine vision and a mere dream. Nightly dreams are natural events, common to most of the population, believer and non-believer alike.
Dreams are a part of our present world, our present consciousness; perhaps our subconscious, as many believe, but a natural part of our existence just the same. Divine visions are not. They are not part of our everyday experience. Indeed, they were rare even for the prophets, much less the average saint. Therefore, those in our present dispensation who claim to have such visions must be viewed with skepticism. The Early Church fathers used a similar term; however their use is not conclusive either.
The indicative mood signifies this was more than a mere dream. This was an actuality, an event that took place. It was an interactive reality into which John was transported, albeit in another dimension. The aorist tense in this indicative mood indicates a punciliar action, like a snapshot. The middle voice is reflective. We do not have a middle voice in English. Here, the middle voice implies that John had something to do with this vision and the subsequent transportation; be it meditation or prayer, somehow John was an active participant.
One can only imagine the wonder, the excitement, the fear John must have experienced as the adrenaline surged through his veins; his heart pounding, eyes wide open, his respirations sometimes rapid and sometimes held altogether. But this a different scene from that which he will witness later, in chapter 19, wherein the Lord is a warrior prepared for battle and coming to execute judgment upon the nations.
Here, Jesus appears in a much gentler role, although awesome nonetheless. What follows is a beautiful word picture depicting the glory of God manifest in the flesh. Here, we see Jesus as he will appear at the bema seat,14 when each believer will be critiqued and rewarded for his works of righteousness in this life 1 Cor.
Nine is the number of judgment; as such, Jesus is depicted in a nine-fold characterization as the Judge of the Church. All things are naked before him Heb. This speaks to their security and thus the security of all believers in Christ Jn. All the power of hell cannot move the elect. The Church is not the origin of the light, but simply the bearer of it. The Lord is the origin of the light; when on earth Jesus himself was the bearer of it Jn. Now that he has returned to the Father, the Church has been given the responsibility to hold the light forth Phil.
Moses, Isaiah, Daniel, Peter, James and Paul all fell prostrate before the Lord in the sudden, overwhelming realization of their iniquity and personal insignificance. This is worship: the humble, prostrate demeanor before the awesome and glorious God. Our modern Western Christian culture has done a great disservice to the Church by casually referring to the song service as worship. Singing, in and of itself, is not worship. The act of worship begins with the humble, prostrate demeanor that necessarily develops when we contemplate just how pitiful we are and how glorious God is.
Singing may follow; indeed it likely must follow, but it is not the sum of worship; neither is it the beginning of worship. I say this as a musician and a songwriter; song is a by-product or, at best, a final phase of worship. Worship evokes humble prostration, a reality check as it were. Praise will follow, perhaps even song; then it is time to take action, to serve. It is during worship that Paul considers the terror of the Lord and his response is to persuade men of the gospel. Thus, it bears repeating; worship does not begin or end with song; song is merely a step, an optional step at that, in the process.
Perhaps more accurately, we might say song is a joyous by-product of worship. Even worse, it is misleading. The sad thing is that so many churches are so preoccupied with manufactured worship that they have neglected to teach true worship to their members. Few believers know what it is to lie face down in fear before our awesome God. Few believers know worship; we are too preoccupied, clapping to the beat of the manufactured jubilation. Yet is it not the fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom?
And he laid his right hand upon me saying, Fear not;. This tender scene of Jesus reaching out to gently place his hand upon this smitten servant is a clear sign of acceptance and favor. Jesus often reached out and laid his hands on the afflicted. He reached out to the blind, the deaf, the sick and the outcast. The folks in the community would not even pass a leper on the same side of the street, yet Jesus reached out and laid his hands on them. He reached out to the fragile hearted as well. He has not changed. He is still tenderly reaching out to those to whom he ministers.
For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need Heb. Living as yet sinners, among other sinners, in the midst of this harsh world, it is only natural that we let this tender heartedness as displayed by our Lord slip from our grasp. Sometimes it is hard to exhibit tenderness and love toward the unlovely. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
It is their sinful nature that makes the obnoxious and unattractive unlovable.
At the same time, it is this same sinful nature possessed by those who would dare to love the unlovable that hinders them from doing so. It is a lose-lose situation, so that even when we want to do the right thing, the good thing, to exhibit tenderness toward the contemptible, our nature forbids it. But there is hope. It is possible to do as our master did, to love even as he loved, to be Christ like.
To this end, Paul continued his discourse. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin Rom. It is the new birth, through Jesus Christ, that empowers the believer to overcome this sinful nature; that empowers the believer to be Christ like; to exhibit true compassion.
Jesus laid his right hand upon his frightened servant to strengthen him and give him comfort and hope. Fear not; I am the first and the last and the living; and I was dead and behold, I am living unto the ages of the ages; and I have the keys of death and of Hades Who is like me? Let him proclaim it, let him declare and set it forth before me. Let them tell us what is yet to be. Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any Isa. There simply is no denying that Jesus claims to be God.
Thus, it cannot be denied that Jesus is God manifest in the flesh. Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the [nations], believed on in the world, received up into glory 1 Tim. But he did rise and now he holds the power over death and of Hades. At his command graves must give up the bodies of dust that have been committed to them, and Hades cannot hold onto the souls of the just made perfect in Christ. At the appointed time the body and soul of every believer will be reunited, raised by the power of God and changed into his likeness 1 Th.
Hades is the region of the unseen dead. The Jews believed there were two separate abodes, one for the righteous and another for unrighteous. Jesus spoke of the deaths of the beggar Lazarus and the rich man. Then he asked Father Abraham to supply him a small relief with but a wet finger on his tongue. To which Abraham responded, no one can pass across the great gulf that is fixed between us. Enoch also spoke of these abodes. He explained there are four dwellings.
Three are the dark and foreboding; they are for the unjust and the various fallen angels. The fourth is bright and joyous; it is the dwelling of the righteous Enoch This is where Jesus descended to proclaim His victory and to lead the souls of the righteous to heaven Ps. Chronological Division John is commanded to write three things It is very important on our part to pause and take note of them, for herein we find the chronological key to this book. John sees a door open in heaven and hears a voice beckoning him to enter.
The scene is a wonderful representation of the rapture of the Church. Seven Stars and Lampstands It seems likely that the prophetic aspect of the seven churches is referenced when Jesus spoke of the mystery of the seven stars and of the seven lampstands.
Daniel 12: End-Time Events
The seven stars are the messengers of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are seven churches That the seven stars reference the messengers and the seven lampstands speak of the churches is not the mystery. It is plainly explained in the text. The mystery seems to be their prophetic portrayal of the Church dispensation from the day of Pentecost to the future rapture of the Church. As we shall see, each of the seven messages, which we study in the next section, has a three-fold application: the direct application to the historic, local church body to which it was addressed; a broader application for believers in general; and a prophetic purpose.
In that The Revelation is a book of prophecy , , this aspect of these letters must not be overlooked. In them resides an accurate and detailed pre-written history of the advancing Church Age. A close study of Church history reveals a chronological progression that coincides perfectly with the order and specific concerns of these seven churches. As such these. It is not a candlestick. Thus seven churches. Not five, or six or eight or three, but seven. If we recall, the number seven speaks to perfection and completion. Geographically, they formed a semi-circle around Ephesus.
But of the many possible churches to address, why were these chosen? Others could have been addressed; some, far more prominent than a few of these.