Tuesday, October 12, 2021

SHUT UP THE WORDS AND SEAL THE BOOK!

 

Shut up the words and seal the book

 

 

 

The Lord impressed upon my heart to write a discourse on Revelation chapter one. Revelation chapters two and three gives practical application but it is also a panorama of church history. If you want to read about the seven churches in Revelation chapters two and three (their practical application and prophetic implication relative to church history) you can go back to January in the year 2017 on the Rose of Sharon is Jesus blog and see an analysis on every church which does go into the month of February.

 

To give you a background for the beginning verses of Revelation chapter one over the Aegean Sea an old man was there by the name of John. He was probably deprived of water, food and sleep. He had to share a cave with criminals. All these men were exiled to Patmos which was a desert island of the Aegean for real crimes they committed for one reason or another in the city part of society. The apostle John was distinct because his only crime was sharing his new life in Jesus with practically everyone he met. Domitian who was the Emperor of Rome decided to banish him to Patmos for the purpose of dying of old age, dehydration, starvation or some other symptom that would cause his death.

 

God had other plans because here in the seclusion of being exiled this apostle was about to receive a panorama of future events that would even in some cases shock his mind and spirit as he saw the day of the Lord. It has been approximately twenty centuries as he observed our sophisticated age of technology. John saw Jesus Christ Himself in all of His grandeur. He probably had a very difficult time describing this in ordinary words but I think he did a great job. Let me quote the original passage so you can read the text and perhaps make reference to it in this particular study of the Bible.

 

(1) "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him to show to His servants the things which are going to happen soon; and He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant, John, (2) Who bore witness about the Word of God, and of the testimony about Jesus Christ, and about all things that he saw. (3) Blessed is he who reads, and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is at hand." Revelation 1: 1 - 3.

 

This is not the Revelation of John because it is the Revelation of Jesus Christ. This title is written in the very first sentence of the last book of the Bible. Jesus Christ is the central figure of this book just like our Lord is supposed to be at the center of our hearts. I can not even imagine how much the apostle John suffered to get this message out to people like you and me. They dipped him in boiling oil but made sure it was not enough to kill him. God has His ways of turning evil to good for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose. Remember John lived a couple more years after this so keep in mind that these burns never healed and hurt him very bad. We complain but the first century Christians went through unspeakable tortures. 

 

The apostle John did not make this book up because it was inspired by the Holy Spirit who knows the future. John was called very young into the ministry as a teenager but now he was far more mature as an old man in the Person of Jesus Christ. The apostle immediately sets the record straight by acknowledging the divine source of this book and it's uniqueness in how Revelation traveled from himself. He explains the whole scenario in Revelation 1:1.

 

The theme is the Revelation of Jesus Christ. The purpose is God gave him to show. The intermediary was an angel because verse one writes ... "And sent him and signified it by His angel to His servant, John." The recipient and writer was obviously the apostle John. The chain of progression from God the Father to His Son Jesus Christ to the special messenger who was the angel to the apostle John and then finally us so we can read this book that writes about the future. This is a fascinating chain of progression.

 

There are two senses that the apostle empathized many times in the book of Revelation. He saw and heard everything he wrote but did not fully understand many events that he witnessed. John was extremely careful to record everything he saw and heard but none of his words came from his imagination.

 

The book of Revelation is the only account that promises the reader a special blessing. It does not say those that read and understand but those that read this book will receive a special blessing. Of course study this book with a receptive attitude but you would be a very rare individual that understands one hundred percent of this book. Verse three does say, ... "And keep those things which are written in it" ... so the reader does have a responsibility to heed the words of the book to receive the blessing. Once again do not get upset if you do not comprehend everything you read because I have listened to very few who do and even at that opinions tend to be thrown into their paradigm in understanding this very special book.

 

The book of Revelation was written in such a way that when the actual time of these events approach the current events will unlock more of the meaning of the book. This book did not seem to have to much meaning to people a couple of centuries ago and very few individuals studied this book. Now that we are close to this book being fulfilled many people read and study the book of Revelation. The church reformers did not really talk about the last book of the Bible. They probably sensed their age would not witness the fulfillment of these end time events. More books have been written about the book of Revelation in the 20th century than all the other previous centuries combined. In these last eighteen years of the 21st century an extreme rise of prophecy lectures in all forms have been obvious to not only the Christian community but unbelievers listening in and a trying to make heads or tails of the subject.

 

A revival of interest is a sign that we are close to the day of the Lord. When Daniel wrote the book of Daniel in some of the latter chapters he became disturbed about some visions that he did not understand. Then the angel responded, "Thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." This can be found in Daniel 12:4. The visions that this prophet received were prophetic and their fulfillment would not be comprehended by him or anyone else until the end of the age of grace and going into the day of the Lord. The angel also said that prophecy would be understood as time approaches close to the return of Jesus Christ.

 

Let me give you the chronological order in basic terms in the day of Daniel. He received strange visions but did not understand them and he asked the Lord what would be the final outcome of these things. God responded go your way Daniel for these words are closed up and sealed until the end. God continued many will be purified, made white and tested (their character) but unfortunately the wicked will grow more wicked. The wise will understand but the wicked will not be granted true Godly comprehension of end time Bible prophecy. This can be found in Daniel 12:8 - 10. If the wise (righteous) are enlightened it is only because the Holy Spirit is working with their open heart to learn about these biblical truths. Remember the wicked do not have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of their hearts.

 

If someone for example in the 17th century sat down and started to read the book of Revelation they still probably received a blessing from God but now that we are close to the day of the Lord I noticed insights are being revealed to people like I have never seen before in the entire history of mankind. The promise of blessing carries with it an unprecedented peace and practical fulfillment for all people as long as they let the Holy Spirit illuminate the words from the pages of this book to their minds and hearts.

 

The book of Revelation is very figurative. When the apostle John wrote this book what he saw was so far removed of his day that ordinary Greek words could not adequately portray this message. If John saw a nuclear catastrophe around the year 90 A.D how could he put this in words? What John saw is going to happen more than nineteen centuries in the future from the time of the writing of the book of Revelation. The apostle has to describe things in words which had no existing terminology because these realities are familiar in our era.

 

John wrote in symbols so we must search the scriptures to find their meaning. There are so many biblical symbols that find their fulfillment in the book of Revelation. There are times that the apostle John used terminology which can only be understood when the prophetic fulfillment is near or already happened in life.

 

If John was trying to describe a war with fire and brimstone all he was even aware of was volcanos but what he really saw was a nuclear bomb. In some cases the apostle provides the interpretation of the symbology right in the same context. If one knows the Bible he or she can determine the meaning of most of the other symbols.

 

We as believers in Christ should be watching for the rapture of the church every day. It is always dangerous to say the Lord will delay His coming for His children. If you do not know the Lord realize that no promise is given to anyone that is not redeemed by the shed blood of Jesus Christ to be snatched out of this earth into heaven. Many people mock this biblical promise but it is all over the New Testament. When God makes a promise He intends on keeping it and following through until it is fulfilled.

 

Now may be a good time to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Savior and Lord by repenting all your sins and inviting the Son of God into your life. If you just made that all important eternal decision then read the Bible, abide in Jesus Christ, obey what He tells you is His will for your life, repent of your sins and watch for His return on a daily basis. The Christian life is not a passive experience but as James writes readers and doers of the word of God. When we understand a biblical precept we are supposed to apply it to our lives.The rapture is an imminent event in that it could happen at any moment. Any reasonable person that understands this subject will be found obeying God and watching for His return.

 

God bless you,

Bob D.                          

KINGDOM OF PRIEST TO GOD AND HIS fATHER

 

Kingdom of priests to God and His Father

 

(4) "John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be upon you, and peace, from Him who is, who was, and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne; (5) And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. And has made us a kingdom of priests to God and His Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever. Amen." Revelation 1: 4 - 6.

 

Initially the apostle John was writing to the seven churches in Asia Minor. What John wrote did reach a few hundred Christians but God intended the book of Revelation to be read by multitudes of individuals throughout church history and after the rapture of the church. Once again chapter one starts out with a blessed greeting. John writes grace and peace from the Triune Godhead. This greeting was given so many times in the first century that it would be our way of saying in modern times how are you; however, their greeting was loaded with careful Godly intent for the other person.

 

Nero ordered a brutal persecution of Christians in Rome. The book of Revelation was written a little after this time frame. Remember I said initially this book was directly written to the seven churches. Some people experience the peace of the world but most people had no clue what this particular comfort was all about because they did not live luxury lives if you know what I mean. I am sure tension was very high that they would be next.

 

I have seen this many times but unfortunately when John and Paul died legalistic Judaizers infiltrated many of the thriving churches. The apostles founded and guided the believers to become disciples for Jesus Christ. God has called every believer to be disciples but these people tried to force the new Christians back under the Mosaic Law as a way of life. This is the main reason why the greeting of grace and peace was rich with meaning for these churches that were struggling with the issues of the Christian life.

 

John explains the source of the Revelation describing it's three givers. This is deep because the description is regarding the Triune Godhead. He describes God the Father as Him who is and who was and who is to come. This describes the continuous existence of being. He is our All Powerful God which John describes in the gospels. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1.

 

A description is also given of the Holy Spirit. The apostle writes ... "And from the seven Spirits who are before His throne" in verse four. These seven Spirits are speaking of God the Father and God the Son as being the source of the revelations so the seven Spirits refer to the third member of the Godhead which is the Holy Spirit. Since the number seven stands for completeness in context of this particular passage the fullness of the power of the Holy Spirit ministers to us believers in Christ. The Spirit is before the throne of God. He has the function to obey and fulfill the purpose of the One who sits on the throne because this is also His will (Holy Spirit). Remember God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are equal and one.

 

If I were to go back to the original greeting (grace and peace) this is Jesus Christ Himself giving this type of love to the brothers and sisters in the faith. There are titles given to Him. He is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and the prince of the kings of the earth.

 

Jesus Christ was the faithful witness because a true prophet reveals God to men. The Son of God is distinct in that He did not just reveal God by what he said as the other prophets had done but He was a perfect revelation and witness of God the Father. When Jesus Christ was living He showed us the perfect portrait of God. He is also the perfect photograph of God. Some People desire to know God. "Who is the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;" Hebrews 1:3. "Je'sus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Phil'ip? he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?" John 14:9.

 

The reference to Christ as the firstborn of the dead corresponds with what the apostle Paul writes in the epistles. "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature." Colossians 1:15. The theme of this statement is that Jesus Christ was the first Person to be permanently resurrected from the dead. The resurrection of Lazarus was only temporary because he died again but the Son of God defeated death by never dying again to be seated at the right hand throne of God. The term firstborn means that Jesus Christ is the first who will be resurrected with a glorified immortal body. We will be getting an immortal body at the rapture of the church.

 

The world that we live in now is a complete mess so when this passage says ... "Prince of the kings of the earth" ... it is difficult to comprehend this being true. Jesus Christ has the right to rule but He is not exercising His authority over kings and kingdoms at this point but He will be ruling for one thousand years after the seven year tribulation period. Unfortunately Satan won a temporary legal right to rule the kingdoms of this world when Adam relinquished his God given authority in the garden of Eden when he took a bite of the apple. This is so ridicules but Satan actually took Jesus Christ to a high mountain when He (Jesus Christ) was fasting for a very long period of time. The devil showed the Son of God the kingdoms of the world and offered them to Jesus in exchange for worship. Remember Lucifer was kicked out of heaven because he wanted worship. What Satan tries to do is truly amazing but obviously Jesus Christ said no but never disputed the temporary legal claim that Satan has to these kingdoms.

 

Jesus Christ knew that when He died on the cross and rose from the dead on the third day Satan would be finished. "Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out." John 12:31. Because the Son of God rose from the dead on the third day it is only a matter of time until He comes back to earth and claim His role as King of Kings and Lord of Lords over all rulers of this world.

 

When Jesus Christ died on the cross He reached out to people in all their ugliness and sins but when He comes back to rule we will be with Him as redeemed saints washed from their sins and clothed with Christ's robes of righteousness. If we accepted Jesus Christ into our hearts we have been cleansed from our sins and their eternal judgment. He wants us to live in His love now by abiding in Him. If people that do not believe in Jesus Christ accept the pardon which God is eager to give anyone he or she can also have His ever present love and one day be with Him when He rules and reigns over the earth.

 

When the apostle John writes in verse six and has made us a kingdom of priests to God and His Father we should remember that we are just pilgrims and strangers passing through this world. When we meet fellow believers in Christ often times we have mutual concerns about issues in life and solutions through Jesus Christ. Most of all we know our kingdom is not of this world. If you are a true Christian you have been ordained as priests of God through and by Jesus Christ Himself.

 

The spiritual function of a priest is to represent people before the throne of God. We can speak to God for other people or we can talk to individuals on the behalf of God. As believers in Christ we have free access to engage in this practice. Every Christian has the privilege of priesthood through Jesus Christ. "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light: 1 Peter 2:9. "

 

In light of this wonderful news if you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord now would probably be a good time to repent of all your sins and invite the Son of God into your life. If you just made that decision you can start claiming the promises of God for your life in context because He has such great love for you. Your part is to abide in Jesus Christ and do the will of God.

 

God bless you,

Bob D.

THE ALPHA AND OMEGA IS COMING

 

The Alpha and Omega is coming 

 

"Behold, He is going to come with clouds, and every eye shall see Him, and they also who pierced Him; and all kindreds of the earth shall mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. (8) I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, says the Lord, who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." Revelation 1:7 - 8. 

 

Behold He is going to come with clouds is an exclamation of the second coming of Christ after the seven year tribulation. He will (future tense) be the glorious return to  His followers when He comes back to earth. The Bible says many times that Jesus Christ will return in or with clouds.

 

"WHEREFORE seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us," Hebrews 12:1. This verse has a different reference to clouds but in this context it is talking about the rapture of the church. The cloud of witnesses are the redeemed saints who died and our now with the Lord in heaven. They are watching us and are very smart. They know everything about us and are praying before the throne room for our lives. Jesus allowed me to see the image of the redeemed saints and they were actively watching me with full understanding. They can read your thoughts and have access to much information about our lives. This verse writes that we are to lay aside the sin that so easily besets us then we are told to run the race with patience. Even though Jesus may return today the race is a marathon. It is not a one hundred yard dash. Notice this verse is talking about enduring faith. Not just, "Oh I think I might believe that" but enduring faith for Jesus Christ.

 

Let me go back to the text. It is a fact that Jesus Christ will return with a multitude of saints to earth. "To the end He may stablish your hearts unblamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Je'sus Christ with all His saints." 1 Thessalonians 3:13. "And E'noch also, the seventh from Ad'am, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of His saints," Jude 1:14. In Revelation 1:7 the verse I quoted at the top of the article is saying clouds are the believers in Christ. We as Christians will appear as clouds descending from the sky dressed in spotless white robes.

 

Right around 560 B.C the book of Daniel talks about the second coming of Jesus Christ. (13) "I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him. (14) And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." Daniel 7:13 - 14.

 

The Jewish people have been under so many yokes of oppression that years before Jesus Christ was born they knew this long awaited prophecy would be that their Messiah would establish a kingdom of peace, righteousness and prosperity with all nations dwelling at peace with Israel.

 

Approximately one century before Jesus Christ was born some rabbis observed that the Old Testament described a suffering Messiah and a ruling Messiah. They reasoned there must be two Messiahs. One that would come from the son of David (the ruling Messiah) and another one that would come from lineage of Joseph (the suffering Messiah) but this is not at all what the Old Testament is saying.

 

First Jesus Christ had to suffer and then at the timing of God the Father He will reign. Sure enough when Jesus Christ came to earth in his flesh the religious leaders rejected Him because they wanted a conquering King who would deliver them from Rome. The truth of the matter is a suffering Messiah is a spiritual deliverer. We are able to accept the Son of God in our hearts and get our sins redeemed through His shed blood. A reigning Messiah is a political deliverer because people in the one thousand year reign and rule of Christ will still have a choice in their hearts if they desire Him in their lives. The main spiritual / biblical theme here is a person can not have otter peace as long as there is inner confusion in our hearts. Because Jesus Christ first suffered it is the will of God that His Kingship be postponed until the final culmination of world history. The verses I quoted at the top of the article is the beginning introduction of His reign.

 

Do not ignore what Jesus Christ did at His first coming because that is your true salvation. We are presently standing at the edge of the return of Jesus Christ when the King of Kings and Lord of Lords will rule the nations. How many people do you know of  are preparing their hearts everyday for the return of Jesus Christ? I know of very few individuals that desire to be right with the Lord Jesus Christ and are doing whatever it takes to allow the Holy Spirit to reign in their spirit.

 

In Revelation 1:7 this verse says the earth will mourn over Jesus Christ. When they see Him coming the apostle John is referring to the verse in the Old Testament that writes, "And I will pour upon the house of Da'vid, and upon the inhabitants of Jeru'sa - lem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn." Zechariah 12:10. What the ancient prophet is saying is when the Son of God returns to earth at the height of the battle of Armageddon which is at the end of the seven year tribulation period the Jewish people will for the first time recognize Jesus Christ as their long rejected Messiah. They will mourn as they look at the One they rejected approximately two thousand years ago.

 

When the apostle John says I am the Alpha and Omega we need to understand that Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and Omega is the last. Jesus Christ is everything from A to Z. When verse eight writes who is and who was and who is to come this is speaking of His eternal existence. Jesus Christ was before any specific point in time and will continue to exist after time into eternity. In verse eight the term Almighty is at the end of the verse. Jesus Christ is Omnipotent and all - Powerful because there is no limit to His Power. "And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist." Colossians 1:17.

 

This brings brand new meaning to me to understand that Jesus Christ came down to earth in His incarnation. He was submissive to the people He created up to His crucifixion on the cross at their hands. That is insurmountable divine love. The plan of God for the salvation of people depended on the willingness of Jesus Christ to endue the wrath of God against our sins. This also brings new meaning to us enduring to the end for God. What if Jesus Christ decided to quit right before He was to die on the Cross? We would all be going to hell.

 

If you desire to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord now may be a good time to repent of all your sins and invite the Lord into your life. Jesus Christ is coming again, He is the Alpha and Omega and He is Almighty. Where ever you are in life Jesus Christ knows all about your life and is willing to divinely work through your spirit. The order is accept Him into your hearts and yield to Him. If we try and take our own problems and deal with them that would be foolish because Jesus Christ desires to work His love through us in the middle of our trials. They will not necessarily go away but what the Bible teaches is a whole lot more appealing than me trying to handle my burdens. That is just foolish.

 

God bless you,

Bob D.                    

    

A BROTHER AND COMPANION TRIBULATION

A brother and companion tribulation

 

 

 

(9) "I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle 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 heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet. (11) Saying, "I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and sent it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea." Revelation 1:9 - 11.

 

The apostle John was an old man who was badly injured but I can see why God sent him to Patmos. His whole life revolved around getting the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ to a dying world. It is interesting that the Roman Empire could not stop John and they did try but to no avail. It is possibly (I am not sure) that the Romans were fearful to make John a martyr because he was so effective and bold for Jesus Christ under persecution. They exiled him in boiling oil but little did they know that these letters from John to Christians would unleash greater power than all the combined might of all the empires in the history of mankind.

 

I know I sometimes say, "Lord you really let me down" but that is an impossibility. John never said this because the Bible says, "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day ... so even in the middle of all this suffering he was guided by the Holy Spirit. I can learn much from this passage. When things fall apart I can become very anxious but God is Sovereign. I need to take this lessons from the apostle John.

 

This apostle was in the Spirit and he never felt sorry for himself nor did he curse his circumstances. Since God is Sovereign the Holy Spirit will always assure us that we are right where God desires and He has us in a place for a wonderful purpose. We do not know the future but we do know the One who knows the future.

 

We should be under the control of the Holy Spirit all the time. When this passage says John was in the Spirit that means he became uniquely dominated by the Spirit of God at this time. This also means he became infallible in what he saw and recorded. I did not say the apostle John was infallible. The truth of the matter is every writer of Scripture experienced the same domination by the Holy Spirit and they not only penned the ideas that God desired people to know but the exact words God desired for these biblical principals to be explained in the Bible. "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Ho'ly Ghost." 1 Peter 1:21.

 

When the apostle John was in the control of the Holy Spirit he heard behind him a loud voice. It was the sound of a trumpet. For the most part trumpets in the Bible signify important messages from God. When we go up in the rapture a trumpet will sound to call forth His people to heaven. Seven trumpets will sound during the judgments of the seven year tribulation period. There is also a great trumpet which will sound when Jesus Christ returns to the earth. Obviously trumpets generally have had a prominent place in the battlefields of world history.

 

Whatever this apostle saw he wrote in a book. This gives more validity to the book of Revelation and it emphasizes the fact that John did see the things he wrote down so the point is he did not dream this in his head. In fact God is so dogmatic about this issue that these events that John really saw are mentioned seven times in the first chapter of Revelation.

 

There were hundreds of churches in the first century but the angel signifies that this book should only be sent to seven churches. They were sent out for a specific purpose. These were the churches that had problems which were typical of congregations everywhere at that time and through the ages. The order of these seven churches are presented in Revelation chapters two and three parallels the changing conditions of the church through the centuries from Jesus Christ to the rapture of the church. The people in these churches would not have even remotely understood these parallels but this makes us all the more responsible and accountable before God. This biblical and historical perspective of church history is so valuable because we can learn important lessons from their failures and successes and apply it to our lives for the glory of Jesus Christ. We can also identify the period of time that we are  in now because the condition of the church in our day would correspond to the church of Laodicea.

 

John called himself a brother and companion in tribulation. I need to ask myself, "Am I a brother and companion in tribulation to my brothers and sisters in Christ." We as people tend to be head strong but are we heart strong? The longest few inches we will ever travel is from our heads to our hearts. I never said this is easy but it is the will of God for our lives.

 

In the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ. How patient has Jesus Christ been to us? The truth of the matter is we do not know the answer to this question. We are all children regarding this question. In fact the Bible says unless we come to God as a little child we will not even go to heaven. To give you the answer in general terms the Son of God has been overwhelmingly patient with us regarding our sins and faults.

 

John was exiled for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. He was faithful to what the Bible taught with conviction but also testified of Him that saves a person who is Jesus Christ. We should follow the good example of the apostle John because we serve the Alpha and Omega who is the first and the last. I read all of the books that John wrote and he was very specific to the word of God. When we testify of Jesus Christ by our words and life this gives God the Father honor and glory. God does require us to be obedient to the Bible and testify of what Jesus Christ did for us in our life. I am almost never shy in doing this but I am not going to say I did not miss opportunities to minister to other people. We will all feel bad when we are shown in heaven the missed opportunities but if our heart is in the right place God will strengthen our spirit with more conviction to reach out to a needy person in one way or another. They may have physical needs or they may have spiritual needs but the question is how much compassion do we have in our hearts?

 

John said I am your brother and companion in tribulation but if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ He desires to be your brother and companion in tribulation. He is a very patient God who has given us the Bible. As John was guided by the Holy Spirit you can also be led by the third Person of the Trinity. If you desire to accept the Alpha and Omega into your heart now may be a good time to repent of all your sins and invite Jesus Christ into your life. I think about the God I serve who is the Alpha and Omega. There is not one thing God does not know and He is Almighty. If you chose to make that all important eternal decision let Jesus Christ be your brother and companion in your life. This honors the Son of God. I can count the true friends that I have on one hand. The apostle John was the rare individual who saw himself as a brother and companion to his fellow believers in Christ. You may not come across to many believers that have this spirit. Jesus Christ does have this heart for us.

 

God bless you,

BOBBIE 

I TURNED TO SEE THE VOICE THAT SPOKE WITH ME

 

I turned to see the voice that spoke with me

 

(12) "And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; (13) And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. (14) His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; (15) And His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; (15) And His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters, (16) 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 strength. (17) 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: (18) 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." Revelation 1: 12 - 18.

 

The very first and most important vision John saw in this revelation was Jesus Christ Himself. The Alpha and Omega is central to all of biblical prophecy. Without Him the whole prophetic program would collapse.

 

The apostle John did see Jesus Christ standing in the middle of seven candlesticks. These candlesticks symbolize the seven churches he is writing to so we can come to the conclusion that these are not just any kind of candlesticks.

 

There was a lampstand that stood in the ancient Jewish Tabernacle. The real question is what was the purpose of this lampstand. The reason was to illumine all the articles of worship or to give them clarity. This pictured Jesus Christ as the light of the world illuminating people to the meaning of the things of God. "In Him was life; and the life was the light of men." John 1:4. "That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh unto the world." John 1:9.

 

The candlesticks were selected to symbolize the Church. It is probably a good idea to quote two other verses in the Bible. (22) "And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, (23) Which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all." Ephesians 1: 22 - 23. This pictures the church as the body of Christ on earth. There is a purpose to spread the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ to a dark and spiritually needy world. Jesus made it clear to His followers that we are the light of the world. These verses show that Jesus Christ is standing in the middle of these churches but He is also guiding them to faith, obedience and maturity. To say that our Savior and Lord is interested in everything about His body (the church) regarding what they are doing would be an understatement but He is also interested in everything that happens to us as individuals and a corporate body because results in Him would be our fruit for God.

 

John gives a description of Jesus Christ and it is awe - inspiring. The first observation is He wears the clothing of a priest and judge. Jesus Christ is wearing a long robe clothed with a garment. There is a reason He performs the role of a priest because it is for the behalf of all His children.

 

Verse thirteen uses the term paps because this is for the chest. That is just one example in Scripture that denotes Him as Priest and Judge. "I beheld till. the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire." Daniel 7:9.

 

The Son of God is forced to manifest Himself as a judge to all who have rejected His offer of forgiveness. His white head and hair symbolize His pureness and infinite wisdom. His flaming eyes will burn a hole through a person whose life is ungodly. "Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is." 1 Corinthians 3:13. I have had pure people stare at me with a steady look when I was living an unrighteous life and it is very disheartening especially when they see through into a secret impurity of my life. It is a very convicting experience.

 

In verse fifteen the Bible says His feet like unto fine brass as if they burned in a furnace. In the word of God bronze is consistently a symbol of judgment. In the Old Testament the alter of sacrifice and the implements used in the offerings were made of bronze. Jesus Christ is seen here as the judge of the living and the dead.

 

The apostle John saw the glorious form in which Jesus Christ appeared which had to have made an impression on him. He was overpowered with the greatness of the glory in which Jesus Christ appeared.

 

In verse sixteen, And in His right hand seven stars" ... because the right hand is a place of honor. "Which he wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set him at His own right hand in the heavenly places." Ephesians 1:20. The stars seem to be the angels of the seven churches. When this very same verse writes ... "Out of His mouth went a sharp two edged sword" ... this is a symbol both of the truth and of the severity of the word of God. "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12. 

 

In verse seventeen when this apostle saw Jesus Christ in all of His Grander he fell down as a dead man but in the goodness of the Alpha and Omega He raised him up to his feet, put strength in him and spoke kind words to John. In Revelation 1:8 Jesus Christ described Himself as the Alpha and Omega. In verse seventeen He gives Himself a similar title as the First and the Last. These were words of comfort and encouragement. "Fear not" were words of instruction particularly telling him 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.

 

When Jesus Christ lifted John up to his feet He acquainted him with His divine nature by saying I an the First and the Last. The second thing Jesus Christ did was explain His former sufferings but also explained His victory. He said I lived, died and am alive forevermore. Jesus was telling this apostle I conquered death and am the source of endless eternal life.

 

Jesus Christ then tells John about His office and authority by saying I have the keys of hell and of death. This is a Sovereign dominion in and over the invisible world. I look around me and see so many people only concentrate on this physical world but there is a place called heaven to gain and a place called hell to shun through Jesus Christ. The keys of hell and death in essence describes Jesus Christ over physical death and hell. "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." Revelation 20:14. The sinners that never got right with Jesus Christ go to a temporary place called hades and will ultimately be cast into the lake of fire after the one thousand year rule and reign of Jesus Christ.

 

This is why sincere Christians try and reach out to people that do not truly believe in Jesus Christ. We fall on our face many times giving the gospel to individuals who are not redeemed through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Many people just do not care. Their world is about this physical realm but there is an afterlife and I personally believe it is more real than our current existence on this earth. It is a lot longer so if you want to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord now may be a good time to repent of all your sins and invite the Son of God into your life.

 

The word of God is exact and if you will notice there are many corresponding verses to this particular passage and many other texts. The Bible interprets the Bible. I hope this is a message you will think about because it is one hundred percent true. Many of my own family members and friends do not have the redeeming power of Jesus Christ in their lives. It is hard to watch this but you can make this all important decision for your life and eternity right now. Jesus Christ can see right through your heart and desires to come in but you need to repent and let Him run your life. Many people will think about what I said in a sober light and many will just convince themselves it is just not for them but like it or not they are in this biblical script.

 

God bless you,

 

Bob D.       

WRITE THE THINGS WHICH ARE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE

 

Write the things which are past, present and future

(19) "Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; (20) The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in My right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches." Revelation 1: 19 - 20.

 

In verse nineteen God gave John an outline of the entire book of Revelation. In many respects this book is one of the simplest books of the Bible to read and understand once we comprehend it's symbols. Let me explain the outline God gave to John.

 

The things you have seen refers to the vision of Jesus Christ which John saw in Revelation chapter one.

 

The things which are alludes to the seven churches of chapters two and three and looks at the whole church age up to the rapture which will end the age of grace.

 

The things which will happen after these things includes the events after Christ takes His believers out of this world at the end of the church age. This starts in chapter four and ends in chapter twenty two (Revelation).

 

The things which are will end at the rapture of the church for His bride. The church will go up in the Blessed hope. Jesus Christ does not come to the earth at this event; however, He does come in the air above the earth. The followers of Jesus Christ both dead and alive will be caught up to meet Jesus Christ there (in the air) and then be caught up into heaven.

 

After this event the things which are to come begin starting with the day of the Lord and eventually the antichrist right around this point confirms a seven year peace covenant to officially start the seven year tribulation period. This will be a time of horror for seven years. To literally save mankind from destroying themselves Jesus Christ will then return to earth and subdue His enemies. He will then establish His kingdom on earth for one thousand years. 

 

In Revelation 1:20 the Holy Spirit explains what the two symbols mean. The seven stars represent seven angels or messengers to the churches and the seven golden lampstands symbolize the churches themselves. I like the pattern that God sets up in this book because the Holy Spirit shows that all the symbols in the last book of the Bible have definite meanings.

 

God showed John astonishing sights for human eyes to see not just to witness but also to carefully unravel their meaning for the apostle and to us. The book of Revelation is a journey and we will all receive a special blessing.

 

I am going to skip Revelation chapters two and three because we posted it up twice on the Rose of Sharon is Jesus. The first time was in January and February of the year 2017. The second time we posted the study of the seven churches up was at the end of June into July and the beginning of August of 2018. If you have not read an analysis of these seven churches please feel free to study them before reading and studying Revelation chapters four to twenty two.

 

Before I start going over Revelation chapters four and five I would like to give you some background regarding this subject. The church has had it's problems throughout the centuries. The body of Christ has been doing work for the kingdom of God for a very long time but the rapture of the church will happen in the timing of God the Father. Jesus Christ has been preparing this place in heaven for everyone that continue to join the family of God. Each passing year has brought nearer the appointed day of God for our wonderful reunion with Him.

 

The Old Testament believers did look forward to spending eternity with the Lord but they knew death was inevitable. We as believers in this age of grace understand that Jesus Christ will return to the sky and snatch a whole generation of believers to heaven without physically dying. This is the only cluster of Christians that will never die.

 

The rapture of the church is mentioned at least seventy times in the New Testament and that is not even including the gospels. The two most popular verses are, (16) "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (18) Wherefore comfort one another with these words." 1 Thessalonians 4: 16 - 18. (51) "Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, (52) In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." 1 Corinthians 15: 51 - 52.

 

In each of the seven phases of church history in this age of grace that we are now living in which have been reviewed in chapters two and three sincere Christians that watched for the return of the Lord desired to be in that select group of going up to meet the Lord in the air. God has a perfect time schedule for His prophetic purpose. His program involved a rather long interlude between the first coming of Jesus Christ and His second coming (which is in two phases; rapture and second coming) so as we all can conclude this has given opportunity for countless millions that have received His love and forgiveness of sins.

 

If Jesus delays a little more many people can accept the Lord into their hearts. There is a cut off point for people to accept Jesus Christ in their hearts as their personal Savior and Lord in this age of grace. "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Is'ra - el, until the fullness of the Gen'tiles be come in." Romans 11:25. When the very last person in this age of grace comes to know the Lord Jesus Christ then the rapture will take place so realize that you may be leading the last person to the Lord right before the Blessed Hope takes place. After the rapture the gospel of the kingdom will be preached to all the world so the saving grace of Jesus Christ will still go forth but these people will be in a different dispensation in prophetic history.

 

The New Testament authors did a great job in describing the life of Jesus Christ and writing the books of the New Testament. The apostle John was unique because he was granted the privilege of leaving this earth and recording for us the scenes of the final destination of the church in heaven with Jesus Christ. John was an old man on the Island of Patmos when Jesus Christ appeared to him in His resurrected and glorified body. This was overwhelming to John so he became unconscious. Jesus Himself revived him and told John the reason for his visit. This apostle saw the future of God for mankind and creation. His duty at that point was to record it so that everyone could read this book and be aware of what is coming.

 

Jesus told John to write about three things. First the things he saw in the glorified Person of the Son of God; second the things that were biblical pertinent in the churches of John's day which had prophetic implications throughout church history in chronological order and third the things that would take place after all these things. Revelation chapters four to twenty two have not taken place yet and must be biblically discerned properly at the time of this posting.

 

The apostle John did not comprehend many of the things he saw but faithfully recorded it all in writing. In Revelation chapter one we saw his description of Jesus Christ in all His glory. In Revelation chapters two and three we are able to witness the spiritual condition of the church throughout the ages. All these visions were given to John while he was on the Island of Patmos. Revelation chapter four describes John's travel to heaven where he saw things in heaven and on earth following the close of church history which ends at the rapture of the church.

 

Technically speaking I may not even be able to finish this study. Jesus Christ could split the sky open right now because the Blessed Hope (rapture) is immanent. There are no signs for the rapture and it will happen without warning on a day/night (depending on where you are in the world). People will be working, visiting, shopping, watching television or perhaps sleeping. There will be no trumpet warning and then a twenty minute delay so we can get ready. People have to prepare to be part of the rapture.

 

Now may be a good time to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of God into your life. If you just made that decision continue to abide in Jesus Christ, repent of your sins if you did transgress against God, do the will of God for your life and watch for His return in a patient way. I want to be found ready and willing when the rapture of the church takes place. This is a choice on our part but remember God loves an obedient heart.

 

God bless you,

Bob D.                   

SHUT UP THE WORDS AND SEAL THE BOOK!

  Shut up the words and seal the book       The Lord impressed upon my heart to write a discourse on Revelation chapter one. Revelat...