"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . . Our Website is UNDER CONSTRUCTION, please be patient!

HTML

BOOKMARK AND SHARE

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

TTUF STUDY on The REVELATION of JESUS CHRIST – AN INTRODUCTION


~ By James Fire


This is an extremely exciting opportunity for me because this is the first time ever, I will be embarking on a verse by verse, expositional study on the Book of Revelation. I’ve taught chapters, and portions of Scripture from this book over the years, but never in its entirety – until now!

Of all the books of the Bible, this seems to be the one most often neglected by the church. Many pastors claim that it’s too mysterious, hard to understand, etc. Others think a study of this book will ‘scare Christians’. 

I find it ironic however, that even the very word ‘revelation’ means “a disclosure” that is, to reveal something – not to make obscure or mysterious (and thus, “hard to understand”). Yet there is a reason why this book is hard for some to understand – and we’ll get into that briefly in just a moment. 

As for being ‘scary’, this is the revelation of Jesus Christ, and while there are truly terrifying events that will take place during this seven-year period, for the child of God, this should hold no fear. While this testimony declares the coming of the wicked one, the anti-Christ and his rule under the power of Satan over all the world, ultimately this book is about the coming of our LORD and Savior – our Blessed Hope!


The Greek word for “revelation” is:
Apokalypsis
              I. laying bare, making naked.
           II. a disclosure of truth, instruction.
A. concerning things before unknown.
B. used of events by which things or states or persons hitherto withdrawn from view are made   visible to all.
        III. manifestation, appearance.

From Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, we have the following treatment of this word “revelation” (for the full entry, follow the link provided).

a. a disclosure of truth, instruction, concerning divine things before unknown — especially those relating to the Christian salvation — given to the soul by God himself, or by the ascended Christ, especially through the operation of the Holy Spirit (1 COR 2:10), and so to be distinguished from other methods of instruction; EPH 3:3.
A spirit [understanding] received from God disclosing what and how great are the benefits of salvation, EPH 1:17-18; ROM 16:25.
2 COR 12:1
(revelations by ecstasies and visions, [so 2 COR 12:7]); GAL 1:12; REV 1:1 (revelation of future things relating to the consummation of the divine kingdom); GAL 2:2. To speak on the ground of [others, in the form of] a revelation, agreeably to a revelation received, 1 COR 14:6; equivalent to 1 COR 14:26.
b. As used of events by which things or states or persons hitherto withdrawn from view are made visible to all, manifestation, appearance, a light to appear to the Gentiles [others render 'a light for a revelation (of divine truth) to the Gentiles,' and so refer the use to a. above), LUKE 2:32]; ROM 2:5; the event in which it will appear who and what the sons of God are, by the glory received from God at the last day, ROM 8:19; of the glory clothed with which he will return from heaven, 1 PET 4:13; of this return itself: 2 THESS 1:7; 1 COR 1:7; 1 PET 1:7, 13.

                                                        ~ ~ O ~ ~

The book of REVELATION is a book of prophecy, not a book of allegory as is too often asserted by those who disparage the straightforward exegetical and literal interpretation of God’s Word (Can anyone show an example where anyone reading Scripture took it as allegory and not literal truth? There are a couple; one of which is by the apostle Paul (GAL 4:24), but these allegories exhibit literal truth regardless, and still, in the vast majority of cases, Scripture is taken literally in practically every instance we see in the Bible).

Obviously, the visions documented by John the apostle are representative – for example, there isn’t a literal dragon (a reptilian creature of antiquity) coming out of the seas, but the vision represents the literal entity of a one world government that shall arise in the midst of the Gentile nations. This is explained in the text, without any need for interpretation.

In point of fact, this book is chock-full of visions that needn’t prove mystifying to the careful student of Scripture. They are explained either in the context of the passage in which they are seen or explained elsewhere in Scripture: typically, in the Old Testament: in the total number verses in Revelation, there are about 800 references to the Old Testament canon! 

Therefore, competent knowledge of the Old Testament will prove vital in interpreting Revelation. Without such knowledge, Revelation will in fact seem hard to understand and quite mysterious. I’ve said it before so often: let Scripture interpret Scripture – you have in your lap 65 books of the best commentary, bar none, on any one of the 66 books of the Bible you choose to study!

Of all the Old Testament canon, the book of Daniel stands apart as the ‘go to’ book in the interpretation of the book of Revelation, and particularly the 70 weeks prophecy found in Chapter 9 of this book. The judgment upon Israel pronounced in this prophecy is vital to understand if one is to perceive the purpose of “the great tribulation” and the primary significance of the Revelation where this nation is concerned!
Along with this, Zechariah and Isaiah, Joel and others are also pertinent to understanding this last book of canon.

What is prophecy then? We find the answer in this very book we are about to engage in:

REVELATION 19:10
And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy
(See also REV 1:2).

The Amplified Bible (which considers all the renderings of the biblical languages in their various meanings) puts it this way:

REVELATION 19:10
Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he
[stopped me and] said to me, “You must not do that; I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers and sisters who have and hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God [alone]. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy [His life and teaching are the heart of prophecy].”

Prophecy is not only the foretelling of future events, but a declaration of the entire plan of God, in the past, the present and the future, as it’s revealed by the Scriptures, revolving around Israel the nation, and even more so, the Second Person of the Trinity, the LORD Jesus Christ Himself. We understand that the written Inspired Word is given to us by the eternal Incarnated Word of God, Jesus Christ – He Who was, and is, and is to come (2 PET 1:21).

And what’s the overall plan of God?

To undo that which was done by Satan in the corruption of God’s creation, the fall of mankind into sin and redeeming all that the LORD gave to him as steward (namely, the Earth and all that this entails) by means of atonement, and that by blood. Furthermore and especially to bring the greatest glory to Himself, Who is our Redeemer, worthy for Who He is, and what He has done for us!

HEBREWS 9:22
22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission
.

From the distant epoch of our beginnings, when Adam was formed of the dust, and Eve created from his ‘rib’ and their subsequent fall into sin, this truth of atonement by blood is seen as early as GEN 3:21, where God covered Adam’s nakedness with “coats of [animal] skins”.

Of course, there would be the slaughter of some animal in order to provide such coats. Imagine the horror of our Parents when they saw bloodshed and (physical) death for the first time! They no doubt taught the vital importance of this lesson to their children, and Abel learned well – whereas Cain decided on ‘doing religion my way’. Abel offered a sacrifice from his flock, whereas Cain offered up grain – the one offering was by blood, the other not.

Thus:
GENESIS 4:4
And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering
:

But Cain’s offering, without blood, was not accepted!
Throughout the Old Testament, before even the establishment of the Law by Moses and all of the sacrificial offerings required under this covenant, Job, Abraham, the patriarchs all offered up sacrifices by blood, declaring that atonement is not possible other than by the shedding of blood:

LEVITICUS 17:11
For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul
.

Every law and revelation that the LORD gave to Moses* points to the central figure of Christ and these are themselves prophetic in this sense.
*~ Two excellent resources that address the prophetic significance of the Tabernacle of the Old Testament and the types of Christ seen in its implements and parts are Andrew Murray’s book, The Holiest of All -  - an online version is available here

Also Don Smith’s treatment of CHRIST in the TABERNACLE.

Yet these sacrifices could never truly atone for our sins, but only covered them over until The Sacrifice of sacrifices came and atoned for our sins in His Holy blood. Where the Old Covenant was ineffective in securing our eternal redemption, it was taken away and the New established:

HEBREWS 10:1-10
1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. 5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. 8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all
.

JOHN 1:29
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world
.

We also see the biblical truth of the kinsman goel or kinsman redeemer  demonstrated in Scripture, where the debt of one is paid for by another – the qualifying requirement being that the debt-payer must be a relative of the debtor. This is ably demonstrated in the book of Ruth where Boaz takes upon himself the role of the kinsman goel for his near-kinsman Naomi. 

This is why Jesus took on flesh as the WORD of God; in order to be an acceptable kinsman redeemer, He must be related to all of us – that is, He must be human in order to redeem humanity; He must also be Jewish in order to redeem Israel and restore the covenant relationship as the Messiah.

The kinsman redeemer has another role besides that of redeemer – he is also “the avenger of blood” who will seek out those who murdered his relatives and enacts justice on behalf of his slain kin; you can read about this in detail in DEUTERONOMY19

Thus, the doctrinal truths of atonement by blood, redemption by the kinsman redeemer and the justice of God carried out by the avenger of blood are all exemplified and given their greatest and highest revelation in this book. The progressive revelation of Scripture, beginning with the first five books as written by Moses and continues throughout the entire canon, gives us insight into Who God is:

1) He is the Creator of all things.
2) He is LORD of all.
3) He is the Holy Judge
4) He is the Redeemer

These are The Four Primary Offices of God and every characteristic and attribute falls under these four. And all of these offices are first revealed in Genesis, developed throughout the Word of God, brought to its greatest revelation at the appearing of Christ when He came to Earth at His First Advent, and will know its culmination when He returns at His Second Advent.

If you would like to watch videos based on these four articles, here is the first one; you can click on the other three videos on the sidebar of the youtube channel The House of Truth.

The Four Primary Offices of The LORD GOD
PART 1 of 4: YHWH - Creator



What was begun in Genesis is completed in Revelation. Here below is a chart that contrasts these two books, the inspired ‘book ends’ as it were, of our Holy Bible:
(for two other charts that demonstrate the biblical themes of these two book ends in contrast, see them here: at Bible Study Tools - Genesis and Revelation as Bookends 



Genesis versus Revelation
Man in God’s image (Gen. 1:26).
Man headed by one in Satan’s image (Rev. 13:1).
Man’s religion, art, and science, resorted to for enjoyment apart from God (Gen. 4:1).
Man’s religion, luxury, art, and science, in their full glory judged and destroyed by God (Rev. 18:1).
Nimrod, a great rebel and King, and hidden anti-God, the founder of Babylon (Gen. 10:8-10).
The Beast, the great Rebel, a King, and manifested anti-God, the reviver of Babylon (Rev. 13:1Rev. 17:1).
A flood from God to destroy an evil generation (Gen. 6:1-9:1).
A flood from Satan to destroy an elect generation (Rev. 12:1).
Marriage of first Adam (Gen. 2:18-23).

Marriage of last Adam (Rev. 19:1).
A bride sought for Abraham’s son (Isaac) and found (Gen. 24:1).

A Bride made ready and brought to Abraham’s Son (Rev. 19:9).
Man’s dominion ceased and Satan’s begun (Gen. 3:24).

Satan’s dominion ended and man’s restored (Rev. 22:1).

The following notes are gleaned from the Analysis of Revelation as provided by the Thompson Chain Reference Bible:

John the apostle and elder (and quite the elder he was, probably well into his eighties or even nineties) of Jesus Christ is the recorder of this book, not the author. He, like all of the writers of the Scriptures were merely amanuenses or ‘secretaries’ who took dictation from the very Spirit of God (2 PET 1:21). 

The true author is in fact, the very Person Whom this book is all about, Jesus Christ – who received this revelation from the Father (REV 1:1), and the LORD then showed this revelation to His servants (us, who are the saints!).

The aged apostle was banished to the isle of Patmos, a likely penal colony, because of “the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ” (REV 1:9). While the date of this writing is not precisely known, it was certainly written sometime after 90 AD and perhaps around 96 AD, well after the destruction of the Temple (occurring in 70 A.D.).

This book is unique in the provision of a blessing for all who will read it. Of course, reading God’s Word in any of its books will prove to be a blessing and a treasure (PSALM 119:162), but here in Revelation, we have the explicit promise of a blessing to those who will read it (REV 1:3)! This book also warns of a curse upon any who alter it, either by adding or taking away from its content (REV 22:18)! This warning is also found in DEUT 4:1-2 and PROV 30:5-6.

A peculiarity of this book is the continual and repetitious witness of “seven” in all its chapters and verses. There are thirty-seven direct references to this number , but there are other sevens that may be observed here as well. For a study on the more obvious sevens found in Revelation, look at this treatment from RAPTURE READY ministries:

BIBLE VERSES OF ALL THE SEVENS OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION

For those implicit non-obvious instances of seven, examine the following from Creation Concept.

This book represents the Moral and Spiritual Conflict of the Ages. It’s central figure as already mentioned several times already is Jesus Christ, the KING of Kings, and the LORD of Lords.

Two central points of focus are: the birth of the man child Who shall rule all nations (REV 12:5) and the sounding of the seventh trumpet which heralds His ultimate victory (REV 11:15).

Signs given in the book in the form of visions:

1) The glorified Christ manifested before John the apostle (REV 1:4-8), declared as the faithful witness, the first begotten of the dead, the prince of the kings of the Earth. He is the Redeemer who washes us from our sins in His own blood. He is the Alpha and Omega.

2) He is revealed to the Seven Churches in various manner and titles – these shall be considered when we get to REV 2 and REV 3 of this study.

3) The vision of God in heaven upon His throne, revealed as Creator and worshiped by cherubim, angels and elders (REV 4:1-11).

4) The Claim of the Seven-Sealed Book by the Lamb of God, the Redeemer and the only one found worthy to “loose the seals” of this ‘title deed of the Earth’ (REV 5).

5) The Lamb of God opens six of the seven seals of the book (REV 6:1-17) that render various judgments upon the Earth, beginning with the unleashing of the four horsemen.

6) God’s protective seal covering His own (REV 7:1-8); these numbers (144,000; 12,000 from each tribe) represented by Israel, are anointed and sent forth to preach the Gospel; and there’s the LORD’s assurance of their eternal blessing and comforts.

7) The revelation of an innumerable company that are the redeemed, from among all the nations of the Earth (REV 7:9-17).

8) The opening of the Seventh Seal – bringing silence to heaven for a thirty-minute countdown (REV 8:1); the seven angels are prepared to sound the seven trumpets, and then four of them sound (REV 8:2,6-12). Between the preparation to sound and the actual sounding we see an angel gathering up “the prayers of the saints” and the resulting judgment upon the Earth (REV 8:3-5).

9) The fifth and sixth trumpets are sounded – severe judgments come upon the ‘Earth-dwellers’ who still in sinful obstinacy refused to repent of their wickedness (REV 9:1-21).

10) The interim between the sixth and seventh trumpet where the “little book” is given to John to consume, and the directive given to him that he must yet prophecy before peoples, nations, tongues and kings (REV 10:1-11).

11) The birth of the man child Who shall rule all nations as well as the Satanic powers gathered in an attempt to destroy Him – which correlates with the attempt of Herod to destroy the child Who is born King of the Jews (REV 12).

12) The rising up of the two Beasts – one from the land (the false prophet) and the other from the sea (anti-Christ) and the global kingdom that is submitted to the anti-Christ who dominates the world governments and economies and is the focal point of the world religion (REV 13).

13) The climatic conflict between the Lamb and His enemies manifested through the 144,000 of Israel vs. the Babylonian system, and the judgment of God upon the unrighteous, represented by “the grapes of wrath” and the wine press (REV 14).

14) The victors and their song; the seven angels and the final judgments represented in the seven vials are presented (REV 15).

15) The outpouring of the seven vials of judgment; the climatic great earthquake that cause islands and mountains to disappear, and a great hail (each approximately 110 lbs (REV 16)).

16) The final doom of Babylon – the Harlot city, personal and culminative enemy of God which the Lamb has judged (REV 17 and REV 18).

17) The Hallelujah chorus, defeat of the Beast, celebrating the victory of Christ and the marriage supper of the Lamb (REV 19).

18) The binding and imprisonment of Satan; the first resurrection (of the righteous); the thousand-year period known as the Millennium, the last resurrection (of the damned) and the condemnation to the lake of fire, evil abolished and forgotten (REV 20).

19) The new heavens, new earth and the New Jerusalem as the new creation of God (REV 21).

20) The Paradise of God restored, the river of life, the tree of life, the entire removal of the curse of sin. The last promise made, the last invitation, the last warning (REV 22).

                                                              ~ ~ O ~ ~

Finally, we have a credible outline of this book by Dr. C.I. Scofield:

WRITER: The Apostle John (REV 1:1)
DATE: A.D. 96
THEME: The theme of the Revelation is Jesus Christ (REV 1:1), presented in a threefold way:

1) As to time: "which is, and which was, and which is to come" REV 1:4;

2) As to relationships--the churches (REV 1:9-3:22), to the tribulation (REV 4:1-19:21), to the kingdom (REV 20:1-22:21);

3) In His offices--High Priest (REV 8:3-6), Bridegroom (REV 19:7-9), King-Judge (REV 20:1-15).

But while Christ is thus the central theme of the book, all of the events move toward one consummation, the bringing in of the covenanted kingdom. The key-phrase is the prophetic declaration of the "great voices in heaven" (REV 11:15), lit, "The world kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ has come." The book is, therefore, a prophecy (REV 1:3).
The three major divisions of Revelation must be clearly held if the interpretation is to be sane and coherent. John was commanded to "write" concerning three classes of "things" (REV 1:19):

Things past, "the things thou hast seen," i.e. the Patmos vision, REV 1:1-20.
Things present, "the things which are," i.e. things then existing--obviously the churches. The temple had been destroyed, the Jews dispersed: the testimony of God had been committed to the Churches (1 TIM 3:15). Accordingly we have seven messages to seven representative churches, REV 2:1-3:22. It is noteworthy that the church is not mentioned in chapters 5-18.
Things future, "things which shall be hereafter," lit. "after these," i.e. after the church period ends, REV 4:1-22:21. The third major division, as Erdman (W.J.) has pointed out, falls into a series of six sevens, with parenthetical passages, making, with the church division, seven sevens.

The six “sevens” are:
The seals, REV 4:1-8:1.
The seven trumpets, REV 8:2-11:19.
The seven personages, REV 12:1-14,20.
The seven vials (bowls), REV 15:1-16:21.
The seven dooms, REV 17:1-20:15.
The seven new things, REV 21:1-22:21.

The parenthetical passages are:
The Jewish remnant and the tribulation saints, REV 7:1-17.
The angel, the little book, the two witnesses, REV 10:1-11:14.
The Lamb, the Remnant, and the everlasting Gospel, REV 14:1-13.
The gathering of the kings at Armageddon, REV 16:13-16.

The four alleluias in heaven, REV 19:1-6. These passages do not advance the prophetic narrative. Looking backward and forward they sum up results accomplished and speak of results yet to come as if they had already come. In REV 14:1, for example, the Lamb and Remnant are seen prophetically on Mount Sion, though they are not actually there till REV 20:4-6.

The end of the church period (REV 2-3) is left indeterminate. It will end by the fulfilment of 1 THESS 4:14-17.

REVELATION, chapters 4-19 are believed to synchronize with Daniel's Seventieth Week ((See Scofield on DAN9:24). 

The great tribulation begins at the middle of the "week," and continues three and a half years (REV 11:3-19:21). The tribulation is brought to an end by the appearing of the Lord and the battle of Armageddon (MATT 24:29-30; REV 19:11-21). The kingdom follows (REV 20:4-5); after this the "little season" (REV 20:7-15), and then eternity.
Interpreters of the Revelation should bear in mind two important passages: 1 PET 1:12; 2 PET 1:20-21. Doubtless much which is designedly obscure to us will be clear to those for whom it was written as the time approaches.

Here ends the introduction of this marvelous book; next time we will commence study into Chapter One!
Until then, take care, be aware and prepare - to MEET the LORD In The AIR!!

No comments:

ReferenceTagging.tag();