THE REVELATION FRAMEWORK – IN SMALL CHUNKS (PART 4) – CHAPTER 1

GREETING THE SEVEN CHURCHES

Revelation 1:4-6

“4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

These seven were those which lay nearest to the apostle and were more particularly under his care, though the message concerns the whole Christian world. The greeting can be seen as a “covering letter” sent with the individual letters sent to each of the seven churches.

THE 7 SPIRITS BEFORE THE THRONE

Very clearly, the first phrase refers to God the Father. He is the One who is and who was and who is to come. The last phrase specifically names Jesus Christ, the faithful witness. However, the second phrase is the subject of considerable discussion. The question is, “To whom does the expression “seven Spirits” refer?”

The “seven spirits of God” are also mentioned in Revelation 3:1; 4:5; and 5:6. The seven spirits of God are not specifically identified, so it’s impossible to be dogmatic. Revelation 1:4 mentions that the seven spirits are before God’s throne. Revelation 3:1 indicates that Jesus Christ “holds” the seven spirits of God. Revelation 4:5 links the seven spirits of God with seven burning lamps that are before God’s throne. Revelation 5:6 identifies the seven spirits with the “seven eyes” of the Lamb and states that they are “sent out into all the earth.”

The Bible, and especially the book of Revelation, uses the number 7 to refer to perfection and completion. If that is the meaning of the “seven” in the “seven spirits,” then it is not referring to seven different spirits of God, but rather the perfect and complete Holy Spirit.

Some view the seven spirits of God as referring to seven angelic beings, possibly the seraphim or the cherubim. This would fit with the numerous others angelic beings that are described in the book of Revelation (Revelation 4:6-9; 5:6-14; 19:4-5).

A third possibility is based on Isaiah 11:2, which says, “The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him — the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.” This could possibly explain the seven spirits of God: (1) Spirit of the LORD, (2) Spirit of wisdom, (3) Spirit of understanding, (4) Spirit of counsel, (5) Spirit of power, (6) Spirit of knowledge, (7) Spirit of the fear of the Lord. The Bible doesn’t tell us specifically who/what the seven spirits are, but the first interpretation, that they are the Holy Spirit, seems the most likely.

(Main source: https://www.gotquestions.org/seven-spirits-God.html )

KINGS AND PRIESTS

Revelation 1:6 says “and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father” while in Revelation 5:10 we read, “And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.” It also reminds us of 1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”

The KJV and NKJV uses the word “basileus”, translated “kings, whereas the NASB and ESV uses the word “basilian”, translated, “Kingdom.”. When it is used elsewhere in the bible and the book of Revelation it is always translated as kings, not kingdom.

For translation of the English Bible, there are two major underlying texts being used. The Textus Recpetus is used in the King James and New King James Versions. All other translations use the Critical Text. There are hundreds of variants between these two texts. These translation differences do sometimes cause a doctrinal difference.

There is a major difference between being a King and being a Kingdom. The Scripture is full of references to believers as kings who will reign with Christ, and devoid of any Scripture with reference to believers as being a kingdom currently reigning.  We are kings but we are not a Kingdom. In the modern versions, however, we are presented as being a “Kingdom.” Nowhere in the New Testament is an equivalent teaching expressed. The recipients of the book of James were told that they are heirs to the Kingdom (James 2:5) and the recipients of the book of Hebrews were likewise told that they would receive a Kingdom (Hebrews 12:28), but both of these are a far cry from currently “being a Kingdom,” as the modern text teaches.

“KINGDOM NOW” THEOLOGY

Based on the “we are a Kingdom” teaching, a dangerous “Kingdom Now” theology was introduced. Kingdom Now theology is a branch of Dominion Theology which has had a following within Pentecostalism.

Kingdom Now theology states that although Satan has been in control of the world since the Fall, God is looking for people who will help him take back dominion. Those who yield themselves to the authority of God’s apostles and prophets will take control of the kingdoms of this world, being defined as all social institutions, the “kingdom” of education, the “kingdom” of science, the “kingdom” of the arts, etc.

Although we are spiritually made kings by God’s authority, we by no means have judicial authority on this earth at this present time. Being a king implies authority and legal right to a throne; being a king does not indicate a kingdom in which to exercise that authority. Paradise cannot be restored by man. The Kingdom can only be established by the Messiah. Although we have been redeemed by the Jesus’ sacrifice, our deeds cannot bring about or empower the growth of the Kingdom of God, as seen to be established by Christ himself in Revelation 19.

THE ROLES OF KINGS AND PRIESTS

AS PRIESTS

Christians have the privilege of being kings and priests unto God. At this present time (before the return of Christ) we have a diminished role in this. When Christ returns, we will have a greater role to fulfill.

Currently, before the return of Christ, as kings, we are to reign over sin, the flesh, circumstances and situations, over all the power of the enemy.

Romans 6:14  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Luke 10:19  Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Galatians 5:16  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of  the flesh.

Galatians 5:24  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

Currently, before the return of Christ, as priests, we are to offer up to God, sacrifices of praise and giving and pray on behalf of others.

In future, we will take part in the Millennium as glorified spirit beings. The best example of serving as a king and priest is Jesus Christ. He practiced godly leadership His entire life and taught by His example compassionate service to others. Christ’s instruction to the apostles in Matthew 20 demonstrates that godly leadership is much different from what is generally practiced in the world today. To rule with Christ in the coming Kingdom of God, our leadership role has to be focused on service to others.

As always, we will serve God, of course, but in the sense of helping others, our serving work will be that of guiding and directing the people of the earth. The world of the Millennium will still be a physical one, though under the rule of God through Christ. Our focus will be not on pursuing our own enjoyment but on first aiding and then teaching the thousands of displaced people who survive the calamities at the end of the age.

As the Millennium progresses, the dire consequences of Satan’s influence over the world today will become a distant memory. And over the course of generations, humanity will need to be reminded and warned that Satan will be let loose at the end of the Millennium. At the end of the Millennium, when Satan is released, he will deceive vast multitudes of people, likened to the sand along the seashore in number (Revelation 20:7-10). During nearly a thousand years of godly rule, how often will we need to stir people up and warn them of the roaring lion that will seek to devour them? They will need to be taught about the coming of God the Father to His Kingdom in a new heaven and new earth.

We have an opportunity beyond our lifetime—an opportunity of an eternity. The millennial period on earth will be just the beginning. Our role as kings and priests will mirror Jesus Christ’s example.

AS KINGS

The Christian will reign with Christ, with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. As the Apostle Paul wrote: “If we endure, we shall also reign with Him” (2 Tim. 2:12).

This is quite astonishing because the context of 2 Timothy 2:12, and of all other passages that refer to Christians reigning with Christ, are of Christians suffering at the hands of strong and powerful people and forces. Paul is saying to Timothy, “Those same people who are presently at the bottom of the ladder, who are treated as the lowest of the low, who are weak and oppressed by everyone; these same people will one day reign with Christ!” Co-regency with the King of Kings. What a reward!

PRESENT REIGN

We already share in Christ’s reign as office-bearers in His church: “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matt. 16:19). Christ has delegated spiritual authority to execute His instructions on earth.

Christian believer, you are already a king and share the kingship of Christ. He has “made you a king and a priest unto God” (Rev. 1:6).

FUTURE REIGN

No matter how much believers reign with Christ now, the greatest experience of co-regency lies ahead, beginning with the moment of death.

Although death seems such a moment of weakness of defeat and loss, in reality it’s a moment of victory, of power, and of triumph. At death, the believer fully triumphs over sin, death, and the devil in his soul. He is not defeated by them but defeats them. Just as Christ reigns over sin, death, and the devil, so they do too in a new way. They enter into a new and powerful life; no longer a life of losses and disappointments but of gain and of triumph.

This reign climaxes at the rapture when the believer’s body is reunited with the soul and shares in the soul’s power and authority. Sin, death, the devil, and the world will be under our feet.

But there’s more. Crowned with the crown of righteousness (2 Tim. 4:8), the crown of life (Jas. 1:12; Rev. 2:10), and the crown of glory (1 Peter 5:4), we will access and enjoy the King’s power, possessions, and authority, including even ruling over the angels (1 Cor. 6:3). As Christ promised, the meek shall inherit the earth (Matt. 5:5), and part of that will involve specific responsibilities according to our faithfulness in this world (Luke 19:17).

“But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever” (Dan. 7:18).

(Main source: http://www.alliancenet.org/christward/reigning-with-christ#.XBJYWGgzbcc  )

THE REVELATION FRAMEWORK – IN SMALL CHUNKS (PART 3) – CHAPTER 1

A UNIQUE PROMISE

Revelation 1:3

3] “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”

“Read… Hear… Keep”: From a total of 66 books in our Bible, this is the only book with a special promise if you do these three things. But if all 66 books are highly anointed and inspired by God Himself, then why is He making the statement that specifically the Book of Revelation is the one Book that will cause someone to become blessed in some way?

Notice this statement is being made right at the very beginning of this book. Through the blessing, God is encouraging all of us to read and assimilate what is in this last book. Most Christians, including many pastors, are afraid to try and get into this book and to make an attempt to fully understand it. Some feel it is too hard to try and fully understand the content while for others, it is just too frightening due to the extreme events that will be taking place in the end times. They prefer to keep their heads buried in the sand and not face the fact that God will be releasing His wrath and fury on this world in a way that the world has never seen before and will never see again. They are the same people who also reject the reality of the Great Tribulation, which will be the last 7 years on this earth before Jesus comes back to set up His Millennium Kingdom from the city of Jerusalem. Many even disagree on the fact that Christ will reign on earth, from the throne of David for a thousand years although it is mentioned six times in Revelation 20.

There are three main reasons as to why God wants us to read this last book, and then attempt to fully grasp and assimilate the knowledge and revelation that it contains:

  • As the last book in the Bible, it is the climax to our whole story in the Lord. As such, each Christian should know exactly how everything will eventually play out and what our final ending is going to be in the Lord. Ironically, many Christians believe in what the Bible teaches about the beginning but reject what it teaches about the ending thereof.

Many Christians only know that when they die and depart from this earth, “they will go straight to Jesus, where they will live with all of their saved loved ones forever and ever up in heaven.”

They have no understanding of the rapture of the Church and what it really means when 1 Thess 1:10 says, “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9 says, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” Luke 21:36 says, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Yet, sadly those without proper Biblical knowledge so often attack the doctrine of the rapture of the Church.

Unless you have read (and study) the book of Revelation and all of the other prophetic Scripture that pertain to these coming end time events in context, you will not know that there are three more chapters that will play itself out before you die or after you had already died and entered into heaven.

After the rapture, the next thing that will occur is that all of the saints who have been living with Jesus up in heaven will be coming back down with Him to rule this earth during His Millennium Kingdom. This Millennium Kingdom will last 1000 years.

After this 1000 years has passed, the next, last, and final event will be God the Father creating a New Heaven and a New Earth where He will then bring both Himself and the city of New Jerusalem down upon our new earth where He and Jesus will then rule this new earth from this new holy city of Jerusalem for the rest of all eternity. The New Heaven and New Earth will be our final resting place with the Lord, and this information and knowledge can only be found in the Book of Revelation.

  • The second key reason that every Christian should be fully armed with knowledge on this topic is because it provides a good idea of the season that we are living in. The generation that sees these things starting to happen, will be the one that will live through all of these end time events if not saved. (Matthew 24:34, “Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”)

Once these end time events start taking place, your knowledge on this subject, your blessed hope and your faith in the Lord will be the only three things that will help get you through until the rapture. You will need to know exactly how everything is going to play out. If not, you could easily lose your faith in the Lord due to the extreme activity that will be occurring during these perilous times (2 Timothy 3). This is why the Lord wants to give all of us more than enough fair warning on exactly what will be coming down the road, so we can properly prepare ourselves to be able to handle all of it once it does start to come our way, until our redemption.

Many teachers on this subject in this day and age believe that there is a very good possibility that our current generation may be the generation that will see the return of our Lord back to this earth. No one obviously knows the exact date or hour of our Lord’s return back to this earth, but there is no question that the end time events prophesied to occur from our Bible are all starting to come to pass. As such, each and every Christian should have some basic fundamental knowledge on this part of our walk with the Lord.

  • The last of the three key reasons is the sharing of knowledge, even with the lukewarm and the unbeliever. The Bible of the Christian faith is the only holy book on earth that contains prophecies for which fulfilment is measurable and evident. This in itself proof that the God of the Bible is real, and His Word is alive. Through prophecy, eyes could thus be opened, God willing.

There is also a second advantage in sharing our knowledge with the lukewarm and the unbeliever. As we read in the book of Revelation, many will turn to Christ subsequent to the rapture of the Church. These are called Tribulation Saints. In their darkest hours the will most probably remember what was shared with them and then study the book of Revelation. It should guide them through this terrible time and also encourage them to hold fast to the truth and their redemption.

THAT THIS IS NOT THE ONLY BLESSING …

There are in fact seven beatitudes (blessings) found in the book of Revelation ( Revelation 1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14.)

As we saw in part 1 of this series, seven is the predominate number in the book of Revelation. “Blessed” is the Greek word “makarios,” meaning happy, fortunate, or blessed. The seven blessings in Revelation are:

  • Revelation 1:3 as discussed above. This echoes Psalm 1:2. It is God from whom all blessings flow.
  • Revelation 14:13, “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”

God pronounces this blessing just before the seven bowl judgments of Revelation 16. People who become believers and die during the tribulation will find rest and reward with the Lord. While they pass through many troubles – even death itself – it is all temporary. God’s blessings are eternal.

  • Revelation 16:15, “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”

This reminds us of many other pieces of Scripture regarding the coming of Christ (cf. Matt 24:42-43; Luke 12:39-40; 1 Thess 5:2; 2 Pet 3:10; Rev 3:3). In Revelation 16:15, Jesus warns those in the tribulation, just prior to the Battle of Armageddon, that He will soon come as a thief. He encourages the Tribulation Saints to endure until the end. As believers, the Bible instructs us to be watchful, and to be spiritually clothed with the Word of God and the rest of the armor of God (Eph 6:12-18).

  • Revelation 19:9, “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”

The marriage supper of the Lamb is the feast of all feasts (Matt. 22:2; Luke 14:15; 22:16; cf. Isa 25:6). Note the contrasts between this blessed feast and the horrific feast of Revelation 19:17-18. More will be said about the marriage supper, later in this series.

  • Revelation 20:6, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

Daniel 12:2 summarizes the two different fates facing mankind: “Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Everyone will be raised from the dead, but not everyone will share the same destiny.

Revelation 20:4-6 mentions a “first resurrection” and identifies those involved as “blessed and holy.” The second death (the lake of fire, Revelation 20:14) has no power over these individuals. The first resurrection, then, is the raising of all believers before the thousand years when Christ will reign on earth. It corresponds with Jesus’ teaching of the “resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:14) and the “resurrection of life” (John 5:29). Unbelievers will only be raised at the end of the thousand year reign, when the White Throne judgement takes place.

  • Revelation 22:7, ” Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.”

There is a relationship between the one who heeds (Rev 1:3) and the one who keeps (Rev 22:7) the “words of this book” (Rev 22:10, 18, 19). Reading and hearing the Word is not enough, if not followed by obedience.  John clearly calls this book “prophecy,” not history (compare the unbiblical hyper-preterism view, which views the book mostly as past history). Later in this series we will look at the consequences for adding to, or taking away from this book of prophesy (Revelation 22:18-19).

  • Revelation 22:14, “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”

Salvation comes from having one’s robes washed in the Lamb’s blood (Revelation 7:14). Only blood-washed believers have the right to partake of the tree of life from which mankind has been barred since the Fall. Only those with robes of righteousness are able to do His commandments and have access to the Holy City (see Psalm 118:20; Isaiah 35:8).

THE REVELATION FRAMEWORK – IN SMALL CHUNKS (PART 2) – CHAPTER 1

OUTLINE OF CHAPTER 1

Verses 1-3 – Introduction

Verses 4-11 – Salutation & Occasion

Verses 12-18 – Vision of the Risen Christ

Verse 19 – Outline of the Book of Revelation

Verse 20 – Prep for Chapters 2 & 3

VERSES 1-3 – INTRODUCTION

MEANING OF “SHORTLY” AND “TIME IS NEAR”

Verse 1] “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must SHORTLY come to pass; and He sent and signified it by his angel unto His servant John

The word Revelation = “Apocalypsis” and relates to the unveiling of something (18 times used in the NT). Jesus Christ is the key figure in this book as it is all about His second coming. It is no longer a sealed book (Rev 22:10) as it used to be in the time of Daniel (Dan 12:4) and needs be understood by all Christians.

The book of Daniel and the book of Revelation certainly both speak about the same end times period, and yet there is a difference in the commands given to the writer at the end of each book:

This is what Daniel was told at the end of his writing (Dan 12:4):

But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.”

This is what John was told at the end of his writing (Rev 22:10):

And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.

It says that these things must “shortly” come to pass and in verse 3 it also mentions that “time is near.” These verses were written over centuries ago, and these things have still not yet taken place. It’s only natural to wonder how words like “shortly” and “near” could allow for such a long span of time. Preterists argue that these words demand that the prophecies of Revelation must have been fulfilled a long time ago.

The word in verse 1 that is translated as “soon” or “shortly” is the Greek word “tachei” [Strong’s #5034]. Notice how this word is defined: Strong’s — quickness, speed; hastily, immediately.

It’s important to notice that the primary meaning of this word refers to the speed by which an event approaches rather than the duration of time before it arrives. In fact, this same word is generally translated in terms of speed elsewhere in the New Testament, as shown in the following examples:

Luke 8 — 8 “I tell you that He will bring about justice for them QUICKLY. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?

Acts 12 — 7 “And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter’s side and woke him up, saying, “Get up QUICKLY.” And his chains fell off his hands.”

Acts 22 — 18 “and I saw Him saying to me, ‘Make haste, and get out of Jerusalem QUICKLY, because they will not accept your testimony about Me.”

Therefore, verse 1 is saying only that God is causing the fulfillment of these prophecies to approach quickly. Regardless of how long it takes, we are not to construe the apparently long delay as idleness on God’s part.

The word in verse 3 that is translated as “time” is the Greek word “kairos” [Strong’s #2540]. Let’s see how this word is defined: Strong’s — fitting season, season, opportunity, occasion, time.

Notice that the primary notion of “time” conveyed by this word isn’t “elapsed time” (as in relation to a clock or calendar), but rather it is “appropriate time”. There are several examples of this word being used this way elsewhere in scripture (e.g. Matt 8:29; Matt 16:3; Matt 24:45; Mark 1:15; Acts 24:25; Rom 5:6; 1 Tim 6:15). So, where John’s says “for the time is near“, it means that it is now (or it is becoming) the appropriate time for these things to happen. This wording emphasizes the appropriateness of the time rather than the shortness of time. The time for these things to happen was appropriate when John wrote Revelation, and it is just as appropriate today.

The only thing that it could mean is that the fulfillment of these things is imminent. The admonition John is making in these verses is to be ready for these things, because they could come any time.

The key thing that makes an event imminent is that, as far as we know, it’s ready to happen but it’s timing is unknown. This agrees exactly with the way Jesus described His return in the end times:

Mark 13:32-37 “32 But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 33 Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come. 34 It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert. 35 Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 36 in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!’”

Jesus tells us to be alert and watchful precisely because we don’t know when he will return. Specifically, verse 35 says his return could be “in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning”. This is clearly a figurative way to say that we must allow the widest possible range of time for His return to occur.

Any Christian, from the first century onward, should be ready for the possibility of Christ to return in their lifetime — and yet at the same time accept that He might not return until long after their lifetime is over.

There are some other passages that hint that our wait could seem to us like a long time:

2 Pet 3:3-4  “3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.”

Peter is telling us that in the last days, there will be scoffers who mock believers who still look forward to Christ’s return. Their mistake is to think that because the earth has been effectively ruled by man for such a long time (since creation as well as since Christ promised to come), it will continue that way, which rules out Christ returning to reign as king. Peter answers by saying:

“8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”

Since Peter mentions a thousand years here in the context of Christ’s return, we should at least accept that a time delay of that scale is possible.

In Matthew 24:45-51, Jesus is teaching His followers to remain faithful until the (unknown) time of His return. As an analogy, he describes a master who goes away, leaving his household in the care of his servants, expecting that they will carry out their duties until he returns. In verses 48-49, he describes a servant who acts wickedly after reasoning that master is not returning for a long time. Again, Jesus is at least raising the idea that people will become dismissive of the possibility that He might return within their own lifetimes.

(Key Source: https://revelationlogic.com/articles/what-does-soon-mean/ )

MEANING OF “SIGNIFIED”

 Verse 1] “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and SIGNIFIED it by his angel unto His servant John

Revelation contains symbolism of reality and no prophecy is of private interpretation (2 Pet 1:20). Due to the use of the verb “signified” in Revelation 1:1, some indicate that the book of the Revelation is to be taken as a prophetic communication of symbolism, rather than literalism. But is this a valid understanding and restriction due to the use of the verb “signified”?

The verb “signify” in Revelation 1:1 is translated from the Greek verb “semaino.” This Greek verb is also employed five other times throughout the New Testament, and every one of those times it is translated with some form of the English verb “signify.”  These five other times are as follows:

John 12:32-33 – “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.  This he said, SIGNIFYING what death he should die.

John 18:31-32 – “Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death: that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, SIGNIFYING what death he should die.

John 21:18-19 – “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.  This spake he, SIGNIFYING by what death he should glorify God.  And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.

Acts 11:28 – “And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and SIGNIFIED by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.

Acts 25:27 – “For it seemeth to me unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not withal to SIGNIFY the crimes laid against him.

Not in a single one of these five verses does the use of the Greek verb “semaino,” as translated by some form of the English verb “signify,” means “a communication of information through symbolism.”  Rather, in every one of these five cases, the verb means “a communication of information through description.”  Although it may include some symbolism, the meaning of the verb itself does not at all indicate a communication with a focus upon communicating through symbolism, but rather indicates a communication with a focus upon communication through description.  Even so, although the prophetic utterances of the book of the Revelation may indeed include some symbolisms, the use of this verb in Revelation 1:1 would move us to expect, not a prophetic utterance that is primarily symbolic language, but a prophetic utterance that is PRIMARILY LITERAL description.

(Key Source: Pastor Scott Markle, Independent Fundamental Baptist)

Imagine how fearful these event would be if mainly literal. No wonder Jesus described this as a time “such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

Unbelievable how Catholics, Preterists and Amillennials refuse to accept Revelation as a prophetic book about end time events, but consider it merely as a book on church history. I am still waiting on them to present any historical evidence that any of these events have taken place in the past.

THE REVELATION FRAMEWORK – IN SMALL CHUNKS (PART 1)

BIBLICAL PRESUPPOSITIONS

  • God means what He says and says what He means.
  • The Bible is an integrated whole: Every detail is there by design (Mt 5:17,18).
  • Nothing is trivial: All things are for our learning (Rom 15:4).
  • God is His own interpreter.

REVELATION: “THE UNVEILING”

  • The consummation of all things.
  • 404 verses containing over 800 allusions from the Old Testament.
  • It presents the climax of God’s Plan for Man.

REVELATION: A PROPHETIC BOOK

Revelation 1:19 says, “Write the things which thou hast seen [The Vision of Christ, Chapter 1], and the things which are [The Seven Churches, Chapters 2,3], and the things which shall be hereafter [That which follows after the Churches, Chapters 4-22]”

The Book of Revelation covers the things of the past, present and future:

  • Past – The Things Which Thou Hast Seen (Rev 1:12-18)
  • Present – The Things Which Are (Rev 2 & 3)
  • Future – The Things Which Shall Be Hereafter (Rev 4-22)

Nevertheless, as seen above, the book mainly claims be of a futuristic / prophetic nature (1:3; 22:7, 10 18-19; cf.10:11):

  • In the Old Testament, there are 1,845 references to Christ’s rule on the earth as 17 OT books give prominence to the event.
  • In 216 chapters of the New Testament, there are 318 references to the Second Coming. It is mentioned in 23 of the 27 books.
  • For every prophecy relating to His First Coming, there are eight that relate to His Second Coming.
  • The New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed; The Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed.

We are being plunged into a period about which the Bible says more than about any other period in history – the end times. Sadly, there are however three different key interpretations being used by Christians:

BOOK WITH A SPECIFIC BLESSING

It is the only book in the Bible that contains a specific blessing, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”

In fact, it contains seven beatitudes

  • Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear and keep those things… (Rev 1:3).
  • Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord (Rev 14:13).
  • Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments (Rev 16:15).
  • Blessed are they who are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:9).
  • Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection (Rev 20:6).
  • Blessed is he that keepeth the words of the prophecy of this book (Rev 22:7)
  • Blessed are they that wash their robes (Rev 22:14).

THE STRUCTURE OF SEVENS

  • Seven Churches 1:4,11,20; 2; 3
  • Seven Seals 5; 6
  • Seven Trumpets 8, 9
  • Seven Bowls 15; 16; 17:1; 21:9
  • Seven Lampstands 1:12, 13, 20; 2:1
  • Seven Spirits 1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6
  • Seven Stars 1:16, 20; 2:1; 3:1
  • Seven Lamps 4; 5
  • Seven “Title-pairs” 2; 3
  • Seven Promises to the Overcomer 2;3
  • Seven Horns 5:6
  • Seven Eyes 5:6
  • Seven Angels 8:2,6; 15:1,6,7,8; 16:1; 17:1;21:9
  • Seven Thunders 10:3, 4
  • Seven Thousand 11:13
  • Seven Heads 12:3; 13:1; 17:3, 7, 9
  • Seven Crowns 12:3
  • Seven Plagues 15:1, 6, 8; 21:9
  • Seven Mountains 17:9
  • Seven Kings 17:10,11
  • Seven Years of Judgments 11:3; 12:6,14; 13:5
  • Seven “I Am’s” of Christ 1:8, 11, 17, 18; 21:6; 22:13,16;
  • Seven Doxologies in heaven 4:9-11; 5:8-13; 7:9-12; 11:16-18; 14:2,3; 15:2-4 ;19:1-6
  • Seven New Things 20, 21

…and many, many more.

THE PATMOS EXILE

Patmos is a small island, 6 miles by 10 miles, 40 miles from Miletus and 24 miles from the coast of  Turkey. John was exiled by Domitian (A.D. 81-96), the brother of Titus who destroyed Jerusalem. According to Irenaeus (2nd century A.D.), Revelation was written by John during the reign of Domitian.

Irenaeus, Clement, and Eusebius wrote that after Domitian died, John returned to Ephesus, went to the churches, and appointed leaders, and set things in order.

THE JUDGEMENTS

There are 3 categories of judgement, namely the Seals (Rev 8:5); Trumpets (Rev 11:19); and, Bowls (Rev 16:18).

THREE WOMEN

Revelation deals with the three women:

COMPARISON BETWEEN GENESIS VS REVELATION

GENESIS (Beginning) REVELATION (End)
Earth Created 1:1 Earth Passed away 21:1
Sun, moon, stars 1:14-16 Sun, moon, stars 4:12; 8:12
Earth’s government 37 Earth’s judgment 16:8
Sun to govern Day 1:16 No need of sun 21:23
Darkness called night 1:5 No night there 22:5
Waters He called seas 1:10 No more sea 21:1
A river for earth’s blessing 2:10-14 A river for New Earth 22:1,2
Man in God’s Image 1:26 Man Headed by Satan’s Image 13
Entrance of sin 3 End of sin 21, 22
Curse pronounced 3:14-17 No more curse 22:3
Death entered 3:19 No more death 21:4
Cherubim first mentioned 3:24 Cherubim final mention 19:4
Man driven out of Eden 3:24 Man restored 22
Tree of life guarded 3:24 Access to Tree of life 22:14
Sorrow & suffering enter 3:17 No more sorrow 22:4
Nimrod founds Babylon 10:8-10 Babylon falls 17, 18
God’s Flood to Destroy evil generation 6 – 9 Satan’s flood to Destroy elect generation 12
A bow: God’s promise 9:13 A bow for remembrance 4:3; 10:1
Sodom & Egypt: Corruption, judgement 13, 19 “Sodom & Egypt” (Jerusalem) 11:8
A confederation vs. Abraham’s people 14 Abraham’s Seed 12
A bride for Abraham’s son 24 A bride for Abraham’s Seed 19
Marriage of 1st Adam 2:18-23 Marriage of Last Adam 19
Promised Seed: Possess gate of enemies 29:8 Promised Seed possessing 19
Man’s dominion ceased, and Satan’s begun 3:24 Satan’s domain ended and man’s restored 22

A CHANGING WORLD – SOME KEY THEMES OF PROPHECY

  • Scattering and Regathering of Israel
  • Redemption and Judgement of the Righteous
  • Jerusalem
  • Russia (Magog)
  • Temple
  • Antichrist and False Prophet
  • European Super State
  • Ecumenical Religion
  • Global Government
  • Rise of the Occult
  • Babylon
  • Tribulation
  • The Wrath of God
  • The Second Coming
  • Spiritual Healing of Israel
  • The Millennial Reign of Christ On Earth
  • Judgement of the Unrigteous
  • Eternity – New Heavens and a New Earth

(KEY SOURCE: Supplemental Notes: The Book of Revelation – Chuck Missler)