Revelation – Chapter 7

Today the gospel is being preached all over the world. Some preaching in secret because of where they live, and some in the open. The world has repeatedly heard the message of salvation through Jesus Christ and yet following the Rapture of the Church, there will be multitudes who will go through the Great Tribulation because they rejected the gospel of Christ. Even then and during that time the gospel will be preached and some will still reject Christ.

144,000 Jews

Verse 1 – After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree.

First, we know that the earth is round, but the winds are in the directions of north, south, east, and west. The angels will be standing at the four points of the compass. Without these angels holding back the winds, the airborne plagues from the previous seals would spread around the world.

This verse is only one, which proves for all the “nay sayers,” God Almighty controls the weather.

Verse 2 – Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea,

Verse 3 – saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.”

God’s angels have different ranks, duties, and assignments and this angel, though not named, has authority over the other four angels. These four angels are commanded by this “fifth” angel to hold back their destruction until God’s servants are sealed. This “mark,” seal, will be seen by others signifying they belong to God.

Verse 4 – And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:

Verse 5 – of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed;

Verse 6 – of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand sealed; of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed;

Verse 7 – of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed;

Verse 8 – of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed;

Yes, there are twelve tribes of Israel, but two mentioned were not of the original. Dan and Ephraim are left out during the Tribulation Period because these two tribes were guilty of idolatry, thus disqualifying them in the end times. They are replaced with the tribe of priests, Levi, and the tribe of Joseph. Joseph was Ephraim’s father.

This is a literal account of who the 144,000 will be. It excludes the Gentiles. Still there are some who will spiritualize who these are. For instance, the Jehovah’s Witness, believe this refers to 144,000 of their members. However, this verse clearly states they will come from the twelve tribes of Israel, which means they are Jews by birth. They will not bow the knee to the Antichrist!

Verse 9 – After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one can number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,

After the 144,000 are sealed, the Antichrist and False Prophet will be furious because these 144,000 will be spreading the gospel and multitudes will believe. They will be martyred for their faith. These standing before the throne, wearing white robes, representing the righteousness of Jesus, will be in God’s presence, safe and sound.

Verse 10 – and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

Verse 11 – And all the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,

Verse 12 – saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

Do you look for opportunities to praise God? Some people have no idea what is taking place in heaven when a person accepts the Lord Jesus as Savior. These verses show us that the joy is overwhelming even to the angels, to be able to praise the Creator of all!

Verse 13 – Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in  white robes, and where did they come from?”

This elder knows who these in white robes are, but wants to make sure everyone knows.

Verse 14 – And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

I heard a preacher once say that during the Tribulation Period, no one will be saved because when the Church is raptured, the Holy Spirit will be taken from the earth. I guess he didn’t finish reading the book!

These verses also give us an idea of what had been taking place when the 144,000 preached the “Blood of the Lamb”message. People were saved!

Verse 15 – “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.

During the Tribulation Period, when people are saved, because of either starving, dying of disease, or being murdered, they will suddenly be in an instant of death, find themselves in the throne room of God, face-to-face with Jesus, surrounded by angels, clothed in white robes, protected by God!

Verse 16 – They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat;

Verse 17 – “for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

These saints that are saved during the Tribulation Period had done a great deal of weeping. They faced starvation, thirst, be-headings, and loss of loved ones. However, our might God, who is full of love and compassion, wipes away every tear!

 

 

 

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Revelation – Chapter 6

In this chapter, the scene shifts from future events in heaven to future events on the earth.

Verse 1 – Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.”

Verse 2 – And I looked and behold a white horse. And he who sat on it had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

This rider is not Christ. Why? Because Christ is the One opening the seal. This rider comes on the scene with a bow, signifying military power. Notice, nothing is said about “arrows,” so this person will come forth as a man of peace at first – the Antichrist.

Crowns were worn by heads of state. Those who wore them usually earned or inherited them. But this man will receive his crown as a “gift,” meaning he will not earn it.

The Church has been raptured and the earth has been left in ciaos, no doubt. So, the world will be looking for a ruler who can put an end to nuclear weapons, wars, environmental and economic problems, poverty, etc.

But most of all, people will be looking for an explanation of what happened to millions of people who suddenly disappeared. This Antichrist will persecute and kill all those who oppose him. He will negotiate peace treaties that are fake.

Second Seal

Verse 3 – When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.”

Verse 4 – And another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.

This symbolism of the red horse is “blood” and the sword is “war.” This time was clearly prophesied by Christ in Matthew 24:6, 7. The outcome will probably be the “Ten Kingdoms Federation” over which the Antichrist will become head.

This rider has the authority to take peace from the earth. Not only will peace be taken from the nations, but from the individuals also. People will start fighting each other and killing each other for less reason than they do now.

Third Seal

Verse 5 – When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” And I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.

Verse 6 – And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.”

War will rule the hole world after the Rapture. War will cause the collapse of social, physical, and political structures. They will destroy, confiscate, and hoard food supplies, causing famine, poverty, and death.

The set of scales always represents economic disaster and famine. The amount of money that it will take to just by a days worth of food will be astronomical!

A danarius was a day’s wage. There will be plenty of oil and wine because they do not need to be cultivated, so their ruthless destruction is forbidden.

Fourth Seal

Verse 7 – When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.”

Verse 8 – And I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. and power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with a sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.

Notice how things get progressively worse; the first horse was only partially armed – went out to conquer; the second horse carries a single large sword – taking peace and causing bloodshed through fighting. The third horse – economic collapse and famine; and the fourth – a quarter of all the earth, death and hell following.

The sword signifies continuing war and bloodshed; famine signifies starvation; plague signifies diseases; and the wild beast of the earth begin to devour and come against the people. (Remember, no peace, even among the animals.) God will show the world how wrong it was to worship “Mother Nature.” Hungry animals will turn on the unbelieving world and add to the death and eternal damnation of more than a billion people.

Fifth Seal

Verse 9 – When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.

The Martyrs whose “souls” John saw are not the Martyrs of “past ages”; those were taken up to heaven with the Church. These souls are the Martyrs who will be killed during the Tribulation Period.

After the Church is caught up, the preaching of the “Gospel of the Kingdom” will resume (Matthew 24:14). It is the souls of the martyrs of those who will be persecuted during this time that John saw. They asked that their deaths be avenged, but are told to rest for a “little while” until they were joined by others.

Verse 10 – And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”

The souls of the Tribulation Saints are under the altar crying out instead of praising God around the throne with the rest of the Church. However, they are fully conscience and able to rationalize the torture, murder, and persecution they have endured. They have a sense of justice and want vindication, and they want their glorified bodies.

These martyrs will not be rebuked by Jesus for asking to be vindicated. Jesus just tells them to be patient a little longer.

Verse 11 – And a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

These saints do have a body though because they were given the white robes of righteousness representing Christ.

Verse 12 – I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.

This earthquake will be massive! The whole earth will go into convulsions. This very well could be caused by a nuclear explosion and when that happens, the sun is darkened and the moon turns blood red.

Verse 13 – And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind.

Remember when interpreting Scripture – When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense. In this case we are reminded that there are stars bigger than the earth.

Since the word “stars” in the Greek translation could also be translated “meteors,” this could indicate a meteor shower and could also mean a missile attack.

Verse 14 – Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.

This does sound like a nuclear war. During a nuclear blast the wind is rapidly pushed out (displaced) for several miles, creating a vacuum at the center of the blast site. And then suddenly, this wind, like a giant tidal wave, rushes violently back into the vacuum. The sky actually rolls up on itself. This explosion will be so great that every mountain and island on the earth will move.

Verse 15 – And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hide themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains,

Verse 16 – and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!

Verse 17 – “For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

Regardless of one’s status, there will be worldwide panic. Millions will rush to find cover and survival will be their only concern.

Will they then call on the name of Jesus? The Bible says they will call on the mountains and rocks to hide them. And they know exactly whom is causing all this destruction – God. Isn’t that what people do when hiding from their sin – call on everything but God?

The Lord Jesus Christ will either be your Savior or your Judge. If people reject His mercy they will be judged in absolute justice and wrath.

The “great day of His wrath” is another way of saying the Tribulation Period” has come. The multitudes of people who have rejected Jesus will recognize that day has come when the first seal is broken.

So many Christians won’t even attempt to read this book, and that’s just sad. When we read any instruction manual, do we leave out the end? No one should want to live through any part of this book, but multitudes will, because they have rejected the only One that can offer them salvation and an eternity with Christ in heaven. The Bible states that “Hell has enlarged itself,” so don’t be part of that . Make your decision today where you are going to spend eternity becasue it only get worse after this chapter.

 

 

 

 

Revelation – Chapter 5

First let me give a little history of what is about to happen next. In Chapter 12 of the Book of Daniel, the archangel Michael is talking to Daniel about a book. Daniel 12:1 – “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book. (Verse 2) And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Verse 3) Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the ferment, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. (Verse 4) “But you Daniel shut up the words and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

The rapture of the Church has taken place and the book that was shut up is about to be opened.

Verse 1 – And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals.

Verse 2 – Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?”

In John’s day, books were written on scrolls – rolled up and sealed with clay or wax. The scroll that John sees has the full account of what God has in store for the world. The seals are located throughout the scroll so as each seal is broken, more can be read.

John sees this scroll in God’s right hand that is sealed seven times with writing on both sides. John also saw a strong angel. The only thing we have to show that he is a very strong angel is he has the authority to speak in front of the presence of God.

Verse 3 – And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it.

Verse 4 – So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it.

Verse 5 – But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”

John was heartbroken, but suddenly one of the twenty-four elders told John to stop crying. The Lion of the tribe of Judah and the root of David are two Old Testament names for the Son of God.

Judah, one of the twelve sons of Israel (also called Jacob) was also the first leader of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. God promised that the Messiah would come from that tribe whose symbol was a lion – Jesus.

Jesus is also the root of David. God promised that one of David’s descendants would be the Messiah and His kingdom will  last forever. His earthly mother was Mary, a descendant of David. Jesus came as a lamb the first time, but His second coming will be that as a lion – King.

Verse 6 – And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out in all the earth.

John the Baptist introduced Jesus by saying, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” Jesus is our sacrificed Lamb.

Seven is the number of perfection in the Bible and horns are symbols of power. The seven horns on the Lamb showed that Jesus has perfect power. After being raised from the dead, Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and in earth has been given to Me (Matthew 28:18).

The seven eyes are defined as the seven Spirits of God, all-seeing omniscient vision of the Holy Spirit, sees all and knows all.

Verse 7 – Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.

Verse 8 – Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

Whose to say that we won’t continue to pray for the ones that will become believers that are about to begin their life in the Tribulation, after we are raptured? Maybe these prayer are for those left on earth. All I know is the Bible says they are the prayers of the saints.

Verse 9 – And they sang a new song, saying, “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your hand out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

Verse 10 – and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.”

Jesus is worthy to be praised because with His blood He paid for my sin! Not only my sins, but the sins of the whole world, every tribe, every people and nation – because He so love the world!

This new song the elders and the creatures sang was the song of “Redemption.”

Verse 11 – Then I looked, and I heard a voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,

Verse 12 – saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”

Can you imagine what John saw? Jesus is worthy of all power – the authority to do the Father’s will; to forgive sins, give eternal life, and command the angels. All riches – everything belongs to Him. All wisdom – God’s counsel, His understanding, the ability to create, uphold, govern, judge, and redeem. All strength – perform miracles, conquer, create, destroy cast into the lake of fire. All honor – the total respect for being God Almighty, in honor of worship. All glory – God’s glory, God’s magnificence, God’s splendor, the royal dignity, and the royal majesty. All praise – worship acknowledgment, commendation.

And there we have the portrait of Christ.

Verse 13 – And every creature which is in heaven and on earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!”

And John heard every creature,, yes animals, birds, fish, sing God’s praises. Every creature, alive or dead. Every creature who has been judged or will be judged. Every creature from the days of Adam to the Rapture of the Church will praise Him. Every knee will bow also!

Verse 14 – Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.

The whole universe will worship in complete adoration of the Living God. One day every believer will be int he midst of what we just read, singing and praising God Almighty!

 

 

Revelation – Chapter 4

The Throne of God

Verse 1 – After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”

After John is shown the “Church Age” he hears a loud voice telling him to “Come up here.” This voice like a trumpet is the same kind of voice the Bible says will rapture the church.

Just to put at ease those who say the word “rapture” is not in the Bible, they are correct. However, this is correct only to a point. Rapture is an English version of a word that appears in Latin translations. (Keep in mind that most of the New Testament was written in Greek which was then translated into Latin and then to English.) Several verses of the Bible in Latin translation, contain the word “Repere” or one of its derivations. It means to be “caught up,” “plucked up,” or “taken by force.”

Verse 2 – Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.

This expression, “I was in the Spirit, means that the Holy Spirit was giving John a vision. All prophecy comes from God through the Holy Spirit.

“One sat on the throne” – I think it’s odd that John doesn’t give any description of Him who sat on the throne, nor does he indicate who He is by name. Neither do Isaiah or Ezekiel attempt to describe the appearance of Deity, nor are there any intimations of that appearance given from which a picture or image could be formed. (I think this is so people can’t make an image or idol made with human hands and then it becomes idolatry.) I also believe it still holds true that we are not to make any image of things in the heavens so people don’t bow down to them. We bow before our King only, not an imitation.

Verse 3 – And He who sat there was like jasper and a sardius stone in appearance, and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.

John still does not describe His form, but His spender only.

Jasper and sardius (Carnelian stone) were the first and the last stones in the breastplate of the High Priest. They remind us that Jesus is our High Priest forever and ever.

Jasper is translucent like a diamond and represents the purity and holiness of Jesus. And sardius is fiery red like the blood that Jesus shed on the cross.

Notice the rainbow is a full rainbow around the throne. We only see half of the rainbow on earth, but in heaven it is a full circle.

Verse 4 – Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.

The number twenty-four occurs six times in the Old Testament. In every case, it is associated with the priests of Israel. At one occasion, the entire nation of Israel was represented by twenty-four special priests. But if we wait until Chapter 5, verse 10, we will hear them speak and identify themselves: “And hath made us kings and priests to our God’ and we shall reign on the earth.” And 1 Peter in 2:9, explains the “crowns of gold,” as a “royal priesthood.”

Verse 5 – And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Thunderings and lightnings represent a significant event is approaching. The Tribulation Period is about to begin.

We learned in Chapter 1 verse 4 that there are seven Spirits of God, so these lamps are designed to be symbols of the Holy Spirit.

Verse 6 – Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back.

In front of the throne was a beautiful crystal, glassy sea. Prophecy experts say the sea of glass is: (1) the Church because the sea is a Biblical symbol for the masses of humanity, (2) and the water of the word. Whatever it is, it indicates that all is calm in front of the throne of God. Nothings is present that would cause turbulence or unrest.

“Four living creatures” are living beings and are some type of angelic beings who possess characteristics of the seraphim and the cherubim. Their eyes indicate they can see all that is happening in every direction. They could be the highest and greatest of all heavenly beings.

Verse 7 – The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle.

(Some versions of the Bible say the second creature is an ox, but three out of the five text I use say “calf.”)

The first creature was like a lion – Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. The Lion is the king of the beast and Jesus is the King of Kings.

The second creature was like a calf – representing endurance, strength and perseverance, a beast that carries a burden (Jesus carried our sins).

The third was like a man – Jesus was fully human, representing intelligence and wisdom, that the operations of the government of God are conducted with intelligence and wisdom and power. Meaning, the divine administration is not the result of blind fate or chance, it is founded on clear knowledge of things on what is best to be done, on what will conduce the common good.

The fourth living being – No other bird is supposed to fly so high; none ascends with so much power; none is so majestic and grand in his ascent towards the sun as the eagle. Just as an eagle rules the skies, Jesus rules the heavens and reigns over all things.

Verse 8 – And the four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”

The six wings are characteristic of the seraphim. They never stop singing and they never sleep. They are there to exalt the name of Jesus, the One who was, and is, and is to come!

Verse 9 – Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever,

Verse 10 – the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:

Verse 11 – “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.”

The twenty-four elders follow the lead of the four living beings. They worship the One on the throne by falling down and placing their crowns before the throne. They are totally submitted with His authority and power. This is a good lesson for all believers to follow.

We may not understand a great deal about His marvelous creation, but we understand it was brought into existence because Jesus wanted it to exist. And it continues to exist because it is His will.

We often forget what is taking place outside of our small world until we begin to focus on the bigger picture. I personally think that Christians would act more like “Christians” if they read this book more often. There are some things that are about to take place whether some believe it or not that no one will want to go through! God said it will happen, so it will come to pass.

 

 

Revelation – Chapter 3

Message to Sardis

Verse 1 – “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars; “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

The problem with the church in Sardis was not heresy, but spiritual. They looked good to others on the outside but corrupt on the inside. Sardis had become a church in name only, a pretend church, one that was just going through the motions.

We can place this church period when Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the church door in Wittenburg, Germany. This began what is called the “Reformation.” The changes, however, did not dislodge the old leadership. In a short time the Reformation stalled and complacency set in.

Verse 2 – “Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.

Verse 3 – “Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.

It was time for this church to have a spiritual overhaul. They were urged to obey the Christian truth they had heard when they first believed in Christ. They needed to repent.

Verse 4 – “You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.

Verse 5 – “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

Some believe that he “Book of life” and the “Lamb’s Book of life” are one in the same, but if they are, why is it we don’t find anyone in Scripture being blotted out of the “Lamb’s Book of life, only the “Book of life?” These are two different books.

Every single person that was and is born is in the “Book of life.” The “Lamb’s Book o life” are all those who have been truly born-again and follow Jesus until the end.

Verse 6 – “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ‘

Message to Philadelphia

Verse 7 – “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”:

Verse 8 – “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.

This church in Philadelphia was more like what he Church should be. It was a working, evangelistic, Bible-believing church.

In the mid 1800’s, people began to be converted at he rate of 10,000 a week in New York City. The movement spread throughout New England. The revival went up the Hudson and down the Mohawk. In one year (1857), more than one million people were converted. The revival crossed the Atlantic, broke out in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and England, South Africa, South India – anywhere there was an evangelist preaching people were being saved.

So what happened? People became complacent; allowed sin to run ram-pit in the church, and most importantly put other things first instead of putting Jesus high and lifted up! They forgot how to repent.

Verse 9 – “Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie – indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.

Many fail to live up to their spiritual claims. That was true of the Jews in Philadelphia, and it is still true of the Church today. Not everyone who claims to be a child of God truly is.

Verse 10 – “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

The “hour of trial” or “testing” is the Great Tribulation period. Right there, Jesus says He will keep the true believer from this time period. The believer will be raptured to “meet Him in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). God knows who truly belong to Him.

Verse 11 – “Behold I come quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.

Verse 12 – “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God And I will write on him My new name.

Entering heaven, the Jew Jerusalem, never to leave again, will be blissfulness, no more doubt, no more temptations, no more disease, and we will never leave and that’s a promise.

Verse 13 – “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ‘

Message to Laodicea

Verse 14 – “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:

Verse 15 – “I know your works that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.

Church members in Laodicea were lukewarm. Any believer can find themselves in one of three stages: Cold – formal, without spiritual life, Lukewarm – indifferent, or straddling the fence; and Hot – passionate and zealous for the things of God.

These people were self-satisfied, had everything they needed, complacent. According to Jesus, this is the worse state to be in. Is this where the church is today?

Verse 16 – “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth.

I could preach a couple of pages on this subject, but let me make this very plain and simple. A lukewarm Christian is not acceptable to Christ! And where do you think you will end up if He spews you out of His mouth?

Verse 17 – “Because you say, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing – and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked –

Verse 18 – “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

This rebuke is for all the fakers and pretenders who call themselves Christians in name only. Mined gold is placed into a red-hot furnace not to destroy it, but to purify it. Trials are meant to humble us and sins are drawn out (through repentance), and the residue is left – an improved Christian.

We buy from Jesus with a spiritual currency, a faith that grows stronger with every test. Without this spiritual currency, we are paupers. Apart from faith in Jesus Christ, we will leave this world with nothing.

The white garments are the righteousness of Christ, the only thing that will hide our spiritual nakedness.

Verse 19 – “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

Verse 20 – “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

Verse 21 – “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

Over and over Jesus says, “To him who overcomes…” We all have things in this life to overcome, but He is always there with us to bring us to victory in Him.

Christ’s discipline to His children are for two reasons: (1) to cause people to be honest about their sins, and (2) to bring them to repentance. You do know that God’s goodness will bring us to repentance, don’t you?

I’m sure many of you have seen that famous painting by Holman Hunt of Jesus standing outside a door knocking. It was brought to the artist’s attention that he forgot to paint a door-knob on the outside. Holman replied, “The door is a picture of a human heart, and the handle is on the inside!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revelation – Chapter 2

Message to Ephesus

Verse 1 – “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:

Ephesus was one of the largest and most powerful cities in the Roman Empire. It was devoted to the worship of Diana (Artemis), the fertility goddess, and the emperor of Rome, who was considered a god.

Verse 2 – “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars;

Verse 3 – “and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary.

Ephesus refused to tolerate sin among its members, even in the midst of a city that worshiped a pagan god.

We are living in times of widespread sin and sexual immorality. Too many are open-minded in the church calling them “choices of alternative life-styles.” However, when a body of believers begins to tolerate sin in a church, it is lowering the standards and compromise in its witness for God.

Verse 4 – “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

Verse 5 – “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place – unless you repent.

In spite of all the good works they did, there was a decline in their relationship with Jesus, by not loving Him the way they once did.

When this church first began, like many churches today, their highest priority is Jesus. As time went on they started backsliding. When sin starts to creep in, a little here, a little there, we tend to not rejoice in the grace and forgiveness we have been given. Do you love Christ as much today as when you first believed?

The lost will come into a body of believers with all kinds of hang-ups and mess. However, they are not to stay that way after being born-again. The life-styles that are contrary to God’s Word have to go.

Verse 6 – “But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

There is not a lot written on the Nicolaitans, only what is written in Revelation 2:15. But it is supposed that their doctrine and practices held the same as the doctrine of Balaam. This passage relates to a class of people who were in the practice of seducing Christians to participate in the sacrificial feasts of the pagans.

Verse 7 – “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” ‘

Message to Smyrna

Verse 8 – “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, “These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life:

Verse 9 – “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.

Smyrna had a large population bitterly opposed to Christianity. When Domitian issued an edict declaring emperor worship mandatory for all inhabitants of the Roman Empire, he exempted the Jews from this requirement. The Jews did not want this religious freedom extended to Christians. Some of the Jews still had a bitterness against their own Jews who had become Christians.

Verse 10 – “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you in prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you a crown of life.

Verse 11 – “He who has ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” ‘

You may have noticed that Jesus didn’t find any faults with this church, He only encouraged them to remain faithful unto death. If they remained faithful to Him unto death, they would receive a crown of life and be spared of the second death, which will come at the final judgment to all those who reject Christ! This will take place at the Great White Throne Judgment.

Message to Pergamos

Verse 12 – “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, ‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:

Verse 13 – “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.

This particular church was located in a city run by heathen intellectuals – a city given over to idolatry and the temple worship of  Athena, Caesar Augustus, Dionysus, Asklepios, Hadrian, and Zeus. Satan had a lot of power there, but the Holy Spirit was stronger.

Verse 14 – “But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.

Verse 15 – Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which things I hate.

To understand Balaam and Balak, you have to go back to the Old Testament. Balaam was a prophet and Balak was a king who gave Balaam money to curse the children of Israel.

Here’s the jest of it: Balaam was told by Balak to have the women of his country to intermarry with the Jewish men and entice them to worship idols and commit idolatry. The people of Pergamum had become liberal about sin and were enticing others to sin.

As best we can tell about what the thinking of the Nicolaitans was, a person’s spirit was good and the flesh was evil. They believed what was done in the flesh had no effect on the spirit.

Verse 16 – ‘Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.

Jesus warned this church to stop following the doctrine of compromise. The body of believers were to follow the doctrine of the gospel not the Nicolaitans.

Verse 17 – “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name is written which no one knows except him who receives it.” ‘

Some of the manna that God fed the children of Israel which was placed in the Ark of the Covenant – thus hidden as a reminder for future generations.

Since we cannot see Jesus, He is our “hidden manna.” He promises that we will never hunger spiritually because He is always with us.

As far as the white stone: In John’s day a stone was used in the courts of justice in voting whether a person was guilty or innocent of a crime. The white stone was for innocent, black stone, guilty.

The new name, I believe is for the Christian, and that new name will be known by the person and Jesus only.

Message to Thyatira

Verse 18 – “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, ‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:

Jesus’ eyes depicts His penetrating insight. His eyes are blazing as He looks upon the wickedness of this church. His feet like fine brass is a reminder that He is the judge of His Church. Those who bring evil into the body of believers will be judged by the Son of God.

Verse 19 – “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.

Verse 20 – “Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and beguile My servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat things sacrificed to idols.

The original “Jezebel” was the wife of Ahab in the Old Testament and she was as evil as they come. This Jezebel had set herself up as a prophetess, but was nowhere near to God’s teachings. The church of Thyatira was allowing this woman to teach things such as sexual immorality to the believers.

Verse 21 – “and I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.

Verse 22 – “Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation,m unless they repent of their deeds.

Now, we all know that adultery between people is sin  and that in no uncertain terms should a person committing adultery be allowed in leadership in the church, but this is bigger than that.

Sin being allowed to run ram-pet in a church body, false teaching, and taking the focus off of Jesus in the church is all adultery. When a church turns itself into anything other than a place to worship the One True King, is playing with fire! These leaders in this church knew about her and what she was doing, and they allowed it!

Verse 23 – “And I will kill her children with death. And all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.

Do you not see that it is just as wrong to allow sin to take hold in a church as it is to participate in it? People today will argue that “Jezebel” was entitled to her own beliefs, but those beliefs had consequences to God’s judgment. Those beliefs were passed on from generation to generation. All those who follow are led astray. All those who follow or tolerate this teaching and belief system will suffer the second death and be cast into the lake of fire unless they repent.

Verse 24 – “But to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, and who have not known the depths of Satan, as they call them, I will put on you no other burden.

Verse 25 – “But hold fast what you have till I come.

Beware Christians of any new teaching that takes you away from the true doctrine of the gospel. Scripture teaches there is only one way to God and Salvation, and it means exactly what it says – through Jesus Christ.

Verse 26 – “And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations –

Verse 27 – ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the potter’s vessels shall be broken to pieces – as I also have received from My Father;

I’m going to say something that is going to sound harsh to a lot of people, but we all need to know and understand this: “If you were baptized as an infant, were told you were saved at 6, 7, 8 because you attended a “vacation Bible school and so on and have lived a life unto yourself or anyway contrary to God’s word, you are not a true Christian!” I’ve been to too many funerals where I know the person laying in the casket was meaner than a snake, never lived one day for the Lord, and the relatives say things like, “Well, their in heaven now watching over us and I”ll see them again.” No they are not in heaven! Just because you love someone and they die, they do not become a saint. after death. The Bible says you will know them, meaning Christians, by their fruit. No fruit no Christian.

Scripture says over and over, “If you continue in My word and do My commandments…” If you continue in His word and follow His commandments and continue in His works unto the end, meaning death. Jesus says right here again, “If you keep My works,” until the end.

Verse 28 – “and I will give him the morning star.

The bright and morning star is also one of the names of Jesus, so when He promises to give the morning start to the overcomers, the gift is Himself and eternal life. Believe and receive, doubt and go without.

Verse 29 – “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to he churches!” ‘

Jesus ends each letter with this exhortation. Take heed and pay attention to the Holy Spirit living on the inside of each believer of what He says. Many churches today are allowing the spirit of “Jezebel” int their congregations. This should not be tolerated.

The Book of Revelation – Chapter 1

Introduction: Most people won’t even attempt to read this part of the Bible, but Jesus promised a blessing to all those who read, hear, and keep those things written in this book. He also promised to curse all those who add to or take away from it.

This book is intense and very detailed and could take me weeks to get through each chapter. So be patient when it has been a while before another chapter shows up on the blog.

There is a rule of interpretation when reading Scripture: When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense. The Bible explains itself.

Revelation is God’s message to all of us who are concerned about what is going to happen in the “end times.” This world is not getting better and better, but worse and worse. However, for the Christian, this book reveals God’s total control. It will encourage the Christian to persevere and gain eternal life.

As we begin to study, keep in mind: Chapters 1-3 is the Church Age we are now living in. Chapters 4-19 is “From the Rapture to the Second Coming.” This age is drawing closer every day. Chapters 20-22 is called the “Millennium and Beyond.”

Author: John, one of the twelve disciples wrote Revelation under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He had been imprisoned on the island of Patmos when he wrote this.

History: This book was originally written in Greek around 96 A.D. and by 250 A.D. the entire Bible had been translated into what is known as Old Lain, but the first officially recognized Latin translation (the Vulgale) did not appear until 382 A.D. The first officially recognized English translation (the King James Bible) was circulated in 1611 A.D.

Revelation is filled with symbols. There are certain symbols used throughout the Bible to mean… For instance the word “leaven” is usually meant for “sin.”

So many have different view points on when the church will be raptured, but I personally believe in pre-tribulation. I have my reasons, which will come out later on. Take your time when reading this precious book, it will help us all to be more compassionate towards the lost.

Chapter 1

The Church Age – The word “revelation” comes from the Greek word “apokalupsis.” It means uncovering, the unveiling, or disclosing. Revelation is the disclosing of Jesus Christ. The Church Age is the period of time that the “Church” is on the earth. The Church Age started fifty days after Jesus was raised from the dead on Pentecost (The Feast of Weeks). It will end when the Church is raptured.

Verse 1 – The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants – things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,

Verse 2 – who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, and to all things that he saw.

God is not on our time-table, so when John says, “must shortly come to pass,” it could be a year or a thousand years, or even thousands of years, which it has been. But the time is closer now then ever before.

Verse 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 near.

God’s intention is, for all Christians to know what is going to happen in the end times. So many won’t even attempt to read this book. Some say it is too difficult to understand, so they don’t bother. Some denominations have even removed it from their Bibles.

However, blessed are those who read, hear, and keep those things written in it and take it to heart. Do you want to be blessed? Then read it.

Verse 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,

The greeting to the seven churches is “grace” and “peace.” Without the grace of God we would all perish and without the peace of God we would be unsure of our salvation.

The Holy Spirit has a seven-fold nature. This nature is made up of seven virtues which are called the “seven spirits.” The seven spirits are: the Spirit of the Lord – the nature of Jesus; the Spirit of wisdom – the ability to make the right decision; the Spirit of understanding – the ability to understand everything; the Spirit of counsel – the ability to give sound advice; the Spirit of might – the power to do what God wants; the Spirit of knowledge – the ability to know beyond human comprehension; and the Spirit of the fear of the Lord – the ability to respect God’s will.

Verse 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,

Verse 6 – and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Jesus Christ, the faithful witness – the first coming of Jesus was in the flesh – Scripture fulfilled. Ruler over the kings of the earth – the second coming. Even now people don’t realize God is in charge of how things will play out.

“Kings and priests” – Christians are a “royal priesthood.” Christians to the fact that they, in common with the Savior, will reign triumphant over all enemies; and that having gained a victory over sin and death and hell, they may be represented as reigning together.

Verse 7 – Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, and they also who pierced Him. And all tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

John witnessed Jesus death and never forgot the horror of it. Christians will have nothing to fear at His coming, but those who have rejected His love and forgiveness, will basically wail in fear of His coming.

Verse 8 – “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

There was no beginning to God’s existence, and there will be no end. He always was and always will be. Jesus is the Creator of all things and will be the final judge of all things!

Verse 9 – I, John, both, your brother and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Verse 10 – I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,

Verse 11 – saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

The Lord’s Day is Sunday and John was praying when the Holy Spirit came upon him and he heard a loud voice that sounded like a trumpet. By this time there might have been thousand of churches, but Jesus picked seven. He placed them in order of the prophecies revealing the future history of the Church.

Verse 12 – Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. and having turned I saw seven golden lampstands,

Verse 13 – and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.

The seven lampstand represent the seven churches Jesus mentioned earlier. Next John turned and saw Jesus standing in the midst of the seven churches. He is the great High Priest, always with His Church down though the ages.

Verse 14 – His head and His hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire:

In Daniel 7:9, he describes God’s hair like wool. Now Jesus hair is as pure and white as the brightness of heaven. His eyes like a fire, a penetrating glare over the churches, seeing good deeds and bad deeds.

Verse 15 – His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters;

Again, Daniel 10:6, “And His arms and His feet like in color to polished brass.” The word means “white brass.” A metal distinguished for its cleanness or whiteness.

“And His voice” – the voice that spoke everything into creation; the voice that can raise the dead; the voice that has all authority over all creation, and the voice over heaven and hell.

Verse 16 – He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shinning in its strength.

The seven stars are seven angels (1:20) watching after the seven churches. The Bible tells us that the two-edged sword represents the Word of God; it penetrates even to the dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Jesus deals with His church through His Word. We will be judged by His Word.

The Shekinah Glory – the Son of righteousness and the light of the world.

Verse 17 – And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.

Verse 18 – I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and Death.

There was none before Jesus there will be none after. There never was a time He did not exist. He is from everlasting to everlasting. Jesus conquered death and hell by His resurrection, so we Christians should not fear death.

Verse 19 – “Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are and the things which will take place after this.

John’s vision in this chapter (1) is of past events. They will not be repeated. (Meaning, don’t let a false prophet tell you that they saw Jesus in this setting. It happened to John and John only, one time.)

The events in chapters 2 and 3 are present events. The future events, Chapters 4-22, will not take place until after the Church Age.

Verse 20 – “The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven golden lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.”

The Bible interprets itself. Whether the stars are literal angels or spiritual leaders is debatable, but I tend to think when Jesus says angels He means angels! The lampstands signify the Churches and they foretell the history and the future of the church from Pentecost to the Rapture. Once a mystery is revealed, it becomes a revelation.