The Book of Revelation
“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, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. 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.” Rev 1:1-3 (NKJV)
It is 96 A.D., the church is in what seems to be a “death-struggle” with the forces of evil, and the Christians seem to be losing! But things are not always what they seem to be outwardly. “Write, then, the things you see, both the things that are now, and the things that will happen afterward” (Rev. 1:19).
To understand this book, we must first begin at the fact that it was intended for the believers in John’s day and age (Rev. 2:1-3). It is God‘s answer to the prayers and tears of severely persecuted Christians who were scattered through the cities of Asia Minor. It must be studied in the light of the conditions that existed in the last ten years of the First Century A.D. It shows Jesus as the expediter (one who puts into effect an order or decree in the shortest possible time) of God’s Plan (Rev. 5). The Trumpets of chapter 9 answer the question: “How can a loving God allow pain and suffering?” To the Christian who suffers pain, this is a Seal (compare Rev. 7:2-3 note); but to the unbeliever, this pain and suffering is a Trumpet of warning! The theme of this book is stated very well in the words of Rev. 17:14. “They will fight against the Lamb: but the Lamb, and his called, chosen, and faithful followers with him, will defeat them, for he is Lord of Lords and King of Kings. ”
The LORD shall reign forever.
“Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: "We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned. The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth." Then the
was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And
there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.” Rev 11:15-19 (NKJV) temple of God
Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet. This introduces the End of the World and the Final Judgment, but does not describe it. The loud voices in heaven announce: “The power to rule over the world belongs now to our Lord and his Messiah, and he will rule forever and ever.” Compare I Cor. 15:24-28. It may seem as if Satan is the supreme ruler, and that all the power is on the side of the forces of evil. Revelation shows us that God is in control NOW! Judgment will reveal God’s mighty Power as it
actually is. Then the twenty-four elders. Symbolic of the Redeemed. They respond to what the loud voices announced by falling down and worshiping [see note on Rev. 5:14]. And have begun to rule! God has been ruling all along, but not in ways clearly seen. As Judgment begins, all opposition is crushed forever. Because it is the time. It has not been the right time, up till now. To reward your servants. God keeps his promises. Compare Rev. 22:12. It is the time to destroy those who destroy the earth! Sin pays its wage. The wicked earn the punishment they will receive. Compare Rev. 18:6. God’s temple in heaven was opened. This symbolic picture shows the beauty of God’s love to his children. The temple is wide open so all can see the ark holding the covenant. That ark symbolizes the real and perfect union [fellowship of 1 John 1:7 given real meaning] of God and his people. Flashes of lightning. The same ark holding the covenant is symbolic of God’s wrath to those who have rejected him. The lightning, sounds, thunder, earthquake, and hail symbolize God’s mighty power brought in wrath against the ungodly (compare Jude 15).
“Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." Jude 1:14-15
The Mystery of Faith Revealed.
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.”
Jude 1:24-25; Romans 16:25-27