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 Prophetic Times to the End - Part two

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PostSubject: Prophetic Times to the End - Part two   Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:33 am

Prophetic Times To The End

END TIMES REVEALED

Patmos Vision of Christ Glorified

Rev. 1:9 The location of the dramatic revelation of Christ recorded in this book was the Island of Patmos, John was sent to this Island as a prisoner following his effective pastorate at Ephesus, because of the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus put forth by John. John tells us He is a brother who is patient in his endurance of suffering “thlipsis” a Greek word meaning “afflicted, anguish, burdened, troubled.” Because of his commitment to the true God, so John is telling us that he was enduring these troubles because he was committed to God in testifying to the Roman world that Christ Jesus is the Son of God and that Christ died on the cross to save the world.

Rev. 1:10 John was given the revelation and the revelation occurred on the Lords day while he was in the Spirit. John was then projected forward in his inner self in a vision, not bodily, to that future day of the Lord when God will pour out His judgments on the earth. Hearing a loud voice like a trumpet, John was instructed to write on a scroll what he saw, and heard. Then he was to send it to seven churches located in Asia Minor (a province of Rome). This is the first of 12 commands in this book for John to write what he saw, which seems related to each preceding vision shown to John. One vision however, was not to be recorded [Ref Rev. 10:4]. Each of these churches was a self supported and pastored local church and the order of mention is geographical in a half moon circle, beginning with Ephesus on the coast, proceeding north to Smyrna and Pergamum, then swinging east and south to Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.

Rev. 1:12 John turns to see the source of the loud voice that was speaking to him. What he saw was seven golden lamp stands.

Rev. 1:13 among the lamp stands John saw someone “like a son of man” (Jesus Christ) an expression used in Daniel 7:13. The description was that of a priest dressed in a long robe with a golden sash around His chest. Jesus Christ is our High Priest resident at the heavenly tabernacle at the right hand of God the Father [Ref. Heb. 9: 11-15].

Rev. 1:14 John expresses in these next verses a description of “His (Jesus Christ) head, hairs, eyes, feet, voice, right hand, mouth, and His countenance.” Of His head and His hairs this description of our Lord compares with that of Daniel 7:9. The “Ancient of days” is none other than the Jehovah of the Old Testament, “God manifest in the flesh” [Ref. 1 Tim. 3:16]. God the Son has the same purity and eternity as God the Father, as signified by the whiteness of His head and hair. The vision here is that of the judge. He is seen wearing the tribunal garments befitting His royal office. He has arisen from His throne, and He is seen here standing to judge. The eyes like blazing fire, describes His piercing judgment of sin [Ref Rev. 2:18]. Here is a penetrating discernment that searches the innermost depths. John had seen His eyes filled with tears when He wept at the grave of Lazarus [Ref. John 11:35], but these eyes are the eyes of the judge before whom all things are laid bare. [Ref. Heb.4:13]. This speaks of His omniscience.

Rev. 1:15 The concept of the judge is further enhanced by, His feet were like burnished bronze glowing in a furnace. The brass speaks of righteous judgment for which He firmly stands. It is upon those feet of beauty that He came preaching the gospel of peace, the glad tidings [Ref. Isa. 52:7; Rom. 10:15]. But when He comes again He shall tread down all abominations and crush those who hate Him. The time of grace will have come to its end. Christ’s voice was compared to the sound the roar of rushing waters. This is the voice of power and authority that shall roar from on high upon His habitation [Ref. Jer. 25:30]. It is the voice that is full of majesty [Ref. Psa. 29:4]. When He comes again all that are in the graves shall hear His voice of final judgment for the unbeliever. But to His own His voice will give confidence and joy [Ref. 1 Thess. 4:16-18].

Rev. 1:16 John noticed that in His right hand He held seven stars. Significantly Christ held them in His right hand, indicating sovereign possession. The seven stars are the “angels” “angelos” a messenger a pastor, minister of the seven churches [Ref. Rev. 1:20]. The world has its stars in the fields of sports, and entertainment, but they that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars forever and ever [Ref. Dan. 12:3]. Every minister is under divine authority and receives his orders from Christ. Here the faithful messenger is securely held in the hand of his all-glorious Lord and head of the church.
Speaking of Christ’s role as a judge, John saw a sharp two-edge sword coming out of His mouth. Jesus Christ is no longer a baby in Bethlehem or a man of sorrows crowned with thorns. He is now the Lord of Glory. This is the Word of God [Ref. Heb. 4:12]. Men are trifling with that blessed blade, but they will learn one day that His Word-sword will be all that is needed to judge them [Ref. John 12:48].
John saw that His face glowed with brilliance like the sun shining in its strength. This countenance was seen by John also, when, with Peter and James, our Lord was transfigured before them. [Ref. Mt. 17:2]. The churches are lamps, but Christ is the sun and we but reflect His glory. Paul saw that countenance the day Christ saved him [Ref. Acts 9: 1-5), and thereafter he reflected his Lords glory. Thus we have seen the dignity, deity, and description of the Person (Jesus Christ) of this book.

Rev. 1:17-18 John states, when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead. Paul was struck to the ground in a similar way when he saw Christ in His glory [Ref. Acts 9:4]. Previously John had put his head on Jesus breast [Ref. John 13:25]. But now John could not be this familiar with the Christ in Glory.
John received reassurance from Christ in the words, do not be afraid. Christ states He is the eternal One, the First and the Last [Ref. Rev. 1:8; 2:8; 21:6; 22:13), resurrected One, the Living One, who though once dead is now alive forever and ever! Christ affirms to us that He alone has the keys of death and the place of the dead [Ref. John 5:21-26; 1Cor. 15:54-57; Heb. 2:14; Rev. 20:12-14]. Though the glorified Christ is to be reverenced, faithful believers can be assured they are accepted by the Son of God. The Christian’s death and resurrection are both in His hands.

Rev. 1:19 John has his second command to write. The subject of this record has three tenses: 1) write what he had already experienced, expresses as what you have seen; 2) write these present experiences, expressed as what is now; 3) write the future that I (Christ) will relate to you, expressed as what will take place later. This reveals to us the divine outline of the book of Revelation. John was told to write of “the things which he had seen,” this is what chapter one of the book of Revelation is about. This is telling us of the glorified Christ which was shown to John. Then John was to write the present message of Christ, “the things which are,” these words refer to the letters to the seven churches. We know this to be the prewritten history of the church age from Pentecost to the Rapture as expressed to us by Christ in the letters. The “things which are” compose chapters two and three of the book of Revelation, which have to do with the present age we live in. All present day churches are represented in the depiction of the seven churches Christ is writing too! And finally, the main purpose of the book of Revelation being prophetic, John was to introduce the events future. They comprise chapters four to Twenty-two. Chapter four commences with our Lord’s words to John, “come up hither, and I will show you things which must be hereafter. “Everything in the book from chapter four on to the end will occur after the church is taken out of the earth. The three divisions are clear and do not overlap. Each division is complete within itself and distinct from the other two. This is God’s own division of the book. Hold fast to it, and you cannot go astray in understanding its meaning. Do not at any time lift events from one division and attempt to place them in another [Ref. Rev. 22:18-19].
Rev. 1:20 In Revelation a symbol in vision is often presented first, and then its interpretation is given. We read of, in verse 12 & 16 the lamp stands and stars as symbols of, we have now in verse 20 the interpretation of the symbols. So here the seven stars were declared to be the angels “angelos” (see note vs. 16) or messengers to the seven churches, and the seven lamp stands are the seven churches themselves. The book of Revelation, instead of being a hopeless jumble of symbolic vision, is a carefully written record of what John saw and heard from our Lord, with frequent explanations of its theological and practical meanings.

Things Present-Seven Churches: “The things which are”

The messages to the churches have a threefold meaning. First, each letter has a primary association, having a local and direct bearing upon the church to which it was written. Certainly the letters were intended to be meaningful and helpful to those Christians in each church who first received the message. Each letter was a measuring rod by which each church could know its standing in the sight of the risen Lord.
Secondly, each letter has a personal application. In addition to being historical and local as regards an assembly in each city named, the message applies to each and every individual Christian. To each church Christ says, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” It should also be noted that as Christ addresses each church as a whole, Christ has a message to overcome addressed to each individual of the local church.
Thirdly, each church individually, and the seven churches combined, set forth prophetic understanding. We see in them seven ages or stages in the life of the church on earth, commencing with Pentecost and concluding with the rapture of the church, as the Lord dictated the letters to John.
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