The Revelation of Jesus Christ
Good Evening, glad everyone could join us tonight turn with me in your Bibles this evening to the book of Revelation. After much prayer it was made clear to me that it was time to revisit this sacred book and wade through its depths in order that we might know and understand the things contained within it. I wanted to begin tonight by once again looking at the man who wrote it. The apostle John is unanimously believed the writer of this vision, there is no reason to believe anyone else wrote this vision down, At this point in history the Apostle John is the last living apostle everyone else has passed away. Paul has died, James has been clubbed to death and thrown off a cliff, Peter has been crucified on an X shaped cross upside down, Stephen has been stoned, and as the only remaining Apostle he faced adversity.
He is the lead pastor of seven churches, and travels even in his old age around sharing the gospel and leading these churches. It was this position he held that lead him to write 1,2,and 3rd John while he was in his old age. He writes these books as a grandfather to his little grandchildren in the faith, this is why he uses the phrase “my little children”
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
John is writing as an elderly man trying to encourage and grow these young Christians into maturity. The reason i mention this is because the apostle John wrote these letters 1, 2, and 3rd John at the same time or right before he wrote down this revelation given to him by none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. so how do we find John in this book?
Well John has been going through trial after trial in his service to the Lord, the great historian tells us that the apostle John had been witnessing boldly for the Lord Jesus Christ when he was seized by Nero somewhere during the period of 54 A.D. - 58 A.D. They seized him and tried to put an end to what they knew was the final apostle thinking they could stop the spread of Christianity by taking out its final major leader.
So they decided to make a public display of him, that they would boil him alive in a vat of oil, they thought surely this form of intense humiliating death would quiet the other Christians and cause them to back off, but to their surprise when they lowered the apostle John he didn't die, the historian records that they all stood amazed that though he was burned slightly he had all of his members in tack and he was recognizable. Now were talking about a miracle here, no one should have survived this, in sheer frustration these leaders decided that they would put an end to this once and for all, and they carried the wounded apostle and placed him on a ship, where they carried him to the alcatraz like island called patmos.
Now the problem with patmos is that there is very little vegetation on the island so people didnt really last all that long. There was a severe cross wind which made it difficult for crops to grow, so there was literally no plant life hardly at all, surrounded by salt water meant there was nothing clean to drink and there the apostle lived out the rest of his days.
We know this is where John was located by his statement in
I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
Against all odds god spared him from the oil, now this elderly man who is wounded has to try to survive on this hellish island for the days he has left. I mean if you are John you have to be thinking man, what a way to end it all, my work here is done. but that’s not what we see in this book it was here in this terrible situation that God gave the most influential and important books of the Bible to John.
Rev. is the #1 least preached out of book over the last decade.
Yet this book shouldn’t be that difficult the title is “REVELATION” the revelation of Jesus Christ, the word revelation means the unveiling. When the Lord gave this vision to the apostle John He wasn’t trying to veil anything or leave anything hidden from plain sight. He desires for his children to glean from this book and move forward in the knowledge of his revelation and use it to glorify the son as the last days approach.
Revelation is also the only book of the Bible that contains a promise of blessing.
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.
Who is the revelation for?
Who is the revelation for?
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,
there we get the purpose of the book: “The show unto His servants the things which must shortly come to pass. So who is this book written to the saved or the unsaved?
The saved: his servants so its written to show them the things which must shortly come to pass after this. It is here to reveal things. Not to hide things go to the last verse in (1)
As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
Now many people will look at this book and think thatits a very mysterious book and alot of Christians will shy away from studying the book of Revelation, because they think it is so hard to understand but really its not. In verse 20 he presents a symbol or picture the lampstands and then he follows it up in the same verse by explaining it.
So the book does not have to be a mystery, sure there are certain things that are a little tough to understand, but most of the book is self explanatory if you have the Holy Spirit and a little time to focus. The natural man recieveth not the things of God niether can he know them because they are spiritually discerned. But as a believer you can understand the book of Revelation.
One thing I hope you see is the reason why most people are having trouble understanding, is because they have a preconcieved idea that they are having trouble letting go of. But if you will put away preconcieved ideas and just let the Bible says what it says, the the Lord reveal to you.
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.
More blessed is the one who knows these things as we march closer to the end times than the one who doesn’t know anything as we have entered this last age.
John to the seven churches that 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,
So right here we see that this book is being addressed by John to 7 churches which fits in perfectly with the fact that this book is writte to God’s servants. Many people view Revelation as a warning to the unsaved, and most peoples belief is that we wont be here for the events of Revelation, “90% of the book of Revelation” they think “were not gonna be here for” well then why would he write the whole book to show unto us the things which must shortly come to pass?
Now true there parts of the book of Revelation where God is pouring out His wrath and the church is already gone. But a great deal of the book of Revelation deals with a time where there is just trials and tribulation on this Earth and we will be here for it. So the book is being written to 7 churches in Asia. Now these 7 churches are listed a little further down in verse 11
saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”
Let me emphasize to you that these were real literal churches that existed at the time the book was written, but these churches dont exist today but at the time, these were Bible believing churches that were located in Asia, and when the Bible talks about Asia there it is an area that we call today Asia minor. which is the modern day country of turkey. When you look at the letter to the Thessalonians Paul writes that this letter would be read to the church in Laodecia, and the epistle that was read unto laodicia would be read to the church at Thessalonica.
So these are real churches, and John is sending out the Whole book to these churches, you say why would he send out the book to 7 different churches?
well go to the end of Revelation chapter 22 or simply follow on the screen
For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book;
and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
This is a very serious curse placed within the book of Revelation, anyone who would add to the word, or take away from the words is doomed and damned and cursed, you see it was very important to the Lord and to the apostle John that this book arrive at the destination, unaltered and in tact. One of the ways that God could assure that the book could not be tampered with is by making 7 copies, because if you send out 7 copies to 7 different churches… let’s say one of them gets intercepted or tampered with, or someone distorts the truth within, well you still have 6 other copies.
So that’s how we know that the Bible we have today is the same as it was when it was originally written. there have been many who have tried to alter the word of God.
That is why we know the Bible we have today and we know it is the word of God.
So thats one of the reasons he sent it to 7 different churches.
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,
What is this 7 spirits who are before His throne?
“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.
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
JESUS CHRIST THE SEED OF JESSE
Let’s go back to the text
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,
and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
How is anyone worthy to be saved?
there is none righteous no not one, WE HAVE BEEN WASHED FROM OUR OWN SINS BY HIS BLOOD!!!
So we are kings and priests we are a royal priesthood unto God
At the end of (6) there is an amen, now amen is a word used for a closing, that’s why when our prayer is over we say amen, when we see the amen we have come to the end of the intro. to the book of is the intro. then in verse 7 we get into the details of what the Lord wanted us to learn. This is the MAIN verse that teaches us what this whole book is about.
Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
Eveything contianed within the book of Revelation is found right there in that little verse.
Gods judgment upon the wicked
Those are the 2 most important themes of the entire book of Revelation.
If you cannot understand (7) you cannot understand the rest of the book at all.
What does verse 7 teach it teaches that Jesus is coming in the clouds and every eye will see him...
Wailing is crying out in sorrow and pain and anguish. Now let’s spend a little time on
Now in Acts chapter 1 we see this is the ascended into heaven.
When Jesus came to this 2,000 years ago he died on the cross He was buried and 3 days later, He rose from the dead having conquered death and Hell, and Jesus Christ is assemlbed together with His apostles in acts 1 and He is about to ascend up into Heaven where He will sit down at the right hand of god the father.
Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
So you see how the Bible emphasizes that they were watching Him and seeing Him ascend into a what?
So when he ascended up He went up in a cloud, and
And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel,
who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
Theres the second coming of the Lord JEsus Christ, He will come in like manner as you have seen Him go.
So what is the like manner?
People are watching when He returns people will see Him, they watched him go up in a cloud, he is gonna come down in a cloud, and EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM!
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
So here we have Jesus making reference to the great tribulation something we have all heard of but look in verse 29
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
Now right there the bible speaks of events that will take place after the great tribulation, and these are pretty intense events wouldn’t you say?
the sun being darkened, the moon wnot giving light, stars falling from heaven… not only are these major catechlismic events they are mentioned over and over again in the OT.
It is always associated with the DAY OF THE LORD
Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
So we see a timeline of events:
THE GREAT TRIBULATION, THE SUN AND MOON AND STARS ARE DARKEND, ALL THE LOST MOURN, and then we see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven. Does this remind you of something mentioned in verse 7 of ?
IT MATCHES EXACTLY
there gonna see him there going to be mourning....
And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Now who are the elect?
If you study the NT just look up everytime the word elect is used it is always talking aout those that are saved.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
We are united forever in Christ whether you like that or not doesnt matter.
So he says that Jesus after the sun and moon are darkend after the moon wont give its light that Jesus is going to come in the clouds a trumpet will sound and He will gather up the saved.
“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.
“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
Mens hearts failing them out of fear, so they are not afraid of whats already happened they are afraid of whats about to happen!
Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”