Is He Coming With the Clouds?

“BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.” Revelation 1:7

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To continue this Walk Through Revelation (Click for past posts) I wanted to dig into this verse. This passage to me is an anchor in Revelation. HE IS COMING! The man Jesus, the One that we are all longing for is going to appear for all to see. The book of Revelation is wrapped up in this Man and we are given the hope that HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS!

Or is He?

Until recently I did not know that there was another interpretation of this passage. I had just read a book about it and then had someone tell me, in a very matter of fact way, that this has already happened. Apparently it all took place in 70 A.D. when the Jerusalem temple was destroyed and it is obvious that the word ‘clouds’ simply means judgment. I try not to let other peoples viewpoints cause a reaction from me, but that interpretation completely wipes out the importance of the Book of Revelation as well as the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

I guess it all comes down to, has this happened or not?

There are two main Old Testament references to this passage and they are both “end-time” prophecies.

1. “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him.” Daniel 7:13

What Daniel saw in his vision was unthinkable, but it was real. This heavenly encounter did not reveal the judgment of God, it revealed the glory and splendor of Jesus, the Son of Man, coming before the Ancient of Days and receiving His full inheritance. Daniel saw a physical Man (Jesus) on tangible ‘Clouds of Heaven’; He was not riding on a metaphor that means judgment! To get Revelation 1:7 you must understand this vision that Daniel saw and you need to know that it speaks of a time when, “The court will sit for judgment, and his (satan) dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever. Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him” (Daniel 7:26-27).  Another note, if Jesus could walk on water while on earth in His un-resurrected body, how much more could He ride on the clouds in His glorious resurrected body?

2.  “So that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.” Zechariah 12:10

The context of Zechariah 12 all the way to the end of 14 are set in a day that is yet to come, in that day, a day when, “The Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one.” (14:9). To my knowledge this has not happened yet! Zechariah is prophesying about a day when the LORD will destroy ALL the nations that come against Jerusalem (12:9), not that day in 70 A.D. when Titus sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple. He is talking about a day when Christ returns to Earth and every eye will see Him! Well, what does that really mean? It means that every eye will see Him and it does not mean that this will be a televised event, unless you think God needs Bill Gates and Direct TV to help with His glorious return.

I find this passage in Revelation to be very important to every believer and non-believer for that matter.  If this is an actual future event then what does that mean for us today?  It means that we have a Man (Jesus) that has approached the Ancient of Days (God the Father) and this ‘Son of Man’ (Jesus) will return with the clouds of heaven with the fullness of His inheritance.  If this is a past event, how it will cause us to read the rest of the book?  If this has already happened then I would say the rest of the book has no real relevance to our lives.

Here are some other Old Testament scriptures that ‘hint’ that the LORD moves in the clouds.

•  “The Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way.” Ex 13:21
•  “Behold, I will come to you in a thick cloud.” Ex 19:9
•  “The Lord descended in the cloud and stood there with him as he called upon the name of the Lord.” Ex 34:5
•  “For I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat.” Lev 16:2
•  “He makes the clouds His chariot.” Psalm 104:3

Here are a few questions to ponder:

Does this verse sound impossible? Does it sound like a metaphor? Does it sound like something Jesus would do?

Next post I will address the New Testament scriptures that are linked to this verse. In the meantime let me know what you think. And if you want an extra blessing, read the book of Revelation for yourself.

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Dear Church

Check out this series from the beginning: My Walk Through RevelationOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Rev. 1:4-5 “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, and from Jesus Christ”

Dear Church:

The content of this message is filled with GRACE AND PEACE from the Father, Spirit, and Son.  Now prepare for what’s to come.  God told Noah to build a huge arc because He was going to flood the earth to cleanse it from wickedness.  God gave the plans to Noah but it was up to Noah to build it.  The book of Revelation is a blueprint for what is going to happen and it is up to us to be prepared and in tune with His plans.  We won’t make it very far if we are ignoring His instructions for the times.

Historically we can say that this letter was for 7 specific churches in Asia-Minor during 90-100 A.D. and that would be true.   But we must not write this message off as irrelevant because of that fact.  If we were to do that then we would have to apply that approach to the rest of the New Testament!  The majority of the New Testament is made up of epistles to churches or correspondences that are not addressed to any of us today.  One must stay true to form and understand that the entire Bible is God’s message.  His Word is everlasting and we must adhere to it whether it is past, present, or future.

I feel that it is important to understand what “John” is giving this message.  I believe that it is John: the apostle, disciple, and beloved of Jesus.  What other John could give a message this divine to 7 major churches and expect them to listen?  John the beloved was a great leader (pastor) in the church and was very well known among the church body; so much so that I don’t think he felt the need to give a title to himself when addressing the churches.

I like to think that one of the reasons Jesus kept John alive longer than the rest of the gang is for this purpose.  I know that John did not technically see Jesus at His second coming  (because it has not happened yet) but the vision that he received revealed close to all of what was going to take place at Jesus’ second coming.  I know this was a vision but I am not certain if John was actually brought into the future and witnessed it all or if it was a vision in front of John showing the end time events taking place.  Either way I think John got a full taste of what is about to come at Christ’s Return!  I wonder if John was reminded of what Jesus spoke of him before His ascension, Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?” John 21:23

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This message is,

Pastoral: I believe pastors will benefit greatly if they rightly communicate this epistle to their flock.  Remember it is given with the Grace and Peace of the Trinity.

Apostolic: It has great authority and needs to be taken seriously.  Remember that John the apostle witnessed it, believed it, and made sure it was shared.

Strategic: I believe its contents will unify the church as it unveils a battle plan for the army of God to move in.  Remember that God is the LORD of Hosts and is rising up an end time army to defeat the Hordes of Hell.  He is so confident in this plan that even the enemy has been allowed to see what He is planning and yet it does not affect His perfect plan.

 

NEXT POST IN REVELATION SERIES: THREE KEYS

 

 

 

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Blessed Bun Sandwich

Previously on: “MY WALK THROUGH REVELATION SERIES”
big-mac

As we jump from verse one to verse three, I would like to continue to feed you food for thought on why you should read this book for yourself.  This verse should be enough encouragement for you to sink your teeth into this prophecy.

I like to call this the Happy-Happy-Happy Meal verse.

REV 1:3Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.”

 

This should entice your appetite a little bit, maybe even wet your palate.  Happy is he who reads this prophecy.  Happy are those who hear this prophecy. Happy are those who obey this prophecy…for the time is near.  There is no other book in the Bible that starts with such a declaration for the reader!  Jesus’ message from the Mount to the masses was ALL about being blessed by living on God’s terms and not by mans.  This passage promises the same rewards given in the Beatitudes.  If Jesus says that the end result of obeying Him and His word is pure happiness then we better believe it!  This blessing is a direct overflow from pursuing the revelation of Jesus Christ.

1. Reading: This is a personal studying and meditating on the written Word of God (prophecy) and can also be in the group setting of studying and reading aloud.  It is given in a singular context (he who reads) but is given to the whole Body of Christ to receive.  Reading this book offers us a great feast, but it is not enough to just read the menu and memorize it over and over, we must eat the food!

  •  “I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” Job 23:12
  • “Thy words were found and I ate them, And Thy words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Thy name, O LORD God of hosts.” Jer. 15:16 

Corey Russell says, “The delighting in the Word is the secret to the restoration of hearing.”

2. Hearing: There must be a listening and attentive ear in the Church if this message is going to take root.  It says that Jesus stands at the door and knocks. Are we listening, do we know His voice and do we know what is on His heart?

    • “The shift of number from the singular, “he that readeth,” to the plural, “they that hear,” suggest that the work was originally designed for public use in the church assembly rather than for private perusal.  One of the earliest test of canonicity was public reading, for only those works which the church considered authoritative were read openly to all the assembly and made the basis of exposition or of exhortation.” Merrill C. Tenney- Interpreting Revelation pg. 45

 

  • “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Matt. 11:15 

3. Heeding:  Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ (Rom 10:7) and this faith through hearing should be yoked with obedience.  Even if we may not fully understand His Word we must be obedient to it and believe Him regardless of our lack of understanding, immaturity, or personal feelings and opinions.  Abraham had faith and obeyed God’s word even before he fully understood God’s plan for himself.

  • “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.” John 14:21
  • “To hear God’s word is a privilege to obey it is a duty” William Barclay- The Revelation of John pg.26

 

“FOR THE TIME IS NEAR”

This should provoke an urgency in us.  We are nearly 2,000 years closer to this prophecy fully coming to pass than when it was written and distributed to the Body of Christ.  The 1st Century church truly believed that Christ was coming back on their watch and this mind-set shaped and molded everything that they did.  We are called to live in these times not as passive bystanders but as victorious ones who overcome.  Will we see this prophecy come to pass in our days?  The time is near and that alone should cause us to draw near to Him.

This blessing and reminder of His return is given at the beginning and again at the end to sandwich together everything in the middle as a reminder that God wants us to be strengthened and encouraged by this prophecy so that we may be found steady and ready for His second coming.

“And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.” Rev. 22:7

 

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Revelation 1

Previously on: “MY WALK THROUGH REVELATION SERIES”

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bondservants…”

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Looking into the first half of this introductory sentence reveals four key points that we need to carry with us throughout the rest of the book.

  1. This is the heart of the Father
  2. This is the heart of Jesus
  3. And this is for His Bride
  4. Of course I will add, this is the heart of Holy Spirit, even though it goes without saying

We see the grand theme and title, with the unveiling of Jesus Christ, but we also see the conception of this in the heart of the Father as He delights in this great unveiling. The Father God is giving His Beloved Son the “save the date and wedding invitation” cards in advance to deliver to His Bride!  The main thing is who is getting married but there are great details and direction as well.  Reading the rest of this book with an understanding that this message brings great pleasure to the heart of the Father is essential.

“And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so your God will rejoice over you.” Is. 62:5

This is a message of love, comfort and mercies!  As Paul declares, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.” What we know about the Father and the Son must be rightly applied to this letter to be able to see this book for the epic love story that it is!

I like to imagine the wonderful interaction between the Father and Son here with an overflow of great joy and glory after ages of longing anticipation! This has been on Father God’s heart and mind for thousands of years and we get to see a glimpse into the future and I picture the Father saying to His Son, “Ok boy, let’s go tell your Bride to get herself ready for the greatest day ever witnessed by mankind!” Can you just envision the excitement and exhilaration in this scene between the Father and Son? All of Jesus’ heartache, zeal, and joy are brought forth as Poppa releases this great unveiling that can now be shared with the Bride being made ready for the wedding day.

The arrangement in this introductory title shows the divine order from Heaven operating!  When pondering over the order of operation here, the verse John 5:19-20 comes to my mind.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing;”

Will we accept this letter to be of the heart of the Father bestowed to the Son to give to His Bride, as clearly stated in this first passage, or will we write it off as an unknowable letter better left to the radicals and unrealistic religious types?  Don’t get lost in some of the difficult passages that are found in some of the chapters, stay rooted in the love of Jesus and remember that the Father jealously desires for His Son to be with His Bride and will remove anything that hinders this perfect love from its fullness.

Jesus tells us in the gospel of John that He and the Father are one and that the Father has told him what to say, and what to speak.  So shouldn’t we apply that insight to this book that has such a grand title as, The Revelation of Jesus Christ?

“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. Luke 9:26

And not too far after these passages in Luke we hear the Father with His thundering voice from His heavenly throne give His only recorded command in the New Testament as He tells the disciples, “This is my Son, LISTEN TO HIM!”  I do not want to be in error I want to be prepared!  I do not want to feel ashamed when the Son and Father come in great glory with the host of heavenly angels!  I want to be found happy and free knowing that I was not offended at His Words and that I took this message to heart even with some of its seemingly difficulties within.

We are called His bondservants, or His love servants and even better yet, His Bride.  Paul, Peter, James, Jude all introduce themselves as being bond servants of Jesus Christ in their epistles.  This message is for His bondservants, PLURAL; we must place ourselves in this story.  Jesus is coming back for a bride made ready.  There is no better way to get ready than to take hold of what has divinely been released to us.

What if the Apostles had the book of Acts before it happened?  What if Moses had the book of Exodus before it happened?  Can you imagine the impact that something given in advance like that would have had on them?

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Take hold, take ground, and overcome!

 

 

 

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The Apocalypse

FROM “MY WALK THROUGH REVELATION” SERIES

 

What do you think of when you hear the word “apocalypse”?

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ZOMBIES!? For whatever reason there is a huge obsession with today’s youth (and beyond) with some sort of ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE. If it doesn’t have to do with zombies then others might correlate the word to some cataclysmic disaster that destroys all of planet earth. Hollywood movies have fueled this type of destruction for years and this “end time” belief seems to have crept into Church.

 

earth apocalypseapocalypse1

 

Let’s take a simple approach to this and break it down. Apo- means, “away from” and Kalupto means, “to cover or veiled.” Doing this takes away some of the “negative” beliefs that come with the word. Apocalypse simply means unveiling or revelation. What could be better than the unveiling of Jesus?  Yes, there are some negative strokes unleashed during this unveiling but the end result brings the greatest result imaginable.  The apocalyptic writings were most commonly found between the Old and New Testaments but we see similar apocalyptic language in the books of Daniel, Ezekiel and others.  The point of these style of writings were mainly given to remind the chosen people of their coming Hope.

If you think this book is mainly negative events relating to the destruction of the planet earth then I strongly urge you to repent or simply change how you think (I realize the word repent has some funny annotations as well). If you think that the book is mainly about doom and gloom and an angry god, then throw that out too! If you think that the events and descriptions found in the book are too far-fetched and only filled with religious jargon for the spiritual elite, then…. read it again and again and again and ask the Holy Spirit for understanding!

The book of Revelation’s most significant theme is the greater unveiling or revealing of the God Man, Jesus Christ. This book unlocks an even deeper depth of His Beauty, Love, Power, Heart, Leadership, Wisdom, Passion, History, Majesty, Kingship, Righteousness, Judgment, and Splendor (and on and on). All of these glorious descriptions of Jesus found in Revelation take what the rest of Scripture gives us and multiplies it!

“Who do you say that I am?” Matthew 16:13-27

This is THE greatest question that one will ever have to answer in their lifetime! The CORRECT answer to this question is what Jesus is building His beloved Bride on! It is my belief that Jesus was not talking about building His Church on Peter “the rock” but on Peter’s heavenly download from the Father.

“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

WOAH! Happy are you, says Jesus. It’s almost like this response from Peter shocked Jesus a little bit. Peter is known for sticking his foot in his mouth, but out comes this holy declaration! This is a revelation straight from Heaven; Holy Spirit breathed.

We see Peter later on in his life telling the saints to fix their hope in this very same revelation,

“Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:13

 

The Apostle Paul prays that the saints would grow in this revelation,

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.”  Eph. 1:17

The Apocalypse of Jesus is not a bad thing, but it will destroy you!  It will annihilate your pride, greed, lust, and hardness of heart.  Look through the lens of seeing Jesus as the great Shepard leading His people into eternity.  There will be trials and tribulations, suffering and martyrdom, but He tells us the end result. His heavenly home descending down to earth so that He may dwell among men and that we may dwell in the light of His face forever.

Remember that God started with a blank canvas and painted the picture exactly the way He wanted it to look.  Let’s ask for His perspective on things and if it seems hard to grasp then wrestle with it; don’t walk away from it!

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The Revelation of Jesus Christ

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Check out my last post: My Walk Through Revelation

The Revelation of Jesus Christ; what a marvelous title to give this wholly divine prophecy. There is no rush to go through this profound book so I recommend loitering in this text to ponder the extravagant title in hopes to draw from its depths. To understand the rest of the prophecy, one must lay hold of this magnificent title. Do not be afraid of this book if you are hungry for more of Jesus, the title alone should be enough for you to consume it!

“Plunge into the very depths of the words you read until revelation, like a sweet aroma, breaks out upon you” Madame Jeanne Guyon

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The amount of times that one may have read or heard this title, Jesus Christ, is probably innumerable for most people. If we are honest, it is most commonly heard as an expletive. Of course another obvious place is in the church, but even then I believe there is a great lack of understanding of its meaning! I include myself when I say Christians as a whole need a greater revelation of Jesus Christ. This is the very unfortunate truth and I hope that, as we look deeper into this book we might find that the Man behind this Title deserves MUCH more of our attention, allegiance and adoration.

One of the ultimate reasons that this book title is so great is because it is fixed to the same Jesus that we have come to love and know through the 26 New Testament books leading up to this point (and the 39 books of the Old Testament prior to these books). One cannot separate the Jesus of Revelation from the rest of the Bible. This book must be read with that basic understanding, keeping in mind that the title and theme of the book directs us to the glory of this Man.

Yes, this book and title is about a Jewish man! The name Jesus carries a huge amount of weight and I do not want to play that down at all; but one must not stop there! The name Jesus (Yeshua or Joshua) means, “God is Salvation” and it carries great power. But we must realize that the name Jesus is found in the Bible before Jesus of Nazareth came on the scene. It was a common Hebrew name during Jesus’ lifetime and it is still very popular in some cultures today. So with that being said we can’t stop at the name of Jesus alone.

One example of a person with the name of Jesus during Jesus of Nazareth’s earthly time period, is Barabbas, the murderer, which the people chose to release over Jesus (Matthew 27:16-26). Historians have said that his first name was also Jesus. The point of this example is, Jesus Barabbas was a murder and Jesus of Nazareth is perfectly holy and blameless.  On a fun note, the name Jesus Barabbas means Jesus, son of the father but our Jesus is the Son of the Father

What sets Jesus’ name apart from every other name is that “God has made Him both Lord (Yahweh) and Christ (Anointed/Messiah)” Acts 2:36.

“Who, being in the form of God, did not consider equality with God to be used for His own advantage, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil 2:6-11

Reading the rest of this prophecy through the lens of Jesus being both LORD and CHRIST is critical. We must see that He is fully man, the same Jesus that walked the earth 2,000 years ago and that He is fully God (Yahweh) as so many Old and New Testament Scriptures attest to.

With this truth we must have a clearer definition of the word Christ.  I am still studying this out and have come across a great wealth of insight from one of my favorite bible teachers, Stephen Venable.  Please check out his website Beholding Jesus or at least just listen to this message of his, Christ the Lord.

The name “Christ” is an English word based on the Greek word Χριστός (Christós), which simply meant anointed, and served as the direct equivalent to the Hebrew word מָשִׁיחַ (mashiyach) or messiah.

The name Christ historically is a throne name of the Kings of Israel; in a similar manner to how Rome had a Caesar or how the United States has the position of President.  Saul, even in his wickedness, was the first anointed of the Lord, which is the same as saying the first king of Israel.  Then we see David become the Lords anointed.  And after David we know that the much awaited Messiah or Anointed One would come through the line of David and would be a son to God establishing an everlasting kingdom.

“When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant (seed) after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. “Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.” ’  (2 Samuel 7:12–16, NASB95, see parallel in 1 Chronicles 17) 

king of the Jews

(From Passion of the Christ)

 Jesus is this Christ; He is the King of Israel as Nathanael so quickly stated so early on in His ministry (John 1:49) and we see it again at the very end of His ministry, though in mocking, as it is was written above the cross that He hung from for the sins of the world!  He is the Son of David as the blind men cried out (Matt. 20:30) and the crowds professed (Matt 21:9).  He is the Son of God, which we see even the wretched demons declare (Matt 8:29)!

The Wycliffe Commentary says the book of Revelation, is the climax of the prophecy of Old and New Testaments.  Much of this books language is entrenched in Old Testament scripture and prophecy, knowing it will really help bring clarity to this book.  Seeing Jesus being rightly displayed in the whole Word of God and allowing this book to be apart of what God is saying to us today will substantially mature our thinking on Jesus Christ and our role as Saints in His end times plan.

“The person of Christ is the most important key to the Revelation. As His place in it is recognized, its main structure becomes understandable and its meaning can be found in terms of the disclosure of His person and work.” M.C. Tenney

 

 

 

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My Walk Through Revelation

 CIMG5956I have come to a point in my walk with Christ to seek out what the book of Revelation has to say in a deeper and more committed fashion.  Since I was young, this book intrigued me, maybe it was like that for you too when you first stumbled upon its seemingly mysterious contents.

I remember when I was close to ten years old my grandma asked me what book I liked to read from the Bible and I told her the book of Revelation, she was surprised but ended up sending me a bunch of her study notes!  At that age I am sure the book grabbed my attention because at face value it seemed unique and a little bizarre compared to the other books and stories that I knew from the Bible (still has that feeling at times); which my understanding of the Bible was limited to what I had learned in Sunday school.

In recent years I have been encouraged to pick this book back up and devour the contents with a humbled and hungry mind, heart, and soul.  I am not sure what you have been told about this book or what you think you already know about it but I would like to encourage you to read it again with intent to allow it to reveal Jesus Christ to you in a greater measure.

I do not believe that this book is mainly historical text mixed in with vague spiritual metaphors and ethereal symbolism nor do I believe it to be an allegorical poem.  I truly believe that this book is the Living Word of God that is to be read and understood by those that call themselves followers of Christ. I see this book as a launching pad into a deeper relationship with the man Jesus Christ Himself.  This book will also prepare and equip every believer as the unveiling of His action plan unfolds and He shows Himself as the Righteous and Holy Bridegroom, King and Judge that we are longing to know.

This book was written for educated and uneducated alike to understand; note that the majority of people throughout history were uneducated.  Just as we apply the rest of the New and Old Testament to our lives we should apply the book of Revelation, understanding that the wisdom that Jesus spoke then holds true today!  We must understand the historical context but realize that His Word is always speaking and we must listen to Him.

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Through out history the book has been cherished greatly or opposed vehemently.  Martin Luther originally thought it to be unbiblical and not authored by John the Beloved (He also opposed James, Jude, 2 Peter and Hebrews).  However many through out the early church approved and confirmed that this was a divine prophesy given to and penned by John the disciple of Jesus (Justin Martyr 135 AD, Irenaeus 180 AD, Clement of Alexandria 200 AD).

“We shall no doubt find this book difficult and bewildering; but doubtless, too, we shall find it infinitely worthwhile to wrestle with it until it gives us its blessing and opens its riches to us.” William Barclay

“This object of God’s in delivering the Revelation to his church should be a sufficient refutation of the popular theory that his book is unintelligible, and its varied symbols wrapped in such deep mystery that their meaning can not be evolved; for it is not consonant with the supreme power and wisdom of the God-head to suppose that, in making a revelation to man, he would make the fatal mistake of clothing his language with a mystery that defies the intellect of mortals to unveil.” Frederick George Smith

It is too easy to allow this book or other “end time” prophecies to offend us but I see it best to seek out His heavenly plan with the Helper and come under His leadership. Understanding comes from standing under the One who stands alone with ALL understanding.

“The gospels and the end-time Scriptures reveal the same Jesus operating in the same power of the Holy Spirit.  The book of Revelations is called the revelation of Jesus because it reveals His heart, power and leadership.” Mike Bickle

 

I hope that you guys will enjoy the journey with me.  Feel free to jump in at any time and share your perspective, wisdom, correction and love….

FOLLOWING POSTS:

  1. THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST
  2. TOP 7 REVELATION SONGS
  3. THE APOCALYPSE
  4. REVELATION 1
  5. BLESSED BUN SANDWICH
  6. DEAR CHURCH
  7. THREE KEYS
  8. A KINGDOM OF PRIESTS
  9. IS HE COMING ON THE CLOUDS?
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The Future and the Present:  By Stephen Venable

Posted by Stephen Venable: Beholding Jesus, The Future and the Present

                                                                                                                        (Photo Credit)

 Our perspective on the future defines, in large part, our perspective on the present.

This principle plays out on hundreds of different levels every single day as we relate to the world around us. We believe a report that the weather will soon turn chilly so we pull out warmer clothes from the closet. The trash is scheduled to be picked up tomorrow so we put it out tonight. We are aware we will need to drive a certain distance tomorrow so we fill the car with gas today. Thus, even the minutia of our lives reveals that the future has everything to do with now. This is so concretely established in our thinking that when the relationship is not honored by the student, the employee, the child, the parent, etc. we find it inexcusable.

Upon discovering the final exam had been failed miserably, what respectable father could have his disappointment absolved simply by hearing that his son had not bothered to look in the syllabus to find out the date of the test? If a laborer was two hours late for the first day of work, what responsible supervisor would have their frustration put to flight when they were told that the employee hadn’t thought about a means of transportation until the moment it was time to leave for their shift?

These examples, minor as they may be, are sufficient to shatter the notion that our beliefs about the end only matter at the end. All of us know this to be ludicrous when applied to real life. When the realities of tomorrow do not shape the course of one’s actions today, it is only because of ignorance or negligence. In the case of the former, a false (or empty) view of the future has led to a foolish relationship to the present. In the case of the latter a myopic view of the present has eclipsed the consequences of the future.

With this in mind, how is it that we can so easily entertain the common idea that eschatology has little relevance for the identity and functioning of the Church in the present? Regardless of when “the end” is, however one views it is radically shaping “the now”. On the corporate level, the way that the age to come is understood defines the conception of this age and how the Church relates to it. On the individual level, the way an individual understands the fate that awaits them at the end of their life defines how they behave in all the days leading up to it.

Everyone has a view of eschatology and no one is immune from the potency of its impact on them.

A person with the vague hope of a perpetual existence in an inert, wispy place they call “heaven” that doesn’t actually exist and is no more real to them than a fairy tale displays this every day as they spill themselves out on every pleasure of the world within their reach. Their eschatology demands that their reward be in this life, and that is precisely what they seek so ravenously.

What we believe about the future defines what we believe about the present and shapes how we live.

All of this has merely been conceptual. In a follow-up post I will offer a brief look at how prevalent this truth is in the New Testament and why it can be a great source of strength to our hearts.

 

(Check out beholdingjesus.com for more of Stephen Venable’s articles and messages!)

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