The Gospels and the End of the Age

Hey guys,

I wanted to share a quick video that I came across from a series called Opening up the Gospels. This fits right into the current series that we have been going through, as it relates to the end times and  how Christ should shape our eschatology.  Enjoy this 9 minute session given by Joshua Hawkins from IHOP-KC.  If you are interested in the full series click HERE.  His website is also filled with great FREE resources.  Check it out HERE.

Episode 3 – The Gospels and the End of the Age.

 

Check out My Walk Through Revelation series.

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Three Keys

Previously on: “MY WALK THROUGH REVELATION SERIES”

Rev 1:5 “and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.”

Taking time to understand these three titles of Jesus Christ will help us navigate through the rest of the book.    The book of Revelation gives many more titles and descriptions of Jesus through out its passages (OVER 100!) and slowing down to take the time to understand each description will greatly help you as you read the book but most of all it will allow you to connect with the man Jesus in a heightened way.

Each of these three titles is dependent on the other, intertwined together to reveal a greater picture of Jesus Christ.  I like to picture a door with three locks on it. Each title is like a key that unlocks one individual lock but it takes all three keys in order to open the door.

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These three descriptions of Jesus are messianic titles that derive from Psalm 89.  David was promised that one of his descendants would rule on his throne forever and these are three things that God highlighted to David about that Future King.  Now we see it being brought to our attention again in the book of Revelation.

27 I will make him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth…35 I have sworn by My holiness…36 His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before Me; 37 It shall be established forever like the moon, even like the faithful witness in the sky.” (Ps. 89:27-37)

 

Jesus Christ the Faithful Witness:

As believers we are called to be followers of Christ.  Jesus’ earthly ministry was one of being faithful to the truth (Jn. 18:37), even unto death.  We too must be faithful witnesses! Just as the sun and moon are faithful to shine their light into darkness, Jesus has faithfully shined His light from the foundations of creation.

 Revelation 3:14 attaches Faithful Witness with Jesus being the Amen and the Beginning of the Creation of God.  While Revelation 19:11 adds that because of being a faithful witness to truth He can rightly judge and wage warLet it be so, what Jesus says goes because He has seen everything and knows all things.  He will judge and wage war as a faithful witness to truth. 

 

Jesus Christ The Firstborn of the Dead:

Jesus has been born first as the second Adam bringing complete restoration to mankind. He is the first born with a resurrected body. He is also the firstborn son who has the full inheritance of the Father as well as the first pick for a bride.  With His inheritance from His Father in Heaven He is coming as a Bridegroom to sweep up His perfect spotless Bride into eternity.

Jesus as the firstborn son has the Father’s full blessing.  Just as Isaac gave the firstborn blessing to his son Jacob (Israel), even though it was not truly his firstborn, he received the only blessing that could be given for the firstborn (Gen 27).

“Therefore may God give you Of the dew of heaven, Of the fatness of the earth, And plenty of grain and wine. Let peoples serve you, And nations bow down to you. Be master over your brethren, And let your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, And blessed be those who bless you!” 

 

Jesus Christ the Ruler Over the Kings of the Earth: 

Many Christians today can easily accept Jesus as being a king.  This title is given to Him all through out the Bible.  It is harder for us to see Jesus as a Bridegroom and even harder for Christians to see Him as the Judge.  It is exciting to know that He is coming back to the earth, not to destroy but to restore His Kingdom.

We can see in this title that He is not only a king; He is the ruler of ALL kings (Rev 19:16)!  Not only that, He is going to physically establish His throne in Jerusalem.  When Jesus returns to rule and reign, the saints will bow down and proclaim His beauty and majesty.  Being the ruler over all kings causes even His worst enemies to bow down with fear and trembling; acknowledging that He alone is worthy.

 

 Do you know Jesus as the Bridegroom, King, and Judge?

 

NEXT POST ON REVELATION SERIES: A KINGDOM OF PRIESTS

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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?

River

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”?

zombie-apocalypse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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Top 7 Revelation Songs

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The Book of Revelation is filled with brilliant insight to the Glory of God that surrounds His Heavenly Throne.  One thing that helps me get the Words from the pages into my spirit is through song.  There are a lot of amazing worship songs out there but  I wanted to give you some that are filled with the theme of Revelation, especially from chapters 1 and 4.  There is something about praying and singing His Word that stirs the spirit up.

Here are my top 7 worship songs that capture parts of the heavenly reality that has been released to us through the book of Revelation.

1. A Storm All Around You, Jon ThurlowOnething Live: Magnificent Obsession

2. There is Only OneBrandon Hampton Feat Misty Edwards: Onething Live: Magnificent Obsession

3. Worthy of it All, David Brymer: Onething Live: Magnificent Obsession

4. Jesus, You’re Beautiful, Jon ThurlowStrong Love

5. 24 Elders (Holy), Catherine Mullins: Come Down

6. Revelation Song, Kari Jobe (Jennie Riddle): Kari Jobe

7. The Gift, Misty Edwards and David Brymer (Kevin Prosch)The Gift

 

Do you have any songs that you would add?  I know I have left some out but there is just something about the number 7. 🙂

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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

••••••••••••••••••••••••••

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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