03.0 The Book of Revelation: Chapter 2: vs. 1 – 29

Revelation (the Book) feature

Revelation {the Book} continued

Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 of the book of Revelation contain seven letters to the seven literal, local churches mentioned in chapter 1, verse 11.

These letters have a number of applications.

First, they are seven actual letters to seven actual churches situated in seven different cities.
 
Second, they are letters to seven individuals within the seven churches.
 
Third, they are messages applicable to all churches in all ages, for the seven churches picture seven periods, or stages, of church history.
 
In each period, the Lord speaks to the churches in a judgmental way, portraying their failures, and then He calls them to repentance and zealousness.
We will look at the first four this week.

Ephesus

verse 1 : [1: Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks [or the seven churches represented throughout history];

The first church addressed is the church of Ephesus, covering the time period from approximately 33 A.D. (the birth of the church at Pentecost) until 100 A.D. when John, who wrote the Book of Revelation, died.

The letter is to the angel or, literally, the “messenger” of the church of Ephesus, and is from the One who holds the seven stars in his right hand and who [walks] in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. This, of course, is the glorified Christ, as we learned in chapter 1, verse 20.

How thrilling to note that the Lord both holds the churches (all believers) in His hand and walks in the midst of them, as well!

This is the Christian’s security.

The Saviour’s walk among us is to bring us closer to himself.

Next, Christ speaks…

verse 2 : [2] : I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
Notice that, in each of the seven letters, the Lord begins by commending the local assembly for whatever He can find in them that is good before scolding them for their sins.

The Ephesus church began in all purity, as can be observed from a study of the Book of Acts.

Then false prophets entered in. This is exactly the warning Paul had sounded during his last gathering in Ephesus: For know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember (Acts 20:29-31).

The leaders of the church judged these false prophets in earlier days, but became lax as they lost their first love.

Today many think it is wrong to judge heresy or wickedness. 

Not so!

The same Christ who said, Judge not, that ye be not judged (Matthew 7:1) also declared, Judge righteous judgment(John 7:24). A believer is never to judge a person as far as motives are concerned.

However, he should definitely judge one when that individual’s doctrine is heretical or his life is filled with wickedness.

This is why John said, Try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world(1 John 4:1), and why Paul stated in 1 Timothy 5:19 and 20: Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

The church at Ephesus had slipped from its original moorings and was on the way down. Is it any wonder that Mohammedanism swept through the land
and destroyed the compromising church that once was mighty under Paul?

verse 3 : [3] :  And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.

Part of the reason this church (who had borne, and had patience, and for His name’s sake had laboured, and had not fainted) failed may have been that they were too busy serving and not taking time for sweet fellowship at the feet of Jesus. When one is so active that he has no time for the Bible and prayer, he is too busy. Many have fallen to the indictment of…

verse 4 : [4] : Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

How true of multitudes today!

When they were first saved they loved Jesus, loved to pray, loved to read the Word, loved to attend the services at God’s house and loved to witness. Ah, but they have lost that first love!

verse 5 : [5] : Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick (or your local church) out of his place, except thou repent.

It happened! 

After the conquest of Mohammedanism, the church of Ephesus became nonexistent. Do not let this happen to your church or to you! Before God finishes His pronouncement of commendations and condemnations upon the church of Ephesus, he adds…

verse 6 : [6] : But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

Who were the Nicolaitans and what was it about them that so angered Almighty God? 

The term comes from two Greek words which mean “victory over the laity” a religious dictatorship that allowed little or no freedom to its members.

This is precisely what the Holy Spirit had in mind when He told the church elders not to be lords over God’s heritage, but… ensamples [examples] to the flock (1 Peter 5:3).

How this message needs to be emphasized in our day as religious leaders try to impose their man-made rules on each and every member! After presenting this series of commendations and warnings, the Spirit of God adds…

verse 7 [7] : He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

How can one be an overcomer? 

By trusting in the merits of the shed blood of Jesus Christ: Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:5).

verse 8 : [8] : And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
We saw in chapter 1, verse 11, that this first and the last, or Alpha and Omega, is the Lord Jesus Christ. He now begins His message to the next church.

Smyrna

verse 9 : [9] : I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
The Smyrna period of church history takes us from 100 A.D. to 312 A.D.These people probably suffered the greatest persecution in all Christianity. Their works, faithfully performed in the name of Jesus, brought great tribulation and accompanying poverty, materially.
However, great riches were laid up for them in heaven. In addition, their relentless, dedicated efforts brought the Word of God to the entire Roman Empire.During the second and third centuries, the Smyrna church members were fed to the lions at Rome while multitudes cheered.
Church history informs us that five million may have been martyred during this era.
Every Christian ought to read Foxe’s Christian Martyrs of the World. He will quickly discover the foolishness of complaining in this day of luxury and ease.Believe it or not, the church flourished and grew during the Smyrna period!
Perhaps a little persecution would do us some good today. We might learn to love other brothers in Christ who have a different religious label than ours.
God forgive us for our sectarianism!Much of Smyrna’s heartache came through false professors of religion-those who said they were Jews as defined in Romans 2:29 (circumcised of the heart and the spirit rather than the letter) but who, in reality, were not!They did not really believe and were actually members of the synagogue of Satan!
Beware of those who claim to be Christians but deny the deity of Christ.They, too, are of the synagogue of Satan: 

[For] every Spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God (1 John 4:3). The same is true of those who mix law and grace. Paul said, I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed (Galatians 1:6-9).Because of the false brethren propagating false doctrine and despising the true believers, persecution came from within and from without. In the face of such satanic opposition, Christ’s message was…

verse 10 : [10] :Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

When the hour of trial arrived, the believers were not to fear. 

They were to keep their eyes on eternal rewards as mentioned in James 1:12: Blessed is the man that endureth [testing]: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Many Bible scholars believe that the ten days of persecution consisted of ten literal periods of suffering. I agree, since church history emphatically supports this assertion. Still, the church of Smyrna was guaranteed final victory through the Lord’s promises, power, and provision…

verse 11 : [11] : He that hath an ear; let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

Pergamos

verse 12 : [12] : And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
Again, chapter 1, verse 16, proves that the speaker is the Lord Jesus Christ.
verse 13 : [13] : I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr; who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

The letters to the first three churches begin with a commendation. 

To each Christ says, I know thy works. God sees what we do for Him. How sad when backsliding destroys the many good deeds performed in His name! We see this strange twist at Pergamos. Here the bad works outweigh the good ones.

This church period, extending from 312 A.D. to 606 A.D., was one of materialism, self-indulgence, and worldliness. Wickedness spread like a brushfire.

The name Pergamos has in it the same root from which we get our English words bigamy and polygamy. Pergamos signifies a mixed marriage of the church and the world. This happened because the Babylonian religion established its headquarters at Pergamos and infiltrated Christianity.

No wonder this local church is charged with dwelling in the area of Satan’s seat or literally, “throne.” They were perched on the doorstep of the devil’s headquarters!

Of necessity, the believer in Christ is in the world. However, he must constantly guard against becoming involved in its ungodliness. The church of Pergamos became part and parcel of Satan’s worldly establishment.

They called themselves by Christ’s name (Christians) and made verbal and written assent to the faith, even though they saw the danger of martyrdom in the example of Antipas. Nevertheless, they backslide.


verse 14 : [14] : But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

First {the} grievance against the church of Pergamos was the fact that they had embraced the pleasures of the world or become a worldly church.

Secondly, they had given heed to false doctrine-the theology of Balaam. Remember Balaam? He had a smart donkey! How sad to be famous because of one’s donkey. The animal was so smart it could outtalk Balaam.

What was the doctrine of Balaam taught to Balac?

First, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and second, to commit fornication. Balac had hired Balaam to curse Israel, and Balaam, the false prophet, was unable to get the anointing of Satan upon his spirit for the task. So he figured out a plan of destruction for the Jews.

He said, “Let the choice of the women of Balac’s kingdom display themselves before the eyes of God’s people.” As expected, the Jewish men became enamored with the beauty of the daughters of Balac’s kingdom, committed fornication with them, married them, and were eventually drawn into idolatry.

How wrong!

Those who name the name of Jesus are not to become involved with the world in any manner, [for] ye cannot drink the cup of the. ..Lord’s table, and of the table of devils (1 Corinthians 10:21).

verse 15 : [15] : So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

Not only were the people of the first church of Pergamos worldly, sinful, and idolatrous, but they also shared in the wicked practice of Nicolaitanism as did the church at Ephesus.

This, again, is ecclesiastical Hitlerism. It is when the minister or leader says, “I am the head, and you have no choice in the matter,” allowing laymen no voice in the affairs of the church.

Concerning the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, the condemnatory statement, which thing I hate, is uttered by the Lord God himself.

The solution?

verse 16 : [16] : Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

This is serious business.

The Christian is not to close his mind, heart, and ears to God’s warning.

verse 17 : [17] : He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

As previously noted, the overcomer is the true believer in Jesus (see 1 John 5:4). He is given the hidden manna (the Word of God) and is presented a white stone. During ancient court trials, the jurors would lay down white stones to signify a decision of acquittal. Praise the Lord, through the blood of Jesus, the white stones of acquittal have been presented and every Christian has a new name written down in glory!

Thyatira

verse 18 : [18] : And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
Once again we see that the speaker is the Son of God. The description of His eyes and feet were discussed in chapter 1, verses 14 and 15.
verse 19 : [19] : I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

To this point, all four churches have been complimented for their works. 

Thyatira, however, was loaded with meritorious service and unusual deeds. She was known for her good works, love, service, faith, patience, and last works. The term “last works” means that this church outdid herself. Her works became greater toward the end of her lifetime than they were at the beginning.

Historically, Thyatira covers the years 606 A.D. to 1520 A.D. However, many scholars believe that this church is found in the world until she is destroyed by the revived Roman Empire in chapters 17 and 18. Although Thyatira had many admirable qualities, she nevertheless had some deep-rooted problems as well.

verse 20 : [20] : Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

Who was Jezebel? 

In the Old Testament she was perhaps the most wicked woman of her day. She became so hated that she was thrown from a window and the dogs ate her flesh. The sin of this self-appointed prophetess was to bring Baalism into Israel as a new religion. She is accused of seducing God’s servants to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols.

This constituted the breaking of two of God’s commandments to His people Israel: 

(1) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them and (2) Thou shalt not commit adultery (Exodus 20:4, 5, 14). God called upon Thyatira to turn from her wicked ways.

verse 21 : [21] : I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
The long-suffering and loving God gave Thyatira approximately 1,000 years to do what was right, but she resisted. How like many twenty-first century Christians, constantly rejecting the wooings of the blessed Holy Spirit.

The result…

verse 21 : [22] : Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
Judgment always comes: 

Be sure your sin will find you out (Numbers 32:23). The Lord promises to cast this church and her bed partners-those who have partaken of her abominable iniquity, including idolatry and unfaithfulness to the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ-into the Great Tribulation. At that point, the church which sits upon seven hills (chapter 17, verse 9) will be destroyed. The details concerning this event are discussed in chapters 17 and 18.

The obvious lesson here is that God hates sin. 

Sentimentalists say, “Oh, the blessed, loving Jesus would never condemn anyone.

Really?

We know that God is love (1 John 4:8) and God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world (John 3:17).

Nevertheless, when His love is repeatedly spurned and one deliberately follows a course of sin, God’s holiness demands that the sinner be punished.

Remember Christ himself is speaking in the following verse:

verse 23 : [23]: And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

How sad that the church of Thyatira, so highly praised for good works in the opening passages, must be horribly judged because of having undone every good thing that had been originally performed in the name of the Saviour.

Likewise, today it is possible for the Christian to lose every reward he has earned, so look to yourselves, that [you] lose not those things which [you] have wrought [or earned] (2 John 8).

The only good news concerning Thyatira was that a remnant remained faithful in spite of the deterioration of this local church.

verse 24 : [24] : But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

The Lord Jesus informed John that those who did not succumb to Jezebel’s theological follies or fall into the fornication and idolatry propagated by this false Babylonian religion, would not have any other burden. They had experienced enough heartache.

verse 25 : [25] : But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

Here the faithful remnant was admonished to continue in the truth of God’s Word until Jesus returned.

verse 24 : [26] : And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
verse 27 : [27] : And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; and as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
verse 28 : [28] : And I will give him the morning star.
Christ has promised faithful believers three rewards upon His return to the earth:
 
(1) rulership over the nations during the Millennium: For they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years (chapter 20, vs. 4)

(2) sharing in this glorious time of perfect righteousness resulting from Christ’s personal enforcement and order (see Psalm 2:8,9)

(3) the abiding presence of the blessed Saviour throughout time and eternity as Christ himself, the bright and morning star, reigns (chapter 22, vs. 14 and 16).

If your life is not what it once was for Christ, don’t be a loser when rewards are distributed. Instead, about-face! Live for Him! Heed the warning of the next verse.

verse 28 : [29] : He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
First Published Feb 4, 2014 | Re Published January 18, 2015

02.0 The Book of Revelation: Chapter 1: vs 7 – 20

Revelation (the Book) feature

Previous post: Study of Rev 1: 1-6 {here}

We want to continue in our study of the book of Revelation by finishing chapter 1.

verse 7 [7]: Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

This verse announces the Lord’s return to earth. 

Notice that every eye sees Him. That is why this great event is described as the “revealing” or “revelation” of Christ and occurs when He comes as the KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS (Revelation 19:11-16).

Thus, our text is actually a preview of what will happen when He returns with His saints in chapter 19.

Isn’t it thrilling to know that when the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west (Matthew 24:27), every eye will witness the spectacle of the ages?

Notice also that the Israelites-a special group-will observe this momentous event, for they shall look upon [Him] whom they have pierced (Zechariah 12:10).

Furthermore, when He comes in power and great glory to smite the nations, all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. This is because He comes for judgment and none will escape.

As John envisions the hour when the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints (Jude 14), he victoriously cries, “Amen! Amen!

The Greek for even so is “Amen,” and “Amen” is the Hebrew for even so. John is literally shouting the praise or praises of God in two languages as he says, “Amen and Amen, He is coming!

verse 8 : [8]: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

This text speaks of the eternal Christ. 

Alpha and Omega are the beginning and ending letters of the Greek alphabet. Christ is saying, “I am the beginning and ending of all things.” He uses the title “I am,” which is a verb indicating being, but not becoming.

He always was.

He was before all things and created all things. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made (John 1:3). For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist (Colossians 1:16,17).

He also controls all things by upholding all things by the word of his power (Hebrews 1:3), and He will consummate all things as well (see Ephesians 1:10)

Yes, Jesus Christ is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending.

The terminology, I am… the Lord which is, and which was, and which is to come, expresses Christ’s oneness with the Father (see verse 4)

In fact, He adds the term, the Almighty, a name used for the Father in connection with His person. This term is used forty-eight times in the Old Testament. This verse clearly refutes the doctrine of anti-trinitarianism, which is anti-God, anti-Christ, and anti-Holy Spirit.

verse 9 : [9] : I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

John realizes that he is an old man and highly revered, yet he wants no praise from men for his sufferings. He immediately identifies himself as a brother in Christ and a companion in heartache and suffering. He tells of the tribulation he endured during his incarceration at Patmos, but he rejoices that the other blood-bought sons of God will miss the Tribulation. How true!

The Saviour stated: 

In the world ye shall have tribulation (John 16:33). However, this does not include the Tribulation hour out of which the saints are kept (see Revelation 3:10). John’s persecution came because of his devotion to Christ. This is always true when one takes a stand for the Saviour. Jesus said in John 15:18-20, If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.

verse 10 : [10] : I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

Beginning with this verse, we enter into the revelation experience with John and observe firsthand all that is presented to him through the remainder of the book.

Joseph A. Seiss says that John was carried forward through the centuries until he saw a vision of the great and terrible day of the Lord-the Tribulation hour. A majority of scholars, however, believe that the phrase, on the Lord’s day, refers to the first day of the week. Thus, on Resurrection day-Sunday, the first day of the week-John is visited by the One who had so loved him while on earth-Jesus himself. As He appears, John hears the trumpet-like voice of Christ…

verse 11 : [11] : Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

Alpha and Omega are the titles we discussed in verse 8. Verse 11 pictures the eternal Christ giving instructions to His beloved servant concerning the seven churches mentioned in verse 4 and to be discussed in chapters 2 and 3.

Then, John adds…

verse 12 : [12] : And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks.

When the trumpet-like voice of Christ sounded in Verse 11, John turned to see the voice that spoke to him.

This is different! One does not normally “see” a voice. Yet John turned to see the voice. As he looks in that direction, he sees seven golden candlesticks or lampstands. Verse 20 clearly explains the meaning of  Verse 12 as follows: The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks [means this:] The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

The fact that the seven churches are pictured as seven lampstands is significant because believers are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). Sad, as we shall see, is the fact that the history of the seven churches often diminished that light.

Oh, pray that it shall not be so in your life.

Jesus said, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

Now that we have observed  Verse 12 in light of  Verse 20, let’s take a closer look at the glorious Saviour who appears in the midst of the lampstands or churches.

verse 13 : [13]: And [I saw] in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

The Lord is clothed with the garments of the Old Testament high priest because He is risen and in heaven, performing His ministry of intercession. For this reason, he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them (Hebrews 7:25).

Thus, sixty years after Christ’s death and resurrection, John sees Him as the High Priest in the heavenlies. Paul also testified to this blessed fact by stating: Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (Hebrews 4:14).

Next our precious Lord is described in detail.

verse 14 : [14] : His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

John’s description speaks of antiquity and coincides with the vision Daniel had in chapter 7, verses 9 through 13. This Ancient of days, the eternal One, Jesus Christ, is also pictured in terms of whiteness because of His righteousness, for He is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens (Hebrews 7:26). The Greek also emphasizes the fact that His eyes “shot out fire.” Christ is righteously angry concerning the sin of the churches depicted in Revelation, chapters 2 and 3.

verse 15 : [15: And his feet [were] like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice [was] as the sound of many waters.

Christ’s feet picture judgment and relate to the events that take place when He returns to the earth in chapters 19 and 20. His voice as the sound of many waters also depicts judgment.

verse 16 : [16] : And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

The seven stars of this verse are the angels or messengers of the seven churches (see verse 20), while the two-edged sword is the Word of God as described
in Hebrews 4:12: The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Then the expression, his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength, takes our minds back to the transfiguration scene in Matthew 17:2 and thus pictures the glory of Christ, who is to be the Judge during the Great Tribulation hour, Armageddon, and the Great White Throne assembly of Revelation 20:11-15.Because of it, John is stunned, astonished, and humbled at the experience and cries…

verse 17 : [17] : And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
verse 18 : [18] : I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

The sight of Christ glorified was breathtaking, and the one who laid his head upon Jesus at the Last Supper now falls prostrate at His feet. As John falls before his blessed Lord in fear, Jesus lovingly says, Fear not. He is saying the same to us today. In the midst of wars, rumors of wars, heartaches, and death, the blessed Lord says, Let not your heart be troubled (John 14:1).

This message to John is from the first and the last, the Alpha and Omega, the eternal One, Jesus Christ. The One that liveth (resurrection), and was dead (crucifixion) and who cries, behold, I am alive for evermore (ascension), Amen.

He also has the keys of hell and of death. Because of this tremendous fact, Christians are not to fear, for through death … [Christ destroyed] him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage (Hebrews 2:14, 15).

Not only have we been delivered from the fear of death but from the fear of Hades as well.

Let me explain: 

Hades was the place where the souls and the spirits of all humans went until the cross. Sheol (Old Testament) and Hades (New Testament) were one and the same. In Sheol and Hades were two compartments, one for the wicked and the other for the righteous.

In Luke 16:22, 23, the rich man and Lazarus went to their respective places- one to suffering and the other to comfort. The thief on the cross went to the comfort side, or paradise, as promised by Christ when He said, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43).

This is where Christ went upon His death (Acts 2:27, 31). There He ministered to His people and led captivity captive (Ephesians 4:8-10), literally releasing them for their entrance into the third heaven of 2 Corinthians 12:2.

Presently the comfort side of Hades has been emptied by Him who has the keys of death and Hades (hell), but the torment side is still full. This will be emptied for the Judgment Day when….death and [Hades deliver] up the dead which [are] in them: and they [are] judged… (Revelation 20:13).

verse 19 : [19] : Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
 
This verse gives us the order of the Book of Revelation, which is written chronologically, or as the events happen. One immediately recognizes the three tenses past, present, and future.Write the things which thou hast seen-past, chapter 1; the things which are-present, chapters 2 and 3; and the things which shall be hereafter-future, chapters 4 through 22.
verse 20 : [20] : [God explains to John:] The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

Since we have discussed the closing verse of this chapter in connection with verse 12, let us move on to the study of the seven candlesticks, or the history of the seven churches, which we will cover in our next newsletter.

A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE

First published Jan 24, 2014 | re published January 11, 2016

01.0 The Book of Revelation: Chapter 1: vs. 1 – 6

Revelation (the Book) feature

The Book of Revelation is the culmination of Bible prophecy – 

The point at which all the prophecies of the ages converge and find their ultimate fulfillment. Revelation discloses the future of the Jew, Gentile, and the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Within its pages are specific details concerning the Savior’s return, the establishment of His Millennial Kingdom and, finally, the eternal state of both the saved and the lost.

The word revelation comes from the Greek apokalupsis, meaning “an uncovering or unveiling.” For this reason, the Book of Revelation is also known as the Apocalypse. In either case, the definition reflects the fact that God has made known to mankind those eternal, supernatural truths and realities which man, on his own, could never realize or discover. The Book of Revelation is the final work of the New Testament and the Revelation of Jesus Christ which details world history from the time of John (the Early Church Age) to eternity.

It constitutes God’s last special revelation to mankind this side of heaven. Simply stated, Bible prophecy and Revelation are history written in advance. They form God’s description of future facts and events. Such prophecy is completely trustworthy because God is Omniscient, He knows all things, whether they be actual or merely possible, and He knows them perfectly from all eternity. Acts 15:18 states: Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world. Thus, the Almighty is able to fully and accurately describe the future in advance of its actual occurrence.

Current international events reflect exactly the conditions and happenings predicted throughout the Bible for the last days of this age.

Yet, comparatively little prophetic teaching and preaching are currently taking place. This is probably due to the fact that this field of endeavor involves a great amount of research and study (see II Timothy 2:15). Millions more prefer not to have prophecy explained to them because they would rather live by the world’s standards and dictates. As individuals who are seeking satisfaction and rewards in this life, they are obviously not anxiously anticipating Christ’s return.

As we walk through the Book of Revelation together, remember that this special message has been given to reveal God’s truth, not conceal it; and to clarify God’s eternal purpose, not mystify it.

I will not present an elaborate outline or engage in the use of heavy theological terminology. My goal is a simple verse-by-verse analysis. I trust that, as a result, each reader will gain a clear understanding of the blessed truths that the Book of Revelation contains.

CHAPTER 1
verse 1 : The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.

We begin our study by immediately recognizing that the noun is revelation, singular, not revelations, plural.

This term comes from the Greek word Apokalupsis and means “an unveiling or uncovering.” It is often used in the epistles as a “manifestation” (Romans 8:19), a “coming” (1 Corinthians 1:7), a “revealing” (2 Thessalonians 1:7), and an “appearing” (1 Peter 1:7).

The Book of Revelation, then, concerns the unveiling or appearing of our precious Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is not the unfolding of the story of St. John the Divine, or even of prophetical truth, but rather the message of the “appearing of Christ.” This appearing takes place at the Rapture (chapter 4, verse 1), as well as at the hour of His return to earth when every eye shall see Him (chapter 1, verse 7).

Secondly, we see that this revelation was given to Jesus Christ, as is everything, for Jesus said, All things are delivered unto me of my Father (Matthew 11:27). They are presented unto Him to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass.

The term shortly in the original means “rapidity of action once there is a beginning.” This certainly pictures the present hour when signs pointing to His return are beginning to appear with alarming frequency. These truths, then, are sent and signified by Christ’s angel unto John, the writer of the book, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Notice that the first four letters of the word signified spell SIGN. Why?

The Book of Revelation is a study of signs. There is the sign of the Holy Spirit presented as seven spirits (verse 4) and the sign of the seven golden candlesticks and the seven stars (verse 20).

Thus, through signs, we come to an understanding of this gloriously revealed portion of Scripture.

We begin our study by immediately recognizing that the noun is revelation, singular, not revelations, plural.

This term comes from the Greek word Apokalupsis and means “an unveiling or uncovering.” It is often used in the epistles as a “manifestation” (Romans 8:19), a “coming” (1 Corinthians 1:7), a “revealing” (2 Thessalonians 1:7), and an “appearing” (1 Peter 1:7).

The Book of Revelation, then, concerns the unveiling or appearing of our precious Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is not the unfolding of the story of St. John the Divine, or even of prophetical truth, but rather the message of the “appearing of Christ.” This appearing takes place at the Rapture (chapter 4, verse 1), as well as at the hour of His return to earth when every eye shall see Him (chapter 1, verse 7).

Secondly, we see that this revelation was given to Jesus Christ, as is everything, for Jesus said, All things are delivered unto me of my Father (Matthew 11:27). They are presented unto Him to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass.

The term shortly in the original means “rapidity of action once there is a beginning.” This certainly pictures the present hour when signs pointing to His return are beginning to appear with alarming frequency. These truths, then, are sent and signified by Christ’s angel unto John, the writer of the book, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Notice that the first four letters of the word signified spell SIGN. Why?

The Book of Revelation is a study of signs. There is the sign of the Holy Spirit presented as seven spirits (verse 4) and the sign of the seven golden candlesticks and the seven stars (verse 20).

Thus, through signs, we come to an understanding of this gloriously revealed portion of Scripture.

verse 2 [John] bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

This statement is self-explanatory.

verse 3: Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Verse three proves that the apocalypse is not some deep, mysterious, confusing book.

God would not be an omniscient, all-knowing God if He promised a special blessing to those who read, hear, and keep what they read and hear, if they were unable to comprehend the truth. No, the Book of Revelation is understandable and fills the heart with joy once one sees its glorious message concerning the Savior.

One reason that readers and hearers are to keep that which they have heard is because the time of Christ’s return is at hand.

The words at hand mean “imminent.” Near and imminent are not synonymous. Imminent means “impending.” Hence, the event could happen immediately or within ten minutes, ten months, or even ten years. “Imminence” is always the meaning of at hand when speaking about the return of the Lord. For example, Romans 13:12 says, The night is far spent, the day is at hand [imminent]. Philippians 4:5 declares, Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. And 1 Peter 4:7 says, But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

Thus, the next event on God’s calendar, the return of Christ for His Church, may happen momentarily. That is why we, as Christians, should keep our eyes fixed heavenward, looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).

verse 4: John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven spirits which are before his throne;

John now focuses his attention on seven local churches located in a land area called Asia.

This is not Asia as we know it today, but probably a portion of Turkey. Only seven churches are mentioned, although there were undoubtedly more in existence. Seven is God’s number of perfection. The number also pictures seven different sets of conditions reflecting the history of God’s people through the Church Age.

God’s salutation, found in nineteen of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, is presented here as well: Grace be unto you, and peace.

It is not “peace and grace” but “grace and peace,” because this is God’s program for sinners. They cannot have peace until He has shown them His lovely grace. God must show His unmerited favor and love, called “grace,” before one can experience peace.

This grace is shown through the sacrifice of Calvary and is freely bestowed upon all who believe and receive Christ. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8,9).

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men (Titus 2:11).

When grace has done its job, peace follows:

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). This peace was made through the blood of his cross (Colossians 1:20). Thus, Romans 15:13 states: Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Only Jesus can give this peace. An unsaved psychiatrist is unable to do the job. Psychiatrists need the same peace that they strive to give. Thus, we must turn our problems over to the Son of God.

We also find that the message of grace and peace is from the entire Trinity.

First, the Father which is, which was, and which is to come; then from the seven Spirits which are before the throne (a designation of the blessed Holy Spirit in all of His holiness, for seven means perfection)…

verse 5And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

The question is often asked, “Why is Christ the first begotten from the dead, when Lazarus and others were raised first?” The answer is simple.

Others were raised to life, but they died again. They were raised from physical death to physical life only to eventually die a second time. Jesus Christ was raised from the dead to immortality—never to die again! He is the first to have been resurrected with a new never-dying body. This is why Christ should be the first that should rise from the dead (Acts 26:23)…and why He only hath immortality (1 Timothy 6:16).

Five times Christ is called “the first begotten” or “the firstborn from the dead.” Another five times He is called “the only begotten.” The term “only begotten” refers to His incarnation, whereas “first begotten (or firstborn) refers to His resurrection. For instance, he bringeth in the first begotten into the world (Hebrews 1:6). [Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn [first begotten] of every creature (Colossians 1:15). And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn [first begotten] from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence (Colossians 1:18).

Romans 8:29 declares, For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn [yea, the first begotten] among many brethren. 

Think these verses through carefully so that no cultist can trip you up on the terms “first begotten” and “firstborn,” in his attempts to make the eternal Christ have a beginning. No, praise God, Christ is from of old, from everlasting (Micah 5:2). Yea, He is one with the everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6).

The Lord Jesus Christ is also called the prince of the kings of the earth.

This, of course, refers to the future, when the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) returns to earth as the KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS (Revelation 19:16). This glorious event will be the fulfillment of Psalm 2:6, which states: [I have] set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. At that time the Lord Jesus shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth (Psalm 72:8).

verse 6And [He] hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Verses 5 and 6 contain three glorious statements concerning Christ’s work on our behalf:

(1) He loved us.

(2) He washed us from our sins in His own blood.

(3) He hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father.

The order is beautiful. Let’s examine it in detail.

First, the Lord Jesus had to love us in order to wash us and make us kings and priests. 

However, it is even more thrilling when one sees that His love is in the present tense, meaning that He continues loving those He has washed.

This is why John 13:1 triumphantly declares, [Jesus], having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

Can you understand such love? Oh, that you may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge (Ephesians 3:18,19).

This love is forever.

That is why Paul declared in Romans 8:37-39: Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The love which Jesus Christ has bestowed upon each born-again believer should manifest itself in daily living, for He said to His own, A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another (John 13:34,35). This love for you and me brought Christ from heaven’s glory to the cruel cross of Golgotha’s hill. Love made Him shed His blood for the remission of our sins.

Secondly, He washed us!

Some do not like the teaching about the blood.

They want to earn heaven by their own meritorious works. However, being whitewashed is not the same as being washed white. There is a vast difference! It is not less toil that solves the difficulty, it is no toil. Listen to God: Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration (Titus 3:5).

When one trusts in the merits of Christ’s shed blood, his sins are gone, As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:12).

Isaiah 38:17 declares, Thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back. God says, I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins (Isaiah 44:22).

Yes, He has cast all our sins into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19). Oh, come to Jesus and He will lift all your load.

Here’s proof! To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins (Acts 10:43).

It matters not how far astray the wayward son or daughter has gone, the blood of Jesus Christ [God’s] Son cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:7).

Thirdly, because of His love and the washing of regeneration, Christ is able to make us kings and priests unto God and his Father.

“Priest” is the title of every believer.

It is also the reason one does not need a minister to help him get closer to God.

If you have been born again, you are a priest in the eyes of the Almighty.

You can bring your own petitions to God. 

One is not heard any more rapidly because he has been ordained by men, for all born-again believers are on the same level.

All are members of a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that [we] should shew forth the praises of him who hath called [us] out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).

What a calling! Thank you, Jesus.

John adds, To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen

Re-Published Jan 04 2016 | First Published on: Jan 19, 2014 | A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE

00.0 The Book of Revelation OVERVIEW

Revelation (the Book) feature

This series is in depth study and review with biblical commentary provided by Rev. Jack van Impe

About Jack Leo Van Impe (born February 9, 1931): is an American televangelist who is known for his half-hour weekly television series Jack Van Impe Presents, an eschatological commentary on the news of the week through his interpretation of the Bible. The program airs throughout the United States, Canada, and several other countries through both religious broadcasters and the purchase of paid programming time on commercial television stations. Van Impe’s website, claims that he is known as the “Walking Bible” because of his extensive memorization of Bible verses

The Book of Revelation: 

1st Pub Re Pub #  CHAPTER  1st Pub  Re Pub  #  CHAPTER  1st Pub  Re Pub  #  CHAPTER
19/01/14 04/01/16 01 Ch 1: 1 – 6 26/04/14 xx/xx/xx  12 Ch 10: 1 – 11 23/06/14 xx/xx/xx 23 Ch 18: 1 – 24
24/01/14 11/01/16 02 Ch 1: 7 – 20 20/05/14  13 Ch 11: 1 – 19 28/06/14 24 Ch 19: 1 – 9
04/02/14 18/01/16 03 Ch 2: 1 – 29 21/05/14  14 Ch 12: 1 – 17 04/07/14 25 Ch 19: 10 – 21
11/02/14 25/01/16 04 Ch 3: 1 – 22 30/05/14  15 Ch 13: 1 – 3 09/07/14 26 Ch 20: 1 – 6
16/02/14 01/02/16 05 Ch 4: 1 – 11 30/05/14  16 Ch 13: 4 – 18 18/07/14 27 Ch 20: 7 – 15
19/02/14 08/02/16 06 Ch 5: 1 – 14 01/06/14  17 Ch 14: 1 – 8 23/07/14 28 Ch 21: 1 – 14
26/02/14 15/02/16 07 Ch 6: 1 – 4 01/06/14  18 Ch 14: 9 – 20 01/08/14 29 Ch 21: 15 – 27
06/03/14 22/02/16 08 Ch 6: 5 – 17 17/06/14  19 Ch 15: 1 – 8 15/07/14 30 Ch 22: 1 – 21
12/03/14 29/02/16 09 Ch 7: 1 – 17 20/06/14  20 Ch 16: 1 – 9
25/03/14 07/03/16 10 Ch 8:1 – 9:12 20/06/14  21 Ch 16: 10 – 21
26/03/14 14/03/16 11 Ch 9: 13 – 21 22/06/14  22 Ch 17: 1 – 18

Related: The Book of Daniel

by Jack van Impe

fourcmbanner-blog-transperant-02

BOOK OF REVEALATIONS by gotquestions.org

Revelation (the Book) feature
Author:

Revelation 1:1,4,9 and 22:8 specifically identify the author of the Book of Revelation as the Apostle John.

Date of Writing:

The Book of Revelation was likely written between 90 and 95 A.D.

Purpose of Writing:

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave John to show his servants what must soon take place. This book is filled with mysteries and things to come. It is the final warning that the world will surely end and judgment will be certain. It gives us a tiny glimpse of Heaven and all of the glories awaiting we who keep our robes white. Revelation takes us through the great tribulation with all the woes and the final fire that all unbelievers will face for eternity. The book reiterates the fall of Satan and the doom he and his angels are bound for. We are shown the duties of all creatures and angels of heaven and the promises of the saints that will live forever and ever with Jesus in the New Jerusalem. I, like John, cannot find the words to describe what I read in the book of Revelation.

Key Verses:

Revelation 1:19, “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.

Revelation 13:16-17, “He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.

Revelation 19:11, “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war.

Revelation 20:11, “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.

Revelation 21:1, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.

Brief Summary:

The Revelation is lavish in colorful descriptions of the visions which proclaim for us the Last Days before Christ’s return and the ushering in of the new Heaven and new earth. The Revelation reveals the series of devastations poured out upon the earth; the mark of the beast, “666”; the climatic battle of Armageddon; the binding of Satan; the reign of the Lord; the Great White Throne Judgment; and the nature of the eternal city of God. Prophecies concerning Jesus Christ are fulfilled and a concluding call to His Lordship assures us that He will soon return.

Practical Application:

Have you accepted Christ as your Savior? If so, you have nothing to fear from God’s judgment of the world in the Book of Revelation. The judge is on our side. Before the final judgment begins, witness to friends and neighbors about God’s offer of eternal life in Christ. These events in this book are real. Live your life like you believe it and so that others will notice your joy about your future and want to join you in that new and glorious city.

30.0 The Book of Revelation: Chapter 22: vs.1 – 21

Revelation (the Book) feature

This closing chapter of the Book of Revelation continues our thrilling “sightseeing tour” of the New Jerusalem, and reaffirms the fact that only those who possess the righteousness of Christ are granted admittance and residence.

verse 1-2 : [1-2v1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. v2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

The first two verses of chapter 221)https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+22&version=KJV establish the fact that, in our new glorified bodies, we, as inhabitants of the Holy City, will continue to enjoy the habit of eating. 

Why not? When we see Jesus, we shall be like him (1 John 3:2). Since He ate in His glorified body (see Luke 24:43), why wouldn’t we? 

Our text also describes the best drink we will ever enjoy- pure, refreshing water direct from the throne of God. Think of it! Distilled or chemically treated water is no longer necessary, for pollution has become nonexistent!

Not only do we have crystal clear water to drink, but we also enjoy delicious health-producing fruit. In fact, the tree of life bears twelve manner of fruits and produces them monthly.

This is interesting.

When Adam and Eve sinned by partaking of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17), God drove them out of the Garden of Eden. He then stationed an angel before its entrance in order to keep them from eating the fruit of the tree of life, lest they eat and live eternally in their sinful state.

Now a new day has arrived. 

The saints are in the very presence of God, and may eat of the tree of life to their heart’s content. Undoubtedly this tree plays a part in promoting one’s endless existence, for even the leaves contain healing or health for the nations living under, or in the light of, the city. 

The word health is the proper translation, not healing. Since there is no sorrow, sickness, or pain, healing is unnecessary because eternal health is for all. In the heavenly city, doctors and nurses are permanently retired. Hallelujah!

verse 3 : [3]: And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

The curse, which originated in the Garden of Eden and was partially removed during the Millennium, is now obliterated forever.

verse 4 : [4]: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

Think of it! 

We will observe the beauty of our Saviour’s countenance daily as we live in His presence forever and ever.

When we look at the One who is altogether lovely and He, in turn, looks at us, He will observe His name indelibly inscribed upon our foreheads. This is our seal of eternal ownership! Oh, how wonderful to belong to Jesus!

verse 5 : [5]: And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

Because Christ, in all His glory, illuminates the city and its inhabitants-those who walk in the light of the city-no other type of natural or artificial lighting is required. Even the sun which warmed the former earth for so many centuries is no longer necessary. The warmth of the love of God shines upon His people for the ages of ages in this land of eternal day.

verse 6 : [6]: And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

At this point the angel tells John the reason God has allowed him to experience this vision of the revelation.

He says, The God of the holy prophets who is truth and cannot lie, sent me to tell you that the things you have heard and seen must come to pass speedily.

verse 7 : [7]: Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

In Revelation 22:6, our Lord told John that the things written in this Book of Revelation must shortly be done or “come to pass speedily.” Then He adds in Revelation 22:7, Behold, I come quickly [or speedily]. 

The term speedily is not used in relationship to hours, days, months, or even years. Rather, it speaks of a series of events happening in rapid succession once they begin. In other words, when these things begin to come to pass (see Luke 21:28), the signs and events will fall into place so speedily-one after another-that a state of preparedness should be maintained.

Hence, the admonition: Blessed [or happy] is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. 

Such an individual will be ready for the Lord’s return.

verse 8-9 : [8-9v8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which sheaved me these things. v.9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

Poor mortals never learn! 

John had already made the mistake of bowing before an angel and being rebuked in Revelation 19:10. Now he does it again! 

Fortunately, we have a God of love. He is willing to forgive the same mistake seventy times seven (Matthew 18:22). Only by His grace, love, compassion, and forgiveness are any of us able to continue. 

Thank you, Lord Jesus!

verse 10 : [10]: And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

Following God’s revelation to Daniel, the prophet was told to seal the book [until] the time of the end (Daniel 12:4).

John, however, is forbidden to seal the Book of Revelation because the time is at hand, or has come. In the Greek, the word time is kairos, and means “opportune moment” or “correct season.” 

Thus, the angel is saying, The time for the revealing of prophetic truth has come. People are to be made aware of the future. They must learn the history of the churches and the plan of the ages. Then, as they live in these periods of time, they will understand God’s program. They will also realize that, once the events begin, they will speedily come to pass. Knowing this, they will prepare. Therefore, do not seal the prophecy of the sayings of this book.

Our study of the Book of Revelation has revealed that the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the Great White Throne Judgment will soon come to pass. 

As a result, some will realize that little time is left and will ask Christ to save them. Others will continue to harden their hearts. 

The decision is every individual’s to make. 

One’s acceptance or rejection of God’s truth and the Lord Jesus Christ as one’s personal Saviour will determine where one spends eternity and what one will be forever. 

Hence, the next statement…

verse 11 : [11]: He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

Choose this day what you shall be eternally!

verse 12 : [12]: And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

God’s prophetic time clock is ticking, and every event will certainly and speedily come to pass.

verse 13 : [13]: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

God is saying,When I come, I will finish the work of redemption which I began, for I am the Alpha and Omegathe author and finisher of [the] faith (Hebrews 12:2).” If you receive the gospel invitation, you will be happy for…

verse 14 : [14]: Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

According to Dr. C. I. Scofield, a better rendering of Revelation 22:14 is, “Blessed are they that wash their robes that they may have right to the tree of life.” 

If one is seeking rights to the tree of life by commandment-keeping, he is planning to arrive in the eternal state by his works. This, of course, is impossible as we have learned through Titus 3:5, Romans 4:5, and numerous other texts.

Dr. A. C. Gaebelein, Dr. H. A. Ironside, Dr. J. A. Seiss, and practically all noted Bible scholars also translate the verse, “Blessed are they that wash their robes (in the blood of the Lamb) that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Those who reject the message of the blood and salvation by grace through faith in the completed work of Christ (see Ephesians 2:8, 9) are reminded:

verse 15 : [15]: For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

This is the crowd pictured in Revelation 21:8. The dogs are identical to the abominable of chapter 21.2)https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+21&version=KJV The abominable never lived it (see Titus 1:16), and the dogs went back to their dirt-their old sinful habits (see 2 Peter 2:22). 

Both verses speak of individuals who lack the “new birth” experience-the one and only way a person can become a new creation in Christ Jesus (see 2 Corinthians 5:17). 

There is absolutely no doubt about the destiny of those who reject God’s message and the truths revealed in the Book of Revelation, for…

verse 16 : [16]: I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

The message of the revelation is true because Christ inaugurated and guarantees it. 

Who would dare question Him? 

In this verse, the Lord also calls himself the root and offspring of David. As the root, He is David’s Lord-the preexistent God (see Psalm 110:1). As his offspring, He is David’s son, the incarnate Christ (see Matthew 22:41-46).

This is a beautiful picture of the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is also the bright and morning star. In fact, Peter calls Him the day star (2 Peter 1:19).

Now listen intently, for this is deeply moving. God so loves sinners that His compassionate heart must extend the gospel call one last time before the book closes. Oh, that modern-day ministers were as evangelistic as the Heavenly Father! Hear Him:

verse 17 : [17]: And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

In this text, God compassionately declares, “Believe in Me; come to Me. Invite Me into your heart and life. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Everyone and everything is pulling for you: 

(1) the Holy Spirit is, (2) the bride of Christ is(3) everyone who hears and believes is(4) the glorious city in which the Bride dwells is saying, ‘Don’t you want me for your eternal home?Finally (5) your own spiritual thirst is crying out, ‘I want to be satisfied.“‘

Why not come and drink? The water of life is free. It is without cost or obligation for everyone, and whosoever will may come!

If you have rejected this invitation, if you have considered the message of the Book of Revelation unimportant, or if you are among those who believe that the Book of Revelation is not part of the canon of Scripture-that it is but a collection of riddles, simply a symbolic hoax perpetrating a myth-beware! For God himself warns one and all…

verse 18-19 : [18-19v.18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: v.19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

What a strong judgmental warning! 

What a serious admonition from the Almighty to take the Book of Revelation seriously! 

God means what He says and says what He means. 

One is not to meddle with or handle lightly the truths which mean so much to the God of heaven and earth, for…

verse 20 : [20]: He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

God’s last promise as the Book of Revelation closes is, Surely, I come quickly. 

When one sees the beginning of these events and the rapid succession of signs following speedily, Jesus will come quickly- or suddenly. The response of His people is: Amen

This expression literally means, so be it (Jeremiah 11:5). And then they immediately add, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

The final message to the Church is that our Lord will return. 

Until this glorious event takes place and He calls us to himself in the twinkling of an eye, my prayer for every born-again child of God reflects the benediction of this blessed book:

verse 21 : [21]: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE

First Published : Aug 15, 2014 | Re Published :

References   [ + ]

1. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+22&version=KJV
2. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+21&version=KJV

29.0 The Book of Revelation: Chapter 21: vs.15 – 27

Revelation (the Book) feature
verse 15-17 : [15-17v.15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. v.16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. v.17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

The angel measures the city with a golden reed or measuring rod. 

Since the streets are composed of gold and the city is pure gold as well (Revelation 21:18), a gold yardstick is appropriate. (It’s a good thing that thieves are excluded – 1 Corinthians 6: 10 – otherwise the Holy City’s freeways would disappear!)

Verse 16 informs us that the New Jerusalem is tetragonal, or foursquare in shape. 

The city is a perfect cube because its width, length, and height are equal. In fact, the angel discovers its dimensions to be 12,000 furlongs wide, long, and high. Most scholars believe this to be a distance of 1,500 miles.

  • Dr. A. C. Gaebelein says, “Twelve thousand furlongs constitutes fifteen hundred miles.
  • Seiss states: “The golden city is 1,500 miles square; for 12,000 stadia make 1,500 miles.”

Placed over the United States of America, the heavenly city would extend from the northernmost point of Maine to the southernmost point of Florida and from the eastern seaboard to Colorado. In fact, the major cities of the world are mere villages in comparison with the New Jerusalem.

Because it also extends 1,500 miles upward into space, it could literally contain every person who has ever been born, plus additional billions as well.

The wall extends around the city and is approximately 216 feet in height, for a cubit is the distance from the elbow to the end of the middle finger (approximately eighteen inches).

Now let’s look into the magnificent beauty of God’s Holy City.

verse 18-21 : [18-21v.18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. v19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; v20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. v.21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

Wow! 

Notice first that the wall of jasper represents Christ, in His radiant glory, surrounding His saints. Next the pure gold city typifies the righteousness of God’s holy nature, and then the precious colorful stones-startlingly brilliant-picture the Lord’s attributes as well as various aspects of His redemptive work.

Imagine the scene when the light of the city-the Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 21:23) – shines through the brilliancy of these stones! When John’s vision becomes a reality-then and
only then-we will begin to understand the term the glory of God!

The beautiful city also pictures the saints of all ages joined together in love, for the names of the twelve tribes of Israel are coupled with the names of the apostles. This means that all of God’s people from all dispensations have finally been joined together in one truly ecumenical brotherhood. No longer will we be Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists, Nazarenes, or Presbyterians. Instead, we will be united brethren! What a glorious day when we lay aside eternally the tags that so often divide us.

verse 22 : [22]: And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

On earth, God always had a dwelling place-a temple or tabernacle-where men could come to worship and commune with Him. Such a place is no longer needed, for the tabernacle of God is now with men. He has chosen to dwell with them (Revelation 21:3).

verse 23 : [23]: And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof

While on earth, Jesus said, I am the light of the world (John 8:12). Now, in the eternal city, Christ, in all His radiant splendor and glory, shines forth so magnificently that darkness becomes an impossibility. No wonder there shall be no night there!

verse 24-26 : [24-26v.24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. v25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. v26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

These verses undoubtedly picture the multitudes who came through the Millennium as born-again, regenerated believers. They did not follow Satan in the final rebellion upon his release from the bottomless pit. Therefore, they entered the eternal state in bodies of flesh. Their rulers, kings, and presidents-also born again and still living in earthly bodies-now bring their glory and honour into the New Jerusalem as well.

They come to praise Him who is all in all. 

As they arrive, there is no fear of assassination, recrimination, terrorism, or robbery. Such events are no longer possible.

• God is present. 

• Satan is destroyed. 

• Temptation is forever past. 

Thus, the gates of the city are never locked. Security is needless in the land of eternal day where there is no night. At this point, however, the warning flag is again lifted.

verse 27 : [27]: And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE

First Published: Aug 01, 2014 | Re Published :

28.0 The Book of Revelation: Chapter 21: vs.1-14

Revelation (the Book) feature

The final two chapters of the Book of Revelation present the glorious future which awaits every believer of all dispensations and ages. The eternal state of both the saved and lost is described in the first eight verses of this chapter. In addition, verses 9 through 27 present a glowing description of the New Jerusalem. The view is absolutely breathtaking. 

Let’s begin our study.

verse 1 : [1]: And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

The passing away of the first heaven and earth occurred at the conclusion of the Great White Throne Judgment. This was part of the renovation of the world which Jesus predicted in Matthew 24:35 when He said, Heaven and earth shall pass awayThe time and method are described in 2 Peter 3:7, 10-13. 

Listen carefully to these solemn words: The heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

In the new world, the sea is eliminated, possibly because of its connotation with wickedness: The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt (Isaiah 57:20). Another reason may be that oceanic vegetation is no longer necessary.

verse 2 : [2]: And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Two Jerusalems are mentioned in Scripture (see Galatians 4:25, 26 and Hebrews 12:22). 

One is earthly and the home of the believers during the millennial period. The other is heavenly-as the New Jerusalem, or celestial city, hovers over the earth during the thousand-year (millennial) reign of Christ and then becomes situated eternally upon earth at the end of the thousand-year period. Revelation 21:1-8 actually follows Revelation 21:9 – 22:15.

This is one time the chronological outline of the book of Revelation is different. 

The New Jerusalem is undoubtedly the one Christ has been preparing for over 2,000 years, for the Saviour said in John 14:2, I go to prepare a place for you. This magnificent masterpiece descending toward earth reminds one of the elegant beauty of a bride on her wedding day.

verse 3 : [3]: And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

To this point in time, God’s Tabernacle has been located in heaven. 

Now we discover a change of address. 

The Almighty descends to earth with His heavenly entourage, settling in the New Jerusalem to begin global operations from this satellite city. The redeemed-in their glorified bodies-live in the New Jerusalem. Those with bodies of flesh-those who were born and saved during the millennial hour-enter the eternal state with their natural bodies. They live on earth, in and under the light of the Holy City (see Revelation 21:24).

The true beauty of the entire scene is that God dwells in the midst of His people, for a voice cries, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

Another exciting fact is that believers, with their glorified bodies, will be able to travel as fast as the speed of light, yea, as fast as their thoughts. Thus, they will traverse back and forth to earth from their city in space-the New Jerusalem-in a moment of time. Presently the world’s scientists predict that men will certainly be living in space cities within our century. They don’t know the half of it! Amen!

 

verse 4 : [4]: And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

This verse should be a favorite among God’s people. Think of it! 

Pain, sorrow, crying, and death are forever eliminated in this land of eternal life. This, as mentioned in Revelation 21:2, is only true after the Millennium when Christ’s Kingdom is recommissioned and eternally established on earth. No wonder the redeemed are able to triumphantly shout, O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (I Corinthians 15:55). Never again will a funeral procession take place, for death, the last enemy, will have been destroyed (see I Corinthians 15:26). 

In addition, everything associated with death is also eliminated for time and eternity. Glory! 

No more disease, heart attacks, automobile accidents, wars or rumors of wars. “It is finished” is truly the national anthem of eternity. Although these truths are wonderful in themselves, the greatest fact is that the Lord’s people see His face (see Revelation 22:4). In addition, sin has ceased to exist because Satan is eternally incarcerated in Gehenna, the lake of fire (see Revelation 20:10). A new day in a new heaven suspended above a new earth has arrived because…

verse 5-6 : [5-6v.5 He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. v.6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

God speaks to John, saying, It is done. 

As Christ completed His redemptive work for sinners on the cross, He cried, It is finished. Now God, who has made all things new, again announces, It is finished, or done. His will has been accomplished in Jesus Christ-namely, that the earth should be free from the curse of sin and that its inhabitants should be conformed to His very likeness. This has happened. It is done. God adds, I am [the] Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. 

Alpha and Omega are the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet. Hence, the explanation, the beginning and the end. But what does it mean? 

In Christ, all creation began without sin (see Colossians 1:15-19). Now, in Christ, it has ended without sin.

In this glorious city-New Jerusalem-the spiritual thirst of God’s people is also satisfied forever. While on earth, Jesus said to the woman of Samaria, Whosoever drinketh of this water [in the well] shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life (John 4:13,14). That time has come, and God states: “I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” It is yours to possess throughout the ages. Enjoy yourselves!

However, make no mistake about it. The eternal prize of being in the presence of God in the New Jerusalem, where there is no more death, sorrow, crying, pain, or thirst, is only for those who trust in the merits of the shed blood of Christ.

verse 1 : [7]: He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

Who is the overcomer? The one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God (see 1 John 5:4). Oh, be sure of your salvation, because the next verse mentions a motley group of sinners who miss the eternal paradise upon earth.

verse 8 : [8]: But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

This text plainly states that those who were condemned at the judgment of Revelation 20:11-15, have been cast into the lake of fire, or Gehenna. They were not given a reprieve, a commuted sentence, or a second chance, as some sentimentalists teach. Revelation 211)https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+21&version=KJV is the eternal state.

No more changes are possible.  

Those who stood before God’s Great White Throne did not make it.  Who were they?

• The fearful – those who rejected Christ to escape the ridicule of men.

• The unbelieving – those who rejected the doctrine of Christ’s deity and shed blood as the only means of obtaining eternal life. Jesus said, Ye shall die in your sins… if ye believe not that I am he [or that I am God] (John 8:24). In John 5:40, the Saviour again said, Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

• The abominable – those who engaged in wicked practices. They spoke the language of christendom but never lived it: They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate (Titus 1: 16).

• The murderers – including those who carried hatred within their hearts and minds for others. If you don’t believe it, listen to the following: Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him (1 John 3:15).

• The whoremongers – those who engaged in fornication (premarital sex), adultery (extramarital flings), or perverted sex.

• The sorcerers – those who practiced drug usage for “kicks” and “highs.”

• The idolaters – those who worshiped or revered anyone or anything other than the living and true God, or who used idols in worship. Remember God’s warning, Little children, keep yourselves from idols (1 John 5:21).

• All liars – those who deceived others, distorted the truth, and destroyed mankind by lies.

verse 1 : [9]: And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.

Here one member of the angelic host which administered the final seven judgments now speaks to John, saying, “Come here. I want to show you the Bride, the Lamb’s wife, the one who made herself ready [in] fine linen, clean and white (Revelation 19:7-8) and who returns with Him for the 1,000-year honeymoon (Revelation 19:11-16).” At this point the Bride is envisioned in her final resting place.

verse 10 : [10]: And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.

The Bride is pictured as the city of the New Jerusalem because a city is composed of people. Buildings, streets, and light are but aids to the residents.

For example, one refers to a city as “clean” or “wicked.” Why? Because of its people. Now, as John views God’s heavenly creation, he is impressed by (1) the brilliance of the city (Revelation 21:9-14), (2) the size of the city (Revelation 21:9-14), and (3) the beauty of the city (Revelation 21:18-21). 

He describes the city as…

verse 11-14 : [11-14v.11 Having the glory of God and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a Jasper stone, clear as crystal; v.12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: v.13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. v.14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

In Bible times walls were erected for protection. However, since war is forever finished, one may question the presence of this wall in the New Jerusalem. The answer? It serves as a reminder that the God of love protected His people while on earth. This wall is an eternal memorial to the fact that our lives have been hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).

The city also has twelve gates, each inscribed with one of the names of the twelve tribes of the Children of Israel. The gates are staffed with angels who welcome those possessing the right and privilege of entering the city (Revelation 22:14). The twelve angels standing at these entrances are possibly those who worked jointly with each tribe during the earthly sojourn of the people of Israel. We also note that, just as the gates are inscribed with the names of the twelve tribes, the foundations of the wall itself contain the names of Christ’s twelve apostles. Next week we will consider the size of the city.

A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE

First Published : Jul 23, 2014 | Re Published :

References   [ + ]

1. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+21&version=KJV

27.0 The Book of Revelation: Chapter 20: vs.7 – 15

Revelation (the Book) feature
verse 7 - 9 : [7-9v.7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, v.8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. v.9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

This portion of Scripture has caused many people great concern. They ask, “Why should Satan be loosed for a short season? What purpose could God have in unchaining this monster after one thousand years of blessed peace?” 

The answer is, “The free will of man.

All persons who enter the Millennium are redeemed people (Isaiah 60:21 and Joel 2:28). However, one must remember that procreation still takes place during this era of time because those who survived the Tribulation hour enter the Millennium with human bodies. The believers upon the thrones possess resurrected bodies and do not bear children, but the others do. 

Consequently, the children born during this one-thousand-year period are born with the old Adamic, or sin, nature which has been an inherent part of man ever since the fall of Adam and Eve. Many of them, of course, accept Christ as their personal Saviour, but many do not! In addition, since Satan is bound, there is little to tempt them.

They simply do not face the problems and trials which have confronted mankind in past ages. Satan’s release, then, is to determine whether or not Christ is real to these children of the Millennium, or whether they have been submissive simply because He ruled with a rod of iron (Revelation 19:15).

The truth is revealed as millions follow the devil. 

Yes, even after living with the Lord Jesus Christ for ten centuries, much of mankind rebels. 

Revelation 19: 8,9 inform us that Satan deceives the nations internationally (pictured by the four corners of the earth), and gathers them together for one last battle. 

The army is gigantic in numberas the sand of the sea. Once again the camp of God’s people-the beloved city of Jerusalem-is surrounded, just as the armies of the Tribulation hour gathered against Jerusalem to battle (see Zechariah 14:1). 

Then, in an instant, God destroys them all with a devouring fire from heaven.

To whom do the names Gog and Magog refer? 

In Ezekiel 38 and 39, they identify Russia. Not so in Revelation 20:8. Instead, they most likely indicate the memory of past brutality-much like the names Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, and Iraq do today. As Gog and Magog (Russia) invades Israel and comes against Jerusalem during the Tribulation hour, such an indelible impression is left upon all the world that now-one thousand years later-the details are still vivid. Thus, this past war, fought in the same area, is brought to mind as Satan once again attempts to destroy Israel.

verse 10 : [10]: And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

This is the end for the deceiver of the ages. He is cast into the place prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). Many centuries were required for this slanderous culprit to reach his final destination. Now that he has arrived, he will experience nothing but continual torment-day and night-for ever and ever. Amen!

We need to digress for a moment at this point, because many persons-Christians included-harbor a misconception about hell. Whenever they see or hear the term, they picture a place where a little red-suited gremlin stokes the fires and torments his victims with a pitchfork. Satan is neither the stoker nor does he torment his followers-and, as we have observed, he does not enter hell until after the Millennium. 

As we have already learned, Satan is the god of this world [system] (2 Corinthians 4:4), the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2), and the ruler of heavens one and two-the aerial and stellar heavens. He retains this position until he is cast out of heaven (see Revelation 12:7-9). 

He then reigns on earth for the final forty-two months of the Tribulation period. Upon Christ’s return to earth, Satan is bound in the bottomless pit, and then, following the Millennium, is released for a short season. Finally, he is cast into hell, or the lake of fire and brimstone, where he is tormented for all eternity. An understanding of these truths is essential to both victorious living and correct interpretation of the Book of Revelation.

We now come to the most awesome portion of Scripture in the entire Bible-the judgment of the wicked.

verse 11-15 : [11-15v.11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. v.12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. v.13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. v.14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. v.15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Again John says, I saw. The term is found thirty seven times in this book. What a privilege was his! This time he views the gloomiest hour of history-the judgment of the wicked-as well as Christ sitting upon a white throne. White is the symbol of purity, justice, and holiness in Scripture. 

Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). 

His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white (Revelation 19: 7,8).

Since “white” stands for all that is honorable and right, what does it symbolize? Integrity-for Christ, who is the truth (John 14:6), is himself the Judge. Notice that the term is Great White Throne. This pictures a great judgment that is about to fall on those who have rejected the “so great salvation” question (see Hebrews 2:3).

How does one know that the tender, loving Jesus is the One who sits upon the throne as Judge? 

The answer is found in John 5:22: For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son. Again, the Father hath given him authority to execute judgment also,because he is the Son of man (John 5:27). 

The One raised from the dead-the Lord Jesus Christ-is the Judge, according to Acts. 17:31: [For] he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. 

That moment is now before us! What a solemn scene as unregenerate mankind comes face to face with God for the investigation of all their evil deeds.

Every transgressor is present: presidents and paupers, high society snobs and skid row derelicts. Yes, this group includes every Christ-rejecter of the ages, small and great, rich and poor, free and bond. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life [the first resurrection]; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation [the resurrection for judgment] (John 5:28,29). 

Make no mistake about it, there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust (Acts 24:15). As the unsaved stand before a holy God, the books are opened. 

Yes, He has record of every wicked deed sinners have ever committed. Nothing remains hidden. Adultery, abortion, drunkenness, drug addiction, harlotry, hatred, lawlessness, murder, rebellion, sexual promiscuity, wife-swapping, and every other abominable practice is then exposed in detail.

How is all this possible? 

God is: both omniscient (all knowing) and omnipotent (all-powerful). The psalmist said in psalm 139:1,2, O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising

God knows everything: about every member of the human race. God adds, I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them (Ezekiel 11:5). I know when you have eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin (2 Peter 2:14).

I know when your tongue is about to curse, 

• For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether (Psalm 139:4). 

I the Lord search the heart (Jeremiah 17:10). 

This statement is extremely important, For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication, thefts, false witness, blasphemies (Matthew 15:19).

God’s books: will be totally accurate because He sees every move humans make: 

The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth (2 Chronicles 16:9). 

All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do (Hebrews 4: 13). 

That aborted fetus flushed into oblivion, that sex act in a parked car or motel room; that crooked deal for illegal gain-everything is indelibly inscribed in the journal of the Almighty bookkeeper. One cannot hide from God, whoever He may be! 

Furthermore, no mistakes will be made, for the dead will be judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

We also see that every unbeliever will be present, for the bodies come forth from land and sea and the souls come from Hades (or hell). Then, body, soul, and spirit are reunited to stand before God. Many have never realized that there is a time when the wicked are released from hell. This is not a new doctrine or man-made theory. However, for the moment, let’s examine a few facts regarding this teaching.

The New Testament contains two Greek words – Hades1)http://biblehub.com/greek/86.htm and Gehenna2)http://biblehub.com/greek/1067.htm – both of which are translated hell in our English Bible. The Lord Jesus Christ used both words repeatedly. 

Why two words? 

Are there two places? Yes! A simple illustration will help us understand.

Everyone knows the difference between a local jail and a penitentiaryWhen an individual is arrested for a crime, he is not placed in the penitentiary until he has had a trial. Instead, he is locked up in the local jail (city or county), where he awaits his trial. Then, upon being found guilty, he is transferred to the penitentiary, where he serves his sentence.

The next statement is of extreme importance. Get it! 

When Jesus used the word Hades3)http://biblehub.com/greek/86.htm, He referred to the local jail-the place where the sinner is bound until the judgment morning. Then, on Judgment Day, the sinner comes out of the local jail Hades4)http://biblehub.com/greek/86.htm, stands before the Judge (the Lord Jesus himself), is found guilty, and is subsequently transferred to the final penitentiary of souls Gehenna5)http://biblehub.com/greek/1067.htm

The lake of fire is usually synonymous with Gehenna6)http://biblehub.com/greek/1067.htm

The eleven instances where Christ mentioned Hades7)http://biblehub.com/greek/86.htm are as follows: 

 Matthew 11:23; Matthew 16:18

 Luke 10:15; Luke 16:22, 23

 Acts 2:27; Acts 2:3 1

 1 Corinthians 15:55

 Revelation 1:18; Revelation 6:8; Revelation 20:13

 Revelation 20:14

Gehenna8)http://biblehub.com/greek/1067.htm is mentioned twelve times by the Saviour: 

 Matthew 5:22; Matthew 5:29; Matthew 5:30; Matthew 10:28; Matthew 18:9; Matthew 23:15; Matthew 23:33

 Mark 9:43; Mark 9:45; Mark 9:47

 Luke 12:5

 James 3:6

After studying the twenty-three texts, one observes that Revelation 20:13,14 of our present study now make perfect sense: Death [the grave] and hell [Hades]9)http://biblehub.com/greek/86.htm delivered up the dead which were in them.

The plural pronoun “them” indicates two places: the grave and Hades10)http://biblehub.com/greek/86.htm one for the body and the other for the soul. 

Next they were judged every man according to his works (that’s the trial). Then death and hell [Hades-Greek]11)http://biblehub.com/greek/86.htmwere cast into the lake of fire [Gehenna-the final penitentiary]12)http://biblehub.com/greek/1067.htm

Why are they transferred? Gehenna13)http://biblehub.com/greek/1067.htm differs from Hades14)http://biblehub.com/greek/86.htm in that Gehenna15)http://biblehub.com/greek/1067.htm is a place where there are degrees of suffering. 

After one has been examined and judged as to how much light he had (how often he heard the message of salvation and rejected it), he is assigned to this place called Gehenna16)http://biblehub.com/greek/1067.htm, where there are degrees of suffering according to one’s light and works. Thus, the final hell will differ for all, depending on one’s evil deeds and the number of times he rejected Christ’s offer of love.

Now we understand Romans 2:5 a little better: But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up [storest up, savest up] unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath. This is why it shall be more tolerable [more bearable, more endurable] for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for [Capernaum] (Matthew 11:24). 

What was Capernaum’s sin? 

Capernaum had greater light since Christ visited the city and preached to her citizens. This is also why the Pharisees receive the greater damnation (Matthew 23:14). Clearly, sinners are raised from death and Hades17)http://biblehub.com/greek/86.htm, judged by Christ at the Great White Throne, and then transferred to Gehenna18)http://biblehub.com/greek/1067.htm

Thegood news, however, is that none of this happens to those who are trusting in the merits of the shed blood of Jesus. When one trusts Christ, his name is written in the book of lifeThe judgment just discussed is only for those whose names are not found inscribed in the book (see Revelation 20:15). If one is saved, he need never be concerned about hell as his eternal destiny, for he that believeth on [Christ] is not condemned (John 3:18). He is also passed from death unto life (John 5:24). Thus, there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1)Amen.

The great judgment is only for those who participate in the final resurrection which occurs after the 1,000-year or millennial reign of Christ upon earth. Those who were raised prior to the Millennium are eternally secure, for blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power (Revelation 20:6).

A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE

First Published : Jul 18, 2014 | Re Published :

References   [ + ]

1, 3, 4, 7, 9, 10, 11, 14, 17. http://biblehub.com/greek/86.htm
2, 5, 6, 8, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18. http://biblehub.com/greek/1067.htm

26.0 The Book of Revelation: Chapter 20: vs.1 – 6

Revelation (the Book) feature

Chapter 201)https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+20&version=KJV introduces us to the most beautiful, peaceful, and rewarding age this world will ever know-the Millennium, or the one-thousand-year reign of the Lord Jesus Christ as KING OF KINGS; AND LORD OF LORDS

He will sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem, and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor; the mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end.

Isaiah 9:6, 7

Before beginning our study of this chapter, may I take a moment to refute the reasoning of critics who deny this doctrinal truth? 

Those who oppose the teaching of a literal one-thousand-year reign of Christ upon earth are in direct opposition to the Word of God! Their claim that the doctrine is dangerously built on a single chapter of the Bible proves that they are not good students of God’s Holy Word, for many passages both teach and reflect this truth. Let’s investigate.

First of all: If Israel has no future, dozens of Old Testament prophecies immediately go down the drain.

For example, Genesis 492)https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+49&version=KJV and Deuteronomy 33,3)https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+33&version=KJV with all of their benedictions upon the people of Israel, must be scrapped if there is no place upon earth where they find fulfillment. To spiritualize or allegorize the literal truths concerning Israel’s future is to be willfully blinded. I have spent thousands of hours in God’s Book and could never honestly or intellectually arrive at such a conclusion.

Secondly: There must be a Millennium, or scores of verses become hollow platitudes of meaningless predictions. 

Consider the following texts-they could never depict heaven because they occur on earth. If so, there must be a time and place for their fulfillment, because none of them has yet occurred. 

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb (as nature is tamed) (Isaiah 11:6). 

But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid (Micah 4:4).

Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness (Isaiah 32:1).

And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed… and it shall stand forever (Daniel 2:44).

The Lord…shall suddenly come to his temple (Malachi 3:1).

Ezekiel describes this Temple, built and located upon the earth (see chapters 40 through 48).4)https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+40-48&version=KJV Israel will be the head-not the tail-of the nations in that day (see Zechariah 8:23).

And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them (Isaiah 65:21).

The Lord Jesus Christ referred to the period of time during which these events take place: As the Regeneration

And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28). Likewise, Peter declared, And [God] shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began (Acts 3:20, 21).

The word restitution means “a reconstitution” and is similar to the regeneration of Matthew 19:28. In addition, Paul stated in Ephesians 1:21 that there is an age which is to come. This same age is called the dispensation of the fullness of times (Ephesians 1:10).

Again these terms refer to the rule of Christ and His people over the earth-not angels, as the spiritualizers would have us believe. Angels ruling the earth is an impossibility, for unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come (Hebrews 2:5). Instead, the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men (Daniel 4:17). 

The title, the most High [God], or the most High is Christ’s millennial title throughout the Psalms, the Book of Daniel, and the Book of Hosea. The most High [God] will also bear the title King of Israel in that day (John 1:49). All upon earth will obey Him for [He] shalt break them with a rod of iron (Psalm 2:9). 

The result: Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power (Psalm 110:3). Earth’s inhabitants will love the Lord Jesus so much during the kingdom age that daily shall he be praised (Psalm 72:15). Yes, His name shall endure forever (Psalm 72:17).

The center of all this kingdom activity is Jerusalem, not heaven’s golden shores. Proof? 

Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion (Psalm 2:6). 

Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:3).

[They] shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem (Isaiah 27:13). 

And the Redeemer shall come to Zion (Isaiah 59:20). 

The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem (Joel 3:16). 

Thus saith the Lord…I will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:3). 

Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:22).

The preceding evidence is proof enough!

Only the spiritually blind can deny the fact of a literal Millennium. Only the willfully ignorant can claim that the teaching is based on just one chapter of the Bible. Our brief review has but touched the hem of the garment concerning millennial truth. Believe God, not men. Now, since mille means “thousand” and annum means “years,” let’s begin our study of chapter 205)https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+20&version=KJV which presents the mille annum.

Millennium, or the one-thousand-year reign of Christ on the earth.

verse 1-3 : [1-3] v.1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. v.2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, v.3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

What a victorious sight John now sees-an angel coming from heaven with a key and a chain in his hand for the purpose of opening the bottomless pit and binding Satan for one thousand years. Some scholars believe the angel to be Christ himself because he has the keys of hell and death (Revelation 1:18). This is a distinct possibility. 

However, one who possesses keys often loans them to another when help is needed. Thus, the angel might be Michael, the archangel. The important observation here is that Christ’s ownership of the keys-which open the pit of the abyss for Satan-is by virtue of His completed work upon Calvary’s cross.

Remember His statement in Revelation 1:18I am he that liveth, and was dead; [Calvary]; and, behold, I am alive for evermore [the Resurrection], Amen; and have the keys of hell and of deathThe chain carried by the angel is used to bind the villain of the ages-called the dragon, that old serpent…the Devil, and Satan – for 1,000 years. 

What horrid titles the evil one bears! 

• Dragon: In Hebrew, pictures a hideous monster. 

• Old serpent: The term portrays the slithering snake who brought ruination upon the entire human race through his deceitful work in the Garden of Eden (see Genesis 3:1-6). 

• Satan: Means “slander,” for he is the accuser of [the] brethren as we learned in Revelation 12:10, and he is also the father of slanderers and gossips (see John 8:44). 

• Devil: Means “adversary” or “foe,” and surely Satan has been a foe of Christ and His followers until this present moment in our text. Now, at last, he is cast into the bottomless pit, shut up and sealed for a Millennium (Revelation 20:3).

The bottomless pit is not the lake of fire into which the beast and false prophet were cast in Revelation 19:20. Rather, it is a temporary prison where Satan is incarcerated for ten centuries in order that peace, prosperity, happiness, and holiness may exist on earth during Christ’s millennial reign. At the end of this time, he is loosed [for] a little season, leads one final revolt against God, and is subsequently cast into the eternal lake of fire… where the beast and the false prophet are (Revelation 20:10).


verse 4 : [4]: And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

John now observes thrones occupied for judgment. 

Who sits upon them?  

Members of the first resurrection-which includes the Old Testament saints, Church Age saints, and Tribulation saints. The resurrection of the Old Testament believers is described in Daniel 12:1-2, and the resurrection of New Testament saints in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:15-54. As we have seen, the resurrection of the martyred Tribulation saints undoubtedly occurs at the glorious appearing of Christ (Titus 2:13) when He returns to earth.

Revelation 6:9-11, presented this view. At that point these martyrs awaited their resurrection but were told to wait yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

Thus, we see that the thrones are occupied by resurrected believers from Adam onward, inclusive of the last Tribulation martyrs. Each has been a participant in the first resurrection. These saints are entitled to sit upon thrones because they are members of the royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). Christ has made them kings and priests (Revelation 5:10)

verse 5 : [5]: But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

The closing sentence of this verse, This is the first resurrection, should have been the conclusion of Revelation 20:4. The transition from Revelation 20:4,5 would then be: And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. [This is the first resurrection.] But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This clarifies the issue. The dead of Revelation 20:5 – raised a thousand years later could not be part of the first resurrection (those of Revelation 20:4) – because…

verse 6 : [6]: Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Since the remaining dead come forth one thousand years later, we immediately understand that they cannot be part of the first resurrection. Those who take part in the first resurrection reign with Christ during the Millennium, while the members of this group remain in their graves. They, in turn, are raised for the Great White Throne Judgment after the 1,000 years.

A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE

First Published : Jul 09, 2014 | Re Published :

References   [ + ]

1, 5. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+20&version=KJV
2. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+49&version=KJV
3. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+33&version=KJV
4. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+40-48&version=KJV