At the close of the book of Revelation, John shares the visions that he had been given that revealed the power, might, and glory of Jesus Christ and the New Heaven and New Earth that He is preparing for His people. In the beginning chapters, a vision of Jesus walking through the light of the candlesticks, which represented the churches of God, showed His faithfulness to the church, and at the end of Revelation, His light is the source of all energy and all life in the new creation. In that new world are faithful children of God, who have been persecuted for standing for Jesus, and they have even been killed because they would not compromise His word, and they will be reigning with God in a place free of pain and tears.
His promises kept to the nation of Israel are symbolized even in the name of the new city, the New Jerusalem. The visions illustrate in great detail the final events, the end of the world as we know it, and the character of Christ victorious both as the Lion and the Lamb. Seven seals have been opened by Christ, seven trumpets of warning have sounded the alarm, and finally, the seven vials, or bowls of wrath, have been poured out upon a rebellious and evil generation of humanity who are wholly devoted to serving the Evil One. Not only has Christ been revealed, but the opposite of Christ, or the Antichrist, has also been revealed. Likewise, all the great swelling words and humanistic philosophies of the age have been revealed for what they really are, a perverting of the truth, a trap of satan, and a system of death and destruction. Every promise of God is kept, every word of the Bible fulfilled.
There is a stark contrast shown between the Holy Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, and the unholy trinity: Satan, The Beast, and the False Prophet, who has been utterly destroyed. We’ve seen a pattern of political domination and economic tyranny used by the Devil to turn the hearts of mankind away from the knowledge of God, and we’ve seen the power of God to seal His own during the greatest time of persecution the world will ever know. The true church is revealed, and the apostate church is exposed.
God has left us a key to understanding the world around us through the truth of His word, which is priceless and also a great act of grace. With the revelation of good and evil, truth and lies, and the Son of God and the Son of Perdition, Revelation helps us decode the chaos of our times, and if we believe and apply the principles, the word of God will instruct us on how to stay faithful in any generation until the coming of Christ and His kingdom.
David once wrote about those who deny God that he had “ considered their end.” He had felt a little mistreated in light of the fact that He had tried to live a righteous life, and he saw those who were not living for God prosper while he suffered. But then he remembered, that this life is not all that there is, it is a mere blip on eternity. Oh, that the world could see their end, to see what they will receive if they continue to deny the sovereignty of the one true God! When the unbelieving get what they think they want, the absolute power to rule themselves, they will not want what they get, their complete destruction. And when the redeemed, blood-bought, children of the King, see with their own eyes, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, dressed in a vesture dipped in blood, riding on a white horse to defend His own, we’ll be glad that we made Him our Savior and called Him our Lord. Such are the truths revealed in the book of Revelation.
The lesson today is the climax of the message Christ revealed to John, it is an open invitation to Jesus. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The good news is that we can avoid the judgment and wrath of God because Christ has taken that punishment for every believer and conquered it on the cross, and so, we are no longer subject to the wrath of God. God is full of grace and mercy, “He isn’t willing that any should perish,” He sent His only Son to die in our place in order to make us sons and daughters of God. He calls to us, while there is time, to make our “calling and election sure” by surrendering our lives to Christ.
And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
Daniel was given a vision of the end times that he was not permitted to reveal, God told him to seal it up because it was not the right time, but John is told that the time is now. The warnings of the book of Revelation are for us in this period of time, and we are benefitted from being instructed by them. The Lord will return, we see the signs of His appearing every day. Believe what it says.
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.
The time for repentance is now, but when the Lord returns, there will not be time to hide, repent, or change. The way you stand with God will be the way you remain for eternity. If you are living when Christ returns, that will be true for you, if you leave this world through death before that, it will also be the way that it is. You will not be able to bluff your way into Heaven, you either will have confessed Jesus Christ as Lord, or you will be eternally separated from God.
The world was judged in the Days of Noah, and when God closed the door on the ark, it was instantly too late for anyone on the other side of the door to believe in the plan of God. They remained outside of His protection, outside of the ark.
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
More people are persecuted for their faith in Christ today than ever in the history of the church. America has so far been free of the intense persecution felt in other parts of the world, but we all recognize that our freedom is not guaranteed and is already being surrendered. For over two thousand years, God has kept a watch as His own have suffered to share the gospel among those who love to destroy them. The Bible calls them “those of whom the world is not worthy.” Sometimes, as blessed as we are, we long for His return, for an escape from the evil we see all around us, and escape from the suffering caused by sin. When we see Jesus, when He appears in “a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,” that will all be over. When we see Jesus, His reward is coming with Him. “It will be worth it, after all.”
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
He is the creator of all that there is, and He will be the ending of all that we have known. Only God has the authority to bring all things to an end, only God knows the when and the details of how that will happen. The Universe and all that exists are in the palm of His hand and under His sovereign authority.
The end of this world is the beginning of the next one. He is eternally God, and He has granted His children eternal life. For the first time, we will experience how we were created to live. We will no longer walk by faith, we shall see God as He is, and He will live among us.
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. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
Some people who will make it to Heaven will have come out of lives like those listed above. Jesus can save anyone, but becoming His child means allowing Him to change your life, you can no longer remain as you were. Those who have clung to Christ will have access to the Tree of Life, those who have clung to their sin and their own understanding will lose access to Him altogether and for all eternity.
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.
And just like any other testimonial, Jesus signs his name to authenticate the words John has written down. He is a descendant of David, from the tribe of Judah, born in Bethlehem, sacrificed on Calvary, but He arose from the grave. He is the bright and morning star, my Rock, the Word of God. He is incapable of lying, He is the evidence that the Bible is true.
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. 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: 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.
The most grace-filled and magnificent invitation echoes from the throne of God, “Come.” Nothing is stopping you, a way has been made, and you are welcome in the presence of God. A terrifying warning is also given. “If any man takes away from the words of this book…” In other words, you are not permitted to block people from His invitation with your own personal agenda. You may not add or take away from the pure gospel of Christ without becoming an enemy of God. It is written for our benefit. Tell someone who Jesus is, what Jesus has done, and how to escape the wrath of God through the power of His name. What God has given us is enough. God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and His ways are higher than our ways. When we try to explain away the parts that make us uncomfortable, we make ourselves foolish. His word is the truth, and we are the lie. When we try to add our current perspectives and understanding, we only corrupt and mar something flawless, which is the only source of truth and power that we have. Let's just believe what He says and worry about the parts we struggle with when we get there. I am guessing we will be surprised to find everything exactly as He said it would be - even if we are unable to understand it now.
He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Amen. It is true. Again, a warning, Jesus’ return will be sudden and unannounced. Accept Him as Lord, and escape damnation through the salvation Christ offers before the wrath of God is poured out. Regardless of your response now, every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that He is Lord. But if you wait until it is too late for it to make a difference, you’ll have all of eternity to regret that decision.
Thank you for studying with us! God bless!