The Book of Revelation: Encouragement

Daily Spirit & Word: 674: The Book Of Revelation.

Encouragement to OVERCOME.

Watch the Video: The Ashers Bakery Couple: The McArthur’s at the end of this page.

Good morning my friends, yesterday it was a privilege to conduct the funeral of a lovely man George Donald Smith. A wonderful husband, father, neighbour and friend to many people. May he rest in the peace of the Lord Jesus. Did you know that God wants us all to prepare for the time we’re going to be with the LORD forever? So, over the next few days I’m going to be studying the book of Revelation and letters to the Seven Churches in Asia Minor given by the Apostle John.

Why Revelation? Because I believe The LORD has led me to this.

Why? I’m still working on that, but at the outset I believe Revelations is speaking directly to every Christian who loves the LORD Jesus today. And our world is rushing headlong into the coming of the Glory of the return of our LORD Jesus Christ. He’s coming soon!

It is probably true that some of the prophecies in Revelation contain three elements; fulfilled in the past, about to be fulfilled in the near future, and to be fulfilled in the far distant future (but bear in mind it was written almost 2000 years ago, so that far-distant future may be referring to our present age).

John was given the visions and messages to deliver to the churches in Asia, and they were referring especially to some of the things that were happening during John’s lifetime, or in the immediate future after the Revelations had been delivered; much of the book is dealing with events in the coming ages after John was given his Revelations.

Situation: John was in exile on the Island of Patmos. He was the beloved disciple, he was exiled there because of his proclamation of the Gospel. He was a very old man.

Here is part of John’s Introduction:

Revelation 1:9-18 (NIV)
9  I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
10  On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet,
11  which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”
12  I turned round to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands,
13  and among the lampstands was someone “like a son of man”, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash round his chest.
14  His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.
15  His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.
16  In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
17  When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18  I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

“I AM THE LIVING ONE; I WAS DEAD, AND BEHOLD I AM ALIVE FOREVER”

WOWzer! Just imagine hearing the LORD utter these awesome words.

SYNOPSIS (Overview) OF THE BOOK OF REVELATIONS.

Before delving into any study of the book of Revelation, it’s essential to try and grasp an overall perspective of the book. This will aid understanding. It’s like viewing a forest on a little screen broadcast from a drone hovering over the forest. You can see what the drone sees, so you can navigate your way through the thickest of forests. Revelation is a deep book, like a dense forest, but with this overview, you’ll be able to work out where you are going, the obstacles and the route you can take.

The book may be divided into a series of visions, some of which are partly or wholly veiled (the meaning and application are unknown, therefore we cannot be dogmatic about it), others are comparatively clear in their teachings.

Two EPOCHAL EVENTS should especially be kept in mind in studying the visions.

The birth of the male child, regarded by many as the incarnation of Jesus Christ,—Revelation 12.

The sounding of the seventh trumpet,—Revelation 11:15, which heralded His world-wide victory.

It is not always possible to tell just where one vision ends and another begins. But for convenience they may be studied under various numbers, according to the viewpoint of the student.

Chapter 1
Introduction and promise to obedient readers,—Revelation 1:1-3.
Salutation of John and of the glorified Christ,—Revelation 1:4-8.

First Vision.
Of the glorified Christ,—Revelation 1:9-16.

His command to write to the seven churches,—Revelation 1:19.
The message to the churches, chapters 2-3.

Chapter 2
To Ephesus, the backslidden church, persistent in service, strong in discipline, but with love growing cold,—Revelation 2:1-7.
To Smyrna, the poor but truly rich church, facing a period of persecution,—Revelation 2:8-11.
To Pergamos, the church of evil surroundings, steadfast, but infected with heresy,—Revelation 2:12-17.
To Thyatira, the church of good works but harboring a false prophetess,—Revelation 2:18-29.

Chapter 3
To Sardis, the dying church,—Revelation 3:1-6.
To Philadelphia, the weak but faithful church,—Revelation 3:7-13.
To Laodicea, the lukewarm, self-satisfied church, boasting of her wealth while poor and miserable and blind,—Revelation 3:14-22.

Recurrent thought, the promises to overcomers.

Second Vision: Partly Veiled.
Chapter 4

The vision of God in heaven upon His throne, the creator of the universe, receiving the worship of the living creatures and the four and twenty elders,—Revelation 4:1-11.

Chapter 5
The opening of the seven-sealed book by the Lamb, the singing of the New Song, and the universal worship of the Lamb. Conjectural interpretation-Christ in His redemptive office alone can unlock the deepest divine mysteries.

Chapter 6
The opening of the six seals, (veiled),—Revelation 6:1-17. There have been many widely different interpretations; it is not worthwhile to add another. One clear lesson,—Revelation 6:9-11, the saints tested by divine delays. See Divine Delays, 3607.

Third vision: Partly Veiled.
Chapter 7
Suggested thought, God’s protection of His chosen people,—Revelation 7:1-8.

Fourth Vision.
Chapter 7: Comforting assurances
The innumerable host of the redeemed,—Revelation 7:9-10.
The means by which they appear in God’s presence,—Revelation 7:13-15.
Their activities and eternal felicity,—Revelation 7:15-17.

Fifth Vision: Partly Veiled.
Chapter 8
Momentous event, the opening of the seventh seal, causing silence in heaven.—Revelation 8:1.
Possible explanation: that all the harps and the voices of the angels were stilled by the fact that during the period of the seventh seal Christ was to leave for His earthly mission.

This is not purely imaginary. The fullness of time was evidently approaching-“There shall be delay no longer,” (Revelation 10:6). If this conjecture is correct, here in Revelation 8:1 we are at the very sources of the divine plan of salvation, and we shall see the events focusing toward the birth of the man child in the twelfth chapter.

In Revelation 8:3-4 the thought appears to be that the prayers of the saints are ascending to God for the coming of the messianic kingdom. (So we should be praying that Jesus Christ would come very soon to rule and reign upon the Earth).

Chapter 9
Then follows a veiled portion of the vision, the sounding of the six trumpets in chapters 8 and 9, apparently announcing impending judgments.

Sixth Vision: Partly Veiled.
Chapters 10-11
We can say no more than that the events seem to be moving forward toward the great consummation. This is indicated by the announcement of the mighty angel (Revelation 10:5-7), that there shall be delay no longer, but that the good tidings spoken of by the prophets are about to be fulfilled.

Among so many different opinions it is hazardous to suggest any interpretation of the “little book” in Revelation 10 and the “two witnesses” in Revelation 11. Possibly as these immediately precede the vision of the birth of the male child in Revelation 12, they may refer to the prophetic period prior to the coming of Christ.

In our studies we suggest that Revelation 12-20 contain partly veiled visions connected with the great Messianic conflict.

Seventh Vision.
Chapters 12-13
The great epochal event, the birth of the male child, Christ, and the simultaneous manifestation of the Satanic powers arrayed to destroy Him.

The justification for this viewpoint is that during Christ’s earthly life the powers of darkness were in frenzied activity. Note the attempt of Herod to destroy the child, the testing and tempting of Jesus Christ in the wilderness, the numerous cases of demoniacal possession, and the malignant persecution of the religious Pharisees, Saducees and Civil Authorities under King Herod which resulted in Christ’s crucifixion.

We are not seeking to give any detailed interpretation of the mysteries but to call attention to the spiritual weapons by which the victory was to be won (Revelation 12:11).

Eighth Vision: Partly Veiled.
Chapter 14

Without strained interpretation it is possible to regard this chapter as a prophetical summary of the coming conflict between the Lamb and His enemies,—Revelation 14:1-13.

If this view point is accepted, in the first five verses the one hundred and forty-four thousand would represent the ancient worthies of the old dispensation.

The opening up of the world-wide missionary campaign,—Revelation 14:6-7. See World-wide Missions, 2379. The preliminary announcement of the final victory (Revelation 14:8-11). The blessedness of the holy dead,—Revelation 14:12-13.

Ninth Vision: Partly Veiled.
Chapter 14
The harvest and vintage of grapes,—Revelation 14:16-20.

Tenth Vision: Partly Veiled.
Chapter 15
The early victors and their song,—Revelation 15:1-4.
The Seven Angels and the golden bowls,—Revelation 15:5-8.

Chapter 16
The outpouring of the seven bowls of wrath,—Revelation 16:1-21.

Eleventh Vision: Veiled.
Chapters 17-18
The doom of Babylon, the harlot city, and the enemies of the Lamb whom He shall overcome.

Twelfth Vision.
Chapter 19
The hallelujah chorus in heaven celebrating the spiritual victory,—Revelation 19:1-6.
The marriage of the Lamb,—Revelation 19:7-9. See Christ the Bridegroom,

Thirteenth Vision.
Christ, the spiritual conqueror upon the white horse, smites the nations with the sword of the Spirit,—Revelation 19:11-16.
Partly veiled. The beast and the false prophet and their allies overcome by Christ. See Christ the Victor.

Fourteenth Vision: Partly Veiled.
Chapter 20
The binding of Satan,—Revelation 20:1-3.
The first resurrection,—Revelation 20:4-6.
Satan loosed and his evil activity,—Revelation 20:7-9.
The doom of Satan, the beast, and the false prophet,—Revelation 20:10.
The last judgment,—Revelation 20:11-15.

Fifteenth Vision.
Chapters 21-22
The new heaven and the new earth.
The holy city, a type of the church, the Lamb’s wife.

Chapter 21
Characteristics of, Heavenly origin,—Revelation 21:2; radiant, 21:11; separated and protected,—Revelation 21:12; accessible,—Revelation 21:13; sure foundations,—Revelation 21:14; immovable,—Revelation 21:16; beautifully adorned,—Revelation 21:18-21; having a spiritual temple,—Revelation 21:22; divinely illuminated,—Revelation 21:23-25; glorified,—Revelation 21:26; undefiled,—Revelation 21:27.

Chapter 22
Paradise restored. Distinguishing marks of the river of life,—Revelation 22:1; the tree of life,—Revelation 22:2; removal of the curse,—Revelation 22:3; the beatific vision and the divine impress upon saints,—Revelation 22:4; eternal day and saints’ dominion,—Revelation 22:5.

The last teachings, faithful and true,—Revelation 22:6; emphasize the speedy coming of the Lord,—Revelation 22:7; God only to be worshiped,—Revelation 22:8-9; character tends to final permanence,—Revelation 22:11; the last promise,—Revelation 22:14; the last invitation,—Revelation 22:17; the last warning,—Revelation 22:18-19.

Benediction and prayer,—Revelation 22:21.

PROMINENT PEOPLE: The Lamb of God, at last victor over all allied powers of evil (mentioned about thirty times), Four Living Creatures, Twenty-four Elders, 144,000 Jews, the Two Witnesses, Satan, Beast of the Sea, the False Prophet, the Great Harlot, Angels of Heaven, Saints of Heaven, John.

The PROMISES / REWARDS to Those Who Overcome (The ones who live the victorious Christian life).

  • Spiritual Food : Revelation 2:7
  • A New Name : Revelation 2:17
  • Authority : Revelation 2:26
  • Robes Of Righteousness : Revelation 3:5
  • A Memorial Pillar : Revelation 3:12
  • Enthronement : Revelation 3:21
  • An Eternal Inheritance : Revelation 21:7

The Lord Jesus is cheering you onto victory in the Christian life.

He is encouraging you to remain faithful: Just like the young couple in Northern Ireland, the now infamous Asher’s Bakery Case (see little video): who took a stand for their faith and refused to produce a cake from their Bakery for the wedding of a gay couple. They felt their faith in the Lord would be compromised and if they’d gone ahead they’d be condoning something they believed to be sinful. It’s been very costly for that young couple, they’ve come under attack from; the media, the courts, the establishment, those in society who think everyone should support gay rights to marriage. The faith once delivered to the saints makes it clear that Homosexuality is a sin: praise the LORD for this very brave young family. They’ve stood together throughout their ordeal. Pray for their upcoming appeal case. No matter what the outcome, thank the LORD. Determine in your heart that you will live in accordance with God’s Word revealed.

Conclusion:

I hope you’ve found the overview helpful my friends. If you’ve just skipped down the page to the conclusion, can I encourage you to take the time to re-read and dwell patiently over the outline. When you’ve taken the time to read through the OVERVIEW: Just like the view a drone and give whilst hovering overhead a dense forest, I hope you can see that John was given an AWESOME privilege and responsibility to record the things he’d seen in visions on the Island of Patmos. The Holy Spirit and the visions of the LORD ensured the words recorded are contained in the final book of the Bible. These WORDS of Jesus Christ are POWERFUL for every Christian today: Helping us all to remain steadfast in the face of hardships, attacks and the headlong rush into God’s final days of the Creation.

When I first became a Christian I was afraid to read the book of Revelation, it was a bit scary to me, but then the LORD showed me in prayer one day; “It’s my WORD, my WORD is useful in many ways and this book is going to help you stay close to Me”…

Have an Awesome Day with Jesus.

(P.S. I’ve been feeling a bit poorly Sunday and yesterday, had to struggle through a funeral, shivering last night with a flu fever and my body aching with man-flue, but the LORD woke me up early and got me into His WORD again today. Praise be to our LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen!).

Asher’s Bakery Couple:

Ashers Baking Company’s General Manager Daniel McArthur, and his wife Amy, speak out ahead of their appeal on Wednesday 3 February 2016. Please keep them in your prayers.