Armageddon On Schedule, Setting the Stage – part 2

The key to understanding Revelation is in Verse 19.  There are three parts, the things John has seen, the things which are now, and the things which shall be hereafter. (The future)

Setting The Stage – part 2

The King is Coming…

“Behold He is coming” (Revelation 1: 7-8) It is another triplet. The imminent return of Christ is the theme of Revelation. “Behold He is coming with the clouds.” And now the triplet:

  1. And every eye will see Him
  2. Even those who pierced Him
  3. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him

He will not return like before. The lowly servant and humble shepherd. No, this time He will return as the king of kings, and the entire world will know it. He will return to judge and unbelieving world.

The words of the apostle Paul will be fulfilled, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)

And we see the theme, Christ is both the beginning and the ending. In Him all things were created. (John 1:3) and in him all things will be consummated. (Revelation 21:6) The Lord is described as a savior who 1. “Is” (present tense), 2. “was” (past tense), and 3. “Is to come” (future tense). Another great triplet. As the eternal son of God, just like the Father, He always was, He is, and He always will be. The ever-present One. “I am who I am” (Exodus 3:14)

And then we have the Victory.

“behold I am alive for evermore” (Revelation 1:9-20).  John was exiled to Patmos because of the word of God and testimony of Jesus Christ. There was no escape from that place. Then he met the risen savior face to face on that rocky deserted island. He heard the masters voice and turned to see who it was.  And as he turned, he saw seven golden lampstands. They were likely in the shape of a Jewish menorah. (Revelation 1:12) These lampstands were representative of the seven churches the book is addresses to. (1:20) In the center of the lampstands, he saw the son of man, dresses in high priestly garments. (floor length white robe with golden sash.) (Exodus 39)   “And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.” (1:16)   This mention of the seven stars in His right hand are likely the symbols of the leaders or pastors of the churches.  The main word here is messengers.  They are the messengers of God.

The description of Savior is in this pattern of seven symbolizing His Shekinah glory:

  1. Hair: white like white wool
  2. Eyes: flame of fire
  3. Feet: burnished bronze
  4. Voice: sound of many waters
  5. Right Hand: held seven stars
  6. Mouth: Sharp two-edged sword
  7. Face: shining like the sun

*Regarding the seven stars in the Savior’s right hand J. Vernon McGee writes, “Angels can be either human or divine- the word here is messenger. It could refer to a member of the angelic host of heaven; it could refer to a ruler or teacher of the congregation. Personally, I think that it refers to the local pastors, it is good to hear a pastor being called an angel-sometimes we are called other things.”

Chuck Smith writes, “Now it is always to me a very comforting, and yet an extremely exciting concept, to realize the place of the seven stars. They were being held in the right hand of Him. And how beautiful and comforting it is to realize that as a messenger to the church, your life is being held in the right hand of the Lord. I don’t know of anything more exciting than that and comforting than that. Another thing that is extremely exciting is where Jesus is. He is walking in the midst of the church or the churches, the seven golden candlesticks or the seven churches. So, Christ is walking in the midst of His church. You remember in the Gospels, Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name there will I be in the midst”(Matthew 18:20), His promised presence with His people. So, Jesus is here with us tonight. He has promised to be with His people wherever they have gathered in His name. And that is always just beautiful and comforting to realize the presence of Jesus.”

The description of the Savior introduces one of the most powerful symbols in the Apocalypse: the sword of His mouth. Ultimately it will be His word that will defeat the enemy. (Revelation 19:15, 21)

And he had in His right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword (Rev 1:16). The Bible says the Word of God is alive and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword. So, His words are like a sharp two-edged sword, because they are “able to cut between the soul and the spirit. They are a discerner of the thoughts and the intents of the hearts of man” (Hebrews 4:12).

Then John collapses at the Saviors feet. (Revelation 1:17) He cannot stand up on his own power as his strength is drained from seeing the Holy One.  All through Revelation we will see that approaching God is only allowed by permission of the blood of Christ. (Hebrews 10:19-20)

John laid there prostrate on the ground like a dead dog. The effect of Christ before him was paralyzing. It had been 60 years since he last saw Christ and he sees the Blessed Redeemer in all His blinding glory.  But then Johns loving Lord quickly performed a tender task and reached out and touched His disciple in need to strengthen him. “He laid His right hand upon me.” (Revelation 1:17) Jesus assured John, “I am alive.” (Revelation 1:18) Jesus also assured John that, “I have the keys of death and of Hades.”  There are five keys mentioned in the New Testament and our Lord and Savior carries them all.  The other four are:

The keys of the Kingdom. (Matthew 16;19), The key of knowledge. (Luke 11:52), The key of the Throne of David. (Revelation 3:7) and the Key to the bottomless pit. (Revelation 9:1; 20:1)

The Lord has come for his beloved servant and to unlock the mystery of the future and to unveil the events that would lead to Armageddon and the End Times.

Verse 19 -He commanded John to write those things which:

  1. “You have seen” (past)
  2. “Things which are” (present)
  3. “Things which shall take place after these things” (future)

The key to understanding Revelation is in Verse 19.  There are three parts, the things John has seen, the things which are now, and the things which shall be hereafter. (The future)

The Chuck Smith commentary said, “We are now living in the eras of chapters two and three, “the things which are”. The church continues to exist, and the testimony and the witness of the church, and the witness of Jesus concerning His church, which is even more important. So, there are three divisions of the book. It is important that you catch this, because if you don’t you are going to have a constantly confused and garbled view of the future. You will see the church in the midst of the tribulation and the one hundred and forty-four thousand-you’ll try to twist to be the church. There are all kinds of twisted and exaggerated concepts that have come from the book of Revelation, because people did not catch the key in this first chapter here.”

Hinson wrote, “Many have used that simple threefold designation to outline the entire book: past (Chapter 1), present (Chapters 2-3) and future (Chapters 4-22).  The chapter closes by uniting each of these elements. The Savior who died and rose again in the past is still alive and moving in His Church in the present and will come again in the future.  He has already triumphed, and so shall we!”

Amen!

Come with me next time as I begin looking into Chapter 2 of, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.”

The Tubthumper

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