It’s been a full four years since the last series of blogs I posted on the book of Revelation. It seems that developments on the world stage since that time have rapidly fallen into place to support events outlined in scripture. Scientific and technological capabilities are rapidly evolving that also align with the biblical scenario pertaining to the times preceding the Lord’s return. With these things in mind I would like to take another journey through this very important book of the Bible. In fact, it is the only book that promises a blessing to those who will read it, pay attention to what they are reading and stay aware of the truth it reveals (from the Greek).
Revelation 1:3 “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.”
Sadly, there are many pastors today who ignore that promise and declare that the teaching of prophecy is a waste of time. Anyone who spends much time in the word of God will quickly learn that a great deal of scripture is devoted to prophecy. Many of the prophecies of scripture have already been fulfilled, and testify to the veracity of those yet awaiting fulfillment. God declares His reason for sharing prophetic events through the words of Isaiah.
Isaiah 48:3–7 “I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass. Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass; I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them. Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them. They are created now, and not from the beginning; even before the day when thou heardest them not; lest thou shouldest say, Behold, I knew them.”
In other words, prophecy is one of the primary proofs of the authority and power of God that affirms the truth of His word. According to the Apostle Paul, the witness of creation alone leaves one without excuse when he/she stands before Almighty God in judgment.
Romans 1:18–21 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”
The words of the Psalmist echo the witness of creation.
Psalms 19:1–3 “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.”
God is so gracious and merciful and so desires to save us that He goes the extra mile so to speak by testifying of Himself through the declaration and fulfillment of prophecy.
Jesus expected the religious leaders of His day to recognize Him in light of the prophecies from the Old Testament scripture. He obviously thought that the spiritual leaders of the people should have recognized “the signs of the times” pertaining to the coming of the Messiah.
Matthew 16:1–4 “The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven. He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.”
In spite of the doom and gloom and the wickedness of man that pervades the headlines of the news today, I am excitedly anticipating the future based on my study of the prophetic scripture. As a born again child of God, I know that my future is one of happiness and blessing far beyond what I could ever imagine.
1 Corinthians 2:9 “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
I pray that you too will accept God’s gift of salvation and so be able to look forward to the future with that same anticipation. I also pray that as we take another look at this book of judgment and hope you will read the book of Revelation for yourself. I will share as honestly and simply as I can my understanding of its truth, but you are ultimately held accountable to consider my thoughts in the light of scripture. Paul worded it this way in his commendation of the Bereans.
Acts 17:10–11 “And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
Note that the Bereans were eager to hear the teaching of God’s word, but they didn’t blindly accept the teaching as truth just because it came from the mouth of the great Apostle Paul. They compared what was taught to the words of scripture.
(to be continued…)