God’s Plan For The Ages 58 – Revelation 1 – The Vision

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Michael W Smith A New Hallelujah Featuring The African Children’s Choir Live

Lesson Video

What is the outline from the book of Revelation?

God’s love for Israel

Joel 3:1-2 New King James Version (NKJV)

God Judges the Nations

1 “For behold, in those days and at that time,
When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem,
2 I will also gather all nations,
And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;
And I will enter into judgment with them there
On account of My people, My heritage Israel,
Whom they have scattered among the nations;
They have also divided up My land.

3:2 gather all nations. The nations of the world will be gathered to Jerusalem to the battle of Armageddon (Zech. 12:3; 14:2; Rev. 16:16; 19:11–21). Valley of Jehoshaphat. The name means “Yahweh judges” (cf. 3:12, 14) and although the exact location is unknown, other prophets spoke of this judgment as occurring near Jerusalem (Ezek. 38, 39; Dan. 11:45; Zech. 9:14ff.; 12:1ff.). This judgment of the nations includes the event of Matt. 25:31–46.

God’s Plan For The Ages 58 – Revelation 1 – The Vision

Lesson Text

Introduction and Benediction

1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Re: verse 1. The Revelation, “singular.” (Mine)
Re: verse 3. A promise of a blessing for those who study the book of Revelation. (Mine)

Greeting the Seven Churches

4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.
To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Re: (the rapture, “the catching up,” from rapio, Latin, from harpazo, Greek, 1 Thes 4:16-18). (Mine)

Re: verse 7. At the coming of Christ in the air, and the catching up of the born again believers in Christ (the saints), with Christ catching up His deceased saints first, with the living saints following; all of those saints will meet in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, with their next stop being Heaven, for rewards and the marriage of the lamb (1 Thes 4:16-18; 2 Cor 5:8; Rev 19:7-8). In this verse 7, we see Christ coming from heaven, “with clouds,” with His next stop being the Mount of Olives, in Jerusalem. At that time, all of the people on the earth (all of the people who had been left behind from the rapture), will see Christ on his way to earth. They had experienced the time of tribulation (the judgments of God and the oppression of the anti-Christ). They will mourn, but not for joy. They will have great fear, and not joy, at the appearance of Christ, as He is on His way for judgment. Christ will inflict severe and eternal punishment on those living gentiles who had mistreated the Jews during the tribulation, Matthew 25:40, “My brethren.” (Zechariah 14:1-16; Revelation 19:11-21; Matthew 24:27-31; Matthew 25:31-46). Christ had taken his saints to heaven as the Lamb of God. He is now seen returning to earth from heaven, with those same raptured saints, as the Lion Of The Tribe Of Judah, who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (John 1:29, Rev 5:5, 19:16). (The living gentiles, who had shown compassion for the Jews during the tribulation, had come to know that the Jews were God’s chosen people. Their compassion for the Jews was due to their acceptance of Christ as their Lord and Savior; God granted them entry into the Kingdom/Millennial reign of Christ, from where they would enter into the eternal state (Matthew 25:40; Revelation 21:1-7). Many Bibles, videos of sermons about Christ, and other Christian material, will be available for those who are left behind when the rapture takes place; they will have those sources of information to teach them about Christ. They, and all believers in Christ, are over-comers, because of their faith in Christ, 1 John 5:4) (Mine)

1 John 5:4 English Standard Version (ESV)

4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

Vision of the Son of Man

9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”
12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. 17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. 19 Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. 20 The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.

Study Notes

The following study notes come from the MacArthur Study Bible, and are provided by Biblgateway.com

Revelation

1:1 The Revelation. The Gr. word from which the Eng. word “apocalypse” comes lit. means “to uncover, or to reveal.” When it refers to a person, it means that person becomes clearly visible (see Introduction: Title; cf. Luke 2:30–32; Rom. 8:19; 1 Cor. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:7). Jesus Christ. The gospels unveil Christ at His first coming in humiliation; Revelation reveals Him in His exaltation: 1) in blazing glory (vv. 7–20); 2) over His church, as its Lord (chaps. 2, 3); 3) in His second coming, as He takes back the earth from the usurper, Satan, and establishes His kingdom (chaps. 4–20); and 4) as He lights up the eternal state (chaps. 21, 22). The NT writers eagerly anticipate this unveiling (1 Cor. 1:7; 2 Thess. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:7). God gave Him. As a reward for Christ’s perfect submission and atonement, the Father now presented to Him the great record of His future glory (cf. Phil. 2:5–11). Readers eavesdrop on the gift of this book, from the Father to His Son. shortly. The primary meaning of this word (lit. “soon”; cf. 2:5, 16; 3:11; 11:14; 22:12; 2 Tim. 4:9) underscores the imminence of Christ’s return.
1:3 Blessed. This is the only biblical book that comes with a blessing for the one who listens to it being read and explained and then responds in obedience. This is the first of 7 beatitudes in the book (v. 3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14). time is near. “Time” refers to epochs, eras, or seasons. The next great epoch of God’s redemptive history is imminent. But although Christ’s coming is the next event, it may be delayed so long that people begin to question whether He will ever come (cf. Matt. 24:36–39; 2 Pet. 3:3, 4).
1:4 seven churches which are in Asia. Asia Minor, equivalent to modern Turkey, was composed of 7 postal districts. At the center of those districts were 7 key cities which served as central points for the dissemination of information. It is to the churches in those cities that John writes. who is and who was and who is to come. God’s eternal presence is not limited by time. He has always been present and will come in the future. the seven Spirits. There are two possible meanings: 1) a reference to Isaiah’s prophecy concerning the 7-fold ministry of the Holy Spirit (Is. 11:2); or 2) more likely, it is a reference to the lampstand with 7 lamps (a menorah) in Zechariah—also a description of the Holy Spirit (see notes on 4:5; 5:6; Zech. 4:1–10). In either case, 7 is the number of completeness, so John is identifying the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
1:5 firstborn. Of all who have been or will be raised from the dead, He is the preeminent one, the only one who is the rightful heir (cf. 3:14; Ps. 89:27; Col. 1:15).
1:6 kings and priests. More accurately, “a kingdom and priests.” All who believe live in the sphere of God’s rule, a kingdom entered by faith in Jesus Christ. And as priests, believers have the right to enter God’s presence.
1:7 coming with clouds. This echoes the promise of Daniel: The Son of Man will come with the clouds of heaven (Dan. 7:13)—not ordinary clouds but clouds of glory. In the OT, God often manifested Himself in an energized, blazing light, called the Shekinah or glory cloud. No one could see it fully and live (Ex. 33:20), so it had to be veiled. But when Christ returns, the glory will be completely visible. Cf. Matt. 24:29, 30; 25:31; see notes on 6:12–17. they who pierced. Not a reference to the 4 Roman soldiers usually involved in crucifixion, but to the Jews who were actually responsible for Christ’s death (Acts 2:22, 23; 3:14, 15). Zechariah identified the ones who pierced Him as “the house of David” and “the inhabitants of Jerusalem” and prophesied that they will weep tears of genuine repentance because of what they did to their Messiah (Zech. 12:10). all the tribes…will mourn. The mourning of the rest of the earth’s inhabitants is not that which accompanies genuine repentance (cf. 9:21). It is the result of guilt for sin and fear of punishment (6:16; cf. Gen. 3:8–10).
1:8 Alpha and the Omega. These are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. An alphabet is an ingenious way to store and communicate knowledge. The 26 letters in the English alphabet, arranged in almost endless combinations, can hold and convey all knowledge. Christ is the supreme, sovereign alphabet; there is nothing outside His knowledge, so as there are no unknown factors that can sabotage His second coming. (cf. Col. 2:3). the Almighty. “Almighty God” occurs 8 times in Revelation, underscoring that God’s power is supreme over all the cataclysmic events it records (see also 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7, 14; 19:15; 21:22). He exercises sovereign control over every person, object, and event, and not one molecule in the universe is outside that dominion.
1:9–18 This vision of Christ is equaled in grandeur only by the vision of His final return as King of kings and Lord of lords (19:11–16).
1:9 tribulation and kingdom and patience. Four characteristics that John and his believing readers share: 1) persecution for their faith; 2) membership in the redeemed community over which Christ serves as Lord and King; 3) eager anticipation of the glory of His coming millennial reign on earth; and 4) endurance and perseverance in spite of difficult times. island…called Patmos. Located in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Asia Minor (modern Turkey) and part of a group of about 50 islands, Patmos is a barren, rocky, crescent-shaped island that is about 10 mi. long and less than 6 mi. at its widest point. It served as a Roman penal colony. According to early Christian historian, Eusebius, the emperor Nerva (A.D. 96–98) released John from Patmos.
1:10 in the Spirit. This was not a dream. John was supernaturally transported out of the material world awake—not sleeping—to an experience beyond the normal senses. The Holy Spirit empowered his senses to perceive revelation from God (cf. Acts 10:11). Lord’s Day. This phrase appears in many early Christian writings and refers to Sunday, the day of the Lord’s resurrection. Some have suggested this phrase refers to “the Day of the Lord,” but the context doesn’t support that interpretation, and the grammatical form of the word “Lord” is adjectival, thus “the Lord’s day.” loud voice. Throughout Revelation, a loud sound or voice indicates the solemnity of what God is about to reveal.
1:11 book. The Gr. word refers to a scroll made of parchment formed from papyrus, a reed that grows plentifully along the Nile.
1:12 lampstands. These were portable gold lampstands that held small oil lamps. Each lampstand represented a church (v. 20), from which the light of life shone. Throughout Scripture, 7 is the number of completeness, so these 7 lampstands are representative of all the churches.
1:13 Son of Man. According to the gospels, this is the title Christ used most often for Himself during His earthly ministry (81 times in the gospels). Taken from the heavenly vision in Dan. 7:13, it is an implied claim to deity. garment. Most occurrences of this word in the Septuagint, the Gr. OT, refer to the garment of the High-Priest. The golden sash across His chest completes the picture of Christ serving in His priestly role (cf. Lev. 16:1–4; Heb. 2:17).
1:14 white like wool. “White” does not refer to a flat white color but a blazing, glowing, white light (cf. Dan. 7:9). Like the glory cloud (or Shekinah), it is a picture of His holiness. eyes…flame of fire. Like two lasers, the eyes of the exalted Lord look with penetrating gaze into the depths of His church (2:18; 19:12; Heb. 4:13).
1:15 feet…fine brass. The altar of burnt offering was covered with brass and its utensils were made of the same material (cf. Ex. 38:1–7). Glowing hot, brass feet are a clear reference to divine judgment. Jesus Christ with feet of judgment is moving through His church to exercise His chastening authority upon sin. voice… sound of many waters. No longer was His voice like the crystal clear note of a trumpet (v. 10), but John likened it to the crashing of the surf against the rocks of the island (cf. Ezek. 43:2). It was the voice of authority.
1:16 seven stars. These are the messengers who represent the 7 churches (see note on v. 20). Christ holds them in His hand, which means that He controls the church and its leaders. a sharp two-edged sword. A large, two-edged broad sword. It signifies judgment (cf. 2:16; 19:15) on those who attack His people and destroy His church.
1:17 fell at His feet. A common response to seeing the awesome glory of the Lord (Gen. 17:3; Num. 16:22; Is. 6:1–8; Ezek. 1:28; Acts 9:4). First and the Last. Jesus Christ applies this OT name for Yahweh (22:13; Is. 41:4; 44:6; 48:12) to Himself, clearly claiming to be God. Idols will come and go. He was before them, and He will remain after them.
1:18 keys of Hades and of Death. See note on Luke 16:23. Death and Hades are essentially synonyms, but death is the condition and Hades, equivalent to the OT Sheol, the place of the dead (see note on 20:13). Christ decides who lives, who dies, and when.
1:19 This verse provides a simple outline for the entire book: “the things which you have seen” refers to the vision John has just seen (chap. 1); “the things which are” denotes the letters to the churches (chaps. 2, 3); and “the things which will take place after this” refers to the revelation of future history (chaps. 4–22).
1:20 the angels. The word lit. means “messenger.” Although it can mean angel—and does throughout the book—it cannot refer to angels here because angels are never leaders in the church. Most likely, these messengers are the 7 key elders representing each of those churches (see note on v. 16).

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Eschatology

Eschatology is the study of the teachings in the Bible concerning the end times and of the period of time dealing with the return of Christ and the events that follow. Those events, follow, but are not in the order as shown: the Resurrection, the Rapture, the Tribulation, the Millennium, the Binding of Satan, the Three witnesses, the Final Judgment, Armageddon, and The New Heavens and the New Earth. In one form or another most of the books of the Bible deal with end-times subjects.

Background

My study of the end times goes back to the year of 1976. There have been many people who have helped me to understand this exciting part of God’s Holy Word. There have also been many credible source documents that I have studied, “over and over.” The following individuals (some alive, and some deceased) are recognized for their knowledgeable of matters that relate to the end times. Their study materials have helped me to prepare this series of posts on “God’s Plan For The Ages.” Their names are presented below in no special order of importance. It is easy to research their qualifications through the internet.

Sources

John Ankerberg, Darrell Bock, Jimmy DeYoung, Andrew Hill, Ed Hindson, Mark Hitchcock, Tommie Ice, Grant R. Jeffrey, David Jeremiah, Walter Kaiser, Tim LaHaye, Hal Lindsey, John MacArthur, Shawn C. Madden, J. Vernon McGee, Henry Morris, Richard Patterson, J. Dwight Pentecost, John Phillips, David Reagan, Ron Rhodes, Adrian Rogers, Charles C. Ryrie, C.I. Scofield, Renald Showers, Charles Swindoll, Frank Charles Thompson, Merrill Unger, Jack Van Impe, John F. Walvoord, Andy Woods, Roy Zuck, and others.

If you want to make a comment, please place that comment on this blog in the appropriate space at the bottom of this page. If you do not want your comment to be shown, please let me know. I moderate all comments, and will not violate anybody’s trust.

The scripture text was taken from Biblegateway.com

The translation of the text is from The New King James Version.

The Ryrie Study Bible, New American Standard Bible, was used for lesson preparation.

Unless otherwise noted, scripture notes were taken from The MacArthur Study Bible notes that are contained in Biblegateway.com

Everyone should own the Ryrie and MacArthur Study Bibles.

Biographies

Dr. John Ankerberg, founder and president of The John Ankerberg Show, the most-watched Christian worldview show in America
https://www.jashow.org/about-dr-john-ankerberg/

Signs of the Last Days – Dr. Jimmy DeYoung
Bio – http://jimmydeyoung.com/aboutdrd.shtml

Dr. Renald Showers
http://www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?SpeakerOnly=true&currSection=sermonsspeaker&Keyword=Dr.%5ERenald%5EShowers
Dr. Renald Showers is an author and Bible teacher for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc.

MacArthur Study Bible Notes
Bio – Dr. John MacArthur – https://www.gracechurch.org/Leader/MacArthur/John?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

Dr. John F. Walvoord, (1910-2012) long-time president of Dallas Theological Seminary, was one of the most prominent evangelical scholars of his generation. He is considered perhaps the world’s foremost interpreter of biblical prophecy.
Bio – https://bible.org/users/john-f-walvoord

Dr. Ed Hindson, http://thekingiscoming.com/about-dr-ed-hindson/
Dr. Ed Hindson is the Bible Teacher on The King Is Coming telecast. He is also the Assistant Chancellor, Distinguished Professor, and Dean of the Institute of Biblical Studies and the School of Religion at Liberty University in Virginia.

Hal Lindsey https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hal_Lindsey
Harold Lee Lindsey (born November 23, 1929) is an American evangelist and Christian writer. He is a Christian Zionist and dispensationalist author. He graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with a Master of Theology degree, majoring in the New Testament and early Greek literature.

Dr. Mark Hitchcock http://marklhitchcock.com/about/
Mark Hitchcock is a leading Bible prophecy expert, prolific author who has penned over 20 books on the end times, senior pastor, and adjunct faculty member of the Dallas Theological Seminary.

Dr. Ron Rhodes http://ronrhodes.org/meet-ron.html
Th.D., Dallas Theological Seminary (1986). Major: Systematic Theology. Graduated with High Honors.
Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary (1983). Major: Systematic Theology. Graduated with Honors. Elected to Dean’s List.
B.A., Houston Baptist University (1979). Recipient of the Greek Excellence Award. Chief nominee for the Riverside Scholarship.

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