The Hero of Revelation, Pt. 1

Scripture: John 6:38, Revelation 1:1
Date: 02/18/2017 
The book of Revelation is about Jesus. He is the central figure and hero. Part 1 of 2

Who is Michael the Archangel? - Paperback or Digital Download

Who is Michael the Archangel? - Paperback or Digital Download
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It's the most read book in the world, selling close to 4 billion copies over the past 50 years. The Bible is an amazing book, unlike any other. Although it was written over a period of around 1,500 years by 40 different people on three continents, the Bible maintains incredible harmony throughout its 66 books. A long list of Bible predictions have come to pass that confirms scriptures are divinely inspired, but none of them were dramatically fulfilled than 125 prophecies about the Messiah that were fulfilled to perfection in the life of Jesus.

Various Old Testament books predict with great precision, the place of His birth, His trial, the manner of His crucifixion, the timing of His resurrection, and many other aspects of His life. One thing is for certain, the dozens of prophecies and predictions about His life could never have happened by chance alone. Jesus is the Bible's central figure, but who is He? And how is your life affected by His Join me now, as we take a closer look at this Hero of Revelation.

Our presentation tonight dealing with the Hero of Revelation is part of our Prophecy Encounter series. This is really a new series, we call it Prophecy Encounter because we're hoping that through the study of prophecy that people will encounter the Hero of Revelation. And I think we all know who that is. Matter of fact, if you read the first words in Revelation, it's not a Revelation of the beast, it's not a Revelation of the antichrist. People say, "I want to read about the antichrist in Revelation." Are you aware the word antichrist does not appear in the book of Revelation? It's in the letters of John.

The book of Revelation is about Jesus. He is the central figure, but not just the book of Revelation. The whole Bible is about Jesus as you'll discover in our study tonight. First verse, Revelation 1:1, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him to show His servants things which must shortly come to pass." So the book of Revelation and the things we're going to study in Revelation, Bible tells us way back in the time of Christ they were about to come to pass.

So the prophecy at least begins during the time of Christ and carries on until, of course, we're in heaven if you read Revelation 21 and 22. There are over 300 Old Testament prophecies that provide a number of precise identifying characteristics regarding the Messiah.

A lot of people in the world think that Jesus was just one of many religious leaders. You cannot really believe that and be a Christian. Bible says, "There is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved." Jesus is not just another religious teacher. God became a man. It's called the incarnation in Christ to save us and we need to know who He is. The Christian religion is all about Jesus and you need to know who He is. The whole Bible tells us about that. We're going to delve into some of these.

First prophecy is in the book of Genesis. Genesis 3:15. This is after Adam and Eve sinned and God then, speaking to Adam and Eve, and because of the serpent was the medium through which Lucifer spoke, God said "And I will put enmity," that's where you get the word enemy. It means there is animosity, there is friction, there is a polar resistance, "between you and the woman," between the serpent and the woman. That comes up in Revelation, so I want you to note that, "between your seed," the seed of the serpent, "and her seed," the seed or the offspring of the woman. The seed of the woman, it's talking about is the Messiah. Goes on to say, "and he," the seed of the woman "will bruise your head." Christ would bruise the head of the serpent, and you shall bruise His heel." The progress or the walk of the Christian church has been impeded, slowed by the work of the devil. There is a battle in this world between good and evil, between the woman and the serpent that carries all the way through.

You read in Revelation 12, we don't have to guess who the serpent is. "So that great dragon was cast out, the serpent of old called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world." How much of the world does he deceive? The whole world.

So where did Jesus come from? That's a very important question. Is He just a man? Was He born like other men? Christ made some pretty bold claims. For one thing, He said in John 6:38, "For I have come down from heaven..." Well, not everybody says that. I mean, if you meet somebody that says, "I’ve come from heaven" and you know the Bible, we talked a little last night about people who claim to be Christ. And there is some prominent characters that claimed to be Jesus but there's also some that are locked up here and there.

And I met somebody once that claimed to be Jesus that I’ll never forget because I was by myself up in the mountains. I lived in a cave back then. I was a hermit for about a year and a half and I was all by myself. And a hiker came by the cave and that was not that unusual, I’d see people from time to time. He stayed and he visited for a little bit then said he was Jesus. And at first I thought, "I’ve got some Spanish friends named Jesus, maybe that's..." He didn't look Spanish. And then he said, "No I am Christ." He said, "My name is Michael David Harper". They said, "That's my earthly name, but I’ve come from heaven."

Well, I’ll tell you, it's a little spooky when you're by yourself up the hills and you meet somebody that says, "I’m Jesus, and I have come." And I wasn't quite sure what to say because, you know, I just started reading the Bible. I thought, "Well, if it is Jesus, I’ve got a lot of questions. And if it is Jesus, I don't want to show a lack of faith and hurt His feelings." I mean, all kinds of crazy things are going through your head, you know? And I didn't want to make Him mad, whether he was Jesus or wasn't Jesus. I didn't want.

And so I said, "Well, the Bible says that when you come that everybody is going to see you, it will be like lightning". He says, "That's true." He says, you know, "but I’m coming specially to prepare some other people early." And he had like an answer for everything, he knew the Bible and he stayed with me for two or three days and ate all my food so I knew he wasn't Jesus and he didn't clean up and... And I saw him a week or so later and he actually had found an apostle. Some guy was following Him around saying, "This is Jesus". And then I saw him a few weeks later, we lived on the streets back then when I wasn't up in the cave and he was missing a tooth because he had got into a fight. I felt so much better because I know Jesus has all His teeth. But you know you meet all kinds of strange people out there.

Well, so, when Jesus said, "I’ve come down from heaven" and then he told Pilate in John 18:36, "My kingdom is not of this world." "I am from out of this world." Well, what is He, an extraterrestrial? Where did Jesus come from? He's making some bold claims. And so we need to evaluate that.

Did Jesus claim divinity? Did He claim to be God? In a word, yes. And here's some verses that illustrate that. John 8:58, "Jesus said to them, 'Most assuredly I say to you before Abraham was, I am.'" Now, you might be thinking, "Well, that doesn't mean He was claiming to be God." The Jews who were listening to Him that day believed He was claiming to be God because God said to Moses, "I am that I am." That was a title for God, the self-existent one. They took up stones to stone Him for blasphemy claiming to be God and Jesus did not retract that. And he said, you know, "Before Abraham was," He says, "I preexisted."

And then you can read again in John 17:18, "Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I might take it again." And not too many people lay down their lives and take it again. He says, "No one takes it from Me. I am laying it down and I’m taking it up." And then He goes on and He says in Mark 2:10, "The Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins." And you can read where it says, "God and God only can forgive sins." And so, there's a lot of ways that Jesus explained He had divine prerogatives. And so, yes, Jesus is not just another man.

He said he preexisted before He came to this world. Had power to forgive sin. How can we evaluate His claims? How do we test to see if this is true? C.S. Lewis, the Christian philosopher said, "You really only have three choices with Jesus." No question that He lived. What year is it right now? 2017. I know I’m just testing. 2017 what? The whole dating method that the world uses is based on the birth of Christ. I told you they got that off a little bit but it was ostensibly dated from Christ. So you can't deny that he lived. History doesn't challenge His existence that he lived. So it's like C.S. Lewis said, "He was either a liar, or He was a lunatic, or He's Lord. Those are really the only three options that we have."

Hi, friends, don't go anywhere, in just a moment we will be back to complete today's presentation. Have you ever wondered about this enigmatic character in the Bible called Michael the Archangel? Well, that's the title of the book we'd like to send you for free. Michael suddenly appears in the Old Testament, He is worshiped by Joshua, and in other place He is involved in the resurrection. The Bible says, He's connected with the second coming. The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with the voice of the Archangel. You even find Michael fighting with the devil in Revelation. To get your free copy, call the phone number on your screen and ask for offer number 170 or visit the web address. And after you read this incredible resource, make sure and share it with a friend. Well, let's get back now to today's presentation and learn some more amazing facts from the Word of God.

So how do we determine. Where do we go to find out? The Bible tells us and Jesus Himself said in John 5:39, "Search the scriptures, in them you think you have eternal life," He said, "These are they that testify of Me." Now when Jesus said that, how much New Testament was written? None. None. And so, let me see if I can illustrate something and I am glad to see some of you brought your Bibles here. I’m going to quickly... Oh, good, I’ve found it right away. This is your Bible, I’ve divided it just visually so you get a rough idea. You know, there's some contents and concordance and stuff in the front and the back, but approximately three quarters of the Bible, Old Testament, this is written before Jesus. Matter of fact, the last book Malachi in the Old Testament was written about 400 years before Jesus was born. So there's a nice spread between the two.

And then you get to the New Testament, it talks about the birth of Jesus Christ. First words in Revelation are the Revelation of Jesus Christ. First words in the New Testament, the genealogy of Jesus Christ. So it tells about the coming of the Messiah. The Old Testament foretells when the Savior would come, when God would become a man. And a lot of the Old Testament is talking about Christ. There are hundreds of prophecies.

So we're going to be looking now at a lot of prophecies here that were written hundreds, in some cases, more than a thousand years before Christ was born, and then we're going to see here that exactly what was foretold happened. And this is one reason I think this is not just white pages and black ink. I believe the Bible is a supernatural correspondence with humanity and God has done something miraculously to protect this book. So we're going to look in the Bible.

Furthermore, Luke 24:27, Jesus, when He was talking to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, He said, "He expounded unto them beginning at Moses and all the prophets He expounded to them in all of the scriptures the things concerning Himself." So Jesus gave a Bible study to these two disciples and He showed them through all of the scriptures, prior to the New Testament, things concerning Himself. And you're going to see that Jesus is all the way through there.

I’ve been to churches before where they supply a Bible and all they have is a New Testament. They say, "Well, we're a New Testament church, we don't, that's the old covenant." You can't understand the New Testament without the Old Testament. It's the moon that the woman stands on, though she is clothed with the sun of the New Testament, it's the foundation. The Old Testament is so important to understand the new. And again, Hebrews 10:7, "He said, 'Behold, I come. In the volume of the book it is written of Me to do Your will, o God." So the whole Bible is telling us about Jesus.

Does prophecy foretell the Messiah's family tree? And the answer is, absolutely yes. For one thing, God told Abraham He was calling him from Mesopotamia. He said, "Through your descendants, the Messiah would come." and you find that in Genesis 12:3, "In you shall all the families of the earth be blessed." Through your descendants that the Messiah would come through the Hebrew line.

Now you realize, a Jew and a Hebrew is different. Abraham had more children than just Isaac, and Isaac had more children than just Jacob. And Jacob had more children than just Judah. The word "Jew" kind of comes from the descendants of Judah, principally. But we often use it to talk about Hebrews, in general. But the Messiah would come through the descendants of not only Abraham, but Isaac. You read in Genesis 26:4, it says "I will give your descendants these lands, and in your seed all the nations of the world would be blessed." Because Jesus did not just come for Jews, did He? He came to save everybody. "Whosoever will" the promise is. He told the disciples, go to the ends of the earth. And then, not only did it come from Abraham through Isaac, see Abraham also had Ishmael and several other children through Keturah. Isaac also had Esau. But he said the blessing would come through Jacob and Jacob prophesied.

You see the prophecy in Numbers 24:17. "A star will come out of Jacob, a scepter" a scepter's what a king holds, "will rise out of Israel." There would be this king, the King of kings that would come. By the way, that's the prophecy, probably, that the wise men in the east were reading when they came and followed the star. The star that said there was a new king that would come.

And then when he was dying there in Genesis 49, Jacob, later called Israel, he prophesied that of his sons, and he had 12 sons and one daughter, the Messiah would then be coming specifically through which one? Judah, right? You all with me? You all knew that, didn't you? The Messiah would come through of the 12 sons of Jacob, he would come through Judah. And He says there in Genesis 49, "The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between His feet, until Shiloh come," that means the king of peace. And unto Him shall the gathering of the people be. So it would come through the tribe of Judah. "There will come forth a rod from the stem of Jesse..." Jesse was the father of David. "And a branch will grow from His roots." It said the Messiah would come from the household of David. "And the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him well, why does it say, "The Spirit of the Lord?" The very word "Messiah" in the Old Testament means anointed, the word Christ, Christos, it's Greek for the anointed.

You know, when they christen a ship, they splash the bottle of champagne or wine on it and it's called a christening. An anointing means to shower something. Jesus was to be showered with the Holy Spirit of God and they called Him the Anointed that came through the descendants of David.

Now you go to the New Testament and you see was it fulfilled? And you can read in Luke 1:26, "Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city in Galilee named Nazareth..." Where'd the angel go? I want you to catch that because there's going to be a problem here in the moment. "to a virgin that was betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph of the house of" where? "House of David. The virgin's name was Mary." And this all sounds like a Christmas sermon. You all know this story, right? But both Mary and Joseph were descendants from David. You find the genealogy of Mary going through her father back to Jesus in Luke, and the genealogy follows joseph in Matthew.

So either way they were both descendants of David and, furthermore, it says that Jesus would come through not just the house of David, but the mother would be a virgin. Now that certainly is unique, right? You read that prophecy in Isaiah 7:14, "Behold a virgin will conceive and bear a son, and they'll call His name Immanuel," which means God with us.

Jump to the New Testament. By the way, that's written 700 years before Jesus was born, foretold that the Messiah would be born of a virgin. Now you go to the New Testament and you read in Matthew 1:18. It says that, "Now the birth of Jesus was as follows: after His mother Mary was betrothed or engaged to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be with child." And, of course, we all know about the virgin birth of Mary, virgin birth of Jesus, but Mary was the virgin. Yeah.

What about where He would be born? Does the Bible talk so we wouldn't have any doubts about who the Savior of Man would be? No doubts about when God became a man. Who is it? It wasn't just one of many wise men or prophets through time. It was Jesus. The place of His birth is foretold in the book of Micah about 600 years before Christ. He specifically said, "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, unto you, yet out of you shall come forth to me the one who is to be the ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from old, even from everlasting."

So it's another prophecy here. What does it tell us about Jesus? He's from everlasting. See, Christ didn't just appear when he was born from everlasting to everlasting. You know, in Revelation, He's referred to as the eternal one. He's the "I Am" there. He's the one who is the first and the last, the alpha and the omega. So Christ is from everlasting to everlasting. He was eternal.

And it says that he'd be born in Bethlehem. Did that happen? Now, we've got a problem. When the angel came to Mary, you heard me say a minute ago? Where was she? Galilee. And what city? Nazareth. I’ve got a map up here on the screen. Now you're going to see Nazareth as the crow flies about 70 miles away. She's great with child. She's a long way from home. How are we going to get the Messiah born, as he's supposed to be born, in the city of David, Bethlehem? Well, this is one of the only times in history we need to thank a politician for doing a tax increase. Caesar Augustus. Luke 2:1, issued a decree, "And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed and they had to go register for the tax in their own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee out of the city of Nazareth into Judea there to be registered, to be taxed and registered with his wife, Mary" or his espoused wife "being great with child."

And, of course, while they are there we know what happened. "And so it was, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son." And this is, of course, fulfilling that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. When the shepherds saw the angels where were they? "There were dwelling in those days outside Bethlehem shepherds watching their flocks."

Now, you know it's always been amazing to me, you know what Bethlehem means? Beth means house. Bethlehem, that means house of bread. And Jesus is the Bread of Life. And after He was born, He was placed in a manger. A manger is a trough for putting grain for the animals. So here you've got the bread of life born in the house of bread placed in a trough for bread. Jesus is the Bread of Life. "And so she brought forth her firstborn Son, wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for Him in the inn." And again the angels said "For unto you is born" they told the shepherds, "in the city of David." Jesus would be a descendant of David born in the town of David and it was all foretold by the prophets, the Savior who is Christ the Anointed, the Lord.

And when Christ was a baby, eight days old, they bring Him to the temple to be named and circumcised, which was technically the first time He shed blood. When they called His name Jesus, He will save His people from their sins. The priest there in the temple, Simon, took Him up in his arms and blessed Him. And they said to His mother, "Behold, this child is destined for the fall and the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that will be spoken against. Yes, a sword will even pierce through your own soul," foretelling, of course, the sufferings that Jesus would be going through, "that the thoughts of many hearts might be revealed."

So even at the very beginning Mary was given a prophecy to let her know that Jesus was coming, not just as a lion, but He would first have to come as a lamb and suffer for the sins of the world. Well, then, when Christ was still a child, they're living in Bethlehem, Herod the king wanted to exterminate Jesus as a baby.

You know there's three times in the Bible when the devil made an effort to try to keep the Savior from coming. You can read about the devil thought maybe that a Savior was coming when the children of Israel were in Egypt. So he wanted all the baby boys to be exterminated. And yet Moses was miraculously spared, the savior was spared. And then during the time of Queen Jezebel's daughter Athaliah, she killed all of the seed of David. Again, the devil trying to keep the Messiah from coming. But, miraculously, Joash was spared.

And then, of course, during the time when Christ was a baby, Herod sent His soldiers to Bethlehem to kill all the baby boys, once again, to try to keep the Savior from coming. And Joseph was warned in a dream to go down to Egypt and you read in the New Testament that after he received that warning he said, "He arose and he took the young child and His mother by night and he departed for Egypt..." notice what Matthew says, "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet saying, 'Out of Egypt I have called My Son.'" And, here, he's quoting Hosea. And so, even the New Testament writers, like Matthew could often see how Jesus was a fulfillment of all these prophecies. They all combined and concentrated and focused in His life.

You know, I get excited when I talk about this because there's just no question that Jesus is who he says He was. All right, and then you can say and He came when He was a child. He moved back then, after Egypt to Nazareth and He was subject to His parents "that it might be fulfilled that was spoken of by the prophets," another prophecy, "He will be called a Nazarene."

Now they're talking about when Samson's parents were told that this promised child would be a Nazarene. Several of the types in the Bible, like Samuel and Samson, had the vow of a Nazarite. Typically, Jesus is painted with long hair. And yet, you know, there's a scripture that says "It's a shame for a man to have long hair." But the Nazarites were not supposed to cut their hair. And so some have wondered, "Did Jesus' parents have the vow of a Nazarite on Him up until He was baptized?" because a person could have a Nazarite vow for a varying length of time. It wasn't necessarily a lifelong vow. Nazarites could not eat or drink anything from the vine. Jesus obviously drank grape juice.

And so, He may have just been a Nazarite up until His baptism or followed that vow. We're not sure but he's typically painted with long hair and that's one of the reasons for that. But that was foretold. "And then He went down with His parents and He came to Nazareth, and He was subject to them."

You know, there's all these theories that say, you know, the reason Jesus was so brilliant is because, from the time He was born, His parents then took Him and He studied under these wise gurus in India, or He went to Egypt and He studied there. And they've got all these theories about where Jesus got His great knowledge because it says that He was uneducated in Jerusalem. It tells us that He learned the scriptures right there from His parents in home. He didn't go off and wasn't secretly taught by any, you know, Kung Fu experts off there somewhere. And then come back and have this great enlightenment. He went to His parents. He lived a normal life for the first 30 years until His baptism.

But the main reason we do these seminars is because we want people to know that the Bible is all about Jesus. When Abraham went up the mountain with Isaac and God said, "Are you willing to give Me your son?" he put the wood on Isaac's back. The cross was placed on Jesus' back. The father and the son went to the mountain top together. Isaac was a willing sacrifice. Jesus was a willing sacrifice. Abraham was willing to give his son and that's a type of God who did give His son.

But when you read the Bible, you're reading in the story of Joseph, and in the story of David, and the story of Samuel and Gideon. It's all telling us about Jesus. You're seeing shadows in a tapestry of Christ all through this book because God wants you to know them and know Him and have a personal relationship with His son.

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