Jesus and the Book of Revelation

Jesus and the Book of Revelation

Scripture: Revelation 3:21, 1 Corinthians 10:1-11, Revelation 12:1-17
Date: 04/21/2018  Lesson: 3
"Revelation is all about Jesus, about who He is, about what He has done for His people, and about what He will do for us at the end of time. Of necessity, any focus on last-day events must keep Jesus front and center, exactly what the book of Revelation does."

Return of the King DVD or Digital Download

Return of the King DVD or Digital Download
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Hello. Friends, we want to welcome you to Sabbath School Study Hour here at the Granite Bay church. And today, we have a very special lesson, we're going through preparation for the end times, and the lesson today is actually dealing with Jesus in Revelation, and our teacher is going to get to that in just a few minutes, but before we do, we want to welcome our singers out. We're going to praise God with song, and then we're going to be getting into the study. We're going to sing about Christ coming, hymn number 213, Jesus is coming again.

And if that is your hope and your dream, I invite you to just sing along, we're going to sing all four verses of Jesus is coming again. You know, as we look around us, those words are true. And I am so looking forward to that day when Jesus comes and takes us away from all of this. Until then, I pray that all of us remain faithful to his cause. At this time, Pastor Doug will bring us our opening prayer.

Thank you to our singers. Welcome once again, friends. Want to also welcome those who are watching via one of the internet outlets, Facebook or some other mechanism. And now if you have questions about the lesson today, you know, Pastor Ross and I both wanted to teach the lesson today about Jesus in Revelation, and we arm wrestled and he won. It is just one of the most splendid themes, so you may have some questions about Jesus in Revelation, if you have questions about that, send them in somewhere around three quarters of the way through the lesson, we'll be going over that.

And we also have a free offer that goes along with our study today. They're going to put that up on the screen for me right now. We're going to be giving out the dvd from the landmarks of prophecy series called return of the King. And so, if you want a free copy of that, that's our offer 841, it's called return of the King from the landmarks of prophecy series. At this time, we're going to begin with a word of prayer, and I'll invite Pastor Ross to come up and to share our lesson with us.

Loving father, we want to thank you that Jesus is revealed in this book of Revelation. And as we talk about the theme of preparing for the final days, Lord, we just pray that our minds will be open to hear your voice speak, that the Holy Spirit will just give us clarity, and we pray that we can be inspired to be more like Jesus as a result, in his name we pray. Amen. Welcome again to Sabbath school. It's always a joy to see you here week after week and also our friends who are joining us online.

Especially, we want to greet our online members. We are delighted that you're part of the church family here, even though you can't be here in person, you can tune in every week and study along with us. As Pastor Doug mentioned, we've got a fantastic series of lessons this quarter that I'm very excited about. It's dealing with end time events. It's just so happens, one of my favorite books in the Bible is last book in the new testament, of course, the book of Revelation.

Today, we're gonna spend quite a bit of time looking at some rather important passages in Revelation that highlight Jesus and his ministry. Sort of on a side note, one of my other favorite books in the new testament is the book of Hebrews, which also highlights Jesus and his high priestly ministry in the heavenly sanctuary. We probably won't have time to get into too much of that this morning. But we are going to spend quite a bit of time looking at Revelation. The theme for our lesson today is Jesus and the book of Revelation.

And we have a memory text, it's Revelation 3:21, I'm going to read this straight out of our lesson, it says, "to him," Jesus speaking, "to him who overcomes, I will grant to sit with me on my throne, as I also overcame and sat down with my father on his throne." So there is a promise that Jesus gives to the church of laodicea, that is the seventh church and he says to those who overcome, they're going to be able to sit down with me on my throne. And whose throne is Jesus seated on? His father's throne. It's probably one of the greatest promises of all that you can find in the book of Revelation, a promise to those who overcome. Now, as you know, chapter 2 and chapter 3 of Revelation are letters to the seven churches, each of those seven churches represent seven phases of the Christian era. And to each church, Jesus gives rebuke, he gives words of encouragement, and he also gives promise.

Incidentally, there's only two churches that don't receive any word of rebuke, that's the church of smyrna, the persecuted church, and the church of philadelphia, the church of brotherly love. But it is interesting when you look at all of the promises that Jesus offers to those who overcome. To the church of ephesus, that was the first church, Jesus said, "to those who overcome, they get to eat from the Tree of Life." To the church of smyrna, that was the persecuted church, especially around 300 to 313 ad, 10 years of supreme persecution during the time of diocletian. There is a promise that Jesus gives to those who are persecuted, he says, "those who overcome will not be hurt by the second death." To the church of pergAmos, Jesus gives the promise, "if you overcome, you will eat of the hidden manna." It also says, "I'll give you a white stone and a new name." So three things promised to those who overcome during the time period of the church at pergAmos. To the church of thyatira, interesting promise Jesus gives here, "to those who overcome, they have power over the nations.

" Of course, they're going to sit with Christ on his throne, they will be power over the nations. He will also give them the morning star. Who do you suppose the morning star is? That's Jesus. So Jesus is going to give himself to those who overcome. To the church of sardis, the promise is, "you will be clothed in white garments.

" To the church of philadelphia, the promise is, "to those overcome, they will be a pillar in the temple of God." Meaning, they will always be in the presence of God and they will also receive a new name. And then our memory verse to the church of laodicea, probably one of the greatest promises to the seven churches, "I will grant you to sit with me on my throne, even as I am seated on The Father's throne." So there are some of the promises that Jesus gives with reference to those who overcome. Now on Sabbath afternoon, the focus of this lesson as we mentioned is Jesus and the book of Revelation. We have an opening statement I'd like to read from the lesson. Revelation is all about Jesus, about he who is, about he who was, and he who is to come.

It's about what Jesus is and what Jesus will do for his people, especially as it relates to the end of time. Any focus on last day events must keep Jesus front and center of necessity, which is exactly what the book of Revelation does. This week's lesson, we'll look at Jesus in the book of Revelation. So I suppose a good place to start in our study of the book of Revelation and Jesus is the very beginning, Revelation 1. If you have your Bibles, you can turn to that Revelation 1, and we're gonna read the first three verses here.

Revelation 1, and I'm going to read the first three verses. Revelation 1:1, and it begins with these words. And by the way who wrote the book of Revelation? It was John. When was the book of Revelation written? And where was John when the book was written? He was on the island of patmos, we'll look at that little later on. As best we can tell, the dating for the book of Revelation is somewhere around early ad 90.

By this time, the other apostles were all dead. John, being the youngest of the apostles outlived them. He was ministering at the church in ephesus. And by the way, that's the church that is first addressed in Revelation 2, the late church of ephesus. It's believed that he was pastoring there in the church of ephesus.

And then he was ended up on the island of patmos, because he refused to worship at the emperor's shrine, I'll tell you a little bit more about that, but I'm getting ahead of myself. So here, John is on the island of patmos, it's somewhere around 90 ad. And this is what he has to say as he receives these visions about end times. Revelation 1:1, "the Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave unto him to show to his servants, things that must shortly take place, and he sent and signified it by his angel to his servant, John." Notice the phrase "the Revelation of Jesus Christ." The word Revelation means revealing. And it's kind of an interesting way it's worded there.

It could be understood as the Revelation of Jesus, meaning Jesus is the one doing the revealing. Jesus is showing us something, the Revelation of Jesus, but it could also be understood as that which is revealed is Jesus. Can you see it both ways? The word there "Revelation" comes from the idea of lifting the lid on a basket or a pot for the purpose to reveal the contexts or whatever is inside. Now, that's kind of the root meaning of the word. So when it says, it's the Revelation of Jesus Christ, it's as if Jesus is lifting the lid on a basket to reveal something inside, but that which is revealed inside is Jesus.

You understand? It's the Revelation of Jesus, Jesus is revealing himself and his acts through history. Then the verse goes on and it says, "which God gave unto him to show to his servants, things that must shortly take place. And he sent and signified by an angel to his servant John." So God, The Father is the fountain head of all truth. Jesus receives this truth from The Father, he then sends it by an hand of an angel, sends it by an angel to John, who is on the island of patmos. John writes down everything that he sees, everything that he hears, as well as what the Spirit reveals to him, the testimony of Jesus.

So the book of Revelation is a firsthand account of what John is revealed in vision. That which God gave to Jesus, Jesus sent by the angel and John wrote it down for us. If you look in verse 2, when John says, "who bore witness to the Word of God," speaking of the prophet, he wrote down everything that he heard, "and the testimony of Jesus Christ." Now, we need to let the Bible interpret itself. What is the testimony of Jesus? Revelation 19:10 says, "the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy." So John was a prophet. The Holy Spirit was revealing things to him.

He wrote down what he heard, he wrote down what the Spirit revealed to him, and then it says, "he wrote down everything that he saw," that's verse 2. And then looking at verse 3, it says, "blessed is he that reads and those that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written there in, for the time is near." So the book of Revelation covers the entire Christian time period, from the time of the apostles, all the way down to the church of laodicea. The church today talks about the second coming, talks about the 1,000 years of the millennium, and then it talks about the earth being recreated, and that's in Revelation 21. So Revelation covers the whole Christian era. One of the three things that people need to do according to verse 3 in order to be blessed.

John says, blessed are those who do what? Who read the book. And then what else? Those who hear the book. And what's the third thing? Keep those things that are written therein. Now, the way the book of Revelation came to us, John was a prisoner on the island of patmos, who received these visions, he wrote them down in a letter form, and then he sent this letter to the church of ephesus. You can just imagine, word gets out to the members of the church of ephesus that a letter has just arrived in the mail from their beloved John.

Of course, they knew that he was in the island of patmos. They hadn't seen him, they hadn't heard from him for a long time, and suddenly a letter arrives in the mail and it's written by John himself. Could you imagine the excitement? That Sabbath gathered there in the church, in the church of ephesus. And one of the elders gets up and he says, "we've got a letter that's just come from our beloved apostle John." And he opens up the book of Revelation, and probably in one reading, he reads through the entire book. And everybody sits and listens.

And maybe they read it again for a couple of weeks. So John says, "blessed is he that reads, blessed are those who hear," that would be those in the congregation, and then "blessed are those who do." So after the letter was read to the church of ephesus, there were a few scholars in the church, and they carefully copied everything that John had written in his letter, then they would keep the copy, and they had mailed the original to the next church, the church of smyrna. And the same thing would happen in smyrna. An elder would get up in the church, he would read the letter from John, they would carefully copy it by hand, and then the letter would be sent to the next church, and the next church, and the next church. Each church would make copies, and that's why we have many different manuscripts and copies of not only the book of Revelation, but many of the letters that Paul wrote, they dealt with it in the same way.

It would be read in the church, and then carefully copied, and then it would be sent on. So we don't have any of the original manuscripts, but there are many copies available, at least portions of new testament letters that are available today. And the more archaeologists dig, the more they find these different manuscripts. So there's quite a few of them out there. All right, so there is a blessing upon those who read, those who hear, and most importantly those who keep the things that are written therein.

Okay, a little bit more background to the book of Revelation as it relates to revealing Jesus. There is a structure that we find both in the books of Daniel and Revelation, they are both prophetic books, and they have a similar structure. One of the common structures that we find is the books are divided up roughly into a historical section and then an eschatological section or end time events section. You find that in the book of Daniel, there's some stories and some history, but then you also have the vision portion of the book, and that's true also with the book of Revelation. Now, I'm gonna have somebody read for just, in just a moment, 1 Corinthians 10:11.

Do you have a microphone there? You've got the mic, okay, I'll have you read that in just a minute. But before we get to that, roughly the book of Revelation is divided up, the first section or first half of the book, from about chapter 1 through to chapter 11 deals more with history or historical events during the Christian era. And then starting in chapter 13 through to 22, it's dealing more with end time events, or really issues relating to our time. You'll find chapter 12, which we're going to spend a little time studying here in more detail is summary of the historical portion of the book of Revelation. Now, there are exceptions to that.

You'll see some verses scattered in the first part of the book that really relate to events taking place today. For example, you have the sixth seal which is in Revelation 6, and you have the seventh seal, which is silence in heaven about the space of half an hour, that's in Revelation 8, that's really referring to the second coming of Christ. The sixth seal also brings you right up to the second coming of Christ, but for the most part, from chapter 1 through to 11 deals more with the historical events, chapter 13 onwards deals more with the future events or current events that we're living in and things that must take place. But why do we have this history in the books of Daniel and Revelation? Let's take a look at 1 Corinthians 10:11. "Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

" Thank you. So according to Paul there in 1 Corinthians, these historical accounts that we have both in the old testament and also in these prophetic books were written for what purpose? They were written as examples. Examples that we can learn from and specifically who are the ones who ought to learn from these examples? Those who are living near the end of time, upon whom the end of the ages come. So they are valuable lessons that we can learn from this historical portions, the books of Daniel and Revelation, and, of course, many of these historical portions of the old testament, new testament as well. They are there as an example.

Now as I mentioned that transition chapter between the historical portion of Revelation and then the eschatological portion is really Revelation 12. And in our lesson, they actually encourage us to look at the entire chapter. Well, it just so happens that this is one of my favorite chapters in the book of Revelation. So we'll take a few moments to look at it, because it covers the Great Controversy theme throughout the Christian era. So, hopefully you've got your Bibles in hand.

And we're gonna take a look at, just a quick overview so to speak of Revelation 12. Beginning in verse 1, it says, "now a great sign appeared in heaven," Revelation12:1, "a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland or crown of twelve stars." In Bible prophecy, what does a woman represent? It represents a church. A pure woman represents the true church, an impure woman, as you find in Revelation 17, represents a corrupt church or a fallen church. Here, this is the description of the true church. The woman is clothed with the sun.

The Bible tells us in the old testament that the sun, s-u-n shall arise with healing in his wings. Who is the sun, a symbol of? Jesus, The Son of God. It says that she's standing upon the moon and she has a crown of 12 stars. Where does the moon get its light? It gets its light from the sun. So the moon reflects the sun.

Who does the sun represent? It represents Jesus. Where can we find the clearest reflection of Jesus and his teachings today? In the Word of God, right? In the Word of God. Jesus says, "it's the Scriptures that testify of him." So what needs to be the foundation of the church in the last days. She stands upon the moon, what needs to be our foundation? The Word of God. Does that make sense? Is it important for Christians in the last days to know and be rooted and grounded in what the Bible says? Jesus said in the last days, the devil's deceptions will be so well crafted that he will deceive if possible, who? Even the very elect.

Who is the devil going after anyway? He is not going after the lost, he's already got them. But the ones that the devil wants to deceive in particular are those whose names are written in the lamb's book of life. He wants them to believe his lies and let go of their faith in God and be deceived. That's why knowing the word, keeping the commandments of God, being rooted and grounded in the Scriptures is critical, especially in the last days. So here we have a church described as standing upon the moon, she is grounded upon the Word of God.

She has a crown of 12 stars. Numbers in Bible prophecy are significant. The number 12 represents the church. You have the 12 tribes of the old testament, you have the 12 apostles of the new testament. Very quickly on a side note, the number one in Bible prophecy represents unity of purpose.

The number two represents the Word of God, the law and the prophets, the two witnesses, the two-edged sword. The number three represents the Godhead, The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit. The number four represents the earth, the four points of the compass, north, south, east, and west, otherwise known as the four winds of heaven. The number five represents doctrinal teaching, the first five books of Moses represents doctrine or teaching the pentateuch. The number six is man's number.

Man was created on the sixth day of the week. What is the number of the Mark of the beast? 666. How many 6's? Three. It's man's attempt to usurp God's position. Incidentally, the false trinity in Revelation 16 tells us is the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet.

The dragon tries to take the place of God, The Father. The beast power tries to usurp the position of Jesus, and the false prophet tries to usurp the position of the Holy Spirit. Of course, the number seven in the Bible represents what? Perfection or completion, that's God's number. And I better hurry up, we're never gonna get to our passage if I keep going. Verse 3, it says, "another sign appeared in heaven, behold, a great fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon its head.

" So we don't have time to get into the details here, but verse 4 says, "his tail drew a third of the stars of heaven, threw them to the earth. The dragon stood before the woman that was ready to give birth, to devour her child as soon as it was born." Who does the dragon represent? We don't have to guess as to who the dragon is. Matter of fact, Revelation 12 tells us verse 9, "so the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent of old called the devil and satan. So the devil is there ready to devour this child that is born to the woman as soon as he is born. It was the devil working through herod or pagan rome to try and destroy Jesus as soon as he was born.

Verse 5 says, "she brought forth a male child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron," we'll talk about that later, "and the child was caught up to God and to his throne. That's referencing after the resurrection, Jesus ascended up to heaven. But after Christ ascends to heaven, verse 6 says, "then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there 1,260 days." And we have in Revelation 12 and in some other passages as well, a wilderness time period. The wilderness time period described here is 1,260 days. One prophetic day is equal to what? One literal year.

So for 1,260 years, the true church of God was in hiding, it was in the wilderness. That time period began when after Christianity was legalized around 313. There were a number of pagan teachings and doctrines that made its way into the Christian church, 538 is when the bishop of rome, otherwise known as the pope, received civil authority to so called correct heretics, meaning he could persecute those who refused to acknowledge papal supremacy. The true followers of God who didn't want to bow the knee and kiss the ring of the pope, they fled into the wilderness. A well known group or the waldenses in the mountains of northern italy for about 1200, well exactly, 1,260 years, from 538 through until 1798 that God's true church was more so in hiding.

Now, near the end of that 1260 year time period persecution had slowed down in some of the nations of europe, but still it was a time period of persecution for the true followers of God, that's that 1,260 days or years that you read about there. Now, the question that comes up then is, why is this dragon so angry with the woman? Why does he try and destroy her child, representing Jesus? And the question needs to be answered. What's the reason for this conflict? Well, the reason is given in verse 7, it kind of jumps us back in time, way back before the creation of the earth. It says, way back when, we don't know for sure when this happened, but we know it was before creation. It says, "war broke out in heaven," war starts in heaven.

"Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought." Now the dragon is satan, Michael is the prophetic name of Christ. In Jude, Michael is referred to as the archangel. Some people think, "well, wait a minute, how can you say Michael is Christ when it's said to be an archangel?" The word "archangel" means covering cherub or covering angel. It's the messenger, it's the one in charge, it is the general of the angels. Arch-angel doesn't mean he's an angel, but he's above the angels, he's commander of the angels, he's in charge of the angels.

Jesus is the one in charge of the angels, he's not an angel. So what's interesting to note that when Jesus comes the second time, his voice raises the dead. And you read in Thessalonians that when Jesus comes, or Corinthians rather, when Jesus comes again with the shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. So Jesus says the voice that raises the dead is the voice of The Son of man. And Paul says in Corinthians that the voice that raises the dead is the voice of the archangel, and Jude tells us the name of the archangel is Michael.

So if you put all of those verses together, Michael is the symbolic name or prophetic name of Jesus. So Jesus, the leader of the heavenly host of angels, the good angels are at war with the dragon, satan, and those angels that sided with him. And by the way, I skipped over that a little earlier, it says in verse 4 that the dragon's tail drew a third of the stars of heaven. According to Revelation 1, stars represent angels. The devil was able to deceive a third of the angels of heaven to join his rebellion against God.

It's also interesting that it uses the word tail. How did the devil get all of the angels? Used his tail. What does that tail represent in the old testament? It represents lies and deceit. False prophets in the old testament are said to be as the tail or tail of the scorpion. So here the devil through lies and deceit, he's able to deceive a third of the angels to join his rebellion against God.

All right, so this war breaks out in heaven. The devil eventually loses the war, verse 8, and he is cast out of heaven. Verse 10, "then I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, "now salvation, and strength, and the Kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ has come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down." Now, there are two things I want you to note. Early in the chapter, the devil is cast out of heaven, here in verse 10, it says the devil is cast down. The casting out and the casting down does not occur at the same time.

The devil is cast down when Jesus dies on the cross, when it says salvation is now come, then it was very evident. After adam gave his allegiance to the devil instead of his allegiance to God way back in the Garden of Eden, the devil claimed the earth as his dominion, as his kingdom. He claimed to be the representative of the earth. That's why you read in the book of job, there is a gathering of The Sons of God, these representatives of the unfallen worlds, and satan shows up, and God said, "where did you come from?" And he says, "oh, walking up and down on the earth, walking through my kingdom." And God says, "well, if you notice there's somebody in your kingdom that really belongs in my kingdom." And satan gets all upset. He says, "well, the reason job worships you is because of all of the blessings you've given upon him.

" So the devil claims the earth as his. Jesus even acknowledged that and said the prince of this world, referencing Jesus, but when Jesus died on the cross, he became our second adam. He now is the representative for us in heaven. He is our advocate with The Father, he is now our high priest. So in that sense, the devil is cast down.

He is losing his dominion, the Kingdoms of this earth are soon to become the Kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ. Verse 11, speaking of those who overcome, "they overcame him by the blood of the lamb, by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives unto death." Then verse 12 says, "rejoice, o heavens, and you that dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down unto you, having great wrath." Notice the last part of verse 12, "because he knows he has," but a what? "Short time." The devil is running out of time, and like a maddened criminal, he's doing everything he can to bring pain and sorrow to as many people on the earth, especially the followers of God. And he knows his time is running out, he's doubling his efforts to bring chaos, and violence, and disaster here upon the earth. All right, verse 13 then, it says, the woman or "when the dragon saw that he had been cast down to the earth," that occurs at the crucifixion, cast to the earth, "he persecutes the woman," that's the church "that gave birth to the male child." It's the new testament time period. Verse 14, "but the woman is given two wings of a great eagle that she might fly into the wilderness," that is that 1,260 year time period, "where she should be nourished by the Word of God for a time times and a half a time.

" Now the word "time" in the Bible means a year. There are 360 days in a Hebrew year, so if you do the math, you got 360 plus 360 times 2 plus half of 360, it works out to 1,260 days, exact same time period that we had spoken about earlier, 538 through until 1798. You know, in the Bible, the original, it didn't have sort of exclamation Marks. So how did the Bible writers emphasize something important? They couldn't underline it either, they repeated it. That's why Jesus says, "verily, verily I say unto you.

" Why does he repeat it? Because it's very important, he wants you to take note, exclamation point, all right. So John repeats this time period, because it's important time period, we call this the wilderness time period. And then it goes on verse 15, "so the serpent spewed water out of his mouth as of a great flood after the woman that he might cause it to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, the earth opened up its mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon spewed out of his mouth." Now, water in Bible prophecy according to Revelation 17 represents multitudes, and nations, and kindreds, and tongues, so the devil is now working through the various nations of western europe to try and persecute those who are holding on to the truths of the Scripture. But there is a place of safety, it says, the earth helps the woman.

What nation around 1798 as the first beast power of Revelation 13 receives its deadly wound? One of the lamb like beast, according to Revelation 13 was arising on the scene from a sparsely populated area of the globe, the United States of America. And those who first settled in the United States of America, for the most part, came seeking religious freedom. They wanted to escape the persecution that came through the church and the states of europe, and they came to a country where they could worship according to the dictates of their conscience. So that's a reference right there in Revelation 12 to the United States as being a place of freedom at the end of that 1,260 year time period. Although there is a change according to Revelation 13.

All right, last verse, verse 17. It says, "and the dragon," satan, "was enraged with the woman," the church, "and he goes to make war with the remnant of her off spring those who do," what? What are the two characteristics listed there in verse 17? They keep the commandments of God, and what else? They have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Now, remember, John is said to have the testimony of Jesus. Did John the apostle have the Spirit of prophecy? Yes, he was a prophet. He saw dreams, he had dreams, he saw visions, he heard the Word of God.

Revelation 19:10 says, "the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy." So in the last days, God has a special gift for his church. Through the ministry of the Spirit of prophecy to help, guide the church in the last days. It doesn't take away from the Scriptures, matter of fact, any prophet must be tested by the Scriptures. The Scripture is the ultimate authority. But through the gift of prophecy, God helps guide us and gives more specific instruction as to how to navigate the challenges that we face in our lives today.

So in a very special way, God has blessed the remnant church in the last days through the gift of prophecy. Okay, we're going to take a look at Monday's lesson, and it's entitled, "images of Jesus". I'm gonna have somebody read Revelation 1:18 here in just a few moments. Revelation 1:4, 5, I'm gonna read this quickly and then we'll have Revelation 1:18. "John to the seven churches which are in asia: grace to you and peace from him who is who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits that are before his throne.

" Now when it says he who is, who was, and who is to come, who is that referencing? Jesus claims the title as the one who is who was and who is to come. But it is also a title that is used with reference to God, The Father. Typically, in the Bible when you have a reference of the Godhead, The Father, son, and Holy Spirit, it's almost always listed in this order, God, The Father first, then Jesus, then the Holy Spirit. Almost always in that order. However, here in Revelation 1, the order is slightly changed.

It begins by addressing the one who is, who was and who is to come, that's God, The Father, but then it skips Jesus and it goes to the Holy Spirit and it says, "the seven spirits which are before his throne." Now you might be wondering what does that mean the seven spirits before the throne? Are there seven Holy Spirits or is it just one Holy Spirit? Well, there is one Holy Spirit, but there are seven attributes of the Holy Spirit that we find, revealed in the old testament. And if you want the verse for that, that's Isaiah 11:2, where it speaks of the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of wisdom, the Spirit of understanding, the Spirit of counsel, the Spirit of might, the Spirit of knowledge, and the Spirit of the fear of the Lord. Seven attributes of the Holy Spirit. So this greeting comes from God, The Father, and then from the Holy Spirit, and John reserves Jesus, the third one to talk about, because he has a lot more he wants to say about Jesus, so he brings greetings from The Father, the Holy Spirit and then he gets into Jesus. Look at verse 5, and from Jesus Christ, now, John is referred to in the Gospels as the disciple that Jesus loved.

He was the youngest of the 12, and it seemed like his heart was more open to the teachings of Jesus and to receiving the love of Jesus than maybe some of the other disciples and Christians, he just had this deep love for Christ. He really appreciated it in a tremendous way what Jesus had done for him personally. And we got some of the most beautiful passages in Scripture dealing with the love of God are penned by John. John 3:16, "for God so loved the world…" and John tells us that we need to love as God loves us. He tells the church members, love one another.

It says he's the firstborn of the dead. Now, was Jesus the first to be resurrected and taken to heaven? Do you have an account of the old testament of anyone who was resurrected and then taken to heaven? We do, Moses. There are also accounts of those who are resurrected, but then they end up dying. Jesus resurrected Lazarus and others, but they died and they are waiting for the resurrection. We do an account of Moses quoting the book of Jude who died and then he was resurrected and taken to heaven.

So he probably was resurrected in his immortal state, in the immortal body, like Jesus, when Jesus rose from the tomb. But when it says, he is the firstborn from the dead, it is not so much referencing the sequence of time, meaning Jesus is the first to be resurrected and ascend to heaven, rather it is emphasizing the importance of his position, because Jesus rose from the dead, we have hope of a resurrection, does that make sense? So Jesus is first in position. He is first in opening the way for others to be resurrected, so that's what it mean when it says that he is the firstborn from the dead. Ruler of the Kings of the earth, that, of course, happens in its fullness when Jesus comes again. And then notice what John says, he can't talk about Jesus without talking about the love of Jesus.

"To him who loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood." And then he goes on and talks about how Christ has made us Kings and priests, and so on and so forth a little later in that same chapter. All right, we're gonna read another verse in Revelation 1 that describes Jesus and what he does. So let's take a look at Revelation 1:18. "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." Okay, so here Jesus is speaking and he says, "I'm the one that was dead, I'm alive, I live forevermore, and I have the keys of hades and of death." The word hades there just simply means the grave. Now Jesus said in John 5:25, "most assuredly, I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of The Son of man and those who hear will live." So Jesus is the power to open the grave. Of course, that's what's been emphasized, especially at that time when the church was facing severe persecution, how comforting were the words that Jesus says, "do not fear those who can destroy the body. I have the keys of the grave. I can open the grave.

" And then in Revelation 19:11, we have another passage talking about Jesus, describing a few characteristics of Christ. This is now talking about the second coming of Jesus. Revelation 19:11, "now I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse, and he that set upon it is called faithful and true." Who is the one seated upon the white horse? Jesus. What is the title given to Jesus? Faithful and true. In what way was Jesus faithful to a promise that he made to his disciples? What did Jesus promised the disciples in John 14:1-3? Uh, I heard it.

Jesus said to the disciples, "if you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house there are many mansions. If that were not so I would have told you, 'I go to prepare a place for you'. And if I go and prepare a place for you..." What's the rest of the promise? "I will come again." John was there in person. He heard the words of Jesus that Jesus was going to come again.

Now in Revelation 19, Jesus is pictured as coming again on this white horse and he is faithful and true..." Faithful to his promise, Jesus will come again, that says, "and in righteousness he Judges and makes war." Verse 12 says, "his eyes were like a flame of fire representing purity, power, and upon his head there were many crowns." Something interesting to note. You read the description of Jesus given in Revelation 1. I don't think we're going to have time to get to that but that was also in our lesson. Jesus described as wearing the high priest's rob and it talks about his hair being as white as wool. Doesn't say anything about what Jesus is wearing on his head, but here in Revelation 19, when it's talking about Jesus coming the second time, now it is describing him wearing a crown.

Did a priest wear a crown of royalty? No, but a king did. So there are different phases to Christ's ministry. When he was on the earth, he came to bear our sins, to die as our sacrifice. Jesus now in heaven, he's ministering in the heavenly sanctuary as our high priest. Revelation describes him wearing the high priest's clothe, but now in Revelation 19, he is coming as our deliverer, coming as king of Kings and Lord of Lords.

All right, moving on. "Many crowns upon his head, he had a name written that no one knew except himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood and his name is the Word of God." No question as to who we're talking about here. It says, "in the armies of heaven..." Verse 14, "clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed him on white horses. Now out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, and with that he should strike the nations, and he himself shall rule them with a rod of iron.

He treads the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of almighty God." I want to say something about the rod of iron. At first reading, it might give you the impression, "oh, Jesus is just really, really angry and he's coming the second time to get even with the wicked." Not necessarily, the rod of iron, if you want to understand what that means, you need to go back to the old testament. David says in Psalms 23, "thy rod and thy staff..." What do they do? "They comfort me." Now the shepherd would have a rod and the shepherd would have a staff, primarily the staff that's the part of the crook on the top was used to guide the sheep. So if a little sheep was wondering close to something dangerous, the shepherd could reach out his staff and pull the sheep back. But if a wolf came to steal one of the sheep, the shepherd wouldn't worry with his staff, he'd pick up his rod and the rod was used to defend the sheep.

So here Jesus, the good shepherd it's described as coming again and he's coming with a rod of iron. He's coming to the defense of his people. Why is he coming to defend his people? According to Revelation 13, "just before Jesus comes, there is a universal death decree that is passed against God's people, and God is not going to stand by ideally and allow the devil to destroy his faithful ones. In the last moment, Jesus comes with the rod of iron to deliver his faithful people." Are you with me? So this rod of iron isn't just an angry Jesus, it is a Jesus standing up to defend his faithful ones that crown to him day and night. It says, "he comes to tread the winepress of the wrath of God.

" This is an interesting imagery that you have here and it comes from Isaiah 63:2-3, I'm going to read this to you, Isaiah 63, bear in mind the imagery talking about his coming to tread the winepress of the wrath of God. Verse 2, Isaiah 63:2, the question is asked, "why is your apparel red..." He is talking about the Messiah Jesus' second coming, "your garments like one who treads the winepress." Then Jesus speaks, "I have trodden the winepress alone and from my people no one was with me..." Jesus defends this, "for I have trodden them in my anger and trample them in my fury, their blood is sprinkled upon my garments and I stain my robes." So here, the destruction of the wicked at the second coming are described as grapes thrown into the winepress. Jesus is the one that comes to the deliverance of his people, the wicked are destroyed with the brightness of his coming. You also find that same imagery by the way in Revelation 14, following the proclamation of the three angels' messages, talks about a harvest of the earth. There is a harvest of wheat representing the righteous, and there is a harvest of grapes representing the wicked.

The grapes are gathered and thrown into the great winepress of the wrath of God. Okay. We're going to read one more verse here, one more thing verse 16, it says, "then he has on his robe and on his thigh a name written, 'king of Kings and Lord of Lords'" as described in the second coming of Christ is coming as a king. All right, we have somebody that's going to read for us now, Revelation 21:6, and this is also referencing Christ in the book of Revelation and connected to some event that he does, so Revelation 21:6. Revelation 21:6, "and he said to me, 'it is done! I am the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end.

I will give up the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirst.'" Thank you very much. Notice the words of Jesus says, "it is done." Can you think of another time in the Bible when Jesus said, "it is done?" What did Jesus said on the cross? He said, "it is done." What was done on the cross? The first phase of Christ ministry for man. He was our sacrifice, he laid down his life as a sacrifice for our sins. Now, we are at the end of Christ's priestly ministry, you have the second coming, it's got the 1,000 year millennium and then the earth is made new, and again the words are heard, "it is done." Christ has finished his phase as our high priest. He's no longer a priest but now he is king and his kingdom lasts forever and ever.

So it's interesting to note those words "it is done" and you can actually research that in Scripture, it's kind of interesting. Well, Pastor Doug, I see we have some questions that have come in from our Facebook audience and we're going to try and take a few of those, and if we have any time left after that, we will highlight a few other points mentioned in the lesson. So, Pastor Doug, welcome. Hi. All right.

We're going to begin by taking a look at our first question and this is the first time you've seen the question, the first time I am. Who are the two witnesses in the book of Revelation? Very simply, it represents the Word of God. And you read about this in Revelation 11, and it talks about these two witnesses that prophesied 1,260 days. Now this is a time period that appears three different ways in Revelation. One time it's called the times, the time and half a time, it's called 42 months.

In fact, you can read about the 42 months in Revelation 11:2, it says, "they will tread the holy city underfoot for 42 months." And then, you even get another three and a half days, if you go to Revelation 11:11, "now after three-and-a-half days..." 42 Months, if the months have 30 days is 1,260 days. That's the same time period that you find is that great persecution that goes from 538 to 1798 when the Word of God was being suppressed. It says, "these two witnesses, plagues can go out of their mouth." They are like the two olive trees, they are like the two candlesticks by the throne of God, and it's representing, "although thy word is a lamp unto my feet." And you can also look two individuals appear to Jesus on the mount of transfiguration. You find this in Mark 9, one is Moses, one is Elijah. One represents the law and one represents the prophet.

They are both pointing to Jesus and saying, "he is the Messiah that we have spoken of." The law and the prophets all points to Jesus. So if you say, "the new and the old testament, the law and the prophets, commandments are written on two stones. It's a sword with two edges. The Word of God, that's the two witnesses." And I don't have time to get into the whole prophecy about about France. Okay.

Next question that we have. Why does God use symbols to explain prophecy in the book of Revelation? Good question. There are several prophecies in the Bible that are apocalyptic prophecies that use visions. Ezekiel, Zechariah, Daniel, Revelation, they are the main apocalyptic prophecies. All of them are given when the writers are in captivity.

For example, in the prophecies of Revelation, it talks about the fall of rome. Well, that would be considered treacherous if you were to talk about the overthrow of the roman empire and so, God protected the prophecies by kind of putting them in code. Daniel in his prophecies, doesn't he talk about the overthrow of Babylon and persia? They are given in sort of a symbolic language so the jews would understand, so that it wasn't seen as treason and it preserved it. And I think even in Revelation, it says, "God sent and signified it to his servant John." The word "signify", it means, to sign-a-fy. It's sent in the symbols and signs so that the wise will understand if they study.

I also think just to add to that, Pastor Doug, I'm grateful that Revelation and Daniel are written using symbols. I find it a whole lot easier to remember symbols or pictures than just text. So in Revelation, it talks about the dragon, I have this picture in my mind of what the dragon could look like, or the woman standing upon the moon with a crown of 12 stars, we have a picture of that. The beast rising up from the earth and the sea. I think it's a whole lot easier for us to remember these important principles because they're presented in symbolic imagery.

Another reason is in order to understand these symbols, you have to go back to the rest of the Scripture. So in that way, it protects from a private interpretation of what these things might mean. If you really want to know what the symbol means, you have to go back and study the context and see what else in Scripture talks about this symbol, so I think it's a good reason for that. Another question that we have is, can someone receive the Mark of the beast now? Well, the Mark of the beast becomes especially a problem when they make a law that is compelling people to worship the beast or they'll be killed. And since that law is not in effect now, you can certainly be lost now, you can turn to the devil now, you can be controlled by evil forces now.

It has been that way from the time of king to the present. But the special Mark of the beast mentioned in Revelation says that, "when no man can buy or sell and they're forced to make a choice, and both sides of the issue are clearly presented to humanity, and there will come a time when the whole world will be polarized into one of two groups. One group will have the Mark of God, it's kind of scares you to say it that way, right? But it's the seal of God. And the other group has the Mark of the beast. And so these are the two contrasting sides in the last days.

You want to add to that? No, I think that's about it for Christians. Okay. We're going to probably hold that one until next time, that might actually tie in to one of our next show. Thank you Pastor Ross. Looking at the clock and we're running out of time.

Thank you for your questions, our friends on Facebook have sent that in. If you didn't get, weren't able to get to your question this week, maybe we can address that next week as we continue our study on end time events. I have three minutes and I want to close with one very important theme that our lesson brought out that I think it's important for us to understand. The entire book of Revelation is written in the imagery of the sanctuary, you don't want to miss that. Revelation 1 begins by describing Jesus standing amongst the seven-branched candlesticks.

In the sanctuary, where would you find the seven-branched candlesticks, in the holy or the most holy? In the holy place. You read a little further in the book of Revelation, Revelation 11 talks about the altar of incense, talks about the souls under the altar. If you look at the book of Revelation, it's as if Jesus is actually moving through the heavenly sanctuary. Chapter 1 describes Jesus standing by the seven-branched candlestick, then as you keep reading through Revelation, it's actually Revelation 4:1 and 2. No, that's not the one that's talking about.

Let's see, it's Revelation 6:9, it talks about the altar of incense. And then when you get to Revelation 11:19, now Jesus has entered into the most holy place, we have the ark of the covenant that's brought to view. So it's important if you want to study the book of Revelation and understand the book of Revelation, we need to recognize the context of the heavenly sanctuary. The courtyard represents the earth, that's where Jesus died. When Jesus ascended to heaven, he began his ministry in the first compartment of the heavenly sanctuary.

At the end of the 2,300 days of Daniel 8:14, Jesus entered into his final phase as a high priest in heaven, that was in the most holy place in Revelation 11, when the seventh trumpet sounds describes the ark of the covenant where Jesus is following his work in the most holy place. Jesus then stands up and says, "he that's holy, let him be holy still. He that's filthy, let him be filthy still." He removes his priestly robe, puts on his kingly robe and then Jesus described as coming as king of Kings and Lord of Lords. So in your study of the book of Revelation recognize the imagery that we find there, it's sanctuary language, it's sanctuary imagery. We need to go back and take a look at Hebrews that teaches us about the heavenly sanctuary where Jesus, our high priest ministers for us.

All right, well, those are just a few of the highlights that we find in Revelation with referencing Jesus. There's probably a whole lot more we can say about that. I would like to encourage you, maybe if you have a little time this afternoon, look in Revelation 1, read the entire chapter, you'll have different descriptions of Jesus found in those passages. You might also want to spend a little time reading through Revelation 19, the last part that talks about the second coming of Jesus which describes him coming as king of Kings and Lord of Lords. And then, again, I would encourage you to read the last portion of Revelation 14, which again talks about the harvest of the earth and Jesus coming the second time to deliver those who have put their trust in him.

So again, I'd like to thank those who joined us. Just a reminder, we do have a free offer, and that free offer if you like to receive it, just call the number there on the screen. It's one of the sermon series in the landmarks of Bible prophecy, it's offer number 841. We will be happy to send that to anybody in North America who calls and asks. Friends, one of the amazing things you will often find in the south pacific islands like here on fiji is the wiwi plant.

Now in North America if you want to build a fence, you got to get a fencepost, and then you put the wooden fencepost in the ground, and then after few years they're gonna rot and break off unless they're specially treated. But here they got these trees, the wiwi tree, they can cut them right out of the woods, they'll take a stick, they'll stick it in the ground. And because they have so much rain and precipitation, it begins to sprout and turns into a living fencepost. It makes up its mind that it's gonna flourish wherever you stick it, which is a good lesson for you and me. So you might wonder sometimes if you've got a purpose in life.

You might feel like you are growing sort of sporadically in every direction, and then along comes this person who cuts you down and carries you off, he sticks you in the ground. But you look back and you say, there was a plan, there was a purpose. God knows how to teach us how to prosper where he plants us. You might wonder why the Lord has put you where he has in life. But you can put down roots and you can grow, and you can serve a great purpose for God.

You know, it's like God says in Jeremiah 29, "I know the plants that I've got for you to give you a future." God has a purpose for your life, friends. And he can help you to prosper and grow wherever you're planted. Can't get enough Amazing Facts Bible study? You don't have to wait until next week to enjoy more truth-filled programming. Visit the Amazing Facts media library at aftv.org. At aftv.org, you can enjoy video and audio presentations as well as printed material all free of charge, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week right from your computer or mobile device. Visit aftv.org.

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