Monday, September 28, 2015

The Uncovering (One small glimpse at Revelation)

I’ve camped out in Revelation a lot here lately.  I’ve been reminded of things, shown new things, and relearned things I had forgotten.  More than anything, this study has furthered my insatiable desire for Jesus to be King here on earth for all to worship.  I say insatiable because it seems so far off…but one day, that desire will be met!

I’m just going to write down a few things that have stuck out…no fancy writing on my part…just the Word which stands for itself.

First of all, “Revelation” means “to take the cover off.”  In Greek, it is “apokalupsis” which is the uncovering.  God gave John these words so that believers wouldn’t be left in the dark about the days ahead in the end times.  God wanted to uncover the glory of Christ, which is primarily what this book is about.

There are different views regarding how to read the book of Revelation, but I stand by the Futuristic view, which says that the words predict a time period that hasn’t occurred yet, especially regarding chapters 4-22.

One of the words that is imperative to understanding this book is the Greek word “en tachei.”  In chapter 1, it says that these things must happen soon or shortly come to pass.  This means that they will happen with speed, swiftness, and quickness once they begin.  We sometimes wonder where God is in all of the worldly sin and mess.  One day, He will intervene quite suddenly as He interjects Himself into the affairs of man.  Don’t think for a second that He is overlooking abortion and other atrocities.  One day, He will show up and we will be quickly reminded that He is not only merciful, but just Judge.

The letters to the seven churches are so interesting!  It is suggested that each is a representative of a certain age in church history.  The amazing thing is that the “church” that looks most like us today is the last one mentioned, Laodicea.  This means that we are probably almost finished with the church age, the age of grace.  It probably won’t be much longer until God raptures His church and turns His attention solely to Israel.

The Laodicea church is definitely worth taking a look at!  One commentary says that it portrays the apostate church of the last days.  Laodicea was a very affluent and wealthy society.  They had a bank and a medical school.  The word Laodicea means “rule of the people” and their mentality was that they had all they needed.  They thought they were content and comfortable, but God described them as wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.  He tells them they are lukewarm and that He is going to vomit them out of His mouth.  This would have been a very good metaphor because this city received their water via an aqueduct that came from miles away.  No doubt, by the time the Laodiceans got their water, it was lukewarm.

“His indictment against the church is that they are half-hearted in their relation to him.  They do not have the fervor and warmth and zeal of a true lover of Christ; nor are they outright unbelievers who flatly reject the Jesus and make no pretense of faith.  They are halfway in between.” Piper

A half-hearted, comfortable church would definitely describe the church as a whole today. God instructs them to repent and anoint their eyes with eyesalve (again fitting, because they were famous for this product!)  The beautiful thing about this church is that God still loves them.  He says that His love is found in the rebuke and the discipline.

An interesting thing happens after Revelation chapter 3:  the church is never mentioned again.  Many scholars will tell you that this is proof (one of many) for a pre-tribulation rapture.  At the start of Chapter 4, John is told to “Come up hither,” in which he is transported to the heavenly realm.  I’ve studied and studied various rapture theories and the pre-tribulation one seems to make the most sense as well as the only one that brings me peace. 

A lot of commentaries say “The Day of the Lord” starts in Chapter 6.  It is the day that God’s specific seven year period of judgment on the earth starts.  Most say it starts the same day as the rapture.  The believers are taken away into safety and then His judgment is released.  (Just like it was in the days of Noah…)

One of the most important things to understand in the book of Revelation is the forming of the unholy trinity.  With the true Trinity, we have the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Since Satan cannot create anything, he has to twist or copy what God has done.  He mocks the pure trinity by forming his own.  Satan’s alliance will include himself (anti-God/anti-Father,) Antichrist also called Son of Perdition (anti-Jesus,) and False Prophet (anti-Spirit.)  Satan will be the dragon that gives power to the Antichrist as he rules in the political realm.  The False Prophet (described as a lamb with two horns) will mock the Holy Spirit whose chief goal is to get people to worship Jesus.  The False Prophet’s goal is to get everyone to worship the Antichrist.

Great and incredible discernment will be needed in order to not follow this unholy alliance.  They will come across as peaceful, charismatic, and wise.  Their agenda might even promote love.  Flee if the names of Yahweh (One True God) and Yeshua (Jesus) aren’t on their lips.

I think we are entering a time period where the study of Revelation is extremely wise. God says we are blessed if we read it!  We never know how much time we have left and we refuse to set dates.  Still, there are so many things lining up in today’s headlines that could point to some end times prophecies that have yet to be fulfilled (like the God Magog war found in Ezekiel 38-39.)  As believers, first, we need to search our hearts and repent of any sins we are harboring.  Second, we need to stay saturated in the Word of God so we aren’t deceived by lies or even half-lies in these strange days.  And third, we must pray for our unbelieving friends and family members like never before.

Invite Him in, He longs to take the cover off and reveal His glory to you personally.

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