Saturday, June 3, 2023

I AM' Revealed

Bobservations' Column

Titled - "I AM' Revealed"
Written by: Pastor Bob Lawrenz

In our first glance at The Book of Revelation: we are immediately confronted with the title, “The Revelation of St. John the Divine.”

First off, this Book does not reveal St. John, but Christ Jesus our Lord, in all His Glory. 

Secondly, St. John is not “the Divine.” He was a man, one of the “sons of thunder” as first described in the Gospel (Matthew 3:17).

The Book is often referred to as the Book of Revelations, or simply “Revelations.” It is not multiple revelations as such, but a singular revelation over time, much like the Bible reveals God from beginning to end.

Languages change over time, so I can’t legitimately argue against words that are already widely accepted. This was translated by men of a different time era, and undoubtedly with minds greater than mine.

But because of minor translation difficulties, and even with the images that are described within this Book, many Pastors shy away from its study, stating that it is too Spiritual a book to try to teach with any authority. I personally think those pastors are incorrect in their opinion, because why would the Holy Spirit supply us with His inspired Word if we were not meant to read it? There is then, I believe, content in this book that is there for every Believer to at least accept and embrace by faith, if not understanding. We are promised a blessing just for reading it!

Jesus said, “In the volume of the book, it is written of me.” (Psalm 40:7). Within the pages and Books of this 66 Book volume, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirt are revealed to every generation, so that we are without excuse (Romans 1:19,20).

The Shema of Judaism is, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart (mind), and with all thy soul (spirit), and with all thy might (body)” - Deuteronomy 6:4-5.
“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...”Genesis 1:26.

Sunday Morning Audio Message:
Revelation 1:1-20 - "I AM Revealed"


Introduction to The Revelation of Jesus Christ:

Revelation is the final book of the Bible - final in time of writing, final in standard canonical order, and final in terms of both historical record and promised fulfillment. This book is the most exciting of all as it records the restoration of all things to God's created perfection in the beginning, and the consummation of all His purposes in creation.

The apostle John is the author of "Revelation" (Greek - apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling of something hidden"). The translation of this word is the same in ⁠1 Corinthians 1:7⁠, "the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ," ⁠1 Peter 1:7⁠, "the appearing of Jesus Christ," and ⁠2 Thessalonians 1:7⁠, "the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven." Revelation is about the unveiling, the appearing, the coming of Christ Himself in all His glory, the full personhood of Jesus Christ.

This book is a revelation of Jesus Christ - a full revelation of Jesus - Past, Present and Future. He is the all-powerful, all-conquering King. While the book also reveals God's judgment, the horrors of the end, and the Antichrist, our focus is on the Revelation of Jesus to us. (1:1). The book depicts Him as the risen, glorified Son of God ministering among the churches (1:10), as “the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth” (1:5), as “the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End” (1:8), as the one “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (1:8), as the First and the Last (1:11), as the Son of Man (1:13), as the one who was dead, but now is alive forevermore (1:18), as the Son of God (2:18), as the one who is holy and true (3:7), as “the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God” (3:14), as the Lion of the tribe of Judah (5:5), as the Lamb in heaven, with authority to open the title deed to the earth (6:1), as the Lamb on the throne (7:17), as the Messiah who will reign forever (11:15), as the Word of God (19:13), as the majestic King of kings and Lord of lords, returning in glorious splendor to conquer His foes (19:11), and as “the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star” (22:16).

Revelation was given to John by God “to show his servants what must soon take place.” This book is filled with mysteries about things to come. It is the final warning that the world will surely end, and judgment will be certain. There are many in the world, and sadly even in the Church, who are skeptics and doubters of the second coming of Jesus Christ. They believe Revelation is insignificant in the Believer's life, yet it is the only book in the Bible where "blessing" is promised to all who read it, hear it and keep what is written (1:3).

Revelation begins with John, the last surviving apostle and an old man, in exile on the small, barren island of Patmos, located in the Aegean Sea southwest of Ephesus. The Roman authorities had banished him there because of his faithful preaching of the gospel (1:9). While on Patmos, John received a series of visions that laid out the future history of the world. While we place the time of this writing at the time of Caeser Nero, others claim it was during the time of Emperor Domitian. Both were cruel and wicked rulers. Both waged a campaign against Christ and the church. During these years the church faced brutal persecution and millions of Christians were put to death.

At the time of his arrest, John was in Ephesus, ministering to the church there and in the surrounding cities. Seeking to strengthen those congregations, he could no longer minister to them in person and, following the divine command (1:11), John addressed Revelation to them (1:4). The churches had begun to feel the effects of persecution; at least one man—probably a pastor—had already been martyred (2:13), and John himself had been exiled. But the storm of persecution was about to break in full fury upon the 7 churches so dear to the apostle’s heart (2:10). To those churches, Revelation provided a message of hope: God is in sovereign control of all the events of human history, and though evil often seems pervasive and wicked men all powerful, their ultimate doom is certain. Christ will come in glory to judge and rule.

John writes to the seven churches (vs.4) - these were real local churches in Asia, but they represent all churches throughout the ages. Blessings - grace and peace come from the whole trinity. He mentions the seven Spirits which are before His throne. This is the work of the Holy Spirit, joined with the Father and with Christ - Our triune God. This is referenced in Isaiah 11:2 as, "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 Fear of the Lord."

For the bulk of its sixty-six books, the Bible portrays a world deep in the throes of suffering. Human beings have had a problem with sin since the fall in ⁠Genesis 3⁠, and verse after verse has recorded our problem in painstaking detail. The brilliance of Revelation is that it provides a final answer to this problem, a hope that Jesus will once and for all heal the wounds wrought by sin (⁠Revelation 19⁠), reign for a thousand years on earth (⁠Revelation 20⁠), and then re-create the world into a place that represents God’s original design (⁠Revelation 21–22⁠). While there have been many prophecies given in both the Old and New Testaments, the book of Revelation pulls them all together, filling in the gaps and adding the new revelation that would be needed to guide the church from then until the return of Christ.

In this final book, the church is warned about sin and exhorted to holiness. John’s vivid pictures of worship in heaven both exhort and instruct believers. In few other books of the Bible is the ministry of angels so prominent. Revelation’s primary theological contribution is to eschatology, i.e., the doctrine of last things. In it we learn about: the final political setup of the world; the last battle of human history; the career and ultimate defeat of Antichrist; Christ’s 1,000-year earthly kingdom; the glories of heaven and the eternal state; and the final state of the wicked and the righteous. Finally, only Daniel rivals this book in declaring that God providentially rules over the kingdoms of men and will accomplish His sovereign purposes regardless of human or demonic opposition.

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