As promised in blog number 220, titled Revelation, this is the beginning of a number of blogs from the book of Revelation. I am still in the USA and its very early in the morning. I leave for the UK later today, to arrive home tomorrow morning through the Sure Mercy of God.
In the opening chapter of the book of Revelation the Spirit of the Lord promises the reader a blessing for reading, hearing it being read and doing the things which are written in this final book of the Holy Bible.
As I read on, the title for this blog, Apocalypse Now, comes to me which, as bible students will know, is the Greek name for Revelation. As the book makes very clear it was written by Apostle John one of the original 12 disciples of our Lord Jesus.
The book was written in the Greek language and based on the subject matter, Jesus Christ; it’s title in Greek is the Apocalypse which means the unveiling.
Therefore, the book that we call in English, Revelation simply means the unveiling of Jesus Christ.
I believe the book is very important today and should be more widely read, preached and taught in our churches, hence the title, Apocalypse Now.
It has been said and written about that its a very difficult book to understand, that is true, but it should not stop us exploring it for it is the final written book in the bible and how it came to the Chuches is a miracle. Whilst it may be a difficult book to understand the Lord promised a three fold blessing to the reader, hearer and he that lives by its content.
In this first blog, I will bring out some of the blessings that God promises in the hope that it encourages the church to pay closer attention to it by way of: reading it, having it read, seeking to understand it and obeying its messages.
Firstly, the Lord introduces an all encompassing title for himself as the Alpha and Omega or the English equivalent, A to Z. There are, respectively, 24 and 26 letters in the Greek and English alphabet; the Lord is saying to the church that as every word is composed of letters from the alphabet so He is the fulness of all that is God. This is indeed another way of saying He is the I Am that I Am. The blessing therefore is in knowing that Jesus is quintessentially God. Polytheism is based on the notion that no one god can meet all our needs or has all the attributes needed to be omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient.
However, the God of the bible is One: the beginning and the ending, the first and the last, King of kings and Lord of lords and much more besides. Apostle Paul, writes that in Jesus is to be found “all the fulness of the godhead (deity) bodily and we are complete in him”. And again he wrote, “great is the mystery of godliness for God was manifest in the flesh”. This Jesus is the Emanuel that was incarnated and born of the Virgin Mary.
There are also a number of blessings to be found in the messages to the seven churches: restored access to the tree of life in the paradise of God. This is important on two counts. Firstly, it shows that the story in Genesis is true and secondly, that its spiritual and not natural. The garden of Eden is not a physical place in which was planted apples, pears and other fruit trees. Neither was the serpent a snake or the two principal trees natural. The bible says that God planted the garden and later he drove them from the garden. Yet now through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, paradise is restored to man.
A crown of life, hidden manna, a white stone engraved with a new name and power over the nations are all promised to overcomers. As one continues to read on, one finds references to the Spirit of Christ raising up a standard in each age to combat the worst of Satan. There are also descriptions of worship in heaven, of glorified saints and finally the defeat of Satan.
Satan is exposed to be that old serpent of Genesis, the devil and the dragon. In the book of the Apocalypse, we also can read about his rebellion and expulsion from heaven.
Whereas, the book of Genesis describes creation and the fall of man precipitated by Satan, the Apocalypse describes his defeat, and incarceration in the bottomless pit.
Because the Apocalypse describes the past the present and the future, what is
especially noteworthy, which should make every believer shout hallelujah, is the fact that it provides a clear narrative of the end.
For example, in chapter 7 the following can be read: “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
“And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen”.
The Apocalypse ends with the following warning: “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.
“And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen”.
God save the UK. Our platform is the world and our congregation the people.
The Lord’s servant
Apostle Lloyd Denny