Weekly Newsletter

In our last weekly newsleter, we left off with an introduction to the Book of Revelation
and the importance of knowing some principles and methods of interpretation in order to
understand this great book of the Bible.

We covered the fact that there are many symbols, types, metaphors, figures of speech and examples, which are used to drive home certain truths and to bring forth clarification to certain principles. As well, there are also some literal meanings that should not be exchanged for
symbolic or spiritual meanings when it's not called for.

We also looked into the authorship and the recipients of Revelation, and to what bearing all this has upon our lives, personally.

Today, let us look at what we call "THE THEMES OF REVELATION." There is a five-fold purpose for the Book of Revelation.

I. THE REVEALING OF GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY.

The word "SOVEREIGNTY," when applied to God's Sovereignty, means that God is in absolute control over all things at all times. As a part of mankind, we may have some control over events
in our lives, when it comes to making decisions. But we are not in absolute control over everything.
The devil is not in control over everything. But God is.

(Rev 1:8) "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God,
"who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."

II. THE REVEALING OF JESUS CHRIST.

The term "Revelation" as in "The Book of Revelation" is derived from the original Greek title of
this book "apokalupsis," which literally means "THE UNVEILING," "THE REVEALING,"
"THE UNCOVERING" or "THE DISCLOSURE."

Ultimately, that which is unveiled or revealed in the Apocalypse is the glorified and enthroned
Son of God, Jesus Christ.

The Greek word "apokalupsis" is a combination of two words:
1. "kalupto," which means "to veil."
2. "apo," which means "to remove the veil," "to reveal" or "to uncover."

John wrote in a style that is often called "Apocalyptic Literature." The descriptive word "Apocalyptic," also comes from a Greek word which literally means "THE UNVEILING,"
"THE REVEALING" or "THE UNCOVERING." Ultimately, that which is unveiled or revealed
in the Apocalypse is the glorified and enthroned Son of God, Jesus Christ.

(Rev 1:1) The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants
what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,

(Rev 1:17) When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.
Then he placed his right hand on me and said:
"Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.

(Rev 1:18) I am the Living One; I was dead,
and behold I am alive for ever and ever!
And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

(Rev 1:18) I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen;
and have the keys of hell and of death. (KJV)

III. THE REVEALING OF CHRIST'S RETURN.

(Rev 22:20) He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon."
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

IV. THE REVEALING OF GOD'S FAITHFUL PEOPLE.

(Rev 2:10) Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer.
I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you,
and you will suffer persecution for ten days.
Be faithful, even to the point of death,
and I will give you the crown of life.

V. THE REVEALING OF THE END OF THE AGE.

(Rev 21:1) Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth,
for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.

God gave us the Book of Revelation, not to hide things from us, but to UNVEIL, to REVEAL and
to UNCOVER GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY, GOD'S SON, JESUS CHRIST. God gave us the Book of Revelation, TO MAKE KNOWN THE RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST, THE FAITHFULNESS
OF GOD'S PEOPLE, AND THE END OF THE AGE.

THE THREE-FOLD DIVISION OF REVELATION

(Rev 1:19) Write the things which thou hast seen,
and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter. KJV

Revelation 1:19 is one of the key verses to understanding and accurately interpreting
the Book of Revelation because it divides Revelation into three distinct sections,
all of which John is commissioned to record.

1. THE THINGS WHICH YOU HAVE SEEN.

The first part of this THREE-FOLD DIVISION OF REVELATION involves the things that had already happened - especially from John's perspective. The first part of verse 19 says "Write, therefore,
what you have seen ..." The greatest thing that John had actually seen - with his own eyes -
was the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the evidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In the following verses of Scripture, see if you notice any references to Jesus' death

(Rev 1:4) John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia:
Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was,
and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne,

(Rev 1:5) and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness,
the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,

(Rev 1:6) and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father -
to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.

(Rev 1:7) Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn
because of him. So shall it be! Amen.

(Rev 1:8) "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God,
"who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."

Why does the Bible say so much about the clouds in this passage?
It is a clear-cut reference, first, to the Rapture of the Church.

(1 Th 4:17) After that, we who are still alive and are left
will be caught up together with them
in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
And so we will be with the Lord forever.


When speaking about the CLOUDS," it is also a reference to the general time frame
of Christ's Second Coming. As Jesus ascended from the earth into heaven,
He will come in like manner.

(Acts 1:9) After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes,
and a cloud hid him from their sight.

(Acts 1:10) They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going,
when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.

(Acts 1:11) "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky?
This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven,
will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."

(Dan 7:13) "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me
was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven.
He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.

(Dan 7:14) He was given authority, glory and sovereign power;
all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away,
and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

2. THE THINGS WHICH ARE.

The second part of this THREE-FOLD DIVISION OF REVELATION
involves the things that are happening now (during the church age),
and it includes the time from Christ's crucifixion to the time of Christ's return.

The things which are - are found in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 -
as exemplified by the Seven Churches of Revelation.


3. THE THINGS WHICH WILL TAKE PLACE AFTER THIS.

This is a reference to what will happen after the church age
and it gives us a prophetic look of what will happen right after the Rapture of the Church.

(Rev 1:19) Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are,
and the things which shall be hereafter. (KJV)


The phrase "the things which shall be hereafter" comes from the Greek words
"meta tauta" which literally means "after these things."

Now we can see why this verse in Revelation 1:19 serves as the key to the structure
of the Book of Revelation.

Almost everyone can agree that the Book of Revelation is not an easy book understand.
At the same time, it is not an impossibility to understand it. Because Revelation may not
be an easy book understand, it has become a neglected book of the Bible throughout
the ages, even though a special blessing is promised by God Himself to those who read, study and apply it to their lives (Revelation 1:3). I personally cannot but think that Satan has something to do with this neglect - for two reasons:

1. The Book of Revelation has so much to say about Jesus Christ
and the victory that comes through Christ.

2. The Book of Revelation has so much to say about Satan's final downfall.

TO THIS EFFECT, THERE IS AN INTERESTING COMPARISON
BETWEEN THE BOOKS OF GENESIS AND REVELATION.

In Genesis we see earth created.
In Revelation see the earth passing away.

In Genesis the sun and the moon appear.
In Revelation there will be no need for the sun or the moon.

In Genesis there is a garden, which was the home for man.
In Revelation, there is a city, which will be the home for the children of God.

In Genesis there is the marriage of the first Adam.
In Revelation there is the marriage of the second Adam.

In Genesis there is the introduction of sorrow, suffering, pain and tears.
In Revelation there is no more sorrow, suffering, pain and no more tears.

In Genesis we read of the curse upon mankind for sin.
In Revelation we read that there shall be no more curse.


In Genesis we see man driven out from the garden and away from the tree of life.
In Revelation we see man welcomed back, with the tree of life for his benefit (Rev 22:14).
In Genesis there is the first appearance of Satan the enemy.
In Revelation there is the final doom of Satan the enemy.

To understand and accurately interpret this great book of the Bible requires diligence. Webster's dictionary defines the word "DILIGENCE" as: Persevering application; The attention and care expected or required of a person; Haste.

The DILIGENCE that I'm speaking about is in two areas:
1. THE SYSTEMATIC STUDY OF THE WORD.
2. THE WORKING APPLICATION OF GOD'S WORD.

Paul the Apostle said (in 2 Tim 2:15) "Study to show thyself approved unto God,
a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

The writer of the Book of Hebrews also spoke of the need for diligence.

(Heb 6:9) Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are confident of better things
in your case - things that accompany salvation.

(Heb 6:10) God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown
him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

(Heb 6:11) We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end,
in order to make your hope sure.

(Heb 6:12) We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith
and patience inherit what has been promised.

DILIGENCE (Gr. spouden / spoo-day'): Eagerness; earnestness; carefulness; haste.

In our next web site newsletter, we will discuss the phrase "WHAT MUST SOON TAKE PLACE."

May God bless you always.

Pastor Roger