050417am Wn-12 Watch Jerusalem Watch Jerusalem Matthew 24:15-16 COM-04 When Jesus told His disciples and us about the future he built every word of it around one spot on earth. In theological circles this message (Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21) is called the Olivet Discourse. Jesus framed His words about the rest of the […]
APO-17 The Vatican’s Role in the Coming One World Religion-Gendron 040926PM
We all need a good dose of old-fashioned “living hope”, the kind that the teaching of Christ & His Apostles caused to overflow through the hearts, minds and lives of early New Testament believers.
When Peter addressed the most heavily persecuted saints of the 1st Century living all around the area of the seven churches we are studying in Revelation, he told them a foundational truth. He told them that salvation opens to us life-long lives of hope. Look at 1 Peter 1:3.
Jesus taught such a comforting, hope-filled message of His return to rescue His Church before the Tribulation, that His disciples went everywhere teaching this same truth. When Paul had only a month in a pagan city where he planted a church, the Rapture was central to their doctrine.
The Rapture was First Taught by Jesus
The Rapture is a doctrine started and taught by Jesus, continued and spread by His disciples, and believed and passionately lived out by His Church. The early church heard and understood this doctrine of Christ’s any moment return, and radiantly lived, looking for ways to please Him when He came to rescue them.
Christ’s words in Revelation 2:12-17, is addressed to the locally assembled church in the geographic place called Pergamum: a place of Satan’s seat. There we have heard Christ’s words, which contain a warning about idolatry, Satan’s plan of false worship.
From those early days after Creation, when Adam sinned and all of mankind to follow also fell into sin, God made a way for mankind to come back. The way back was to worship Him by a substitutionary, sacrificial, blood-sprinkled way.
The key to understanding all of world history since the Fall of Humanity into sin comes from God’s Word. Always remember that the only absolutely trustworthy and accurate account of the earliest days of both the Universe and the human race is found in the inspired words from God in Genesis.
As we open Revelation 1:1, stop for a moment and remember how God starts this final book. We read that:
God Wants His Servants to Understand the Future
God opens the Book of Revelation by telling us that He wrote this book “to show His servants” (Rev. 1:1) things that we need to know about the future. Only followers of God and servants of Christ have the incredible insight for living that comes from knowing for sure, what will happen in the days, months and years ahead.
As we open to Revelation 2:14-15, and see the next section of Christ’s message to the saints at Pergamum, the story behind these words actually starts way back in the book of Genesis with the life of Abraham.
Revelation 2:14-15 (NKJV) But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat thingssacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
John is flattened on Patmos when he sees Jesus. Those flaming eyes seemed so much like the ones John had seen when Jesus cleansed the Temple of Jerusalem. But this time its not the Temple of Jerusalem, Jesus is headed towards the local churches that make up His Body, His visible presence on Earth. Jesus with piercing eyes of holiness and glowing feet of chastisement is headed to stomp out the sin that is diminishing His power in His Church.
John is staggered. The churches that received the letter Jesus sent them through John were put on notice and Church History records the results. Those churches that did not repent have gone extinct. Jesus removed their lamp from the stand and He had to find others who would stay useful in His sight.
Open to the only book exclusively devoted to introducing us to what our Master and Savior Jesus is doing RIGHT NOW: the last book of the Bible, the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
Have you paused yet today to check in with Jesus Christ? The best way to do that is through your Bible, because Jesus Christ is revealed to us as the Word of God. He is the Word, and the Word reveals Him. Each time we open God’s Word we can hear His Voice.
At Creation God the Son, the Creator spoke and made all things; and through His Apostles and Prophets, His Word has been given. As you open to the last book of your Bibles, you open to the climactic conclusion of God’s Word written down for us.
Revelation is God lifting the lid off of Christ, or pulling back the wrapping paper on something very special about Jesus, but not yet fully seen or known. That is what the first word of this book says.
So, chapter 1 is God holding out for us: What Jesus is doing right now.
Chapters 2-3 are God showing us what Jesus sees in His Church.
Chapters 4-22 are what God wants us to know about His plans for the future.
Each of these sections of Revelation is a disclosure and an unveiling of things not yet fully seen, or even really understood.
As we open to Revelation 1:14 this is the second set of twin descriptions of Christ: His head and hair are white, like wool and snow; His eyes are like burning flames of fire.
When John turned to see who it was that spoke to him, he turned and saw the Ancient of Days Himself, in all His power, in all His holiness, and with those eyes ablaze with an inescapable and penetrating gaze. That is how Jesus Christ the Risen Lord appears at this moment, as we gather before Him. Let that sight get imprinted upon your heart:
Christ’s Flaming Eyes of Penetrating Holiness
When John saw Jesus that Sunday morning on Patmos, he collapsed and was like a dead man. It wasn’t that he was old and weak, or overcome by emotion, John had seen that look in Christ’s eyes before. When he realized what Jesus was communicating, it overwhelmed him. John saw Almighty God the Son, Jesus Christ, who was displeased with His Church.
Did you know that in less than 60 years, the original edition of Christ’s Church had gotten to the point where 70% of the local assemblies were displeasing to God? That’s right 5 out of the 7 churches that Jesus had visited were reprimanded and warned. Christ’s expressed in 5 out of 7 letters His displeasure about the way that were living out God’s plan for their lives.