Bear the Record . . .

Countdown to the end . . . #11

Vol. 4, No. 25 – June 23, 2019

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must shortly take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, who bore witness to the Word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.  –Revelation 1:1-2

“Who bore witness” is to “bear the record.” John is writing in the form of giving court evidence. It pictures a legal document in prophetical form. The evidence is the Word of God; testimony in the court of Jesus Christ, King over everything, and Judge of all things created, including humankind. This is not the first time John writes in this fashion.

What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life—and the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us. –1 John 1:1-2

Bearing record expresses, the idea of testimony, a phrase occurring 44 times in the writings of John; occurring only 25 times elsewhere in the NT. In Roman law, there was express punishment for giving false testimony, or accepting bribes for giving favorable testimony. The penalty could result in loss of citizenship, or even death. (Interesting that purchased testimony does not seem to bother our own Senators/Representatives and other government officials, nor does contrived testimony brother even our Special Prosecutors.)

John is very specific, and carefully asserts his writing is the Word of God:

  1. The Word of God stresses the validity of the entire Book as inspired by God
  2. The testimony of Jesus Christ stresses the validity of Jesus speaking frequently with statements that can be trusted
  3. To all that he saw, stresses that John is recording what he witnesses of the future, divulged to him by the Holy Spirit
  4. Saw is indicative of giving an eye-witness record of events, places, and people

Historically, John is careful to write what is true:

This is the disciple who bears witness of these things, and wrote these things, and we know that his witness is true. –John 21:24

These have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. –John 20:31

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life. –1 John 5:13

And he who has seen has borne witness, and his witness is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may also believe. –John 19:35

What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, that you also may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. –1 John 1:3

Frequently, John writes in Revelation of what his eyes see, and what his ears hear; it brings him to be in awe:

  1. Captivated with the “sevens”
  2. I heard – 28 times
  3. I saw – 49 times (“beheld” is to stop on a dime, look, and listen)

Do passages in the Scriptures make you stop, look, and listen? I still have the study Bible I used to go through the Book of Jeremiah. It still has the coffee stain on the page where I was in awe for what it said, I spilled my coffee. I stopped, looked, and listened. Then I responded. How do you respond to what you behold?

Behold, Jesus is coming soon to take you home to Heaven; His words are faithful and true (Revelation 22:6).

Life Application

In what ways might your testimony be compromised such to mislead people from the truth they desperately need? How are we to handle our testimony of truth; is 1 John 1:8-9 an appropriate method to examine our testimonies? Could an improper testimony keep another on the pathway that leads to eternal destruction? Think about it. We do not “accidentally” mislead; we too often just go with the flow of the world. It is easy; even a dead fish goes with the flow!

Apocalypse . . . uncovered

Countdown to the end . . . #10

Vol. 4, No. 24 – June 16, 2019

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must shortly take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, who bore witness to the Word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.  –Revelation 1:1-2

The title, Revelation (apocalypse/apokalupsis), means to unveil, uncover, or to make clear. The Book makes plain that which God intends His child to know. It is not a book intended for the non-believer; however, it contains warnings that the non-believer must hear. God expects every child born-again of Him to make the truth of Scripture known to every non-believer (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).

A natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised [discerned]. – 1 Corinthians 2:14

Further, a Spirit-born man/woman does not always accept the things of the Spirit of God because spiritual growth is not a focus of the “busy” person tied to the world system; only partaking of worship and gathering of the church when nothing else is pressing.

God intends for us to know about the end times, and our future appears in The Revelation (yet not exclusively). The Second Coming of Christ, the establishment of the Eternal Kingdom, the new Heaven, the new Earth, the Judgments, the Rapture, The Great Tribulation, the final outcome for Satan and his ilk, and the punishments and rewards – with a great line of grace, mercy, and justice that flows through the writing.

The Revelation is also a Book of Glorification of Jesus Christ, received after His ascension from the earth. Revelation contains more references to angels than any other of the 66 books of the Bible does; there is great angelic conflict included in the writing.

Jesus is glorified; He sends us as His ambassadors (ones who say the same thing as the One sending them) to carry out the will of the Father. Every believer represents Christ on earth; Christ represents us before the Father, at the right hand of the Father.

Revelation is a divine disclosure, not just future; it contains much truth about our present world’s condition and the condition of humankind. If a believer is not moved to share the Gospel through reading of the Book of Revelation, that believer is suffering from a greatly hardened heart, self-focused such that there is not an urgent care for the lost of this world. .

A believer cannot easily miss the beginning of verse 3, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it, for the time is near.”

Also, the words, to show, in verse 1 means to make known that which is valuable to the hearers (especially to the believers).

Every believer should be reading God’s Word. You can easily read the Bible in over a year with spending just 15 minutes a day. It is good to read the Bible through each year; a choice of different version, one that is reliable, helps with your understanding. There are many excellent translations available (KJV, NKJV, NASV, NLT [yes, it is a translation], ESV, NIV [1984], and CSB; God does not specify in His Word which one you must use (however, some professors, churches, and preachers tend to specify which is the only “reliable version;” in general it is an appeal to preferences).

“The things” most often represent the promises of the OT and the NT. This word usage appears not less than 45 times in Revelation.

Shortly is a word that we fill with presuppositional meanings. We seldom have the understanding that eternity is in play here. “Shortly” is relative to eternity; it is understood as quick in our nature of patience (or impatience).

His angel is used as a reference to a special agent. The usage is specific, and closely associated to the OT/NT description of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 11:2; Revelation 7:2-3).

It is a reasonable understanding that John writes the information as received through the Holy Spirit (from and through Jesus, from and through the Father). The Greek word for “communicated” is properly translated signify. Signify is closely related to sign, or miracle. As such, the unveiling is properly a miraculous vision that John is enabled to see, hear, and experience.

I invite you to join with me on an exploration of the communication takes place in the Book of the Revelation over the many weeks remaining in 2019 (and perhaps flowing into 2020).

Behold, Jesus is coming soon to take you home to Heaven; His words are faithful and true (Revelation 22:6).

Life Application Questions

In what ways is it possible to be a Christian and yet walk in darkness in relation to the endtimes? Are we being complacent or are we willing to examine ourselves in the light of His Word of Truth? It is your choice!

Countdown to the end . . . #9

Vol. 4, No. 23 – June 9, 2019

And I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come” . . .  –Revelation 6:1

Thus, one of the Great Judgments begins. There are major judgments beginning with the Cross. It boggles the mind.

Seven Great Judgments beginning with the Cross

1 – The Cross – The Gospel Accounts

Christ takes upon Himself our judgment for our sin. It is a mind boggling judgment; His life as payment for our sin – the price of sin of the whole world, that the whole world might have forgiveness in Him. No one can imagine such a thing. No one deserves such consideration. No one.

2 – Confession and Repentance – 1 John 1:9; 1 Corinthians 11:31

The believer, under conviction of the Holy Spirit, judges personal sin with God’s promise to forgive according to the confession. Thus, confession is required in order to come to Christ. Repentance is required in order to seal God’s forgiveness. Churches today make this an act of easily spoken words in order to join; to become a member. It is far deeper an action of the soul.

3 – The Rapture – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

Churches spend more time arguing when the Rapture will occur, than they spend time delving into the Scriptures to understand that the Rapture in the prelude to judgment. The Rapture brings believers to the Judgment Seat of Christ. To our good fortune, Christ has paid our judgment price.

4 – The Second Coming – Matthew 25:31-46

The Second Coming is primarily the Judgment of the Nations. Yes, God does not forget the actions of world nations; they are not left to be unaccountable, simply because they will no longer exist upon the earth.

5 – The Great Tribulation – Ezekiel 20; Revelation 6

Again, the presentation of the Great Tribulation is viewed differently for believers in teachings of churches. We are most unfortunate today that many churches give forth opinions for their understandings of end time events. However, God’s Word is really quite clear. The Great Tribulation is for the unsaved, both Jew and Gentile. The upcoming judgment is announced as a urgent warning to the unsaved.

6 – The Millennium; its Close – Revelation 20:7-10

Three groups/persons come under judgment at the close of the Millennium: (1) fallen angels, (2) unbelievers living in the Millennium, and (3) Satan, the evil one. No one escapes. God has His way, He is Holy and He judges rightly.

7 – Great White Throne – Revelation 20:11-15

This is the final judgment; yet, it is the judgment of concern for all believers. Believers are indeed brought forth to speak to how their lives have been invested in service for the King. They are brought forth to answer for their sin against Holy God. God in His grace has provided for us His Son to pay the price for our sin. Our position in Christ is a great blessing; yet, our stand before Him causes Him to wipe our tears away. What a great and marvelous grace we have received!

Our look at the close of the age actually shows the end that is really a beginning for our eternity. We will move away from the “sevens” to look into other areas the Book of the Revelation discloses. There are many more sevens; my hope and prayer is that perhaps these first few weeks will get you into your Bible more in 2019. Next week we will begin to look at the Book of the Revelation for what it offers us as it moves from chapter to chapter. Again, the Book is not written in a sequential manner; it offers exactly what God intends to challenge our hearts and ministry.

Behold, Jesus is coming soon to take you home to Heaven; His words are faithful and true (Revelation 22:6).

Scroll To Top