“Then he said to me, ‘These words are faithful and true.’ And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place. 7 ‘Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.’ 8 Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. 9 Then he said to me, ‘See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.’
10 “And he said to me, ‘Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. 11 He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.’”
Once again, thanks for the encouraging responses to the articles. I have enjoyed this study; it has certainly challenged me to ask some questions, to think about what I read in the scriptures, and to see the wonder of all God has for us. Many who write are thrilled at the extensive look we are taking at our New Home. This will be a busy place: a place of commerce and business; a place that is huge; a place that will never get boring; a place that allows us to transcend the boundaries of earth and touch space as we know it today; a place that is bright and beautiful; a place that will use earth’s treasures as building stones. It makes you wonder what the trinkets of the New Home will be?
We will be working right alongside angels; we will see them and they us. We will see Jesus, the Patriarchs, the Prophets, the Kings of Israel, the Judges. We will see men like Daniel, Isaiah, meet Samson, see Nebuchadnezzar, meet Solomon, Hezekiah, finally know the name of the Ethiopian Eunuch, maybe meet the Queen of Sheba, as well as see men like C.S Lewis, J. R. Tolkien and a gazillion other people, all who have this one Person in common: a dependence and an absolute trust in the shed blood and the resurrected Savior.
Over the last little while, I have been reading in the book of Jeremiah; and now, I have moved on to Ezekiel. But in the book of Jeremiah, God sends this man to warn the nation of Israel, in particular the Southern Kingdom comprised of Judah and Benjamin, that Babylon is coming. Jeremiah tells them that all who surrender to the armies of Babylon will be spared, but all who fight or flee will be killed. But, the people, in particular the leadership, refuse to listen to the dire warnings that their loving God, though angry over their idolatry, was sending them. He offered them life; and sadly, many chose death. God never sends destruction without warnings. Never, not once in the scriptures, did God send catastrophic judgment without warnings.
- Faithful and True, verse 6
Notice that in this verse God tells us that He has sent the prophets to warn the world about what must shortly take place. Why did He mention the prophets? The OT? Well, let us go back to the very beginning of the Book of the Revelation, and we will see that Jesus addresses this book to 7 churches in Asia Minor; these churches would have had access to the OT but not all of the NT yet. So, for more than 400 years before Jesus was born, God was already telling the world what was going to happen in the end times, our time. For instance, the book of Daniel tells us a lot about the end times, our time. The book of Zechariah tells us a lot about the end times, our time. In Job 19:25-27, we see these words of hope to us all:
“I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. 26 And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; 27 I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!”
Job knew that upon death his body would decay, but notice in verse 27 that his heart yearned within him to see Jesus. He was looking for his Redeemer, and Job had confidence that he would see Jesus “in my flesh.” This speaks of a new body since his would decay. All too often we read these verses, and their prophetic significance is missed. Then look at verse 26. Job makes this bold statement, “that in the end He (referring to the Redeemer) will stand on the earth.” This is a prophecy about the Second Coming of Jesus; at the ‘end’ He will stand on the earth. So, we can see that this teaching in Revelation is not just some nice sentiment, but the truth.
God’s Word is faithful and true; the message of the Bible has been the same from the beginning, that Jesus would come twice to the earth. In Genesis 3:15 and in Isaiah 53, we have the first coming to crush the head of Satan and to die for our sins (Isaiah 53); and then in Job, we are told as well as other books that He, the Redeemer, will stand on the earth at the end, and we, like Job, who yearn for this time, will see him in our own flesh.
- I am Coming Quickly, verse 7
Our idea of quickly and God’s is very different. We look back and see about 1,900 years having passed since this was written; and we think, man, Jesus knows a lot, but He does not seem to know what ‘quickly’ means. Once again, we need to understand that we see linear time: past, present and future. But since God is not limited by time, He sees time as a whole. He sees the end and the beginning together. Notice He is called the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End; the two are synonymous to God. For a God who is eternal, 2,000 years is nothing; and soon for us, time will have no meaning either.
What we can say with confidence is that we are 1,900+ years closer to the return of Jesus for the second time.
What we can say with confidence is that Israel is a nation again, and thus things like the rebuilding of the Temple are actually possible.
What we can say is that the dregs of the Revised Roman Empire are right in front of us with the EU and the Vatican, and we can see them working.
What we can say with confidence is that there are more scoffers today, even among the religious, that question the return of the Lord a second time.
What we can say with confidence is that, for the most part, society has cast off God, and people live like the time of the Judges and do what is right in their own eyes.
What we can say with confidence is that we can see the lack of natural love that even lost men/women used to have for their children and each other. There is more hatred than ever before; it seems so anyway.
What we can say with confidence is that, now, more than any other time in modern history, we can see the curse of Romans 1:18-27 being played out where society worships the creation more than the Creator, and the fallout of homosexuality is all around us – and openly so. Let us not pretend that this is some new evil; it is just much more open than ever, and no one is ashamed of sin anymore; it is rejoiced over and promoted.
What we can say with confidence is that the time told of in Daniel 12:1-4 is near:
“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. 2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. 4 But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.”
We just looked at the judgments a few weeks ago. We talked about the resurrections and the various ends of the people who are resurrected. But then we are told when this will happen in verse 4, when “many will go here and there and increased knowledge.” We live in that time. Travel, which was once a luxury to the wealthy, is now commonplace to all. The increase of knowledge is astonishing; just take the time to study artificial limbs and the progress that has been made for our soldiers with limbs that are controlled by implants in their brains.
I recently had a surgery that, when I began to research it ten years ago, required a cut from chest to crotch, and required 6 months to heal. But with the discovery of laparoscopic surgery, I was able to have the same surgery in under 90 minutes and be out of the hospital in 24 hours. Look at the technology of flight, the technology in building, the technology in cars and the speed with which Artificial Intelligence is growing. We have truly interactive/learning robots that are able to process information and adapt very quickly. This stuff would have absolutely blown Daniel’s mind. Imagine trying to explain air travel to Daniel, explaining space travel to him or explaining living a submarine in the ocean for months at a time and travelling the currents of the ocean.
In verse 9, the angels dictating the books tell John that the “time is at hand.” That means that is happening now. Even at the end of the first century after Christ, God has super-intending things to bring about His will. He is in charge. One last thing: notice in verse 1 that Michael, the great prince that protects ‘your’ people Israel, will arise. Well, we have a nation of Israel for Michael to rise up and protect.
Folks, we are in the last days.
- A Warning, verses 8-9
This warning seems so important today for the NT churches: do not worship angels. Just don’t do it. It is always wrong 100% of the time. John fell at this angel’s feet, and he was immediately rebuked by the angel. Not in a hateful and spiteful way, but very firmly. We are not permitted to worship angels at all. In fact, angels are, we are told, ‘fellow servants’ with us and our brothers the prophets.
We are told to keep the words of this book, referring in part to the Revelation, but in whole, since the prophets are mentioned, to the entire Bible. We are to keep this whole book. There will be further warnings for us in the next few verses as we finish out the book, but please heed this warning. Be wary of those that promote angel worship or say that an angel told them something that contradicts this Holy Bible. An angel of God would never lead one to disobey God.
As we approach the last days, there will be more and more heresy; it will become more and more important to be disciplined students and teachers of the Bible. Only truth can expose the lies. Know the truth, and you will be able to detect the lies. Truth is light in the darkness of lies (John 3:19-21).
“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”