Revelation 4:1-2, Revelation 7:1-8
“After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, ‘Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.’ Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.”
I hope that you have enjoyed and maybe learned something through our walk as we learn more and more about God’s relationship with and to Israel from the very first covenant with Abraham until after the church age is over.
The Bible is full of God’s promises to Israel, and we have explored these over the past few weeks. If you are a student of the book of Revelation, sadly, many people are not, and many churches refuse to teach from the book; yet, in this book, there are clearly defined lines that show who God is predominantly working with at the time.
In the Old Testament, we see some Gentile persons like Rahab, Ruth, and Naaman, to mention a few. The focus, however, from the end of Genesis 11 to the end of the Gospels, is the nation and people of Israel. For a brief period in the book of Daniel, God, through a Jewish prophet, tells us about the Gentile kingdoms that He will raise up on the earth. But even then, they are recorded in relation to Israel. The Medes would begin freeing Israel from Babylon, the Persians would fund the rebuilding of the city, the Greeks would provide a language for the New Testament, and the Romans would build roads to transport the Gospel all over Africa, Europe, and parts of Asia Minor. But the revelation of the kingdoms all centered around Israel.
In Revelation 1-3, we have letters from Jesus to seven churches, all of whom were around at the time that John was writing the book of Revelation. These churches basically demonstrate 7 eras of the church age. There are churches from each era in all of the eras, but there is a predominant church type for each era.
At the end of the church era, we then jump into chapter 4, and John, the last of the Apostles who is still alive and a part of the very first church established by Jesus, is called up into Heaven. The phrase ‘come up here,’ which he is instructed to do after he hears a ‘voice like a trumpet speaking’ is the very word that is translated as rapture. It means to be caught up; thus, John is caught up and is in Heaven. After this event, the church is not mentioned again in Revelation. The writer, led by the Holy Spirit, never mentions the local churches ever again in Revelation.
In the next few chapters, we see scenes that are happening in Heaven, and in chapter 7, we are introduced to the nation of Israel and specifically the twelve tribes. The tribes are named; there are 12,000 men chosen and marked from each one. If you keep reading the chapter, it jumps back to Heaven, and there in Heaven is a multitude from all nations.
Revelation 7:9-10, “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'”
In the next few chapters, there is chaos rained on the earth by God, and then we meet two witnesses on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and the whole world is watching them. Even right now in our time, the world is beginning to focus again on Israel. She is in the news and in the headlines once again, and she will continue to be as we get closer and closer to the transition from the church age and back to God dealing with Israel as He prepares her to receive her Messiah.
In Revelation 13, the Man of Sin defiles the Temple in Jerusalem with an idol called an image. There is a rebellion; the Jews realize that they have been duped, and they recall Antiochus Epiphanes and his defilement of the Temple, and they cry out. In Revelation 19, Jerusalem is surrounded by the armies of the Man of Sin, and Jesus shows up in the clouds to defend Jerusalem, Israel, and the Jews who are still living. This is all about Israel, all about that sacred land that was promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This is about the throne of David, which is the throne that is promised to Jesus as His own on earth one day. Here are a few of the prophecies:
2 Samuel 7: 12-13, “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”
Luke 1: 32-33, “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”
Isaiah 16:5, “A throne will even be established in lovingkindness, and a judge will sit on it in faithfulness in the tent of David; moreover, he will seek justice and be prompt in righteousness.”
These are just a few examples of the promises that God gave to David, that there would be one to sit on his throne forever. Luke clearly tells us that Jesus is the one who will sit on David’s throne. God is not done with Israel.
Pray for the peace of Israel, and one day soon, my brothers and sisters, we will walk in Jerusalem and see Jesus, David, Abraham, Isaac, Elijah, and the multitude of people who have worshipped God as their One and only. We will see true justice offered to the whole world from Jerusalem, and Jesus will be the face of that justice. No, God is not done with the Jews; if anything, we are seeing the beginning of what He is about to do.
God bless you,
Dr. Sean Gooding
Pastor of Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church
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