Revelation: A Book of Promise
I pray that you all have been well. It is always a privilege to seek the Spirit of God and search out sermon and TFT topics, especially those for the summer. This year God has led me to the Book of Revelation.
Last year, if you remember, we covered a book by M.R. DeHaan entitled “The Chemistry of the Blood”. I received positive feedback and believe that we all enjoyed this in-depth look at the blood of Jesus Christ.
As a refresher, M.R. DeHaan was an American Bible teacher, pastor, author and physician. He was also the founder of the Radio Bible Class which was transmitted around the world through over 600 stations by the time of his death in 1965. In 1956, he also added the monthly “Our Daily Bread” devotion book that is still being published today. He began his undergraduate studies at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. After his freshman year, he transferred to the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago.
Personally, I have sold his various books over the years at my father-in-law’s bookstore in Kannapolis. The book that I will use to reference throughout the next couple of months is his book called “Revelation: 35 Simple Studies In the Major Themes in Revelation”.
My goal is not to cover this book or the book of Revelation in its entirety. That would be impossible in this brief time span. However, my goal is to emphasize this thought more than anything else over the next couple of months: Jesus is coming back. The second advent of Jesus Christ is just as certain as Jesus’ first advent and subsequent death on the cross.
To do this I will need to overcome years of misrepresentations regarding the Book of Revelation, similar to the misrepresentations in regards to the Old Testament teachings that I have discussed with you before.
This book is broad in scope and depth, and seven or eight sermons or TFTs leave me with only time to give an overview of sorts. Hopefully, prayerfully, through the grace and mercy of God’s Holy Spirit, we will find a foundation that can be laid for your future investigation into the book of Revelation. Because, sadly, as with much of the Old Testament, we have been misled as to the content.
To begin, some ground rules for our work:
Revelation is not a dark book or mystical book to fear
We will not get bogged down in dates, symbols, and details
We will observe the rule of literal interpretation. One of the greatest curses of the modern Christian Church is the deliteralization of scripture.
Approach the book with an open mind. Many of us have been taught that this book is a dark book, difficult to understand, and even creepy. This is hogwash, direct from Satan, to scare you away from this revelation.
Seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to continue to read for yourself. God will bless and illuminate your study.
Let’s begin with Revelation 1:3,
“Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.”
Immediately we see why Satan would not want us to read Revelation much less understand it. Because this book is meant to bless the believer that reads this book. Revelation 22:7, in the last chapter, Jesus tells us this,
“Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of prophecy in this book.”
Jesus is encouraging us to know and understand this book. What are we so afraid of?
People are afraid of this book. Satan has done such a good job of throwing shade at this book over the last several hundred years that many people believe that they do not want to know the truth contained in this book. Please think about this statement as I reread it.
Many people have become convinced that they do not want to know the truth contained in the book of Revelation.
In verse three, John, as the author of this book, gives his testimony that the reader of this prophecy will be blessed.
Jesus, in Revelation 22:7, says something similar. Why are we so intimidated by this book? Let’s look at Revelation 22:16,
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the Churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
Here, Jesus is claiming authorship of this book. He has sent an angel to his disciple John, and given him the prophecy contained in this book. In other words, just as Isaiah spoke of the prophecy of Jesus’ birth, his first advent, John is the prophet for this prophecy of Christ’s second advent.
What are we afraid of? Why are we intimidated? Jesus is the author of this book. If you have given your heart to Jesus, I assume that you trust Jesus with your heart. If this is the case, can we not then trust Jesus's word? Jesus is the word, he is the truth. Satan is the father of all lies. Let's not be tricked into believing Satan or the world.
The author of the book of Revelation is Jesus Christ. This book is no more dark or difficult than any other part of God’s Word. The Bible is not difficult to understand for those who believe in Christ and are guided by his Holy Spirit. Do not ever buy the lie that you cannot understand the Bible.
The book of Revelation is not a dark book. This is a delusion, created by Satan, to scare off the believer. In this book there is a blessing for those who read it and believe it.
Satan wants to rob us of this special blessing of illumination that Jesus is promising us. Who are you going to believe?
Not only is Revelation a blessing, but it is also a prophecy of things to come. I have said this before, hundreds, if not thousands of Old Testament prophecies have been fulfilled, they have been proven true.
Many of us accept the literal fulfillment of these literal OT prophecies, yet, because the modern church wants us to contextualize all of the prophecies of Revelation, instead of literally interpreting them, we all miss the connection.
This is us being inconsistent with our study and analysis. The prophecies of Christ’s First and Second advents were recorded at almost the same time by the same Spirit-led men, and if those which have already come to pass were literally fulfilled (they all were), then simple logic must cause us to expect the same literal fulfillment of those which have yet to be fulfilled. Revelation 1:1-3,
“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, who testifies to everything he saw–that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.”
See, this is not a dark book. It is the testimony of things to come, given lovingly to us, by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There is a special blessing for each of us that reads and believes this book. It is a prophetic book, telling us about the future return of Jesus Christ.
This is not make-believe. This is not a fairy tale, this is not pretend. This is very real. This is truth. The book of Revelation is a book of great promise to us as believers. There comes a time in all of our lives, where we have to answer the call of Jesus, and one way that we do this is by answering this personal question: Do you believe what you say you believe? Do we believe what we have been saying we believe all of our lives?
Some of us, for the first time in our lives, are realizing that we have had a fairly easy life. All of a sudden, after Covid-19, the world's gotten to be a serious place. If you haven't noticed, the world is getting serious, very serious. It is time for us to get serious about what we believe. Revelation is about Jesus Christ and his return. It is about our future as believers in Jesus. It helps explain our understanding of eternity. Maybe this is one of the reasons that many seem afraid of this book: We are trying to avoid the discussion of our eternity. I say embrace it, hold on tightly to it, and do not let go.
I have said this consistently in my sermons and writings this year: It is harvest time. I did not make this up. God's Spirit led me to share this about the year 2022. God's Spirit also is telling me to share this message today: Jesus is coming!
I can think of no stronger addition to this first message than this: It is harvest time and Jesus is coming. In Revelation 1: 5b-8, John is beginning his testimony. Jesus is coming.
“To him who loves and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father–to him be glory and power forever and ever! Amen. 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.”
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Jesus is coming. I pray that we are paying attention.
Do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God.
and Harmony UMC