n style="font-size: 20.0pt;">Revelation 1:1-2
The whole Bible is the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though Jesus Christ is God and the entire scriptures come from God, Jesus as the Son of God, is the represented mediator between God and man and therefore receives His instruction from the Father. And in turn communicates Gods Word, through the Holy Spirit, who is the revealer of scripture, to mankind.
Man as well as angels are subject to Jesus Christ, however only man is referred to as bond-servants. Christ went to the Cross and paid for our salvation. He in effect purchased us from the slave market of sin and death and in so doing placed us in the role of bond-servant to Him. He purchased our freedom, therefore we are obligated to Christ and are in effect His slave due to His purchase.
This book, Revelation, is more than just a book of dragons and mystical numbers. It is a history book on eschatology, covering things to come from the point in time when John wrote these words about 1900 years ago. The book being written about 96 AD. This is the last of the books written for the Bible and thus closes the scriptures and the non-written revelation which comes from God.
Thereafter, all revelation from God comes through the written word. There are no further communications through dreams, or visions, or direct communication, of doctrine or prophecies.
Anyone, who says they have spoken to God really is waiting for that padded white van to pull up. Today we learn by means of our daily study and by no other means. Our learning is reinforced by our application of the doctrine we have learned, to our experiences in life.
Gods communication comes to us from God and by no other means. Man does not have the ability to gain Gods communication or revelation concerning God or the things of God, or the things of the spiritual realm, on his own, or from his own resources.
The arrogance of man in his attempts to define a god or a deity of his own convenience, and a god which is nothing more than a servant to and for, mankind, is a gross misrepresentation of reality and a demonstration of mans stupidity. That is a complete reversal of the truth and a lie.
God sends His word to man, not the reverse. God sent His word to man through his teaching angel, and this is the method of communication when John received this material from God. The information sent was concerning future events, things which would with a certainty, take place. Only God has the knowledge of future events. Man does not, Isa. 41. God can control the events of history by means of his placement of people in history. Jesus Christ controls history, Isa. 41.
John bore witness to these events he is about to disclose, as well as witness to the first advent of Jesus Christ and the teachings which Christ gave during His time here on earth. What John wrote was not the invention of his own imagination, but the exact revelation as he witnessed it with complete accuracy of detail.
Things future, begin with the trends of the Church Age, up to the event of the rapture, and then the history of the last seven years of the Age of Israel, the Tribulation. Followed by a brief review of the Millennium and the close of history. The things revealed are to ‘soon’ take place, implying that the ages yet remaining will be of a shorter duration than the ages already passed.
John was amazed, even overwhelmed at the revelation which God gave him regarding these phenomenal events. John encloses this entire vision by his exclamation, ‘I John,’ Rev. 1:9, 22:8.
This book is generally viewed by most folks as entertainment, or an adventure of things that will occur in the future. However, life is a very serious matter. For us, as believers, we have an opportunity to look into the future, and see the drama unfold.
For unbelievers, it is a strong warning, ‘You, unbeliever are risking your participation in the most horrific period of human history.’ If the Rapture were to occur very soon, then all unbelievers will remain behind, and will become totally helpless in a world that lacks the blessings that have restrained evil up until now.
Throughout history, Satan has been restrained, and yet we have witnessed, in historical records, and some even in contemporary times, things that seem to us as horrible and beyond description. However, evil is restrained in our present day. When evil is set loose, the horrors will go way beyond even the imaginations of monster movie makers, and instead of pretend scary stuff, they will be very real.
For believers, it is a warning that time for you can end on this earth at any moment. Whether in your own death, or in the Rapture, it will not matter. As a believer in Christ, your obligation is not to perpetuate your salvation emotions over and over and over, everyday of your life, but to grow up. You have to move on from salvation, and advance to the full life as an adult. The child cannot appreciate nor even comprehend the characteristics of the adult. Ones life is lived to its fullest as a mature adult, not as an infant.
And so, as a growing believer, God has given us a gift of prophetical images for future era’s, as well as the revelation of predicted historical trends, that will occur within our own dispensation, most particularly as we near its end.
For almost 2000 years, Christians have been waiting His return to claim them, and yet that event has not yet occurred. This is the favorite argument among those who would be skeptics. Where is He? When is He coming? Did you miss Him? Did He forget?
And this demonstrates one thing, they have knowledge of the return of Christ, and reject it outright.
But there is another issue with respect to the events of our own dispensation, and that is the unveiling of historical trends that will occur near the end of our own dispensation. These things will not all occur simultaneously, but over a great deal of time.
As we approach the final generations of our time, doubt will grow among believers. Historical events, even if they are a trend only, will serve to instill a renewed hope with regard to the Rapture. With this renewed hope, people will believe in Christ and people will grow up to spiritual maturity.
But, there will come a time in that last generation or two of our dispensation, that this hope will eventually turn to indifference and outright rejection of Christianity, just as in the last century of Noah’s day.
This gap, the last of three in history, is called by Paul, the great apostasy, 2 Thess. 2:3. This apostasy will be the catalyst that will propel the anti-christ into power, immediately after the Rapture.
Oh, the three major gaps in history? The first occurred in Noah’s day, when during the last century, people rejected truth as he constructed the ark. The current population of believers, Methuselah, for example, were removed as the date of the flood approached, leaving only Noah and his family of eight people to board the ark.
The second, gap occurred between the four centuries that separated the Bible Testaments, approximately 400 B.C. to the birth of Christ, when interest faded with regard to truth and interest accelerated with regard to the works of Judaism.
And the last gap in history, will occur immediately prior to the Rapture, when, most likely the numbers of new believers will diminish to nothing, as the great apostasy will seize hold of society, worldwide.