And now John closes out the first chapter of this
book with a mystery.
Here mystery represents more than a revealed
being Bible doctrine.But a
mystery of truth means that a more real or more sacred truth, is withheld.
Mystery, ‘musterion,’ is
a secret which is known to only those members of the group for which the
mystery applies.It is a silence imposed
on its membership, and not known to outsiders.
Typically in ancient times, this was a common
practice among religious groups.They would
keep their rules or procedures or principles, secret and to themselves. Their secrets were not to be revealed to
non-members, but known only to those who were members of the group.
However, John writes this verse after the command
to write the book in its entirety.And
since this book has been written and therefore revealed to everyone, then why
Because when history approaches the end times, this
book of information will become as though it were a long time held secret,
known to no one. And why will it be
known to no one?Because
in the end times, we are referring not to the Tribulation seven year period,
but to the end of our current dispensation, which we call the Church Age.
But anyway, when our dispensation approaches its
end, there will be a great apostasy which will have taken over the world. And with most people negative toward Bible doctrine,
then most people will not know of these things.
And not knowing of these things means they, by default, become a
Therefore we can put together two passages quite
easily.Actually three passages. First, our current passage,
Second, Matt 24:38.
38 “For as in those days which were before the
flood they were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage,
until the day that Noah entered the ark, NASB
Third, 2 Thess 2:3
3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will
not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is
revealed, the son of destruction, NASB
Combining these three passages, reveals to us the apostate
state of the world immediately prior to the Rapture.
Apostasy is not a mere indifference toward truth,
but it is actually a rejection of truth, wherein lies or unsound principles in
society, have replaced the solid fundamental principles of truth.
And who will recognize this fact? Only those who have adopted
a daily and consistent practice of studying the Bible.
Those who do not study as commanded by God, will
never figure it out, or they will come up with their own bizarre interpretation
of this book.
And so God reveals the meaning of the seven stars, and
the seven candlesticks.
Held in his right hand, Jesus Christ maintains
control over His church, even in times of great apostasy. The seven stars are not angels as we have
studied already, but the messengers, or instructors of the Church. The seven candlesticks represent the churches
of our current dispensation, or all believers who will live within our
Seven is the number of completion. When God restored the earth, on the seventh
day He rested.His work had been
completed.All had been put into place
for the unfolding and completion of human history.
And the sevens repeated here, refer to the
completed church, listed as churches in Asia Minor, all gentile churches, and
excluding the churches in Judea. Therefore, this book is addressed not to the Old
Testament era, not to the Laws of Moses and the Prophets, but to the new covenant
of Christ, wherein there is no further designation between Jew and gentile, but
one family in God through Christ.
As we mentioned earlier, some folks will read this
book for its entertainment value and nothing more.
Some will read it and be startled as the impending
realities unfold in history.This may
apply to you and me as we see the tremendous insanity that seems to have
gripped the world leaders in our current generation. And those world leaders are only in power
because a spiritually naïve pubic put them there.
And some will read it with horror in their hearts. Those will be the folks that will have to
live through the terrible times that are portrayed in this book. It will be a time of social and political and
racial ostracism, of starvation, of severe economic regulation, of horrible
government abuse, of rampant disease, of rampant crime, and of war and worse.
If you live in places where life has an antiseptic
view, then it is difficult to imagine the hardships that people will face. You probably would have to actually live in
one of the more depressed places in this world, to even begin to imagine what
life will be like in the Tribulation.For
the Tribulation will be so bad, that well before its seven years pass,
literally half of the worlds
population will be dead.
For some perspective today, that would be like
three and a half billion people dying over the next few years. Something difficult to imagine now, but if
the Tribulation does not occur for another century, then the worlds population may well be over fifty billion, and the
horror will be way off the charts.
Revelation, when you look deep into the original
language, becomes pretty graphic.If you
are not already signed up on at least the free subscription for receiving the daily
studies, you might want to consider it.
But, how do they say it? ‘Viewer discretion is advised!’ (Couldn’t resist saying