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JESUS Sovereign, Supreme, Sufficient!
[Many Christians, pastors included, say that they do not understand The Revelation or that it fills them with fear. This is TRAGIC because Jesus says, "Blessed is he that reads and they which hear the words of this prophecy, and KEEP those things that are written thereinâ€¦" (Rev. 1:3) In the late 1970s I met M.A. Thomas from India. At that point he had never read a commentary on the Revelation. He had simply read the Revelation straight through over 100 times. When asked about the last book of the Bible, with a big smile he proclaimed: "MOST SIMPLIST BOOK! JUST LOOK FOR JESUS!" He was/is right! Thus, the purpose of this article is to simply help you LOOK FOR JESUS as He is gloriously UNVEILED!
JESUS- Sovereign, Supreme, Sufficient!
"Where Christ is most precious- there sin is exceedingly sinful; and self is humbled and loathed!" (William Mason) OUR GREAT NEED and privilege as Christians is to SEE Jesus! The more we see Him, the more we will delight in Him! The more we see and delight in Him, the more we will love Him! The more we see, delight in, and love Him- the more we will obey Him! The more we see, delight in, love, and obey Him- the more we will bring Him pleasure! And that's why we were created in the first place- to bring Him pleasure! (Revelation 4:11) And the more we see, delight in, love, obey Him, and thus bring Him pleasure- the more we will experience His manifest presence and power, (John 14:21-24; 2 Chron. 16:9; Dan. 11:32b); and the more we will be TRANSFORMED into His likeness! (2 Corinthians 3:1:18)
The Revelation is the UNVEILING OF JESUS as He is today! The Revelation is specifically sent to servants [bond-servants] of Christ, to seven churches in Asia, Rev. 1:1; 1:11... (Representing the entirety of the LORD'S church until He comes back). It was revealed to the Apostle John who identified himself as the brother and companion in tribulation' of those in the churches. (Rev. 1:9) Wonderfully we see in the Revelation that no matter how strong are the manifestations of evil from satan and/or God-haters- the risen, ascended, ruling-from-heaven KING of KINGS and LORD of LORDS will accomplish all of the Great Triune God's good purposes!
WHEN READING THE REVELATION it can be very helpful to pause and consider the mind-set' of the persecuted CHRISTIANS who first received this unique unveiling of Jesus. Family members and fellow saints were MISSING- they had been fed to the lions or maybe banished like the Apostle John to slave labor on the isle of Patmos, etc. Caesar and Rome would have seemed ALMIGHTY. In this era of time the church was experiencing fear, compromise, and apostasy. HOWEVER, at just the right moment, ALMIGHTY GOD invaded' the isle of Patmos and gave John the UNVEILING OF JESUS! When the book' was completed, by some means, God got the letter to the churches- possibly to Ephesus first!
CONSIDER THIS POSSIBLE SCENE: The persecuted saints of Ephesus were likely meeting in secretâ€¦ and a runner'â€¦ a carrier' came in; the saints were startled and wondered, "Is he a spy?" He proved his credentials and reported, "I have in my hands a scroll that contains special revelation which the LORD JESUS CHRIST has given to our beloved John to give to the churches!" These saints in Christ listened as the entire Unveiling of JESUS was read! I DOUBT that words can capture the joy, excitement, hope, repenting, infusion of power, and REVIVAL that took place! SO, let us prayerfully READ, BEHOLD JESUS, seek to HEAR, and commit to OBEY the things written in The Revelation- that WE TOO WILL ENTER INTO A NEW DAY OF JOY, EXCITEMENT, HOPE, REPENTING, power for holiness, and REVIVAL!
WHAT ABOUT OUR WORLD TODAY? We live in an era when waves of deception and a falling away from Biblical Christianity are sweeping the land, (Matt. 24:37-39; Mark 4:14-20). There is growing PERSECUTION of Bible-believing Christians around the world. When God wanted to encourage JOHN and the first century Church- HE gave the Unveiling of JESUS! THIS BOOK IS VERY MUCH FOR US, ALSO!
TO WIN over our growing fears- let us take a good look in this Divine Unveiling! The Holy Spirit will UNVEIL Jesus as He is, Jesus as to what He is doing, and JESUS AS TO WHAT HE will be doing!
TO EMPOWER BEING AN OVERCOMER in a world that is DROWNING IN SIN- LET US MEDITATE in this book and BEHOLD Jesus. WE MUST RECEIVE HIS WORDS IN THIS BOOK: HEAR, KEEP, HEED, and OBEY SPECIFICALLY WHAT JESUS REVEALS IN THIS BOOK. We can definitely COUNT ON THE HOLY SPIRIT in this process: John 14:11-26; 15:1-16; 15:26-27; 16:7-14.
What is the answer to MAKING RIGHT CHOICES in future economic upheavals? There is much out there telling us how to secure our finances... how to survive or make a killing in BEAR MARKETS, BULL MARKETS...YOU NAME IT. BUT ONLY ONE BOOK tells you how to keep from losing your soul living in the midst of ECONOMIC and RELIGIOUS BABYLON! THEREFORE, Take a good and long look in this book- let us BEHOLD Jesus and HEED WHAT HE SAYS!
HOW CAN WE STAY TRUE TO THE FAITH WHEN WE HAVE friends turning their backs on Christ? BEHOLD Jesus unveiling critical reality- losing your life for Christ can be tough (Revelation 13:7-16); but experiencing the WRATH OF GOD IN HELL for eternity (Revelation 14:8-11) is far worse; and NOTHING can compare to the eternal BLISS of those who are IN CHRIST! (Revelation 15:2-4) THUS, WHEN FACING trouble, trial, or TRIBULATIONS today or in any of our tomorrows- look in this book and BEHOLD Jesus!
THE REVELATION 1:1-20 - Turn your eyes upon Jesus! "Look unto Jesus" the book of Hebrews exhorts us. BEHOLD Jesus revealing Himself through His Bondservants, (Rev 1:1-3). BEHOLD Jesus revealing His rest, (Rev 1:4). BEHOLD the Blood of Jesus revealing His redeeming LOVE, (Rev 1:5). BEHOLD Jesus- the first and the last, the Almighty God, (Rev 1:7-8)! BEHOLD the MAJESTIC DEITY of Jesus, (Rev 1:9-13). BEHOLD the eyes of Jesus revealing His omniscience, (Rev 1:14). HEAR the voice of Jesus revealing His Omnipotence, (Rev 1:15). BEHOLD the face Jesus revealing His Omnipresence, (Rev 1:16). BEHOLD, the SENSITIVITY OF JESUS; AND we will, LIKE JOHN, bow and worship in REVERENCE! And JESUS will comfort us and we will receive a fresh commission! (Rev. 1;17-20)
THE REVELATION 2:1 3:22 - BEHOLD Jesus SHEPHERDING His Blood-bought saints- HE SEES, HE KNOWS, HE JUDGES, HE ENCOURAGES, HE WARNS, HE PROMISES! He has a special agenda for every Christian, as reflected in the letters to the seven churches: Give Him FIRST LOVE; Suffer for His name's sake; Stand for TRUTH in the midst of error; Follow after RIGHTEOUSNESS in the midst of evil; Manifest life and purity; KEEP GOD'S WORD AND DO NOT DENY HIS NAME; BE WHOLEHEATED IN A HALF-HEARTED WORLD. (The above is one primary point from each of the seven letters to the churches- JESUS is calling us in these same paths!)
THE REVELATION 4:1 16:21 - BEHOLD Jesus Ruling this Present World! John was caught up into heaven, where he saw a vision of God Almighty on his throne; and JESUS was/IS IN CHARGE of the nations and events on earth!
Chapter 4- IN GREAT WONDER, John is caught up into heaven, where he sees a vision of God Almighty on his throne. All of Christ's followers and the heavenly angels are worshiping God! BEHOLD HIM! Let us JOIN IN with them!
Chapter 5- BEHOLD JESUS, THE LAMB OF GOD! HE IS IN CHARGE! ALL IS ACCORDING TO PLAN. THEREFORE SING: Rev. 5: 9-10. LET US WORSHIP JESUS for His WORTHINESS as the Lamb of God. MAKE NOTE: All throughout the Revelation there are a number of worship scenes. PRAISE TO GOD is continual. When there is presently so much grief on earth- how can there be so much JOY and PRAISE in heaven? In ancient times, it is said that Nero fiddled' while Rome burned! DOES GOD NOT CARE? 1. Yes, look at Jesus on Calvary! 2. Because of what Jesus accomplished at Calvary, PEACE ON EARTH IS COMINGâ€¦ and already here is the hearts of the redeemed.
Chapter 6- BEHOLD JESUS is in heaven and IN CONTROL OF EVENTS and nations ON EARTHâ€¦ and unfolding events according to His plan!
Chapter 7- BEHOLD JESUS- HE SAVES JEWS and GENTILES! He saves a NUMBERLESS MULTITUDEâ€¦ FOR ETERNITY. They had been SUFFERING SAINTSâ€¦ MANY BECAME MARTYRS- but look at them now, Rev. 7:14-17.
Chapter 8- BEHOLD JESUS as He continues to UNFOLD events on earth. Holy WRATH IS COMING. THE PRAYERS OF SAINTS MAKE A DIFFERENCE, Rev. 8:3-5.
Chapter 9- BEHOLD JESUS! At the commend of Jesus, DAYS OF WRATH are coming with increasing intensity TO THE EARTHâ€¦ Rev. 9:6; 9:20-21!
Chapter 10- BEHOLD JESUS things on earth MOVE ON HIS TIME TABLE and according to His sovereign agenda, Rev. 10:7!
Chapter 11- BEHOLD JESUS! TRUST His Word- JESUS is moving all events to a GREAT DAY OF HIS RETURN, Rev. 11: 15-18! NOTE: This makes many ANGRY! The Revelation also UNVEILS the deep abiding depravity of God hating sinners.
Chapter 12-- BEHOLD JESUS as He UNVEILS His VICTORY, HIS Conquest of the great enemy satan, Rev. 12: 9-12, 17! (This one chapter covers THOUSANDS of years!)
Chapter 13- BEHOLD Jesus the true Christâ€¦ in sovereign control, exposing the deceiving counterfeit Christ; and the power of grace to saints to be found faithful unto death!
Chapter 14- BEHOLD the PRAISE TO JESUS coming from the REDEEMED, Rev. 14:1-4; BEHOLD the compassion of JESUS IN CONTINUING TO SEND FORTH THE GOSPEL, vs 6-7; BEHOLD the HOLY WRATH of JESUS, the LAMB, Rev. 14:9-11; BEHOLD the shepherding word to those who are sound in faith to Jesus, Rev. 14:12-13.
Chapter 15- BEHOLD JESUS, the victorious PRAISE to Him; the splendor of HIS Redeeming Loveâ€¦ His Perfect Redemption, and His Perfect Justice, Rev. 15:1-4.
Chapter 16- BEHOLD JESUS as He pours out the FULLNESS of His wrathâ€¦
BY THE WAY: BEWARE, BE DESCERNING OF THE SOURCE OF MIRACLES, 13:13-14; 16:14! O SINNER, BEWARE OF HARDING YOUR HEART AGAINST GOD: 16:9; 16:2.
Chapter 17- BEHOLD JESUS unmasking the wickedness of the GREAT HARLOT OF WORLD RELIGION, Rev. 17:1-6; and BEHOLD JESUS is His grand SOVEREIGNTY OVER THE NATIONS, Rev. 17:15-18.
Chapter 18- BEHOLD JESUS judging ECONOMIC BABYLON and acclaiming true values, Rev. 18:4-5. [BEWARE OF LOVING THE WORLD!]
Chapter 19- BEHOLD JESUS! HE IS COMING AS KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORD; AND He will celebrate union with His brideâ€¦ AND BEHOLD the vengeance of Jesus (Rev. 19:11-21) conquering the rebellion and righting all wrongs.
Chapter 20- BEHOLD JESUS vanquishing the devil and renewing the earth, Rev. 20: 1-10; andâ€¦ BEHOLD the judgment of Jesus CONSIGNING the rebels to their eternal DESTINY, Rev. 20:11-15.
Chapter 21- 22- BEHOLD JESUS unveiling Paradise for His Bride comprised of THE REDEEMED OF ALL AGES, Rev. 21:10-14.
Revelation 22 concludes with
1. A GLORIOUS ETERNITY FOR THE REDEEMED, 22: 3-5
2. AN EXHORTATION TO KEEP THE SAYING OF THIS PROPHECY, 22:7
3. GLORIOUS REMINDERS, 22:13-14
4. The HOLY SPIRIT'S FINAL CALL, 22:16-21.
NOTICE, AS WE TRULY SEE' JESUS unveiled- OUR CONCERN IS,
1. Not conquering the world- Christ will do that.
2. Not living for all we can get- Christ is preparing our treasured home.
3. Not fearing the future- Christ holds the future.
4. NOT PAYING BACK THOSE WHO HAVE WRONGED ME- God is going to settle all accounts!
5. And since, whether we live or die, WE ARE THE LORD'S- we not only need not to be afraid; but we can go forth BOLD WITH THE GOSPEL until He calls us home!
O LET US BEHOLD Jesus! Amen. Hallelujah! James Bell
The Revelation: JESUS is Sovereign, Supreme, and Sufficient!
I. THE PRESENT SOVEREIGNTY OF JESUS IN HEAVEN, Chapters 1-5. TODAY! JESUS Christ is in Heaven working through His redeemed on earth: JESUS Christ is risen, glorified and in the midst of His churches (chapter 1) JESUS Christ commanding, correcting and instructing His church, (chapters 2-3). BEHOLD The Throne of Deity and the Occupation of Heaven, namely, WORSHIP (chapter 4) BEHOLD JESUS Christ in the Midst of the Throne of the Universe- The LION as the LAMB RULES! (chapter 5)
II. THE COMING SOVEREIGNTY OF THE LAMB ON EARTH, Chapters 6-19. TODAY! JESUS CHRIST is in Heaven ruling and over-ruling the events of kings and kingdoms, moving all things toward the day of His return to earth! All things are moving toward JESUS Christ's enthronement on earth for His millennial reign: (11:15; 17-18; 19:6)
TODAY, FROM HEAVEN, JESUS CHRIST reigns (10:6); He is preparing to bring Babylon and satan and all demonic forces DOWN! He rules (19:15); He restrains (20:1-3); And the day is coming when He rewards and those of the first resurrection reign with Him (20:4-6).
III. THE ETERNAL SOVEREIGNTY AND ENTHRONEMENT OF THE LAMB ON THE "NEW EARTH", Chapters 20-22. TODAY AND FOREVER: Jesus is Lord! Yet He will always remain the Lamb! His Calvary love will never, never be forgotten! 1. Revelation 20 Satan bound, millennium and judgment! 2. Revelation 21-22 New heaven and New Earth! BEHOLD JESUS, THE LAMB of GOD! COME LORD JESUS!