David Pawson - Revelation Part 1
Thoughtful Thoughts ... 2018.9.14 Revelation – Part 1
There are two books in the Bible which Satan hates more than any others. Genesis is one, as it tells us we have a Creator, and how evil came into the world. (Jesus endorsed the book of Genesis.)
The other book he hates is Revelation, because it explains that Jesus wins and how evil will be brought to an end. Even though Revelation is the letter of Jesus Himself, Martin Luther rejected that it was even inspired. (So don’t put theologians on a pedestal!). Theologians have interpreted Revelation so differently that many Christians either leave well alone, (like Martin Luther), or go to the opposite extreme, and won’t come out of it!
Summary… “Jesus Wins”!
David Pawson opens Revelation up so simply that it is a wonder that it ever caused so much controversy. For example, he tells the story of a college caretaker who was asked by some students to explain Revelation, and he quite simply said it means that “Jesus wins”! What a great summary! But wait...there’s more! So we will fill in a few more of those details!
Evidences of the inspiration of Revelation…
To deal first with Martin Luther’s statement that Revelation is not inspired, there are proofs of its inspiration…
a). Proof 1.
John sees a rainbow in heaven. (Rev. 4:3).
John tells us which stones are used in the new Jerusalem. We know now that all of the stones listed produce a rainbow effect when in pure light. John could only have known by revelation which stones produce a rainbow effect when in pure light, because we only discovered pure light in the last century. Pure light was shone on the stones listed by John, and they turned all the colours of the rainbow.
Where will pure light come from? Well, we are told that God will light the new heaven and earth.
b). Proof 2.
John knew the problems of the seven churches.
John tells us he was imprisoned on Patmos Island, “For the word of God and the testimony of Jesus”. On this island, prisoners were used as slave labour in the quarries, (like North Korea today). As John wrote this letter while imprisoned on Patmos Island, he could only have known about all the problems in the churches by divine revelation. We are told Jesus had visited these churches.
The return of the King.
Revelation informs us that Jesus is returning to earth in a loud fanfare of trumpets, announcing His arrival to the whole world, (literally ‘parousia’ in Greek), meaning everyone will see Jesus as He really is. For example, the British Queen has all the trappings of state accompanying her, and she is seen as she really is. However, once whilst walking on her vast Balmoral estate in Scotland she was met quite accidentally by an American tourist couple who were also out walking, and who asked her if she had ever met the Queen! She replied, “Well, he has”, pointing to her bodyguard! The point is, when Jesus came first time around He came “incognito” too, just like that. But, next time it will be very different...as it will be the noisiest of arrivals, with trumpets blowing, (1 Thessalonians 4:16), and millions of His disciples will welcome Him back in the only space big enough... in the air, (1 Thessalonians 4:17). We are told in v. 16 that it will not be a secret coming next time. In the same noisy event of v. 16, we shall meet Him in the air, described in v. 17. It is one event. The noisy event of v. 16 goes hand in hand with the very public rapture of v. 17.
Revelation has been understood much more easily by those who are facing big trouble for their faith, and that is because it encourages believers not to give up, but to be what Jesus calls, ‘overcomers’. (Rev. 14.12 says, “This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus”). It prepares us to meet Jesus.
Next time we will take a look at the letters to the seven churches. Revelation is the only book that promises a blessing to those who read it. Just read it like any other letter – from the beginning to the end, (ie and not by a verse plucked out of context from here or there. So, if you’d like to prepare for next week, read chapters 1-3.
I’m John Dunning and that’s “Thoughtful Thoughts” for another week.
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