The Book of Revelation is one of the most exciting and amazing books in the Bible, especially in these end times when much of it is being fully revealed; however, too many Christians, including pastors, avoid it because they do not understand its symbolism. To be blessed by it, it must be read aloud, as we are told at the start: “Blessed is he who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written therein; for the time is near.” Finally, we are told in Revelation 22:10 “Do not seal up the words of prophecy in this book, because the time is near.” We should not be sealing up the words of this prophecy by ignoring it because we think we cannot understand it. Our carnal minds cannot; but the Holy Spirit knows all things and will lead us in all understanding if we enter into studying it prayerfully, asking for His wisdom, knowledge and understanding. This is a summary of Revelation to the extent I have been led to understand it, which of course is dimly because all has not yet been revealed.
Chapters 1-3 is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place.” These chapters include the seven letters to the seven churches in existence at the time of John. 1:11 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, and what you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.” (the seven golden lampstands with Christ at their midst). I believe these praises and admonitions of Jesus to the churches then likewise apply to churches today – not by specific name, but by the spirit exhibited by individual churches. I believe it is critical for all churches today to prayerfully read these letters, honestly evaluate themselves in light of them, and immediately begin making the necessary corrections to be worthy of receiving the letter addressed to the Church at Philadelphia. His letter He addressed to Laodicea would sadly apply to too many churches today.
Note of interest: the “throne of Satan” (Revelation 2:13), the Great Altar of Zeus at Pergamum (modern day Turkey) where Antipas was killed, is now located at the Pergamum Museum in Berlin, Germany. In the late 1800’s a German engineer excavated the acropolis of Pergamon and shipped it to Berlin. He rebuilt it and opened it as a museum in 1901. In 1930 the Pergamon Altar was rebuilt, bigger and more impressive. The Churches in Germany need to really look at themselves in light of this. According to Christianity Today: “The Protestant state church is fairly dead. The percent of committed Christians in Germany is maybe at 3 or 4 percent. Eighty percent belong to a church nominally, Protestant or Catholic. A mere 0.5 percent belong to a free evangelical church. The percent of people believing in life after death is fewer than 50 percent. It is what German philosopher, Ruediger Safranski, calls “cold religion,” very left-brained, very cognitive, focused on rituals and membership but not on personal commitment.” One has to wonder if there isn’t a direct correlation between the decline of Christianity in Germany and the housing and exhibiting of Satan’s Throne there.
Chapter 4 John is taken up where he sees God on His throne in Heaven, the twenty four elders, the four living creatures, the seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God (the Holy Spirit representing the Spirit of the Lord, Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Power, Knowledge and Fear of the Lord).
Chapter 5 Jesus Christ “the Lamb” is identified as the only one worthy to open the scroll.
The next post will take us to Chapters 6, six of the seven seals, including the four horsemen.