Posted in theology

Revelation, or Inspiration?

By Elizabeth Prata

Illustration courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

A reader kindly asked me a question from something she heard on my podcast. I appreciated the thoughtfulness which which she had asked, and also used scripture. Nothing makes me happier than this (except salvations and baptisms!) It’s the goal, constructive discussion on theological topics.

She said I was sharing that Beth Moore speaks of having (false) revelations and she wondered “if the Holy Spirit does not give His people revelations anymore? Especially on the Word of God, meaning enlightens us with deeper meanings or understandings about the Word? That He shines a brighter/clearer light on it, than say, perhaps what has been traditionally taught? Not negating it, necessarily, but being able to see, as enabled by the Holy Spirit of God, into the meaning of the written Word on a deeper level.

“I do not support Beth Moore, or listen to her, but when you said one of the biggest problems with her was her receiving revelations from God, I wondered if you believe or not whether He gives them. I am thinking of the Scripture, of 1 Cor.14:26-“How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.”

The way she described revelation, I think she meant illumination. Her description was super, too. The description is just assigned to the wrong word, but it’s exactly what the Spirit does when opening our mind to understand God’s word.

As for revelation, that means new knowledge of God’s mind, word, intent, plans, etc. He speaks, and it’s revealed by Him. His speaking in the past was through angels, prophets, even a donkey. In this current age of the closed and finalized Bible, He spoke through His Son Jesus, and then He stopped speaking. All we need to know is already in the word. God declared it so:

Deuteronomy 4:2, You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, so that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I am commanding you.

Revelation 22:18-19, I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.

Hebrews 1:1-2, God’s Final Word in His Son: God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom He also made the world. 

What we do have for revelation from God is sufficient. We do not need to ask for more, look for more, or expect more.

2 Timothy 3:16, All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; 

What Beth Moore and others say is that God gives her NEW knowledge straight from Him, and even worse, she is to turn around and teach it. She quotes what He has supposedly said. This makes her a false prophetess. God is against people attributing things to Him that He did not say. (Jeremiah 23:21, Revelation 2:20).

However, revelation from God is different from illumination. The Spirit illuminates what is already revealed, applies it to our mind to transform it. He makes scripture clear, and brings scripture to mind. Illumination is the Spirit helping us to understand what has already been revealed. Revelation is the giving of new knowledge about God from God. As mentioned, what we know about God has already been revealed. But the Spirit goes on with helping us understand it.

Picture going into a dark room. There is a dimmer switch on the wall. The furniture is already there, but when you turn on the dimmer, a soft glow illuminates the outlines of the furniture. Then as you study, the the switch turns on more light. It gets brighter and you see more details in the room. Finally when we are glorified, then the light is on all the way and we know all that God had intended for us to know.

This link from GotQuestions explains further

What is biblical illumination?

Posted in Uncategorized

Warnings to 7 churches are so relevant today

By Elizabeth Prata

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:15-20)

Often forgotten in the prophecies are the warnings Jesus gives to the churches in Revelation. As with many prophecies, there is a near fulfillment that is and a far fulfillment. The 7 letters to 7 churches that open the Book of Revelation were actual letters sent to actual churches and actually read as warnings, encouragements or indictments against them. The second reason the letters were sent was to reveal seven different types of individuals/churches throughout history and instruct them in God’s truth.

The last verse is the one I want to point to. Jesus is not ‘knocking at the door of your heart’ in this verse. It is obvious he is knocking at the door of the church. The church had become (and will become, like it is now) so pale and non-Gospel oriented that Jesus is outside it! Just think of Joel Osteen’s church at Lakewood and you have a perfect fulfillment of the kind of church Jesus is warning about here. Mr Osteen never preaches sin or wrath or judgment because he doesn’t want to offend anyone, wanting to stay positive. But how can a person repent if they don’t know they are sinning? He refuses to put a cross on his stage, because it might prove an “obstacle to anyone who might come.” But if they are not coming to the cross, what are they coming to??? Jesus is standing outside Mr Osteen’s church, knocking to get in.

That sad indictment is repeated over many parts of the body of Christ today. I pray you find a good church that has solid beliefs, and participate there. Support your pastor, if he stands on the foundational principles of the faith, and preaches them. He is a rarity these days, and precious. Treat him like he is.

The decline of belief is symbiotic. If you attend a church like Lakewood for any length of time, then you will fade into lukewarmness because the fire of wrath and rebuke from a holy God has disappeared. With the full counsel of God being preached, His perfect message of sin & wrath/mercy & redemption is held up and you will grow in Christ-likeness. Without the cross preached, who are the Laodicean congregants growing into looking like? Man, not God.

Posted in theology

Cast into hell

By Elizabeth Prata

Revelation 20:12-15

“And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

Hell is not a pleasant Bible concept to ponder. So most of the time, Christians don’t. But it’s the end-all of the journey for millions and billions of people. Forever. So we must.

Continue reading “Cast into hell”
Posted in theology

The Book of Revelation is not an Outlier

By Elizabeth Prata

People think the Bible is the Bible, except for that weird book at the end, Revelation. Admittedly, Revelation (not ‘Revelations) is a highly symbolic book in places. But it isn’t totally filled with symbolism as people think. People avoid the book anyway, which is a shame…because:

In Revelation 1:3, right off the bat, it begins with a blessing!

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.

If you read the book, you receive a blessing. If you hear what is in the book, you receive a blessing. If you keep what is in the book, you receive a blessing. Keep means to guard what is in the book or heed what is in the book. That means, be involved with what is in the book of Revelation. It’s not an outlier, it’s integral to God’s plan, so much so, He blesses those who take time to learn its message.

Continue reading “The Book of Revelation is not an Outlier”
Posted in prophecy, theology

“Climate change”? Really?

By Elizabeth Prata

In the last little while, the news stories regarding weather have increased regarding “climate change”.

Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, the French critic, famously said, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” The climate has been changing since the Fall of man.

I wrote a blog essay a while ago showing my interpretation of the Revelation 6:12 verse, “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;” It is called “Of volcanoes, dry fog, and sun as sackcloth“.

In that blog essay, I posted some examples of what sackcloth looks like. When volcanoes erupt, the ash circles the atmosphere and the sun’s rays are dimmed, and what rays do emit through the haze look hairy instead of like beams. Volcanic ash has the same effect on the sun as described in the Revelation verse.

The Byzantine historian Procopius recorded in 536, in his report on the wars with the Vandals, “during this year a most dread portent took place. For the sun gave forth its light without brightness…and it seemed exceedingly like the sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear.”

That event is thought to have been caused by an earth-covering atmospheric dust veil, probably resulting from a large volcanic eruption.

The weather changes and attendant devastation on plant and human life when a volcanic eruption takes place is called “Volcanic Winter”. The science magazine Wired has a great article about volcanic winter that occurred in our recent past, one that happened in the 1700s (that Ben Franklin wrote about) and one that occurred in the 1800s. In the article, it states,

“The cloud of ash that was fine and light enough to stay in the atmosphere circled the globe. Average temperatures dropped as much as 5 degrees Fahrenheit over the next year … and beyond. Many Europeans and North Americans called 1816 the “year without a summer.”

In Gray, Maine it was indeed called the year without a summer. The bad weather of winter 1815 continued with heavy frosts in August and snowfalls every month of the year in 1816. It became known as “The Year without a Summer” or “Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death”. Scientists now believe the cause was the eruption of a volcano, Mt. Tambora, in Indonesia. On its first day of eruption, it spewed 2 cubic miles of magma into the atmosphere. The next day it spewed 36 cubic miles of rock and ash into the air. This eruption was the largest in nearly 2000 years and spewed massive quantities of ash into the atmosphere which impacted the climate in the summer of 1816. Over the next year the largest famine in the 19th century devastated the northeast, maritime Canada, and northern Europe. The famine was deadly.

This report from the July 10th Eastern Argus news of Portland ME is typical: “The weather is yet remarkable! On Monday night last a smart frost was experienced in a number of towns in this vicinity—it was confined principally to low ground.”  Imagine…a hard frost on July 10!

The Egypt Road was said to have been named so by people in East Raymond ME who used the road to come to Gray to get seed corn in the spring of 1817. One low-lying section of town between Colley Hill and the Mayall Road was fortunate enough to have its corn crop survive in 1816. This was thought to have been due to the fact that the hill where the corn grew was high, and prevailing winds scoured the frost before it could settle. Seed corn was given to some Raymond citizens. They named the road they took “Egypt Road” since they were remembering the long trek to Egypt to ask deliverance via corn from Joseph to the starving masses. (Genesis 41:49; 56)

We know that in the Tribulation, geologic changes occur which eventually re-form the face of the earth. Quakes are so severe that entire islands disappear. One thing people rarely connect are the drastic changes that occur with climate in a volcanic winter. Atmospheric changes which lead to temperature changes which lead to reduced or failing crops which leads to wars to obtain the remaining food which leads to famine which leads to death which leads to pestilence…you read Revelation 6:1-8 and you see this progression.

We are so fragile, really. All our human made systems will come to naught. The poor, beleaguered earth and its animals is surely groaning. Climate change occurs when we have volcanic eruptions, or are just regularly occurring as part of the normal cycle of life on earth. The more the weather changes, the more it stays the same, if I can paraphrase Monsieur Karr’s saying. It’s all in the hands of God.

dark cloud

Posted in prophecy, theology

The Earth without Water

By Elizabeth Prata

They cry climate change, but the climate has always regularly changed. If they worry about climate change now, they should really be worried about how MUCH the climate of earth will change when the Tribulation occurs.

In reading Revelation it’s like reading a horror story of the world’s climate. Grass burned, rivers drying, sun scorching men with heat that is so unbearable, volcanic winters, you name it. Just read Revelation 6-18 to view the upcoming changes to the climate.

Christians know that it will be due to God’s transformation of the earth in preparing it for the renewal back to how the earth was before the curse. But the climate change enthusiasts and worriers will surely be declaring “We told you so” all the while repeatedly denying that it is God in charge and making these changes. (Revelation 16:9, 11, 21…)

I found this illustration of earth without water from Physics and Astronomy Zone.

Revelation 11:6 says the Two Witnesses have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire.

No rain for three years? Wow. Crops fail and food becomes scarce, especially for the poor.

Climate change now? Please. They don’t know the climate that is about to change horrifically on God’s initiation and timing, but they will. As many as we share the Gospel with and who convert, so as to be raptured prior to these changes, there will be many millions left behind that will endure these terrible changes to the climate. It makes me sad, but it must be so. God will be glorified in the many who do come to faith during the prophesied time of Tribulation, in which the earth will groan so loudly that many will fall down and beg,

And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Revelation 6:16-17).

Posted in prophecy, theology

What are the Seven Thunders of Revelation?

By Elizabeth Prata

*The answer to the question I posed in the title is, “I don’t know. No one knows.”

100_2097moon at sunset pixlr red sky
EPrata photo

The Seven Thunders seem to be a part of the series of judgments in the Book of Revelation. I say “seem to be” because the words were not allowed to be written down, so we cannot be sure that they specifically are judgments. However, coming in sequence after the Seal and Trumpet judgments, and before the Bowl judgments, it seems that the mysterious Thunders may be judgments as too.

Given that thunder is the voice of God in judgment, it seems to further the notion that these mysteriously sealed instructions may be judgments.

John MacArthur wrote of the Seven Thunders in his book Because the Time is Near:

The seven peals of thunder did not merely make a loud noise, but communicated information that John was about to write. In obedience to God’s commands, John had already written much of what he saw in his visions. Later in Revelation, John would once again be commanded to write what he saw in his visions. (14:13; 19:9; 21:5).
But before John could record the message of the seven peals of thunder, he heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken and do not write them.”Whether the voice was that of the Father, or Jesus Christ, or an angel is not revealed. The command, however, clearly originated with God. The reason John was forbidden to record the message is not revealed. It may be that the judgments were simply too terrifying to be recorded. Any speculation as to the content of their message is pointless. If God wanted it to be known, He would not have forbidden John to write it. They are the only words in the book of Revelation that are sealed.

Let’s focus in on the “too terrifying” part of the reasoning here. In all the apocalyptic movies I’ve ever seen specifically related to the Tribulation, they are all uniformly sanitized. In other words, the horrific reality of the Tribulation as depicted in the Bible’s Book of Revelation has been visually watered down to be as non-reflective of the reality of a cellophane wrapped hamburger meat at Publix is compared to the blood, filth and messiness of a low-rent butchery. And even that is not reflective of the reality of what is coming.

The non-Christian apocalyptic movies movies I’ve seen, Threads, The War Game, and It’s A Disaster, were harrowing and soul-slaying. Their real depiction of nuclear or nerve gas apocalypse stayed with me for a long time. The War Game was commissioned by the BBC to specificaly illustrate the horrors of nuclear war and the BBC Board found the movie too realistic to be released. For thirty years itlanguished in a closet. Yet even that film doesn’t go the distance of what the reality of the Tribulation will be like in terms of nuclear horror and death. People just do not understand what it really means when Jesus promised it to be a time of distress exceeding even the time of the Flood. (Matthew 24:21). And remember, that was a time when everybody on earth horribly died. (Except 8 people).

So here is Oliver B. Greene in his Verse-By-Verse Study of Revelation, on the Seven Thunders’ terror:

Thunder is the voice of the Lord in judgment (I Samuel 7:10, Psalm 18:13). The seven thunders “uttered their voices.” (John assumes that the readers already have Some knowledge of these seven thunders.) In Revelation 4:2, 3 John saw a throne encircled by a rainbow, and here in chapter ten we see the same rainbow. In Revelation 4 John saw upon the throne One who was to look upon as a jasper and a sardine stone, and “out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices.” In chapter 10, we have the same thunder, sounding out a message of God’s fury and judgment.

The seven thunders are the judgment thunders from the throne of God. When the Lion of the Tribe of Judah roars, as on the eve of bounding forth upon His prey, the seven thunders utter their roaring voices as in full sympathy and agreement with what is about to proceed in righteous vengeance and holy fury from the throne of eternal majesty. Personality is attributed to these “seven thunders.” Everything is in sympathy with the Lamb of God. These mighty thunders utter messages that are intelligible . . . they speak words. John heard what they said – and when the time comes in reality, the seven thunders will speak literal words that earth’s dwellers will fully understand. It will be a message in tones of thunder. We use a public address system to amplify voices when we want to be heard – but God needs no amplification. He can speak like mighty thunder – and He WILL when the time comes!

At the beginning of these marvelous visions, John was commanded to write in a book what he saw and heard – past, present and future. But when the thunders spoke, John was given another command. He was about to write – but a voice from Heaven said: “Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not!” The seven thunders must have given a terrible message. Already set before us are blood, tears, famine, heartache and heartbreak; killing, misery, hail, fire, burning mountains, demon monstrosities, men begging to die and unable to do so. Surely what John was forbidden to write must have been beyond human imagination and understanding! There is no need to speculate on what the thunders said. Your guess is as good as mine; but you may rest assured that the message had to do with God’s last gigantic, unheard of, indescribable judgment, when God “lowers the boom” in utter destruction.

Will YOU be on earth when the seven thunders speak? You are the only one who can answer that question. If you are born again you will NOT be here – but if you are not born again, you may be here. Read John 1:11-12, 3:16-18, 3:36, 5:24; Romans 10:9-10, 10:13, 10:17; Ephesians 2:8-9; I John 1:9. Read these verses, hear what they say; receive them – and you will not be here when the seven thunders utter their message of destruction. You will be with Jesus.

Imagine a message that exceeds the terror and blood of all that had already previously been spoken. Or if that was not the case, imagine a message that was so tremendously powerful it needed to be sealed from our tender brains until the moment they would be spoken during the Tribulation.

Prophecy is supposed to motivate us to witness, and yet the reality of the judgments of souls in rebellion to God is omitted from the message of the Good News. How terrible that it’s omitted so often these days, when the days are coming that many will be living it!

May this essay motivate you to read Revelation, to pray for wisdom and understanding of the coming days, to receive the promised blessing for having read it,, and for its words to be a catalyst in your heart for the lost who are under that very “boom” Greene mentioned, soon to be lowered…

*This essay first appeared on The End Time in January 2016

Posted in theology

“I know…”

By Elizabeth Prata

Jesus is omniscient. We read this in the Bible and we accept it. But accepting it and understanding it at the deepest level are sometimes two different things. In listening to Pastor Eric Spuur of Mt. Angel Bible Church go through Revelation (series begins here, and is also here on iTunes), he emphasized the following point.

Jesus knows. He is fully aware of all that occurs in His church. See how many times it is written-

To Ephesus
“I know your works…” (Revelation 2:2)

To Smyrna
“I know your tribulation…” (Revelation 2:9)

To Pergamum
I know where you dwell…” (Revelation 2:13)

To Thyatira
“I know your works…” (Revelation 2:19)

To Sardis-
“I know your works…” (Revelation 3:1b)

To Philadelphia
“I know your works…” (Revelation 3:8)

To Laodicea
“I know your works…” (Revelation 3:15)

‘I know’…’I know’…’I know’…’I know’…’I know’…’I know’…’I know’… it hammers you as your mind becomes aware of how many times Jesus declares this truth.

We live on earth where no one is omniscient, so of course we get comfy in the notion that this head that we carry around atop our necks is self-contained. It isn’t. Jesus knows the hearts and minds of men and He knows the thoughts and intentions of it to the nth degree.

In an article called Seventeen Minutes, we learn it’s the daily thoughts that count. As you read this, (and the impact is heightened if someone reads it aloud to you) you’ll no doubt see some of your own thoughts in there. I did. They’re ordinary thoughts. Normal, right?

They are also sin.

They are thoughts that Jesus knows.

There isn’t anything that Jesus doesn’t know, which when we understand to the deepest level, slays us to the marrow, making us cringe. As the unsaved Tribulation folks discover, it makes them cry out to the mountains and the rocks to crush them so they will not have to face Him.

Our lot is infinitely better, for we can cry out not in fear, but to our Abba! Father! (Romans 8:15). Yes, Jesus knows our thoughts and deeds and works. But He loves us despite the sin crushing force of ordinary thoughts in our mind and heart. He took that wrath that was due us and loves His own to the nth degree.

Will we ever understand grace as we should? Likely not here on earth. It surely is grace to be able to serve a God who knows, knows us through and through, yet stands in heaven as our Father, loving us anyway.

wickedness in heart verse

Posted in prophecy, theology

Why the Book of Revelation should be energizing and reviving to the Christian

I found the book of Revelation one of the easiest to understand. Its intent for the reader is plain to read, it has its own built-in study guide, and contains a double promise from Jesus that those who read it will be blessed. Jesus WANTS us to read Revelation. It’s a wonderful book. The following was written by Pastor James Bell and I found it concise and helpful. I hope you do too. I love speaking up for the Book of Revelation and I love anyone else who does too! It’s a great book of the Bible, sadly undermined, ignored, and misunderstood. Perhaps this essay below will help dispel that.

———————————————–

The Revelation
By Pastor James Bell, Facebook
Southside Baptist Church, Gallatin TN

PLEASE do not slander the Holy Spirit, the ultimate Author of the last book of the Bible– by claiming that this grand Unveiling of Jesus is hard to understand and scary. The truth is that the primary messages of The Revelation are exceedingly plain to see and the primary truth of the book is most comforting. The Revelation IS scary to satan, demons, and all other haters of God. Doubtless, Satan does not want saints to enter into the profound comfort and instruction that God has in The Unveiling of Jesus. Moreover, let all saints beware of heeding our deceitful flesh that hates the corrections and the commands found in The Revelation!

Through the exiled and imprisoned Apostle John, the Holy Spirit gave The Revelation— which is the unveiling of Jesus as He is today. In this grand unveiling of Jesus, we are given much to heed and much to obey.

We are clearly shown that no matter how bad the storms get on planet earth — Jesus is still the Great Captain of the good ‘ship’ earth! The risen, ascended, ruling from heaven King of Kings and LORD of Lords will accomplish all of the Great Triune God’s good purposes! Jesus is sovereign and Supreme!

*** A WAKE-UP CALL: We are kidding ourselves if we think that we can stand firm in the midst of the present and coming ‘storms’ if we are not deeply grounded in the Unveiling of Jesus AS HE IS TODAY!

Keys to great profit from The Revelation:

[1] REMEMBER that this last book of the Bible was FIRST OF ALL written to persecuted Christians, who needed some encouragement, who needed to know that Jesus, not Rome was in command, who needed commendations, commands, and corrections.

[2] PLACE YOURSELF IN THE MIND-SET of one of those first Christians to receive The Revelation. Family members and other fellow saints were missing. They were not AWOL. No, they had been fed to the lions… or maybe banished like the Apostle John to slave labor on the isle of Patmos. Rome was mighty.

The saints were becoming fearful. Some were wondering if they were but fools. Some were already tolerating sin and apostasy. (Revelation 2-3)

But at just the right moment, Almighty God invaded the isle of Patmos by the Holy Spirit and moved John’s pen! And when The Revelation was completed, some how, God got The Revelation, the unveiling of Jesus Christ, to the churches.

Can’t you just imagine, the persecuted saints at Ephesus, meeting in secret… and a ‘runner’ comes in… and they are startled and wonder, “Is he a spy?” No, he proves his credentials… He has just left the aged pastor/Apostle John and likely reported something like, “I have in my hand a scroll that God has given to John to give to the churches!”

Amazed and excited, they listened as the entire Unveiling of Jesus was read! I am convinced that by the time the last ‘Amen’ of the Revelation was read — well, words cannot capture the joy, the excitement, the hope, the repenting, the revival that took place!

[3] THEREFORE, please, if you have never done this— read The Revelation straight through in one… and with the mind-set of those who first heard it read!

Let us so prayerfully read, so seek to hear, and so commit to obey the things written in The Revelation— That we too, will enter into a new day of joy, excitement, hope, repenting,… in other words— God-sent revival!

—-end Pastor Bell—-

Amen and Amen. Please don’t be afraid to read Revelation. Those are the very last words Jesus chose to speak to His church before He comes again. They are highly important and as Pastor Bell wrote, instructive and comforting.

revelation 1 verse

Posted in prophecy, Uncategorized

He is The Amen

calendar

“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation’. (Revelation 3:14).

Please read Revelation. It’s a majestic book, filled with wonders and prophecies and promises and our future. It is the only book that reveals Jesus as He is. And, it is promised to the reader that he will receive a blessing for reading it. So…

To each of the churches in these opening chapters, Jesus greets them as a different aspect of Himself. He is the Alpha & Omega, He who walks among the lampstands, the first and the last, he who has the sharp two-edged sword, him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars, and here in the last letter to the churches, the Amen. These are just a few of the titles Jesus expresses Himself as in the opening chapters of the book, which goes back to my statement, Revelation shows Jesus in all His glory and majesty.

From John MacArthur’s study Bible introduction to the book:

Revelation’s primary theological contribution is to eschatology, i.e. the doctrine of last things. In it we learn about: the final political setup of the world, the last battle of human history, the career and ultimate defeat of Antichrist, Christ’s 100-year earthly kingdom, the glories of heaven and the final state of the wicked and the righteous. Finally, only Daniel rivals this book in declaring that God providentially rules over kingdoms of men and will accomplish His sovereign purposes regardless of human or demonic opposition.

Those are some fantastic reasons to read the book!

In chapter 3, Jesus announces Himself as The Amen. What does that mean?

According to the MacArthur study Bible again, the Amen is a common biblical expression signifying certainty and veracity (cf Isaiah 65:16, “the God of truth”). As 2 Corinthians 1:20 says, all the promises of God are fulfilled in Christ, that is, all God’s promises and unconditional covenants are guaranteed and affirmed by the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Gill’s Exposition says,

Christ may be so called, because he is the God of truth, and truth itself; and it may be expressive of his faithfulness, both to God his Father, and to his people, in whom all the promises he either made, or received, are yea and amen; and also of the firmness, constancy, and immutability of Christ, in his nature, person, and offices, in his love, fulness of grace, power, blood, and righteousness; and is very appropriately assumed by him now, when he was about to give the finishing stroke to all covenant engagements, and to all promises and prophesies;

When we pray and say Amen, it is a verbal stamp on what has been said. Deepening the meaning of the Amen in this context, is that Jesus is the Word and is the living embodiment of all of God’s promises and works. We say Amen at the end of a prayer, Jesus IS the Amen.

We begin the New Year this morning with a hopeful look over the year’s calendar. All those days and weeks and months to fill up. It’s like empty scaffolding. We don’t know what’s ahead. We don’t know how these days ahead will be filled- with pain and tragedy, or joy and fulfillment, or a mixture of both, or… Whatever we do and whatever happens and however these days will be filled up and marked off, we do know one thing and it is certain.

Jesus is the Amen.

Isn’t it comforting to know that no matter what the New Year brings, what He has said is certain and utterly true. No matter what the world does to us, His faithfulness to His word and its exacting and sterling truth is the scaffold and framework for our days and weeks and months ahead. Grab onto it. Let it be your guide, your strength, your uphold, your protection, and your stronghold.

He is the Amen. He has said it. His titles of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation titles confirm the Lord’s faithfulness, sovereignty, and power to bring all things to their proper completion. Amen.

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Photo EPrata