December 16 2021
Today, Thursday December 16
God Wants Us to Know Him and His Plans
Revelation 1:1-3 “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants--things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.”
There seems to be more interest in the Book of Revelation than any other book in the Bible. Over the years whenever I have asked a group of people what they would like to study next, at least eighty to ninety percent of them would answer, “The Book of Revelation”.
What is also interesting is there is probably no other book in the Bible that has more disagreement about how to interpret it and what it means, than the Book of Revelation. I realize that as we begin this study there are as many viewpoints on Revelation as there are religious denominations. And I realize that there are those who are reading this and listening to the chats, who probably know far more than I will ever know about the book, and would probably disagree with some of the things I might be saying and teaching about it. I’m not trying to push my viewpoint or be dogmatic as I teach, and I do not want to spend time debating those who would take issue with my approach and views on it.
So, I want to be clear about where I come from in how I approach this study, and my conclusions that I have come to over the past fifty years of studying the entire Bible in its own context. As I said yesterday, I believe that how we understand the covenants that God made to Abraham, Moses and David will definitely lead us to our various interpretations. I believe that the entire Bible is a Book of Revelation. It is both a revelation and it is divinely inspired, which means it is “God breathed.” God wants us all to know Him, to have a relationship with Him and know His plan and purpose for lives! And the Bible is the Book He gave us to help us with that.
I also very much believe, that the Bible means what it says, and says what it means, and it should be taken literally. I heard someone say years ago, “That when the plain sense of scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense.” For sure there is often symbolism used to describe or emphasize a message or event. But when in Revelation 20 we read that Satan was bound for a thousand years in a bottomless pit, I take it to mean a literal thousand years as we currently know years.
Please know that my approach to this study is what we call a premillennial and pretribulation viewpoint. Premillennial is the belief that Jesus will physically return to the Earth (the Second Coming) before the Millennium, a literal thousand-year golden age of peace. Pretribulation is the belief that there will be a rapture of the church, all believers, before a seven year tribulation that will take place just before the Millennium.
Again, I realize there are other views by very good Bible teachers and even some of my close friends. But these are my conclusions and at this time in my life and understanding of the Bible, I see no need to change my views. And I’m not going to argue with anyone over my approach or try to point out every other viewpoint, and contrast or compare what I believe with them.
I trust this helps set the background for our study these next months and will encourage you to know and believe that Jesus is literally coming back to the earth soon and our God is in total control of all human affairs!
In one of His last messages to His disciples in Luke 21:28, Jesus said, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."
Well, my friend, “these things” have begun to happen and we should be looking up!