End Time Study–Pt.10

End Time Study–Pt.10
Having finished with our look at the seven churches of Revelation, let’s now turn to chapter four of the Book of Revelation. Please read chapter four before continuing on with this study.

John indeed was a highly favored man in that he not only receives the Revelation of Jesus, but that he also gets to see Him in His glory. He receives the revelation of the things that Daniel saw centuries before,i.e., the conclusion of the history of mankind. The Book of Revelation is the continuation and fulfillment of the visions of Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the great statue is now down to the base of the statue, that being the feet of clay and iron. John now sees the rest of the king’s dream and its fulfillment.

Having received the letters for the seven churches where Jesus is speaking to the believers, John is now ready to literally be transferred into the future to see the end times in which we now live. Before showing John what is to befall the world at the end, Jesus addresses the churches. Before judgement can begin in the world, it first must begin in the church (I Peter 4:17) so that the bride may be not just ready for the tribulation to come but made ready for the appearing of the Bridegroom. The church must be equipped for the Great Tribulation in order to persevere to the end (Matt.24:13). For this purpose Jesus gives John the Revelation of the conclusion of mankind.

After addressing the issues confronting the end-time church. Jesus now gives John his first glimpse of heaven beginning in chapter four of the Revelation. This glimpse of heaven begins with the words, “After these things.” After seeing the condition of the churches, John was then permitted to see the future of the churches. He sees a door in heaven (not to heaven) which is the door to the heavenly tabernacle where God sets on His throne. John is addressed by a mighty voice that beckons him to come up to heaven and enter the door. He is then caught up in the Spirit to the very throne of God where “One” sits. Only “One”? where’s the triune Godhead?

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! “(Duet.6:4). “I and My Father are one”(John 1o:30). “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost and these three are one” (I John 5:7). The Holy Spirit and the Son are in God, who is but one God. The Holy Spirit and the Son are sent out from God.

I will not elaborate on the trinity or the description of heaven that John saw for to write a thorough exposition of these verses, as well as all the others to be covered in this study, would take volumes. I want to stick to the thesis of this Bible study which is proving that the church will go through the majority of the Great Tribulation and thus equipping the saints to persevere to the end. Though I must elaborate on verse four of chapter four in order for us to understand who is being referred to throughout the Book of Revelation when the twenty-four elders are mentioned.

The twenty-four elders are the representatives of the twelve tribes of Israel (the old covenant) and the twelve apostles (the new covenant). These represent the Old and New Testament saints, those before Christ and those after Him. This concept is represented in the construction of the New Jerusalem. “Also she had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and twelve angels (i.e. “messengers” Rev.1:20) at the gates, and names written of them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel” (Rev.21:12, parenthesis added). “Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Rev.21:14). Paul had a revelation of this concept when he wrote that the household of God is, “…Built on the foundation of the apostles (new covenant) and prophets (old covenant), Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Cornerstone,( this Cornerstone, Jesus, became the Bridge between the Old and New Covenants), in whom the whole building being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you are also being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit”(Eph.2:20-22, parenthesis added). As Paul was referring to the temple of God on earth, he was patterning it after the New Jerusalem, “…Prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev.21:2). As we build our temples (our bodies) upon the teachings of the apostles and prophets with Jesus as the Cornerstone, or to say the chief part or center of our lives, we become the holy temple and dwelling place of God, in the Spirit, on the earth. Because of the significance of the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles they are represented in heaven sitting on thrones, a sign of royalty, and crowns upon their heads, signifying positions of authority.

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