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Who are the Four and Twenty Elders?

Around the throne were four and twenty seats. Why the KJV uses the word seats is debatable. The Greek word is thronos. It is the same word that is translated as throne in verse 2. I surmise that the translators used the word seats to make the verse read smoothly and help the reader distinguish these 24 thrones from the throne of God. But the four and twenty seats are thrones. Maybe they are smaller and lower?


I saw four and twenty elders sitting on these thrones. The Greek word elder is presbuteros. This word is usually translated as elders, but also means old man, eldest, someone advanced in life. The apostle Paul instructed Titus to ordain presbuteros in every city (Titus 1:5). Elders in the church rule well and labor in word and doctrine. It carries the idea of possessing maturity and wisdom, someone qualified for the job.


These four and twenty elders are not earthly since they sit on thrones in heaven.

Everyone wants to know the identity of these four and twenty elders. Their identity ranges from “They are representative of the Church” to “They represent Israel” to “They are the twelve apostles and the twelve tribes of Israel” or “The twelve apostles and twelve prophets,” etc. They are neither of those.


What a mess has been made of their identity.

 

The general rule of interpretation is always to let Scripture interpret Scripture. Is there anywhere in Scripture where we find the answer? Yes, there is.


In the Old Testament, the Tabernacle, the Temple, and the Priests were the example and shadow of heavenly things…the pattern of things in the heavens…figures of the true (See Hebrews 8:5, 9:23,24, read the context).


In 1 Chronicles 28:11-13, King David is turning over to his son Solomon the plans for the building of the Temple. Everything David gave Solomon was “the pattern of all he had by the spirit…of the house of the Lord…Also, for the ­­courses of the priests and the Levites.” The courses were the divisions of the priests who would serve in the Temple.


The division is found in 1 Chronicles 24:1-5, “The sons of Eleazer there were sixteen chief men…and eight among the sons of Ithamar, " Twenty-four.

 

Since the Temple and all of its elements, including the priests, are a pattern of the things in the heavens, the four and twenty elders are created beings (not angels) in heaven, performing a priestly role before the Throne of God. Their purity is indicated by their clothing of white raiment and their crowns of gold.

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Sermon Recap and News

Last Sunday Sermon Review


Shadrach, Meshach, and Adeb-nego would not give in to the king's tyranny. They were the only dissident voices. How were they able to go against the flow? First, they never lost their Biblical worldview. Second, they kept sight of the fact that the God they served was Supreme. Third, they never lost touch with the commandments of God, e.g., Thou shalt have no other Gods beside me—thou shalt not worship any graven image.  Finally, they knew God would protect them—And even if he didn’t, they would still not give in to mass formation psychosis. They would not lose their faith and would not bow down to a false idol, no matter what. These were courageous, bold men of faith. We will hear more from them on Sunday.


Sunday Night Bible Study


We completed chapters 2 and 3, which reveal the content of letters sent to the leader of seven churches in Asia (modern-day Turkey). Those letters detail how the leader and his congregation can overcome during the Tribulation. The letters will greatly help Jews living during the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. All seven letters are prophetic and point to the matter we come to in this session regarding the events in heaven and on earth during the latter days. On Sunday night, our Bible passage moves to heaven and the events leading up to the Tribulation.


Pizza will be served up on Sunday night! Bring a side dish to share if you desire.

5:00 Dinner | 6:00 Bible Study


News and Opinion

My opinions as always, take 'em or leave 'em


The Raid


I should mention the RAID of the former President's home. What a disgrace and what a scourge on our democracy. The U.S.A. is no longer a country of honor and the rule of law. It is sad to watch it unfold before our eyes. We have been hijacked by communists and are about to pay the price. I wrote an article earlier in the week showing the deep-rooted cause of all of this, so there is no need to rehash it. You can read it by clicking here.


Duped by the Vaccines


I am sorry for those who believed the lie of the government and big Pharma that vaccines for Covid were safe and effective. They were neither. Report after report, study after study has begun to surface, and the verdict is not good.


The latest stats, reported by the CDC, shows that in San Diego alone, 67% of recent Covid deaths were those who were fully vaccinated and boosted. The number is likely higher since the other 33% may have had at least one vaccination.


Young people vaccinated are dying daily. These are usually the healthy athletic type. They never needed a vaccine in the first place but were duped into getting one à la mass formation psychosis. More grim news about vaccines is below.


What People in the U.S. Think of God and the Bible


Why is our country headed to the depths of despair? Look at this recent Gallup Poll of Americans:


Do you believe in God?

1944 - 96% responded yes.

2022 - 81% answered yes.


Is the Bible the actual Word of God?

1976 - 83% said yes.

2022 - 69% responded yes.


Are you convinced that God exists?

2005 - 80% replied yes.

2022 - 66% answered yes.


Here is the most important reason why people want to attend church:

76% said sound Bible teaching was the most important.

43% said music and programs are the most important.


Where do most churches put their emphasis? On music and programs! People want Bible study. It is no wonder the Church has little influence on our society.


The Green (Bad) New Deal


The communists and socialists who have taken over our county just passed a three-quarter trillion bill misnamed, The Inflation Reduction Act. Mark my words; it will do just the opposite. We will see electricity prices skyrocket and all energy costs rise, including gasoline which is already ridiculously high (and not from the war in Ukraine). In other words, to keep your house warm this winter, natural gas prices are going up 17%. Buy some new blankets, bundle up, and pray for warm weather from December through February. Crammed into this already failed act is the addition of 87,000 Gestapo-like IRS agents to harass middle class hardworking small business owners, squeezing every last penny from the working backbone of our nation, with deadly force if necessary. No Republican signed on to this socialist bill--it's all on the Democrats.


More Socialism News


You may wonder why I seem obsessed with the Socialism that is running rampant. It is because wherever Socialism goes, religious freedoms (and all freedoms) cease.


John Mackey, the exiting CEO of Whole Foods Market (they sold to Amazon), said this week,


"I am deeply concerned that socialists are taking over the country.

They’re marching through the institutions — they’re taking everything over.

They’ve taken over education. It looks like they’ve taken over a lot of the corporations. It looks like they have taken over the military. And it is just continuing."


More Vaccine News


It gets even grimmer. Spoiler alert: The ultimate goal of the new vaccines is not to keep you healthy but to surveil you.


Here is the truth about vaccines:


They don’t prevent you from getting COVID.

They won't stop you from spreading COVID.

They don’t limit the severity of COVID if you get infected.

In fact, they don’t do anything that vaccines are supposed to do. This raises a profound question: what are they really supposed to do?


Yuval Hariri, a Socialist Israeli professor who is the leading thinker for the elites in the Silicon Valley of California, says out loud the real reason for coercing people into getting injected:


“Maybe in a couple of decades, when people look back, the thing they will remember from the COVID crisis is: this is the moment when everything went digital. This was the moment when everything became monitored — that we agreed to be surveilled all the time. Not just in authoritarian regimes but even in democracies. This was the moment when surveillance went under the skin.”


We keep moving closer to the mark of the beast scenario prophesied in Revelation.


Any Good News?


Pastor, do you have any good news for us this week?


Yes. We may suffer, but...


Jesus wins in the end.

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What is Causing it?

In November 2020, the Trump haters accomplished a coup to get the most powerful man in the world out of political office. They succeeded in stealing the election. To their surprise, the takedown did not stop him as they thought it would. While knocked down, he came up swinging. It is puzzling that one man is attacked as often and frequently as Mr. Trump.


The answer to this puzzle is found in studying the Old Testament book of Daniel and the New Testament book of Revelation. In them, we see a future worldwide push toward a one-world government and new world order. There is no doubt there is a global wave headed in our direction.


Early in the world's history, God had told Man to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth, but a powerful man named Nimrod thought it best to set up a one-world government and founded the city of Babylon instead. We might say that the push for a global government began as early as Genesis 11 with Nimrod, instead of filling the earth, he stopped on the plains of Shinar to build a giant tower as a symbol of the accomplishments of Man to govern himself.


Later, King Nebuchadnezzar would take world governance to another level, leading the Babylonian empire for 43 years and rebuilding it into a force to be reckoned with. God told Nebuchadnezzar in a dream that he would be the head of all the Gentile nations who would rule the world and trample down the Holy People, Israel. Nebuchadnezzar became a type of Antichrist, and that spirit of Antichrist would rule over the nations for thousands of years until today. The apostle John wrote, late in the first century, that the spirit of the Antichrist was already in the world (1 John 4:3).


There is no question this scenario will one day be entirely played out. There will be no stopping it since the prophetic Word of God decrees it. The question is, when? In 2016, with the election of Donald Trump, the world had a slight reprieve. He spoiled Satan's plan, the one-world government had to be slowed down, and the globalists had to find a way to get this America loving thorn in their side out of the way. It took them four years, but they accomplished their task by rigging the U.S. election via Dominion voting software (appropriately named) and sending a patsy to the White House, one who would go along with the plan instead of thwarting it.


One day, the actual city of Babylon, where it all began, will be rebuilt. A man will come on the scene who will be the physical manifestation of that spirit of the Antichrist; the spirit will take form. He will earnestly head the final one-world government of Man on earth.


Can the prophetic plan be slowed once again? The only valid reason for delaying it is so the gospel message can reach more people and we can win more for Christ. Any other reason is a selfish one. We can pray for God's mercy on our nation and His grace to give us time. Since we cannot change the course of world events on our own, we will have to watch and pray.



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Recap and News

Last Sunday Sermon Review


The dream of Nebuchadnezzar has been revealed and interpreted by Daniel and his three friends. The interpretation told of the future history of the world and the domination of the Gentiles over the Jewish people, what Jesus called, The Times of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24).


The dream was of a statue of various metals, each part prophetically representative of a world empire, 1) King Nebuchadnezzar: the head of gold. 2) Median/Persian empire: the arms and chest of silver. 3) Greek/Macedon empire: the belly and thighs of brass. 4) Roman empire (speculation): The legs of iron. 5) Unknown: the feet and toes, a mixture of iron and miry clay.


Finally, the dream interpreted by Daniel foretold of a future kingdom, A stone (which is the King of kings, the Lord Jesus Christ) that smote the image and became a great mountain that filled the earth. This Stone will crush all the others; It will be a Kingdom that will never be destroyed and one that will stand forever, i.e., The Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. This image of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream summarizes future prophecies regarding the Times of the Gentiles that we will see later in Daniel (chapter 7) and the book of Revelation (chapters 13 and 17).


Sunday Night Dinner and Bible Study


We studied five of the seven assemblies. Next Sunday we will look at the final two, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. In two weeks we get into the Tribulation itself. You won't want to miss upcoming studies!


Back by popular demand, our Sunday meal will be Sub Sandwiches. They were a hit last time (except for those of us watching our carbs intake - haha). If you want to bring something you are welcome to do so!


Bibles Are Still Available at our Welcome Counter.


Only $15.00 | Large Print




How about some news?

Opinions are my own, take 'em or leave 'em.


Let's begin with...


MonkeyPox Hysteria




Here we go again. Our radical government and liberal media are trying to put fear into us. This time it is Monkeypox. Contrary to what the media and government are telling us, Monkeypox is spread primarily through homosexual contact. Children who have contracted it (only 2) reportedly live with someone who is practicing a homosexual lifestyle.


What is interesting is that our government has declared Monkeypox a national emergency. But notice they are not telling people to social distance, lockdown at home, don't attend church, no hugging, no attendance at a funeral, don't visit nursing homes, and by all means, don't let your mask slip down below your nose...like we heard ad nauseam during Covid. That's because they are pandering to the homosexual crowd which drives 96.6% of the Monkeypox cases. To institute all the draconian measures they put on all of us during the covid, would be too offensive to the homosexual crowd.


The mayor of San Francisco declared a state of emergency after the city reported 261 cases of monkeypox. It's all for show, however, since, the "kink and fetish festival" for gay men dubbed “Up Your Alley” still pressed on last weekend despite monkeypox spreading like wildfire in the gay community in San Francisco. What a joke.


Why haven't the governors of the liberal states, and the President called for a national emergency due to the scourge of Fentanyl is that is plaguing our country? Opioids, led the way by Fentanyl, are responsible for over 100,000 deaths per year. Monkeypox, only 6,600 thus far, and again, overwhelmingly among homosexuals.


We shouldn't be alarmed by the liberal press and its "fear porn", or by government propaganda. If a person keeps any sexual activity within the confines of marriage, or if not married doesn't engage in sex at all the chances of getting Monkeypox is nearly zero. Yes, it sounds so old-fashioned but the solution to stopping the spread of Monkeypox is to stop practicing illicit sex.


Should We Keep Our Health Problems To Ourselves?




With the advent of Covid it seems that everyone shares the details of every sniffle they have. In days gone by we kept our health issues to ourselves or maybe only shared it with those closest to us, or the pastor.


Likewise, what is up with this affinity to test for Covid every-time we sneeze? If you're sick, stay home, wash your hands, eat chicken soup like humans have done for thousands of years. The chances are you'll get well in three days.


Here's an amazing thing about Covid. If we stopped testing, Covid cases would drop immediately and the government would not be able to weaponize it against us. Testing is of zero value unless you happen to get admitted to the hospital, which is rare in 2022.


Keep your immune system working at optimum levels by eating properly (cut out all sugar!), I have been cautioning people all along about getting vaccinated. Studies are become more and more clear that you have a greater chance of dying from the vaccine that the virus. Take care of yourself naturally and you likely won't die from Covid.


People get sick, they have always gotten sick, and they will continue to get sick. Don't let hysterical fear fueled by the media control you. I don't see a problem with telling someone when you are sick, but spare them the details.


This Might Interest Giants Fans!




The San Francisco Giants All-Star outfielder Joc Pederson will officially rejoin Team Israel for the 2023 World Baseball Classic. Read more HERE.


Things Are Heating Up Again in Israel




For thousands of years Israel has been constantly threatened by enemies. Today is no different. They are surrounded on all sides by forces that would like nothing more than to wipe them off the face of the earth. But Israel is strong and fights back. Just this week Israel launched a successful attack against the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization on the Gaza strip. Here is the article. And Here.


We Live in the Times of the Gentiles





Turkey Has Major Inflation


Since we are studying the seven churches in Revelation and they are all located in modern Turkey, this might be of interest to you.


Headline: Turkish inflation stabilizes at under 80% in boost to Erdogan


Wow! Our inflation is out of control and it is only at 9.1%.


Here is the article.


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See you Sunday | 11:00 AM


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Revelation 1:1-6

THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST

Revelation: 1:1-6| Session 2 |Notes

 

The Revelation of Jesus Christ (or, the unveiling of Jesus Christ) was given by God, via Jesus > Angel > John to show his servants (See notes from session 1 for a discussion on servants) the things which will transpire rapidly once they begin.


The author is: John. We assume it was the apostle John, but the text does not state which John, maybe it is best to just say it was John on Patmos.


Verse 2—

John bare record (Greek verb: martureo) or, gave a witness or testimony (Greek noun: marturia) of Jesus Christ. It is unclear, but perhaps by testimony he means Jesus’s own prophetic teaching while on earth.


All the things that he (John) saw This too is ambiguous, but probably the things he saw are those things represented in the vision (Later we will see it is a vision of The Lord’s Day) which came, as noted above, from God, to Jesus, to the Angel, to John.


Verse 3—

Blessed is he that readeth (The Greek word anaginosko) normally means to read out loud. The one who reads it out loud is blessed, a word which comes from a Greek word that means happy and happier. This word blessed is used seven times in The Revelation. Some might think it odd that a book about judgment would use the word happy but each time it refers to those who will not face the wrath of judgment of the Tribulation. And, since the dispensation of the Tribulation will be based on the Law, notice how many of the blessed passages are connected with works (not grace).


Blessed his he that readeth 1:3

Blessed those which die in the Lord… 14:13

Blessed is he that watcheth16:15

Blessed are they which are called… 19:9

Blessed…is he that hath part in the first resurrection… 20:6

Blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy…22:7

Blessed are they that do his commandments… 22:14


Not only is the reader blessed for reading, but also, they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things…written. The Greek word keep is tereo which is also translated “hold fast” “observe” “take care of.” It doesn’t mean keep (or ponder) those things in your heart, that is a different word, suntero (as in Luke 2.19, But Mary kept all these things…). We have to conclude this is not a promise given to us directly, since we cannot keep this prophecy and as we will see (and have already noted above) it is works based and contrary to grace.


It is possible that the blessing or happiness for the reader applies to all in every dispensation who read this prophecy of future events regarding the revelation of Jesus Christ, but not necessarily.


The word prophecy is used seven times in The Revelation. The number seven always denotes spiritual perfection (as noted, blessed is also found seven times). Since every word of Scripture is inspired, there is undoubtedly a reason for the sevens; perhaps it is to point us to the Holy Spirit who inspires His complete Word as the one who will bring these prophecies completely to life?


For the time is at hand. The word time is more clearly translated as season. Time here is the Greek word Kairos which is often translated season. It is more of a broad word, whereas John could have used the Greek word chronos from which we get our word, Chronometer (or, a watch/timepiece). In Acts 1:7 we see both words used in the same verse, chronos and Kairos.


What a blessing it would be to always be in a state of mind that the season of the Lord’s return is near! Walking in the expectation of Him returning as King of kings and Lord of lords should be something that influences our daily living. The apostle Paul instructs how we should live as believers in a season of expectation (Titus 2:12,13).


Verses 4,5—

Who is John testifying to: the seven churches which are in Asia. Last week we proposed that whenever the word church(es) (Greek: ekklesia) is used we have to make an interpretation. The word means assembly. What kind of an assembly? Since the body of Christ is not in the book of Revelation (my assumption), the seven assemblies (Again, seven being the number of perfection in Scripture) likely represent all of Israel. We don’t know what kind of assemblies since at this point in the book, we have no other information about them. [Spoiler alert: I will give you a heads up since I've read the rest of the book. I am assuming these churches are Jewish assemblies.]


Let’s not jump the gun and read into (eisegesis) the seven assemblies. We will be able to better identify them when we get to chapters 2 and 3. All that we know about these seven assemblies, as of verse 4, is that,


1) They are in Asia which in the Bible is modern day Türkiye (formerly Turkey).


2) They appear to be actual assemblies and likely, when the prophecies of this book are fulfilled (in the future), these assemblies will be on earth.


We must remember The Revelation is a prophecy of future events (1:3). Therefore, when we look at these assemblies more closely in chapters two and three, we have to be careful to not separate them from the rest of the prophecy. This entire book is one Revelation and one prophecy.


I think what we will see is that the Revelation concerns The Day of the Lord (or, The Tribulation), which during that time, there will be assemblies of people who will need certain instruction on how to live in That Day.


In our dispensation of Grace, we have letters (or epistles) from the apostle Paul in which we develop our doctrine for Christian living. During the Tribulation, these seven churches living again under the Law, will receive their own prophetic doctrine in seven epistles on how to live by the Law (works) during the Day of the Lord.


The Tribulation. As you read through the Bible there are many names used to describe what we call the seven-year Tribulation.


Old Testament Names:

  • Old Testament most common name for the Great Tribulation is “The Day of the Lord.”
  • The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord—Joel 2:31
  • The Time of Jacob’s Trouble—Jeremiah 30:7
  • One Week (or, the Seventieth Week of Daniel)—Daniel 9:27
  • The LORD’s Strange Work and Strange Act—Isaiah 28:21
  • The Day of Israel’s Calamity—Deuteronomy 32:35; Obadiah 12-14
  • The Tribulation—Deuteronomy 4:30
  • The Indignation—Isaiah 26:20; Daniel 11:36
  • The Overflowing Scourge—Isaiah 28:15,18
  • The Day of Vengeance—Isaiah 34:8; 35:4; 61:2
  • The Year of Recompense—Isaiah 34:8
  • The Time of Trouble—Daniel 12:1; Zephaniah 1:15
  • The Day of Wrath, Distress, Wasteness, Desolation—Zephaniah 1:15
  • The Day of Darkness, Clouds, Thick Darkness—Zephaniah 1:15; Joel 2:2
  • The Day of The Trumpet, Alarm—Zephaniah 1:16

 

The New Testament names for the Tribulation:

  • The Day of the Lord—1 Thessalonians 5:2
  • The Wrath of God—Revelation 15:1, 7; 14:10, 19; 16:1
  • The Hour of Trial—Revelation 3:10
  • The Great Day of the Wrath of the Lamb of God—Revelation 6:16,17
  • The Wrath to Come—1 Thessalonians 1:10
  • The Wrath—1 Thessalonians 5:9; Revelation 2:22; 7:14
  • The Great Tribulation—Matthew 24:29
  • The Hour of Judgment—Revelation 14:7
  • The Lord’s Day—Revelation 1:10


Verses 4,5 (continued)—

Grace be unto you, and peace from him which is (time present), and which was (time past), and which is to come (forever). In Exodus 3:14,15, I AM, or Yahweh (LORD).


The seven spirits before the throne. I do not agree this is referring to The Holy Spirit as some claim; If the Holy Spirit is equal with God, how can He be divided into seven? Likewise, the Holy Spirit, being equal with God does not serve God.


Angels are called both spirits, and servants (Hebrews 1:7). Psalm 104:3 states “Who maketh his angels spirits; His ministers a flaming fire.” These spirits are mentioned again in 4:5, and seven angels stand before God in 8:2. 


Some say they refer to the Holy Spirit because God the Father, and Jesus Christ are included in this salutation. They believe seven spirits complete the Trinity. But in the New Testament Holy Spirit is never included in any salutation which includes the Father and the Son (Romans 1:7; Philemon 3; 2 Peter 1:2).


The plain sense is that these are some sort of servants (created beings).

 

Therefore, the passage could be read as, Grace be unto you, and peace from Jehovah, from Jehovah’s servants, And from Jesus Christ.


At His first coming Jesus humbled himself (Philippians 2:7). At His second coming he is exalted and glorified (Philippians 2:9-11).


The Jesus of The Revelation is:


1) The Faithful Witness, Because He is faithful, we can trust this Revelation given Him by the Father.


2)The first begotten of the dead since there were others in Scripture who were resurrected, we have to assume they all died again, but Jesus was the first to rise in an immortal body in which many will follow,


3) and the prince (Greek: Arkhone=ruler) of the kings of the earth, that in all things he might have preeminence (Colossians 1:18). Psalm 89:27,37 uses all of these titles (Firstborn, higher than kings, faithful witness).


I have stated that the Body of Christ is not found in The Revelation, and yet we have this in verse 5: Unto him that loved us. While this sounds like a statement, we would apply to us in the body of Christ the us is referring to the seven churches which at this point I am assuming are Jewish assemblies (vs. 4). The pronoun us seems to be specific to the assemblies and to Israel in general. The statement him that loved us is true of God’s lovingkindness to Israel (Jeremiah 31:3; Isaiah 54:10). And washed us (that is, those in the seven churches) from our sins in (actually, by) his own blood, washing by blood (not in) is how sins were purged away in the Old Testament. It involved works.


King David knew God would wash him thoroughly from his iniquity, and asked God to wash him and he shall be whiter than snow (Psalm 51:2,7), and because of Judah’s iniquity they needed to be washed (Isaiah 1:16,18).


We too as believers in Jesus Christ in the body of Christ are washed (1 Corinthian 6:11), but things that are similar are not the same. We are washed by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit when we believe by grace through faith (not by works of righteousness; Titus 3:4-7).


Verse 6—

And hath made us (Israel) kings (Some translations say kingdom, as in royalty: 1 Peter 2:9) and priests unto God. This is one of the statements that is easy to read into (eisegesis). We should ask is this meant for Israel? If so, we cannot apply it to the body of Christ.


Here are just a few examples from several commentaries where the body of Christ is read into this passage because of misinterpreting the pronoun us:


“Believers are now a kingdom and priests with the purpose now and forever of serving God.”

“By virtue of being washed in Christ’s blood, believers become a kingdom (community) of priests…”

“Christians, therefore, are a kingdom, because they are priests…”

“This idea is expressed here by saying that Christ had made us in fact kings and priests; that is, Christians are exalted to the dignity and are invested with the office, implied in these words.


It is no wonder so many people have difficulty figuring out The Revelation; we are told by authorities from the very beginning of the book that it’s all about us. It isn't.

 

Rather, this expression and hath made us Kings and priests unto God and his Father, is very Jewish, and is addressed to the angel of the seven churches (follow the pronouns). John is quoting from Exodus 19:6, which refers to Israel. Israel shall be unto God a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.


One more thought about priests; The office of Priest was hereditary; only those from the line of Aaron were eligible (Exodus 29:9: “And the Priest’s office shall be theirs for a perpetual statute”). Perpetual means FOREVER. The last I checked my family tree; Aaron was not at the top. Peter quotes the same in his epistle regarding Israel (1 Peter 2:9).


Christians are not kings, or a kingdom of priests. We are the body of Christ, and we are not in The Revelation. Where are we then? We are present with the Lord.


To him (That is, the Father) be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.



Footnotes:

Notice the past tense, saw; he is writing this introduction last.

Modern translations from the critical text use loosed us or freed us. 

Critical text says “Kingdom”.

Walvoord, John F., and Roy B. Zuck, Dallas Theological Seminary. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. Print.

Wilkin, Robert N., ed. The Grace New Testament Commentary. Denton, TX: Grace Evangelical Society, 2010. Print.

Lange, John Peter et al. A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Revelation. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2008. Print.

Barnes, Albert. Notes on the New Testament: Revelation. Ed. Robert Frew. London: Blackie & Son, 1884–1885. Print.

Peter’s first epistle is addressed to “The (elect) strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” not to the body of Christ. The only people in the Bible shown to be elect is the nation of Israel (See Deuteronomy 7:6; The body of Christ cannot highjack the status of Israel for ourselves. Believers in the body of Christ are not elect, we have accepted the gift of salvation by grace through faith.

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The Bible Always Proves Archeology


After being discovered in the 19th century, the Babylonian Chronicles were moved to the British Museum. I remember seeing them on display many years ago. The clay tablet pictured above is from the years 605-594 B.C., the very dates which we are reading about in our study through Daniel.


The cuneiform tablet describes king Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion of Jerusalem, including his capture and exile of king Jehoiachin, the son of Jehoiakim (Daniel 1:1,2).


The tablet above reads:


“In the seventh year, the month of Kislev, the king of Babylon mustered his army and marched to Ḫatti-land (the Levant). He encamped against the city of Judah (Jerusalem) and on the second day of Adar he took the city and captured the king. He appointed a king of his own choice there, received its heavy tribute and sent (them) to Babylon.”


Archeology doesn't prove the Bible, the Bible proves archeology.


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Introduction | Revelation 1:1

Is the Church in the Book of Revelation?                               

 

Many people do it, but please don’t be one of them. Don’t try and find the church in the book of Revelation. To be fair, the word church or churches is mentioned 20 times in 19 verses in the book. So, in theory the church is in the book of Revelation. But what church is it talking about?


The word church is always translated from the Greek word ekklesia [1] which technically means a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place—it means, an assembly. Whenever you and I use the word church we have to define what it is we mean. In several places in the New Testament, the apostle Paul gives the Church as we know it today a specific name: He calls it, and us, The Body of Christ (Romans 7:4; 1 Corinthians 10:16; 12:27; Ephesians 4:12). The Body of Christ, therefore is the ekklesia (assembly) of believers in Jesus Christ which we belong to and who have accepted the gift of everlasting life and are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8,9). This Body that we are a part of is distinct and different from all the other assemblies.


Unfortunately, it has been programmed into us by well-meaning pastors, educators, theologians, books, and commentaries that the Body of Christ, as we understand is everywhere in the New Testament (there are 114 uses of the word church or churches in the NT). Even when a passage doesn’t use the word church so many people insert into into the book of Revelation, and what they mean is the Body of Christ. Here are a few examples you may not understand now, but will later when we get to the appropriate passage:


·     The four and twenty elders in chapters 4 and 5 are said to be the Body of Christ.

·     The 144,000 in chapter 7 are said to be the Body of Christ.

·     The great multitude in 7:9 is the Body of Christ.

·     The woman clothed with the sun in chapter 12:1 is the Body of Christ.

·     The wife is the Body of Christ in chapter 19:7.

·     The New Jerusalem in chapter 21 is the Body of Christ.

·     The “seven churches” are the Body of Christ.


We will see these inferences to the Body of Christ are all incorrect. For the sake of these study notes and to alleviate confusion, when I’m talking about the church you and I belong to, I am going to refer to it as the BOC (Body of Christ). The BOC has been read into (eisegesis) the book of Revelation and the result is complete confusion which results in people giving up reading it, and the book is then neglected.


In the New Testament, the word Church rarely means Body of Christ. The twenty times the word church is used in the book of Revelation, I will argue through this study, it never means, the BOC. And it is not referring to “Us”Rather, I will propose that the church/churches in Revelation always refer to Jewish assemblies.

The BOC is not the subject of the Revelation. Why is that? The BOC will have been raptured during the events of the Revelation. If we make that assumption from the beginning (that the BOC is not in Revelation), and test it all the way through, I think we will discover the book will make much more sense.


The Title of the Book.


It is not The Revelation of St. John the Divine as the KJV entitles the book; that is man’s title for it. Some translations call it simply Revelation or The Revelation to John. I think there are at least sixteen different titles for the book in as many translations, but Scripture is inspired by God and in the text itself we see the actual God-given title: The Revelation of Jesus Christ. The Greek word for revelation is apokalupsis, which is why the title of The Apocalypse is also sometimes given to the book. In its verb form the word apocalypse means to unveil (apo=away from; kalumma=a veil). Apocalypse means to take away the veil. We might use the word reveal, like parents who often go to great extremes to reveal (unveil) if they are having a boy or a girl (By the way, those are the only two genders). In the case of this book, it is the unveiling or the visible manifestation of a person, Jesus Christ. But unlike when Jesus manifested himself in the Gospels, in the Revelation he will appear in power, and in glory; and for judgment of the earth.


It is not a book of numerous Revelations, but one Revelation. Therefore, when we refer to the book, to be accurate and to keep it short we can call it The Revelation.

 

Revelation is a Complement of Genesis.


There are no less than 285 references to the Old Testament which gives the book a close connection with Israel. With so many OT references it is undoubtedly written about the people of the Old Testament who are the subjects of its history. And with so many OT allusions and references the Jewish mind may grasp it much easier than Gentile Christians who do not have an OT background. For anyone wanting to understand the Revelation, the Jewishness of the book has to be taken into account if we ever hope to understand it. 


It complements the first book of the Bible, Genesis.

 

·     Genesis is the book of the Beginning; Revelation is the book of the End.

·     Genesis records the first Creation; Revelation the New Creation.

·     Genesis describes the curse which came upon the earth; Revelation tells how the curse will be removed.

·     Genesis shows Satan’s first revolt; Revelation documents his final revolt.


The parallels go on and on; The Earth created, the Earth passed away; The Sun to govern the day, no need for the Sun; Entrance of sin, the end of sin; Man driven from the garden, man restored; Tree of life guarded, right to the Tree of Life granted; Sorrow and suffering, no more sorrow; etc., etc.


The Body of Christ is not in Genesis, the Body of Christ is not in The Revelation. To even look for the Body of Christ in The Revelation is in my opinion to pervert the literal understanding of the book.


A Simple Outline of The Revelation.


A primary reason people don’t read or even try to understand The Revelation is because it seems so complicated. I think it is man who has made it that way. In reality, the book (inspired by the Holy Spirit) is quite simple. Here is an outline in its simplest form:


Chapter 1 – Introduction.

Chapters 2, 3 – The people on the Earth.

Chapters 4:1 – 20:15 – Visions (This contains seven parts).

Chapters 21:1 – 22:5 – The people on the New Earth.

Chapters 22:6-21 – Conclusion.


There are a lot of details between those lines, especially in the chapters on Visions, but if you think of the book like this it will help you see that the plan of The Revelation is straight forward!


Chapter 1, Verse 1—


The Revelation of Jesus Christ, is the divine title of the book as we have already seen. The Greek word is apokalupsis; unveiling, revelation, manifestation. When used of a person it always denotes that he is visible (1 Corinthians 1:7; 2 Thessalonians 1:7). It is the unveiling of Jesus Christ. It is taking the veil of the future and lifting it for us to see. Because of that we are going to read and interpret this book literally; for why would God unveil something and then have us have to guess as to what it means? Whenever Jesus meant to hide something, he would speak in parables. This book is the opposite. It is an unhiding so to speak.


Which God gave him, God who is on His throne is revealing the future through Jesus Christ, and as we will see judgment upon the earth is about to be executed.


To show His servants, i.e., Jesus Christ’s servants. These are not Christians in the Body of Christ, but those of Israel. The term servant is not used of those in the Body of Christ in Paul’s epistles (letters). In fact, Paul says, in Galatians 4:7, “Wherefore thou (each individual in the Body of Christ) art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” And, while we can argue that Christians are certainly servants of Christ, it is not a title given to us as to our standing in Christ before God. Sons can be servants, but servants are not sons.


Things which must shortly come to pass, this was written 1,900 years ago and they have not come to pass. The Greek word for shortly is tachos, it is a speed word, not a time word. We get our English word tachometer which reveals the RPM (rotations per minute) of the shaft or disk in a motor. This verse tells us that when these events of The Revelation take place, they will occur with speed! Romans 9:28 says, “For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the Earth.” Business as usual will not continue forever, God will accomplish His plan and do it quickly.


And sent and signified, “Sent” is in the verb for: apostello: Having sent. We are familiar with the noun form apostle: One who is sent. We shouldn’t look at the Revelation as a bunch of signs and symbols no one can understand. Most of the signs in the book are Divinely explained (e.g., 1:16, 20).


By His angel unto His servant John, Like Abraham, Moses, Paul, and others, John was selected by God for this special message to his fellow-servants.


Next Week: Revelation 1:2-6


[1] Except in one instance (Acts 19:35) where the KJV translators, for some reason translated the Greek word, hierosulos, which is from a root word that means a sacred place and has no relation to any form of the way we understand Church today.

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Last Sunday's Sermon Review


Daniel's head is on the chopping block, literally. The decree from Nebuchadnezzar was that all of the wise men, which included Daniel and his three friends, be killed because none of them were able to tell him his dream. Talk about an insecure ruler! Since there are several more chapters in the book of Daniel we will have to assume he doesn't die, but how is he able to dodge this bullet? We will find out Sunday as we continue with session 5 of our study through the Book of Daniel.


Sunday Night Dinner and Study


The seven churches in Asia make up all of chapters 2 and 3 of The Revelation. We determined that these churches are future and will find their true fulfillment by the people on earth during the seven-year Tribulation. The churches are Jewish assemblies, not churches like you and I think of today. The angels to which the letters in chapters 2 and 3 are addressed are not angelic beings. We saw that the word angel always has to be examined and that it does not always mean heavenly angels as we often think. Rather, these angels are messengers of the community or the assemblies; that is they are men who lead each of these Jewish congregations. See the notes from our last session for more details.


It is Italian Night on Sunday. We're having Lasagna. If you want to bring something to complement that main dish please do! Dinner begins at 5 PM. Bible study at 6 PM. This week we will pray we don't have a power outage!


Our Battle Against The World


Two ideologies are fighting against each other in our world. One is an ideology of the New World Order. It's comprised of environmentalism, population control, brainwashing our children with sexual messages, open borders, and more. Then there is the ideology of a Biblical worldview that acknowledges God as the Creator. It is made up of Judaeo-Christian values which see mankind as made in God's image. It values life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These two ideologies could not be more opposite. They are colliding, big time.


It is a spiritual battle indeed, but it manifests itself in our culture. Christians are losing the cultural battle because they have dropped the ball in the spiritual realm. It is time for believers to awaken from their stupor, pay attention to what is going on, and use their freedom to vote pro-life and pro-Biblical values. Subdue the enemy who wants to destroy your children and your family.


What's for Dinner?


The corrupt media appears to be moving on from Covid. I guess they think it's running out of steam. The new focus is going to be on climate change. Get ready for it. Somehow they will try to incite panic among the population and sadly many "sheep" will go along with it. Watch for the harassment of those who want to eat steak or a hamburger. If that's you, you will be accused of damaging our environment and being selfish for doing so. Instead, they will want you to eat fake meat, and yes, even insects. It sounds like a joke, but they are not joking.


Here's what God says about it:


Genesis 9:3: Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.


Of course, Bill Gates (who looks like death warmed over) is more interested in you eating fake meat. He thinks you will REALLY be an environmental warrior if you do that!


So, if you want to eat a bug, go for it. Or if you want to pretend you're eating meat but just consuming a bunch of synthetic mush made in a lab to taste like meat, be my guest. Just don't force me to eat it with you. For me, I'll fight back by eating a slab of juicy red meat cooked over the open grill :).


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Brainwashing and propagandizing! That was the plan of Nebuchadnezzar for Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Wipe out any memory of their Judeao upbringing and turn them from the God of their fathers to the pagan gods of the Babylonians.


We are seeing the very same worldly philosophy still being played out with young people today. Until about 1963, God was included in the government school classrooms. But after that time God was removed—He was not to be spoken of in a government school. Rather, the schools began to teach a non-biblical worldview. As public education has become more and more secular (godless) the goal has always been to win over the minds of the youth. It is debated whether or not Abraham Lincoln said this, but it rings true regardless; “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” Adolph Hitler, the madman who almost controlled the world is stated to have said, “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”


During the period from 1963 up until today this shift in America has had an effect on the Church as a whole; they have become weaker too. Pastors work overtime, not in the study of the Word of God, but trying to be relevant and often watering down the Gospel with self-help psychology. In so doing, the Bible itself has become irrelevant. Children (and most young to middle aged adults) no longer know basic Bible stories. Creation is a myth and evolution is no longer a theory, but taught as truth.


Our government, universities, even so-called Christian colleges and seminaries continue to preach propaganda that influences and changes the belief systems of many, turning countless numbers of children against God and against their parents. While not being carried away to a foreign land, children are learning the philosophy and the tongue of the secular humanist (the godless). To a large extent Christians in the 21st century have lost the war against the culture and many have compromised and switched sides, joining in with the world. The apostle Paul exhorts us to “Be not conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2). That is, don’t look like the world, don’t become like the world. Go against the flow, like we will see Daniel and his friends did just that.


Young people can learn from Daniel to purpose in their heart not to defile themselves with the world. For those of us with children, or those of us who have influence over children, e.g., grandparents, aunts, uncles, godparents, etc., we can show them what Daniel did and challenge them to do the same. 


Sunday Night Bible Study


We completed session 2 in our study through the Book of the Revelation!


What a blessing it would be if we always were in a state of mind that the season of the Lord’s return is near. Walking in the expectation of Him returning as King of kings and Lord of lords should be something that influences our daily living. The apostle Paul instructs how we should live as believers in a season of expectation (Titus 2:12,13).


This coming Sunday we are having crunch beef tacos with refried beans! No need to bring anything--unless you want dessert :).



Don't Misapply Scripture.


Too often those who are "in Christ" go back to the Old Testament to gain life application. That is the wrong foundation to land on and by doing so you will be misapplying Scripture. For example when we sin we might be drawn to the old covenant ground of Psalm 51 where David wrote these stunning words,


"Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow...cast me not away from thy presence and take not thy holy spirit from me."


Those were appropriate words for David, living under the LAW. But we are FREE from the law.


Rather, we should be drawn to Romans 8 where Paul wrote,


"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus...Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?...Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us...For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."


Technology for the Mark of the Beast...Already Here?


It is not the mark of the beast (i.e., 666), but it is certainly technology that is preparing the world for the inevitable. Mastercard is introducing Selfie Pay.


Your image, which grants permission for you to make a purchase and is tied to your bank account, will be on file somewhere in cyberspace.


To buy something, a Selfie Pay user has to take a clear photograph of their face.

This is then compared against a stored image that MasterCard has on file using facial recognition algorithms.


The technology will be put to the test at First Tech Federal Credit Union in California, along with fingerprint recognition payments.


Around 200 employees will use fake accounts and to test the new payment system, making virtual donations to the Children's Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals, in a trial running from September to October. 


Mastercard says this about their technology: 'And what is easier - and more fun - than paying through a selfie or fingerprint?' 


During the Tribulation, there will be no fun associated with the Mark...but it will be easy.









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Happy 4th of July Weekend.

Last Sunday's Sermon Review


Arno C. Gaebelein wrote: "Prophecy is the lamp, which shineth in a dark place till the Day dawn. Never before is there such a need of this lamp now." The book of Daniel is a book that is important for a complete understanding of the rest of the prophetic books in the Bible.


We only looked at one verse last Sunday which introduced us to Jehoiakim, the 18th king of of Judah and who did evil in the sight of the Lord; King Nebuchadnezzar who ruled Babylon from B.C. 605-562 and was the most powerful king in the world at that time; Babylon, located in modern day Iraq where the ruins are visible, lies between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers and was the place where the Tower of Babel was built in the book of Genesis.


This Sunday we will learn more about Daniel and his three friends who were taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar and how they lived their lives in a place that was filled with evil. Maybe we can learn how we should live in our evil days?


You can find the notes from Session 1 by clicking here.

For the slides of Session 1, click here.


The Revelation of Jesus Christ


The Revelation is a book that scares a lot of people. Often, things we don't understand scare us. We are going study the book for understanding! Some say the book is confusing but if we look at it in simple outline form maybe it doesn't appear to be so daunting of a task to study it:


In reality, it takes work to understand it but it is inspired by the Holy Spirit and He wants us to know what is in it. The general outline of The Revelation is quite simple.  Here is an outline in its simplest form:


Chapter 1 – Introduction.

Chapters 2, 3 – The people on the Earth.

Chapters 4:1 – 20:15 – Visions (This contains seven parts).

Chapters 21:1 – 22:5 – The people on the New Earth.

Chapters 22:6-21 – Conclusion.


There are a lot of details between those lines, especially in the chapters on Visions, but if you think of the book like this it will help you see that the plan of The Revelation is straight forward!


The notes of last Sunday's session can be found here.


This Sunday night we are barbecuing grass fed hot dogs, with all the toppings. If you care to bring a side dish, please do. Dinner begins at 5 PM and ends about 6 PM when we will begin our Bible study in The Revelation.


Good News For Christians


The United States Supreme Court made several landmark rulings. Last week I mentioned the overturning of Roe vs. Wade; the horrific decision made 50+ years ago which has caused millions of living babies to be killed. While the decision last month doesn't end abortion it takes away what was falsely claimed to be the right of abortion. Abortion was NEVER a right and was NEVER constitutional.


The decision to overturn that earlier decision is good news, but it's bittersweet too. Unfortunately, our EVIL governor, Gavin Newsom, hates life and wants California to become the abortion capital of the world. We need to get rid of him and all the liberal democrats and others who support killing babies. Those in our State with any type of moral compass, not just Christians, need to take back California. It is disgraceful.


The First Amendment Stands Strong


Another Supreme Court decision that maybe got overshadowed by the abortion ruling was regarding a high school football coach who was fired for praying on the 50 yard line after the game.




The Court ruled his first amendment rights were violated. The first amendment protects all Americans who want to exercise their religious faith.


The First Amendment is fairly simple. It states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."


Over the years this amendment has been changed in the minds of people to falsely claim, we must have separation of church and state. It does not say that, nor does it mean that. Those in our country who hate God have decided, on their own, unconstitutionally, to make the amendment mean government must get rid of all religion. That is a lie.


What the First Amendment means is the government cannot MAKE a religion or MAKE you follow a religion. Government CANNOT establish a religion. Our founders fled England for that very reason. The Church of England was a government church forced upon everyone. Those brave men and women fled to the new world to pursue freedom. Our government cannot establish religion.


Neither can our government STOP us from exercising our religion or faith; they cannot prohibit our practice of faith. This is why in 2020, during the hysterical pandemic, when our godless governor shut down churches, OUR CHURCH CONTINUED TO MEET. Your pastor knows our rights! We have the first amendment right; we cannot be stopped from worshipping God. PERIOD.


If you don't know your rights as embedded in the Constitution, the government will take them away from you. Freedom is not free. It takes work to stay free.


The Freedom Document of July 4, 1776


Finally, on this weekend of INDEPENDENCE it is good to remind ourselves of the men who risked their own lives so that we could live free. These men were the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Read this wonderful statement and know that your rights are not given to you by man, but by GOD.


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.


May God Help and Save our Great Country!

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