At the very beginning of this teaching, I’m going to make a bold, outrageous statement you may or may not agree with. Here’s that statement: 2,000 years ago when God was here as a human named Jesus of Nazareth, He brought to a complete end and fulfilled all prophecy in the Old Testament. Yes, Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled all Old Testament prophecy (Matthew 5: 17). There is no more prophecy in the Old Testament yet to be fulfilled in the future: nothing in any of the prophetic books of the Old Testament is yet to be fulfilled. But we must know the Old Testament in order to understand any prophecy in the New Testament. For example, over 400 times the Book of Revelation in the New Testament refers to the Old Testament; that’s an average of 18 times per chapter in Revelation; it is absolutely rooted in the symbolism of the Old Testament.
Here’s another statement consistent with the one I just made: The Book of Revelation is about the revealing of Jesus, about unveiling Him. Revelation is not simply a vision given to John; it’s an unveiling of Jesus to us. The Greek word for “revelation” is apokalypsis from which we get the English word “apocalypse,” that simply means “holy unveiling.” The Book of Revelation is the holy unveiling of Jesus, NOT about unveiling dreadful apocalyptic events in the so-called end-times. Whatever your end-time views, I encourage you to place your hope in a Person, place your hope in Jesus, not in supposed, upcoming prophetic events. Place your hope in the Solid Rock, Jesus!
Throughout the New Testament, there are smatterings of prophecies, but most of the events about which they prophesy already occurred 2,000 years ago as recorded in chapters 4 – 18 of Revelation. I’m going to go one step further: I’m making the outrageous statement that only the last 4 chapters of the Book of Revelation are yet in the future, yet to be fulfilled. Those 4 chapters contain the only Bible prophecies yet to be fulfilled.
Revelation was written in 65 or 66 A.D. The events of Revelation in chapters one, two, and three were already occurring at the time John wrote the book. Chapters 4 – 18 would happen very soon from 66 to 72 A.D., a seven-year period known as “The Great Tribulation” when Jerusalem was virtually wiped off the map, the Jewish Temple was destroyed, and their way of life almost came to an end with over 1,000,000 Jews slaughtered by the Roman armies in Jerusalem and throughout the land of Israel. Only chapters 19 – 22 of the Book of Revelation are yet to be fulfilled prophetically.
Please understand that I am not trying to push my views on you and convince you my views are true. I realize how limited my understanding is and that I am a finite human who makes many mistakes. My understanding is still very limited. I simply ask that you give me your attention for the next 20 minutes are so and hear me out. If you disagree with my findings and conclusions, that’s okay, but please hear me out.
What I have just stated is the viewpoint from which I shall be teaching about Anchor Ten, “Hope in Prophecy,” for the next 20 minutes or so. That now leads me to address the topic of end-times in Bible prophecy—and finding hope in Bible prophecy, as Anchor Ten states.
There really wasn’t a lot of teaching about biblical end-time prophecy until approximately World War I, 100 years ago. I won’t go into detail about that; you can research that for yourself. But since approximately World War I, the evangelical world has turned out millions of pages of so-called end-times prophecy purportedly from the Bible—thousands of pages of books and other literature, thousands of hours of radio time, thousands of hours of television programming, and even more thousands of hours on social media. What about the end-times? When did the end-times—the last days—really begin?
To answer that question I’m simply going to refer you to a few references in the New Testament; after reading them, you can form your own conclusions about when the last days began: Acts 2: 17, 1 Corinthians 10: 11, 1 Timothy 4: 1, Hebrews 1: 2, and 9: 26. My own conclusion from just those few references is that the last days—the end-times—began the moment Jesus was born and have continued for 2,000+ years. Yes, the last days have been occurring for 2,000 years; we may be near the end of the last days—the so-called end-times, but personally I feel it’s more true to say that we are near the beginning of the next age—the new times, the beginning times—than to emphasize we are living in the end-times.
Early on the morning of June 5, 2020, I was sitting on my back deck watching the sun rise while drinking a latte. All of a sudden, Holy Spirit began flooding into my consciousness and spirit so many thoughts and concepts about prophecy and the Book of Revelation that I could scarcely keep up with what He was telling me. I immediately knew He was telling me something I had never thought of before—and making it clear to me that He wanted me to change the remainder of this entire teaching from what I had been planning. The following portion of this teaching is what Holy Spirit wants me to share with you—instead of what I planned to share with you.
First, Holy Spirit was emphasizing to me what I already suspected at some level. The Book of Revelation is the revealing, the unveiling, the uncloaking, the disclosing, pulling back the curtain, the uncovering of the risen, living, glorified Lord Jesus. Here’s what Revelation 1: 1 clearly states: “This is the revelation of Jesus, which God gave Him to show his servants—things which must take place very soon. And He told me, John, to write this revealing, this unveiling of Jesus.”
Yes, Revelation certainly contains prophecy but it’s not primarily a book of prophecy; the main thrust of the Book of Revelation is, well, the revelation—the revealing of the Lord Jesus in all his unveiled splendor; it’s the drawing back of a curtain so we can see Jesus as He really is now. It’s simply a continuation, a fleshing out, so to speak, of Jesus as He is now—as the disciples earlier saw Him in splendor on the Mount of Transfiguration. The episode on the Mount of Transfiguration was a glimpse, a foretaste, a “preview of coming attractions,” so to speak, of who Jesus would later reveal Himself to be really like in the Book of Revelation. It’s important for us to vitally connect the scenario on the Mount of Transfiguration with the Book of Revelation.
Second, I was seeing for the first time that the Book of Revelation can almost be considered a “worship manual” with various scenarios for worshipping the unveiled Lord Jesus on his throne. The Book of Revelation is not so much about prophecy; it is a call to worship! It’s a heavenly worship service in progress—in which we are invited to participate. The Book of Revelation is a book of much symbolism and imagery written to the early church and easily understood by them, because they were extremely familiar with Old Testament prophecy. For example, to clearly understand Revelation one must first be very familiar with the Old Testament books of Daniel and Ezekiel. And we must understand that the wrath of the Lamb in chapters 4 – 18 is restorative and redemptive—not vehement anger and rage.
And remember this very important point: Jesus Himself said, in Revelation 1: 3, “Joyous blessings are poured out to those who read this Revelation—upon those who hear, embrace, and treasure this revelation; it’s time has come.” Read the Book of Revelation. God will bless you for doing so!
Third, here’s some of what Holy Spirit revealed to me on the morning of June 5th about the unveiled Jesus in the Book of Revelation. Listen to what the Spirit is telling us about the unveiled Jesus. Please consider the next few minutes as a grand roll call for the King of all the ages of time and eternity to reveal Himself to us in a new and living way.
Jesus is the Truth-Teller who promises to abundantly bless those who read his Revelation. He is the One who was dead, but who is now alive, who invites his dear friend, John, to come to his throne room to observe Him in all his scintillating splendor, and to write about Him and about the events soon to take place on the earth. Jesus is God’s Faithful Witness, the Firstborn From the Dead, and the Ruler over the kings of the earth. He is the One who constantly loves us and washes us from our sins in his own spilled blood. It is Jesus alone who brings us his great salvation. Jesus has made us kings and priests to reign with Him in his glory and dominion. He reigns as both Eternal Son of God and Eternal Son of Man. From behind the scenes He orchestrates all events on earth and in heaven to turn all his judgments into victory as I taught about in Anchor Six. Jesus is the only One who dispenses true justice.
He is the One coming with clouds—his voice as a loud trumpet, as the sound of many rushing waters. Every eye shall see Him, even those who pierced Him. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending, the completion of all things on earth and throughout the universe. He is the Almighty One who was, who is, and who is to come. He is clothed with a white robe and a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair are white like glistening snow, and his eyes are shooting flames of fire. His feet are gleaming like bright metal as though they were glowing in a fire. Jesus’ face is shining like the brightness of the shining sun. Out of his mouth projects a sharp, double-edged sword. He holds the keys that unlock the first and second death and Hades. It is He who searches all minds and hearts and unveils the final mysteries of God. Jesus is still walking among his Church today; He is here in this portion of his Church —today—now—this very moment. Are you seeing Him revealed to you?
He is the One who knows all there is to know about his beloved Church, his Bride—and yet loves his Church beyond measure—even with all its present faults and shortcomings; He is preparing her to be a Church clothed in white raiment without spot or wrinkle. He is the One who eternally stands and knocks at the door of his Church. Jesus gives grace, truth, peace, and eternal rest to his servants in his Church, his Living Body on earth and in Heaven. Jesus is the One who awards the Crown of Life to those who remain faithful in following Him. He gives to each person according to their works. He is the One who writes our names in his Book of Life from the foundation of the world. He confesses our names before the Father and his angels. He is the One who makes those who overcome pillars in the temple of the Living God. He is the Light in the temple in the New Jerusalem.
Jesus is the Lamb slain, the victorious Conqueror on a white horse. He is not only the Lamb slain, but He is also the Great Shepherd of all his sheep and lambs. He is God. Jesus is human. Jesus is the glorified One. Unveiled, He is blindingly bright; He is scintillating. Jesus is the Bridegroom. He is the Host at the Marriage Feast of Him and his lovely Bride, the perfected, united Church of all the ages—everywhere and everywhen. Jesus is the Lord of his Church. He is the King of all Creation. Jesus is worshipped by all his vast, unbounded creation. Jesus is the One who beckons all humanity to eat from the Tree of Life. He is the One who writes his Father’s name on our foreheads. He is the One who holds all power over all nations.
Jesus is the One whom the Elders of all humanity worship. Around the Lamb seated on his throne are hundreds of millions of angels, living beings, and elders. Around his throne is a rainbow, a sea of glass, and multitudes of living beings. All the redeemed of Israel bow before Jesus in worship. He is the Ruler over all the earth. Jesus has freed all humankind from their sins. Jesus is the Almighty One with all power on earth and throughout all creation. He is the Son of Man, representative of all humanity before the Father. Yes, Jesus is still walking among his Church today; He is here in this portion of his Church —today—now—this very moment. Is He revealing Himself to you?
Jesus is the One who has the power to command angels, cherubim, seraphim, and other heavenly beings to carry out his commands on the land, sea, and air. He is the One who has fully defeated and conquered the dragon, that old serpent, and cast him and his minions into the lake burning with refining fire and healing, cleansing sulfur. He is the One who will finally eradicate sin from all creation—sin never again to besiege and infect all humanity. Jesus is He in whose hands are the scrolls revealing the full restorative and redemptive purposes of God. He alone can open the scrolls and loose God’s redemptive judgments and purposes.
Jesus is the One who uncovers all mysteries. Jesus is the One who despises dead, empty, and powerless religion. To those who are hungry, Jesus gives Hidden Manna to eat. He confers white stones with new names inscribed on them. Jesus searches all minds and hearts. He gives his followers power over the nations of earth. He gives the bright, Morning Star to his followers. Jesus confesses our new names before the Father and angels.
Jesus opens and no one shuts—and shuts and no one opens. He sets before us open doors. Jesus grants us to sit on his throne with Him. Listen to Revelation 4: 11: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory, honor, and power, for You created all things, and for your purposes they were created and exist.” Jesus is the Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the tribe of Praise to God. He is the One to whom all humanity sings their praises. Hear these words about Jesus in Revelation 5: “Because You were slaughtered for us, You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals. Your blood was the price paid to redeem us. You purchased us to bring us to God out of every tribe, language, people group, and nation. You have chosen us to serve our God and formed us into a kingdom of priests who reign on the earth. Worthy is Jesus the Lamb who was slaughtered to receive great power and might, wealth and wisdom, and honor, glory, and praise. Praise, honor, glory, and dominion be to God-Enthroned and to Jesus the Lamb for all the eons of time and throughout eternal realms.”
Jesus is the chief of the twelve tribes of Israel. He is the loving, caring Great Shepherd who leads all who thirst to fountains of Living Water and wipes away all tears from our eyes. He created the universe and all within it. He takes leadership over all the nations of earth. Jesus is the One who rewards his servants, prophets, and saints. He is the male Child born of a woman to rule all nations with a rod of iron—a symbol of firmness, but not of tyranny. He is the One who has all power over the one who accuses and deceives his followers.
Jesus gives us power to overcome. Jesus is the One to whom we sing this new song with those in Revelation 15: “Mighty and marvelous are your miracles, Lord God Almighty! Righteous and true are your ways, O sovereign King of the ages! Who will not revere You with awe, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For You alone are holy, and all nations will come and bow in worship before You, as your blessings are revealed.” Are you seeing the Father reveal the Son, and the Son reveal the ways and works of Holy Spirit—God in action—and Holy Spirit reveal the Son? Are you seeing the blessed Trinity, One in three and three in One?
Jesus is the Lamb who overcomes, because He is Great Lord of lesser lords and High King of lesser kings. Listen to his words in Revelation 19: “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns! Let us rejoice and exalt Him and give Him glory, because the wedding celebration of the Lamb has come. And his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen shining bright and clear, has been given her to wear, and the fine linen represents the righteous deeds of his holy believers.” Are you—part of his Bride—making yourself ready for that universal wedding day and the eternal celebration feast to follow?
He who sits astride the white horse is called the Word of God. It is Jesus who righteously judges all, both small and great. It is Jesus who forever tabernacles among all humanity. Jesus makes all things new—freshly restores all things. Again, listen to Jesus’ closing words to us in Revelation 22: “Behold, I am coming quickly! I bring my reward with Me to repay everyone according to their works. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the Completion… I am the bright Morning Star,… ‘Come,’ says Holy Spirit and the Bride in divine duet. Let everyone who hears this duet join them in saying, ‘Come.’ Let everyone gripped with spiritual thirst say, ‘Come.’ And let everyone who craves the gift of living water come and drink it freely. ‘It is my gift to you! Come.’ May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the holy believers. Amen!”
Do you see Him clearly now—the unveiled Jesus, the revealed One. Does your spirit now long to humbly worship at the feet of Jesus? Do you now see the true Jesus, the real Jesus—not the Jesus of dead religion, not the Sunday School Jesus, but the One we find revealed in his Book of Revelation? Do you see Him walking among us here today, this very moment—revealing Himself to us?
Years earlier, John wrote in the fourth chapter of his Gospel: “Our worship must engage our spirits in the pursuit of truth. God is Spirit, and He longs to have sincere worshipers who worship Him out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in humble adoration. Face to face with Jesus in the Presence of our Father: that is his desire and his delight—desiring our hearts even more than our worship itself!”
We now see the unveiled Lord Jesus revealed to us and to all humanity in the Book of his Revelation of Himself! Come, let us humbly worship the unveiled Jesus!
SING the following 3 or 4 times in a slow, joyous, and worshipful manner:
Come we who love the Lord, and let our joys be known.
Join in a song with sweet accord;
Join in a song with sweet accord,
And thus surround his throne,
And thus surround his throne.
The Mount of Zion brings forth my deepest worship songs,
Before I reach more heav’nly heights,
Before I reach more heav’nly heights,
And stand among Immanuel’s throngs,
And stand among Immanuel’s throngs.
Then let our tears be dry and all our songs be known.
We’re striding through Immanuel’s land;
We’re striding through Immanuel’s land,
To bow before his throne,
To bow before his throne.
Do You see the Lord Jesus sitting on his throne today—high, exalted!—with the train of his robes filling the Temple…whom you are? Do you see the seraphim calling back and forth to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is God-of-the-Angel-Armies. His bright glory fills the entire earth!” (From Isaiah 6)
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