Prophecy – Part 57 – The Picture of Things Hereafter con’d, Rev. 5:1-4; Psalm 116

In our last study we were considering the throne and the book in God’s hand.  God was looking for someone who could take the book out of His hand and open the seals.  No one worthy was found to open the book because of its contents.  Who could possibly take the book and begin opening the seals which would reveal the destiny of the world.

Chapters 6-21 of Revelation will reveal what is going to happen in the end time of the world.  The One who will open the book must be the One who cannot only open the book, but One who can oversee the end times events.

Revelation is the book of redemption.   The book contains the destiny of the world and what is going to happen in the end time, the end of the world.

“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  Now when these things BEGIN to happen, LOOK UP AND LIFT UP YOUR HEADS.  BECAUSE your REDEMPTION draws near” Luke 21:25-28, emphasis added, NKJV).

“For WE KNOW that the WHOLE CREATION groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.  Not only that, but we also who have the FIRSTFRUITS of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.  For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance” (Romans 8:22-25, emphasis added, NKJV). 

 “In Him you also trusted, AFTER YOU HEARD THE WORD OF TRUTH, THE GOSPEL OF YOUR SALVATION; in whom also, ‘HAVING BELIEVED’, you were ‘sealed with the Holy Spirit promise’, who is the ‘GUARANTEE’ of our inheritance UNTIL the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1: 13-14, emphasis added, NKJV).

NOTE:  To help us understand the book in God’s hands we should think thru the following 26 things:

  1. God’s people are to be redeemed and the evil and corrupt people are to be overthrown and consumed. 
  2. A new earth and heaven are to be created. 
  3. All the redeemed are to inherit the new earth and heavens (Revelation 21).
  4. This is both the fate and the redemption of the world.
  5. This is history written before it happens.
  6. Therefore, the person who opens this book MUST be a person who can grasp exactly what the book is saying and is capable of handling the end times.        
  7. Then He must be able to carry out God’s will and execute the events.
  8. There is only one such Person, The Son of God Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ.
  9. Christ alone is worthy to open the book.
  10. This is the book of Redemption, the book of historical optimism.
  11. The same book is referred to in Daniel 12:8-9 and Ezekiel 2:9-10.
  12. The message of this book is now prophesied as the seals are broken and the events of the last days are seen.
  13. Note the size and thickness of this particular scroll.  It takes seven seals to bind it.  
  14. All that is in the rest of the Book of Revelation is contained therein.
  15. Note also, the book is in God’s hand. 
  16. It means that history is in God’s hand. 
  17. It means that God is in control of the future.
  18. It means God is Sovereign.
  19. It means that God is in control of all things.
  20. It means that God has a plan for the world and mankind.
  21. It means that God has a plan and purpose for the entire universe.
  22. The remaining question:  Who is worthy or who can carry out God’s plan? 
  23. Who can accomplish God’s purpose?
  24. Who can rule and reign over the end times of the world and the new earth and heavens.
  25. It has to be God Himself in the form of His Son, the One and Only, the Lord Jesus Christ.
  26. Christ ALONE, the King of Kings and Lord of Lord is worthy and capable!  He alone is capable and able to take the book and control the future events that are being laid out in the rest of the Book of Revelation.

Let’s understand significant lessons for us:

The book is in God’s hand.  This reflects several things:

  • God is in charge of human history.
  • He has a definite plan and purpose for the universe and each thing or person that He has created.
  • Man has tried over the centuries to make a plan which he has created to control the past, present and future.
  • Man’s plans have all failed.
  • God’s plan and purpose will not fail!

God is going to bring history to a climax and establish righteousness throughout all the earth.  Consequently, the believer is to be the most optimistic person on earth.  Would God include you in that group?

“In my Father’s house are many mansions:  if it were not so, I would have told you.  I GO to PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU.   And if I go and prepare a place for you, I WILL COME AGAIN, AND RECEIVE YOU UNTO MYSELF, THAT WHERE I AM, THERE YE MAY BE ALSO” (John 14:2-3, emphasis added, KJV). 

I wonder how many reading this really believe that Jesus is coming back again for His people?  In other words, how many people who claim to be Christians believe in the Rapture?  That He is coming back for the Church, His people. 

Fact:  We have seen that during the present age the Lord is doing something special:

  1. He is building His church – Matthew 16:18.
  2. When He has completed His work, He will return to the earth’s atmosphere and will receive the Church, His bride, to Himself.
  3. This truth is taught in I Thessalonians 4:13-18 and in 2 Thessalonians 2:1.
  4. This truth is implied in some 19 plus verses John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Corinthians 1:6; 16:22, “Maranatha” means “our Lord comes”; Philippians 3:20; I Thessalonians 1:10; 2:19; 3:13; 2 Timothy 4:1, 8; Titus 2:13; James 5:7-8; I Peter 5:4; I John 2:18,28; 3:2;2 Timothy 4:8; Titus 2:13; and Revelation 22:7, 12, 20).

NOTE:  Many, if not all, of these passages may also refer to Jesus’ second coming to earth.  They will fuel this anticipation in the hearts of true believers who will be living during the Tribulation Age.  Keep in mind that the Lord’s return for His Church [the Rapture] is not His second coming to earth or a part thereof.  The second coming of the Lord takes place just before He establishes His millennial earthy kingdom, at the end of the Tribulation Age.   The Rapture of the church is the next prophetic event for mankind on God’s prophetic time calendar and could take place at any time (I Thessalonians 4:13-18).

NOTE:  The Lord’s return for His Church and the events that are related to the Church’s removal to heaven comprise the  believer’s “hope,” or expectation.  Because of the blessing of these events, this hope is described as “blessed” (Titus 2:13).

It is also a “living” hope (I Peter 1:3), for the Object of our hope, the Lord Jesus, is forever alive (I Timothy 1:1; Revelation 1:18). Being an expectation, this hope rests upon God’s true, and certain Word (John 17:17; Titus 1:2).  In a review of certain NT passages that speak of this hope, I direct our attention to a consideration of how they relate to the participants, notice their anticipation in the following 5 key ideas.

First Notice – The anticipation of their experiencing the Transformation of Their Bodies (I Thessalonians 4:13).

This physical transformation will complete the work of salvation in the lives of the Lord’s people (Romans 8:23, 13:11; Philippians 3:20-21).  Presently, the bodies of the dead are in a state of corruptibility (the disorganization and decay of death).  The bodies of the living are in a state or mortality (destine to die and return to dust).  These bodies must be changed to incorruptibility and immortality (I Corinthians 15:53).

While you no doubt understand that the present form and state of our bodies are suited to life on earth; our bodies must be changed and will be made like the resurrected, glorified body of the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 24:36-43; Philippians 3:21; I John 3:2-3).  Meanwhile, we who are saved wait for this glorious change (Romans 8:23).

Second Notice – The anticipation of their Seeing and Sharing in the Lord Jesus’ Glory (Romans 5:2).

Essentially, the glory of God is the visible radiance of His divine perfections, fully and equally manifested by each Person of the divine Trinity (John 17:5).  Understand that we who are saved and living shall never possess this divine glory, for our human nature will never be divine.

It was God’s purpose to make us after the nature of our Lord’s humanity (Romans 8:29).  He will share His exalted human glory with the members of the redeemed community (Hebrews 2:9-13; Romans 8:18-19; I Corinthians 15:49; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 1:27; 3:4; I Thessalonians 2:12; 2 Timothy 2:10; I Peter 5:10).

Third Notice – The Expectation of their Receiving Their Inheritance (I Peter 1:3-6).

God’s people are His possession (Ephesians 1:18); their inheritance is the Lord Jesus Christ (v. 11).

NOTE:  Today the Lord Jesus Himself is our possession (Ephesians 1:11; John 5:12; Colossians 1:27).  Because of this, we have unlimited resources and blessings in Him (John 6:35; I Corinthians 10; Ephesians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Hebrews 13:5-6; 2 Peter 1:3; Philippians 4:13 – Christ strengthens us; 4:13 – Christ supplies all our needs).

The believer’s future will consist of those spiritual realities and blessings that He has prepared and reserved for us in heaven (I Peter 1:4; John 14:2; I Corinthians 2:9).

The Apostle Peter described this inheritance as being incorruptible (indestructible), undefiled (UNSTAINED BY SIN), UNFADING, AND RESERVED FOR US.  Scripture also indicates that we will share in the Lord’s earthly inheritance when He returns to rule (Hebrews 1:2; Psalm 2:8-9; Matthew 11:27; John 3:35; Romans 8:17).

The riches of this future inheritance are indicated by the presence and ministries of the Holy Spirit in our lives (Ephesians 1:4), which are only the first installment of all that we shall experience.  Having the Lord Jesus and all that He has prepared for us makes us wonderfully rich beyond our wildest imagination.

Fourth Notice – The Anticipation of their Seeing the Fruit of their Earthly Lives and Ministries (I Thessalonians 2:19).

This anticipates the time when the Lord, having completed His work of building the Church, will evaluate the lives of His people.  Then He will make known to them all that He was pleased to do through their lives (I Corinthians 15:58).  It should motivate us to allow Him to do His work through us for God’s glory (Philippians 2:12-13; John 15:4-5; Ephesians 3:20; 2 Timothy 4:7-8).

Fifth Notice – Their Anticipation of Entering Eternal life (Titus 1:2; 3:7).

The Scriptures teach that ALL who are trusting in the Lord Jesus for their salvation now HAVE eternal life (John 1:12; I John 5:11-12).  But because our bodies are still unchanged, we cannot now experience all that this new life in Jesus offers.

When the Lord changes our bodies, we shall fully enter the experience of all that this spiritual life means.  With our changed bodies, we shall fully perceive and utilize all that God has for us and shall completely express our new life in Christ without the eclipses of sin and the smudges of imperfection.  With bodies like that of Jesus, we shall be like Him in our thinking, will and emotion (Romans 8:29; I John 3:2).

These wonderful aspects of our expectation in the Lord Jesus have no equal in this world.  Daily, we should anticipate these blessings.  This will lighten burdens, sweep away discouragement, and add excitement to our daily routine.

NOTE:   As we embrace God’s truth, the God of all hope will fill us with joy and peace of mind so that we might experience the power of the Holy Spirit.

APPLICATION AND CHALLENGE:  Think a bit about what we have studied and see if you agree and can apply these truths to your life.

  1. Chapters 6 through 21 are going to reveal what is in the future for mankind.
  2. Revelation is the book of Redemption.
  3. Notes one through twenty-six direct our attention to information we need to understand.
  4. What significant things have we looked at that we should remember?
  5. Do you really believe that the Lord Jesus is coming back to Rapture His church?
  6. Do you recognize that His return could be soon?
  7. Are you ready for His return?
  8. If not, would you like to be?
  9. If so please read: John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8-10 and follow Romans 10:9-13.

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