Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Time of the Church is Drawing to A Close!



God makes sure in the previous chapters in the Book of Revelation, that our hearts are in the right place, when we took an in-depth look at the seven churches written to in letters from Jesus. Which church are you most like in your current spiritual life, who are you as a Christian? You've been invited by Jesus to get your heart ready for what starts right now in the Book of Revelation 4. All these previous chapters up to this point has simply been an introduction as we discovered who Jesus is, who the church is and needs to be before we really dig into the meat of this powerful book. This is where we get into the actual study of the book of Revelation. The best commentary we could ever have on the Bible is the Bible! Let the Bible interpret the Bible! It is easy to get swayed by people, we hear biases from people. We need to test everything against the word of God. You will never go astray when we do that.

In Revelation, chapter 4, we see John being transported somewhere. John is no longer talking about the things he has seen in the past, he has now been removed and sees heaven in the first three verses of Chapter 4. So you have to ask yourself, John, who is a member of the body of Christ, the church, is now come up here is now viewing everything that happens from heaven what is happening on earth. Who is John, where is he, what is he seeing? These are the questions we will look at. From this point on, the church on earth is no longer talk about. It is gone. In fact, the next time we meet the church isn't until Revelation 19, where she is with Jesus, in heaven, getting ready to return with Him. The thing most people are searching for in life, is hope. Jesus is Your hope! You can't read the Bible without the star of the Bible, and that is Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:50-53 is a great commentary on the Bible. It is a great commentary on what we will be studying today.  " I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed - in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable, must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality." 

He's telling us that something has to change before we get into heaven. The apostle Paul is telling us that a change must happen. As we look at the Book of Revelation, we already know 5 key points from what we have studied.

1. That all those that read this book and hear this book will be blessed.
2. That when something is symbolic or typological, it tells us.
3. That Jesus Christ is revealed as Creator God of all things. (Chapter 1)
4. That Jesus has written seven (far reaching) letters to His churches.  (Chapters 2-3)
5. That there is a divine outline that interprets this book (Revelation 1:17-19)

Revelation 1:17-19 ~ "When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said; "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later."

"Write what you have seen," that is Chapter 1 of the Book of Revelation.
"what is now," that is Chapters 2-3 in relations to the letters to the seven churches.
"and what will take place later." that is Chapters 4-22.

The Book of Revelation is divided up into three distinct divisions. The first part, "the things which you have seen," Chapter 1. The second part, " what is now," Chapters 2-3 in the letters from Jesus to the seven churches and finally, the third part, "what will take place later." This includes from the beginning of Chapter 4, all the way to Chapter 22.

Revelation 4:1-3 ~ " After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I head first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this." At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was the throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne."

There is an undeniable transition that takes place here in Revelation 4 beginning in verse 1. The question you have to ask yourself is this undeniable transition that takes place here has happened already in verse 1 that has gone on from the closing verse of Chapter 3 to the beginning verse of Chapter 4.

Chapter 4:1 is a clear indication of the rapture of the church. It happens between the earthly events of Chapters 2-3 and the heavenly vantage point from Chapter 4 onward to the end of the book. There is an undeniable transition that has taken point.

It will be at the moment of the rapture.

Revelation 4:1 ~ "After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I head first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this."

Here you cannot escape the fact that from Revelation 3:22 to Revelation 4:1, something radical and drastic has occurred. The scene has taken a dramatic shift, from the earthly situation of the church to it's new heavenly position. Special consideration of Chapter 4 to the end of the book, from here on out, you no longer hear about, nor see anything of, the church on earth in any form. The apostle John's vantage point is now in heaven looking down to earth, and the cataclysmic events of the Tribulation Period. It's not until Chapter 19 that we hear from or see the church again, and it's in heaven with Jesus Christ.

The $64,000.00 question is this....How did the church get from earth to heaven in just one chapter?

The answer is priceless, by the rapture of the church! The church is now in heaven.

We now come to those things that take place after the church has been removed from the earth via the rapture of the believers. The timing will be of God.

Revelation 4:1 ~ "After this I looked," 

"After this?"  After what ? After the things of the church are done on earth.  You can't get away from the fact that something radical has happened. When the church age is complete. When will Jesus come again? When He comes again! Seven times to the seven churches the Bible says, "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." But the church is gone after Revelation 4:1.

Revelation 13:9 ~ "If anyone has an ear, let him hear." There is no church, only individuals. It's (the church) never again spoken to or referenced except in heaven. So how did they get there? People now come to Jesus independently, there is a body of believers but there is no longer any church. These are the Tribulation saints.

If timing is everything, then understand this, the church is gone from the earth, gone from the Book of Revelation until Chapter 19, contrary to the teachings of Mormon, the Seventh Day Adventists and the Roman Catholic Church. You can't find any other proof of the church in Scripture after this moment, unless you do damage to the Scriptures which cults are famous for. Their very background of the churches mentioned here shows that they believe the church has to endure this all the way to the end. They do damage to other portions of scriptures when they take away the security we have in the Lord.

At the moment of the rapture, the place will be with God. That's the wonderful thing about the rapture is it takes us to the glory of the Lord.

Revelation 4:1 ~ "After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I head first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, "Come up here,"

The very next event that pertains to the church in a global sense is the opening of a door in heaven. There is an invitation, to "Come up!" with a strong military command and the Holy Spirit will obey that command. It is not an option to decline. The rapture of the church.

Revelation 2:5 ~ "Behold, I will come to you quickly." That is urgent!

Revelation 2:16 ~ "Behold, I will come to you quickly." That is urgent too!

Revelation 3:3 ~ "Behold if you do not watch, I will come to you as a thief." That is serious.

Revelation 3:11 ~ "Behold I am coming quickly." That is even more urgent.

Revelation 3:20 ~ "Behold, I stand at the door and knock." That is intense!

Jesus is warning and warning for us to pay attention and take heed. There is an urgency in each of these progressions of these verses. There is going to be one amazing worship service when we get to heaven. There will be horns, shouting, praising, throwing down of crowns.

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