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Back to the Future, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
September 16, 2022 4:00 am

Back to the Future, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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September 16, 2022 4:00 am

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This book beloved will give to the one who loves us and the one who released us from our sins by his blood, the one who made us into a kingdom and made us priests before God. This will give him dominion that he deserves action of landmark sermons from John MacArthur's 53 years of pulpit ministry. We call this series the New Testament beginning to end. And today you will hear the compelling concluding message taken from Revelation chapter 1 titled back to the future. The book of Revelation is difficult for many people so difficult that lots of people abandon it altogether. Perhaps you've neglected it yourself well today. John's going to show you the incredible blessing that comes from studying Revelation and the future riches that await every believer.

So hear what today's lesson is John MacArthur and now we have that great privilege of going back to the future in our study of Revelation. Now no book in the Bible reveals more of the glory of God or more of the splendor of Jesus Christ than this book, and though it is so singularly blessed it is still misunderstood and misinterpreted and neglected more than any other book in the New Testament. Surely too many.

It is a closed book. It is a sealed book and that is exactly what God wanted it not to be not help us in our orientation in the book. I have tried to bring this introductory section from verses one through six into several component parts. I'm not really struggling here in America. A memorable homiletical outline but justice sort of segment these things so that we can grasp them and the richness of them piece by piece. So what are we learning in this wonderful opening section 1. The essential nature of the book the central theme. The divine source. The specific recipients in the prophetic character must look at a six point right. Let's call it the supernatural delivery the supernatural delivery. We note that in verse one.

This is a marvelous point Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his bond servants, the things which must shortly take place. Listen now and he sent and communicated it by his angel here is it supernatural delivery. Now this is got to intensify my interest.

My this is very very usual, you know something. This is the only book in the whole New Testament that was delivered and transmitted by angels this is wonderful. This sets this thing apart.

This is a very unusual situation with the Lord has chosen to bring the message of this book down to us by means of angels. Now what other great bit of Revelation was delivered by angels.

What was it was the law of Moses wasn't act 753 you have received the law as ordained by angels and now we have this incredible book delivered by angels. In Revelation 2216 as it closes out, we read I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify to you these things for the churches.

This book is sent by an angel. The word sent apostate last, from which we get apostle is the idea of a commission representative with authority on a mission.

So there.

There is angelic mission here. God turns loose angelic beings to bring this Revelation of Jesus Christ to John to his pen and now to us. He sent and communicated it by his angels.

Angels appear in almost every chapter.

Just listen to this there in chapter 456-789-1011 12 1415 1617 1819 and 20 there all the place 67 times in this book were going to get closely acquainted with the Angels, then we meet number seven in our littlest kind of breaking up this introduction its human agent to the Angels bring the message to be written down to whom to the Angels give the vision whom the angels give the Revelation, it says communicated by his angel to his bondservant John by the angel who belongs to Christ to the bondservant who belongs to Christ. Namely, John, and John is absolutely overwhelmed. He never stops being overwhelmed. Look at chapter 1 verse nine I John I John it's almost like he says can you believe this. I John am getting this stuff. It's almost like you can't say and I I have to say John it's it's me getting this unthinkable. In chapter 21 he still kind of overwhelmed.

He says and I saw the holy city, as if to say, can you believe that chapter 22 verse eight and I John am the one who heard and saw these things not tell me something about John's Gospel.

Do you remember something when you study John's Gospel in the entire gospel. How many times does John refer to himself. None but he's a humble guy, but here that's why you does refer to himself because he's in shock that he's getting all this verse to tells us about them, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw a tell you one thing about John when he was young and when he was old he was a faithful witness. You remember what he wrote first John how he started it. What was from the beginning what we have heard what we have seen with our eyes. What we beheld in our hands handled it concerning the word of life and the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness. He said I'm right and I'm talking about exactly the way I saw it and exactly the way I heard it and exactly the way it felt when I touched it.

This is a true witness. You know the witnesses somebody is awesome happen tells about the witnesses I've been witness. I saw I saw attempted murder with. It took me to court they said your witness, tell us what you saw her and felt when I did so witnesses and John was a faithful witness. He bore witness to the word of God piece, he saw the word of God coming to him through these visions brought by angels and he bore witness secondly to the testimony from Jesus Christ. Now we come to the personal impact of all this. Number eight in our littlest as we break this up its spiritual blessedness its spiritual blessedness. This is so wonderful verse three Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it.

Blessed, blessed. If you listen to this being read and explained and you hear it with obedient ears and you heed it in your life will be blessed. That is the promise of God in this book. Look at the end of the book chapter 22 verse seven.

I want to show you a similar promise verse seven behold I am coming quickly.

Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book. At the beginning is the blessing at the end is the blessing, both from the beginning to the end. The promise we are blessed. So what have we learned the essential nature of the book. It is the revelation the central theme, Jesus Christ, the divine source God the specific recipients.

His bond servants, namely believers. The prophetic character things which must shortly take place.

It supernatural delivery comes through angels, its human agent is John its spiritual blessedness is indicated to us there in verse three.

For those who hear and heed in all of that is joined by next point. It's compelling urgency.

It's compelling urgency.

The end of verse three for the time is near the time is near the work time here, not Chronos.

That's clock time calendar time.

The word is Kai Ross that's ethical time eras ethics seasons.

The word near and goose simply means the next great epic of God's redemptive history is near. It's on the horizon, its imminent I see what the Holy Spirit is endeavoring to do is to force everybody in the church from the time this was written on to live in the light of the fact that this is the next event and since we don't know what it's going to happen we have to live as if it were going to happen in the immediate future. This is not a concept unfamiliar to Scripture, God can say it's near and yet somebody's going to say will 2000 years of past is God really mean what he says yes, if you understand that near means next and you understand secondly that what might seem a long time to you is very brief to God since with him a day is as a thousand years a thousand years of the day. That brings us to 1/10 point this is wonderful still in the introduction its Trinitarian benediction.

Frankly, this is so overwhelming that there needs to be some note of praise. At the very beginning and were going to see that in a moment, but before the praise comes. We need to look at the benediction that comes in versus four, five and six. This takes this great truth of the coming of Christ and presses it to us again, as verse three. Did with the idea of blessedness verse four John to the seven churches that are in Asia. That's Asia minor.

Modern Turkey, seven churches located there.

In the western half of Asia minor. There named in verse 11, you see them there. Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea, then the standard greeting to them. Grace to you and peace.

And here comes the unbelievable Trinitarian benediction. This is just God pouring out on us. His love and grace, peace from him who is and who was and who is to come in from the seven spirits who are before his throne and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

To him who loves us and released us from our sins by his blood and he has made us to be a kingdom and priests to his God and father Stoppard. This is the Trinity folks this thing begins with an unbelievable benediction from the Trinity benediction means blessing here comes grace and here comes piece from the alternately to the seven churches in the true believers in them and all true believers. So this is a love letter God sending you his blessing.

The Holy Spirit is sending you his blessing Jesus Christ is sending you his blessing. All three members of the Trinity are sending you grace and sending you peace. It's lesson, it's their wish for you that you have grace, it's God's wish. It's the spirits wish it's the sons which is their wish that you have peace. It's God's wish. It's the spirits wish it's the sons wish I promise you one thing if they wish it you'll get it. Blessedness of this first God is identified from him who is and who was and who is to come.

That's the eternal God, the source of all blessing all grace and all peace and I cannot resist or use only very fascinating. It sees God in time dimensions, though he is timeless because that's the only way we can understand him. He is eternal he was. He is used to come looking at the past the present in the future. This title is used many times. Look at verse eight. Again, God is described as the one who is who was and who is to come. The all mighty and John moved to the second member of the Trinity verse four and from the seven spirits who are before his throne is so wet and I thought there was one Holy Spirit. There is there is say what what why is it seven spirits here. Well, several possible answers to that one is that seven is the number of fullness and so is identifying the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

Another is that back in Isaiah chapter 11 in verse two there is a wonderful statement about the Holy Spirit. There it says in the spirit of the Lord will rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord there.

You have seven aspects of the Holy Spirit. He is the spirit of the Lord, the spirit of wisdom, the spirit of understanding the spirit of counsel, the spirit of strength, the spirit of knowledge of the spirit of the fear the Lord that's sevenfold ministry of the spirit is also possible that Zachariah could be in the mind of God. This this greeting is sent Zachariah chapter 4 and I will take time to go into it in detail, but it is possible that the idea of the seven spirits goes back to Zachariah chapter 4 verses 1 to 10. In verse two. What you see and I said I see and build a lampstand all of gold with its bowl on the top of it and its seven lamps on it with seven spouts belonging to each of the lamps that are in the top of it. Now here is the 77 lamps verse 10 again the similar idea. The seven are the eyes of the Lord which range to and fro throughout the earth. You say will not. Could this be a reference to the Holy Spirit.

Yes, it could be because right in the middle of this passage is this statement not by might nor by power, but what by my spirit.

Verse six and then John moves into the remaining member of the Trinity. Grace and peace from Jesus Christ. Verse five the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. What a glorious description absolutely thrilling. John says he is the faithful witness, the faithful witness, the second title he gives him is the firstborn of the dead. What is he mean firstborn doesn't mean is the first one ever to be raised from the dead. No others had been raised in time before him what it means. Of all those who were ever raised. He is the preeminent one firstborn proton cost means preeminent that of all ever been raised before or after. He is the preeminent one that he gives him 1/3 title, the ruler of the kings of the earth. He will make him the ruler of the kings of the earth effect in Revelation 1916 he will be King of Kings and Lord of lords, and what a king is all my Daniel 437 causing the King of heaven.

Matthew two to the king of the Jews. John 149 the king of Israel.

First Timothy 117 the king of ages. Psalm 24 seven. The King of glory.

Revelation 15 three the King of the saints and finally the king of King now look at those three faithful witness speaks of his past to what God has to say in the past.

He gives faithful witness, resurrected Lord, that is the proton across the chief of all of ever been raised is his present role and ruler of the kings of the earth's future. He witnesses faithfully to the truth of God and so his witness is true, he presently in resurrection glory is the chief of all of ever been raised and therefore sits at the right hand of the father and someday in the future will be the ruler of all the kings of the earth is also true that he will become that ruler because he is the chief of all who have ever been raised and he will become that ruler because he has been a faithful witness. This is remarkable for in this wonderful letter. The Trinity sends us a benediction and that leads us to a last perception its exalted doxology.

John can't contain himself. He just can't. I mean he's only end of this thing six verses, and he can't contain himself, and how does he wrap up verse six. To him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Why does he say that because Jesus Christ look at it is the one who loves us and released us from our sins by his blood and he has made us to be a kingdom of priests to his God and father, and thus, to him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever.

Amen. This is an exalted him of praise is on to him who loves us present tense. Please present tense, abiding love, Paul said nothing will separate us from the love of Christ.

God's love is not past experience is a present reality and his love for us at this present moment is in as full a force as it was when Jesus died on Calvary love this. When we hated him and he keeps on loving us. Now that we belong to him. He loves us and in the past. At the cross, released us from our sins by his blood blood. There a term referring to his entire atoning work when you see the reference to the blood of Christ. In Scripture, it is a reference to his full atonement. Blood signifies death. In the case of Christ sacrificial substitutionary death for sin. Through his death, his atoning work on the cross.

He released us from our sin.

My, what a great truth.

He loves us so much that he made us into a community of Saints forever bound together in the confines of a kingdom over which he rules and we enjoy his loving rule in his loving sovereign Almighty protection is given us, as it were, the privilege of being ruled by the King of Kings and reigning with him.

Furthermore, says John. He made us priests to his God and father having been released from our sins, we have become a kingdom a part of the kingdom we've entered by faith were under his rule.

We have also become priests. What is that mean we now have direct access to God doing a priest is one who had the right to enter God's presence. We now are all priests. That's what we say we believe in the priesthood of believers we all enter into the holy place. We all have access to God or the Savior we have no wonder John says to him who loves us and who released us from our sins by his blood, and then made us to be a kingdom over which he rules and made us priests who have immediate and direct access to God the father to him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever.

What is he mean he means this one who has given us all of this has the right to everlasting praise everlasting glory everlasting sovereignty. That's what the word dominion means.

In fact, it would be an eternal injustice if he didn't get the glory. And he didn't get the dominion forever and ever. Then he adds that wonderful solemn response. Amen. That means, let it be, let it be so does John conclude his introduction and so does he sweep us into the future to grasp the richness of this incredible book and he can't even get out of his introduction without being lost in praise this book.

Beloved will give to the one who loves us and the one who released us from our sins by his blood, the one who made us into a kingdom and made us priests before God. This book will give to him the glory and the dominion that he deserves forever. You're listening to John MacArthur and a one-of-a-kind series here on grace to you one that's taking you through the New Testament beginning to end well. Today's lesson put the finishing touches on one of the longest series we've ever produced with messages from every book of the New Testament John, I'm wondering what is the take away. What's the application of such a unique collection of messages for the first take away is the reminds me of the kindness of the Lord to allow me to preach through the entire New Testament. Amen. It took 35 years to go verse by verse through the whole New Testament and is beneficial as it might be for others. I am the real beneficiary of that 35 years of intense study in the New Testament.

And that's wonderful to be able to select from the 27 books of the New Testament, a kind of a highlight message has redone in this series we touched on every book in the New Testament we were limited to 20 of the 27, which gave us a pretty good sweep through that wonderful part of God's revelation we started this series with the first message I ever preached at Grace Church, the only church I've ever pastored and we end of the study today with an exciting look at the new heavens and the new earth. So the series is covered many of the major themes in the New Testament, including the identity of Christ. Justification by faith election.

The inspiration of Scripture and many others, and would also look at the number of practical topics that prove Scripture has everything you need for life and godliness. All that to say this is an excellent study for a new believer, a young person or even a nonbeliever with questions about Christianity and the Bible. The title of the series again New Testament beginning to end. You can download all 27 messages for free from our website Jide and we can even get you the messages in a 27 CD album if that works better. You can order that today yes friend.

This is a great overview of the New Testament featuring some of John's most memorable sermons from the past five decades, including the very first sermon. John ever delivered as pastor of Grace Community Church here in Los Angeles. To download this series or to order the CDs. Contact us today our web address Jide you can also call our customer service representatives Monday through Friday at 855 grace again. This collection of landmark sermons, one from each book of the New Testament is titled the New Testament beginning to end. You can download the whole series. Also, if you'd like to dig even deeper into the New Testament. Remember that John has written commentaries on every book of the new test you can order a single volume or get all 34 volumes covering the entire New Testament. The commentaries are excellent for pastors, lay leaders, or anyone who wants to know God's word in greater detail to order individual volumes or the entire MacArthur New Testament commentary series called 855 grace or visit our website Jide that address one more time. Jide now for John MacArthur. I'm Phil Johnson reminding you to watch grace to you television this Sunday and then be here at the same time on Monday when John shows you how to live for God's glory.

That's the title of the study that comes your way with another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you

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