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November 17, 2020 7:00 am
Look into the final studio radio and Internet Ministry of finance of confessing Evangelicals featuring the Bible teaching of Dr. James Bortz for more information please contact us by calling toll-free one 804 88 18 and now the alliance is pleased to present the Bible study our preparing you to think and act biblically. This is our fourth study of the book of Revelation, and thus far we haven't answered an important question, namely what was John's purpose in writing the book dealt with a number of other introductory questions.
Kind of the book is unlike any other book New Testament of the Bible for that matter – who wrote it is drawn, evangelist, when was it written to whom was it written all those questions are important, but thus far we haven't asked its purpose a lot of people who would say that the purpose was obvious it was written to tell all who read it what's going to happen in the future course it does do that in part, the people would sigh well now, which is more important than lad, I would agree with this Joe writer to grade.
I would say it's written to encourage people to whom John is writing and perhaps people like ourselves as well.
The bear often be comforted in difficult circumstances. Shortly as part of it.
I want to suggest the real purpose of Revelation is more profound even than lab as I say it.
The primary purpose of Revelation is to enable Christians from every age and in every possible circumstance to view what is happening in history from God's point of view rather than for man to be comforted and strengthened by it.
In order to live for Jesus Christ and his glory at all times.
I can say have another way, the purpose of Revelation is to give Christians a heavenly perspective on earthly happenings, however terrible what is happening on earth may be, but install other terms which to enable us to develop a heavenly world and life view. Now I would say that this explains the pattern of the book just so much this recurring series of seven sports strikes.
This first time we read it or seven churches, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven bowls of wrath in Solon, but instead a pattern in which John passes from the scene on earth was seen in heaven example in chapters 1 to 3 have letters written to particular earthly churches. We understand that very well. That's the kind of world in which we live. In chapters 4 and five are eyes are lifted up to what is going on in heaven. Chapter 6 of the first half of seven we see God's judgments being poured out on the earth.
The last half of chapter 7.
The scene goes back to heaven where we see the publicity off and the worship of God by saints. Chapters 8 through the first half of 11 shows more earthly judgments that in the last draft of chapter 11 were back in heaven again, and so on. Throughout the book until you get to that final scene in which were back on earth once again on the people of God are looking forward to the return of Jesus Christ calling a man. Even so calm Lord Jesus is given the promise that he will say it again purpose of Revelation is to get Christians from all periods of history all circumstances. Look at things from God's perspective rather than from man's and to begin to draw comfort and strength from that perspective. That's the reason for verse eight and chapter 1/verse of this remarkable two-part introduction that we been studying briefly verses 1 to 3. The first part and then verses four through eight. The second part part was remarkable about verse eight is that here God the father himself is speaking we does that one other place in Revelation the 22nd first chapter, verses five through eight. All other places, the word of God comes to us in the mediated way through that chain of Revelation. The John introduces at the very beginning of the letter. The revelation of God the father through Jesus Christ, imparted by an angel or angels to John who records it and then conveys it to those in the churches by those who read the letter and finally to those who hear it. Here is one of the rare places where God the father himself actually is speaking money does this describe for the benefit of the readers and ourselves as well who is my various names I am the Alpha and the Omega, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
Of the words this verse is telling us who it is and stands behind Revelation is the true genuine God is eternal and un-changing and sovereign as the true God must be is an important matter, especially in some important matter to believers that are going through difficult times as many are in all do eventually is God's sovereign God regulating the affairs of this life today and at all times are things somehow out of control, or in man's hands were controlled by the devil to be reasons for supposing that God is lost control when Jesus was speaking of the end times in Matthew 24 he said that it was going to be a period of history marked by wars and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, persecutions, apostasy and false prophets, we might very well ask the question.
Does that sound like God is in control. As far as the book of Revelation is concerned. What we have unfolding here are all kinds of earthly evils, destructions, pain killings, speaks of people who are martyred for their faith in God actually have willed that person looked at the Bible's teaching expressed at the Limerick Limerick goes like this.
God's plan made a hopeful beginning but man spoiled his chances by sending we hope that this story will end in God's glory. But at present the other sides winning well and makes humorous poetry but the theology is in your breasts. The other sides winning were in big trouble. Revelation existed Thomases of the other side is not willing God is in control. He always has been. He always will be, and we can trust them. Another way this is expressed as why these titles are descriptions of God the father is a parallel here at the beginning of what we've found in verse five we look at verse five, we found three titles for the Lord Jesus Christ. Terry was called the faithful witness, firstborn of the dead, ruler of the kings of the earth on this verse. In a parallel manner describes himself as the Alpha and Omega, the one who is in a wise and holistic on the Almighty, much as think of those times when you begin to think of God and the character of God, you stand and I think rightly must in all say to yourself man could possibly speak about God. I possibly understand them are: even if we have an intimation of who we might be convey that in some meaningful way to other people. The answer is of course none of us would dare to do that of God is not taken pains to reveal himself. The way does it is through titles are names like this, we turn to them and we say, well, what do they mean God says I am late Alpha and Omega. What does that mean what does it mean if he says I'm the one who is was was to calm the Almighty. Let's take them one at a time. Alpha and Omega is a figure of speech like others that take the first of the last item in the series to imply everything in between is a technical word for it is called a mannerism we would have the same thing. Perhaps if we said, I learned of all ages see Hebrew. I would say they did it for my left atoll and of course the rabbis had expressions like that. They said Adam disobeyed the law. But Abraham kept it for my left atoll. Many kept of all the same sort of thing that all men when he was describing experience in Judaism, the third chapter of Philippians where he said as for legalistic righteousness. I was faultless so often. Omega means that God in himself is not only the source but he also embraces all things. The apostle Paul puts Latin words we study very carefully and I referred to again and again at the very end of Romans 11 is very talking about God. And Paul writes for from him and through heaven to hammer all things.
Therefore, to God be the glory, a man of God is the source of any embraces everything that there's more to the word than this blending of God is the source of an embraces all things. That includes not only all things physical, but all things that would include time for example, the words would be a way of saying that God is eternal is what Moses wrote about in Psalm 90 before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting you are God. It means that God always existed before. There were mountain superstars or quarks or quasars or anything else that we are aware of God was there and not only for a day or a week or a month for a millennium reserve or an eternity was never a moment when God was not God's eternity involves other attributes. Theologians talk about things that usually call them the incommunicable attributes, which means there things that are true of God can't be said to be true of us in any way.
Some about God's attributes are communicable. God is God of truth we could know truth and parts of God is a God of love we experienced what love means because we share in that aspect is personality but not these attributes God's incommunicable attributes included in addition to eternity. None of us are eternal. The attribute of self existence. That means is that God has no origin is always been there and he owes his existence to nobody. When I speak what we are.
We have to say something like this, we would say I am what I am by the grace of God made me and therefore I am what I am. But when God speaks of himself.
He doesn't speak of wanting says I am who I am is just a great Miami always was God existed himself alone consequence of this is the delay in the purest sense is unknowable. We could never exhausted because we always think when we think in terms of knowledge of cause-and-effect. We say this is here because of something else atoll.
We understand it, but you can't do that with God. He always was God's self-sufficient, which means that he has no needs depends on the one again were not like that you don't know what it is to be without needs. We have needs all the time. We need oxygen to breathe food to eat, close to where houses in which to live in all sorts of other things that were deprived of some of these things even for a few moments. We cease to exist by doesn't need anything in himself. He has absolutely everything. This runs counter to the idea that many people have about God because they imagine that he has created what he has created ourselves, especially in order to supply some needed himself imagine.
Perhaps God was lonely, eternity, and so we created us to keep them company. They forget that God is a Trinity was always fellowship within the Godhead of the father, the son of the Holy Spirit. God does not need people to keep them company. Other people suppose a God. These worshipers treated people out there to praise him somehow. But God doesn't need that one writer said of every individual on the face of the earth became an atheist. Tomorrow, refusing to acknowledge God's existence. God would be no more deprived by our atheism in the sun would be deprived of light of all of us became blind. It would just be our failure to see the problem but it wouldn't affect the sun either. But our atheism effect on some people suppose a God needs helpers even suggesting that God created us to somehow get the job done with truth course of God has given us the glorious privilege of participating in his work as he works through us is even called his co-laborers fellow workers with Jesus Christ. But it doesn't mean that God needs us dogmatic very well without us any hands long before we came to be, but he has chosen to use us. Let's do only to his own freedom sovereign will. Somebody might say well that's true.
Doesn't that reduce the work that we're capable of nothing that they could've no importance of God doesn't really need us know that's not the way it is a matter fact is that is the case, I quoted a moment ago from Psalm 90 that's a song written by Moses.
Moses, there was conscious of death. His brother has died. Miriam's diet is the last of the family that remains reflecting and that Psalm on how insignificant human beings are how short is the span of life but nevertheless it comes to the end of that.
He talks about his work.
He asks the eternal God, it was not week exist only for a moment to establish it. So the last verse says by the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us, establish the work of our hands. For as you establish the work of our hands is because God is eternal and doesn't need is that what we do actually matters because God makes account of the eternal span of things that one reason for the book of Revelation we have to see when we are in times of persecution. Everything seems to be going badly or trouble comes into our life, but nevertheless I would bear up under that really does matter.
It matters to God. Moreover, not only does God establish the work of art rarely establishes us because what he saying is that we will be victorious over our enemies and we will ride with us on the Lord Jesus Christ forever let's the first of these titles. What about the second one God who is and who was and it was to, when we look at those words earlier in the chapter and verse two I commented on the unusual grammar of the phrase. Some critics of the book claimed that his barbarous grammar does shouldn't say he should actually be another case pointed out the time that is actually echoing that great name for God that disclosed Moses at the burning bush when God said, I am who I am name is called tetra graviton. It's a technical word that means the four letters from the Hebrew alphabet that actually constitute the name your okay while in hey we would write it down is why WHW by H. WH there variation of the Hebrew word to be so that's a way of saying that God is pure being words you put it this way exist in all the tenses of the Hebrew verb existed in the eternal passings is now always exist, drawn out a little bit in the Old Testament.
Certainly John was aware of that as he writes these words since found in Isaiah 44, six, for example, where God says I am the first of I am the last.
Apart from me there is no God again in Isaiah 48. 12 so similarly I am he.
I am the first, I am the last rabbis that further reflected on the meaning of Exodus 314 parallel verses may express that this why God is saying I am he who is in who will be. I am now what I always was and always will be. Am he who is was. I am he who will be we say at that point will know what is that name one thing it means is that God will change God will change. It means his character.
When change is an eternal being. He is today. What he always was and what he is today will always be the Westminster shorter catechism even puts that into that famous definition of God is one of his attributes of the question says who is God, the answer comes back this way, God is a spirit, infinite, eternal and unchangeable as being wisdom and power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth should be a great comfort to God's people because it means that God can be counted on to be what he is revealed himself to be true of mere men and women beings are in a constant state of change.
We can always count on my promise to be our friends but they change their attitudes toward us for Dennis Curtis attitudes are changed by their own changing interests or desires of their experience or perhaps even what we do a W poser wrote a brilliant book on the character of God says. At this point what piece it brings to the Christian's heart to realize that our heavenly father never differs from himself coming to them at any time. We need not wonder whether we shall find them in a receptive mood is always receptive the misery you need as well as the love and faith. He does not keep office hours are set it aside.
When you see no one neither does he change his mind about anything. Today, this moment, he feels toward his creatures toward babies to work the sick, the fall and the sinful exactly as he did when he sent his only begotten son into the world to die for mankind.
God never changes, moves or cools off in his affection or enthusiasm and something else that only does God's character, not changes. Truth doesn't change.
We sometimes say things we don't really mean is we don't know our own minds and hearts or we sometimes say things that we think are true at the time that we find later that their lottery can't stand to them all have to recall our words at times because I only ceased to express what we now think that that's not the way it is with the words of God.
They stand forever versus JI Packer as a bitingly valid expressions of God's mind and thought no circumstances prompted him to recall them. No changes in his own thinking required him to amend them. Isaiah says all flesh is grass. The grass withers with the flower word of our God shall stand forever. God is the only being in the universe word can be always and absolutely trust this as well. Only does God character, not change, or is truth not changed either to his purposes change our plans to change can see the future we can anticipate what might happen. Also we lack the power to do all we made a plan to do. God is lacking any of those areas see has perfect knowledge of all things, past, present and future and he has infinite power to accomplish his desires says in Numbers 2319 God is not a man that he should lie, or son of man that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act answer of course is no promise of not fulfill answer is no. Again change your mind or your course of direction means to revise your thinking about things, but God doesn't have to do this because his plans are made on the basis of the perfect knowledge in his perfect power ceased of their accomplishment. Alice has a number of applications of God's purposes don't change then God's purposes for Christ will not change what is God's purpose. Jesus Christ is to glorify him. Paul told the Philippians that God is exalted Jesus to the highest place in order that the days to come every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of the glory of God the father that so it's foolish to resist Christ and Christ borate you may attempt to do it now as many people are doing the days coming when Jesus must be confessed is Lord even by those who won't serve him as Lord in this life book of Revelation is going to show exactly how it's going to happen again if God's purposes do not change then God's purposes for his redeemed people will not change what is his purpose for his redeemed people.
The answer is his purpose is to make us like Jesus Christ bring us safely through life's journey and was own present at the end of time. We read about it in Hebrews.
Listen, God made his promise to Abraham since there was no one greater for him to swear by.
He swore by himself saying I will surely bless you and give you many descendents.
So after waiting patiently. Abraham received what was promised and swear by someone greater than themselves of the oath confirms what is said in puts an end all argument. But God wanting to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath, God did this so that by two unchangeable things in which impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged God's purposes to bring his own end of the full enjoyment of their inheritance into their hope and so we can be assured of it to confirms it by an oath revived in revelations God opening our eyes to see in the flow of historical events exactly what he's doing because he begins to show us that from his own perspective one more point on this God's purposes do not change in God's purposes for the wicked will not change. We also see that revelations God's purpose is to judge the wicked. This is what he will do. Exodus 34, seven says he does not leave the guilty unpunished. Other passages such as those of Revelation speak of the judgments themselves affected God doesn't change in his determination punish the wicked and establish justice should be a warning to any who have not yet turn from their sin to trust the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior W. Pink wrote about it he said those who defy him break his laws have no concern for his glory, but live their lives as though we did not exist, must not suppose that one of the last glacial cry to them for mercy will alter his will revoke his word and resend his awful threatenings not only it is said.
Therefore, I also deal in cure by I might spare neither will I have pity they cry and my ears with a loud voice. I will not hear them as words are of the Bible just as much as the glorious promises I should be a warning to any you think they can get by without believing in Jesus Christ will come to the last term last term is the Almighty is a translation of the Hebrew words else should I occurs for the first time in the Bible in Genesis 17 verse one God speaking to Abraham. He says I am God Almighty walk before me and be blameless.
The chapter which he establishes his covenant with Abraham.
The formula thus says the Lord Almighty Lord Almighty says this occurs again and again throughout the Bible you find it many many times in Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi other parts of the Old Testament, but strikingly, I don't know the reason for this only find it 10 times in the New Testament and nine of these are in Revelation. The only other occurrence in second Corinthians as part of a quotation Old Testament here in this last book of the Bible, God is holding before us. The fact that he is the all-powerful one. The Greek translation of that Hebrew word OSHA by his Pentecostal RN it means the omnipotent literal English translation of the Greek term sword that John uses in that text handle picked up in the Messiah. Revelation 19, six hallelujah, for the Lord God omnipotent reigns in the NIV translation. It says, hallelujah, for the Lord God Almighty reigns unless the word an attribute that John wants to leave with us as we move from this introduction, the amazing revelations that it's the purpose of this book to unveil what does it mean when we say that God is the Almighty is easy, it means that God is God. God is sovereign over his creation means a because God is God and because God is Almighty God does as he pleases. He does only as he places he doesn't always basis is great concern is the accomplishment of his own pleasure and the promotion of those own glory. He is a supreme being and therefore the sovereign of the universe, the unbelieving world hates this doctrine because it stands opposed the desires of the human heart to do whatever the sinner wants to do and that promote his own glory for the Christian is altogether different. Knowing God is sovereign is a number of things. One thing it does. It is deepens our veneration of the living and the true God. What kind of a God, would he be if his will, were constantly being thwarted by man's disobedience of evil designs of Satan but kind of a God, would he be of his sovereignty were restricted so that he couldn't invade the citadel of the human will do very bring a rebellious sinner out of the death of sin, the love and trust Jesus Christ to God like that wouldn't be worthy of our worship. In fact, a God like that wouldn't be God. God rules the universe auto accomplishes as well.
God was never frustrated either by human beings of the devil is God joyfully sought after and worship and obey God is sovereign also gives comfort in the midst of trials and temptations and sorrow succumbed everyone to Christians as well, as those who are not Christians. All of us at one point or another have to ask the question, how are we to meet them where to face them with no certainty that there controlled by God and ultimately are designed by him for his own good purposes that Layard without meaning of all of life is without meaning is indeed a tragedy is precisely what the existentialist other people that influence them. Think many people today think like that it's what they are saying that, by contrast, the troubles as well as the good things of life are sent and controlled by God and trusted God is accomplishing a good purpose for us and them be both comforted and strengthened what I have been describing is the ultimate purpose of John's writing the book of Revelation. Finally, knowing that God is sovereign will afford us a deep sense of security. We look at ourselves will in no security at all because we're weak, fallible, sinful creatures. We have a day and we are gonna be look to the world around us are going to be utterly dismayed because the world is possible.
Moreover, the Lord of the world is stronger than even our best inclinations.
We locked ourselves or do we look to the world. We look to the sovereign God.
God was Almighty and eternal, and is able to save us from all levels and preservatives and has indeed promised so we say is the apostle Paul Davidson came to the end of that great eighth chapter of the book of Romans. I am convinced that neither death nor life finger angels or demons of the present or the future, nor any powers, either height or depth or anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. That God's people have always said amen it's prayer. Father, we thank you that you are what you are, we can possibly begin to exhausts understanding of who you are, we approach it with such finite and indeed sinful mind, we tend to fashion everything by ourselves instead of seeing ourselves being fashioned by you. We confess that we asked forgiveness for the same time, we praise you because you have revealed yourself in ways we can begin in part to understand that we might be encouraged to live as Christians glorify you, all circumstances, whatever they may be on the verge of a new millennium. We don't know the months or years ahead may hold. We know that you hold time as well as all things in your hand.
What is also important. You hold us. We trust you for Frazier you are listening to the Bible study hours with the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance exists to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of reformed theologians from decades and even centuries gone by. We seek to provide Christian teaching that will equip believers to understand and meet the challenges and opportunities of our time and place. Alliance broadcasting includes the Bible study hour with Dr. James Boyce every last word with Bible teacher, Dr. Philip Reich, God's living word with pastor, the Rev. Richard Phillips and Dr. Barnhouse in the Bible featuring Donald Barnhouse. For more information on the alliance including a free introductory package for first-time callers or to make a contribution. Please call toll-free 1-800-488-1888. Again, that's 1-800-488-1888. You can also write the alliance at Box 2000, Philadelphia PA 19103 or you can visit us firstname.lastname@example.org for Canadian gifts mail those 2237 Rouge Hills Dr., Scarborough, ON, and 1C2Y9 ask for your free resource catalog featuring books, audio commentaries, booklets, videos, and a wealth of other materials from outstanding reformed teachers and theologians. Thank you again for your continued support of this ministry