Monday, May 18, 2009


LET'S TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THE BESTSELLING NOVEL, "THE SHACK" by WILLIAM P. YOUNG...Is this a biblically based book and what exactly does it teach in comparison with the BIBLE?

In “The Shack,” Young presents traditional Bible-believing Christianity as hypocritical and hurtful. The book’s main character grew up under “rigorous rules,” and his father, who was an elder in the church, was “a closet drinker” and treated his family with cruelty when drunk (p. 7). Hypocrisy is very injurious to the cause of Christ, but hypocrisy on the part of Christians does not disprove the Bible. Let God be true and every man a liar (Romans 3:4)! All too often this type of thing is used as an excuse by rebels. I know this by personal experience. In my youth I used the inconsistencies that I saw in Baptist churches to excuse my rejection of the church. The chief problem, though, was not the hypocrisy of others but my own rebellion and love for the world. When I repented of my wickedness at age 23 and turned to Christ and received the Bible as God’s holy Word, I stopped blaming others and took responsibility for myself before Almighty God. Rules and obligations under God’s grace are not wrong. They are an integral part of Bible Christianity. We are saved by grace without works, but we are saved “unto good works” (Ephesians 2:8-10). The New Testament epistles are filled with rules and obligations that believers are expected to keep and filled with warnings about disobedience. The true grace of God does not let us live as we please. It teaches us, rather, “that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12). That is a very strict standard of Christian living.There is hypocrisy in churches and there are false gospels that are law-based rather than grace-based and most churches today are corrupt, but the solution is not to reject the literal interpretation of Scripture and create a new God! God is amazingly compassionate and loving and He has proven that on the cross, but God is also holy and just and requires obedience and hates and punishes sin, and that side of God cannot be ignored without creating a false God. The flesh wearies greatly of the holiness of God! I can testify to that. From time to time in my Christian life I have gotten discouraged at God. It is not a simple thing to reconcile God’s love and grace with His awful holiness and justice. On one hand, the New Testament tells us that the believer is forgiven, redeemed, justified, accepted in the beloved, blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ, holy and without blame before God, and seated in the heavenlies (Ephesians 1-3). On the other hand, the same New Testament tells us that the believer must be exceedingly careful about how he lives before God. We are to “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1), which is the highest conceivable standard. The believer who does not pursue this is in danger of being judged (e.g., 1 Cor. 3:13-17; 9:26-27; 11:27-32; Hebrews 13:4; 2 John 8-11; Revelation 2:4-5, 16, 22-23; 3:15-16). There is even a sin unto death (1 John 5:16-17; Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 11:30). Thus there must be many warnings in the Christian life (Acts 20:31; Colossians 1:28; 2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:13; 2:15).These things seem to be contradictory to the fallen flesh and to the natural man, but they are two sides of the same compassionate, thrice holy God, and to reject either one is reject the true God for an idol. In an interview with the 700 Club in February 2009 Young described a “huge personal failure” that occurred in his life at age 38. He says, “My life crashed and burned, and I had to go back and deal with some stuff from being a child on the mission field along with other stuff in my life.” He speaks of “secrets” that he kept from his childhood and guilt that he carried. He doesn’t describe any of this in detail, but it appears that he felt guilty for not obeying God’s Word and perhaps went through psychological therapy. He talks continually of “pain,” “damage,” healing childhood memories, and such. REDEFINING GOD“The Shack” is about redefining God. Young has said that the book is for those with “a longing that God is as kind and loving as we wish he was” (interview with Sherman Hu, Dec. 4, 2007). What he is referring to is the desire on the part of the natural man for a God who loves “unconditionally” and does not require obedience, does not require repentance, does not judge sin, and does not make men feel guilty for what they do. In that same interview, Young said that a woman wrote to him and said that her 22-year-old daughter came to her after reading the book and asked, “IS IT ALRIGHT IF I DIVORCE THE OLD GOD AND MARRY THE NEW ONE?” Young therefore admits that the God of “The Shack” is different from the traditional God of Bible-believing Christianity. He says that the God who “watches from a distance and judges sin” is “a Christianized version of Zeus.” This reminds me of the modernist G. Bromley Oxnam, who called the God of the Old Testament “a dirty bully” in his 1944 book “Preaching in a Revolutionary Age.” “The Shack” explores the issue of why God allows pain and evil. It is a fictional account of a man who is bitter against God for allowing his youngest daughter to be murdered and who returns to the scene of the murder, an old shack in the woods, to have a life-changing encounter with God. The “God” that he encounters, though, is not the God of the Bible. Young depicts the triune God as a young Asian woman named “Sarayu” * (supposedly the Holy Spirit), an oriental carpenter who loves to have a good time (supposedly Jesus), and an older black woman named “Elousia” (supposedly God the Father). God the Father is also depicted as a guy with a ponytail and a goatee. (* The name “Sarayu” is from the Hindu scriptures and represents a mythical river in India on the shores of which the Hindu god Rama was born.)Young’s god is the god of the emerging church. He is cool, loves rock & roll, is non-judgmental, does not exercise wrath toward sin, does not send unbelievers to an eternal fiery hell, does not require repentance and the new birth, puts no obligations on people, doesn’t like traditional Bible churches, does not accept the Bible as the infallible Word of God, and does not mind if the early chapters of the Bible are interpreted as “myth.”

Note the following quotes from the god of “The Shack”

“Don’t go because you feel obligated. That won’t get you any points around here. Go because it’s what you want to do” (p. 89). Contrast 1 Corinthians 4:2.

“I don’t need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It’s not my purpose to punish it...” (p. 120). Contrast Isaiah 13:11; Ephesians 5:5-6.

“There are lots of people who think it [Eden] was only a myth. Well, their mistake isn’t fatal. Rumors of glory are often hidden inside of what many consider myths and tales” (p. 134). Contrast 2 Peter 1:16.

“[Your heart] is wild and beautiful and perfectly in process” (p. 138). Contrast Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:21-23.

“To force my will on you is exactly what love does not do. ... True love never forces” (pp. 145, 190). Contrast John 8:31-32; 14:15; Titus 2:11-12; Hebrews 12:5-11; Revelation 2:14-16, 20-23; 3:3, 16-19.

“Our final destiny is not the picture of Heaven that you have stuck in your head--you know, the image of pearly gates and streets of gold” (p. 177). Contrast Revelation 21-22.

“My church is all about people and life is all about relationships. ... You can’t build it. ... I don’t create institutions--never have, never will” (pp. 178, 179). Contrast Acts 2:41-42, 13-14.

“Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims, Democrats, Republicans and many who don’t vote or are not part of any Sunday morning or religious institutions. ... I have no desire to make them Christian” (p. 182). Contrast Acts 4:12; 26:28.

“Through his death and resurrection, I am now fully reconciled to the world ... The whole world. ... In Jesus, I have forgiven all humans for their sins against me ... When Jesus forgave those who nailed him to the cross they were no longer in his debt, nor mine” (pp. 192, 225). Contrast John 3:36; Acts 17:30-31; 1 John 5:12, 19; Revelation 20:11-15.

“The Bible doesn’t teach you to follow rules. ... Enforcing rules, especially in its more subtle expressions like responsibility and expectation, is a vain attempt to create certainty out of uncertainty. ... That is why you won’t find the word responsibility in the Scriptures. ... because I have no expectations, you never disappoint me” (pp. 197, 203, 206). Contrast 1 Corinthians 4:2; 2 Corinthians 5:18. In Ephesians 4-6 alone there are at more than 80 specific obligations that believers are exhorted to keep.

“I don’t do humiliation, or guilt, or condemnation” (p. 223). Contrast Isaiah 2:11; 5:15; John 3:19; Romans 3:19; 1 Corinthians 11:27; James 3:1; 5:9; Jude 4; Revelation 11:18; 20:11-15.

THE SHACK’S GOD IS EMERGENT AND NEW AGE! Not only is “The Shack’s” god suspiciously similar to the one described in the books of the more liberal branch of the emerging church (e.g., Rob Bell, Donald Miller, Brian McLaren), it also has a strong kinship to the New Age god promoted by John Lennon and Oprah Winfrey. Lennon’s extremely popular song “IMAGINE” (1971) proclaims: “Imagine there’s no heaven … No hell below us, above us only sky … no religion too/ You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one/ I hope some day you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.”

William Young imagines the same thing in “The Shack.” If there is a God, he is non-judgmental. There is no hell. God just wants people to do their own thing and be happy. Oprah preaches the same gospel to millions. Man is not a sinner; God is not a judge; all is well with the universe; and I just need to surrender to the flow. Her message is the celebration of self. She grew up in a traditional Baptist church, but she has reinterpreted the Bible and moved beyond its restrictions. She says, “As I study the New Age movement, it all seems to say exactly what the Bible has said for years, but many of us were brought up with a restricted, limited understanding of what the Bible said” (“The Gospel according to Oprah,” Vantage Point, July 1998).

DENYING THE INFALLIBILITY OF THE BIBLE! Another foundational problem with “The Shack” is its denial of the Bible as the absolute and sole authority. Note the following quote:“In seminary he [the book’s main figure, Mack] had been taught that God had completely stopped any overt communication with moderns, preferring to have them only listen to and follow sacred Scripture, properly interpreted, of course. God’s voice had been reduced to paper, and even that paper had to be moderated and deciphered by the proper authorities and intellects. ... Nobody wanted God in a box, just in a book. Especially an expensive one bound in leather with gilt edges, or was that guilt edges?” (pp. 65, 66).To believe that the Bible is the infallible Word of God and the sole authority for faith and practice is not to “put God in a box.” It is to honor God by receiving the Scripture for what it claims to be and what it has proven itself to be. If a father goes on a journey and leaves behind a written statement of his will for the family during his absence, the family that truly honors the father submits to that written record. To reject the Bible as the infallible Word of God is to launch out upon the stormy waters of subjective mysticism. It allows man to be his own authority and to live as he pleases, which is an objective of both the New Age movement and the emerging church.

CHANGED LIVES? The author of “The Shack” points to changed lives as evidence of the truth of the book and the grace of God in using it. At the National Pastor’s Conference, William Young told Andy Crouch that the book was setting people free from “addictive bondages and doctrinal bondages.” He said, “Even people who have been vocally against the book, people in their own family have been healed.”Healed of what and healed in what way? What is happening is that people who don’t like Bible Christianity, don’t want to obey the Bible, don’t want to feel guilty for their sin, and have rejected the “angry” God of Scripture, are responding enthusiastically to the man-made idol presented in “The Shack.” The following is typical of the postings at Young’s MySpace site by readers of the book:“Your book, The Shack, is amazing! It has changed so many people’s idea of what God is really like! It has set some of my friends free!”Miracles do not prove that something is of God. There is one that the Bible calls “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4), and he can do miracles and answer prayers. I saw miracles and experienced answers to prayers when I was the member of a Hindu meditation society before I came to Christ. Miracles are not the proof of the truth; the Bible alone is the proof. The prophet Isaiah said, “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20).

CONCLUSION “The Shack” is another building stone of the end-times Tower of Babel. God’s people must be exceedingly careful in these days of awful apostasy. The Bible warns: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:25-26).The willful sin described in this verse points back to the sin referred to in verse 29. It is the sin of counting the blood of salvation an unholy thing. It is the rejection of personal salvation through the blood of Christ, which many in the emerging church are doing. You can’t be saved if you reject the substitutionary atonement. In these days we need to stay in the Bible every day and be in sweet communion with Christ, confessing our sins and walking in the light. And we need to capture the heart of the next generation and educate them so they will not be taken captive by the wiles of the devil and the guile of false teachers.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


NOW THE SIX SEALED SCROLL WILL BE BEGIN TO BE UNSEALED ONE AT A TIME BY CHRIST...the only one worthy to open it (Rev 5). As always for the sake of me not having time to type out all the verses, please have your King James open as you study :)

  • The first seal is loosed by the Lamb (Christ) and with that we see the first of four horsement sent into the world. This horseman on a white horse with bow but no arrow pictures the antichrist coming to take power in the world. Notice that he has a weapon, but does not have an arrow nocked to the bow ready to fight. In Daniel 9:27, we see that when this ruler shall come he comes to make a peace treaty with that will be for "one week" or (period of seven years). In the midst of that seven years, the antichrist will break his peace accord and invade. Notice that a crown is given unto him to rule and he does conquer despite an appearance of peace. Rev 13 will shed more light on how he assumes power and authority over the world.

  • The next rider comes on a red horse symbolizing war...the description given even tells us that when he comes, peace is taken from the earth. This is not hard to understand given the times in which we live. People long for world peace now, but cannot find how to have it. It will get worse, much worse, during the Tribulation period.

  • The next rider appearing on a black horse carries a pair of balances in his hand signifying economic bad as we might think it is today, in that time, a days wage will feed one person and we'll find that to even enjoy that much, one will have to be allied to the antichrist, beast of the sea by receiving his mark.

  • The last of the horsemen comes on a grisled pale horse. Death and Hell follow him. Notice the progression here: Antichrist comes, war breaks out worldwide, starvation and economic collapse ensue and then pestilence and death follow. Hell receives all of those dying in unbelief as always.

  • When the fifth seal is loosed, we see martyrs who've been slain for their testimony of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Right now it is not too difficult in most places to be a believer, but those saved during this seventieth week (Tribulation) will find their lives taken for that faith in Christ. They cry out for justice against those left on the Earth. The Lord assures them that justice is coming and to be patient for it. Those in Heaven long for the Lord to conclude his plan and establish everlasting righteousness. White robes are given unto them all...even in death they have the victory as every believer does.

  • When the sixth seal is loosed we see a mighty earthquake and signs in the heavens. Mankind upon the earth begin to realize that God is coming in judgment, that his longsuffering is over and now comes the reckoning day. Do they stand? NO...they cower before the coming judgment of the Lord. No one can stand against God.

Stay tuned as we go on into Chapter 7 and the Seventh Seal yet to be loosed...everything gets much worse for those upon the Earth from here on!

Friday, April 3, 2009


Today we will look at REVELATION CHAPTER 5. We find that we are still in the Heavenly Realm in John's vision given unto him by God of things that would take place "hereafter."

  1. vs. 1-5: We see a Book sealed with seven seals and no one has been found who is worthy to open this book, except for The Lion of the Tribe of Judah. This is none other than Jesus Christ who is the final heir to the Davidic throne. Notice that the Book (or scroll) is sealed with seven seals which will begin to be opened in Chapter 6. What does the scroll contain? Apparently the judgment of God, since each seal loosed brings down judgment upon the world.

  2. vs. 6-7: In the vision Christ is represented not only as a regal Lion of Judah, but also as God's Lamb sacrificed for the sins of the whole world. He comes and takes the book for it will soon be opened.

  3. vs. 8-10: Now the four beasts and the 24 elders begin to worship the Lamb of God. I want to pay particular attention to the elders here and what they do...this identifies them as believers and not angels. They sing a song that states Christ, the Lamb, has "redeemed" them by his blood from every kindred, tongue, people and nation! These are believers, clearly! Notice also that they expect to reign with Christ as kings and priests under His rule!

  4. vs. 11-14: Now we have the follow-up from all creation! First we have an innumerable company of Angels who are worshipping the Lamb, Jesus Christ...boy if he isn't God, somebody should tell them, cause they are all worshipping HIm! (yes, sarcasm...of course Jesus is God!)

  5. All of creation follows in their adoration of the Lamb and He that sits upon the Throne...God the Father. And since we have a triune God, we know that Jesus said, I and my Father are one..."if you have seen me, then you have seen the Father."

STAY TUNED: In the next Chapter we descend to find what is taking place upon the Earth as the seven seals are loosed by Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.

Friday, February 20, 2009



  1. Several things happen here: First John has an experience which very closely matches the events foretold in the Rapture of the Church (1 Thess 4:16). He hears a voice like a trumpet telling him to come up - into heaven. Since this also follows the seven letters to the churches and begins those things which are still future, we may hazard an educated guess that this is a reference to the Rapture within the order of Revelation. Also, John is told that these following events are taking place "hereafter," or future. Future to what? Future to the organized congregations we find in Revelation 2 & 3.

  2. John is immediately taken into the spiritual realm into the Third Heaven. There he finds a magnificent throne established.

  3. We find various colors in play in the appearance of God upon His throne.

  4. The elders mentioned here, appear to represent the church in heaven - Why? First of all, they sit upon minor thrones with authority under God as the church is promised to be kings and priests of God and co-govern in the millenial kingdom. Secondly, they cast crowns, (stephanos) like those given in competition during ancient olympian games. The church is said to recieve such for our faithfulness and service. Thirdly and most important is a Rev 5:9 where these elders identify themselves as the REDEEMED.

  5. We find displays of power and a symbolic manifestation of the complete Spirit of God - seven lamps of fire.

  6. The sea of glass is unclear though there are thoughts on its meaning.

  7. The living creatures or "beasts" have appearance which may represent Christ in his ministry: The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the son of man as a servant, the sacrifice as the calf, and as a Heavenly King in the Eagle. This of course is speculative.

  8. Notice their role and of those in Heaven, is to praise the Lord...these in fact appear to have that sole purpose...Holy, holy, holy, perhaps representative of the Father, Son (Word), and HOly Spirit.

  9. These beasts appear to lead the worship...

  10. The elders, representing the redeemed, follow in their adoration and cast their reward crowns at the feet of the Lord. We would have earned nothing in service to God had he not had mercy on sinners in the first place and then motivated us to action in His service.

  11. Notice the entire creation has a purpose...the please the Lord who created it!

Friday, February 13, 2009


Hello everyone! I hope you are enjoying our continuing journey through the Book of Revelation. This is one of my favorite books in the bible as it deals so much with that which is still to come. Today as we study chapter 3 we find ourselves seeing "things which are" concerning the ORDER of the prophecy. Christ continues his dealings with the seven churches in Asia Minor which are meant to be representative of his churches in all locations. The encouragement as well as rebukes that Christ delivers unto the churches serve as potent warnings to those of us alive today as to how we conduct ourselves in the work of God.

We will take a look at verses and groups of verses:

  1. (1-6) Here Christ admonishes the Church at Sardis that they aren't walking right before the Lord. In fact they "have a name that they live, but are dead." It would appear that either many unbelievers were involved here or that the church had taken up a worldly stance..."there is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Folks, it is sad to say that many churches claim to be doing God's work, but rather than following the biblical mandate to preach the gospel and win souls, they are watering down the word and giving lost people anything they want in order to provide entertainment or psychological coddling to get them to come to church! Entertainment is not the job of the church! We have a job to do - a great commission to fulfill and we can't do that our way. It must be done God's way or it is dead!

  2. The warning, again, is to repent or turn from the identified wrong-doing to other words, obeying the Lord's commands regarding the work and our conduct before man and God.

  3. (7-13) Here we find Encouragement and praise from the Lord to the Church at Philidelphia. This is one of two (Smyrna) churches that receives no rebuke from the Lord. Oh how we need to be like this Church today! This church had little strength in appearance, but they held fast to God's word and to his name! Folks, its not about big buildings and campuses and all of the glitz and glam we see taking place in churches is about holding fast to God's Word and to His Name, period!!

  4. Finally we find Christ's admonishment to the lukewarm Church at Laodicea. This church appears to have it all...but their spiritual condition is completely opposite of the appearance! They appear rich and increased with goods, having need of nothing...but nothing could be further from the truth. Before the Lord, they are poor, blind, wretched, miserable and naked! WOW! How often we think things are going well in a church...I wonder how surprised we would be if we understood how Jesus sees our condition?!

  5. There is a startling example shown here: Christ on the outside of the Church knocking for admittance. There are many churches that are so far away from scriptural service unto the Lord that he's not even in it at all!!

From Revelation 3 we depart the here and now of the Church Age to journey into "things which shall be hereafter," or the future! Stay with us as we'll soon find ourselves surveying God upon the throne in Heaven and then the opening of the Tribulation period!

Friday, February 6, 2009


In this chapter we find Christ's admonition and praise for Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos and Thyatira. It must be noted that the characteristics found in the Seven Churches are still found in the churches today. Thus we have the warning: "He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the seven churches."

While there is a teaching which traces the historical connection between the main characteristics of the seven churches, we will not deal with it now due to the lack of biblical evidence to support such a teaching. (Although it remains an interesting study)

Christ's Message to Ephesus:

  1. He first praises them for their dedication and hard work

  2. He then warns them that they have left their first love. The Bride of Christ's (Church) first love can be no other than the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. Now, clearly the believer cannot be separated from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Rom 8) but the intimacy of that relationship can grow cold. We ought never to replace our closeness with our savior for the work he has left us to do. Christ makes it clear that this problem overrode all of their hard work and they were in danger of having their candlestick removed. For the local congregation, we have an opportunity to be a "light" to the community around us. Surely they were in danger of losing that opportunity should they not repent and return to the intimate fellowship with Christ.

  3. Christ also praises them for avoiding the Doctrine of the Nicolatians, which He himself hates. While some point to the hierarchy among clerics in some faiths like the Catholic church, it seems more likely that this refers to the teaching which allowed for Christians to go on willfully in sinful behavior claiming the grace of God gave them safe passage to do as they desired. Once again, Christ hated the teaching! The liberty of a Christian is not to go on in willful sin, but to be freed from sin and live unto God!

Christ's Message to Smyrna: This church was heavily persecuted and Christ encourages them to endure the persecution faithfully even unto death. They already had a promised reward waiting for them. They are one of two out of the seven that do not receive any rebuke from the Lord Jesus.

Christ's Message to Pergamos: located in a city noted for its worship of the Roman Emperor and Zeus who's altar was located at the Acropolis. (Satan's Seat?)

  1. Christ admonishes them concerning doctrine they allowed in their midst promoting fornication among believers and the doctrine of the Nicolatians, promising a license to willfully sin.

  2. Repentance was the key to avoiding a harsh judgment from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ's Message to Thyatira: Once again we find a congregation which had allowed someone in their midst who promoted fornication among believers and idol worship. Christ calls it the "depths of Satan" and promises swift judgment except for those who had not participated in this teaching. It should be noted that fornication is rampant among our churches today along with the idea that one may truly become born again and then go on living life simply to fulfill their own desires and appetites without the Lord doing anything about it. We find here as well as Hebrews 12 that God, as a Father to His Children, disciplines them to the measure necessary, even to the point of physical death (1 cor 5). A truly saved individual belongs to the Lord and we are not our own any longer!

Friday, January 30, 2009


Welcome to the Bible-Smart study of The Book of Revelation. As we begin this study, allow me to say that every time I study this book or any book of the bible, I find the Lord showing me new insights. So, it may be that we won't cover every possible detail, but shoot for a clear, good working overview of this amazing prophecy. We will either look at single verses at a time or look at groupings of scripture (ex: 1-3) within each chapter and note the main points within those groups before moving on in the chapter. Thanks so much for joining this weekly study (usually a new post each Friday) and I hope it proves helpful in your understanding of God's word.

Revelation Chapter One:

Firstly this is the Revelation (revealing) of Jesus Christ, despite sometimes being headed in bibles as "The Revelation of St. John." In this book of prophecy, Jesus is seen in all of his heavenly glory as God's sacrificial lamb to atone (pay) the penalty for man's sins to His own Holy Law. Jesus is seen as God Almighty and our coming King to takeover the Earth and reign forevermore. Now to the verses...

  1. God intends His servants to understand the things He will shortly bring to pass in human history. The apostle John (not John the Baptist) will be his instrument to bring this information to other believers.

  2. John attests that he is baring record of what he saw there on Patmos, that which God showed him through this vision.

  3. A blessing is added unto those who read and hold onto these truths with this you'll definitely get a blessing from this study, eh? Notice the admonition, "The Time is at Hand." In Daniel's vision, he was told to seal the book of prophecy given to him by visions "until the time of the end." Now, the time is at hand, so God's people were to be informed!

  4. Notice God referred to as "Him which is, which was, which is to come." This shows us God's eternal nature...He always has been and always will be!

  5. Jesus is characterized by being, "The faithful witness," for we spake as the Father gave him to speak during his earthly ministry..."the first begotten of the dead," for he was the first to die and be raised incorruptible in a glorified body, just as Believers are promised to receive (phil 3:21)..."prince of the kings of the Earth" which may refer to either to his own royal lineage through the line of King David or of Believers who through him made kings and priest unto God in the world to come. Notice the work of shedding his blood for our sins on the cross was a work of LOVE! (Rom 5:8)

  6. As we said, Christ has taken sinners and rebels from the earth and transformed them into kings and priests unto the Creator of the Universe...all possible through the cross!

  7. Notice not only the promise that "He comes" but that "every eye shall see him." How will this be accomplished? Television? Perhaps, he and the armies of heaven ride around the world before finally touching down in Israel? Or perhaps Jesus and his army remain stationary in full view while the Earth rotates beneath and then comes to touch down on the Mount of Olives? We cannot be precisely sure as is the nature of all future events. Notice the response to his coming--all kindreds (different ethnic groups) shall wail because of Him. The first coming was to provide himself a sacrifice for man's sins, the second coming will be to judge man's sins.

  8. Jesus declares himself to be The Eternal God by these statements. Can their be any doubt of his true identity as God, when he rose from the dead was seen of above 500 credible witnesses at one time and then ascended into Heaven in plain view of his disciples?

  9. John gives us his location: exiled to the little grecian island of Patmos because of his preaching Jesus Christ.

  10. Whether John means that he was simply in prayer or already within the vision is unclear, but the voice is Jesus Christ...

  11. ...who declares himself as Eternal God and instructs John to write what he sees in a book (scroll) and send it to these seven churches in Asia Minor. It should be noted that these seven were not the only churches at the time. However, some numbers have special meaning in Scripture. Seven refers to completion, as in "the seven spirits of God" or the Holy Spirit complete in all His attributes. These seven churches therefore represent all of God's congregations and later we will see that all believers are to heed the words written unto these seven.

  12. John turns to find the vision--firstly, seven golden candlesticks (lampstands).

  13. In the midst of these candlesticks we find Jesus described as wearing a robe (almost certainly white representing His holiness) wearing a golden girdle (sash)...

  14. ...His head hair is white as snow, his eyes like blazing light or fire...

  15. ...His feet like brass in a fire (usually signifying judgment) and a voice of great power.

  16. Christ is seen holding seven stars in his right hand. Seven (complete) and the right hand being a place of honor. Out of His mouth goes a sharp two edged sword and he glows brilliant like the sun. Now we must point out that this is a vision and symbolism is given here. How do we know? First, the meaning will be given soon...but we should understand that Jesus didn't have a "literal" sword stuck in his throat. It represents the power of his word and we find the Word of God described as such in (Hebrews 4:12).

  17. Notice John's reaction to seeing Christ in His glory...he loses all strength and faints, BUT the Lord responds by strengthening not holding him down as with many supposedly "spritual phenomena" like Holy Ghost glue and spirit slaying. These are never manifested in scripture. A similar fainting happens in Daniel, but it is only the prophets natural reaction to seeing the glory of God, not God knocking him down. As then, so here, God provides strength and stands his servant on his feet so they may continue with what the Lord has to say!

  18. Christ's affirms his sovereign authority even over death itself!

  19. HERE WE HAVE A KEY VERSE TO UNDERSTANDING THE ENTIRE BOOK OF REVELATION! Christ gives John the order of the events that he will witness in the vision and as we go through, we will find the events given in a consecutive (one after the other) order. Along the way, we'll find pauses where more details are given concerning certain events or people, but otherwise we are going from: "Things which thou hast seen" (Chapter One), to "the things which are" (Chapters Two & Three - instructions to the seven churches), and finally to "the things which shall be hereafter" (the future events - Chapters 4-22)

  20. Here Christ gives the interpretation of the Seven candlesticks and seven stars. Seven candlesticks symbolize the seven churches (same mentioned in verse 11) and the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches. The "Angels" referred to here could mean heavenly angels guarding the church, BUT why would Christ need John to write any instructions for them and how would he send them?? NO, these "angels / messengers" must refer to the human leaders (Pastors) of these particular congregations of believers.

This concludes our study of Chapter week we will begin looking at Christ's instructions and admonition to the Seven Churches...Please join us and spread the word about BIBLE-SMART and our Revelation study!