The Apocalypse of Jesus Christ—Prologue Part 2 | Revelation 1:1-8 | Dr. David Harrell
The Apocalypse of Jesus Christ—Prologue Part 2
Dr. David Harrell | Bio
January, 11 2009
The Apocalypse of Jesus Christ—Prologue Part 2
Each transcript is a rough approximation of the message preached and may occasionally misstate certain portions of the sermon and even misspell certain words. It should in no way be considered an edited document ready for print. Moreover, as in any transcription of the spoken word, the full intention and passion of the speaker cannot be fully captured and will in no way reflect the same style of a written document.
I would invite you this morning to take your Bibles and turn to the book of Revelation, The Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, as we continue to make our way through this glorious text. We will be examining the last part of the prologue in the first eight verses here this morning.
In 1983 an artist by the name of Anne Murray recorded a song that became very popular. It was entitled, “A Little Good News.” The first part of that song went like this.
“I rolled out this morning
Kids had the mornin' news show on
Bryant Gumbel was talkin' 'bout the fighting in Lebanon
Some senator was squawkin' 'bout the bad economy
It's gonna get worse you see, we need a change in policy
There's a local paper rolled up in a rubber band
One more sad story's one more than I can stand
Just once how I'd like to see the headline say
"Not much to print today, can't find nothin' bad to say", because
Nobody robbed a liquor store on the lower part of town
Nobody OD'ed, nobody burned a single buildin' down
Nobody fired a shot in anger, nobody had to die in vain
We sure could use a little good news today.”
It’s now been over 25 years since that song was recorded, and we’re still waiting for a little good news. In fact, many people would give anything if we were living even back in those days. Certainly there is good news; there’s the good news of the gospel that gives us hope. But quite frankly, as we look at the political, economic, moral, and even environmental indicators of our age, we can readily see that never before like any other time in history our world is moving inexorably towards a cataclysmic end. “Man,” as Paul says, “suppresses the truth in unrighteousness.” Nevertheless, his conscience constantly reminds him that decay and death will be the consequence of sin. Indeed, “the wages of sin is death.”
Most people in our American culture are so busy worshiping athletics and celebrities that they seldom take time to evaluate the true condition of their soul. Jesus predicted this very thing, that just prior to His terrifying return, the condition of the human race would be “like the days of Noah. . . eating and drinking, and marrying and giving in marriage;” life as usual, completely oblivious to the world around them, unwilling to acknowledge their own guilt before a holy God. Indeed, our culture is so intoxicated with the opiate of entertainment and what some rightfully call “affluenza” that many are like the proverbial frog in the kettle, utterly oblivious to the increasing heat of the waters of reckoning that will one day destroy them.
But, occasionally some sober up long enough to listen to their conscience and honestly evaluate what’s going on in the world around them. And sadly, many of them try to discern the future by going to the wrong places. Thousands appeal to the 16th century occult prophet Nostradamus who derived his prophecies from demons through astrology and private occult rituals; forms of divination that God condemns. In fact, after the September 11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon, the word “Nostradamus” became the most popular search word own the Internet. Other people turn to tarot cards and psychics, horoscopes, and mediums, what Isaiah called, “consulting the dead on behalf of the living’ (Isa 8:19); again, a practice God forbids. God knows that while the dead cannot communicate with living, demons can and they will masquerade themselves as the dead and deceive the living.
And then, of course, an even more sophisticated deception is that of false teachers and false prophets that masquerade as God’s shepherds (pastors). Jesus called them, “wolves in sheep’s clothing;” men and women who mislead other people, having themselves been deceived by demonic spirits; charlatans who propagate “doctrines of demons,” as Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 4:1.
Dear friends, only our sovereign God knows the future, because He alone is the One that can “work all things after the counsel of His will.” And He alone has disclosed the elements of his eternal purposes to us through His infallible record, the Word of God. What would we do without it? Now certainly genuine, Bible believing Christians around the world are aware of the Word and it brings great comfort, nevertheless, we grown. Don’t we? Don’t we all have a sense of longing in our hearts for something different than what we experience, longing for a day of ultimate restoration?
Paul tells us in Romans 8:26 that even the Holy Spirit “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” as He shares our pain and brings our prayers and petitions before the throne of grace. In fact, in Romans 8:19 we read that the “anxious longing of all creation awaits eagerly for the revealing (literally “the unveiling,” “the uncovering”) of the sons of God.” An unveiling that will occur when the Lord Jesus returns and outfits His own to share in His glory. The apostle goes on to say, “For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.” All of creation is waiting to birth something new. He continues, “and not only this, but also we ourselves having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.”
Oh child of God, we do not despair, because the promises of God are sure. He cannot lie, and therefore Paul concluded that section of Romans eight in verse 24 saying, “For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.” And to strengthen our hope, He has disclosed to us a mystery that has been concealed throughout the ages in the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Here He has, through Christ, laid bear that which has been hidden; an uncovering of the last chapter of redemptive history; the consummation of all things; a final epoch of judgment upon the wicked and salvation unto Israel and many Gentiles. That coming era when the Lord Jesus Christ will return to establish his glorious Messianic kingdom upon earth; that time when He will renovate the earth and return it once again to Edenic splendor.
A time when He will rule and reign upon His throne in Jerusalem for one thousand years as the rightful heir of the throne of David; a dynasty that will be a bridge into the eternal state—an everlasting kingdom that will have no end. This will be a day when, according to Isaiah 11:9, “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” No wonder John would tell us here in verse three of Revelation 1, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.”
Please follow along with me as I read these first eight verses, the prologue of the Apocalypse: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must shortly take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near. John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come; and 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, priests to His God and Father; to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
As you may recall, we’ve divided this section into five different categories. First we see the essence of the revelation in verses one and two, and it could be summarized in this way: this revelation is a divine disclosure of previously hidden truths given to Jesus Christ from God the Father as a description of the Son’s glorious inheritance from the Father; events that are now imminent and the next things to occur on the prophetic calendar; events that have been communicated to John by an angel that he might give testimony to all that he sees, and give that testimony to the bondservants of Christ Jesus. That is the essence of the book.
Secondly, we read of the blessing inherent in this disclosure. Verse three, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words fo the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near,” meaning it is imminent. Remember, “time” is not chronos in the original language, denoting time on the clock or own a calendar; but it is kairos, referring to the time of an era or a season, a period, an age, an epoch in history that is marked out by its very unique characteristics. You might recall, as I said last time we were together, this term is used in a very technical sense in the Word of God to describe a crucial and distinct period relating to the end of human history when the earthly kingdom of Israel will be re-established.
We read all through Scripture that this is the next epoch of redemptive history on God’s prophetic calendar, and, as the text reads, it is “near.” It is “next” or “imminent” with respect to prophetic revelation. Herein is the reason for the blessing for those who study this word, when we read it, when we hear it, when we heed it’s words our fears are dispelled because we have an understanding of the Lord’s revelation. It gives us perspective regarding the chaotic downward spiral of apostasy and ungodliness in our world.
I was listening to Fox News and one of the anchors was interviewing one of the Middle East experts, a military man and diplomat, asking him to comment on the never ending and now escalating fighting between Israel and Hamas, and Hezbollah, and others. To paraphrase what the man said, he basically said “Islam is doing everything it can to return us to the dark ages,” as he put it, “the dark ages of human sacrifice.” He went on to say, in answer to the question, “. . . the short term resolution is for Hamas to quit sending rockets into Israel; but that is just a short-term fix. Ultimately there is no long-term solution.”
How sad. There is a solution, and in the book of Revelation we read of that solution. God has revealed to us what He’s going to do to all those nations who have aligned themselves against His covenant people, against Israel. And of course the problem that we’ve seen down through the years is that ungodly men who do not understand the Word of God constantly try to present a political remedy to a spiritual problem. if you don’t understand God’s plan for Israel, frankly, you don’t understand what’s going on in the Middle East, what’s going on in the world, and you don’t understand Bible prophecy. And you certainly will not receive the blessing of the Apokalypsis Iesou Christou—the revealing of Jesus Christ—because you don’t understand that “the time is near.”
Today we want to finish the prologue by examining the benediction, the doxology, and the theme of this section of Scripture. First of all we look in verse four to understand the benediction; the expression of a good wishes in this salutation. Now before we look at verse 4, you must understand that in ancient days they would sign their letters at the beginning, not at the end. Sometimes I think that makes a little more sense, because when you get a letter, what is the first thing you do? You look at the signature at the end. But they put it at the beginning.
So we read here in verse 4, “John to the seven churches that are in Asia.” These are seven historical churches in the Roman province of Asia Minor in the first century A.D. That would be modern-day Turkey. We will learn much more about these churches in chapters two and three. He then says, “Grace to you and peace.” Here we see God’s passion for every believer to appropriate His grace given to us through Christ, which will always result in both a subjective as well as an objective peace; a subjective peace in the sense that when we come to a saving knowledge of Christ, we have tranquility, or an experience of assurance because we know that objectively we have been justified. We have been declared righteous because of the grace of Christ. “Therefore,” as Paul said in Romans 5:1, “we have peace with God through Lord Jesus Christ.”
Now some might read this text and say, “My goodness, if you believe all of this is in the future, and God gives us all these detailed descriptions of his wrath and His judgment and the ultimate doomsday prophecy, on what basis could we possibly experience grace and peace? . . . this seems like an odd introduction.” Well think of it this way: without an understanding of God’s wrath, dear friends, you will never be able to grasp the depth of His grace. Until we are first amazed at our sin, we will never be able to be amazed at His grace. Moreover, in our Lord’s Revelation we see the magnitude of His mercy and His grace in His patience during the church age to bring more people to a saving knowledge of Himself. And finally, we see the most incomprehensible demonstration of His grace in the ultimate fulfillment of His promises to His covenant people Israel, despite the magnitude of their rejection.
Paul speaks of this day in Romans 11 “when all Israel will be saved: just as it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. This is My covenant with them, when I take away their sin.” He went on to add, “for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” And because of such infinite and undeserved love for his kinsman that God gives them, Paul therefore burst forth in praise and says, “Oh the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and unfathomable His ways” (v. 33).
Dear friend, the details of these astounding truths are found here in the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we have an opportunity to experience a profound measure of grace and peace as we understand these things.
Now notice he says, “Grace to you and peace, from . . .”; what was it from? And here we have a threefold source, one from each member of the Triune Godhead: from the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Son. First from the Father: “from Him who is and who was and who is to come.” Through a unique grammatical construction, here John describes the eternality of the Father (which also could describe His Son and the Holy Spirit), which of course would demonstrate the indissoluble union of the triune godhead. While it is the Son’s second Advent that is in view here in this revelation, nevertheless, because the Son represents the Father, in a very real sense His return will also be the return of the Father as well. It says, “who is” or literally, “the One who is”, He is the great “I Am” of the Old Testament, a term denoting His preexistence and eternality. “Who is and who was”, refers to His continual existed in past time, underscoring the idea that The Father has always existed; “and who is to come”, literally, “the One coming” or “the coming One.”
Next we have a second source of this salutation of blessing, and it comes from the Holy Spirit: John says, “and from the seven spirits who are before His throne.” And here, dear friends, John links the Holy Spirit’s activity with the imagery stated in Zechariah 4:1-10 where He is described as having “seven lamps” and “seven eyes”, and here in Revelation it’s linked with the “seven spirits.” There is also an obvious parallel with the sevenfold ministries of the Holy Spirit that is found in Isaiah 11:2 that will one day rest upon the descendent of David, the Christ who will rule the world. Moreover, as we read the Word of God, we discover that the number seven is the number of perfection, the number of fulfillment, the number of completion, thus underscoring the utter fullness or completeness of the Holy Spirit in all of His perfections as He is seen here before the throne in all His glory.
The third source of this blessing is from the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Verse 5 reads, “. . . and from Jesus Christ”; then we have three descriptive titles. First, “the faithful witness.” We see a similar expression Revelation 3:14 and 19:11. He is the One who, without wavering, did the will of the Father and perfectly communicated the truth of the Gospel. The Lord Jesus is the divine the Law Giver that reveals to us the revelation of God, as we read in John 1:1, 14, and 18. But this is also an allusion to Psalm 89:37 where the throne of David “will be established forever like the moon, and the witness in the sky is faithful”; thus conveying the idea that Jesus Christ is the heir of the Davidic Dynasty who will one day sit upon the throne of David.
He is not only the “faithful witness” but John tells us He is “the firstborn of the dead” (prototokos). Now this does not mean He is the first one chronologically, because we know that there were resurrections that preceded that of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Old Testament. In fact, the Lord Jesus Himself raised others from the dead in his earthly ministry. But this is referring to the firstborn in preeminence. Again, in Psalm 89:27 God promises to make David’s seed “My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.”
Therefore, He is also designated here by John as “the ruler of the kings of the earth.” So indeed, by virtue of his deity and his Davidic lineage, a lineage that was uncontested by the Jews recorded in the gospel genealogies of both Matthew and Luke, Jesus Christ is indeed the King of the Jews, “the ruler of the kings of the earth”, “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev 19:16). Now I would submit to you that all three of these descriptions of the Lord Jesus Christ derived from Psalm 89 indicate that the inspired author’s intention here is to have us focus on the ultimate fulfillment of the promises that the Lord once made to David in 2 Samuel 7 concerning the earthly kingdom where His “throne will be established for ever.”
Now think practically with me for a moment; imagine if you were in one of the seven churches hearing this letter read to you. What an amazing experience. To know that somehow the Triune godhead has condescended to your lowly estate and ultimately given to all believers an infallible record of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, so that we can all be blessed; so that we can all experience a deeper measure of his grace and peace. What a magnificent benediction of blessing!
And naturally this will result in an outpouring of praise which leads us to the fourth category of this prologue, and that is the doxology of the revelation. Notice in verse 5 John says, “To Him who loves us, and released us from our sins by His blood.” My what a precious and profound doxology; to think of the perfect atonement of Christ, when the innocent Lamb of God became our substitute and voluntarily endured the wrath of the Father that we might have the righteousness of Christ imputed to our account. And because of Him we have been, as John says, “released” (luo), a Greek verb that means to “untie” or to “set free.” And as we look at the grammar of this text, we see that this is an accomplished fact that has occurred in the past that never needs to be repeated. In other words, because of the cross, we are no longer slaves to sin, we have been released from that bondage, and the penalty has been paid in full. The penalty has been paid and the power has been broken.
In fact, earlier John wrote in 1 John 4:10, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins”; the Greek term “propitiation” (hilasterion) means “satisfaction” or “appeasement”; here referring to the appeasement of the divine wrath of God. In fact, it’s interesting, in the Septuagint, which is the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Greek translates the word “mercy seat” with the same word, hilasterion. You remember the “mercy seat” rested above the Ark of the Covenant, and within the Ark of the Covenant were the tablets of the Law that had been violated. And above the Ark of the Covenant, between the cherubim, hovered the glorious shekinah of the presence of God. Because of man’s sin, he could never enter into the presence of God. There had to be separation. The only way man could enter into the presence of God was through the shedding of blood. And on one day of every year, the high priest would come and sprinkle the blood of an innocent sacrifice upon the mercy seat to symbolically demonstrate the payment for his sins, and the sins of the people. Ultimately that “mercy seat” symbolized the Lord Jesus Christ, who was the propitiation for our sin.
Beloved, herein is the source of John’s doxology. His heart overflowed with excitement. And this should be the theme of every song believers and the topic of our conversations. This doxology could be summarized in this way: Praise be to the One who has an abiding love for believers that has been proven by his finished work of redemption in the past, something that never needs to be repeated, and has thereby freed us from the penalty, and from the power of sin, by means of his shed blood. The apostle Paul said in Romans 3:25 that we are “justified”, in other words were declared righteous, “as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith.”
That great 19th century pre-millennial theologian and hymn writer Horatius Bonar understood this, and he penned these profound lyrics:
“Not what my hands have done
Can save my guilty soul;
Not what my toiling flesh has borne
Can make my spirit whole.
Not what I feel or do
Can give me peace with God;
Not all my prayers and sighs and tears
Can bear my awful load.
Thy grace alone, O God,
To me can pardon speak;
Thy power alone, O Son of God,
Can this sore bondage break.
No other work save thine,
No other blood will do;
No strength save that which is divine
Can bear me safely through.”
John continues this great doxology in verse 6 saying, “. . . and He has made us to be a kingdom” (basileian). The term “kingdom” here in this context is the designation of the sphere of God’s rule over all believers in Christ. Though corporately we are a kingdom, individually we are priests in that we have direct access to the Father, and we offer up sacrifices to Him of service and praise. Then he goes on to say, “to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” We see here the extent of our praise: it is to be unending; it is eternal. Then He closes with the customary solemn response to a prophetic utterance of ancient days, “Amen”; This indicated not only your approval of what was stated, but also your commitment to those words. In fact, the Greek word “amen” comes from the Hebrew word “amen” which means “to be firm.”
So in these first six verses of the prologue we have discovered first of all, the essence; secondly, the blessing; thirdly, the benediction; and fourthly, the doxology of the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ. But what is its theme? This is what we see fifthly as we study this text. And beloved, here’s where the excitement begins to build; where you can begin to hear a drum roll and a crescendo of trumpets begin to play. Here is the theme that gushes forth from the adoration of the apostle’s heart; one that is ignited with anticipation. So he declares emphatically in verse 7, “Behold, He is coming with the clouds.” Here John explodes with the first prophetic oracle of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Herein is the ultimate theme of the book. “Behold” (idou); it means “look!” It is used throughout the Apocalypse to arouse the mind and heart, to arrest one’s attention, to look at something and gaze upon it with amazement. the days it at that which is a special miraculous intervention behold Jesus is coming is what he sat and grammatically we see the idea here that is already on his way and I would submit to you that he is restrained only in his glorious providence to save all those whom he has appointed to save and rereading is coming with the class you must understand that clouds in Scripture symbolizes the glorious presence of God very often the Shekinah glory of God remember it was that clout that led them through the wilderness it was a thick cloud descended upon Mount Sinai giving of the law it was a thick cloud of God’s glorious presence that stood at the entrance of the tabernacle when the Lord came and spoke to Moses it symbolized the glory of God at the dedication of the tabernacle or later even the temple this blood is is that a dazzling light of issue coming up the ineffable brilliance of the glory of God in fact the first Thessalonians 417 we are told that the saints will be caught up together in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air leave that to be a rat the text refers to the rapture of the Church the translation of the church language of that time is very different than the language and the events of the second coming of the great snatching away of the church that we will discuss a great link in days to come we see the Florida comes for his saying in at the second coming he comes within 70 and we will be caught up not just in the sky but in the glorious clouds of his presence is so in verse seven John tells us behold he is coming with the clowns every I will see him even those who pierced him in all the tribes of the earth will board over him even so he verse seven is a fascinating tax John’s details of this glorious coming here in verse seven are taken from to Old Testament processes one in Daniel 713 and the other and Zechariah 12 specially versed in and John had good reason to do this because 64 years earlier he had heard it the Lord Jesus Christ used the very same combination of these Old Testament texts in Daniel seven Zechariah 12 we read it earlier this morning in our scripture reading Matthew 24 verse 30 with the Lord describes his second coming he said and then let the assignment of the Son of Man will appear in the sky and believe that sign to be again a reference to the Shekinah is glorious on to the brilliant light of his presidency will appear in the sky and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn and they will see the Son of Man coming all in and clouds in the sky with power and great glory here in Revelation verse chapter 1 verse seven receded John’s mind recaptures words of Daniel the prophet Daniel seven verse 13 years with Daniels said I kept looking in the night vision and be whole with the clouds of heaven one like a son of man was coming and he came up to the ancient of days and was presented before him and truly young was given dominion glory and I can’t come that all the people as nations and men of every language might serve him as dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away and his kingdom is one which will not be destroy below the 2500 years ago Daniel saw the coming of the Son of Man to rule in the rain over the kingdom that was promised to David and second Samuel seven he saw him coming in the glorious clouds and to go back to revelation the rest of her seven Johnson’s in every I will see him even those who pierced him and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over this is an allusion to Zechariah chapter 12 versus 1012 posters 14 alumni give the context here’s important to grasp it and Zachariah Chapter 12 we read of how all the nations of the earth will be gathered against Israel against especially Jerusalem we read how the Lord is going to strike them in come to Israel’s rescue and defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem an adverse nine of Zachariah 12 we read that in that day my will set about to destroy all the nations become against Jerusalem by the way is a sobering prophecy with respect to the fate of Islam in all those countries that align themselves against Israel when it is detailed more fully in Ezekiel 3839 other passages of Scripture but back to Zechariah 12 in verse 10 again that the text of John is now alluding to here’s what Zacharias said in that day I will pour out on the house of David and only half inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and of supplication so that they will local me when they have pierced and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only son and they will meet bitterly over him like the bitter weeping of a firstborn and verse 12 we read that the land will mourn every family by itself the family of the house of David by itself and their wives by themselves the family of the house of Nathan by itself and their wives by themselves by the way this is referring to the Royal lion line is the Royal linings of of all David who in the past have or led the charge in rejecting their Messiah but when he returns they are going to lead the Cloris of repentance burst 13 we read that the family of a house of Levi by itself and their wives by themselves the family of the shimmy nights by itself and their wives by themselves and this would be a reference to the priestly line of Levi and his grandson issued me I in an inverse working at Zachariah 12 finally it concludes saying all the families that remain every family by itself and their wives by them so would give you a summary here of what I believe the word of God teaches with respect to the end of the age as we will discover the bride of Christ the church will be translated into heaven believe that to be the next event a great rapture of the Church because the church has been promised to be From the hour of testing that is about to come upon the whole world in Revelation 310 and then God will resume and finalize his 70th week judgment a week of cataclysmic judgments upon his covenant people Israel that Daniel as a detailed a time of unprecedented global tribulation and enjoying the time of the tribulation as we will discover in the book of Revelation he will raise up 144,000 NATO Jews to be witnesses of the truth 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes and during that time we will see many Jews and Gentiles being say and as in the Lord Jesus pours out his wrath upon the world many Jews will finally way it’ll in deep contrition broken over this in of their unbelief and Zechariah 13 one says in Back Bay a fountain will be opened for the house of David for the inhabitants of Jerusalem force in in and four in purity oh what a magnificent theme that John has to pin for seven again beholding is coming with the clouds and every I will see him even those who appears to noticed the ads and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over him tribes can be translated families not merely just a Jewish tribes of as some would like to believe and notice that this is over the European indicates a global mourning a sense of worldwide wailing and he says that they will mourn the Greek word is a word or a cop though it means to be be harassed in wailing and mourning ask the idea here it refers primarily to a morning of despair though some may indeed be morning in repentance most will mourn in absolute horror they will wail in horror as they see becoming of the Son of Man in power and great glory again Jesus in Matthew 2430 when the Son of Man will appear in the sky he says all the tribes are literally all the families of the earth more literally they will wail in their so when we linked together John’s words with the prophecies from which they have in the Rye we have a clear description here of the teen of the apocalypse of Jesus Christ it could be summarized this way that when Jesus returns only unmistakable clouds of glory lots covenant people did you lose those still left at the end of the great tribulation will mourn in deep contrition both corporately and individually as they behold the salvation of their Messiah as the Messiah comes the Lord Jesus Christ to reconcile them into himself as well as all the families of the earth are going to wail and utter horror as they behold the terrifying glory of the coming Lord Jesus Christ to judge them love of this is the theme of the apocalypse of Jesus Christ’s behold he is coming with the clout’s again look he sang come and see and I would ask you if he came to suffer would he not also come to him when the rain it if he came once as a lamb will he not also return as a lion and notice how the entire globe is going to see the Son of Man in his terrifying descent of her seven and every I will see him I cannot explain this I can only tell you what the text says but the indication here is that through some supernatural work of God the clouds of his glory and it would will somehow envelop the entire globe and everybody will be able to physically recognize the person of the Lord Jesus Christ the whole world will see him simultaneously and Jesus has told us as well as other tax that all of the luminaries of the sky will be put out that there will be no confusion here there will be no mistaking who bought this is I would humbly ask those who would interpret verse seven as mere figurative language what possible meaning good at this phrase habited referred to merely some spiritual apprehension of truth in the hearts of men as many would try to have us believe noble of it I believe with all my heart that again this is a literal physical appearing that every eye shall behold every I doesn’t behold when some man comes to saving knowledge of Christ again recall and ask Chapter 1 the apostles see the Lord Jesus Christ lifted up in a clown now of glory is being received two companies being taken up out of their sight and asked one verse nine Reagan as they were gazing intently into the sky while he was going behold two men in white clothing stood beside them also said it is gallantly what you stand looking into the sky this Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come and shut the same way as you have what’s been going to heaven indeed love it even as his ascension was physical so to will be his return indeed every I will see him as I think about that I think about all of those who prefer darkness over my they’re going to see him they are all going to be blinded by the Gloria Fisher Qaeda bed at the clouds of glory that adorn the heavenly throne will to send in the penetrating light of divine omniscience into buying judgment will expose the wickedness of man there will be no place to hide in a way (were is coming will be dreadful for all those who reject him a horrifying grandeur a consuming fire a devouring flame a terrifying Majesty for all those who had mocked him with multiple lord of hosts Jones says at the end of percent and even so a man in other words a day of judgment is fix and let it be so and verse eight relieved I am the Alpha and you’ll make says the Lord God who is and who was it who is to come the Almighty and we can ask is this Godfather speaking of God the son frankly there are compelling arguments for both of after weighing the mall and convinced that this is not the father we read that it is the warden says the Lord God we know that that is the title of God the father used throughout the Old Testament we know that it is the father in the Old Testament refers to himself as the great I am in the phrase who is and who was into his column is definitely the father’s title in verse four and we also know that in the set to adjust the title of the Almighty translates the Hebrew expression for Lord of hosts which is also the title of the father and the alpha and the omega we know that that is a similar statement spoken by the father in chapter 21 and verse six so here I believe God the father signings is signature owned the Oracle to a firm its veracity he says I am the Alpha and the Omega those of the first and last letters of the Greek language as you know you can take letters and arranged them in an infinite number of ways to articulate truths and what he is saying here is high and the omniscient one as the firms is omniscience he says I am also the one who is and who was and who is to come in other words I am the eternal self existent preexistent transcendent omniscient omnipotent guy that confirms this prophecy I am indeed all mighty pop punk talk toward Greek in other words I am the one who holes all I am the one who has authority over all I am the unassailable omnipotent sovereign that has the authority over all things that’s what that term means and feet used a car into the Apocalypse beloved there can be no whole greater signature than this nor can there be a more certain promise beholden he is coming with the clouds of glory and the question is are you ready to be to close with a quote my old friend Dr. Walter who has an excellent summary of these opening verses or read to you a quote Jesus Christ is the central figure of the opening eight verses of Revelation as a source of revelation he is presented in verse one is the channel of the word and testimony of God is cited in verse two is blessings through his revealed worker promised in first or eighth and first ideas the faithful witness the firstborn of the dead and the ruler of the Kings of New York is revealed to be the source of all grace loves us and Clinton says us from our sins through his shed blood is the source of our royal priesthood who has the right to gather in himself all glory and dominion forever he is promised to come with clouds attended with great display of power and glory and every eye shall see the one who died for men he is the almighty one of eternity passed an eternity future if go if no more had been written is then that contain in this introductory portion of chapter 1 would have constituted a tremendous restatement of the person work of Christ such is found and no comparable section of Scripture” whole child of God please hear me Jesus is coming to be encouraged with that truth is coming and likewise those sinner which you repent before it’s too late the storm clouds and judgment can be seen in the near distance great day of his Rafelson viewpoint and if you die in your sentence without repenting he will someday stand before him is judged on his site and may I call you to come to the Lord Jesus Christ confessed or send plead with him for his mercy and he is promised that he will not turn you away may today be today or South Beach its prey father once again we are sober with the truths of your word made a fine receptive hearts made the seeds of each word bear much fruit in our lives we might be vigilant in our service and faithful in our witness board may we continue to long for the whole that we know is ours in Christ Jesus and again I plead for those who do not know you and Savior especially those who are deceived by some false religious system what I pray that you will speak to them the truth of the pure gospel they might be say thank you Lord for ministering to us by the power of your spirit courts in Jesus name that I pray in amen .