Setting the Clock

By John J. Blanchard

December 22, 2002

Today we have another fascinating subject to look into. It is an extension of what we started. We will continue understanding God’s communication to us. We have been discussing the earth’s purpose and why man is here upon the earth. We found a few things as we looked into God’s word.

We found that the earth is here to be harvested by God, to harvest humanity. It will be a harvest of humanity that will be used for eternity for eternal purposes! It is a wonderful and awesome future for mankind. We found that these harvests reflect a plan that God has for us and that there are two ways to comprehend that plan fully. First of all we have God’s word, the Bible, and we have creation. When we put those two together with God’s inspiration, we come up with an awesome picture of what God is trying to do with mankind.

We found that that purpose is to bear fruit. Each and every human being will have the opportunity to bear eternal fruit for God. As we come to understand these things, each person begins to participate. We have here now at the end of this age, so to speak, an opportunity for vast numbers of people to understand, to comprehend and begin to bear eternal fruit. We studied this lesson and we learned it well so far. We are going to extend it now into new ground to comprehend this even better. What we want to do today is set the time frame for God’s plan and understand and comprehend what that character is that should be developed during that time frame.

We are going to talk about the time frame of God’s plan. We are going to look at that time frame and call it “The Setting of the Clock”. We noticed in creation week in Genesis 1 that the earth started with light. God said We will start creation week by bringing light to a dark place, the dark place being the earth. That was the starting point for mankind. Did you know that Genesis means beginnings? Christ, the Word as we found in John 1:1, is the Creator, He is the Word and He brings light. He brings light and true knowledge (the truth) to the world and mankind. We can have the truth at our disposal, at our beck and call if we so desire to bear holy righteous character and to bear eternal fruit for God. If we want to choose of the tree of life, we can do so and bear fruit.

We will turn to Revelation 21. We have looked at the very beginning of the book. Let us take a brief look at the end of the Bible. Go to Revelation to the second to the last chapter in the Bible. We are going to read, starting in verse 6 of Revelation 21. This is Jesus Christ speaking to John. “And He said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.’”

Anyone who wants to bear fruit for God, to repent and accept God’s plan and determine that they want to pick of the tree of good, they can! God will freely give them the water of life!

Jesus Christ says here He is the Beginning and the End. He was there in Genesis and He is here in Revelation. He is the author and the finisher we are told of faith. He initiated the bringing of light to the earth, and He will complete His purpose. He will bring it to fruition, to the harvest that we saw in the Bible.

Turn, if you would, to Hebrews chapter 12. We will take a brief look at what it means to be the author and finisher of faith, the beginning and the end, so to speak. Hebrews chapter 12, starting in verse 1: “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Much is spoken of in those words right there. Paul is saying here we have believers, we who believe, who have accepted this at this time. We who have accepted this understand that we are involved in a race. A race has a beginning and a race has an end. Jesus Christ said I have authored your faith. I have helped you to understand, and I will help you complete the race if you so desire.

If a person holds fast to the end of their life once having comprehended and once having accepted the sacrifice of Christ, that person has finished the race and has fought the good fight. That is another beautiful subject on its own. Suffice it to say at this time, Jesus Christ is the author and the finisher of our faith. He is the author and the finisher of our salvation.

He is also in the grand scheme of things, the initiator of bringing truth to the earth. He brings light to the earth, and He will make sure that it bears a crop. He wants a huge harvest, as we saw in the first two lessons. He wants a huge harvest for God.

God’s plan is completed now in several phases. We find that in Genesis, the beginning point of this phase, the clock was set at that time to an ending point, which we just saw in Revelation. There is a completion to the time of this phase in God’s plan. Within that phase of time there are a number of steps that take place. We obviously cannot cover all of those steps at this time. Over the lessons, we hope to include as many as God has revealed and has shown us and the Church of God. We will see how the Church of God fits into this because there has been a Church. That Church has been used by God down through time to preserve the truth, understand the truth (at least to different varying degrees over time) and to bear fruit over the course of the last six thousand years. That is another subject as well.

Let us remember the main points here. The physical creation pictures God’s plan and His purpose. The physical mirrors the spiritual. We need to comprehend the physical, but we can only do so properly in the light of the Bible. Through the lens and through the prism of God’s word, we can look at creation and comprehend the wonderful things that God is trying to do.

Let us go back to the beginning right back to Genesis. We are going to look at how God set the time piece. We will look at how He set the clock. He set the clock in a number of marvelous ways. Turn to Genesis chapter 1, starting in verse 14: “Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth’; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”

What beautiful words! They have been read many times by thousands and thousands of people, but until the last age, the end of the age, God is going to fully reveal what His word means! There are reasons for that. I cannot comprehend all of the reasons. No man can. Only God can show us as He wants things understood. But as we go through this lesson, we will see at this point in time, God wants more understood than He ever wanted before! That is because of the point in time we are at.

We see that God ordained the sun, the moon and the stars. What are these for? Scripture just told us. They are for signs and seasons. What do signs show us? Signs show us where we are at on the highway. Signs give us understanding of what is available around us in our environment. Signs establish what a business is for and what a town’s name is. By signs we can understand a lot of things out there in physical creation. By seasons we know what time it is. We can tell time by the seasons.

God’s purpose with the sun, moon and the stars was to show us signs and seasons so that we could understand His purposes and see how we fit in. God’s purpose is actually depicted in this way! By them we are able to tell physical time, and we will see eventually through these studies that we can also tell a spiritual time. Time is kept in a spiritual way and we can understand it through the physical creation around us. This is how time is determined in two ways: physically and spiritually.

We do not just tell time by the heavens. We see many awesome things out there that show us daily, weekly and monthly. Let us go through it briefly. One day is 24 hours (one revolution of the earth) and this is accomplished by the rising and the setting of the sun. Seven days equals one week. God said on the seventh day We shall rest. You can see that in the scriptures too. On the seventh day of creation week God said We will now rest. If you take twelve months you have a year. The revolution or one orbit of the earth around the sun equals one year.

With these measures we can determine a variety of things. We can see spring, summer, winter and fall. We can coordinate these seasons by looking at the stars and by understanding the relationship of the sun to the moon, the distance apart and the orbits. We can see exactly what time it is. Watches, by smart men, can be set to a very precise time for the beginning of the year, for the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox. These can all be set precisely if one has enough knowledge and understanding. Suffice it to say, all of us know when spring is here, when summer is here and when fall and winter begins.

What do we understand by those seasons, those times? We know when it is time to plant. We know when it is time for things to grow. We know it is time when they bear fruit and there is a harvest. Didn’t we see in the first two lessons that God has divided the seasons into two harvests, an early harvest and a late harvest? The early harvest being the small one and the late harvest being huge. This is a depiction of God’s plan. We will, over time, delve into that and get a grasp and a feel for what God is doing in these harvests.

We can understand that these seasons, these times, are based on seven. So God’s word is based upon seven. His plan is based on seven. Let us look at that just briefly. Each week we have seven days. We know that we start with the first day of the week, Sunday, and we end with the seventh day the Sabbath. That is a day of rest. There are seven days in one week.

Following the week we have the months. A month, we will notice in God’s plan, pictures the big harvest in the seventh month according to His calendar each year. The seventh month each year God’s plan is pictured. With every set of seven months or seven years because of the plan, we have what we call a Sabbatical, a Sabbath year. Every seven years we reach a Sabbatical year.

With every set of seven Sabbatical years we have what is called a Jubilee Year. Seven times seven would be forty-nine. Every forty-ninth year at the completion of that year starts what we call the Jubilee Year. Let us look at this pattern in scripture. That will make it a little clearer for us. Then we will be able to see that God renews the earth after six days, which is six thousand years. We are trying to show from God’s word that His plan counts six thousand years of work before we have the seventh day of rest, which is the Millennium. The Millennium is a thousand year period of time of beauty and peace upon the earth. This is what we are trying to show.

First let us turn to Exodus chapter 20. We will get the pattern for the days and the week. Exodus 20, verse 8: “’Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.’”

You see the pattern here. Six days for work. The seventh day for rest. God set this pattern at the creation week when He started His clock ticking. Now when we have this pattern followed through on a yearly basis, we find out that every seven years we come to what is called a Sabbatical year, or a Sabbath year of rest. If you turn to Leviticus chapter 25 we will see this pattern.

Leviticus chapter 25, starting in verse 1: “And the Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: “When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a Sabbath to the Lord. Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit; but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the Lord. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine, for it is a year of rest for the land. And the Sabbath produce of the land shall be food for you: for you, for your male and female servants, your hired man, and the stranger who dwells with you.”’” God says you will have enough food produced in the sixth year to take care of the seventh year of rest. I want you to rest on that year and your land to rest. So we see the pattern of seven continuing in seven-year increments, seven-year cycles.

God goes one step further and He goes into what we called a minute ago, the Sabbatical season of seven ending with a Jubilee year: seven sets of Sabbatical years. Seven years times seven sets of seven is forty-nine years. You will see this explained in Leviticus chapter 25, dropping down to verse 8. “’And you shall count seven Sabbaths of years for yourself; seven times seven years; and the time of the seven Sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years. Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land.’”

Notice this takes place during the seventh month. As we mentioned earlier, there is a harvest that takes place in the seventh month. We will explain that in a future lesson. Let us continue here in verse 10.

Leviticus chapter 25, verse 10: “’And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family. That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine. For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field. In this Year of Jubilee, each of you shall return to his possession.’”

There we have it! The fiftieth year in a continuing cycle represents a Jubilee, which means joy, it means a year of release, it means a year of getting things restored and renewed back to their original state.

This is very important because that is what is pictured in creation week when God rested on the seventh day. He had finished His work. He was refreshing Himself. He was resting because everything was complete. This pattern of sevens is all the way through the scriptures. This is an important concept to realize because it helps us understand God’s plan.

Let us look at just a few more scriptures to show what happens in that seventh year and that a day actually in the scriptures is pictured as being one thousand years. Each day of the creation week pictures one thousand years. Let us prove that.

Isaiah chapter 9, verse 6: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”

God’s government comes on the seventh day, the seven thousand year period in God’s plan. We will see that pictured once again by going to Isaiah chapter 11. This beautiful government comes to bring rest and peace, a year of release.

Isaiah chapter 11, verse 1: “There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. His delight is in the fear of the Lord, and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears; but with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the belt of his waist.”

This is Jesus Christ establishing that government we just read about in Isaiah 9, and what is the result of this government on the earth? We see that in verse 6 of Isaiah 11: “’The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, who shall stand as a banner to the people; for the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious.’”

“In that day” is when peace is brought to the earth. That day that is pictured by the Sabbath. That day that is pictured in the harvest in the seventh month. That day that is pictured in the seventh year of a Sabbatical set of seven and the fiftieth year. That is the year of Jubilee after seven sets of seven Sabbatical years. You see this pattern. You see this in Revelation 20:4.

Revelation chapter 20, verse 4. This is speaking of Jesus Christ coming to establish His Millennium. “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshipped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” There we have it! That day of peace and that wonderful government will last one thousand years. Then we go on to do other things for eternity. But that period, that phase is one thousand years. We call that the Millennium, which means “thousand”.

If the last day of the week pictured by the Sabbath and the Sabbatical year last a thousand years, of course, the preceding six days each represent one thousand years as well. We know that the earth in the current condition is this way from the fall of man in the garden of Eden for the next six thousand years, which is pictured as six days when God is working to restore the earth.

There you have it. It is an explanation of how one day can equal a thousand years and a thousand years like a day. Turn, if you would, to II Peter, and we will read that principle right here. II Peter 3, verse 8: “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” Here a little, there a little and it makes sense! Sevens are completions of time.

When David beheld the stars, the sun and the moon, he was amazed by these things. He was truly amazed by what he saw in the sky. Turn, if you would, to Psalm 19. It is not a long Psalm so we are going to read the whole thing. We are going to try to imagine in our eyes what it was that amazed David and that made him appreciate God’s plan so much.

Psalm 19, verse 1: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.” There is no place on earth where this is hidden! The circuit of the sun, the seasons, the night and the day, the sun, moon and stars can be observed anywhere from earth.

Continuing in the last half of verse 4: “In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices like a strong man to run its race. Its rising is from one end of heaven, and its circuit to the other end; and there is nothing hidden from its heat. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

Psalm 19, verse 10: “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward.” David ties together the sun, the moon and the stars and the circuits and the seasons. He says the awesome things I learn by these help me to understand your plan, God. They help me to understand your commandments, your statutes, my purpose in it all and the purpose of mankind! That is how awesome it is. That is how awesome creation is once we can grasp what God is trying to show us.

Continuing in verse 12: “Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” Then David ties this knowledge that he gained to getting his sins wiped away and gaining eternal redemption. He refers to that eternal reward we have been speaking of.

David could look up at the stars, and he could see these things and meditate on them because he comprehended the times and the seasons. God had revealed to him by His Spirit what was meant in creation. God wants us to understand as well. These are here for us to understand and we, frankly, should be amazed by it ourselves.

Turn to Psalm 148, starting in verse 1: “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise Him in the heights! Praise Him, all His angels; praise Him, all His hosts! Praise Him, sun and moon; praise Him, all you stars of light! Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, and you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the Lord, for He commanded and they were created. He also established them forever and ever; He made a decree which shall not pass away.”

What we are being told is to praise God for all of His creation. Praise His handiwork. Praise the work that He did. Praise the seasons and the times that He established so that we can comprehend God’s plan. Thank Him for it. Appreciate the work and the effort that God the Father and Jesus Christ have gone through for billions of years to bring this to us. It has been a wonderful gift He has given us and where it will lead is awesome places for eternity!

Turn to Jeremiah chapter 31, starting in verse 35: “Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for a light by day, the ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, who disturbs the sea, and its waves roar…” We saw the waste water sea and what that meant. God’s plan disturbs Satan and Satan’s thoughts. “…(The Lord of hosts is His name)…” He is the one who disturbs Satan.

Verse 36: “’If those ordinances depart from before Me, says the Lord, then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before Me forever.’ Thus says the Lord: ‘If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done,’ says the Lord.”

God says if this should ever stop, if My plan were ever halted, it would be a disaster for all mankind. He says starting with Israel here. We will go into that subject as well. Israel portrays what will happen to all of mankind. They were first blessed with the word of God, but eventually it was given to all mankind. God says if the seasons stop, if My plan can be halted, it is a disaster for mankind! But it will not be stopped. He will not be defeated! He is the one who will defeat Satan.

This is a gift for all of mankind. This is God’s plan for all of us, to have eternal redemption. We will have eternal rewards if we develop holy righteous character and if we bear fruit for God. This is not just for a privileged few. This is not just for ancient Israel. This is for all of mankind. We will see that as we go through the lessons. If one was to read the entire Bible and grasp it, one would see it is for all of mankind. It is a beautiful thing. It does not matter if you are Chinese, Russian, German, French or English. God says this is for everybody but each in due season. Not all people are called at one time, as we will see as we learn these lessons. There were a few. Remember we said there is an early harvest that is small. Then there is a great harvest that is for many. God says that is true. It is ordained. We can see it in the seasons. We will study them as time goes on.

God shows us that by His prophets, His thoughts have been written down, and they will be revealed by His Spirit. His prophets wrote these words down as they were inspired by God. Then God said I will open these words up in due course.

Let us go back now to Job. Job is considered the oldest book in the Bible. I would like to go to Job chapter 9, verse 7. (“He” being God here.) “’He commands the sun, and it does not rise; He seals off the stars; He alone spreads out the heavens, and treads on the waves of the sea; He made the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades…’” These are constellations in the sky. “’…and the chambers of the south; He does great things past finding out, yes, wonders without number.’”

Verse 11 of Job 9: “’f He goes by me, I do not see Him; if He moves past, I do not perceive Him; if He takes away, who can hinder Him? Who can say to Him…’” Who can say this to God? “’“…What are You doing?”’” None of us can comprehend. Only God can reveal His thoughts.

Continuing in verse 13: “’God will not withdraw His anger, the allies of the proud lie prostrate beneath Him.’” God will defeat Satan. God will bring victory to all mankind, and He has set this in motion. We can understand it by the sun, the moon, and the stars as revealed in God’s word. David said when I see the handiwork of what you have done and I understand that it can lead to My redemption, how awesome it is! God wants us to comprehend just like David the meaning of all of these wonderful things.

When did He say mankind would understand? In general, at the end. At the end of the age, God would reveal it. He would put all of these pieces together. It was only comprehended by a very few over the previous five or six thousand years. That was God’s plan. There is a reason for that. We will talk about that at another time. But at the end time, He is going to bring things to people’s understanding so that we can have a huge harvest of mankind! The earth can be reaped, as we saw in Revelation chapter 14. That is what God desires now. So He is going to pour out His Spirit and open up this book to billions of people in the near future! This is what we are going to see over the short term as we go through these lessons. We are going to understand that God is preparing to do something awesome for all of mankind.

Turn, if you would, to Daniel chapter 12. We will see this utterance of God right in print. Daniel was one of the prophets that God inspired to write down some of these words. Here is what Daniel said after he wrote down the words of God. Daniel 12, starting in verse 8: “Although I heard, I did not understand.” Daniel is telling God, although You have shown me these things and I written them down for you, I do not understand! Daniel wanted to understand. “Then I said, ‘My Lord, what shall be the end of these things?’” What will be the result? Where is this all heading, he is asking God? And God tells him in verse 9: “And He said, ‘Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.’”

Who are the wise? Those that God has led with His Holy Spirit and those who have asked God for understanding. It is those who have taken the time to study. It is those who want to learn about God’s plan and bear fruit for God. They are harvested and given eternal rewards! God is opening this up to people at the end. We are told right there, at the end.

Go back now to Jeremiah chapter 23. Jeremiah 23 tells us something very similar. Jeremiah 23, starting in verse 18: “For who has stood in the counsel of the Lord, and has perceived and heard His word? Who has marked His word and heard it? Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord has gone forth in fury, a violent whirlwind! It will fall violently on the head of the wicked. The anger of the Lord will not turn back until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart. In the latter days you will understand it perfectly.”

In the last days we will comprehend that God is going to separate the wheat from the chaff. He is going to separate the wheat from the tares. He is going to bless those who want to please Him and who want to bear fruit. He will first give them the understanding they need. If they so desire and work toward it, God will give the understanding so we know to choose good over evil. This is what we are promised in God’s word.

Let us review. We have looked at the beginning of the book, Genesis, which means “beginnings”. And we have looked at the end of the book, Revelation. I would like to read the heading before the book of Revelation in my New King James Bible, which is published by Thomas Nelson in 1984.

I would like to read you what was written here as an introduction to the book of Revelation. Just listen to this. I could not have said it better myself. It is just so well done here. This is the heading to the book of Revelation. “Just as Genesis is the book of beginnings, Revelation is the book of consummation. In it the Divine program of redemption is brought to fruition and the holy name of God is vindicated before all creation. Although there are numerous prophecies in the gospels and the epistles, Revelation is the only New Testament book that focuses primarily on prophetic events. Its title means ‘unveiling or disclosure’. Thus the book is an unveiling of the character and the program of God. Penned by John during his exile on the Island of Patmos, Revelation centers around the visions and symbols of the resurrected Christ who alone has authority to judge the earth, to remake it and to rule it in righteousness. The title of this book in the Greek text is Apokalypsis Ioannou, Revelation of John. It is also known as the Apocalypse, a transliteration of the word apokalypsis meaning unveiling, disclosure or revelation. Thus the book is an unveiling which would otherwise could not be known. A better title comes from the first verse, Apokalypsis Jesos Christou, the Revelation of Jesus Christ. This could be taken as a revelation which came from Christ or as a revelation about Christ.”

That is what is mentioned at the beginning of the book of Revelation and it is exactly right! Revelation is a disclosure, it is an opening. It is an unsealing of knowledge. It helps put the rest of the Bible together. But it was not going to be open to mankind until the end, until the latter days. So it was not fully understood, and it is a very scary book when it is not understood properly! Our God is not a scary or awful God, except that He is all powerful. That is frightening, but He is a kind, loving and merciful God who did not create man to torture him, kill him or destroy him. He wants to destroy the wicked. We just read that. But He wants to open salvation and redemption to as many as will bend their knee to Him, as many would desire to take of the tree of life. He wants to give eternal life with eternal rewards. This is His purpose. This is His harvest. This is what He wants to do.

It is now time to understand and to have hope. Mankind has lived for six thousand years under the cloud of destruction, underneath the hateful thoughts of Satan. Mankind has gone through all manner of trial and difficulty for six thousand years and that is about to end! That is what we should have hope for, and we should be excited by the prospect.

Let us turn to Luke 21, starting in verse 25: “’And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.’”

So these are frightening times but they are awesome times. They are wonderful because our Savior is coming back with that government. Yes, you know what is scary about change? It is change itself! Men fear the unknown. That is why they fear the book of Revelation and that is why they fear the coming of Jesus Christ. But once knowledge has been brought to an individual, the truth is shown and God works with the mind to help comprehension come, fear is dissolved. You can look up and rejoice. You can look up when you see these things and say my Savior draws near. Redemption is coming. Instead of being in abject fear, one can rejoice! That is what God wants.

God wants us to be happy to see His Son return. That is about to happen to this earth! He is revealing it to us now. He is helping you understand through the beautiful thoughts of God. Ponder those things, study them and pray about them. The next time we will look at even more of the beautiful thoughts of God!