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A Bible Study:

The Revelation to John

May 30, 2006


A Study of the Revelation to John


A Study of the Revelation to John

By Bernie Parsons - May 30, 2006     Revised July 30, 2006

A Study of Revelation Chapter 1:1

 

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Revelation 1:1 

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:”

 

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This is the revelation of a mystery, not the mystery itself. Reveal means “to generally make known that which was hidden”. The things surrounding Jesus, as well as events that would transpire in Jerusalem and Judća in the first generation A.D., had long been prophesied. Notice that John stated that these were things “which must shortly come to pass”, meaning that they would occur soon. We will examine the concept of the “time of the end”, or the “last days”. Toward the end of our study, we shall see similar language that indicated that these events would happen soon.

 

Let us examine in more detail the ancient mystery that was being revealed in this document.

 

1 Peter 1:10: "Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

11: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

12: Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

13: Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”

 

1 Peter 1:18: “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

19: But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

20: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,”

 

Peter wrote of “the revelation of Jesus Christ”, and we’ll need to talk some more about that later in the study. Presently, let us continue to look at the revelation of this mystery that the ancient prophets had sought to understand. Having foretold the grace of God to come, it remained a mystery to them. The prophets prophesied what God told them to prophesy, but often did not understand the prophecy.

 

Daniel is a good example of this.

 

Daniel 12:1: “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

2: And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

3: And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

4: But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”

 

Daniel 12:8: “And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?

9: And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

10: Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”

 

Jesus and His Apostles clearly indicated that the mystery was revealed in their time.

 

1 Corinthians 2:7: “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

8: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

9: But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

10: But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”

 

Jude saw evidence that it was the last time.

 

Jude 14: “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

15: To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

16: These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.

17: But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;

18: How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.

19: These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.”

 

The Apostle to the Gentiles, the Apostle Paul, saw the signs that it was the last days.

 

2 Timothy 3:1: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2: For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

3: Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

4: Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

5: Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

6: For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

7: Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth..”

 

Ephesians 1:9: "Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

10: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

 

Romans 11:25 “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

26: And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

27: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

28: As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.

29: For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

30: For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

31: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

32: For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.”

 

Romans 16:25: “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

26: But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:”

 

Ephesians 3:1: “For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

2: If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

3: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,

4: Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

5: Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

6: That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

7: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

8: Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

9: And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:”

 

Colossians 1:25: "Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

26: Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

27: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:”

 

1 Timothy 3:16: “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”

 

The time of the end was to be a time of trouble such as the world had never seen, Jesus said, as recorded in Matthew 24, and verse 21:  “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

 

Recall from the Matthew 24 study that this was Jesus answering the disciples question as to when the temple would be destroyed, and what the signs would be.

 

In verse 2 of Daniel 12, he was told that “many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” A curious development, upon the crucifixion of Jesus, is described in:

 

Matthew 27:50: “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

51: And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

52: And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

53: And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”

 

Then note in Daniel 12 and verse 4, that Daniel was to “shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end:”

 

Recall from our Daniel study that Jesus said that the destruction of the temple was the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel. Daniel was to seal it until the time of the end, and Jesus indicated that the destruction of the temple was what Daniel was talking about. It therefore follows that what Jesus was talking about was also the time of the end.

 

Furthermore, the words were to be shut, and sealed, until the time of the end. In the book of the Revelation to John, John is told in:

 

Revelation 5:1 “And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

2: And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

3: And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

4: And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

5: And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

6: And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

7: And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

8: And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

9: And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

10: And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”

 

Now, back to Daniel 12 again.

 

Daniel 12:8 "And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?

9: And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

10: Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand."

 

Jesus was worthy to open the seals of the book. Not only that, we read in:

 

Revelation 10: “5: And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,

6: And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:

7: But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.”

 

Jesus had said in Matthew chapter 5:17: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

18: For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

 

Look back at what Jesus said, as recorded in Matthew 24:33 “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

34: Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”

 

Revelation 22:6 “And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

7: Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

8: And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.

9: Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

10: And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

11: He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

12: And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”

 

Jesus opened the seals of the sealed book. Jesus fulfilled all prophecy.

 

Acts 3:18 “But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.

19: Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

20: And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:

21: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

22: For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.

23: And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.

24: Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.

25: Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.

26: Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.”

 

Acts 10:34 “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

35: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him."

 

Acts 10:42: "And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

43: To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”

 

Romans 16:25 “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

26: But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

27: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.”

 

Matthew 11:12: "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

13: For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.”

 

Luke 16:16 “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.”

 

We have studied that Daniel, like other of the prophets, wanted to know, not only what was to happen, but when it was to happen. Daniel was told that it would be at the “time of the end”, and that he was to seal the book until the “time of the end”. In other words, the mystery would remain a mystery until the “time of the end”. He was told that knowledge would increase, it would be a time of trouble such as the world had never seen, and that those found in the book of life would be delivered.

 

Let’s examine some of these statements, comparing them to other scriptures.

 

Matthew 24:3 “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

 

Mark 13:1 “And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!

2: And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

3: And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,

4: Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?”

 

The “end of the world”, or properly translated, the “end of the age”, was the “time of the end”. It was a time when “Jesus would come”, and judgment would be made on Jerusalem, Judah, and Israel.

 

Compare to these words from some of the prophets:

 

Joel 2:1 “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;

2: A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.

3: A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.”

 

Notice Joel giving a description of a great, strong army. Remember the visions seen by Nebuchadnezzar and by Daniel, about the great and terrible beast that was the Roman Empire.

 

Matthew 24:33 “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

34: Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

35: Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

 

Jesus stated that all those things—the destruction of the temple, the abomination of desolation, and the great tribulation—would all be in that generation! What is meant by “heaven and earth shall pass away”? Look at what the writer of Hebrews said about it.

 

Hebrews 1:10 “And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:

11: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;

12: And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.” (Writer is quoting Psalm 102:25-27)

 

The writer of Hebrews says that the Lord would change heaven and earth, just as a man would fold his old clothing, putting it aside so that he might put on a new outfit. Read on:

 

Hebrews 12:25: "See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:

26: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

27: And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

28: Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

29: For our God is a consuming fire.”

 

What was this great event that shook both heaven and earth, changing them forever? It was the establishment of the eternal kingdom of God—that which was not made with hands! It was also a time in which God would be seen as a consuming fire—a day (or time) of vengeance.

 

Daniel spoke of the coming establishment of this kingdom.

 

Daniel 2:37: “Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.

38: And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all.  Thou art this head of gold.

39: And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.

40: And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.

41: And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.

42: And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.

43: And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

44: And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”

 

There would be four great empires: the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Macedonian (Grecian), and the Roman. In the days of the Roman Empire, the eternal kingdom, not made by man’s hands, would break the others into pieces and consume them. When was this taking place? During the “time of the end”, or, the “last days”. Isaiah spoke of what was to come in “the last days”

 

Isaiah 2:2: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

3: And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

4: And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

 

Isaiah 2:19: “And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.

20: In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats;

21: To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.

 

The writer of Hebrews declared that the “last days” were occurring almost 2,000 years ago!

 

Hebrews 1:1: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

2: Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

3: Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”

 

Hebrews 9:26: “For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”

 

The time of Christ and His apostles was the “time of the end”, the “end time”, the “last time”, the “last days”, or the “end of the world (age)”.

 

Acts 2:14: “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

15: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

16: But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

17: And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

18: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

19: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

20: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:

21: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

 

Peter said that the events taking place on Pentecost (and, of course, they continued thereafter) were the signs of the last days, as foretold by the prophet Joel.

 

Joel 2:28: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

29: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

30: And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.

31: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.

32: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.”

 

Joel 3:13: “Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.

14: Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.

15: The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.

16: The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.”

 

Notice the frequent mention also of the “day of the Lord” in connection with the discussion of the last days. Pay attention to the language describing how the heaven(s) and earth would be shaken. Yet, the word of the Lord would stand! What was that word? That He would send a Savior from the bloodline of Abraham to save not only Judah, and Israel, but also the Gentiles!

 

2 Peter 3:1: “This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:

2: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

3: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

4: And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

5: For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

6: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

7: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

8: But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

9: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

10: But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

11: Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

12: Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

13: Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”

 

Compare the above language of that of the prophet Isaiah:

 

Isaiah 64:1: “Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence,

2: As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence!

3: When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence.

4: For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.”

 

Compare with what David wrote:

 

Psalms 18:6: “In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.

7: Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.

8: There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.

9: He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.

10: And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.

11: He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.

12: At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire.

13: The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.

14: Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.”

 

Psalms 46:1: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

2: Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

3: Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.  Selah.

4: There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.

5: God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

6: The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.”

 

Psalms 97:1: “The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.

2: Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.

3: A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about.

4: His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled.

5: The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.

6: The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.”

 

Compare with Ezekiel:

 

Ezekiel 22:19: “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem.

20: As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you.

21: Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof.

22: As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the LORD have poured out my fury upon you.”

 

Compare with Nahum:

 

Nahum 1:2: “God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.

3: The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

4: He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth.

5: The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.

6: Who can stand before his indignation?  and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger?  his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.”

 

Compare also with:

 

Jeremiah 4:11: “At that time shall it be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A dry wind of the high places in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not to fan, nor to cleanse,

12: Even a full wind from those places shall come unto me: now also will I give sentence against them.

13: Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles.  Woe unto us!  for we are spoiled.

14: O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved.  How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?

15: For a voice declareth from Dan, and publisheth affliction from mount Ephraim.

16: Make ye mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem, that watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah.

17: As keepers of a field, are they against her round about; because she hath been rebellious against me, saith the LORD.

18: Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee; this is thy wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reacheth unto thine heart.

19: My bowels, my bowels!  I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.

20: Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment.

21: How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?

22: For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.

23: I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.

24: I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.

25: I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.

26: I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger.

27: For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end.

28: For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.

29: The whole city shall flee for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen; they shall go into thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city shall be forsaken, and not a man dwell therein.”

 

Jeremiah 9:9: “Shall I not visit them for these things?  saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

10: For the mountains will I take up a weeping and wailing, and for the habitations of the wilderness a lamentation, because they are burned up, so that none can pass through them; neither can men hear the voice of the cattle; both the fowl of the heavens and the beast are fled; they are gone.

11: And I will make Jerusalem heaps, and a den of dragons; and I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant.

12: Who is the wise man, that may understand this?  and who is he to whom the mouth of the LORD hath spoken, that he may declare it, for what the land perisheth and is burned up like a wilderness, that none passeth through?

13: And the LORD saith, Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein;

14: But have walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them:

15: Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.

16: I will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known: and I will send a sword after them, till I have consumed them.

 

2 Samuel 22:7: “In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears.

8: Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth.

9: There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.

10: He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and darkness was under his feet.

11: And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: and he was seen upon the wings of the wind.

12: And he made darkness pavilions round about him, dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies.

13: Through the brightness before him were coals of fire kindled.

14: The LORD thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice.

15: And he sent out arrows, and scattered them; lightning, and discomfited them.

16: And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the LORD, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.”

 

We see that Jesus and the apostles were quoting the writings of these prophets. The prophets were speaking of things to come, destruction upon the unfaithful city of Jerusalem, and the country of Judah (Judća).

 

Like the writer of Hebrews, Peter spoke of the “coming day of God”, a day of judgment, a day of God as a “consuming fire”, in which heaven and earth would undergo a drastic change. After the dissolution of the old heavens and earth, during which the disobedient city would be destroyed, there would be new heavens and a new earth, a place of righteousness.

 

1 Peter 1:18: “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

19: But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

20: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,”

 

1 Peter 4:7: “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.”

 

John concurred that it was the “last time”, or the “time of the end”, that is, the “end of the age”. He and those to whom he wrote had knowledge of the signs of the end, and he wrote that it was, indeed, the “last time”.

 

1 John 2:15: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

16: For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

17: And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

18: Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

19: They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

20: But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.”

 

In the last days, there would be vengeance of God against the unrighteous Jews, and then the unrighteous Gentiles. He would send conquering armies (the Romans), and the flood of warriors would consume the unrighteous Jews like a raging fire. Things in heaven, and on the earth, would be realigned according to God’s plan. The righteous would be reconciled to God, and the unrighteous would suffer God’s wrath and indignation.

 

The last days were the days of the generation of Jesus, and the Apostles. They signaled the end of the Law of Moses and the unfulfilled prophecies—for in Jesus would the prophecies and the Law be fulfilled. An age came to an end. Heaven and earth were changed forever—“melted”, as it were, by the fire of God’s wrath. This fire would serve to purify the righteous, but would mark the unrighteous for eternal destruction. As Jesus told John, these things would shortly come to pass.

 

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