The Unveiling – Lesson One

THE INFALLIBLE WORD

Revelation 1:1-3 (KJV) 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:  2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.  3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

GOD’S PLAN

 If there is a God, and we are convinced that there is, if He is a just God, and we are convinced He is, if He has a plan for us, and we are convinced He does, then it is certain that He has given us the answers to our questions about that design.

The Bible, as God’s recorded revelation to the world, was written for that very purpose.

1 John 5:13 (KJV) 13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

John is explaining that these words have been written so that individuals will believe, a step in the process of gaining eternal life.

In John 12:44-50, the same apostle records Jesus’ own explanations – to deliver the Word, so people could believe the message, to be a light to a lost and dying world, to enlighten individuals to the plan of salvation, so they could have life everlasting.

John 12:44-50 (KJV) 44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. 46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.  47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. 49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

In light of the fact that God wrapped Himself in flesh, went from riches to rags, took on the pain and suffering of humanity, was ridiculed, mocked, beaten, and suffered that we might have eternal life, we must believe that it’s of utmost important that we, as scripture explains, must seek out our own salvation with fear and trembling.

Philippians 2:12 (KJV) 12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

This fear means self-distrust, tenderness of conscience. It is vigilance against temptation. This fear represents the opposite of high-mindedness, which is clearly seen in the admonition “be not highminded” but “fear.”

Strong’s Concordance explains this passage as “working out salvation with terror,” meaning don’t take it lightly. Be “exceedingly fearful” in working out salvation by searching it out with all seriousness and not simply going with tradition.

Another verse of scripture, Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:”

We must be knowledgeable about the Word of God. Therefore, that is what we are here to do, to learn what the Bible says regarding events that affect us presently and in the future.

These two verses should provoke us to the seriousness of instructions of the Bible, keeping its commandments, following its directions, so that we can have eternal life.

THE UNVEILING

The word for revelation in the original Greek is “apokalypsis” which means to expose, to reveal, to lighten, a manifestation. Focusing on Revelation and other books of the Bible will reveal through scripture something that was previously concealed. Prophecy is not code; it is not a hidden language. To suggest such a thing violates the very name of the book of Revelation. This is the book by which prophecy is unveiled. It seeks to reveal, not conceal.

This unveiling is from Jesus Christ Himself, so we mere mortals could understand the things to come upon this earth.

This insight into the apocalypse, but also the promises of heaven’s eternal citizenship, provokes both the sinner and the saint to a closer walk with our heavenly father to make our election sure!

It is with goals of a better understanding, attainment of a deeper relationship, strengthening our walk with God, and reassuring our salvation of eternal life through the revealing of His Word that we embark on this journey through The Unveiling of Things To Come.

INERRANT WORD OF GOD!

John 1:14 (KJV) 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

God of glory, the Great I Am, that lives in infinity, who has no beginning or ending, wrapped Himself, the Word, in flesh, dwelt among man and fulfilled prophecy!

The Bible is the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God!

The word “inspiration” literally means God-breathed in the Greek. Additionally, because scripture is breathed out by God, it is true and inerrant. Consider the following syllogism:

Romans 3:4 (KJV) 4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

Major Premise:

God is true (Romans 3:4).

2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV) 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Minor Premise:

God breathed out the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16).

Premise Conclusion:

Therefore, the Scriptures are true (John 17:14,17; cf. Psalm 119:142; 151; 160; Revelation 21:5; 22:6)

 John 17:17 (KJV) 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

As illustrated above, premises that are themselves taught by scripture can infer the inerrancy of scripture.

We read in scripture that truth is an attribute of God (Jeremiah 10:10; John 1:14; 14:6; 17:3), and that God speaks truthfully – that is, He does not lie (Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Titus 1:2; Romans 3:3-4).

It is God’s Word, the Bible, the book that we treat with utmost respect. We hold it dear to our hearts! It’s not a book like all the other books that have been written throughout all the ages of time. This book came to us distinctively, given to us by God; and it is the revealed Word of God.

This precious book, the one that so much controversy surrounds, has been the subject of never-ending debates. Many have attempted to destroy it. Can it stand the test of time? Can you depend on it during your own dark hour? Will it hold true during the turbulent age of the end time?

Yes, this book has seen apostles, prophets, scholars, every walk of humanity known through world-shaking catastrophes! In fact, it’s many of those things that prove its infallibility.

We can trust God’s Word for every facet of life. No matter the curve that’s thrown at us, it will get us through the good, the bad, and the ugly. With the Word as our foundation, we will come forth as pure gold refined in the fire of adversity! Yes, it will navigate us through the end time era. We can depend on it!

Psalm 12:6-7 (KJV) 6  The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7  Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV) 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17  That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

The NLT reads:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT) 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

The word all includes Bible prophecy. It has been said that over 33% of the Bible is prophecy, and we are the generation experiencing over 90% of Bible prophecy fulfilled.

There are many reasons that the Bible dedicates so much material to prophecy. The main purpose is to direct the attention of the human race to Jesus Christ.

Revelation 19:10 (KJV) 10  And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

The NLT reads “for the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus. “Revelation 19:10 (NLT)

Previously fulfilled prophecy lends unprecedented credibility to the Bible’s statement to be the Word of God, and the prophecies fulfilled by the birth, ministry, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus of Nazareth authenticate His claim to be the one true Christ!

In essence, Bible prophecy is the most powerful witness to the divinity of Christ. Bible prophecy points to Jesus Christ Himself. It is the unveiling of Jesus Christ.

We will discuss three significant reasons of the Lord’s repeated command to study Bible prophecy.

FIRST: AUTHENTICATION OF THE BIBLE

Bible prophecy offers the clearest indication that the Bible is the verifiable Word of God.

Sadly, despite the millions of individuals who attend church and synagogues every week, and the existence of countless books on the subject, most people are simply unaware of these prophecies.

People feverishly search through writings of Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, the Koran, and countless other “sacred texts” in hope of finding a profound truth or revelation concerning the future, only to be disappointed time and again.

The most credible source of information on future events, the Bible, escapes notice. Yet mountains of historical data, archeological evidence, and the staggering mathematical probability of their occurrence merely being the result of chance back the fulfilled prophecies of the Bible.

No other source of historical knowledge can make the same claims and for good reason. No other source is the inspired Word of God!

Isaiah 46:9-11 (KJV) 9  Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10  Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: 11  Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. The very definition of God includes His unique ability to see from the distant past to the distant future, from the beginning to the end. He alone can foresee world events with 100% accuracy centuries in advance.

The apostle Peter testified to this fact:

2 Peter 1:19-21 (KJV) 19  We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Unlike other “sacred texts” that claim divine origin, the Bible can point to its unprecedented track record in foreseeing future events. This is because the Bible is not the product of imaginative men, but rather the testimony of prophets who were moved by the Holy Spirit to speak from God.

Fulfilled prophecy authenticates the Bible, proving it to be the Word of God. For this reason alone, Bible prophecy is worth every iota of our attention.

SECOND: ASSISTANCE IN SPREADING THE GOSPEL

The second significant reason of the Lord’s repeated command to study Bible prophecy is how Bible prophecies have assisted in spreading the gospel.

One of the easiest and most natural methods for spreading the Gospel is the sharing of Bible prophecy.

One of the primary methods for spreading the Gospel by the early days of the church was sharing fulfilled Bible prophecy.

On the day of Pentecost, Peter gave a rousing message in Jerusalem in which he cited fulfillment of the prophecies as clear proof that Jesus was the long awaited Messiah (Acts 2:14-42). This message led to three thousand people devoting their lives to Jesus Christ and being filled with the Holy Spirit. Later in the same book, we learn the story of Phillip and the Eunuch, in which Philip uses a fulfilled prophecy from the book of Isaiah in order to explain the Gospel to an Ethiopian traveler in Acts 8:26-39. These are just two of many instances in which the early church emphasized Bible prophecy as a tool for evangelism.

2 Peter 1:16-19, Peter underscores the important role of Bible prophecy.

2 Peter 1:16-19 (KJV) 16  For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17  For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18  And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. 19  We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

In Peter’s words, Bible prophecy is “like a light shining in a dark place.”

Bible prophecy provides us with confidence in the coming glory of Christ and the necessary hope to see us through the daily rigors of life until that day of Christ’s appearance. He further proclaims His confidence in the words of the prophets, both fulfilled and unfulfilled, because He has witnessed firsthand the authenticity of the scriptures.

Therefore, we should afford the utmost respect for the words of the prophets, and rejoice in the fact that we are able to understand their fulfillment in the life of Christ.

1 Peter 1:10-12 (KJV) 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.

The prophets yearned to know more about Bible prophecy, and the Spirit of Christ was within them. Even the angels are eagerly awaiting the fulfillment of Bible prophecy!

THIRD: ENCOURAGEMENT OF HOLY LIVING

The third reason that the Lord repeatedly commanded the study of Bible prophecy was to encourage holy living.

Dedicated study of Bible prophecy leads to holy living. When we let loose of this world, and take a stronger grip on God by studying His Word, we automatically will live truer, holier lives simply because we are more sensitive to God, His convictions, and His direction for our lives.

When priorities are God-driven instead of world driven, our perspective drastically changes. When we begin to see all of our pleasures, disappointments, adversities, highs and lows of this life with God’s eyes, we allow God to mold and make us into His own image, ultimately perfecting us into His glory which is Heaven!

Fulfilled prophecy is a constant reminder of God’s awesome power, the glory of Jesus Christ, and the absolute certainty that promises yet unfulfilled will come to be. This breeds a number of Christ-like characteristics in the life of a Christian, a fact attested to by Paul.

Titus 2:11-13 (KJV) 11  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

If we acknowledge the prophecies of the Second Coming, as well as the command of Jesus to watch, stay awake and alert, we will be driven to live godly lives. Paul emphasized this in his letter to the Romans.

Romans 13:11 (KJV) 11  And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

Peter also recognized the power of prophecy to motivate Christians toward holy living, citing faith in the imminent return of Christ (unfulfilled prophecy) as reason for modifying behavior and living a life in harmony with God.

1 Peter 1:13-15 (KJV) 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; 14  As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

James supported the important role of Bible prophecy in fostering patience in the life of Christ’s followers:

James 5:7-8 (KJV) 7  Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. 8  Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

Harboring the hope that Christ can return at any moment encourages patience in our daily lives.

In addition, Paul points out the importance of studying Bible prophecy in order to identify false prophets and recognize evil:

1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 (KJV) 19  Quench not the Spirit. 20  Despise not prophesyings.
21  Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22  Abstain from all appearance of evil.

If a Christian ignores Bible prophecy, that Christian is ignoring a large portion of God’s Word! Do not quench the Spirit. Don’t despise prophecies.

As a result, they will be unable to adequately counter arguments and false doctrines put forth by false prophets and enemies of God. Like the people of Berea (Acts 17:10), we are encouraged to personally examine the Word of God and use it as the yardstick by which we measure truth. A Christian who lacks knowledge of Bible prophecy will be severely lacking in this area, and as a result, they will be more susceptible to errant teachings.

BLESSING

There are blessings in the reading and study of Bible Prophecy.  One of the most prophetic books of the Bible, the book of Revelation, promises a special blessing to those who merely read it.  Moreover. God further blesses those who listen to what this book has to say and to take it to heart:

Revelation 1:3 (KJV) 3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

 UNVEILING

The Book of Revelation is the revelation or unveiling of Jesus Christ. Many are under the misconception that it is the revelation of John. It is direct correspondence from Jesus to His followers, and though some find it difficult to understand, and others pronounce it as gloom and doom literature, it contains some of the most wonderful promises from God to man in the entire Bible. End time prophecy is a warning to the individual that is not living a Godly life, or to the person that has not searched out scripture, to be sure of his or her salvation in light of eternal life. To the church, the bride of Christ, the individual that is following, obeying, and seeking out the commandments of God, end time Biblical prophecies give many promises of future exciting rewards and hopes! Prophecy, when presented correctly, is a joyous exciting topic for the child of God that is walking in the truth and light of God!

Scripture explains this, saying:

1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (KJV) 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.

Paul knew the importance of Bible prophecy and the significant role it played in the daily life of a Christian. In fact, he earnestly looked forward to the day when he would be rewarded for this hope in an unfulfilled Bible prophecy, the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ.

Even Paul, during the early days of the church, understood the significance of watching, waiting, preparing for the imminent return of Jesus Christ and the reward of doing so!

2 Timothy 4:8 (KJV) 8  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

The crown of righteousness is not just for Paul, but for all who “eagerly look forward to His glorious return,” providing those who receive it with an eternal reward.

Luke 9:23-26 (KJV) 23  And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25  For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? 26  For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.

Life’s top priority should be to be more like Jesus, to walk in truth, to understand and be knowledgeable of the Word of God, so we will ultimately attain eternal life. What does it profit us, if we gain everything, but lose our soul? Help us Jesus to take up your cross, deny self, and follow you in all the fullness of the truth!

The early church warned the last generation that unfulfilled prophecies would be a source of derision:

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

Our generation has done more to fulfill Peter’s prophecy than any other generation before:

Today, Bible prophecy and those who study it are mocked and ridiculed. It’s not just the general population attempting to marginalize prophecy. In most cases, it’s prominent leaders of mainstream Christian denominations – ministers, priests, and community leaders of all types, that play down prophetic Bible truths.

Such people attempt to justify their personal disdain for prophecy by relegating it to second tier status behind salvation and evangelism. They say, why waste time studying Bible prophecy when it detracts from good works and spreading the gospel message? They fail to realize that prophecy is the essence of the gospel message.

Almost every one of the promises Christians hold near and dear are based on prophecy.

  • The promise of heaven is prophecy.
  • The hope of salvation is prophecy.
  • The joy of eternity with Christ is prophecy.

Each of these is a promise from God guaranteeing our future. What is prophecy if not a guaranteed future event? Therefore, we must not allow the mockery of others discourage us from the study of prophecy.


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