Back to the Word of the Week
The Gospel of the Kingdom - The Book of Revelation
Week 1, 2018
I pray that this New Year will be your best year yet—that you will get continually closer to God, and love Him more. I pray that this will also infect all of your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and everyone you have contact with, so that this will be their best year yet too.
Now, back to our study of the Book of Revelation. This week we will continue with an important text for our time,
And I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people;
and he said with a loud voice, "Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come. Worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters."
And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality."
There is an angel flying in the middle of heaven with an eternal gospel for everyone on the earth. This is the “gospel of the kingdom” that Jesus said must be preached throughout the earth before His return. Here we are given some factors that will accompany this great message that can help us discern its timing:
1) The angel first declared, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because His hour of judgment has come.” So, we can expect this message of His coming judgment to precede the gospel of the kingdom.
2) There is an exhortation to worship Him who made us and the good things we have. This will be a movement of thanksgiving by which we begin to express our appreciation for all He has done for us.
3) Another messenger declares that “Babylon the great” has fallen. This is the demise of the false church, the harlot church that committed adultery with the spirit of the world and seduced the nations with her immorality.
With the exception of a great worship movement of the last few decades, it does not seem that any of these elements are yet present in a major way. In some ways it looks like the opposite with the “hyper grace” movement getting so much traction in the body of Christ. However, that is a good sign that the truth about God’s judgments is about to be proclaimed. How is that?
Before almost every great message that brought revival and reformation, there would be a counter or false message promoting the opposite to thwart the coming truth. It is like the principle of a “Saul” before a “David.” The false message would help purify the church by drawing out those who could be deceived because “they did not have a love for the truth.”
Even psychology has revealed that most people believe what they want to believe more than what the actual facts may bear out. Many who claim to be Christians hold to doctrines that are in direct conflict with the Scriptures. They are obviously either ignorant of what the Scriptures say, or they esteem the desires and opinions of the world above the Word of God. We can expect such to either repent or be pruned away by the message that is coming.
This is also referred to as the separating of the wheat from the tares that will take place at the end of the age. In the parable, it is the tares that get bundled together first and taken out. Now is the time to pray for those who are deceived by the false message—that they would have the veil removed and repent of anything they allowed to eclipse the written Word for establishing doctrine. If Jesus, who was the Word, would take His stand on “It is written,” how much more must we?
Because of the sure word of prophecy we have in this text in Revelation, we know that an anointed proclamation will bring a true and holy fear of the Lord, and will compel men to give Him glory as they witness His judgments. There is a reason why this is called “the great and terrible day of the Lord.” It will be great for those who are abiding in the Lord and terrible for those who are not.
Now is the time to examine our beliefs and be sure they are based on sound biblical truth, not our desires or opinions, or the desires or opinions of those who have preached things that are in conflict with the Scriptures.
The third identifying event of this time is the fall of “Babylon.” This system is also called “the great harlot” because it has become the false church by marrying the spirit of this age instead of waiting as a pure chaste virgin for her Lord. All that claims to be the church, but is not, will soon collapse. Revelation continues to cover this so that its nature and destiny is clear.
next week 2