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by: Dr. Dean Crosby
Unless you have a strong aversion to news reports, this thought must have crossed your mind recently: OH NO! THESE MUST BE THE BIBLE PREDICTED "LAST DAYS"!! Hey you sure are perceptive !!! With the firm belief that we now entering into the Tribulation period, I am starting a series of studies of the Book of Revelation, that difficult to understand road map that shows exactly where we are headed, using the easy to understand Contemporary English Version (CEV) Bible that has been created by the American Bible Society. I will then add insights in capital letters which will provide explanations and historical background information for the words you have just read in order to at long last make the startling predictions made in this important and fascinating book comprehensible. I will occasionally make changes in the CEV words if I detect variance from the meaning found in the King James Bible.
1This is what God showed to Jesus Christ, so that he could tell his servants what must happen soon. Christ then sent his angel with the message to his servant John. 2 And John told everything that he had seen (THIS REFERS TO THE VISIONS HE WAS GIVEN) about God's message and about what Jesus Christ had said and done. 3 God will bless everyone who reads this prophecy to others, (IN A PUBLIC MEETING SUCH AS A WORSHIP SERVICE) and he will bless everyone who hears and obeys it. (THE WARNINGS IN THIS BOOK ) The time is almost here.
4 From John to the seven churches in Asia. I pray that you will be blessed with
kindness and peace from God, who is and was and is coming. May you receive
kindness and peace from the seven spirits before the throne of God. (THIS CAN
REFER TO THE FUNCTIONS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: ISA 11:2 "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"). 5 May
kindness and peace be yours from Jesus Christ the faithful witness. (REFERS TO
HIS LIFE ON EARTH AS HE SPOKE AS GOD DIRECTED HIM) Jesus was the first to
conquer death, ( RESURRECTION ) and he is the ruler of all earthly kings. (JESUS
HAS BEEN GIVEN THE POWER TO RULE THE WORLD BY INFLUENCING LEADERS ) Christ loves
us, and by His blood He set us free from our sins. 6 He lets us rule as kings
and serve God his Father as priests. To him be glory and power forever and ever!
7 Look! He is coming (SECOND COMING) with the clouds. (THIS MAY REFER TO LEGIONS OF ANGELS AND THOSE TAKEN INTO HEAVEN DURING THE RAPTURE) Everyone will see him, (THIS WILL NOW BE POSSIBLE DUE TO SATELLITE TELEVISION COVERAGE) even the ones who stuck a sword through him. Many on earth will weep because of him. (THIS WILL OCCUR BECAUSE OF FEELINGS OF GUILT AND THE FEAR OF PUNISHMENT) Yes, it will happen! Amen.
8 The Lord God says, "I am Alpha and Omega, the one who is and always was (THE FIRST AND THE LAST ) and is coming. I am God All-Powerful!" (THIS INSURES THAT HE WILL BE ABLE TO CREATE THE ASTONISHING MIRACLES THE BOOK OF REVELATION DESCRIBES)
9 I am John, a follower together with all of you. We suffer (PERSECUTION) because Jesus is our king, but He gives us the strength to endure. (EXHIBIT FAITHFULNESS AND PATIENCE) I was sent to Patmos Island, (A REMOTE ISLAND THE ROMANS SENT SOME OF THEIR PRISONERS) because I had preached God's message and had told about Jesus. (JOHN WAS SENT INTO EXILE ON THIS REMOTE ISLAND BECAUSE OF HIS MINISTRY) 10 On the Lord's day, the Spirit (HOLY SPIRIT) took control of me (GAINED CONTROL OF HIS THINKING), and behind me I heard a loud voice that sounded like a trumpet. (THIS WAS THE VOICE OF GOD COMMUNICATING WITH HIM)
11The voice said, "Write in a book (THIS BOOK) what you see. Then send it to the seven churches in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea." (THESE SEVEN CHURCHES WILL REPEATEDLY BE REFEREED TO) 12 When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lamp stands. (THE LAMP STANDS ARE THOUGHT TO BE A SYMBOL FOR THE SEVEN CHURCHES) 13 There with the lamp stands was someone who seemed to be the Son of Man. (JESUS) He was wearing a robe that reached down to his feet, and a gold cloth was wrapped around His chest. (THIS IS THE TYPE OF CLOTHING THAT WAS WORN BY KINGS) 14 His head and His hair were white as wool or snow, and His eyes looked like flames of fire. (THIS DESCRIBES AN EMOTIONALLY INTENSE APPEARANCE) 15 His feet were glowing like bronze being heated in a furnace, and His voice sounded like the roar of a waterfall. 16 He held seven stars (THE MINISTERS OF THE SEVEN CHURCHES) in His right hand, and a sharp double-edged sword ( THE WORD OF GOD) was coming from His mouth. His face was shining as bright as the sun at noon. (EVIDENCE OF HIS HOLY NATURE)
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead person. (THIS INDICATES THAT JOHN WENT INTO SHOCK) But He put His right hand on me and said: Don't be afraid! I am the first, (THE LORD OF HISTORY) the last, (THE ETERNAL) 18 And the living one. I died, (HIS SACRIFICE FOR OUR SINS) but now I am alive forevermore, ( JESUS HAS DEFEATED DEATH) and I have the keys to death and the world of the dead. (HE ALONE HAS THE POWER TO SENTENCE MEN TO HELL) 19 Write what you have seen and what is and what will happen after these things. (REFERS TO THE DESCRIPTIONS OF THE TRIBULATION PERIOD WHICH JOHN IS ABOUT TO RECEIVE IN GREAT DETAIL) 20 I will explain the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand (THIS IS THOUGHT TO REFER TO THE FACT THAT THE SEVEN MINISTERS JOHN SAW IN THIS VISION WERE PERSONALLY CHOSEN BY JESUS ) and the seven gold lamp stands. The seven stars (MINISTERS) are the angels of the seven churches, and the lamp stands are the seven churches.
About The Author:
Dr. Dean Crosby is a published author, instructor in New Testament studies, and Christian therapist. He holds a bachelors degree in communication, a masters degree in counseling, and a doctoral degree in psychology. He is the founder and director of the Christian Caring Center, a non-profit internet counseling agency. Dr. Crosby can be personally contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org but information about his counseling center should be requested at email@example.com
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