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The Book of Revelation – Part 2 Judgement and Repentance
The book of Revelation, as we have seen, has to do with those things that have to take place in the world, the Church and in Israel in order to facilitate the unveiling or Revelation of Jesus Christ or His second coming. In that sense then, the book is about Jesus. Of this an Angel reminded John as recorded in chapter nineteen and verse ten. He is the spirit of prophecy. We would do well to take note of this when we examine the detailed information given about other issues contained in this prophetic oracle. As we now move to consider the main teaching of the book we should briefly consider the following:
1. The book is about judgment. (Psalm 92:7)
This is a major theme of the book since it constitutes that process whereby Jesus brings His
enemies to His footstool so that He may rightly stand up and crush them. It also then has to
do with judging His people the Church. She will be evaluated and judged so that she may
repent, be purified and made ready for His revelation. The Church must hear the voice of the
Spirit of God, change and overcome. In fact judgment begins with the household of God as
1 Peter 4:17 tells us and this is why, before doing anything else, Jesus turns His gaze and
attention upon the Church. That is, His message to the Seven Churches of Asia. Before
proceeding it is important to make a few comments about God’s judgment as reflected in
The God of the Bible judges His world and His people. He has not lost control of the world
and certainly this includes the powers of darkness. They, not being omnipotent, omnipresent
and omniscient, actually and unknowingly serve His purposes in the matter of judgment. We
see this supremely reflected in the death of Jesus. The Devil induced Judas to betray Jesus
(John 6:70, John 13:1-2; 26-27) since he was determined to kill Him. Jesus acknowledged
the power play of the powers of darkness in His arrest and crucifixion (Luke 22:53) and yet
they were unwittingly playing into the hands of God and fulfilling His purpose for the
redemption of humanity. The thing that the Devil desired the most and planned for became
his undoing, defeat and downfall.
The same thing is happening today in terms of the Corona Virus, in that it is entirely devilish
and demonic but, by the sovereignty of God, it is rightly judging the world and purifying the
Church! The great manifestation of the judgment of God that will take place at Armageddon
is in fact orchestrated by evil and demonic spirits (Revelation 16:12-16). These, once again, in
their mad drive to destroy the human race, will play into the hands of God to achieve His
purpose and triumph and in the end guarantee their destruction. Revelation 20:10.
2. Jesus message to the seven Churches of Asia
Chapters two and three record the evaluation or judgment that Jesus pronounces over His
Church in the world. This is reflected in His dealings with seven churches that were real and
were located in Asia. Interestingly, they give us a remarkable reflection of the state of the
Church as it journeyed through 2000 years of history to the present. Also, His message to
them, taken all together, gives us a picture of what the Church in any area of the world
should look like. We should closely study Jesus’ message to His people in Asia.
The Church’s high calling is to reflect Jesus. This is why in chapter one Jesus is seen by the
light that is cast by the seven golden lamp stands (Revelation 1:12-16). The glory of Jesus’
person, as John sees it, is a message in itself and a lesson to the churches. So, His feet are
of burnished bronze, a symbol of judgment, His eyes a flame of fire, a symbol of His
holiness, His hair is white as wool, a symbol of His divinity, He wears a priestly garment, a
symbol of His atoning work on the cross and His voice is like many waters, a symbol of His
Of the seven churches that Jesus addresses only two are commended. That is the Church at
Smyrna and the one at Philadelphia. In terms of the one at Smyrna, it is to be noted that the
Devil is about to “throw some of you into prison” but again, in so doing he is playing into the
very purpose of God ( Revelation 2:10). That is, Jesus is about to test them. The Church at
Philadelphia, by contrast, because of her faithfulness, is about to have a new door of
opportunity and ministry opened up for her ( Revelation 3:8).
The other five churches of Asia are riddled with a lack of love for Christ, sexual perversity,
lawlessness, authoritarian and cultic leaders, idolatry and lukewarmness. We would do well
to examine our own hearts about these things. We must hear what the Spirit of God is saying
to us, repent, that is turn around, and overcome. An overcomer is a failure who gets it right
by the grace of God. This call to overcome is constant and even appears later in the book
with reference to the Church’s battle against Antichrist (Revelation 14:11-13; Revelation 13:
10; Revelation 21:7) . The Apostle John was himself in tribulation as he endured under the
Antichrist of his time, which was embodied in the Caesar of the Roman Empire (Rev 1:9).
He himself, in his first Epistle, stated that history would be riddled with many Antichrists and
the Church of the Living God would have to overcome these ( 1 John 2:18). This they would
do by the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony and they would even lay down their
lives in death (Revelation 12:11).