THE GIVING OF THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST

September 24, 2000 pm
MF Blume

Luke 24:30-35  And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

In Luke chapter 24 Jesus had already resurrected.  But things were in confusion with those who had believed in him.  We read from verse 13 down through that the disciples were accompanied by Jesus while His identity was not made known to them.  So you can say that Jesus was somewhat hidden.  He asked them about what they were talking about, and they noted to him that Jesus was a prophet but was condemned to death by the chief priests.  They trusted that Jesus would redeem Israel, but it had been three days since he was condemned to death and nothing had changed.  They noted that certain women had been to the grave and didn't find his body.

And then Jesus began to speak to them about the prophets words that Christ should suffer and enter into glory afterwards.

Jesus acted as though he would continue to walk as the two disciples arrived at their home.  So they invited him in and he went in with them for bread and rest.

Luke 24:30  And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
(1) He took bread,

(2) and then blessed it

(3) and then break it

(4) and finally he gave it to them.

Jesus always did this with bread every time he was to give it to others.  Matthew 14: 19 shows us the exact same order.  Take it, bless it, break it, and give it.  You can see it in the last supper in Matt. 26: 26.  You can read of it in Mark 6: 41.  He always handled bread in the same manner.  And when he did this in these disciples' home, Luke 24:31 tells us that their eyes were opened and they knew him.  And verse 35 says he was made known of them in breaking of bread.

So the confusion about Christ after his resurrection was clarified when Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it and then gave it.  Jesus was made known through the breaking of the bread.

Their eyes had been sealed, Luke 24: 16.  And they were opened when Jesus broke the bread.

The book of Revelation at the end of our Bibles is described in the very first verse of the book. The very first five words of this book read, "the revelation of Jesus Christ."  The book of revelation is indeed a revelation of Jesus Christ, himself.  And the first verse also tells us that this revelation was signified to John.  In other words, it was given in symbolic fashion to John in his visions.

JESUS TOOK THE SEALED BOOK

Revelation 5:7  And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
Just as Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it and then gave it, and was made known or revealed to the people, we see this same pattern in the book of Revelation.  Revelation 5: 1 tells us that in the right hand of God on the throne was a book sealed with seven seals.  We read that an invitation is given for some worthy individual to come and open the book and to loose the seals thereof.  But no man in heaven or in earth was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.  John weeps because of that, but then Jesus appears in the symbolic form of a Lamb having been slain.  He is seen with seven eyes and seven horns.  This is significant, because the book was sealed with seven seals.

When something is sealed with seven seals, since the No. 7 represents the sense of something that is "complete" or "perfect" (since God completed His work on the 7th day in Genesis), it is perfectly sealed.  But Jesus is said to have seven eyes.  In other words, he can perfectly see anything.  Nothing that is perfectly sealed can be hidden from him who has perfect insight.  All things are naked and open to the eyes of him.

Verse seven shows us, keeping with the pattern that Jesus always used in breaking bread, that the Lamb came and took the book.  That was the first thing Jesus did with the bread -- he took it.

JESUS BLESSED

Revelation 5:12-13  Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.  And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
After Jesus took bread, he blessed it.  And that is the reason that from Revelation 5:8 through to verse 14 we read of blessings being spoken and being sung.  The retrieval of that book was such a monumental event that praise and worship went forth.  It indeed was a blessed book.  In fact, verse 12 speaks of how the Lamb is worthy who was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.  Note the word blessing.  Verse 13 has every creature in heaven and earth and under the earth and in the sea, saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, the unto him that sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.  Again, blessing is noted.

So the Lord took the book, and blessed it.

JESUS BROKE THE SEALS ON THE BOOK

Revelation 6:1  And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
Then we come to chapter 6.  In chapter 6 he breaks open the book, by breaking the seals.  This was the third thing Jesus did with bread also.  And after it was broken, we come to Revelation chapter 10.  In this chapter we read of a mighty Angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud, with a rainbow upon his head, and his feet as pillars of fire and his face as the sun. Now, that is a description of Jesus Christ, when you read the first chapter of Revelation, and Matthew chapter 17, where Jesus has a face shining like the sun, and brass feet.  In Revelation chapter 1, we see Jesus appearing as gold from his loins upward and his feet like brass.  Ezekiel chapter 1 shows the glory of God as one sitting on the throne, amongst other visionary emblems, with gold from his loins upward and brass from his loins downward.  There was a rainbow around him.  That was none other than Jesus Christ.

JESUS GAVE THE OPENED BOOK AND REVEALED HIMSELF

Revelation 10:1-2 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire  And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,

Revelation 10:9-10  And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.


This mighty angel in Revelation 10 is Jesus Christ.  He is not literally an angel, but the word "angel" simply means "messenger."  And he, himself, was the messenger of the New Covenant.  And in verse two of this chapter, he had in his hand a little book open.  This was the book that was sealed in Revelation chapter 5.  And in this chapter, in verse 8, we read that John is told to go and take the little book that was open.  Vs. 9 reads that he went to the angel and asked him to give him the little book.  Jesus said, "take it, and eat it up."

So far we have read that Jesus took the book, blessed it, broke it open, and now we read that he gave it to John.  In Luke 24, Jesus took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to the disciples who then ate it. After John took the book out of the Angel's hand, he ate it.  And then verse 11 tells us that John was commanded to prophesy to many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.

Back in Luke 24, we not only read of Jesus taking, blessing, breaking and giving the bread to disciples, but he then appeared later in Jerusalem to the 11 disciples.  But once again, things were unclear.  Confusion was abounding.  They were terrified when He appeared and supposed they had seen a spirit when they saw Jesus.  So he then spoke to them and showed them his hands and his feet.  But they still did not believe.  They wondered, and so he asked them for food.  He then ate a broiled fish and honey comb.  And then he opened their understanding.  He explained the Scriptures to them.  And he told them that repentance and remission of sins should be preached to all nations. He made himself known, by breaking open the bread of the word, he gave them the message of salvation to preach.  This was the only message that he told the disciples to preach to all the world.  And in the book of Revelation, John took the book from Jesus, ate it, and is told to prophesy to all nations.  The New Testament is the revelation of Jesus Christ.

The book of Revelation is simply a symbolic portrayal of the New Covenant coming into our world, and closing the old covenant.  It's a revelation of Jesus Christ.  He is what the New Covenant is all about.  To understand the New Testament, is to understand Jesus Christ.

The six seals of Revelation chapter 6, perfectly parallel Jesus words in Matt. 24.  In Matt. 24, we read that Jesus went and left the temple, and his disciples came to Him to show Him the buildings of the temple.  Jesus, referring to the buildings, said that not one stone would be left upon another, that would not be thrown down.  The disciples then came to him and asked him when those things would occur.  What things?  The events invovled in the tearing down of the temple, obviously.  And they asked him what would be the sign of his coming and of the end of the world.  If you research the word "world" in Greek, you'll find that it does not refer to the planet Earth, but to the "age."  So they were wondering when the temple would be destroyed and when the end of the age would come.  And his coming had something to do with the destruction of the temple.

Then Jesus listed a series of events that would occur.  And the first item that he listed perfectly parallels the first seal in Revelation chapter 6.  Verses 4 and 5 tell us that the first element was false Christs coming and deceiving many.  The first seal in Revelation 6 was the White horse.  The White horse represents false Christ's and false prophets.

Then Jesus next spoke of wars and rumors of wars.  This coincides with the second seal in Revelation, the red horse of war.

In Matt. 24, the second part of first seven, Jesus spoke of famines and pestilences.  The third seal in Revelation was the black horse of famine, with a measure of wheat for a penney and three measures of barley for a penny being extremely expensive at that time in history -- indicating time of famine and precious value of the least amount of food.

Jesus continued in Matt. 24 vs. 9 and 10, and told them that they would be afflicted and even killed.  The fourth horse of Revelation 6, was the pale horse of death.

The fifth seal in Revelation describes souls beneath the altar who were martyred.  They wondered when vengeance would take place.  They were given white robes and told to wait.  Matthew 24: 13 mentions awaiting and enduring to the end.

In light of their cry for venganece, it is interesting that Jesus called the coming destruction of Jerusalem the "days of vengeance," satisfying the cries of vengeance of those martyred souls beneath the altar.

Luke 21:20-22  And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
And then we have the sixth seal of Revelation, described the sun turning black, and the moon to blood, and the stars falling like figs.  In Matthew, vs. 29 and 30 also mentions the sun darkened and the moon not being able to give her light.  The stars would fall.  This is a Hebrew idiom used to signify the downfall of  kingdom.  Check other references in the Old Testament for use of this literary idiom.

And then the sign of the son of man would appear.  All the tribes of the earth would mourn and would see the son of man "coming" in the clouds.

The phrase, "tribes of the earth" can be translated from the Greek as "tribes of the land," referring to the tribes of Israel in the local nation of Israel.

Now, so far, Matthew 24 has perfectly coincided with Revelation 6.  This section of Matthew 24 is obviously speaking of the six seals in Revelation 6.  We must notice carefully what Matthew says about the son of man coming.  If this is a perfect parallel with Revelation 6, we must note that in the sixth seal of Revelation, we read in verse 16 and verse 17 that people are crying for the rocks and mountains to fall on them and hide them from the wrath of the lamb.  The great day of his wrath is "come." You read about the son of man "coming" in Matt. 24, and you read about the day of the lamb's wrath "coming" in Revelation 6.  So the "coming" is a coming of wrath.  And this points back to Jesus' reference of the temple being destroyed and the end of the age.

This is not speaking about the return of Jesus Christ for his church.  This is speaking of Jesus coming in wrath against Jerusalem.  In Matt. 24: 34  Jesus makes a very remarkable statement.  He said "This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."  What generation was He talking about?  If all those things would be fulfilled in one generation, including the destruction of the temple, then that ancient generation in which the Lord actually spoke those words was the generation that Jesus said would witness these things.  Looking at the faces of those very disciples who asked him the questions, Jesus said, "This generation."  Their generation, in other words.  The generation that they lived in.

The destruction of Jerusalem and its temple occurred in 70 A. D..  That event was approximately 40 years after Jesus made this statement. It all fits together perfectly! In the Bible, one generation is 40 years.  That generation, in which those disciples lived, saw all those things occur.

In Matt. 23: 36, Jesus spoke about wrath and judgment coming upon Jerusalem and said, "All these things shall come upon this generation."  Vs. 37 shows words spoken to Jerusalem, and first 38 says, "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate."

When Jesus was asked the questions of when those things would occur, the words to Him were, "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Matthew 24:3).

That was Matthew's account. Mark quoted them asking Him these words: "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?" (Mark 13:4)

Notice here that Mark wrote the words, "What shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?" -- when the temple would be destroyed. Matthew recorded the disciples asking what would be the sign of the coming of the Son of man. The accounts do not contradict. Our interpretations may contradict, but the actual interpretation should not. And comparison of the account of Mark and Matthew must cause us to understand that the sign of the coming of the Son of man is the sign of the destruction of the temple. It must be! There is no other explanation when you compare gospel accounts.

Luke recorded this: "Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?" (Luke 21:7).

Luke shows the same record that Mark shows! They referred to the sign of the destruction of the temple as the sign of the coming of the Son of man! The two thoughts were synonymous in their minds! We need to rearrange our thinking, if necessary, so that these two phrases are synonymous in our minds, also.

We can also note that both Luke and Mark record their words as simply asking Him when the events of the temple destruction would occur. Matthew adds the words, "And of the end of the world." So these added words of Matthew must obviously refer to the same timeframe as the events of the foretold temple destruction.

Revelation chapter 6 speaks of the breaking of six seals that were on the book.  Jesus took the book, blessed it, broke the seals off it, and then gave it.  Notice that during the breaking of the seals many tragic things occur.  Hardships occur.  The breaking is indeed comprised of hardships, but breaking is necessary before the bread can be given.  What we are reading about in Revelation 6, is the hardships of the breaking of the bread.  The Bible speaks often about the mystery that was withheld from the world until Jesus Christ came and redeemed mankind.  Paul often spoke about it in his epistles. That mystery was signified by the seven sealed book in Revelation. The bread represents the word of God.  Jesus took the bread of life, the revelation of Jesus Christ in the new covenant, and blessed it, broke open, and then gave it.

Just as there was confusion after the resurrection of Jesus that wasn't clarified until Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and then gave it, the revelation of Jesus Christ was likewise not fully known after the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  In fact, many disciples continued to go to the temple and sacrifice in the early parts of the book of Acts.  It wasn't until disciples, such as Paul, received revelation that Jesus was the final sacrifice, that the church members realized temple ritual was no longer necessary.  In fact, many disciples continued to observe the Sabbath day.  But as time went on, as Jesus had promised, the Spirit led the people into all truth.

While enduring this breaking., as we read in the book of Acts, the church suffered much of persecution.  Just before the word or the bread is given to all to make Jesus known, the breaking must occur.  Jerusalem and the Jews persecuted the church in city after city.  This is what we read about in Matthew chapter 24 verses 4 to 29.

God continues to give revelation to the members of the church today, but the entire revelation of the gospel and the New Testament was given in that interim time of the breaking.

Luke 23:27 -- 30 describes the time when Jesus carried his cross up to the hill.  Women bewailed and lamented him.  But Jesus spoke to these daughters of Jerusalem, and told them not to weep for him, but to weep for themselves and for their children.  And in verse 30 he said that they would begin to say to the mountains, "Fall on us," and to the hills, "cover us."  This is exactly what Revelation's sixth seal said would occur when the wrath of the Lamb would come.

People would cry for the mountains and rocks to fall on them and hide them from the wrath of the Lamb.  Jesus specifically addressed this to these women at Jerusalem.  And looking to Matthew 24, and it's parallel words concerning the sixth seal, we see this puzzle coming together very clearly.  Destruction  would come upon Jerusalem for rejecting Jesus Christ.  You see, the bringing in of the New Testament by Jesus Christ was the most blessed thing that God would do in this entire world.  To accept that revelation of Jesus Christ is the most important decision one would ever make.  And for his own people to reject him and to crucify him would be the greatest evil done in this world.  So it is no wonder that the book of Revelation, which speaks of the little book as the embodiment of the New Covenant, having been taken by Jesus, blessed by Jesus, broken open by Jesus, and given by Jesus, would include words describing the wrath that would come upon Jerusalem and the Jews for rejecting it.  We all know that such opposition to God's people is always a part of the giving of those people to the world to manifest God.  The book of Revelation has to include the breaking and the persecution of Jerusalem against the Church as the element of making Christ known to the world in the giving of the "bread."

THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN IN WRATH

We know that 70 A.D. and the destruction of Jerusalem was not the return of Jesus Christ for his church.  But yet it was still called "the coming of the Son of man."  In Matt. 10:23 Jesus looked into the faces of his disciples and he told them that they would be persecuted in one city and therefore must flee into another.  He said to them, "You shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, til the son of man be come." Now, we know that he did not return for his church before the church was able to preach to all the cities of Israel.  But we do know that the Lord came down and destroyed Jerusalem at that point in history.  Nevertheless, Jesus referred to this as "the coming of the Son of man."  But as we have seen in comparing Matthew 24 with Revelation's sixth seal, that coming was a coming of wrath and destruction.  It was not a coming for the church.  The Bible does speak about his return for the church, but not in these verses or chapters.  By comparing Scripture with Scripture we can rightly divide the Bible.

Jerusalem was given to judgment for crucifying Jesus in the hands of the gentiles.  They were judged for rejecting God's Word.  The temple destruction was not his return for his church, but it did give a sign and proof that He was correct about all that He had said, and that Law and ritual had indeed ended since the cross.  He was vindicated.  He had cursed the temple and the city and the people for rejecting him, and that curse came to pass in 70 A.D..  And from that point onward, the church was free from the persecution of Israel and Jerusalem.

Hardships occurred during the opening of God's Word as it was being broken, when the Jews and Jerusalem temple priests and rulers persecuted the church.  But after 70 A.D. the message of the New Testament was fully given, and would then go forth free from the persecution of the Jews.  Nothing after that would need be revealed about the understanidng of the New Covenant, except to individuals seeking to understand that already established covenant.  Before that time, there was confusion and lack of clarity about what the cross accomplished, but God clarified His Word through the leading of the Spirit concerning the cross of the New Covenant.

GOD'S PEOPLE EXPERIENCING BREAKING AND GIVING

Like breaking the bread, Jesus broke open the New Covenant.  He broke the seals off it.  The bread must be broken before it can be given and then eaten.  The breaking is always the hard part.  Even Joseph from the book of Genesis had been taken by God, blessed, broken and then given.  God took him and and blessed him in visions and dreams.  But then Joseph experienced brokenness.  He was sold by his own brothers as a slave.  After being taken into Egypt, he continued to experience brokenness.  His master's wife lied about him and he was thrown in prison.  But it was after that that Joseph was "given".  Before famine came to the then-known world, Joseph interpreted the king's dream and gave the answer of how to handle that famine.  The brokenness in Egypt was necessary for him to rise in Egypt and be used of God to bless the then-known world.

David was also taken by God and blessed as he slew the bear, the lion, and the giant.  He ascended in popularity in Israel.  He was blessed!  But then came his time of brokenness.  Saul became jealous with envy, and chased David like an animal for many years.  But during that time of brokenness, men were gathered to David to later become valiant warriors for Israel.  During that time David learned many things, such as the need to touch not God's anointed.  And then David was given by God to Israel as a man after his own heart.  David did mighty works for the Kingdom of God.

Abraham was promised to have a son.  In doubt, he took Sarah's handmaid and begat a child.  The child's name was Ishmael.  However, God told Abraham that Sarah herself would have a child.  And so a miracle occurred and Isaac was born.  God took Isaac and blessed him.  But then the period of brokenness came upon the child in Abraham's home.  Ishmael persecuted Isaac. Ishmael's mother despised Sarah.  During this time of brokenness Isaac grew until he was weaned from his mother.  In the Hebrew culture the weaning of the firstborn son called for a celebration. Now, it was not only the attention that Isaac received that upset Ishmael and his mother, but Ishmael had been born before Isaac.  He should have been considered the firstborn.  But in God's eyes, Ishmael should never have been born at all.  Ishmael then mocked Isaac openly during the celebration.  And that was when Sarah told Abraham to cast out the bond woman and her son.

It upset Abraham to think that his own flesh and blood had to be cast away from his home, but God told Abraham to heed to Sarah's words.  And Ishmael and his mother were cast out of the camp.  Then little Isaac was free to grow and make known to work of God in his life.  And Isaac became known as one of the patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Galatians 4: 22-31 tells us that Abraham's two sons, Ishmael and Isaac, represented two peoples.  Ishmael's mother, Hagar, represented the old covenant that was given at Mount Sinai in Arabia, since Hagar was from the Arabian region of Egypt.  Sarah, Isaac's mother, represented the New Covenant of promise.  Sarah speaks of Jerusalem which is above, in contrast to Hagar who is Jerusalem, "which now is."  During the days of Paul's writing, Jerusalem that "then was" was the city that rejected Jesus Christ.  This was the city Jesus had cursed.  But the curse hadn't been fulfilled for a time  and Jerusalem and the Jews continued to persecute church.  Galatians 4: 29 tells us that as Ishmael persecuted Isaac, the Jews continued to persecute church.  But we know that Ishmael was to leave and be cast out one day, according to the pattern of Ishmael and Isaac.  God did indeed deal with this older "generation".  In 70 A.D.. The bond woman and her son were cast out.

It's a pattern that Jesus always took bread, blessed it, broke it, and then gave it, revealing himself.  And it would be no less for the overall and egeneral revelation of Jesus Christ in the New Covenant.  The brokenness of the hardships and persecution against the church was shown in the breaking of the seals of the book.  The older generation, Ishmael, the old covenant people, persecuted the New Covenant people, the church.  It simply seems that this was necessary.  It was always that way when God took a people.

You might ask, "But Jesus took the sealed book.  Why would the people of the church be broken? Should not the New Covenant be broken?"

The New Covenant and all of its truths would indeed reveal Jesus Christ, but the New Covenant is Jesus Christ, Himself.  And the people of the church are one with Jesus Christ.  They died with him, were buried with him, were resurrected with him and are ascended and seated with him in heavenly places.  The Word was IN THEM.  And as God opened up the New Covenant, the people, the church, went through the brokenness.

The old Kingdom of God, that was actually a foreshadowing of the actual Kingdom of God, was comprised of rituals and codebook rules.  It continued on in rituals even after Jesus Christ brought the New Covenant.  The Temple continued to function, and the priests continued to offer sacrifices.  In other words, Ishmael continued to abide beside Isaac for a certain amount of time.  And Ishmael persecuted Isaac during that time.  But that's the way it always happened when God took something and blessed it.  It would be broken.  It would be no different for the church and the revelation of Jesus Christ in the New Covenant.  You might ask why God allowed the temple and its rituals to continue  By the same token we can ask why God allowed Ishmael and Isaac to live together for a time, or why God allowed Saul to continue on the throne after rejecting Saul and calling David to be king.  Its part of the breaking.

The same principle can be seen in the exodus of Israel.  The older "generation" could not believe God's word to enter into the land of promise.  And due to their unbelief, their forty days of searching the land was turned into a curse of forty years of wandering in the wilderness, until they were dead.  The younger generation had to put up with the complaining and the unbelief of the older generation for those forty years.  And only when the older generation was removed could be younger generation enter into the promise land.  The wilderness time was the time of breaking.

How long did Saul reign?  40 years.

How long did the Israelites wander in the wilderness?  40 years.

How long was it after the cross that Jerusalem was destroyed?  40 years.

Joshua 5 provides the account of the time when the older generation had died and the younger generation was ready to enter the land.

Joshua 5 informs us that God told Joshua to make sharp knives and circumcise the children of Israel the second time.  All the younger children who were born during the exodus were never circumcised.  And God looked at the entire nation and both of its generations as one single person, comprised of two elements, when He said that Israel had to be circumcised a second time.  Israel was circumcised the first time when it left Egypt, and now it was to be circumcised the second time since the older generation had died.  This is notable.  The older generation was, as it were, circumcised away from the younger generation.  They represented the flesh and the carnal element of all of us.  And after the breaking process of the wilderness journey, when the older generation died, the younger generation was freed to enter the promise land and enjoy all the blessings of God, being given to the world as a nation of Israel.

God told Joshua to name the location of the second circumcision by the name of "Gilgal," which means "rolling," since God rolled away the reproach of Egypt from the people.  The older generation had much of Egypt's worldly ways and thinking mannerisms in their lives.  When they died, the reproach of Egypt rolled away, as though circumcised from the younger generation.

It is interesting to note that during the sixth seal, the actual 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem, God symbolized the event to John as the heavens having been rolled away like a scroll when it is rolled together.  You could say that the old heaven and earth was the old foreshadowing kingdom of God, comprised of rituals and Commandments of code.  And the new heaven and earth speaks of the New Covenant in Christ.  But just as the older generation walked beside the younger generation in the exodus, during the days of brokenness, the rituals and the temple observances of Israel continued beside the growing newborn church and preaching of the New Covenant.  When the temple of Jerusalem was destroyed the older generation was dealt with, and the end of an "age," a generation,  had come.  We know that the cross ended the law, but in the revelation of Jesus Christ there is always the taking, the blessing, the breaking and then the giving.  And there is always the side-by-side lifestyles of the older generation and the newer generation for a time, causing brokenness upon the newer generation.  This is part of the breaking.  God did not honor old Testament covenant any longer since the time of the cross.  But the breaking of the revelation of Jesus Christ in the church was necessary, and it was always that the fleshly older generation always serve God's purpose for that breaking process to occur.

It is necessary that offenses come, Jesus said.  It was necessary that the church go through a period of brokenness.  It is necessary that all of us go through a period of brokenness.  But woe to him whom by the offense comes.

Ishmael was not the promised son, but continued aside of Isaac for a period until he was removed.  Saul persecuted David for a time, and it was necessary for David's breaking period.

This is a very important point.  It will help us understand why God allowed temple ritual to carry on for a time before ending it in wrathful judgment.    God was done with Saul, but yet Saul continued on the throne for a time.  In the same manner, God was finished with temple ritual and foreshdaows, but it was necessary that the temple continue for a time and the rituals oppose the law of faith in the church, for the breaking of the people of God to occur in persecution.

After the sixth seal in Revelation, Revelation 7 speaks of the 144,000's (the Greek says 144,000's, plural) and the multitude that no man could number who were clothed in white who had come out of great tribulation.  This is telling us that Jerusalem had been dealt with.  Ishmael was cast out.  And Isaac could now be given to the world and live forth to manifest Jesus Christ.

That little book that was sealed in the book of Revelation is technically speaking of the embodiment of the entire New Covenant, the revelation of Jesus Christ.  But God handles whatever He takes in the same manner that he handled the bread and the revelation of Jesus Christ.  He is taking each of our lives and has blessed them.  But before he can give us to the world and manifest himself through us, we must go through a period of brokenness.  In that sense, you can look at the taking of the little sealed book as the taking of our lives, although that is not the point Revelation is actually making.

2 Corinthians 4 speaks about the Christian housing a treasure in an earthen vessel.  And then Paul writes about being troubled and perplexed and persecuted.  But he said that this was necessary as it was the bearing about in his body of the dying of the Lord Jesus Christ, so that the life of Jesus might be made known in him.  This is the breaking that precedes the giving forth of the revelation of Jesus.

Verse 17 tells us that this light affliction is only for a moment, and will not last.  It works for a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

Paul also told us that the suffering of this present time is not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.  Notice that.  God's glory will be revealed in us right here in this life!  Revelation of Jesus Christ!

So many people quit during the process of brokenness.  And when Matthew 24 shows us the breaking of the seals of Revelation, verse 13 tells us that he that endures to the end the same would be delivered.  And then verse 14 reads a very enlightening statement, -- the gospel of the Kingdom would be preached in all the world for witness to all nations.  He said this after he told us about enduring to the end.  After the breaking comes the giving.

We can take this very practically into our own lives and learn that we will go through remarkable times of breaking, and hardships.  But we must remember that the breaking occurs before the giving.  And God will use every single one of you to manifest himself to this world.  Like bread being given to a hungry world you must be taken first, then blessed, and broken and given to the world.

When the temple was destroyed, the older generation was removed.  It was necessary that the temple continue for a time with its ritual and its Ishmael-persecution against the church.  And during those years the books of the New Testament were written in which Paul wrote words of revelation, strength, and comfort and overcoming faith in the midst of persecution and imprisonment.  Through what other means would his words be more effective in showing us that he spoke the truth?  Through what other means would we know that Jesus Christ is indeed our strength, and that despite circumstances we can do all things through him?

You may be going through some incredibly hard trials during this time of your life.  But be encouraged and understand that breaking comes just before the giving.  There's no safer place than to be in the hands of God.  He will not allow things to occur in your life that he knows you cannot handle.  But it is necessary that you experience brokenness so that he can give himself through you to others.

SUMMARY

The book of Revelation is not about computer chips and Chinese armies.  J. L. Martin, in 1873, wrote these words, having missed the symbolic nature of the book of Revelation.

"John is pointing to the modern mode of fighting on horseback, with the rider leaning forward, which, to his sight, and to the sight of one looking on at a distance, would appear as the great mane of the lion; the man leaning on his horseís neck. He would, in fighting with firearms, have to lean forward to discharge his piece, lest he might shoot down his own horse that he was riding. In Johnís day the posture was very different. . . . Now, I want to ask my friendly hearers if it is not as literally fulfilled before our eyes as anything can be? Are not all nations engaged in this mode of warfare? Do they not kill men with fire and smoke and brimstone? . . . Do you not know that this is just ignited gunpowder? . . . Could an uninspired man, in the last of the first century, have told of this matter?"

(JL Martin, The Voice of the Seven Thunders: oc Lectures on the Apocalypse (Bedford, IN: James M. Mathes, Publisher, sixth cd., 1873), pp. 149f.)

And we can laugh at that today, but it is just as silly when we say, for example, that the mark of the beast is a computer chip placed beneath our skin.  Moses was given the law of God and was told by God to bind it to the hand and between the eyes as frontlets.  Was the law of God a computer chip?  No. God simply symbolized to Moses the importance of the word of God that was to be the people's strength, represented by the right hand.  The law was to be God's will accomplished instead of their own independent wills, represented by being placed on the forehead.  The forehead represents the will, as God told Ezekiel that he would make his forehead harder than the people's foreheads -- God would make Ezekiel's will stronger than the will of the people (Ezekiel 3:8-9).  The enemy has his own book that he urges people to adhere to -- to be bound on their foreheads and on their hands.  That is what the mark of the beast is speaking about in Revelation 13.

The book is about the revelation of Jesus Christ.  The New Testament.  The Gospel.  Above is an example that the book of Revelation must be read while considering the idioms used in the old Testament. We have shown you that is a Law of God and principle that whenever he takes, he blesses, then breaks, and then gives a revelation of himself to others through it.  And it is always an older "generation", representing the flesh and its ways, that is used in the time of brokenness before he can be made known through the giving.  This pattern is distinctly found in the book of Revelation, as we see symbolized the greatest taking and giving that we will ever learn about -- the revelation of Jesus Christ in the New Covenant.


PROPHECYSERMONS