Did God deliberately withhold vital information even from those who must have such information in order to inherit eternal life? Yes, He indeed did. This series will address this question by revealing what He withheld, from whom He withheld it, when it was proclaimed, by whom, to whom and for what purpose. The answer to the question will come through revelation directly from God Himself.
In most modern Bibles the title given to the final book of the Bible is “the Revelation.” Some call it the Revelation of the Apostle John, which it is not. Others call it the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which it is. In the Greek language–the language in which the New Testament was written–the final book is titled the “Apocalypse,” meaning to unveil or reveal something not been previously known. The purpose of any unveiling is to bring about knowledge of the unknown. At the time of the writing of the Lord’s Revelation to John mankind was not spiritually equipped to understand the symbolism found within it. God was not ready for man, any man, to understand what He had revealed to His prophets and the Apostle John. John didn’t know what he was in for when the incredible Being standing in front of him told him to record what he was about to hear and see (1:19). Little did he realize that an unexplainable symbolic blitz was about to materialize before his eyes. The things he would be seeing and hearing had no meaning to him or to the people of his day. As the Lord would explain, the weird beasts that came and went in front of him would be commonplace to the people on earth at the end of the age. In fact, it was for that future generation that the vision was given and recorded. John understood this. Neither John nor the two prophets to whom God gave corresponding visions had a clue as to what their strange visions actually meant. It would be many generations before God would open man’s eyes to the true meanings of the visions found in the Book of Daniel, the Book of Jeremiah and the Book of Revelation. Let us now enter into the wonderful mind of the Holy God and search out His Truth concerning the Apocalypse and its two supporting visions and dreams, each of which pointed to the final 3 1/2 years of Satan’s rule of planet earth, a time known globally as The Great Tribulation (2 1/2 yrs.) and The Day of the Lord (1 yr). The Tribulation will end with the second coming of Jesus Christ.
The Lord began addressing the end time situation long before the Word came to earth as Jesus of Nazareth (Jn. 1:1-4/Rev. 19:13) for the purpose of establishing the final phase of God’s church. In the Books of Daniel and Jeremiah He outlined human history from the time of their respective visitations until the time when the events depicted in John’s vision would begin to take place. The two prophets’ terrible visions serve as the introduction to and explanation of the horrendous time just ahead of us when John’s vision will not only come to life for everyone living on earth at that time, but will affect everyone’s very existance. All three visions, plus the Words of Jesus Christ recorded in Matthew 24:1-14, were given for the purpose of preparing God’s people for the Great Tribulation soon to envelop the face of the earth. Only 1/3 of mankind will survive the slaughter to be experienced during “the last days” of human life as we know it.
Let us return to the time when the people of earth heard the announcement marking the exact moment when the “last days” began. The setting was Jerusalem; the place was the Upper Room; the date was the Day of Pentecost; the year was 31 A.D. In the second chapter of the Book of Acts we find thousands of people rushing to where the disciples were gathered demanding to know what was happening. Confusion reigned because these people were hearing the disciples of a dead man named Jesus speaking in the native languages of people who had gathered in Jerusalem from “all nations under heaven” (Acts 2:5). These ignorant, mostly illiterate Jews could not possibly know the hundreds of languages spoken by those who had flocked into Jerusalem from all over the world in order to celebrate the Day of Pentecost in the City of David. It has been estimated that as many as one million people would travel to Jerusalem each year for the Holy Day celebration. Though I was not there on a Holy Day, the dancing and festivities that sprang up at the “wailing wall” allowed me to envision what the people would do during Holy Day celebrations. I would love to experience such a joyous occasion during this lifetime. L.J.