The book of Revelation talks about the things to come, yet not many people read it. On one hand it is because only a few people understand it and on the other hand, it talks about future events pertaining to the entire world, not only on an individual basis. Chinese people use many ways to find out about the mysteries of the things to come because they all want to know what will happen in the future. Whether it is divination, feng shui, purple star astrology or fortune telling by feeling a person’s bones, they all want to find out their destiny. Yet, what the fortune teller says to you is very vague and uncertain. He or she can only tell you the possibility of encountering adversity, hardships or afflictions. Many people believe in the fortune teller’s predictions, but later on they realize that it was all just deceptive talk.
Besides the fortune-tellers and the wizards, there are also many highly educated people who want to know about the future. Their approach is to study the past to know the future. If they could be sure of how people came to be, at least there would be some space for supposition of where people will be going. Unfortunately, people don’t know where they came from, and they have no idea where they will be going. Therefore, regarding the future, do not believe what the fortune- teller tells to you, in fact, don’t even believe anything that people tell you about the future because no one can know for sure what will happen in the future.
However, the words of the book of Revelation are trustworthy and true. For the people living in those times, chapters 2 and 3 were prophecies that would be happening during the next 2000 years; but for us it has already become history. The prophecies of the past two thousand years have been accurately fulfilled, so there is no reason not to believe in the prophecies to come.
IT IS GOD’S REVELATION TO JOHN THROUGH AN ANGEL
6 And he said to me, “These words are faithful and true”; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place.
The angel reiterates to John that these prophecies are trustworthy and true and they will definitely happen. In the old times, the prophets received revelation from God through inspiration, it was really difficult to determine what would happen until the prophecy actually took place. But what John saw came from the angel. The angel appeared to him and showed him a vision, explaining to him what he did not understand, it was a very unique experience. People should believe it wholeheartedly, it is not just an ordinary teaching, or John’s insights, it is what John recorded.
“The spirits of the prophets”. The word “spirits” is in plural form. They are the spirits of the prophets, they are keen spirits, those are the spirits that can receive the message of the Lord. The inspiration that the prophets receive from God exceeds that of an ordinary person, nevertheless, it could still be unclear. Now, the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sends His angel to relate the message directly, to show visions like a movie scene; as a result, this way of revelation is the clearest one. The source is God Himself, and we can absolutely accept it without any doubt. People cannot have anymore excuses not to believe it. Those who do not believe it are foolish, because those things will be happening during our generation.
This revelation is not only to make people know and understand it, but also to let people know how to follow it. God’s Word is not just some kind of an information or an idea. If a person only wants to hear some ideas and is not planning to follow it, God will not speak to him.
JOHN’S REACTION CONFIRMS THE TRUTH
8 這些事是我約翰所聽見、所看見的，我既聽見、看見了，就在指示我的天使腳前俯伏要拜他。9 他對我說：千萬不可，｢我與你、和你的弟兄、眾先知、並那些守這書上言語的人，同是作僕人的。你要敬拜神。｣
8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me.
Here, John has an unusual reaction; he wants to worship the angel who was giving him the message. This also happened in chapter 19 but the angel prohibited him from doing such a thing. John himself knew that he should not worship any other being besides God. Even though there are people in the Catholic Church and in the Eastern Orthodox Church who worship angels, John knew that it should not be done.
Then, why did he make that mistake? Because that message was exceedingly awesome and amazing which made him overly excited. Such a wonderful future made him not know how to express himself. He saw the whole scene of the vision of the end times which other prophets did not have that opportunity to see. He was the only one who saw Jesus with his own eyes and heard Christ speak to him in the vision, he couldn’t help it but fall down and worship. It is the natural reaction of a human being when seeing a revelation from God, to fervently worship this amazing Lord.
The way he reacted indicated that he came across a very unusual thing. His weird reaction might have made others think that he was crazy, but as we see it, the way he reacted proves that he might have seen something so amazing that he couldn’ t react in any other way.
7 “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”
16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
Regarding John, there is still one more very important proof which is the fact that Jesus Christ spoke to him personally. He was the disciple whom Jesus loved, he was with Jesus for more than 3 years. After Jesus resurrected from the dead and ascended to heaven, he must have thought that he would not be able to see Jesus until he passed away. Who would have thought that after all the other disciples had died, he was able to see Jesus in his old age. In chapter 1 when he started seeing the visions, many years had already gone by since he last saw the Lord. After he had looked at all the visions, the Lord Jesus appeared to him and spoke to him.
The Lord is like an artist who after he had finished drawing his work of art, He puts His own personal signature on it to prove that the drawing was His own masterpiece. He said that He is the Root and Offspring of David, and He is also a descendant of David. That is truly a very unique way to introduce Himself. Since ancient times, there is only one who could call Himself the ancestor of David and his offspring.
In ancient times, David discovered and established the old Jerusalem, but Christ established the new Jerusalem; David established a dynasty for generations and generations, but Christ, the Offspring of David, He will establish an eternal kingdom and He will reign forever and ever.
Furthermore, He is the bright Morning Star. The morning star brings a new day, a new hope. Christ will also bring to the world a new sight to behold, an eternal hope. The Israelites honored David greatly, they use the star of David as their national emblem. The star of David is also called the shield of David, it has been used for a few hundred years. This star of David is not really a star, not even a morning star and will not bring them new hope. But Jesus Christ, He is the bright and morning Star, He is our future leader, bringing new hope to the people, we can trust in Him for all eternity.