Revelation Summary 1


The First Heaven and the First Earth


Revelation 1


1)      Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave to Him to show His servants that which is necessary to be done in quickness, and He did make it known having sent through His messenger to His servant John,

2)      who did bear witness the Word of God and the witness of Jesus Christ all he saw.

3)      Blessed the one reading and the ones hearing the words of the prophecy and keeping things having been written in it, for the time is near.

4)      John to the seven Churches, the ones in Asia; grace to you and peace from the Is and the Was and the Coming, and from the seven spirits that are before His throne,

5)      and from Jesus Christ the Witness, the Faithful, the Firstborn from death and the Ruler of the kingdoms of the earth  --- To Him Who loves us and has freed us from our sins in His blood

6)      and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father – to Him the glory and the dominion into the age.  Amen.

7)      LO! He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, all who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him.  YES!  Amen.

8)      I Am the Alpha and the Omega, says Kurios God, the Is and the Was and the Coming, The Almighty.

9)      I John, your brother and co-sharer in the affliction and kingdom and steadfastness in Jesus, came to be in the island called Patmos through the Word of God and the witness of Jesus.

10)  I came to be in spirit in the Lord’s Day, and I heard a great voice as a trumpet behind me

11)  saying, “write what you see in a scroll and send to the seven Churches, into Ephesus and into Smyrna and into Pergamum and into Thyatira and into Sardis and into Philadelphia and into Laodicea”.

12)  And I turned around to see the voice that was speaking with me; and when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands,

13)  and in midst of the lampstands like a son of man, having been clothed upon to the feet and having been wrapped at the chest with a golden girdle:

14)  His head and hair white as wool, white as snow, and His eyes as flaming fire,

15)  and His feet like burnished brass as in having been fired in a furnace, and His voice as a sound of many waters,

16)  and having seven stars in His right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword proceeding out of His mouth, and His face as the sun shines in its power.

17)  And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead; and He placed His     right hand on me saying “fear not.  I Am the First and the Last

18)  and the Living, and I became dead and LO, I am living into the ages of the ages, and I have the keys of death and hades.

19)  Therefore write the things you saw and that are and that are about to be with these.

20)  The mystery of the seven stars which you saw on my right, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are messengers of the seven Churches, and the lampstands are the seven Churches.

We’re now nineteen hundred and forty-three years into the Kingdom of our Lord, during which time He is bringing light and life to peoples and tribes and tongues all over the world.  And at the fullness of all the years of His reign and rule, all nations will acknowledge Him; and there will be ever increasing light and peace and justice and prosperity and length of days, as the river of life reaches the most obscure locations of the earth.

Although numbers of the seed of the serpent are still among us, and their enmity and envy and vengeance is temporarily in the ascendancy right now, the security and prosperity of our country, and others throughout the world, during the last centuries is due to the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The opposite is also the case, isn’t it?  Where there is less light of the Gospel, there is more chaos, more injustice, less prosperity, less freedom and security, and shortened life-spans.

Our great hope during the celebration of the birth of the King of Kings is that which Luke wrote in His Gospel:


“There was with the messenger a multitude of the host of the heaven praising God and saying,Glory to God in the highest; and peace on earth to those with whom he is well pleased.’”


We may all rest secure in the continuation of our Lord’s reign and rule until all the years are complete, the world is in full light, the river of water of life covers the sea of humanity, and He raises the dead and judges the seed of the serpent.

But that’s the subject of the second of these two summation sermons.  It will be called “The New Heaven and The New Earth”.  This one today is called “The First Heaven and The First Earth”.  And we have to cram four or five thousand years of God’s history, from the fall of man to the Parousia of The Christ, into a short summation!

The Revelation of Jesus Christ covers all of it.  As John wrote at the beginning of chapter twenty-one:


“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth went away….”


So there’s the subject matter for the two summary sermons… the first heaven and the first earth today, and the new heaven and the new earth next time we meet.

 And it was all revealed to John, and written to the Churches, in a contemporary setting!  Not our contemporary setting, but theirs!  But more about that next time.

In the Revelation of Jesus Christ, the Churches were provided a view of God’s history from His perspective… a view grounded in the pre-creation covenant made in triune God for the salvation of the world.  And there is perfect continuity, from beginning to end, in the written Word.  It’s all covenantal, which means that God has spoken His will and intent; and He is faithful and just to do exactly as He promised.

And that’s precisely the reason that we say that the Biblical approach to the Word of God is “covenantal continuity”.   Our Lord IS is; and He IS was; and He IS shall be.  His Word is true; and it is the same from beginning to end.  What He said He would do, He has done, and He will do!  And it’s all from His perspective and in His language!


Beginning with Moses, and ending with John, God’s will and intent to glorify Himself in an eternally redeemed creation is revealed… a creation eternally redeemed because God Himself would redeem it!

The whole-Bible Revelation of this covenant is such that any other explanation of the reason for, and the origin, existence and continuation of, this creation is completely irrational.  And any epistemologically self-conscious individual has no option, or desire, other than meekness before Him, and faithful obedience to Him.

This creation was “spoken” into existence by the Word of His Power; and it all reflected His glory; for it resembled His tabernacle.  It was all in the full light of His Presence, and He called it “very good”.

But the two persons who He had made in His Own image committed the sin of idolatry, being deceived by a creature that was full of vengeance for its having been cast down from God’s tabernacle.

God cursed the two who He had made in His image, and they died.  Their nature thereafter was death and darkness rather than light and life.  God would no longer abide with them and commune with them, for they were abhorrent, repulsive and loathsome creatures whose bodies decomposed and perished, and whose desire and will and intent was not set upon their Creator.

And their posterity were all born just like them… cursed creatures. And He cursed the earth itself and left it all in gross darkness.  And thereafter His human creatures did nothing other than what was right in their own eyes.

And the earth itself brought forth briars and thorns and wild animals of prey; and there was no light of God’s Presence.  And there was, thereafter, only a downward spiral of sin and death and disintegration.  Everything languished in thick darkness and decline and decomposition.  The more corrupt creatures there were, the more corrupted this cursed earth became.  It was all under the “shadow of death” and “gross darkness”.

As far as that other creature was concerned, having been cast down from the heaven for its rebellion, it too was cursed (thereafter called the serpent, the deceiver and the accuser); and its terminal end was prophesied.  And “enmity” between the seed of the woman and the seed of that serpent was pronounced by God.  The seed of the serpent were all those who were cursed by God.  And the seed of the woman was the coming Savior of the world and those for whom the curse would be remitted and who would be raised up from death unto life in Him… all of whom were written in the Book of Life from the beginning!

From the curse and the expulsion from paradise – to the birth of the Seed of the woman, there was only darkness and death and chaos and decline.  The roiling, churning mass of cursed creatures were once even destroyed in a flood of God’s wrath… God saving only one man and his family – from whom would come the Covenanted Savior of the world.

The cursed serpent was active in this cursed world… doing all it could to cut off the seed.  But God used it and deceived it all through the years in order that the One Coming would be born of the woman.  All through the Genesis book we read of God preserving the seed until He was born at the end of the age when the whole world had descended to its blackest and most chaotic state!

One man, a cursed human creature, was chosen by God to hear the details of His covenant, and to be the father of a nation from whom would be born the Savior.  And the details if His covenant, spoken to Abraham, included not only a remnant of his own family; but his “seed” would be multitudes from all the nations and peoples of the earth… the numbers likened to the stars in the sky and the sands on the seashore!

It was God’s covenant, you see!  The covenant made among Triune God before the foundation of the creation… a covenant for a permanent, created paradise (unlike the first one)… a paradise in which every single one of His people were in His image and reflected His glory.  And it would be “permanent”; for the sacrifice of His Own Son would make it so!

All the rest of Scripture – the vast proportion of the written Word of God – is also prophetic… prophetic of the One Coming and the completion of His covenantal Word.

God’s preservation of His Own throughout history, even though they were cursed and corrupt, was prophetic.  His mighty deeds, freeing the tribes of Jacob from bondage was prophetic.  The building of the tabernacle was prophetic.  The ceremonial and sacrificial law was prophetic.  The conquering and occupation of “the land” was prophetic.  The city of Jerusalem and the temple on the dome of the rock on the mountain was prophetic.  The priests and judges and kings were all prophetic.  Even the four world-conquering beasts of history were prophetic; for God preserved His Own from whom the Son would be born – in spite of the beast and in spite of the vengeance of the serpent.

Israel was told – put under covenant – to be the light of the world and a blessing to all the nations… as a prophecy of the coming Christ of God.  But Israel existed in a cursed and dark world.  And the tribes of Jacob were sons of Adam and sons of Satan.  Like their forefathers, they were cursed and corrupt!  And rather than bringing light to the nations, they corrupted the nations with the wine of their fornications.

But there was One Coming Who was NOT corrupt.  He was the Light of the world.  Where the tribes of Jacob would not – could not – be the light of the world, the One Coming could… and WOULD!  And there were some from this covenanted nation who He would keep for Himself.

He came to seek and to save His Own sheep… the cursed and dead and lost Who God had known and preserved from the beginning.  And all the rest would suffer the wrath of God for breaking His covenant!

All of His Own would be saved from that wrath; and they would be manifest!  And all the remainder would be destroyed.  Their sin had been filled up.

The ones to be manifest at the end of the age were the “remnant” of Israel… also often called the “daughter of Zion”.  Jesus came to save them because they were lost… because they were cursed and in deep darkness; and because they belonged to God!  He did not come to find them and save them because they were good!

In the fullness of the time, in the deepest darkness at the end of the age, in the last days, at the terminal point of the first heaven and the first earth, Jesus was born of the woman in order that all things written might be fulfilled!

Listen to it from the Gospel of Luke as He tells His disciples of His Parousia:


20)  And when you see Jerusalem being encompassed with armies, then know that her desolation nears.

21)  Then let them that are in Judea flee unto the mountains; and let them that are in the midst of her depart out; and let not them that are in the country enter therein.

22)  For these are days of vengeance, that all things that are written may be fulfilled.


All of the covenantal prophetic Word concerning the salvation of the world would be fulfilled!  He IS its fullness!  And it would be so beginning at His Parousia!


First let me call to your attention that it is Jesus Christ and His apostles that form the bed-rock of the new temple made without hands.  It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, through His apostles, that constitutes the Rock upon which the Church is built, each of His “little ones” precious stones in the structure of the temple.  It is apostolic doctrine – preaching and teaching – that is the very voice of the Christ… Living Water flowing into the arid wastelands of pagan nations, causing many all over the fallen and (formerly) cursed earth to sink their roots deeply into the river of living water.  We have the preaching and teaching of His apostles; and we have all been warned that anything other than apostolic doctrine is anathema.  They are the “scribes” of the new Israel, the inspired authors of The Gospel of God, which is the power of God into salvation to those who are faithing.

Jesus’ last word to them before His ascension was that they disciple the nations, putting His covenant “mark” of baptism on them, and teaching them to obey the One Who has been given all authority in the heavens and upon the earth (Matthew 28).

Secondly, Jesus had told His disciples to continue to scour the countryside for every last one from the tribes of Israel who God had kept for Himself.  He gave them specific instructions about how to find them and recognize them.  Then he told His disciples what to do with them when they found them.

Having given them the signs of the coming destruction of Jerusalem and all of Israel in the last days, the apostles of Jesus were to extricate, in this generation, all His people from the danger to come.

The massive job of doing that was hampered by the fact that most of these who God had kept for Himself were the poor and the sick and the dispossessed and the lame and the blind and the deaf… all of which had been brought about by Israel’s false shepherds, often called ravenous wolves and jackals, sons of satan, feeding and preying on the helpless for their own benefits.  But Jesus had come to find His Father’s elect; and the apostles were to continue to hunt for them after the resurrection!  All of them had to be found, and all of them had to be moved from harm’s way before the abomination of desolation… the “days of vengeance”.

So the apostles, along with newly elected deacons, prepared (as the first chapters of The Acts of the Apostles indicates) the diaspora – the extrication of all of those who God had kept for Himself from the twelve tribes of Israel.

Those with wealth in property (and other valuables) sold everything (property in Israel would soon be worthless anyway).  And they pooled the money, giving it to the apostles for the poor who couldn’t move themselves out of Israel and into the nations.  John’s Revelation says there were 144,000 of them, 12,000 from each tribe, who were to escape the coming conflagration.

Many of these were the ones following Jesus, hundreds of them having been healed by Him of their leprosy, their blindness, their deafness, their demon possession, their brokenness, their destitution – all as a result of the savage godlessness of judaistic leadership (and all of this prophesied by the prophet Isaiah and others).

Having questioned Jesus about what was going to happen (Matthew 24), the apostles knew, from His answer, that this was all going down in their lifetimes (this generation); so they had a very short time to get all these people out of harm’s way.

The entirety of the remainder of the New Testament was written during this period – thirty-five to forty years.  It was the end of the age!  The first heaven and the first earth were about to disappear!  The apostles and their helpers continued to travel the whole of Israel, finding the lost sheep of the house of Jacob.  The Church in Jerusalem continued to feed the sheep with the Gospel and with relocation assistance; some of the apostles were preaching the Gospel in the nations and helping the Churches that were receiving the relocating Jewish Christians; the letters to the Churches by Paul and James and Peter and Jude and John were letters of correction and letters of comfort to all the “little ones” in very perilous and distressing times, and giving them hope and anticipation of that which was shortly to come to pass.

Thirdly, Jesus had warned His apostles that they, and the Churches, would suffer many things.  And, certainly, the persecution of the Roman emperors, during a time of turmoil and upheaval in the empire, was a factor in those perilous times for the Church.

But by no means was that the only factor; and neither was it the most malignant.

Jesus, as recorded in Matthew chapter twenty-three, in excoriating the judaists, told them that they had humiliated, maimed and killed the prophets that God had sent to them (even to John the baptizer).  And now Jesus was going to send the apostles to preach the Gospel in the nations.  And that the judaizers were going to imprison them and scourge them and persecute them from city to city!  And they would pursue and persecute those He came to seek and to save.  And, for that, all the righteous blood shed upon the earth from Able to Zechariah would be held to their account.  And it would come in this generation!

So, you see, the Church of Jesus Christ was going to suffer at the hands of Rome and at the hands of judaizers… especially at the hands of judaizers!  Having persecuted God’s prophets, and then having crucified the Son of God, the ultimate culpability (i.e. the blood of all the righteous and all the prophets) would come upon them because of their persecution of the Lord’s people – the Church!

Once again, the terminal point of this culpability was to occur during this generation (He said) – a generation during which some of the Lord’s apostles, helpers and deacons, and the lost sheep of the house of Israel, would still be alive to see it……….the vengeance of Almighty God; for Israel had broken His covenant and left the whole world in the deepest pit of thick darkness.

So, not only did the new Churches in the nations need correction from Paul and the others, but they needed much comfort, along with great anticipation.  These who God had held for Himself (the lost sheep of the house of Israel) had to leave their homeland of fifteen hundred years, they had to establish new homelands, new jobs, new households, new everything!

The beloved nation of King David and King Solomon, according to Jesus and his apostles, was about to experience great tribulation.  Daniel’s abomination of desolation was about to come upon them (according to Luke it was the Roman armies), the temple and the ceremonial system and the sacrificial system and the priesthood and everything else about the promised land was about to be crushed, dissolved and discontinued; for God was adjudicating, in King Jesus, the covenantal sanctions against Israel.

Covenantal sanctions!

The people of God; the land; the city; the tabernacle… all prophetic of the coming Kingdom of Jesus Christ, was about to receive the sanctions of God’s covenant!

Once more I’d like for you to hear the promise of God to Israel before they entered the land.  Everything about it was prophetic of that which was to come at the Parousia of the Christ.

Should Israel obey, there would be light and life and peace and prosperity.  But should she not obey, she would suffer the full wrath of God and cease to exist.

Here it is from Leviticus twenty-six:


1)      You shall not make idols for yourselves or erect an image or pillar, and you shall not set up a figured stone in your land to bow down to it, for I am YAHVEH your God.

2)      You shall keep my Sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary.  I am YAHVEH.

3)      “If you walk in my statutes, observing my commandments, and do them,

4)      then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.

5)      Your threshing shall last to the time of the grape harvest, and the grape harvest shall last to the time for sowing. And you shall eat your bread to the full and dwell in your land securely.

6)      I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid. And I will remove harmful beasts from the land, and the sword shall not go through your land.

7)      You shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.

8)      Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall chase ten thousand, and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.

9)      I will turn to you and make you fruitful and multiply you and will confirm my covenant with you.

10)  You shall eat old store long kept, and you shall clear out the old to make way for the new.

11)  I will make my tabernacle among you, and my soul shall not abhor you.

12)  And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people.

13)  I am YAHVEH your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves. And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.

14)  “But if you will not listen to me and will not do all these commandments,

15)  if you spurn my statutes, if your soul abhors my laws, so that you will not do all my commandments, but break my covenant,

16)  then I will do this to you: I will visit you with terror, with wasting disease and fever that consume the eyes and make your life ebb away. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.

17)  I will set my face against you, and you shall be struck down before your enemies. Those who hate you shall rule over you, and you shall flee when none pursues you.

18)  And if in spite of this you will not listen to me, then I will discipline you sevenfold for your sins,

19)  and I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze.

20)  And your strength shall be spent in vain, for your land shall not yield its increase, and the trees of the land shall not yield their fruit.

21)  “Then if you walk contrary to me and will not listen to me, I will continue striking you sevenfold for your sins.

22)  And I will let loose the wild beasts against you, which shall bereave you of your children and destroy your livestock and make you few in number, so that your roads shall be deserted.

23)  “And if by this discipline you are not turned to me but walk contrary to me,

24)  then I also will walk contrary to you, and I myself will continue to strike you sevenfold for your sins.

25)  And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall execute vengeance for the covenant. And if you gather within your cities, I will send pestilence among you, and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.

26)  When I break your supply of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in a single oven and shall dole out your bread again by weight, and you shall eat and not be satisfied.

27)  “But if in spite of this you will not listen to me, but walk contrary to me,

28)  then I will walk contrary to you in fury, and I myself will discipline you sevenfold for your sins.

29)  You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters.

30)  And I will destroy your high places and cut down your incense altars and cast your dead bodies upon the dead bodies of your idols, and I will abhor you.

31)  And I will lay your cities waste and will make your sanctuaries desolate, and I will not smell your pleasing aromas.

32)  And I myself will devastate the land, so that your enemies who come there shall be appalled at it.

33)  And I will scatter you among the nations, and I will unsheathe the sword after you, and your land shall be a desolation, and your cities shall be a waste.

34)  “Then the land shall make up for its Sabbaths as long as it lies desolate; while you are in your enemies' land, at that time the land shall rest and make up for its Sabbaths.

35)  As long as it lies desolate it shall have rest - the rest that it did not have on your Sabbaths when you lived in it.

36)  And as for those who are left, I will send faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies. The sound of a driven leaf shall put them to flight, and they shall flee as one flees from the sword, and they shall fall when none pursues.

37)  They shall stumble over one another, as if to escape a sword, though none may be pursuing. And you shall have no power to stand before your enemies.

38)  And you shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall devour you.

39)  Those who are left shall rot away in the enemies' lands because of their iniquity, and also because of the iniquities of their fathers they shall rot away like them.


All of this was prophesied from the beginning, you see.  It was God’s covenant with Israel.  And it’s all in the Revelation of Jesus Christ – just as it was prophesied of old.  And at the sending of John’s letter it was the end of the age; and God was about to strike them “seven-fold”… in fullness.

Israel, and the city of Jerusalem, was the prophecy of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.  It was its own prophetic “heaven and earth” with its own sun and moon and stars… a prophecy of the New Heaven and the New Earth at the Parousia of Jesus Christ when all things would be made new, when there would no longer be a curse, and when God would abide with us.

At the appointed time, at the end of the age, a Son was born into a world covered in gross darkness and the shadow of death; and the darkness didn’t know Him.

His name was Jesus – Savior – for He would save His people from their sins.

Moses prophesied Him; but He is the greater Moses!

Joshua prophesied Him; but He is the greater Joshua!

Elijah prophesied Him:  but He is the greater Elijah!

David prophesied Him; but He is David’s Lord and David’s Son.  He is the greater David… born of the woman at the end of the age, in order that all things written might be fulfilled.

John the baptizer prophesied Him; for when he saw Jesus he said, “Lo, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world”.

This is the One Whose birth we celebrate.  And it’s perfectly okay that we have a festival to acknowledge Him and admire Him and honor Him and exalt Him.  We’re free to do so; for He has set us free from death and darkness, and we are free indeed!

We will raise a toast to Him and celebrate Him with food and wine and laughter and gifts and family… along with all the brothers and sisters who belong to Him.

We will remember all that He has done; and we will hold His testimony and keep His Commandments.  And we will anticipate all that He will do!  For He was born a King.  And He was crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords and given all the nations as His inheritance.  And they belong to Him; and they will come!


Next time we meet, the New Heaven and the New Earth, the Kingdom mountain of Jesus Christ, the New, and holy, Jerusalem, and the tabernacle of God-With-Us; for our Lord Jesus Christ has OVERCOME the curse; and He has OVERCOME the world that was in gross darkness and the shadow of death.