THE FIRST AND THE LAST


THE MESSAGE OF ETERNAL HOPE:


It is a matter of great happiness to note that God directed His Prophet Jeremiah to speak the words of hope and encouragement to the exiled remnants of Israelites in Babylon during the captivity time in the history of ancient Israel. Look at the kind and encouraging words of God prophesied by Jeremiah, "For I know the plans that I have for you, declared the Lord, plan for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11).

By reading the Book of Revelation, we discover the glorious proclamation of God’s messages given to the Church from a new perspective. We are given access to John’s writings as the words of prophetic revelation to him by God. By reading of the Book of Revelation, we are given an opportunity to learn the truths from what was once hidden and sealed away. God’s prophecy that was written in the Book of Daniel was sealed until the appropriate time, but this is not the case with the Book of Revelation. From the moment it was given, God’s clear instruction was to send His messages to the Churches. (Rev. 1:11). Jeremiah, Daniel and other Prophets warned about the impending judgement. Their words were meant to expose religious and moral complacency. Israel was to be taken into captivity, because they had drifted away from the love of God and disobeyed His commandments. However, the merciful God never leaves His people hopeless but comes to their rescue.

Even during the critical trials of life, God comes to us with a promise of victory, and deliverance. Look at the consoling message of the Lord in the Book of Revelations. "Do not be afraid, I am the first and last and the living One; and I was dead and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades" (Rev.1:17-18).

It was in Babylon that Israel felt the importance of the love of merciful God and realized the urgent need for His grace. It is an amazing reality that God often uses trials to position us for greater blessings. Even in times of disappointment, He is always keen on our benevolence and compassionate towards us. His greatest desire is for us to see Him as our only source of salvation and blessing. If you are in an emotionally difficult situation, do not become discouraged. Ask the Lord to reveal His will and plan for your life. Commit yourself fully to Him and pray to be obedient and patient. If you approach God in this way, He will provide for you in marvelous ways that go beyond human comprehension.

This is a fundamental truth concerning all that we do and especially as we read through the Book of Revelation. God has a wonderful plan and blessing in store for all who read His Revelation to the Church.

It would be the most marvelous and magnificent sight, if we imagine as to what it would look like to see through our life in eternity. There would be some people who would lose the opportunity to know God’s plan for their lives, for His Church and His Kingdom especially when critical problems arise and traumatic trials in life increases. The early church faced severe persecutions like arrests, imprisonments, physical torture, crucifixion etc. for their faith in Jesus Christ. Apostle John was banished into the Island of Patmos. It was there that God sent an Angel to him with the marvelous revelation of mysteries of future events of extreme encouragement and happiness. The message John received was beyond the scope and limitations of time and space and brought a sense of certainty and blessed hope for the future, because it proclaimed Jesus Christ as our King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

We must know that the Book of Revelation will not provide an opportunity for us to look into the future events in our personal life. There is not a magical formula hidden within the Book of Revelation that will help us to solve the personal problems we face. However, reading the word of God each day will teach us how to make the wise and best choice for our lives. We gain discernment and wisdom by regularly studying the scriptures. Through His word, God guides us and directs the right way of our lives.


TRUTH REVEALED:


Look at the beautiful words of truth by the Psalmist David “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness, Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, He will do it.”(Psalms 37:3-5) When our lives are fully committed to God, He will give us the wisdom that we need to face every challenging situation in life on earth. This is how you learn to handle future events in life. You need not go to a spiritual adviser or consult someone who claims to have knowledge about your life and the future. God has a definite plan and a purpose for your life and He is the one who knows what will happen, not only tomorrow, but also in the years to come. He knows the moment of return of His son and our Lord Jesus Christ to the earth and all events that will take place before His second coming.

The most crucial and important question before us is the same that God placed before the churches. “Are you ready for my return?. If not, then it is time to prepare ourselves because, the Lord Himself revealed in His message to the Church, “I am coming soon” (Rev.22:20). The Book of Revelation was written so that we might gain insight into the mysteries of God.

The word “Revelation” means “Unveiling”. Through the messages written to the seven churches in Asia Minor, God unveils His Plan, Purpose and spiritual advice to the Church. It is important to note that once Prophet Daniel recorded the prophecy given to him by the Holy Spirit. But he was instructed by God to “Seal the Book till end of the world.”(Daniel 12:4). However, it is intriguing to note that God instructed Apostle John, “Do not seal up the words of prophecy of this book” (Rev.22.10). Don’t you think that there is a sense of urgency in the Lord’s messages to the seven Churches listed in Revelations? (See Rev. Chapters 2 and 3).While the words of Revelation appear to be written to the entire body of believers of the Church, they also are words that apply personally to our lives as well. Christ is the word of God that nourishes our souls with truth and His Word to us is exactly what we need to face the future.

To-day, God continues His work on earth in order to accomplish one specific goal – Mankind’s Redemption. As we study the prophetical interpretations of the various mysteries and events recorded in the Book of Revelation, we must never lose sight of God’s personal involvement in our lives. Jesus told John, “Behold, I am coming quickly and My reward is with Me to render it to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. I, Jesus have sent My Angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright and morning star” (Rev. 22:12-13, 16).


LASTING MESSAGE OF PEACE :


We need not be afraid of the future world events of war and violence. After His resurrection, the Lord Jesus, when He appeared and entered in the midst of the disciples with words that immediately calmed their fears “Do not be afraid”(Matthew:28:10),” Peace be with you”( Luke 24:36; John 20:19,21). These words signaled His loving care and concern for His disciples and comforted them. The same approach the Lord used in the book of Revelations, “Do not be afraid” (Rev.1:17-18).

Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection signaled the beginning of “the end times”. Jesus is the eternal hope because it outlines the glorification of Christ which is revealed to all believers. The book of Revelation gives us a clear, concise description of the New Heaven, the New Earth and New Jerusalem. The Lord will come again and that is the hope of a believer, his great stimulus to overcome evil and the main incentive to perfect holiness to be found blameless on the day of judgement. God has a global message that He is proclaiming to the world – “I am coming soon”. Are you ready for his second coming?