Revelation: For Re-Readers Only

(Sirje) #21

Who’s saying we should put off an enduring relationship? What I’m saying is, that relationship is a given for a Christian - that’s why we’re called CHRISTIANS. What I’m saying is that the Adventist message seems be that we’re never DOING enough - and the end time message is to “get on the ball - get busy - and do something”. I’m asking WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO WE HAVEN’T ALREADY DONE - TO MAKE OUR SITUATION BETTER? Please try to be more specific.

What you’re implying, but never saying, is that there is something we can actually do to insure our salvation - beyond what Jesus has already done for us. Is there something we can add to salvation by faith in Jesus?

(Sirje) #22

If we were to ratchet up anything at a time that looks like it might be “the end of time” for us here, it wouldn’t be tweeting our insurance policy for our survival. If anything needs to be made more plain, it would be the “good news” that finally, the ordeal we call life, is coming to an end; and a new world order is about to become real. That is “good news” for a world filled with pain - not more homework like cramming for a judgment.

When we dare to think on how much pain circles this globe at any given moment, we would not be able to bear it. How many tragedies are playing out in hospitals and on the streets; how many children are left orphans , and how many injustices are being played out. When we, as humans, dare think on these situations, we have to turn away and seek distraction. I’m sure Christ was crushed by these pains more than the pain of the thorns digging into his head and the spear thrust into his side. Jesus died of a broken heart, no doubt. If the book of Revelation teaches us anything, it would be that there is hope in face of the evil represented by all the beasts, giving us an assurance and a task to bring this hope to anyone we can reach - not for a last ditch effort to save our own skins.


Revelation was written under the oppression and times of the roman empire. Then we want to keep trying to repeat things written 150 years ago for each generation. It’s not washing out the way we think. You are not a heretic if you question interpretations that make no sense.

(Sirje) #24

You’re right, I believe; however, each generation has had reason to believe that their’s is the last - and Revelation speaks to their generation. The Bible kind of verifies that, when Jesus speaks about “the abomination of desolation” of Daniel. He’s referring to the same evil that shows up over and over again through history. There is always some power that takes on the same mantle.

Revelation, most likely, refers historically to what was happening at the time of the writing; but history does repeat itself. We can learn from each reincarnation (don’t get excited by the word) of the evil and how it works in the world.


Hi Sirje,
Of course, all any of us can do is share our own experience but my answer to the question you posed about what we are supposed to do to improve our situation came for me when I was led to see God’s plan of salvation for us differently.

It felt as as though a burden had been lifted because it showed me more clearly the love of God for us.

If you are interested, here is a link to a short article outlining what I found:

I am currently reading a series of articles by the same author on the Book of Luke. Here is an excerpt:
“I have often seen people’s hearts changed simply by learning the true nature of Christ. Their prior unbelief was based upon their disbelief in the Jesus which had been presented to them by those professing to be Christians. But when they were informed of the true character of Christ, they began to follow Him without being led through the standard four spiritual laws. The change in their lives manifested the faith in their hearts.”

In his commentary, the author often compares Luke to the other gospels so it gives insights into them all.

If still interested, here is the first instalment:

(Sirje) #26

Thank you. I was actually going to add to my post that all we have to DO is to maintain our faith (as in belief and trust) in the grace exhibited by the cross. Sometimes that is hard enough in this world where we’re used to having proof for everything, and little trust in anything.

Paul’s “good fight” is the good fIght of FAITH. All said and done, the only thing that matters is our trust in a gracious God.

(Ray Smith) #27

Henry, after spending 70 plus years trying to build a relationship that will endure I finally gave it all up. I realised that God established that relationship with me when I was a child. That’s His work, not mine. He’s never backed away even though I’ve pushed the boundaries all too often. I was born into a loving Christian home so I find it impossible to pinpoint the time when I was born again. The time doesn’t really matter.

It’s what happens that matters when anybody is born again. Forgiven - once for all - “Father, forgive them…”. Cleansed - from all sin by the blood of Christ. 1 John 1:9. Heart surgery completed - the old sinful nature gone - crucified with Christ and replaced with a new heart, raised to newness of life, Romans 6 - a new self “which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” Ephesinas 4:24. In this new heart the Holy Spirit took up permanent residence from the time of my new birth and has never left me, never.

All this means a permanent relationship, always forgiven, always cleansed, always growing in grace, always a child of the King, all of which is God’s work in and through the crucified and risen Christ. Salvation and daily living is to experience the reality of God’s grace now. Ours is not a lifelong behaviour improvement program hoping that we make it in the end.

The new birth means a new heart where the Holy Spirit dwells and His promise is that He will never leave us. This is not “perfectionism” as espoused by some. Sin lurks in my flesh and yes I fail all too often which pains me because that’s not who I am in Christ. Christ has put His righteousness into the new heart created by the Holy Spirit. Christian growth is real because the Holy Spirit is at work. I know that the relationship that God established is real and it endures because it’s His work of grace, His initiative, His power.

(Henry Carroll Hills) #28


What you wrote reflects my view.

Language is an imperfect means of communication.

We are totally dependent upon Christ for our salvation and for our ability to respond to His calling. But that does not relieve us of any part in the process as Jesus warned the 7 churches. When we hear the call, we must answer and when we follow, we obey… To fail to do our part will result in having our candle extinguished.

God will not force anyone to be saved. And no one can be saved just because they decide that they will be saved (consider Lucifer as an example). Jesus compares it to being yoked together. teamwork

(Sirje) #29

It’s about that BUT. Most people, by the time they’re adults recognize their imperfections. Many are struggling and many have given up. The message from the pulpits is “God loves you, and here is the list of do’s and don’ts if you want to accept that love.” The list is never ending; and the assurances are few - putting the onus on us to make the whole thing work. That is not good news for anyone struggling. Our focus is always on perfection, as if the “keeping” is the primary goal. The primary goal in all this is our recognition of our sinfulness (hence the law); and our sorrow for it - and our accepting God’s resolution.

I believe we’re talking about the same thing, but we are so scared of not being perfect we’re always making sure the “sinner” knows he must produce better behaviour. I do think you believe the HS helps you keep all those laws, but in the end, we make it all about willpower. We are promised a change and a growth, but it can’t happen if we’re constantly focussed on ourselves and what we must achieve. Jesus said, “Come to me, and I will give you rest.” - not more struggle to be perfect. The goal might be the same, but the two ways to get there are in opposition.


During my time in Adventism I met parents whose children had bolted from the denomination upon graduation from academy, many never to return. I heard stories of people who as children cried at night fearful that they weren’t good enough to be saved.

It seems such a shame that the good news that Christ defeated death enabling us to enjoy a new, glorious, unending relationship with God has been taught in such a way to produce such responses. It seems we can’t accept such a glorious gift - we revert to what the world teaches us, that we must somehow earn it. We can’t keep justification and sanctification separate. We can’t see that they are different things for different purposes.

I was once told by a man I consider very wise that every religion except Christianity says that God will do His part and come partway down to man but man must do his part to elevate himself toward God. They will meet somewhere in the middle and everything will be fine. This is not the gospel, this is the Old Covenant in which man promised to obey God and hence be saved. It didn’t work then, it doesn’t work now and it will never work. What the first Adam spoiled, the last Adam has more than regained. I could never do that, and thanks be to God, I don’t have to.

Again, I can only offer suggestions from my own experience. It’s difficult to stop and critically re-examine what one has been taught and assumed true for many years. In my case, it took some pretty serious life experiences which stimulated a rethinking of many of the basic suppositions about God and man and their relationship I had been taught in Adventism. It eventually took some effort to learn what words like eternal and destruction and perdition meant to the ancients. That was quite surprising. I also learned that we are at the mercy of the biases of those who have translated the Bible for us. Studying several literal translations really helped.

I eventually formed a new picture of the depth and breadth of God’s plan of salvation for us. It is quite different from the one I had in Adventism but I believe it is more reflective of the love, power and wisdom of God.

As Paul said, the love of Christ ‘surpasses knowledge’ and God ‘is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or imagine’.

(Ray Smith) #31

How significant is it that the church at Ephesus faced removal of their lampstand because they had left their first love, not because they failed to obey. Why do we read 10 commandments when we read the word obey? It’s a mindset. How many believers take to heart 2 Cor 3 that the letters written on tables of stone are a ministration of condemnation and death and remain so even if they are written on the heart? Ancient Israel had them committed to memory, in their hearts. The veil that descends when the old covenant is read can only be removed by Christ which means that we live by the Spirit, not by law.

Paul’s alternative, which is the new covenant gospel, is to live by the Spirit of life. This is how we learn to love the way Christ loved us. Is this why Paul told the church in Rome that sin no longer has mastery over us because we are not under law but under grace. Paul calls it the obedience of faith which is a righteousness that is way better than the righteousness of the law.

With a statement like this, why would we ever opt to live by law when we have Christ in us to live out His love within us and to teach us His ways? Law has its place, but the new covenant of grace through the Spirit of life has a glory that far outshines the glory of the law.

We rejoice in salvation by grace through faith and spend the rest of our lives learning to love the way Christ loved us as He shed His blood on the cross and continues to love us more. If sanctification is the work of a lifetime this is it, learning to love, knowing at all times that our salvation is guaranteed by the blood of the Lamb and our resurrected Lord.

Revelation 1:5 sums it up. “To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood.” But there’s more. “He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father.”

How much better can it get? That’s why we worship with the countless numbers of the angels and the redeemed in Revelation 5.

Revelation holds many mysteries but one thing is for certain. It is the slain Lamb, risen and now seated at the right hand of God who is our focus throughout the whole book.


This was recently posted in a forum. I am not the author, just sharing:

I would like to share something my daughter wrote recently. She is an SDA young adult and I believe her thoughts expressed in what I will share is what a lot of SDA young adults are thinking as well. They need hope. Here is my daughter’s “poem”:

I’m so tired
of the 3 Angel’s Messages
of Babylon and its beasts
of the tearing down of the Catholic church

I’ve heard it preached all my life
And I used to be intrigued
but now I see it doesn’t encourage
It seems to cause paranoia and fear

It is like politics
where people tear down their opponent
rather than sharing what they stand for
I’m just so tired of the hopeless message

I am desperate for hope
I need hope
I need to hear about Jesus
I need to hear how to become like him

But again and again I don’t get it from the church
instead I get sermons on evangelism
on Babylon and the beasts




You do realize you are describing two different gospels? I know that you know the difference. In fact you are one that points those differences out with more clarity, on a regular basis, than most.
#nolongerasabbathpewsitter :wink:

(Ray Smith) #33

“I’m so tired
of the 3 Angel’s Messages
of Babylon and its beasts
of the tearing down of the Catholic church”

Believe me, it’s not just young adults who are disillusioned and desperate for truth and tired of a worn out message. If only our young people (and old) could discover what Andrew Farley revealed in his Christmas service at The Church Without Religion.

This is just one of Andrew’s many life-changing messages. They are on his Facebook page and his website. He has authored a number of books like “The Naked Gospel,” “Relaxing With God,” “Heaven Is Now,” all available on Kindle and in print.

When I read between the lines on some of the posts in these threads, I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has found a new understanding of the amazing gospel of grace through Jesus Christ in the messages preached by Andrew Farley.

This is the Jesus that we need to find in our study of the book of Revelation. It is truly the revelation of Jesus Christ by Jesus Christ. That’s why I also love Horatius Bonar’s commentary on Revelation found on a website with another of his soul-challenging books.

Here’s a quote from the Editor’s Note on the website.

"For almost two thousand years, Bible scholars, theologians and lay church members alike have struggled to interpret Revelation, the last book of the New Testament Scriptures. Great theologians like John Calvin and Martin Luther were amongst those who could not or would not take up the challenge of writing a commentary on this book.

Why then would we promote this commentary by Horatius Bonar, the renowned Scottish preacher of the nineteenth century? The answer is simple. It is a revelation of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of a humble gospel preacher."

(Patrick Travis) #34

Ray, “The Everlasting Righteousness” and “God’s way of Holiness” are also great books by Bonar.

(Patrick Travis) #35

Thanks Ray, Everlasting Righteousness is a great work on JBF “alone.”
That period of Scottish Presbyterians was probably the best educated clergy ever, as a group. They knew the opinions of the church fathers and were extremely well trained in Hebrew and Greek. Scholars with a heart for God and a mind for truth

(Ray Smith) #36

Patrick, agreed on The Everlasting Righteousness. I also love The Rent Veil. As Bonar points out, when the true veil was rent on the cross, a new and living way was opened for us into heaven itself, through the curtain of Christ’s broken body, into the very heart of God. The sanctuary doctrine that Bonar describes is so simple yet so profound and life-changing.

(James Peterson) #37


And [Abraham] believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” Gen. 15:6

What does Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works …” Rom. 4:3-6

All who sincerely look to God for salvation are pitied and saved. John 3:14-15


(James Peterson) #38

That is NOT what is in Revelation 3:5.


(Dennis Kean) #39

I am so glad you mentioned Revelation 1:19. To understand it properly, however, we need to look into the text of that verse a little closer.

Rev 1:19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

Looking closer in Strong’s Concordance we read:

Rev 1:19 WriteG1125 the things whichG3739 thou hast seen,G1492 andG2532 the things whichG3739 are,G1526 andG2532 the things whichG3739 shallG3195 beG1096 hereafter;G3326 G5023

The words “thou hast” are a KJV mistake. Those words were added to smoothen the reading, but they do not fit or lead the reader to what the Savior really meant. The word “seen” should have been translated as “known”. Here is Strong’s definition of that word:

A primary verb; used only in certain past tenses, the others being borrowed from the equivalent, G3700 and G3708; properly to see (literally or figuratively); by implication (in the perfect only) to know: - be aware, behold, X can (+ not tell), consider, (have) known (-ledge), look (on), perceive, see, be sure, tell, understand, wist, wot. Compare G3700.

Let’s rewrite the verse:
Rev 1:19 Write the things which [are] known, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

In this way the idea of “events” of the past, present, and future are congruent. That leads us to this idea:

PAST => the things which [are] known,
PRESENT => the things which are,
FUTURE => the things which shall be hereafter;

The message here is that Revelation is not about future events only. God has done this frequently in OT prophecies. In order to understand what the prophecy is about the context of the thread is given by talking about past events, the present, and finally about the future events. It is done that way in order to root the prophetic content of the message and make its timing clear. Trying to fit every utterance of Revelation into future events is the best way to jumble the catena. It is the reason that we struggle with many of the simplest ideas of Revelation. The Savior tried to clear the road for us in that comment. Thank you for bringing up that verse Sirje.

At the time it was given, the prophecies of Revelation were preceded by the past history of Israel. That was a “known” to all. Abraham’s, Noah’s and the Antideluvians’ participation were also a “known” and they were included in the 7 churches. Let’s test that idea and take a quick look at the very first prophecy which followed. Chapters 2 and 3 were focused on to the 7 churches. It is a prophecy which spans a long period of time with a past, present, and future in the days of John on the Isle of Patmos.

So, let’s hit somewhere right in the middle and hope that we will find the “present” moment of the message.

The 3rd church was Pergamum.

Rev 2:13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

The information is clear the time of that prophecy is stated and most people are still confused. We do not believe our own eyes. Why? Because Revelation 1:19 is not grasped for what it is saying.

The time is given as the most recent history for John who probably understood it immediately. It clearly says that this takes place in the days of Antipas and everyone goes on to Google to find out if there ever was a martyr named “Antipas”! Herod Antipas, however, was the King in the days that the Savior was killed. And the Savior is mentioned as well. “…my faithful martyr…” It could be no one else. The Savior was faithful unto death. There was no future faithful Antipas martyr. The Savior is the one called the Faithful Martyr. Do you have doubts?

Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

Revelation 3:14 does not say “Witness”! It says “…the Faithful and true Martyr” just as Revelation 2:13 named Him. Feel free to compare!

Rev_2:13 I knowG1492 thyG4675 works,G2041 andG2532 whereG4226 thou dwellest,G2730 even whereG3699 Satan’sG4567 seatG2362 is: andG2532 thou holdest fastG2902 myG3450 name,G3686 andG2532 hast notG3756 deniedG720 myG3450 faith,G4102 evenG2532 inG1722 those daysG2250 whereinG1722 G3739 AntipasG493 was myG3450 faithfulG4103 martyr,G3144 whoG3739 was slainG615 amongG3844 you,G5213 whereG3699 SatanG4567 dwelleth.G2730

Rev_3:14 AndG2532 unto theG3588 angelG32 of theG3588 churchG1577 of the LaodiceansG2994 write;G1125 These thingsG3592 saithG3004 theG3588 Amen,G281 theG3588 faithfulG4103 andG2532 trueG228 witness,G3144 theG3588 beginningG746 of theG3588 creationG2937 of God;G2316

I understand your shock and dismay. Fantasy, you say… Take a look at the 1st church and their promised reward.

Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Whose longing for Paradise is that, if not for Adam and Eve and their children, unto whom they recounted their short lived joy in God’s paradise?

The 6th church is even more compelling. The third church, Pergamos, included the Savior dying on the cross and that was recent history to John. So, let’s skip ahead and we can now feel confident that we are rooted in history looking into the future, with this prophecy. The 6th church is the one which we Adventists cannot explain if we do not recognize that God plants prophecies in the soil of the “past”. The church of Philadelphia is the church of Brotherly Love! That church is so special that God finds no fault with its members! Wow! I wish I was alive in those days, which we Adventists believe were pre Adventist time. Heaven was guaranteed for those believers!

Rev 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
Rev 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
Rev 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
Rev 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Well, it turns out that those are not pre-Adventist, but post-Adventist folks. That represents the 144,000 people from the Millennium. The Adventist church is the 5th church.

Rev 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
Rev 3:2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
Rev 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
Rev 3:4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

I cannot deliver the entire definition of this prophecy because it would take a lot to do so in one post. These are just a few points of many which can only be understood in the context of Past, Present and Future parts as mentioned in Rev 1:19. The same holds true for Chapter 6, 8 and 9, 16…

(Dennis Kean) #40

The reality is that we have been overcome by the need of those who want to enter into the kingdom through a window, not having to do anything to improve their own lives. “Lord, you do it for me… I just can’t do it.” The bottom line is “I give up, it is too hard!” The Savior on the other hand insists otherwise:

Rev 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

Your comment above and the Savior’s expectations are not in line, Sirje… You are teaching Evangelical doctrines which have wrecked the Adventist Movement. Let me show you how serious the Savior is about US overcoming.

Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Rev 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

Rev 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

Rev 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

The Adventist doctrine is no longer what it was in the days of the pioneers. We have changed it to accommodate ourselves and excuse our own lack of care.

The young girl who posted has a simple solution at hand:

Sell your expensive Cell Phone and get one which does not have MSM Texting. That will also help you while driving. Give up facebook if you are checking it more than once a week. Forget Netflix, Prime, HBO etc and read your Bible instead, until it makes sense to you. The church and the interpretations which are preached in it were not meant to override your personal opinions and thinking. Read the Bible until you own it and no longer need others to interpret it for you. For many, the Bible cannot compete with Hollywood and the entertainment industry. It was not designed to do CGI and it comes without colored pictures for most of us.

I feel fortunate to have been born in a day when none of these existed. My passion for reading the prophecies is unquenched. Soon enough the power distribution of this world will come to an end and the Communication towers will cease their wrecking of society. Society will collapse and what will the millennials do when their iPhones are no longer connecting? What will they be able to do without them? Think about the lack of hope which you will have then. I feel bad for our young people. Sharing what we believe today is a sure way to upset political correctness and land you a job as a janitor. Political correctness is the religion of the new age and it does not tolerate the hope of the Christian. The Bible is filled with hope. Prophecies are filled with hope. But no one really cares to own what they believe and that is the tragedy. Hope is not found at the mouth of men behind the pulpit.

Mat_4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.