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Mark Corbett

Do You Think The Book of Revelation is Practical and Applicable

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Many Christians become so wrapped up in debates about how to interpret John’s vision that they miss Revelation’s power and purpose.  I’m going to propose something radical.  One of the main points of Revelation does not depend on any of the following:
 
  • Is a premillennial, amillennial, or postmillennial view correct?
  • Was most of Revelation fulfilled in the first century, does it refer to events all throughout church history, or is it focused mainly on the last seven years of this age?
  • Who are the 144,000?
  • Who are the beast and the false prophet?
  • What role will modern Israel and other nations play in fulfilling John’s visions?
  • Are the locusts and fire-breathing horses a vision of modern military weapons, demonic beings, or something else?
 
I’m not saying it’s wrong to ask such questions, think about them, and discuss them.  I have.  I do. But I am saying that there is a danger that we can get so wrapped up in these questions that we miss the main point and purpose of Revelation. We miss the forest for the trees. God help us.
 
The book of Revelation is practical.  It is designed to be helpful in the life of every Christian who lives from the time John recorded his visions until Jesus returns. The purpose of John’s book is the same as the purpose of the Psalms, the purpose of the prophetic books, and the gospels, and the epistles:
 
NIV Romans 15:4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
 
I’m claiming, and I hope to show you, that what is true of “everything that was written in the past” (relative to Paul) is also true for the book of Revelation.  The book of Revelation is intended to give us endurance and hope. Before we see how Romans 15:4 applies to Revelation, let’s think about how it works with the story of David and Goliath.
 
David fought a literal nine foot tall giant.  It is very unlikely you will ever be called upon to do that!  Yet, it is not difficult for us to see how the story of David and Goliath is relevant to our lives.

Revelation is Practical Goliath.jpg

We apply the story of David and Goliath by seeing that we need to trust God when we face giant problems. A similar method of applying the Bible can be used with other stories, prophecies, and the Psalms.  These often tell or are based on historical events which are very different in their details from what we experience.  Yet, we are able to  see how God can use these parts of the Bible to give us endurance and hope in the difficult details of our own lives.
 
Now, let’s apply the same method of applying the Bible which we use with David and Goliath (and many other parts of the Bible) to four parts of John’s visions.
 
The Deceiving False Prophet
 
Revelation is Practical False Prophet.jpg
 
In Revelation a “second beast” appears.  This beast is a false prophet whom the Devil uses to lead people astray.  There are many interpretations concerning who this false prophet is, when he will live, and how he will work.  But no matter which interpretation is closest to the truth, you need to ask how John’s vision of the false prophet applies to your life here and now. Here are some of the many possible applications:
 
* We need to seek God’s help, work, and pray in order to see people set free from false religions such as Buddhism and Islam, and false world views such as atheism and secularism.
* We must resist and equip others to resist the false narrative of unguided evolution.
* We need to be on guard against false teaching and false prophets in the church.  I’m not talking about minor differences of interpretation. I’m talking about teaching which denies or creates doubt and confusion about the core beliefs of true Christianity.
* All this means that we should be constantly and vigilantly reading, meditating on, studying, and teaching God’s Word.  Knowing God’s truth is our best defense against the Devil’s many lies.
 
The Seducing Whore of Babylon

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In his vision, John sees a prostitute riding a seven headed beast.  The prostitute is identified as “Babylon”.  She is wearing gold and expensive clothes:
 
NIV Revelation 17:4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries.
 
As with the other symbols in Revelation, there are endless interpretations, each supported by wearisome arguments.  But notice this:  you can and should apply this vision to your life today no matter which of these interpretations are correct.
 
You will be tempted to compromise your faith and/or your morals to enjoy some of the luxuries and pleasures this world has to offer.  Don’t do it! The prostitute is an image of temporary, seductive power and pleasure.  But Revelation reveals that in the end she suffers and is destroyed.
 
Here are some of many possible practical applications:
 
* Don’t give in to the temptation to “enjoy” an affair, or one night stand, or fling, or anything else you want to call adultery.  It may very well bring some short lived pleasure, but the end will be suffering, and if you don’t repent, destruction.
* Don’t compromise to make money.  Don’t lie.  Don’t cut corners.  The benefits you gain will not be worth the price you pay in the long run.
* Don’t turn to alcohol or drugs or porn to numb your pain and find a little bit of fun and good feelings.  The fun will soon be gone and the payment will be heavy.
 
 
The Economic Pressure of 666

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If deception and seduction don’t get you to compromise, there’s always economic pressure.
 
In John’s vision, everyone has to get the mark of the beast:  666.  If you don’t get the mark, you are not allowed to buy or sell.
 
Some Christians are worried about whether they will be asked to get a 666 microchip.  Others are confident that they will be raptured away first.  Either of those views might be true, but focusing only on those interpretations may cause us to miss the practical applications which Christians around the world face today.
 
Consider the economic pressure some Christians face:
 
*  In communist nations, it has often been much easier to go to university or get a good job if you are a member of the party.
*  In Muslim nations, Christians sometimes have a much harder time getting licenses and permits needed to do business.
*  In western nations, if you don’t go along with the radical homosexual agenda, you could be fined and have your business shut down.
 
Are you beginning to see how John’s visions are urgently relevant and practical to the lives of Christians today, as they have been throughout the history of the church? Let’s consider one more character from Revelation.
 
The Persecuting Beast

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For those Christians who are not deceived by the false prophet, or seduced by the whore of Babylon, or compromised by economic pressure, the devil has another strategy:  violent persecution. In John’s vision, those who refuse to worship the beast get their heads chopped off.
        
Is this relevant for Christians in the world today?  Perhaps if you are reading this in the relative safe haven of the US or other “western nations”, you might not feel how frighteningly applicable John’s vision is.  Yet, around the world today, Christians are beaten, imprisoned, and killed for their faith.  Some have literally been beheaded.
 
It doesn’t matter if you are preterist or futurist, a pre-, a-, or post- tribber, or which of a hundred detailed interpretations of Revelation you hold to.  The application is the same.  When you are threatened with physical violence or even death for being a Christian, stand firm.
 
The Main Point
 
I’m not saying that the following is the only purpose of Revelation.  In fact, I believe and have written about other glorious truths seen in Revelation. But I am convinced, based on long study of Revelation and based on experience with Christians facing pressure around the world, that the following is a good summary of one of the main purposes of Revelation:
 
Revelation is written to encourage Christians to stand firm for Christ and not compromise even when we are surrounded by deceptive worldviews and religions, infiltrated by false prophets and teachers, lured by tempting wealth and pleasure, and threatened with economic pressure and violent persecution.
 
Revelation encourages us to stand firm in many ways:
 
*  We are reminded that many other believers have faced the same pressures.
*  When we suffer, we are following not only the example of other Christians, but of the Lamb of God, who is also the Lion of Judah.
*  We are shown that, in the end, evil will be destroyed and those who gave in to evil will wish they hadn’t.
*  We are reminded that far above this evil world and all the forces of darkness, our Lord Jesus Christ reigns supreme.  He will shepherd us through the dark times and bring us safely to His Kingdom.
*  In the end, all our temporary sacrifices and sufferings will be worth it.  We will live and reign forever with God and Christ in His glorious, eternal kingdom. He will graciously reward us who have stood firm to the end.
 
So . . .

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He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen. (Rev. 22:20-21 NIV)
 
This was originally a post on my blog.
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i.e. Hold Fast (HANG ON TIGHT) to the NAME OF JESUS !   Repent, and don't sin.   REJOICE !  When forgiven.   Simple. :)

WHO is MY family JESUS asked?   Whoever HEARS the WORD of YHVH and DOES IT.  Simple ! :)  REJOICE !

p.s.  to help clear the cobwebs (of false teachings , which are many)  see The Apocalypse,  by E.W.Bullinger :  Simple!  :)

OP:  THANKS !   Good , Simple Truth from Revelation !

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1 hour ago, Mark Corbett said:

The book of Revelation is practical.  It is designed to be helpful in the life of every Christian...

Oh great - another self-help approach to living in the world!

READER BEWARE! This all flies in the face of Jesus' guidance to "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness." 

This teaching is not "designed to be helpful in the life of every Christian", but to turn every Christian from seeking God and His kingdom, to seeking the world - which is death.

For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

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1 minute ago, ScottA said:

This teaching is not "designed to be helpful in the life of every Christian", but to turn every Christian from seeking God and His kingdom, to seeking the world - which is death.

That's a very serious accusation. What specifically do you disagree with?

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Good post Mark.

A very practical way that we can apply it to everyday living.

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9 minutes ago, Mark Corbett said:

That's a very serious accusation. What specifically do you disagree with?

I already answered that.

Look, you may not even be aware of what you are doing, but it is Satan's desire to turn people away from looking heavenward and to look to the world. And you are helping him. There is nothing "practical" about a Christian being more focused on the world than on the kingdom of God.

If you yourself are a Christian, you will denounce this teaching and encourage Christians to follow Christ in seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

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2 minutes ago, JoeCanada said:

Good post Mark.

A very practical way that we can apply it to everyday living.

Joe,

Application teachings put God in second place after the cares of this world - is that really what you would like to compliment?

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1 minute ago, ScottA said:

Joe,

Application teachings put God in second place after the cares of this world - is that really what you would like to compliment?

I'm guessing you didn't read the whole post........?  It shows how the book of Revelation is an encouragement for the believer to walk faithful to the Lord.  It's not a self-help thing at all, but about holiness and being true to Christ.

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15 minutes ago, Heleadethme said:

I'm guessing you didn't read the whole post........?  It shows how the book of Revelation is an encouragement for the believer to walk faithful to the Lord.  It's not a self-help thing at all, but about holiness and being true to Christ.

I read it. The general thrust is to turn the most fascinating book in the bible - literally called Revelation - into something less than a revelation of Jesus Christ. It's not about us.

What's next - how to turn the transfiguration on the mount into a story about the relationships of three friends? ...Or how about the cross as a study of penal practices, then and now?

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      When I look at Matthew 25:31-45 in the NASB, the segment that speaks of the sheep and goats carries the headline, The Final Judgment. That headline in itself gives me nothing of value except as a reference point. If I were looking for a direct association to the final judgment, there is nothing within these verses that define this explicitly by using that terminology.
      Can I find an inference of final judgment in verse 31?
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      This is the same Jesus that Stephen saw, as he stood before the Jewish council (Acts 7:55-56,) and it is the same Jesus that Daniel saw in Daniel 7:13.
      And, He will sit on His glorious throne.
      There is a passage in Joel 3:12 that would cause the audience listening to the speaker that day to take note. Joel 3:12 LITV Let the nations be awakened and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat. For there I will sit to judge all the nations all around.
      This passage in Joel can easily be associated with the judgment we are about to see in Matthew 25. These two points alone do not convince me, as we see Jesus coming in Revelation 19 prior to Him being seated for judgment, and, there is no account of Him sitting upon His throne in Revelation 19.
      To be honest, I have to stretch my mind a bit to see the final judgment. However, if I look at the next verse, the finality suddenly becomes clearer, especially if I have an understanding of Joel 3:12. [Mat 25:32 And before Him shall be gathered all the nations;]
      There is only one glorious throne.
      Is this the same throne that we see in Revelation? We have to look at Revelation 20:11 and see if there is something here that matches.
      Revelation 20:11 NASB Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.
      A great white throne
      Our only references to a white throne come from 1 Kings 10:18 and 2Ch 9:17, and they are effectively the same story
      1 Kings 10:18 NASB Moreover, the king made a great throne of ivory and overlaid it with refined gold.
      Ezekiel tells us what he saw, Ezekiel 1:26 NASB Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man.
      lapis lazuli - Sapphire - Clear heavenly blue. Apparently, the color is insignificant.
      In 1Kings 10:18 it is clear that this is a great throne, and in Daniel 7:9 Daniel sees the throne as being fiery flames.
      Although you don't see this happening in Matthew 25, Revelation 20:7-8 tells us that after the thousand years, Satan is released from his prison and he deceives the nations. Those nations, in turn, surround the city of God in an attempt to kill God and His people. Those gathered are killed in an instant. The next event scripture shows us is the gathering of the nations, or, as Matthew 25 puts it, the dead are brought before this great throne.
      Although my methods of sorting out what I read, and disseminating the false teachings I hear, might be different than what you learn in seminary, they work for me. You also just got the added benefit of some insight into a false teaching that seems to enjoy sending all who approach the throne of judgment, to hell. A serious look at scripture will demonstrate that such a teaching is blatantly false and damaging to our understanding of who God is.
       
       
      iThe Church’s Secret: Biblical Illiteracy in the 21st Century, Hugh Whelchel, writing for the Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics. March 13, 2017. https://tifwe.org/the-churchs-secret-biblical-illiteracy-in-the-21st-century/
      iiBiblical Illiteracy by the Numbers Part 1: The Challenge
      https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/october/biblical-illiteracy-by-numbers.html
    • By Jonathan BeWell
      "All for Today"

      I wandered the streets naked hearing only the beats
      of my heart overflowing with a sixth sense
      of urgency; emergency; clergymen; demons;
      I fainted.
      Time had ceased.
      My mind was creased.
      Cursed with the truth, the lies twisted my hindsight;
      the sight lit my foresight
      and the now was one huge stooge
      ready to fall.
      It was a desperate call
      and I knew not who to listen to or who to tell,
      my apparently tortured loneliness was living hell.
      I eventually landed in a psychiatric ward
      where all my kin were studied as a backwards horde.
      The call was still ringing in my ears but 
      I was stuck in tangents of a concentration camp.
      The antics of my fellow prisoners of war
      only proved to me I was in on the score
      and was losing; missing in action with
      only my (innocent of the facts) family to protect me.
      That was a decade ago now and how I
      came through is miraculous.
      ...yet that time is not written off,
      it still haunts me to this day,
      a reality I rarely speak of...
      and that is all I will burden you with today.

      -Gregory KJ Brumwell 2004
    • By Jonathan BeWell
      My following testimony is inspired by shapes' post in the "Worthy Q & A for Seekers" forum.  And I quote, "How does God deal with those who have mental illness. Does he heal people from this affliction?"  https://www.worthychristianforums.com/topic/219239-mental-illness-god/#comment-2777709
      God dealt with my mind in a mess by giving me a guardian angel.  I have seen and heard her.  God had me born into an amazing family.  They love, protect and provide for me.  God gave me and the ability to discern real true friends.  Only a couple dozen never gave up on me.  God supplied me with doctors, psychiatrists and professionals.  Medications, personal care and safety nets caught me when I fell, repeatedly.  God commands my government, nation and community services to help me, however little and lacking it is.   God dealt with me by interacting with my heart, mind, body and soul.  Most importantly, God dealt with my sin by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to save, protect and heal me. 
      I have been saved since 2016's Christmas season.  I dove deep into everything Christian and came up baptized on the last day of 2017 (also baptized as an infant).  I attended some prayer meetings last year.  They anointed me with oil and prayed for the healing of my mind.  Since then, God has been healing and restoring me among other areas of my life.  I feel shocks of energy surge though and jerk my body.  I have been told this is the blood of Jesus running through me.  When I am praying, willingly changing my thoughts to God's will, having revelations or meditating on God, I feel tangible physical healing in my temples behind my eyes.  It has the similar sensation of a yawn, a condensed vibration.  A Christian veteran I admire said something that stuck in my head relatively recently.  "I don't even think like that anymore."  It was a eureka revelation moment at the time and applies to what has been happening to my mind over the past year.  I am becoming less like the Greg of the past and more like Christ.  The Holy Spirit is alive and well in me and changing me for the better.
      The short answer is, "yes," He does heal people from this affliction. 
      How God deals with sin, evil, death and even demons is by offering Jesus Christ a place in between us and all those "mental health issues."  The secular world is leaving out God (in three Persons) as the ultimate and only real true solution, cure, coping mechanism and explanation, etcetera.  I am living breathing proof.  People would have a hard time believing my past.  People in my past would have a hard time believing my present.  My future will be hard to believe for anyone stuck in the secular world ignoring the one, true, living God.  Jesus Christ is alive and well and has made me so, eternally, glory be to our Heavenly Father!
      12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13 He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.
      - Mark 5:12-13 New International Version (NIV)
      3 Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.
      - Hebrews 3:1 New International Version (NIV)
      7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
      - Philippians 4:7 New International Version (NIV)
    • By Jonathan BeWell
      Prayer Time Travel - 
      The Holy Bible records time.  The Bible has a beginning to end, Genesis to Revelation.  God is outside time.  He has no beginning or end.  We have a beginning with no end.  We start in time, then escape it, get outside it with no end.  Many prayers are throughout the Holy Bible affecting past, present and future, from whoever's perspective.  Jesus Christ is!  God is the great "I am," not was nor will be.  
      Jesus prays for all believers.
      20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
      - John 17:20-21 New International Version (NIV)
      Revelation in the Bible affects the past to us now and beyond to the beginning of time, Genesis. A prayer in my future affects me and my now and even my past. My prayer now about my past affects my future. I am affected by my past, present and future, now. I am not an isolated silo. We cause ripple effects, everything affects everything, everything matters. Christ's life giving water is thee all encompassing most important matter.
      I lost my wallet. I decided not to fear or worry. I accepted it and let it go. Eventually I decided to pray about it, relatively long after the fact. Later, a policeman called for me to come get it from him. It had been been discovered moments after I lost it and immediately turned in. A beat cop had happened to be there. The officer had been swamped with work, so had notified and met with me a week later, having been so busy. That was my time traveling prayer eureka moment. At the time, my prayer was only to help process, comfort and put the whole matter in God's hands, whatever His will. I was happy with it and had left it at that. Yay and hallelujah, yet another reason for prayer! Now I realized and believed my prayer had actually traveled back in time. God's reach and power is anywhere anytime. He answered my prayer by changing my past, my reality and my future. What was lost was now found in time.
      December 18, 2016, I prayed a short, simple to the point prayer. I met and surrendered to Jesus Christ as my Saviour and Lord. What I prayed then and there took effect in the past on the cross at Calvary. Jesus Christ was sacrificed for me and my sin debt. That past was affected by prayer in its future. That present took effect in the past and affected the future until the end of time. Then, now and then, I pray in Jesus Christ's name, amen.
      1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.
      - John 1:1-2 New International Version (NIV)
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