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Revelation 2 – Christ Victorious

25 November, 2018

I’m one of those people who wants to know the result of a rugby game before I watch it, if it’s not being played live. If the result is already known, then it’s known and I feel as though I’m living in willful ignorance pretending that it’s not known. So if I can skip to the end of a game and see the score, I want to do that. Then I enjoy watching the game and seeing how it all unfolded.

Whether you agree with me or not in the matter of watching sport doesn’t matter. But when it comes to God, the end times and eternal life and eternal punishment, I want to know ahead of time who wins, and I want to be on the winning team.

We continue this week with our overview of the book of Revelation. With the book of Revelation, we get to peek into the future – to the end times – and see who wins. I’ve read the back of the book and I know who wins. I’ll tell you now – it’s Jesus [wins]! But I’d like to share with you this morning a little of how it all unfolds.

Last week we looked at the first three chapters of Revelation. This week, we look at the rest of the book.

Remember from last week:

The purpose of the book of Revelation is to unveil a glorified Christ not only to our hearts but in our hearts.

Using narrative with symbols, pictures, numbers and colours, Revelation also reveals to us the three prime characteristics of God’s nature:


  1. Holiness
  2. Justice
  3. Love

Revelation shows how those three prime characteristics are demonstrated throughout human history, principally through the victory of Jesus on the cross.

But before we can get into any detail, we need to look at the four common views of interpreting the events recorded in Revelation.

  1. 黙示録では、預言がもうすでに成就したとの見方で書かれているということ。預言ではありますが、ほとんどが西暦70年までに現実に起こっています。
  2. 黙示録は、理想的な観点で書かれているということ。どの時代にも、善と悪は永遠に対立し、善と悪は相反するものという考え方で書かれています。
  3. 黙示録は歴史的な観点で書かれているということ。ヨハネの時代からイエスの再臨までの教会の歴史について書かれています。
  4. 黙示録は、未来の出来事について書かれています。4章22節ではまだ実現していない予言が書かれています。
  1. The preterist view – prophetic but mostly fulfilled by AD 70.
  2. Idealist view – represents the eternal conflict of good and evil in every age.
  3. Historical view – covers all church history from John’s time until the second coming
  4. Futurist view – sees chapters 4-22 (today’s study) as still unfulfilled

All these views have validity. We don’t have to choose one and hope it’s right, to learn from the book or to have the glorified Jesus unveiled in our hearts. The beauty of God’s prophetic language is that regardless of any particular view of interpretation we hold, it can and does reveal the holiness, justice and love of God for us in Christ.

Here’s a brief overview of the book. After the seven letters of Jesus that we looked at last week:

  1. 神のみ座に命の巻物と神の子羊が現れるという予見について書かれています。
  2. 7つの封印が解かれ、それぞれの封印について重大な出来事が起こったことについて書かれています。
  3. 7つのラッパが吹かれ、それぞれのラッパにつき重大な出来事が起こったことについて書かれています。
  4. いろいろな人々と色々な出来事が起こったことについて書かれています。
  5. 7つの鉢、それぞれの鉢が神の怒りを地上にもたらしたことについて書かれています。
  6. バビロンという売春婦のことが書かれており、裁かれ、罪に定められたことが書かれています。
  7. 子羊への賛美について書かれています。
  8. キリストの再臨について書かれています。
  9. 千年について書かれています。
  10. サタンの運命について書かれています。
  11. 大きな白い御座の裁きについて書かれています。
  12. 新しい天と新しい地について書かれています。
  1. We are taken in a vision to the throne of God where we see the scroll of life and the Lamb of God (chs 4,5)
  2. Seven seals are opened, each revealing a significant event (chs 6,7)
  3. Seven trumpets are sounded, each revealing a significant event (chs 8-11)
  4. Various people and events appear (chs 12-14)
  5. Seven bowls – each bringing God’s wrath upon the earth are poured out (chs 15,16)
  6. Babylon: the Great Prostitute is described, judged and condemned (chs 17,18)
  7. Praise for the Lamb (ch 19)
  8. The second coming of Christ (ch 19)
  9. The thousand years (ch 20)
  10. Satan’s doom (ch 20)
  11. Great white throne of judgement (ch 20)
  12. New heaven and new earth (ch 21,22)

For time purposes, I’m just going to focus on three sections of the book. The first focuses on the holiness of God, the second on the judgement of God, and the third on the love of God.

  1. Holiness


When we are first taken into the throne room of God, we see God seated on His throne. Four living creatures were flying around the throne and it seems that their job, day in and day out, is to declare God’s praises. But the way they do this is telling.
私たちが最初に神の部屋に入ったら、神が王座に座っているのを見るでしょう。 4つの生き物が神の王座の周りを飛んでいて、その4つの生き物は飛び回って神を賛美することが日々の仕事となっているようです。その生き物たちは「告げる」ことが仕事のようです。

As they fly around they don’t say ‘Kind, kind, kind is the Lord God Almighty!’ They don’t say ‘Patient, patient, patient is the Lord God Almighty!’ They don’t even say ‘Love, love, love is the Lord God Almighty!’ – all of these are absolutely true but there is a greater characteristic that defines who God is.
それらの生き物は周りを飛び回りながら、「主なる全能の神は寛容です」とは言わずに、「主なる全能の神は忍耐強いです」とも言いません。 「主なる全能の神は愛です」とも言いません。 もちろん神は寛容で、忍耐強く、愛であるということはまぎれもない真実ですが、それよりも神が誰であるかを定義する神の大きな特徴があります。それは次のような特徴です。

The four living creatures cry, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come’ (4:8). The words which flow from such holiness are ‘worthy’, ‘power’, ‘wealth’, ‘wisdom’, ‘strength’, ‘honour’, ‘glory’ and ‘praise’. God’s holiness is at the heart of His being and it must be at the heart of our worship of Him.
この4つの生き物は、「聖なる、聖なる、聖なる全能の神、主よ。昔も今も存在し、やがて来られる方。」と叫んでいます 。そのように聖なるものから出てくる言葉は、 他にも「偉大」「力」「富」、「知恵」、「強さ」、「名誉」、「栄光」、「賞賛」などがあります。このように、神の「聖さ」は神の存在の要となり、神の聖さを私たちの礼拝の中心としなければなりません。

God’s justice and love both flow from and reveal His holiness. It’s at the throne of God that all the visions and revelations to come, then appear.

  1. Justice


In the middle chapters (13,14), we are shown the sort of evil and corruption that arouses God’s righteous anger leading to His perfect justice. In these chapters, dragons and beasts appear, typically representing corrupt human empires. Perhaps the most well-known of these is ‘the beast out of the earth’ – an extraordinary prophecy which had some fulfilment in the early church, but would seem to find fulfilment in this day as well.

The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.
Revelation 13:15-17

出来上がった像に、この獣が息を吹き込むと、像はしゃべることさえできるようになりました。するとその像は、自分を拝まない者は皆殺しにするよう命じました。 また獣は、大きい者にも小さい者にも、金持ちにも貧しい人にも、奴隷にも自由人にも、すべての人に右手か額に刻印を彫らせました。 そして、獣の名か、その名を意味する数字を彫った刻印を持っていなければ、仕事につくことも、店で買物をすることもできないようにしたのです。
ヨハネの黙示録 13:15-17

It’s amazing and disturbing to see this word, given 2000 years ago, finding fulfilment in our day. Economic persecution hurt the early Christians and it’s hurting Christians today, too. Increasingly, those in the western world who don’t bow down to the standards of the world are having their businesses closed down. We should expect to see more of this.

By the way, don’t be influenced by Hollywood or religious myths. 666 is not the devil’s number.
The passage concludes:
ちなみにみなさん。ハリウッドや宗教的な神話の影響を受けてはいけません。 ハリウッドが作り上げた666は悪魔の数字ではありません。

This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.
Revelation 13:18

ヨハネの黙示録 13:18

People often struggle with the concept of judgement, especially God’s judgement, because it can seem so harsh. It’s described in such brutal terms, and this brutality is celebrated as well, which doesn’t fit easily into our concept of Christian compassion or mercy. Indeed, the whole idea of eternal judgement is a stumbling block to many.

This struggle [Understanding judgement] will ultimately always come back to an understanding of God’s holiness and of sin. Without a solid understanding of this we will always end up putting God on trial and coming away disgruntled. Without an understanding of holiness and sin we will always come to the conclusion that God is not fair.

Revelation addresses this in chapter 16 when the bowls of God’s wrath are being poured out.

Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: “You are just in these judgments, O Holy One, you who are and who were; for they have shed the blood of your holy people and your prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.” And I heard the altar respond: “Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments.”
Revelation 16:5-7

私は、水を支配している天使のことばを聞きました。「今も昔も存在される聖なる方。あなたは正しい方です。 あなたのきよい民や預言者は殉教を遂げ、この地上に血を流しました。今度はあなたが、彼らを殺した者たちの血をしたたらせる番です。これは当然の報いなのです。」 また私は、祭壇の天使の声を聞きました。「全能の神、主よ。あなたのさばきは正しく、真実です。」
ヨハネの黙示録 16:5-7

In chapter 20, all humanity is finally judged:

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:11-15

また私は、大きな白い王座と、そこに座っておられる方とを見ました。地も空も、その方の顔を避けて逃げ出し、影も形もなくなってしまいました。 私はすべての死者が、大きい者も小さい者も、神の前に立つのを見ました。いのちの書をはじめ、さまざまな書物が開かれました。死者は、これらの書物の規定に従い、それぞれの行いに応じてさばかれました。 海も、死と地獄も、その中の死者を吐き出しました。そして各自が、その行いに応じてさばかれました。 それから死と地獄は、火の池に投げ込まれました。これが、第二の死です。いのちの書に名前の記されていない者はみな、火の池に投げ込まれたのです。
ヨハネの黙示録 20:11-15

  1. Love


The book of Revelation reveals God’s holiness and his justice. It also looks at His victorious love. Jesus comes to our rescue as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He comes as one who loved and died for the whole world, offering salvation for all and freedom for all. He comes in power and authority to destroy the evil that waged war against Him and so hurt His followers, and to reward those who have remained faithful to Him.

The faithful church is described as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband – Jesus – who will care for her and provide for her and love her for eternity.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Revelation 21:3,4

私は、王座から大声で叫ぶ声を聞きました。「ごらんなさい。神の住まいが人々の間にあります。神は人々と共に住み、人々は神の国民となります。神ご自身が人々の中に住み、 その目から涙をぬぐってくださるのです。もはや、死も悲しみも叫びも苦痛もありません。それらはみな、永遠に姿を消したからです。」
ヨハネの黙示録 21:3-4

There are multiple descriptions of the new heaven and the new earth. Please read about them in the final 2 chapters of Revelation for homework.

The descriptions include a magnificent city of unspeakable beauty, shining with glory, and with living water flowing through it. There is no sun because the light of God fills the place. There is no temple building because the God and Jesus the Lamb are its temple. There is no longer any curse, but only blessing and riches and health and glory for eternity.

So the book of Revelation shows us the end of the story. We know who wins. What’s the takeaway for us? How can we be ready for Christ’s return? How can we be sure that our names are in the book of life?

The answer to these questions we find in the seven letters to the churches we looked at last week:

  • Repentant of your sin.
  • Put your faith in Jesus and keep it there.
  • Remember what you have been taught and continue to obey.
  • Overcome hardship.
  • Love God with all your heart.