Jerry Locke
Study Series by Pastor Jerry Locke

4445 Hodgkins Rd. Fort Worth, TX 76135
Selection of 13 Studies by one of our
out standing Independent Baptist
Preachers, Dr. Jerry Locke
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Number 1 In A Series of Studies on Revelation -

Why Study the Book of Revelation?

The Book of Revelation is a...

fabulous book. We will be amazed at how much God will say in 22 chapters, in just 404 verses.

...fascinating book. There is nothing ordinary about this book.

...for some it is a fatal book (because they have drawn the wrong conclusions. e.g. David Koresh).

There are four books in the Bible that you better be right about now or you will be wrong for all of eternity.

* it all began (divine creation, not evolution).

* John...who Jesus Christ is (the Son of God) and what He came to do (die for our sins).

* salvation is offered (by grace through faith in the finished work of Christ).

* it all ends. Fruitful book. I am expecting great things to come of our considering the powerful words of this final book of the Bible.

A study of this book is both needed and neglected. It is way overdue for most people.

I have wondered many times in the past few months if I have bitten off more than I can chew, let alone digest!

When mentioning that I will be leading in a study of the Book of Revelation you meet all kinds of reactions.

1. Curiosity.

2. Ignorance. "Never paid it much attention."

3. Misunderstanding. The cults are built on misunderstandings and wrong interpretations of Revelation.

4. Ridicule. "You, understand the book of Revelation. Yea! Do you do brain surgery, too?"

5.Fear. Some have taken a "hands off" approach to this wonderful book. The imagery and symbolism has frightened and confused people. "That's scary stuff."

I would like to begin by giving six (6) simple reasons why we need to study the Book of Revelation.

1. We should study the Book of Revelation for a Biblical reason.

How much of the Bible should we study?

We should study all of the Bible, not just the parts that we like or those parts of the Bible we find easy to understand.

How many book are there in the Bible? Sixty-six. Then, we should study all sixty-six books of the Bible.

2 Timothy 3:16 "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable..."

2 Timothy 2:15 "Study to show thyself approved unto God..."

2 Timothy 4:2 "Preach the word..."

Revelation 22:10 says, "Seal it not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand."

We are under divine order to not ignore or neglect the Book of Revelation. It is not a closed book.

God says, "Don't seal it. Keep it open." God's people need the message this book contains.

Let this be our prayer: "God, help me get into the Book of Revelation and let the Book of Revelation get into me!"

- In Revelation 1:1 there are five stages of transmission. God the Father... + Him (Jesus Christ)... + by his angel... + unto my servant John... = unto his servant (the pastors and people of God in His churches).

Because the Book of Revelation is heavy with symbolism many Christians seem content to leave it to the self-appointed experts believing they could never understand it. In our exegesis of this book we must...

* Read it repeatedly.

* Study it carefully.

* Interpret it consistently.

* Compare it contextually.

* Believe it thoroughly.

* Obey it completely.

* Anticipate it hopefully.

A study of the Book of Revelation will help us better understand the Bible.

2. We should study the Book of Revelation for a Congregational reason.

Revelation 1:4. "John to the seven churches which are in Asia."

Can you imagine the interest and importance of a divine letter from Jesus Christ to our own congregation? This is what the Book of Revelation was. Originally it was a circular letter to be read aloud in these seven congregational meetings as a message directed to real needs of real first-century people who were members of real local churches.

God's churches should in looking into this book because it had church names on its address label.

Church leaders are always looking for the "last word" on the church. Well, here it is - literally! These are the last words Jesus spoke to His church.

3. We should study the Book of Revelation for Practical reasons.

We are given two reasons to understand this book: one positive and one negative.

Positively, there is a special blessing given that encourages hope.

* Revelation 1:3 "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those thing which are written therein: for the time is at hand."

* Revelation 22:7 "Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book."

This book was written around 95 A.D. during the second great persecution of God's churches. "The Roman emperor, Domitian (pronounced De-mish'en), demanded public worship of himself as god.

Those who refused to treat him as lord and publicly bow were subjected to imprisonment, exile, torture and death. Their families would suffer ridicule and go hungry. God gave this book as a vision of hope to those who were suffering," Jim Preston.

God is in control. God cares. God is on time.

Negatively, there is a special warning given that discourages heresy. - Revelation 22:18-19 -- "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."

Now those two verses will get your attention! Whatever are our conclusions about this book they must be true. Heresy is going too far or not going far enough. It is adding to or taking away from God's revelation.

4. We should study the Book of Revelation for a Chronological reason.

Revelation is not only the last book as it appears in our Bibles, but it was in fact the last book inspired by the Holy Spirit to be included in God's Word.

Revelation closes the canon of Scripture - the last book in God's divine library. It is God's final book, His final word. It is the climax of the Bible. What commended in Genesis will be completed as we are told in the Revelation.

The last thing of anything is usually significant. How much more the last book of the Bible.

Genesis Revelation

Entrance of sin ----------------------------------- End of sin

Dawn of Satan ----------------------------------- Doom of Satan

Death enters -------------------------------------- Death exists

Sorrow begins ------------------------------------ Sorrow banished

Paradise lost -------------------------------------- Paradise regained

Savior promised ---------------------------------- Savior preeminent

The Bible would be incomplete without a conclusion. Could you imagine reading a book and then coming to the last chapter and not reading it? That would not make sense. And it does not make sense to read and understand the first 65 books of the Bible and then fail to get into book number 66.

Peter said that "no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation," 2 Peter 1:20. That is, you cannot cannot take a verse here or there, or even consider only the Book of Revelation, and expect to interpret accurately the Word of God.

Revelation is the last book for a reason. When children begin to learn arithmetic you do not start with the atomic physics. You begin with "one plus one," and work up. By the time you get to Revelation you need to have a working knowledge of the 65 books before it. By the way, of the 404 verses in Revelation, 278 contain references to the Old Testament, with possibly as many as 500 allusions to the Old Testament. A working knowledge of all the Bible precedes any possibility of understanding the final book of the Bible.

5. We should study the Book of Revelation for Prophetical reasons.

- Revelation 1:3 "The words of this prophecy."

Revelation is a book of prophecy. There are seventeen (17) prophetic books in the Old Testament, but Revelation id the only New Testament book given solely to prophecy.

It is a book about the end of time. Only a fool would not be interested in how the end will play out.

Over one-fourth of the Bible was prophetic at the time it was written. Graphic, detailed, accurate, far-reaching - that is the prophecies of the Bible.

Do you realize that if we were to take just 8 prophecies from the Scriptures, the law of compound probabilities tells us that the changes of just 8 prophecies occurring as predicted would be one change in 100,000,000,000,000,000 (17 zeroes). What is after trillion? 100 Quadrillion.

Let's illustrate it this way. Say you take this many silver dollars and lay them on the face of the state of Texas. They would cover the state two feet deep. Now mark just one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wished, but he must pick up one silver dollar and it must be the one that is marked. What chance would he have of getting the right one? The same chance that the prophets would have had in writing eight prophecies and having them come true, assuming they wrote them in their own wisdom.

* Old Testament prophets spoke and wrote about the future.

* Jesus entertained questions about "the end" seriously.

* Paul reinforced the "end time" teachings authoritatively.

* And the Book of Revelation "unveils" the events of "the end" dramatically.

Surely God intended to say something to us about it all.

Our study of the Book of Revelation will help us understand our times, it will let us see where we are on God's calendar.

6. We should study the Book of Revelation for Theological reasons.

The theme of the Book of Revelation is not about churches, although churches are mentioned. It is not about evil, or judgment, or angels, or the antichrist, or false religion, or heaven. Revelation is a book with a direct, specified theme - it is the revelation of Jesus Christ, 1:1.

* This book opens with Him in the first five words.

* This book closes with Him in the last verse, Revelation 22:21. "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."

All Scripture speaks of the Savior. The Gospels speaks of Christ in the days of His flesh, the days of his humanity and humility. But the Book of Revelation is particularly a "Him-Book." It extols and exalts the greatness and grace and government and glory of Jesus Christ.

7. We should study the Book of Revelation because it will help us know better who Christ is. "More about Jesus would I know..."

The title and theme of this book is given in the first verse. This is "The revelation of Jesus Christ."

The word "revelation" is the Greek word "apocalupis" from which we get the English word "apocalypse." It has been borrowed for movies, book titles, etc. and it simply means to unveil or to expose to view. Unfortunately, the word is used today to convey chaos, confusion, and catastrophe.

If we fail to see principally and primarily the Lord Jesus Christ we will have missed the grand message of this book. The purpose of this book is to exalt Jesus Christ.

The Book of Revelation...

* comes from Christ.

* centers on Christ.

It begins in chapter 1 with a vision of His glory, wisdom and power.

In chapter 2-3 His authority and presence is established in and over His churches.

In chapter 5 He is the Lamb who was slain and who alone is worthy to open the book of judgment.

In chapters 6-18 His righteous wrath is poured out on the whole earth in a series of three judgments.

In chapters 19-20 He returns in power to judge His enemies and to reign as the Lord over all.

In chapters 21-22 He will rule forever over the heavenly city in the presence of all who know Him.

God wants us to know His Son.

1. Prophets preached about Him.

2. God sent Him.

3. Christ died on the cross and was resurrected.

4. God inspired and preserved His Word for us.

5. Here you are today in one of His churches hearing about Him.

I will tell you this up front - I plan to exalt Jesus Christ and expect God to be very pleased with that! "God is pleased to hear His Son well spoken of."

With the Bible in our hands and the Spirit in our hearts we will trust that God will open to us His Scriptures to be able to see more clearly His Son and our Savior.

Now, let's consider a final word. To those who claim that Revelation is all symbolic and beyond our understanding, I say that this book is to be taken literally. And when a symbol is used, it will be so stated. Also it will be symbolic of reality, and the reality will be more real than the symbol for the simple reason that John uses symbols to describe reality. I have every intention of staying out of the way and allow the book of Revelation to say what it wants to say.

Let me say this about reality.

Reality # 1: Jesus was a real man who lived on this earth.

Reality # 2: We are real sinners who have no hope apart from divine intervention.

Reality # 3: Jesus really died and rose again for our sin salvation.

Reality # 4: You can really know you are going to heaven when you die by receiving Christ as your only Savior.

Reality # 5: Jesus Christ is really coming again - ready or not.

Reality # 6: Every knee is really going to bow and every tongue is really going to confess that Jesus is Lord.

Prepared and delivered by Dr. Jerry D. Locke Lake Worth Baptist Church 4445 Hodgkins Road Fort Worth, TX 76135-2136