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Exploring Revelation
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“Revelation chapter 4: - introduction”
by Art Sadlier   
January 20th, 2008

As we come to Chapter Four, we make a transition from the Church Age to the Tribulation Period. Let me set the scene with some information that will help you to have a fuller understanding as to what lies ahead in the rest of the Book.

We need to remember that there are Three Great Streams running through God's Word and through all of Human History. These three streams reach a climax in the Tribulation Period. We need to understand this, to fully appreciate what the message of the Book of Revelation is.

These Three Great Streams running through history are:

1 THE JUDGMENT STREAM

This stream began in Eden as God put Adam and Eve out of the garden because of their sin. God hates sin! Psalm 7:11 says: "God is angry with the wicked every day."

Like a great drum that never stops beating, the judgment of God has fallen on mankind all down through the ages. Man is cursed because of sin. Germs, disease, weeds, cancer, aging, hatred, war, personality disorders, pollution and death are just some of the elements of the curse. All represent the Judgment of God upon sin. Of course, the one who has cancer is not necessarily more sinul than the one who does not.

Everywhere we look we see the judgment of God upon sin. The worst judgment of all is the blindness God gives to the man who rejects the truth, blindness to truth is a judgment  of God.

We see the judgment of God upon the world in the flood, in Sodom and Gomorrah, upon Israel and upon five of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3.

This stream of judgment will reach a climax as far as this present world is concerned in the Tribulation Period.

One second, after the rapture there will not be a single believer alive on Planet Earth, they will all be caught up to Heaven.

Seven years, plus a few days, after the rapture, there will not be an unbeliever alive in this world. (Isa. 13:9) (Mt. 24:41)

The awful judgment of God will fall on this world during the tribulation period. God hates sin, God hates disobedience and He will judge it (see also Isa. 13:11, 13).

If the world could only understand this awesome truth, they would understand the jeopardy they are in, as the "Day Of The Lord" looms on the near horizon.

2. THE REDEMPTIVE STREAM
This stream also began in the Garden of Eden, as God made a covering for Adam's sin by the shedding of the blood of an animal as a type of Christ who was yet to come. We see it on almost every page of scripture. All down through the ages God has been working on His plan of Redemption. We see it pictured in the sacrificial system of the Law of Moses. The untold number of animals sacrificed for sin were pictures of the Lamb of God who came to Calvary and made one sacrifice for sins forever!

John said "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." (see John 3:14-18)

God has provided redemption for all men everywhere. That Redemption is found in Christ, and Christ alone, and it is received by grace through faith in Christ and Christ Alone, which is expressed in repentance or validated by repentance. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting Life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." (Jn. 3:36)

This Redemptive Stream will also reach a climax in theTribulation Peeriod. A great multitude will be saved, the Scripture says, "of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.... a great multitude which no man could number."

3. THE STREAM OF APOSTASY
"Apostasy" means to fall away from, to stand off and away from something you once held to. Apostasy began in Eden, when Adam and Eve turned away from the truth they knew concerning God.

All down through the ages men and women have been falling away from, departing from the truth God has given them. The classic example is the pre-flood society that totally turned away from truth they once held.

Israel, has all down through her history turned away from God's Truth, over and over and over again. The members of the church all down through the church age have consistently and persistantly departed from the truth.

This apostasy will also come to a great climax in the Tribulation Period. After the true church is taken out of the world, there will be a great apostate, counterfeit Church. This Harlot Church will be the climax and culmination of the Apostasy of the Ages.

Today we see the pace of this Apostasy quickening, the Evangelical Church has largely been swept up in it.

These Three Great Streams are like the bones around which the Tribulation Period is fleshed out. Keep this in mind as you study the Book, it will greatly clarify the message for you.

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