Is there anything in these messages concerning the Church and her relationship to the great Tribulation, and the Lords return?
What might it look like to add to the words of this book? I want us to think about that as we consider what the message to the seven churches is relative to the Great Tribulation and our Lords coming.
First I think it important to understand that each message is to be seriously considered in its entirety and heeded by all the churches. Each church is told to have ears to here.
12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this: 16 Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.
Is there a timing message apparent in this warning to Pergamum? Jesus is first revealed in Revelation 1:6 with a sword in His mouth. He is once again seen in Revelation 19:15 returning with the sword in His mouth to strike down the nations. The purpose of the sword seems to be the same in each of these verses. So is this telling us something that we should know about His return for us. There is more listen:
18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this:…20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 22 Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.
Revelation 2:18,20,22-23 NASB
What do we see here? There is a woman representing false teaching, who’s teachings are heeded, and thus are leading astray God’s Bond-servants, who if they remain absent from repentance will see Great Tribulation along with this false prophetess and her children. Allegorically speaking this woman could possibly represent all false doctrine within the church?
We further see that the churches apparently are still (plural not singular) and will learn from this time of her punishment something that they apparently have not yet fully comprehended. That something seems to be just what Jesus’ basis and timing for Judgment really is as He examines each man’s heart.
12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.
Revelation 22:12 NASB
— do the above verses mean that each church is still present and represented at the time of great tribulation?
Based on what Jesus is telling us here, these should be our additional questions:
— why do you think that these churches are stated to be learning from the time of the great Tribulation?
— who do they represent?
— what is being taught us by the fact that a bond servants failure to repent will cause for that person subsequent great Tribulation?
— what is the implication of this for the church the bride today?
— are there other scriptures that will help us with these questions?
Here are some passages that could apply to these and other questions:
Rev. 3:21 He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
And they overcame him (Satan) because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.
“To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. …Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.
So this is a warning to one of these churches that is to be heeded by all of the churches. Paul had used similar wording concerning His coming as a Thief in 1Thess. Chapters 4 and 5 saying that the day of the Lord; the Rapture and Judgment would all come when Jesus appears as a thief. But his teaching was that the believer would not be caught in darkness — not in a state of not knowing. Paul in fact said that the Thessalonian believers taught by him would be awake unlike these we see in Sardis who were following Jezebel. The message then seems to be — follow scriptures truth and we will not be taken by surprise when Jesus returns as a thief. Jesus had also told John in the Revelation when His coming as a thief would occur. Listen:
And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. (“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.”) And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon.
Revelation 16:13-16 NASB
Sardis had become dead to the Spirits leading and needed to wake up. Again Jesus warns about His coming as a thief and the need to stay awake. Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians what will happen to those who are not Spiritually awake, and what Jesus tells us in this passage above agrees with Paul as to the timing of this occurrence. His coming as a thief would be in the sequence of time before the day of the Lord; yet it will be after the gathering of nations to Armageddon. The letters both written by Paul to the Thessalonians agree as to this timing of future events.
So let us return to the original question. What might it look like to add to or to take away from the message of this book? Consider with me the following:
— Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he *said to me, “ Write, ‘ Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he *said to me, “ These are true words of God.”
Now if I say concerning this description of the preparation for our coming marriage that it is seen here in Revelation 19 to be just before Our Lords Second Coming to rule and reign— is that adding to or taking away from the message of this book?
— are the following statements in keeping with the scripture or are they adding to or taking away from Revelations message?
1). The church will not be present for the great tribulation.
2). The bride is Raptured and will attend the marriage feast of the Lamb during the seven years of Tribulation on earth.
3). It appears that the bride will make herself ready for the Lords return during the seven years of Tribulation.
4). The church is not seen on earth during the Tribulation.
5). The Tribulation produces saved people who are not the church, and we will rule over them.
There are some obvious additions to and even deletions from this book of the Revelation contained in these 5 statements above. Only one of these 5 can be supported with the scriptures. Do you know which it is for sure?
I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.
Do you believe these words? Are they the word of the Lord or are they something that we can ignore or twist to our own understanding, and possible destruction?
When will the words of this warning be carried out. Think about this. Men from the church have disagreed concerning the teachings of this book for the last at least 150 years. Probably there has been some disagreement for the entire Time since It was first circulated. Yet there is only one way that this judgment can possibly be carried out for all of those who added to it over the last 2000 years. One thing is for certain they will not all be resurrected to experience the things recorded in this book during the seven year Tribulation itself, but they will be resurrected at the judgment that Jesus promised to every man when He returns. This message of the Revelation He tells us it is for the churches, listen:
16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
Revelation 22:12-13 NASB
Would I be adding to this book to say that the “all men” to be judged must include you and me?
And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
There are those of you who are saying right now — surely Jerry Parks is nuts. Certainly God would not put one who believes the gospel through Great Tribulation. Yet John recorded these words “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book;….” this my fellow saints is the word of God and many of you refuse it — just as in the days of Noah. When destruction came in Noah’s day the destruction of those who did not God seriously was immediate.
Jesus said to the church in Ephesus vs. 5 Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.
It is our responsibility and purpose as believers in the word of God to act as watchmen on the wall. If God allows us to see danger and we do not warn of that danger the Lord has said that the blood of that man who falls because I did not warn him of that danger will be upon me.
In this article I have done the best that I can to not twist this word; to not add to it; to not take away from it. I believe that God has shown me a grave danger facing today’s Bond-servants. I shutter at the implication. I believe that I am doing what God has asked me to do with what He has shown me and with the tools and gifts that He has given me. You may not believe that. Your belief is yours, each of us are products of our own decisions; of our own beliefs; of our own commitments to Him.
My prayer is that unity will come in Christ’s body before He returns, and I believe that that was also Jesus prayer in John 17. It is my belief that it will take Tribulation to bring this about. God bless you as you ponder these things.