Revelation as a Spiritual War Manual, part 2

In Part 2 of this series, Dr. Kayser looks at how the Father and the Spirit relate to us in this war and how we relate to them as foot-soldiers of the cross. Just as the angels of heaven could not take on Satan and his forces alone, we on earth cannot take on the spiritual enemy on our own — we need the Triune God to lead us into battle, to equip us, and to empower us. This sermon shows the role of the Father, Who has already decreed victory, makes us kings and priests, and wars against the wicked, and the Holy Spirit, Who empowers, illuminates, sanctifies, and guides us in the fight.

Categories: Angelology › Demonology › Warfare

Text for reading

Revelation 3:1 “And to the messenger of the church in Sardis write: These things says He who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars: ’I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, yet you are dead. 2 Wake up! And strengthen the remaining things that you were about to throw away, for I have not found your works to be fulfilled before my God. 3 So remember how you have received and heard, and hold fast and repent; because if you do not watch I will come upon you like a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. 4 ‘But you do have a few names in Sardis who have not defiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, because they are worthy. 5 The one who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments, and I will not erase his name from the Book of Life, and I will confess his name before my Father and before His angels. 6 ‘He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.’


Last week we looked at the astounding ways in which Jesus actually lived His life through the believers of the first century. Christ enabled them to do what they could not do in their own power. As saints who were seated with Christ in the heavenlies they experienced new authority that they simply had not had before. They experienced new power, joy, courage, compassion, sacrificial love, and willingness to lay down their lives for His kingdom. So the work of Christ in us is supernatural.

The question comes, "How was it that they could have Christ live His life through them when He Himself had said that He was going away? Was not Jesus in heaven and they on earth in the midst of trouble?" And yet Jesus had also said, "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you." (John 14:18). How does He do come to believers at the same time as being away? The same chapter (John 14) tells us. Jesus comes to us by sending the Holy Spirit into our lives. One of the most transformative books that I have read on this subject was by a friend of the Presbyterian writer, William Cunningham. It's the Abiding Presence by Dr. Hugh Martin.1 And he points to passages like John 14 to teach that the Holy Spirit's presence in our lives is what unites us to Father and Son and brings us into fellowship with them and brings their resources to us. Jesus said,

He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father; and I will love him and manifest Myself to him... If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. (John 14:21,23)

In context, that is what the Spirit's indwelling presence achieves - it unites us to the very presence and work of Father and Son. And all three Persons are involved in every facet of this Great War that we have been looking at. Last week we looked at the offices and the work of Jesus Christ. Today we will finish the series on Revelation by looking at the work of the Holy Spirit and the Father. And just as we can distinguish (but not separate) the offices of prophet, priest, and king in Jesus, we can distinguish (but not separate) the Persons of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. What one Person's does, the others are intimately involved in since God is one God.

The Holy Spirit's Work in this War Manual

The unity of the three Persons of the Godhead (1:4-5; 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22; 5:6; etc.)

And that's all that the first point focuses on - that there is a unity of the three Persons of the Godhead. John begins this book of Revelation by saying,

4 ...Grace and peace to you from Him who is and who was and who is coming, and from the seven-fold Spirit who is before His throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ ...

The same message comes from Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In John's Gospel, Jesus said that the Father gave Him exactly what He was to speak (John 8:28,38; 12:49-50; 14:10). So Jesus words were the Father's words. And Jesus said that He only did what He saw the Father doing (John 14:10). Likewise, in John 5:19-20 Jesus said,

“Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does...

Jesus mirrors the Father 100% - so much so that He could tell Philip, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father..." (John 14:9) That's how perfectly the Son reflects the Father's will and actions. Likewise, Jesus said that everything He did, He did by the power of the Holy Spirit. You cannot separate the Spirit from the Son or the Spirit from the Father. So John 14:26 and 15:26 both say that the Spirit of truth proceeds from the Father and Son and testifies to both. In the top right hand corner of your outline you will see the diagram that illustrates the West's Filioque clause - the Spirit proceeding from the Father and Son. That is the correct way to position that diagram.

And this background material I am giving explains why in John's seven messages to the seven churches of Revelation in chapters 2-3, it is Jesus speaking all the way through (if you have a red letter edition, it is all in red letters), yet at the end of each message it says, "He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches." What Jesus says, the Spirit is saying.

And I am going through this introductory material because even though I am making distinctions this morning between the roles of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and even though I will be illustrating those distinctions from the book of Revelation, this book also shows that you cannot separate those three Persons because they are always perfectly united in the Godhead. There are not three Gods, but one God. The Father is fully God, the Son is fully God, and the Spirit is fully God. They are not one third of God; they are each fully God. But the Father is not the Son or Spirit, and the Son is not the Father or Spirit, and vice versa. Three Persons in one God. Enough by way of background.

The Holy Spirit inspires Scripture (1:10; 4:2; 14:13; 17:3; 19:10; 21:10 with 10:7; 11:1-7; 22:6,9) and gives believers illumination to understand and apply the Scriptures (2:7,11,17; 2:29; 3:6,13,22)

Let's dig into the text of Revelation. How does the Holy Spirit help us to advance Christ's kingdom in this War Manual? The first way is by giving us the prophetic Scriptures. We spent quite a bit of time in this book showing how prophecy worked and how the Holy Spirit inspired every word of the Bible so as to provide a book of infallible guidance to His people. The Bible is an incredibly precious possession. Without it we could not win the war that Christ has called us to. We saw last week that the Word forces Satan to flee when we use it in the power of the Spirit. It gives guidance, comfort, and sanctifies us. So we need to value the Bible. Indeed, He transforms us through that book. So I have given a few of the Scriptures in your outline that describe the critical role of the Holy Spirit in giving us this blessed book, the Bible. I won't cover those because I dealt with them extensively in our verse-by-verse exposition.

But here's what I will develop - because the Holy Spirit is always driven to transform Christ's people, he goes beyond information and opens the hearts and minds of true believers through what we call "illumination." Where inspiration is what produced this outward body of information in the Bible, illumination is an inward work that enables us to understand it and be transformed by what we understand. It's like the lights going on internally.

And when Jesus wrote to the seven churches, He indicated that not all who are regenerate have this illumination as they read the Scriptures. At the Thursday morning prayer breakfast Pastor Michael Elliott shared how the two men on the road to Emmaus had Jesus talking to them, but it says that their eyes were closed so that they did not recognize Him. And when their eyes were opened, the same word is used to the opening of our eyes to the Scriptures. Every believer has access to illumination and should ask for it, but not every believer enters into this awesome privilege from the Holy Spirit. For example, seven times in Revelation 2-3 Jesus says, "He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches." "He who has an ear" means he who is regenerate. The ones with spiritual ears are those who have been given a new nature in regeneration. So He is talking to regenerate people. But those with spiritual ears still need to be told to listen to the Holy Spirit; to be open to His illumination; to be dependent upon Him.

In those chapters, the Spirit is taking Christ's Words and pressing them to the hearts of believers. And as we receive the Spirit's ministry by faith, we find the astounding things we looked at last week beginning to be true of us. Christ lives His kingship through us, giving us authority over demons, authority in prayer, and power to conquer. Christ lives His priesthood through us giving us a new compassion for others and an urge to see them reconciled. You think, "Why am I suddenly burdened for these people?" Well, it may be the Holy Spirit working in you. The Holy Spirit quickens Christ's prophetic Word in our hearts and enables us to apply the Scriptures in ways that we were not previously able to do. So it is not enough to have the resources; the Spirit of God must quicken those resources to us. He is an absolutely essential component to this great war.

The Spirit is our source of grace and peace (1:4; 22:17,21)

And the word that summarizes that work in the next point is the word "grace." Chapter 1:4 pronounces grace and peace from the Holy Spirit. Of course, if you read that verse you will see that it also pronounces the same grace and peace from Father and Son. But where the Father planned and ordained it, and where Jesus provided the basis for it, the Holy Spirit applies that grace in our lives and continues to advance every facet of Christ's kingdom by means of that grace. Daily we need to ask the Holy Spirit to give us His grace. It is a war that will be won by grace and by grace alone.

But that same verse says that the grace comes "from the seven Spirits who are before that throne." The word "seven" is a symbol of fullness. It's like saying, "from the fullness of the Holy Spirit before that throne." Wilbur Pickering has rightly translated this in chapter 1:4 as "and from the seven-fold Spirit who is before His throne..." The literal Greek has "and from the seven Spirits who is (singular) before the throne." So Pickering is right - it can be translated as "seven-fold" in order to make sense of the singular "is."

The "is" demonstrates that the Spirit is one Person, but the number seven is a symbol of fullness, so the seven-fold Spirit shows the fullness of the Spirit that unites us to all the power and grace of the Triune God. The point is that daily we should be asking the Father for the filling of the Holy Spirit. "Holy Spirit, I want all of You. Even as you anointed Jesus with your seven-fold fullness, anoint me and fill me. Father, pour out Your Holy Spirit upon me."

The Seven-fold Spirit (1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6) represents His fullness in Christ's kingdom

But the next point highlights the fact that the phrase, "the seven-fold Spirit" or "the seven Spirits" (however you want to translate it) takes everything of Christ and puts it into the believer. Or a better way of wording it is that through the fullness of the Spirit the fullness of Christ dwells in us. If are to succeed in implementing the plans God has given us in the War Manual, we must operate in the fullness of Christ and the fullness of the Spirit. Let's look at each of those four occurrences.

In chapter 1:4 it says, "John, to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace and peace to you from Him who is and who was and who is coming, and from the seven-fold Spirit who is before His throne..." If we are facing the throne, and if Father and Son are on the throne, then the Spirit is the one who brings us to the throne and who brings the throne to us. He is the key to kingdom-living in its fullness. We cannot experience the throne of Christ in our lives without the Spirit of Christ.

The next occurrence of that phrase is in chapter 3:1. This begins the message to the Church of Sardis. It says, "And to the messenger of the church in Sardis write: These things says He who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars." The "He" is Jesus, so Jesus "has" the Holy Spirit in all of the Spirit's fullness. So the Spirit of God fully carries out the Son's will even as the Son fully carries out the Father's will. If we have the Spirit, then we have Christ and Father and are enabled to carry out the will of the Father. And of course, that is what we started with from the Gospel of John.

The third occurrence of this phrase is in chapter 4:5. "And out of the throne came lightnings and voices and thunders; and seven lamps of fire were burning before His throne, which are seven spirits of God." What do lamps do? They shine on something and illuminate something. And here they are illuminating the Father's throne. The Holy Spirit does not shine on Himself. Theologians speak of the Holy Spirit as the quintessential humble member of the Trinity, and His passion is to glorify the Father and advance the kingdom of the Son. If we are filled with the Spirit, we too will be lamps that do not shine on ourselves but shine upon and glorify the Father in everything we do. That is not something that comes natural to us. We can only glorify God in everything when we are filled with the humble Spirit of God. That's one evidence that you are filled with the Spirit - you have the Spirit's humility to shine upon the Father and glorify the Father.

The last example of this phrase comes from chapter 5:6. It says, "And I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living beings, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamb standing—as if slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth."

We saw that horns refers to the rule of Jesus, and it is a rule that will be fully manifested (symbolized by the seven) and a rule of full and complete wisdom (symbolized by the seven eyes). But even though this is the rule and the wisdom of Jesus, John goes on to say that the seven horns and seven eyes symbolize the fullness of the Holy Spirit sent out into all the earth. Again, you can't divide between the Persons. It is the Holy Spirit who takes Christ's rule and Christ's wisdom and promotes it to the ends of the earth. It is the Spirit who conquers hearts and brings them into submission to King Jesus. He brings the invasion of Christ’s kingdom in a rubber-meets-the-road way. So if we do not have the Holy Spirit, what we are advancing is not the kingdom of Jesus. We may be advancing something, but it is not the kingdom of Jesus. Only the fullness of the Spirit can advance the kingdom of Jesus. This highlights the critical importance of Pentecost in our lives. And it’s not just a second blessing as Pentecostals like to say. The same Spirit who was poured out in Acts 2 was poured out upon the same people again in Acts 4. And Paul tells us we must continually be filled with the Holy Spirit. It’s not a one time experience.

Commentators point out that the background to the seven-fold Spirit is in both Isaiah 11 and Zechariah 4. In Isaiah 11, the Holy Spirit who anoints Jesus has seven characteristics that enable Jesus to start, advance, and finish the redemptive kingdom. And as the chapter progresses, the Spirit enables Christ to carry forth the kingdom so effectively that eventually the knowledge of the Yehowah will completely cover the earth as deeply as the waters cover the ocean beds, and all the Gentile nations will be completely converted. In fact, it goes on to speak of the Spirit's blessing being so pervasive that there will be reversals of the curse in the physical world - like the wolf dwelling with the lamb and the leopard lying down with the young goat.

He lays before us a vision of the Great Commission's goal that seems absolutely impossible. But when the church has the fullness of the Holy Spirit, they have the fullness of Jesus. And if they have the fullness of Jesus, they have the fullness of the Father. And with fullness of the Triune God on our side, there is nothing that is impossible for us. Last week we saw that Jesus enables us to accomplish the almost impossible goals of world conquest that are outlined in this book. But we are seeing that we must pray for the fullness of the Holy Spirit in order to accomplish this.

The Spirit brings conviction and power to evangelism (5:6; 22:1-2, 17)

After all, it is the Spirit of God who brings conviction to the ends of the earth as His eyes expose and see into even the hidden recesses in our hearts (5:6). And it is the inward call of the Holy Spirit in chapter 22:17 that accompanies the outward call of the Gospel and makes it successful. The living waters of this book are a symbol of the Holy Spirit who brings life where previously there had only been dry ground.

So the bottom line is that we need the Holy Spirit to see last week's astounding promises lived out. He brings us to Christ and brings Christ into our hearts. But as I read from John 14, the Holy Spirit also brings the Father's plan to bear in our lives. And I'll end the sermon this morning with some sample things that are attributed to the Father's work in this book.

The Father's Work

Elective plan from before foundation of the world (3:5; 7:10; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12,15; 21:27; 22:19)

The Father's work began from before the foundation of the world. Seven times this book affirms that He wrote our names in the book of Life before He even created the world (3:5; 7:10; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12,15; 21:27; 22:19). Likewise, in the Father's decrees, the cross was as good as done, so chapter 13:8 can say of Jesus that He is "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." That's really an astounding thought. It implies that the Father's decrees from the foundation of the world are as good as done; they will be accomplished. 100% of those eternal decrees will happen in history. Chapter 7:10 says that "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb." God has planned out everything from eternity past and His predestinating will is always accomplished.

I find the Father' eternal decrees to be an incredibly comforting doctrine. It gives stability. It gives predictability. It shows that the Father had detailed plans, the Son purchased everything needed for those plans to be accomplished, and He is currently executing those plans by the power of the Spirit. There is a certain kind of security that we have in those decrees. And again, with the Triune God on our side, what is there that cannot be accomplished? Nothing.

So the Father is a God of planning, and if we are to imitate Him, we too must plan. And certainly we must execute the plans laid out in this War Manual. But the Father models for us the importance of detailed planning.

All the authority for victory that is needed has been granted (1:6; 2:27; 3:21; 14:1)

Next, it is the Father, who has all authority, and who delegates some of that authority to us by making us kings and priests. And after chapter 1:6 makes that statement, it logically affirms that to God the Father belong all "glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." The kingship delegated to us does not take away one iota from His authority or glory. Instead, we are representing His authority and glory as mediated through Christ and empowered through the Spirit.

His holiness guarantees that He will do something about man’s rebellion (4:8; 6:10; 15:4; etc.)

Next, God's holiness guarantees that He will not put up with sin forever. His goal is to change a universe of sin into a universe in which righteousness dwells (Revelation 21-22; 2 Peter 3:13). In chapter 6:10 God's holiness logically requires judgment of sin, and God's people lay claim to His judgments because He is holy. In chapter 15:4 God's people say,

Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? Because You alone are holy, because all the nations will come and worship before You, because Your righteous judgments have been manifested.

God's holiness brings tremendous confidence to the soldiers who live by this War Manual because it assures us that God is far more upset about sin than we are, and far more motivated to gain the victory over sin than we are. His very character guarantees a holy outcome for this world. Treasure God's holiness. It explains why we are in this war and why this world will eventually be a righteous world. The God of holiness cannot deny Himself.

His providence is arrayed against humanism and on behalf of His kingdom (5-6; 7:1-4; 12:16; 15:3-4; 16:7; 17:17; etc.)

Next, the whole book illustrates astounding ways in which the Father's providence is arrayed against humanism and on behalf of Christ's kingdom. And we saw that those prophecies of His providence were indeed fulfilled to a "t" including the blood up to the horses' bridles, the meteorites from heaven, the earthquakes, the islands and mountains moving, the signs in the sky, a hiding place for the 144,000, etc. It gives us confidence that if God's providence governed perfectly every detail in the first century, it can govern every detail of our lives today. And if God is for us, who can be against us?

His judgments promote the victory of the church (8:1-6; 16:14; 14:7; etc.)

Next, the outline points out that Christ's judgments are not simply Christ's judgments. They are the Father's judgments being worked out by Christ in the power of the Spirit. Those who battle against Jesus are also battling against the Father and the Spirit. Christ's great day of judgment is called "the battle of that great day of God Almighty." Though this book speaks of its judgments as Christ's judgments (and they are), Revelation 14:7 speaks of it as being "the hour of His judgment" and verse 19 refers to it as being "the great winepress of God’s fury." So the Father's judgments promote the victory of the church in history.

His reign can never be successfully challenged (19:6; etc.)

And the angels know that as judgment after judgment falls, the Father's reign can never be successfully challenged. Why? The multitude says, "Hallelujah! Because the Lord our God reigns, the Almighty!" They don't have any doubt about God's ability to fulfill His plans. And those plans are ascribed to the Father.

His union with us promotes the causes (3:12,21; 21:3,22; etc.)

But what is astounding in this book is that this Almighty God is so close to believers that He is called "Father" five times (1:6; 2:27; 3:5,21; 14:1) and He is said to be united to Christians and to have made His home with them. The Gospel of John, chapter 14, already affirmed that all three persons make their home with us and dwell with us when we keep His commandments. But consider the security of the images in Revelation. Revelation 3:12 says,

The one who overcomes [that would be equivalent to John 14's "he who keeps my commandments."], I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will never again go out.

A pillar never leaves a temple, so this speaks of permanent closeness with the Father. And the other letters to the churches give other images of this permanent closeness to the Father. Now, when you are in a war, permanent closeness with the commander is a cool thing. It gives you perks. God not only makes His home with us, but we make our home with Him. We have this intimate familiar Abba Father relationship with Him. The same verse goes on to show this family relationship by saying,

And I will write on him the name of my God...

We are family, so we bear His family name. These relationships and privileges are written right into the War Manual to assure us that we are not an impersonal number or statistic in this Great War. We are beloved and precious and family. It gives new meaning to fighting for Him.

His sovereignty (4:1-11; 6:10; 19:6; etc.) gives hope and enthusiasm to God’s people.

The next point says that His sovereignty gives hope and enthusiasm to God's people. Chapter 4 shows the enthusiastic worship and devotion that saints and angels have in God's presence because He is sovereign. When I became convinced of God's sovereignty in my early twenties, it became one of the most stabilizing influences in my life. It was one of the things that began to remove my anxieties and fears. In the midst of battle, chapter 19:6 has the whole multitude enthusiastically saying, "Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!"

His rewards (2:7; 11:18; etc.) motivate us to battle.

But not only are we on the winning side, we are on the side of a generous God who loves to reward us. I've preached on the rewards of this book in depth, but those rewards hugely motivate us. Our Father is lavish in His generosity, not only in eternity, but also in time and history.

His wrath (14:10,19; 15:1,7; 16:1; 19:15; etc.) keeps us holy and ensures that humanism will not get away with its rebellion.

His wrath on the other hand instills confident fear in God's people. We have confidence that He will use that wrath only against His enemies. We have confidence because we can approach the throne boldly through Jesus, who bore God's wrath in our place. But wrath also instills reverence in us because it is impossible to see God's wrath in action in this book without a sense of awe that makes us never want to be on God's bad side - even as a parent.

When I think of fear and confidence in balance, I think of the one hive of killer bees that I had in Ethiopia. They have been known to kill people for no apparent reason. They almost killed the previous missionary on our station when he was walking down a well-trod pathway minding his own business. But when you disturb their hive, it can be curtains. When I suited up in my bee suit to work on the hive, the bees were so thick on my veil that I couldn't see where I was stepping. I had to keep swiping my gloved hands across the veil to see where I was going, and the veil was just dripping with their venom. And believe me, that gets my adrenalin going when I realize what those bees could do. Without that suit, I would be a dead man. But I still approached the hive with confidence because I was wearing a bee suit. Well, the righteousness of Jesus is our bee suit, so to speak. It protects us from God's wrath and gives us confidence. But we would never dare to be flippant with God and approach His presence without the bee suit. I remember the one time I forgot to tie off my pant legs and hundreds of bees swarmed up my pants, stinging on the way up. Confidence gave way to flight. And in the same way, though we can have confidence to approach the Father and even climb into His lap and call him Abba (which is a term of affection like "Daddy"), He will make us dance if we ever rebel against Him. Confidence does not mean disrespect. Confidence and respect for who God is must go hand in hand.

Or you can think of the Amtrak railroad engine. When I stood beside that massive engine I felt pretty small and the rumble of that engine created a sense of awe within me. What a magnificent machine! It's hard to stand beside that engine without your emotions rising. Now, I had confidence to ride the train, but I would never think of standing in front of that train and trying to stop that train. My very confidence in the train's power keeps me from messing with it.

And my point in including His wrath in this war manual is that we can have confidence that calling for God's wrath against His enemies is totally consistent with His character. And His wrath is actually one of the resources that we should call upon when the enemy is seeking to destroy the church. God says in 1 Corinthians 3:17, "If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy Him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are." Claim that verse and ask God to destroy the leaders of China who are literally trying to destroy the church. The book of Revelation illustrates exactly the same principle that Paul articulated. I am glad that our God is a God of wrath because it means that rebellion will be dealt with. It gives me confidence.

His justice (6:10; 8:1-9:21; 18:5,20; 19:11; etc.) is not only seen in eternity, but in time.

I am also glad that our God is a God of justice because it means that His justice flows in time as well as in eternity. In response to the pleas for justice from the persecuted church in chapter 6, God gives justice in chapters 8 and following. His justice is not just seen on the last day of history. Revelation 18:20 says, “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!” In God's authorized hymn book (called the Psalter), He has included many Psalms that give us the privilege of asking for justice against our enemies. They are the prayers of Christ, and God always answers the prayers of Christ. And even though Christ has authorized new songs by His resurrection, the book of Revelation does not dismiss the Old Testament songs, but calls us to sing both the songs of Moses and the songs of Lamb (15:3). And some of the songs of the Lamb also appeal to God's justice against our enemies.

His power (18:8; 19:1; etc.) cannot be resisted.

I am thankful for God's power because it is such omnipotent power that it cannot be resisted. And when we are filled with His Spirit, we have constant access to that power. Revelation 18:8 says that Babylon was burned "because strong is the Lord God who judges her." Power does not inherently belong to men, or angels, demons, or any other aspect of creation. Instead, chapter 19:1 affirms, "power belongs to the Lord our God." These attributes are resources that give us confidence when we go into battle.

His protection of His people (9:4; 12:6; 21-22; etc.) gives them boldness and perseverance in the fight.

And this Father loves His children dearly and promises in this book to protect them. In chapter 9:4 he seals his children on their foreheads and warns all demons not to dare touch them. In chapter 12:6 he gives a perfect hiding place for the 144,000 to flee to and be protected in during the time of His wrath. And in chapters 21-22 God gives many examples of His protection and provision. Obviously throughout eternity we will find protection and the wiping away of all tears and danger. But even in time God knows how to protect His own. In Isaiah 54:17 He promises, "No weapon formed against you shall prosper." And this gives us boldness to persevere in the fight. We cannot die one day earlier than it is time for us to die. We cannot go to prison one day earlier than God ordains for it to be so.

So we are ending this series on Revelation by looking at the Triune God who gave us the War Manual. That way we realize that the battle is not won by our might or by our power, but by the plans, the resources, and the power of our Triune God. May we ever keep God-centered in our lives. If we do, God will give us the same confidence that He gave to the 144,000 who turned the world upside down in the first century. May He raise up such an army in our day. Amen.

Having looked at the incredible resources of the Son last week, and of the Father and Spirit this week, let's end this service by singing this final hymn of praise to the Father, Son, and to the Holy Ghost.


  1. Dr. Hugh Martin, *The Abiding Presence* (Christian Heritage, 2009).

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