This image is taken a short time after the Japanese Miyagi 7.2 Magnitude Earthquake that hit the East Coast of the Island of Honshu on August 11, 2005. The damage from this Earthquake pales in comparison to the events that will take place at the time of the Second Coming as foretold in the Book of Revelation. In that Awesome Day of Judgement when Jesus comes again His Word to John, as it surely will be to all the Faithful, is: ‘Fear Not’. These words of reassurance come from Jesus to whom all power and authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given. What comfort and strength these words bring to John, as they surely would to anyone viewing the awesome events, or similar events, vividly chronicled in the Book Of Revelation.
THE APOCALYPSE: Lectures on the Book of Revelation by Joseph A. Seiss
Review by Steve Nordholm
Joseph Seiss’ lectures on the Book of Revelation are without doubt the best exposition ever written on this last great and awesomely mysterious book of the Bible. In the Book of Revelation the Apostle John, under divine inspiration, presents the most powerful vision of the future ever written. And since its writing, no one has done a better job of explaining the meaning of the revelations of this book than J. A. Seiss.
Joseph A. Seiss (1823-1904) was one of the most effective and popular Lutheran preachers of the nineteenth century. In addition to his pastoral duties, he was active as a lecturer and writer. His more than a dozen works include The Gospel in Leviticus, Lectures on Hebrews, and The Apocalypse.
In the sample passage below J. A. Seiss paints a particularly striking picture of the glory and awesome power of Jesus at his Second Coming. As the revelations to John are about to unfold concerning the ending of the Battle of Armagedon, the taking over of the Kingdoms of the World, the casting of Satan and his demons into the Lake of Fire, the judgement upon the living and the dead and the sending of each soul either into Heaven or into Hell, Jesus tells John to ‘Fear Not’.
These words come from the mouth of Jesus who is pictured here having eyes as a flame of fire, having feet as burnished brass refined in a furnace, having a great voice as a trumpet and as the voice of many waters, having a countenance that shines as the sun in its strength, and who has a sharp two-edged sword proceeding out of his mouth. This is a Jesus who ‘holds the keys to death and Hades’. This is the picture of Jesus who comes again in great power and majesty. The fate of every human being who has ever lived is now solely in His hands. All the Kings and great men of the earth, as well as all the inhabitants of earth, will now be judged by Him. All are powerless before Him.
Upon seeing such a One, John now falls at His feet as one dead. John is undone by the majesty and power of the Person before him. As Jesus is about to unfold to John the revelation of all of these singularly awesome events, His amazing and comforting words to John are: ‘Fear Not’. This comes from the mouth of Him to whom all power and authority in heaven and on earth has been given. In this awesome time of judgement, Jesus chooses to comfort and strengthen John. Jesus lays his right hand on John’s shoulder and says: ‘Fear Not’.
At the time of Jesus’ Second Coming when these awesome events revealed to John come to pass in reality, at that time, if we are in right standing with God and all our sins are covered by His shed blood, we can expect that when we fall at His feet as one without life, He will also place his right hand on our shoulder, strengthen us and say the tremendously comforting words in that awesome time of judgement: ‘Fear Not; I am the first and the last, and the Living one; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore’.
But reader also consider that if you are not in right standing before God, you do not want to fall under the judgements that will be executed by this Awesome Personage upon the ungodly for their sins. Confess your sins and accept His forgiveness now so that instead you hear the words also lovingly spoken to your soul at the awesome and terrible Day of Judgement, ‘Fear Not; I am the first and the last, and the Living one; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore’.
As J. A. Seiss continues in his lectures on each chapter of the Book of Revelation, the vivid pictures of the future he masterfully paints are equally wonderful and amazing, full of insight and the overwhelming majesty of God and His Word.
If you have a desire to know more about the future as prophesied in the Bible, few men in history could be a better guide to you than J. A. Seiss. Few in history have understood the revelations of this book better. If you have the time, a thorough reading of this book will richly reward your understanding of Bible Prophecy.
Amazon Review About: The Apocalypse: Lectures On The Book Of Revelation
by Andrew R. Berding
This book is the clearest exposition I have read on the book of Revelation. The author is committed to a conscientious, accurate understanding of this amazing and important book. His approach is reverent, logical, thorough and scholarly. Although the language is sometimes a bit wordy (he wrote 150 years ago) it is well worth the effort since his insights are so profound and relevant for today. He doesn’t get sidetracked into unimportant speculation. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to understand the book of Revelation.
Amazon Review About: The Apocalypse: Lectures On The Book Of Revelation
… Mr. Seiss’ lectures are God-glorifying and I found them to be very convicting. Many times, as I read, I would find myself in absolute awe of the tremendous majesty of Jesus Christ. I would be brought to repentance and confession as I would see God’s attitude towards sin and sinners …
Below is a sample passage from:
The Apocalypse by J. A. Seiss, Lecture III, Chapter I, Rev 1: 9 – 17
“And his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength” (Rev 1:16). The churches are lamps; the ministers are stars; but Christ is the sun. He is to the moral world what the sun is to the natural. But let us not consider the description exhausted by its spiritual significations. Christ has a literal face; and that face must have a form and expression. He is not a fiction, but a reality-not a spirit, but a man, with all the features of a man, though it be in a glorified condition. He has a countenance, and that countenance is “as the sun shineth in his strength.” Something of this was seen in the mount of transfiguration, when “his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light” (Matt 17:2). Something of the same was manifest when he appeared to Saul of Tarsus in “a fight above the brightness of the sun” (Acts 26:13). And so glorious and pervading is this light which issues from his face, that in the New Jerusalem there will be neither sun, nor moon, nor lamp, nor any other light, and yet rendered so luminous by his presence, that even the nations on the earth walk in the light of it. And so the lightning brilliancy, which is to flash from one end of heaven to the other at the time of his coming, and the glory which is then to invest him and the whole firmament, is simply the uncovering or revelation of that blessed light which streams from his sublime person.
Such, then, is the full-drawn picture of our glorious Lord, as he walks among his churches, and proceeds to pass his solemn judgment upon them. There have not been lacking some to pronounce it grotesque and intolerable. But I cannot so regard it. If a more sublime conception of divine and glorified humanity, so true to the Saviour’s offices and work, ever entered into the imagination of man, I have never seen it, and never heard of it. And when I recall the magnificent portraiture, the human form, walking majestically amid golden furniture, clothed with the garment of royalty, girded with gold, crowned with flowing locks that reflect the light and purity of heaven, having a glance of electric power, feet glowing with the liquid splendor of melted brass, a voice of majesty at which the earth and the heavens shake, the right hand lit with starry jewels, a mouth whose words carry their own execution in them, and a countenance as glorious as the noonday sun when I survey such majestic lineaments, and such mighty powers, and hear the possessor of them say: “I am the First and the Last, and THE ONE; and I was dead, and behold, I am living forever and ever: and I have the keys of death and of Hades;” I say, when I bring all this before me, and try to realize it in my imagination, I am almost overwhelmed with the sublimity of the picture, and with the goodness, and grace, and power, and might with which the eternal Father hath invested the person of Jesus Christ. In the Gospels even, I see him mostly as a man of sorrows, persecuted unto death, and laid in the grave, though raised again in vindication of his righteous goodness.
But here I see him lifted up to the right hand of power, and clothed with all majesty, that creation’s knees might bow at his feet, and creation’s tongues confess his greatness and proclaim his praise. Here I see Godhead in manhood, unhumbled and unalloyed by the union; and humanity transformed and exalted to the sphere of the worshipful and divine; and all, to give greatness to the lowly, and strength to the feeble, and honor to the despised; and to bring the lofty neck to obedience, tear away the masks of falsehood, and enforce the rule of heaven on the earth. I do not wonder at the effect the vision produced upon the exiled apostle as it burst upon him in his lonely solitude.
“And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.” Had it not been that he was in the Spirit, and sustained by the Spirit, it were hardly too much to suppose that it would have extinguished his life altogether. There is an awe and terror of a spiritual appearance which is indescribable. Job’s friend says that when he saw a Spirit, the hair of his flesh stood up. Daniel, who feared not the wrath of a king, nor the lions’ den, when he saw the vision, was left without strength in him. So also Ezekiel, and Isaiah, and others of whom we read. God has worked into our nature a common reverence for a spiritual world. And there is something fearfully prophetic in these irrepressible instincts. They not only argue the existence of a spiritual world, and that we have deep, mysterious and awful connections with it, but also that the veil which covers it is very thin, and destined some day to be withdrawn; and that its withdrawal connects with realities which sinful humanity may well dread.
And if John was so overwhelmed with this vision of the Saviour, on whose bosom he leaned, and with whose power he was so familiar, how will it be with those who know him not, how will it be with us, when the startling trump of God shall make these heavens ring with the tidings of that great Saviour’s presence, and these eyes of ours shall meet his eyes, and see him in his glory? Will there be no fainting, falling, swooning, then? Will there be no sinking in the souls of people, no drying up, as it were, of the very fountains of life at the stupendous Apocalypse? Do I not hear the anxious inquiry started in many a heart at the mere thought of it: Alas, alas, how can I behold it and live? But a single utterance made it all right with John; and with that, if you be indeed a Christian, I would have you comfort yourself in view of that awful moment. Jesus said, “Fear not.”
Great and dreadful was the glory, and power, and wonder, and majesty which had suddenly opened upon the seer. The trumpet sound, the scene of splendor, the all-revealing look, the voice of power, the countenance of blazing light, all commingling, were enough to undo humanity. But the word was “Fear not.” Still more awful scenes were coming. The churches were to be sifted, the saints were to be crowned, the seals of judgment were to be opened, the days of vengeance were to be revealed, the sun was to be darkened, the moon to be turned to blood, the stars to fall, the hills to be overthrown, the islands to be shaken out of their places, the pit to be opened, the hordes of hell to overrun the apostate nations, the angels to shout from the sky, the martyrs to cry from under the altar, unprecedented plagues to overwhelm the world, the battle of the great day of God Almighty to be fought, the winepress of the wrath of God to be trodden, the places of the wicked to be swept with the besom of destruction, and the fowls to be called together unto the supper of the great God, to eat the flesh of kings, and of captains, and of mighty men, and of multitudes of small and great. But the word was “Fear not.” Thrones were to be set, the dead were to be raised, the heavens and the earth were to be changed, death and hell were to be summoned up for destruction, a city was to come down from God out of heaven, and wonders of power and glory were to be enacted as at the going forth of the words which spoke creation into being. But the word was “Fear not.”
The true Christian is forever safe. If you be in the Spirit, and the Spirit be in you, the life that would otherwise fail you will not fail; the fear that would otherwise overwhelm you shall not overwhelm you. In your weakness, Christ will give you strength. In your terror, Christ will be your consolation. In your wild wonderment, his hand will touch, and his gracious words assure you. Only see to it that you are on right terms with him-that you are one of his true people-that you are a brother of John, and a co-partner in the kingdom, and in patient waiting, in Christ Jesus. Having this, you have secured your armor against all the terrors of the Apocalypse.
Revelation 1: 9 – 18 (ASV)
“I John, your brother and partaker with you in tribulation and kingdom and patience which are in Jesus, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet saying, What thou seest, write in a book and send it to the seven churches: unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamum, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.”
“And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And having turned I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the candlesticks one like unto a son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about at the breasts with a golden girdle. And his head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto burnished brass, as if it had been refined in a furnace; and his voice as the voice of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth proceeded a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as one dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying, Fear not; I am the first and the last, and the Living one; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.”