Revelation: Latest teaching Series

Revelation - our latest bible teaching series

Revelation chp 13 vs 1 to 10 - Who is the AntiChrist? Where will we find the Antichrist?  

 

Revelation chapter 13 details for us the rise of the Satan inspired Beast from the sea. He arises against the same background given to us in Daniel's prophecy of chapter 7. From the area of the Mediterranean emerges a monstrous beast like leader; autocratic and powerful, absolute in his authority, comparable to the lion like Babylon of old (Revelation 13:2). Geographically his origins appear skewed towards that of the footprint of the bear (Revelation 13:2); a territory more similar to that of the Medo-Persian empire; that of Turkey, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Egypt. Taking his inspiration from the Greek Leopard, 4 wings and super charged in speed, his Kingdom rises rapidly and spreads quickly. 

It is this same individual whom Daniel refers to as the little horn in Daniel chapter 7. Point for point the 2 individuals are identical:

 

 

Revelation – The 1st Beast Chapter 13 

Daniel – The little horn  Chapter 7 

1

Referred to as “a beast” (v1) 

Referred to as “a beast” V10 

2

Given power by the dragon (v2) 

(Daniel 8:24) - Given power by another

3

Given “a mouth speaking great things” (v5) 

“a mouth speaking great things” (7:8) 

4

Reign ran for 42 mouths (v5) 

“time, times and a dividing of time” (7:25) 

5

Blasphemed name of God (v6) 

“speak great words against the most High” (7:25) 

Made war with the saints (v7) 

“made war with the saints” (7:21)

 

The importance of this identification of the first beast of Revelation chapter 13 and Daniel's little horn of chapter 7, lies in the additional details which Daniel's prophecy furnish us regarding the origin of the little horn or beast. It is Daniel who reveals to us that the little horn or beast will arise from the fourth of Daniel's beasts: that beast representing the Roman Empire. This of course poses something of a problem for us today as this is an empire long gone. The western part of the Roman Empire fell into obscurity in the 6th century AD with the Eastern part of the Byzantine Empire persisting until the 15th century. It is perhaps from this eastern portion of the empire we can look to find the beast arising; from the footprint of the Medo Persian bear. 

How can the beast arise from an empire long gone? Revelation chapter 13 points us to a head once wounded to death but now revived (13:3). It is from the revived, probably eastern portion of the Roman empire that we can look to find the beast arising. 

An excerpt taken from systematic bible teaching given on chapter 13 of the book of Revelation by Dr J Stewart Gillespie: "Revelation chp 13 vs 1 to 10 - Who is the AntiChrist? Where will we find the Antichrist?"

 

Revelation chapter 13 vs 1 to 2 - The Rise of the AntiChrist - JS Gillespie  

 

From the lands of the Mediterranean Sea there will arise a Beast, the AntiChrist, the Man of Sin. Echoing features of empires past he will move quickly like the armies and empire of Alexander the Great, as pictured in the Leopard. His geographical domain is likely to be that of the Medo-Persian Empire of centuries ago, standing bear like, with his feet gripping the lands of Turkey, Iran and Iraq. This is Satan's one world dictator, a man with universal political (Revelation 13:2) and spiritual authority (Revelation 13:8) over the worlds. It is interesting to speculate how such a universal dictatorship could arise. The world of Revelation chapter 13, whilst echoed by events in the past century is very unlike the political landscape we see today. This is a world decimated by judgment, wars, disease and famine. between the judgments of the fourth scroll and 6th trumpet, one half of the world's population has been destroyed. Food production has been decimated by poisoned seas and rivers, nuclear explosions have polluted and destroyed productive agriculture and lands. This is a post-apocalyptic landscape, the leadership of which has been grasped, probably out of necessity to restore law and order and distribute evenly what resources there are. Here is Satan's finest hour, achieving his goal from the garden of Eden. This is his takeover of God's creation. Satan's Kingdom has come! Whilst this may be Satan's greatest moment, it is undoubtedly earth's most awful moment. A message preached as part of our series of systematic bible studies in the book of Revelation. Dr J Stewart Gillespie graceinchrist.org

Revelation chapter 12 - The Fury and the Flood - JS Gillespie  

Perhaps like myself you find the book of Revelation somewhat daunting with it's ultiplicity of interpretations which is  somewhat off putting! Perhaps you can identify with the sentiment of one writer who quipped that there was only one person who understood Revelation and he is at home in the glory!
It is a book of complex symbols and language.
The subject matter; doesn’t really make for easy reading and is not overtly comforting, at least on the surface that is! This is perhaps typified by the transmission of the Greek title for Revelation “ἀποκάλυψις” into the English language, and is now used for catastrophe and disaster in epic proportions. 

Revelation is indeed a book of catastrophe and disaster for the world: 

Revelation is a boook containing the extremes of: 

  1. Personalities – Christ and the Devil 
  2. Places – Heaven and Hell 
  3. Problems – global and eternal destruction 

7 seals 
7 trumpets 
3 woes 
7 vials 
4th Seal sees ¼ of the world’s population destroyed 

6th trumpet witnesses 1/3 of the world’s population destroyed! By the time we reach chapter 12, at least ½ of the world’s population has been wiped out! It’s not a cheery read! 

Don’t let that put you off! 

Ignore the book of Revelation at your peril! 

There is at least one great reason not to ignore this book: 

Revelation at least in part deals with the extremes of disaster and catastrophe! 

If you believe, as I do that God is: 

  1. Sovereign over the problems of life “all things work together for good” 
  2. Sufficient in His grace “my grace is sufficient for you” 
  3. Supreme in His power “all power is given unto me…” 
  4. Solution to all of our problems “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) 

Then in these extreme experiences of: 

  • Trial 
  • Testing 
  • Suffering 
  • Persecution 
  • Problems 
  • Discouragement 
  • Difficulty 

We see God’s extreme solutions! 

If God is able to deal with the extremes, He is surely sufficient for our problems and our needs too!

In Revelation chapter 12 people experience: 

  1. Personal Failure – The Flesh 
  2. Satanic Fury – The Devil 
  3. Persecutory Flood – The World 

God has His provision and His solution in the extremes of these conditions and experiences! 

  1. Fury of the Devil 
  2. Flood from the World 
  3. Failure of the Flesh 

All 3 are inter-related! 

It is the fury of Satan which directly causes the flood of persecution from the world (vs12-15). 

It is the failure of the flesh that hinders victory over Satan and gives the accuser fuel for his fire (v10-11). 

Power to overcome the accuser (v11) holds the key to their personal victory! 

The flood of persecution is the product of Satanic fury! 

Israel couldn’t see that of course in Revelation chapter 12, but nonetheless the spiritual battle was happening above them, over them and they were caught in the crossfire between heaven and hell. There will be many spiritual battles of which we are unaware but feel the shockwaves in our lives and souls.

Cosider the fury of Satan revealed here in Revelation chapter 12:

Know your adversary 

Don’t imitate his character 

Note the description of his character: 

  1. Destroyer (v4) cf. John 10 
  2. Deceiver (v9) 
  3. Accuser (v10) 

Satan characterised as deceiver. 

Deception often linked with intelligence! It is so here of course. 

Intelligence is often required to pass off a good deception! 

Spoof emails and phone calls, fake social media accounts, malicious phone calls etc! 

Normally intelligence employs deception for the goal of personal gain. They want what you have! For Satan though the scenario is different! 

Satan is under no delusion that he could stand ultimately to gain from these deceptions (12:12), he knows that his time is short. Ultimate gain is not on the horizon for him! 

What could possibly motivate him? 

The very essence of Satanic character: malicious envy! 

Satan isn’t deceiving to personally profit from it but rather that you might lose, that you might be destroyed. This is malicious, destructive, satanic, envy!

Cf John 10:10 

Sufficient for Satan to drag you down, bring you down, get you down and keep you down! He will strive to ruin you at every turn! 

Flood of persecution in the world 

Satan having fallen from heaven (12:9), turns upon the people of God. 

Satan falls from heaven to earth and to hell. 

It is interesting that as Satan falls further and further, the glory of Christ fills the void, as the morning star and as King of Kings and Lord of Lords on the earth. 

When the world and the Devil send the flood God always has His refuge for His people 

“And a man shall be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” Isaiah 32:2 

For: 

Jacob and his sons in famine there was provision in Egypt 
Moses on the run as a fugitive there was refuge in the backside of the desert. 
Israel caught between the armies of Pharoah and the Red Sea, there was a path through to the promised land 
Samaria in the famine and siege of 2 Kings chp 7 – respite and refuge comes through the actions of 4 lepers at the gate of the city. 
David there was the cave of Adullam 
Jonah there was the provision of the whale 
Elijah a morsel of meal in the widow of Zarephath’s house 
Elisha a place in the home of the Shunammite 

For: 

Israel a way through the red sea and ultimately into the promised land 
Elijah a way up 
Jonah a way down and out of the depths 
Daniel a way out of the lion’s den 
Thief on the cross a way into heaven 
Noah a way over the flood 

God is always able to provide a refuge in the storm, always able, since His refuge is a person! 

“And a man shall be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” Isaiah 32:2 

If a man is a hiding place, then that hiding place, isn’t restricted to a place, but is always available as a person! 

Sometimes the means of that provision comes from the most unexpected of sources! 

The unlikely gentile widow 
The unexpected provision from Joseph, a son sold as a slave 
The terrifying whale 
An unassuming little maid of Naaman 
An improbable coin in a fishes mouth 

Failure of the flesh 

The failure of the flesh give substance to the accuser, adds fuel to the fire and keeps the believer down, hinders their recovery. 

There is overcoming victory (v11) by

  • Blood of the lamb 

Provision for forgiveness and recovery 

  • Word of Testimony 

Power of a changed life 

  • Total commitment 

Proof of nothing being more important than the Lord

 

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Revelation chapter 12 vs 1 to 9 - The Rise and Fall of Satan - JS Gillespie   

 

The prophetic book of Revelation, that gives us a glimpse into the future for this world, also contains a few unanticipated surprises! 

Revelation also gives us a glimpse into: 

Heaven (chapters 4 + 5) 
Hell (chapter 9) 
Satan (chapter 12) 

There are not that many passages of the scriptures that deal with the Satanic personality, although in many places we perceive his influence. 

Revelation chapter 12 gives us a glimpse into the: 

  • Destiny 
  • Disaster 
  • Demise 
  • Desires 

Of Satan 

In chapter 12 we learn to recognise Satan as God reckons with Satan. 

We gain a glimpse into the ultimate destiny of Satan elsewhere in the scriptures although we do have to join the dots and put the pieces together. 

The man of the Gadarenes – those who follow Satan and who are obedient to him, must yet bow to a supreme authority, that of Christ! That does not bode well for Satan! Their end is in the Abyss 
The testing of Christ in the wilderness – we often perhaps reflect on the character and nature of that temptation, the opportunism of Satan after 40 days of fasting, Satan’s misuse of the word of God and the means of defeating Satan with the sword of the Spirit and the Word of God! One simple of aspect of the testing of Christ in the wilderness that we ought not to miss of course 
“Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat” (Luke 22:31) We note the attack on Peter, but perhaps we ought also to note the ultimate victory of the Spirit of God in the life of Peter, as Peter knows recovery and restoration and becomes stronger for the experience! 

Satanic activity is sovereignly controlled and attenuated 

We need perhaps to put these pieces together to see the whole story. 

Here in verse 1 we have a symbol of Satanic destiny 

Sometimes looking back we see a significance that perhaps we don’t see at the time. 

“moon under her feet” 

The glory of Israel is in the sun (v1), the brightest and most glorious natural object which is known to us. 

The moon is under her feet; the moon once worshipped by Israel, the moon that rules the night is under her feet! Israel has dominion and victory over the one who rules the night. Victory is guaranteed! The end is declared from the beginning!

 

Notice the principle of spiritual gravity which we find here in Revelation chapter 12, seen so clearly in the rise and fall of Satan, but which we can also perceive in the rest of the word of God.

You can pretty accurately predict the destiny of a personality from the impact they make on the lives of others. You can predict an individuals destiny from the direction they give to others,

If you want to know where they are going, look at where they are taking others! 

Where they are sending others is where they are heading themselves. 

Pharaoh – cast the children into the river Nile (Ex 1:22), into a watery grave is where Pharaoh and his armies ended up! (Exodus 14:28) 
Ahab and Jezebel – lead the nation into Baal worship and the pursuit of the demonic, unfaithful to their God. Ultimately Jezebels subjects proved equally as unfaithful to her and that was her undoing. The authority of God and His commandments which she undermined and destroyed, was the foundation of all human authority and order, as is the case today. 
Belshazzer led his people into blaspheming the items of the temple; he and many of his subjects died under Divine judgment. 
Elimelech led his family to Moab and he died there. 

Consider also on the positive side: 

It was the apostle Paul who lifted so many up, and led so many to Christ. Is it not so appropriate that he himself was taken up into the 3rd heaven! What about the apostle John? It is John who is the disciple of love, life and light. It is John in his gospel who leads us to the Deity and glory of the Lord Jesus. How apt it is that it is John who gives us the book of Revelation, leading us into heaven itself! Here is the principle of spiritual gravity!

We can predict a personal destiny from the direction they point other. 

It is difficult to take others or direct others in a direction we are not travelling in ourselves. 

We can predict a persons destiny form the direction they give to others. Here we have this principle worked out in the spiritual realm. It is Satan with his malevolent influence who draws down a third of the stars from heaven to earth. You could predict his end I am sure from this! After the angelic host are cast down (12:4) Satan follows the same trajectory, downward to the earth (12:9)!

Notice also in Revelation chapter 12 the principle of spiritual gravity:

It was no coincidence that as Moses descended Mount Sinai with the two tables of law written by the finger of God, that Satan had made a pre-emptive strike and that waiting there for Moses was a pre-constructed golden calf!  

It was no coincidence that placed next to the throne of Egypt were two Satanically inspired magicians; Jannes and Jambres, ready to sway the mind of Pharaoh as the voice of God echoed throughout the land in plague and pestilence.  

It was no coincidence that Tobiah and Sanballat were on hand to discourage and to attempt to destroy the walls of Jerusalem as Nehemiah fulfilled his commission to rebuild for God!  

Here too in Revelation chapter 12 we perceive exactly the same process at work. As the time approaches for Israel to bring forth Messiah; "when the fullness of the time was come..." in Revelation 12:2; God was ready. At that moment so too was Satan ready; ready with an attempt at annihilation, with the slaughter of the innocents, ready with persecution, temptation in the wilderness, rejection from the synagogue, isolation from society, false accusations, and ultimate execution at Calvary!  

If we share the life of that same Saviour we too can anticipate to share the unwanted attention of Satan! Be ready! Be prepared, but not only for attack, but ultimately for victory through Christ!  

From our systematic bible study series in the book of Revelation

Dr J Stewart Gillespie

GraceinChrist

 

Revelation chapter 12 vs 1 to 9 - When God is ready the Devil is Ready - JS Gillespie   

It was no coincidence that as Moses descended Mount Sinai with the two tables of law written by the finger of God, that Satan had made a pre-emptive strike and that waiting there for Moses was a pre-constructed golden calf! 

It was no coincidence that placed next to the throne of Egypt were two Satanically inspired magicians; Jannes and Jambres, ready to sway the mind of Pharaoh as the voice of God echoed throughout the land in plague and pestilence. 

It was no coincidence that Tobiah and Sanballat were on hand to discourage and to attempt to destroy the walls of Jerusalem as Nehemiah fulfilled his commission to rebuild for God! 

Here too in Revelation chapter 12 we perceive exactly the same process at work. As the time approaches for Israel to bring forth Messiah; "when the fullness of the time was come..." in Revelation 12:2; God was ready. At that moment so too was Satan ready; ready with an attempt at annihilation, with the slaughter of the innocents, ready with persecution, temptation in the wilderness, rejection from the synagogue, isolation from society, false accusations, and ultimate execution at Calvary! 

If we share the life of that same Saviour we too can anticipate to share the unwanted attention of Satan! Be ready! Be prepared, but not only for attack, but ultimately for victory through Christ!  

Part of a series of messages preached from the book of Revelation by Dr J Stewart Gillespie at the Bridgend Gospel Hall, New Cumnock .

(this recording was prematurely stopped due to a technical error)

Revelation chp 12 vs 1 to 5 - How to be on the Winning Side - JS Gillespie  

 

God is in the business of rendering men and women unrecognisable. He is the God who transformed Jacob from a thief and a conman to the judge of the 12 tribes of Israel. He is the God who made a sovereign out of a shepherd, a priest out of a murderer, a law giver out of a law breaker, a philanthropist out of a fraudster! It is little surprise that the recurrently dysfunctional Israel appears here in Revelation chapter 12, clothed with the most glorious of all natural objects (1 Co 15:41; Rev 21:23), the sun. 

The woman of Revelation chapter 12 may appear unrecognisable, but Israel she is. She is the nation who gave rise to Messiah, whose remnant perceivers through the days of tribulation and who ultimately will rise to the place of pre-eminence amongst the nations of the earth, for which God had always fitted her. Her secret of triumph and victory is the same as ours. The battle she faces is part and parcel of the same cosmic struggle as ours too. We may at times be oblivious to the spiritual battle unfolding behind the scenes but we ignore it at our peril. On rare occasions we gain an insight and get a glimpse into what is actually taking place in the spiritual realm.

  • The deliverance from Egypt was effected by Moses but in the midst of Satanic opposition (Ex 7:11, 22).
  • The trials of Job were only the tangible expression of a conversation between Satan and God. 
  • The prayers of Daniel were hindered by the same cosmic conflict 
  • The person of God's Son knew the trial in the wilderness and the attack on the cross
  • The denial of Peter proceeded from the attack of the wicked one 

In all of these cases, God's people triumphed and did so glorious, having discovered the secret of being on the winning side. It was their connection with Christ that brought certainty and victory (Revelation 12:2,5). The victory which is His becomes ours. 

From a series of bible teaching messages preached from the book of Revelation at the Bridgend Gospel Hall, New Cumnock by Dr J Stewart Gillespie.

Revelation chp 11 vs 14 to 19 - 5 Good Reasons to Worship and Everything going Well isn't one of Them - JS Gillespie  

 

A surgical incision into the closing section of Revelation chapter 11, reveals an unexpected heart beating at it's centre! After 7 seals and 6 trumpets and a third woe pending, this section gravitates around a nucleus of worship (Rev 11:17). This may seem to some a surprising conclusion to death, disease, catastrophe, global conflict and demonic attack upon the earth! Yet we ought not to be surprised at all. It was:

  • After Israel apostatised in worshipping the golden calf and the tables of the law were smashed that Moses worshipped
  • After Job had seen the death of his family, the destruction of his home and the decimation of his wealth that Job worshipped
  • Surrounded by the apocalyptic destruction of Jerusalem, the wall and the temple that Ezra worshipped 
  • On the storm tossed boat with their life in jeopardy that the disciples worshipped
  • Possessed by a legion of soul wrenching demons that the Gaderene worshipped 
  • Whilst he was dying and leaning on his staff that Jacob worshipped

Revelation chapter 11 verses 14 to 19 give us five good reasons to worship and everything going well with the world and our lives is not one of them! We can rejoice that God is in control of:

  • The woes that befall the world - ordered and announced by Him
  • The world and it's kingdoms 
  • The wicked and their judgment 
  • The reward of the godly 
  • The worship of the one true and living God 

His word is settled forever in heaven. Despite what we may perceive as the chaos and catastrophe of the past we cannot on that basis predict the plans of God! 

Revelation chp 11 vs 1 to 13 - The Last Revival - JS Gillespie  

 

 

Grace upon grace, God has poured out on a fallen world. Generation after generation, God adds to His grace. It is almost as if century upon century God is declaring that He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). By the time we reach Revelation chapter 11 many a mercy has moved towards man. God's dispensations or administrations have rolled through creation, conscience, government, law, grace and tribulation. In each movement of the Divine hand God calls men to repentance and to Himself. 

Here in Revelation chapter 11, God brings all of His movements of mercy to a pinnacle. The miracles of Moses, the signs and wonders of Elijah (11:5-6), the plagues of blood and drought, the power of the Spirit of God (11:4) and all under the shadow of the cross, rain down upon man. Some respond, a remnant turn to give Glory to the God of heaven (11:13). 

Tragically many reject the message of God. With even greater catastrophe they confuse the message as the product of the messenger and not as the revelation of God. Gloating and glorying over their corpses, the product of the satanic attack of the Beast, the rejoicing of the world is premature. God is still on His throne and 3 and a half days into their death, resurrection power raises them again from the dead. 

A study in Revelation chapter 11 from our systematic series of expository bible studies in the book of Revelation. 

Yours by Grace in Christ

Dr J Stewart Gillespie

Revelation chp 11 vs 1 to 6 - Gods Place Gods People Gods Power be Part of it - JS Gillespie  

 

It's not every day that a man out does God! Death defying is a frequently used phrase but on only two historical occasions have men actually achieved that feat! The Old Testament contains two strange anomalies. Both Enoch (Genesis 5) and Elijah (2 Kings 2) pass from earth to heaven, from time to the eternal without passing through death. This is not only an intriguing record but it also challenges the truth of Hebrews 9 :27 "it is appointed unto man once to die". Did they manage to escape and defy death? Mor importantly did they find a way around conforming to the pattern of Hebrews 9? Fast forward a few thousand years to Revelation chapter 11. Two witnesses appear in Jerusalem at the mid point of the tribulation period. There is something distinctly familiar about this pair! The impact of their ministry extends for a period of 3 and a half years, like that of Elijah (James 5:17), they call down fire from heaven; like that of Elijah (2 Kings 1), they stop the rain, again like Elijah and stand alone against the world, again reminiscent of Elijah in 1 Kings 19. Could we have here these two old testament characters? Does this solve the bible long mystery? Have these men, not so much escaped death, but been reserved and set apart for a future service and ministry in the last days?  John observes, John records but perhaps like us, John participates in what God is doing (Revelation 11:1) in this chapter. He measures what belongs to God. It isn't big in the eyes of men. An inner court of 30 by 30 feet, yet it is God's patch, God's place and God's people. God values what belongs to Him, so does John and so do the two witnesses. The interest they have in time, as an interest that continues into forever (11:12). In chapter 11 it is only those with an interest in God's people and place on earth who continue to enjoy that place in heaven!  Revelation chapter 11 looks off into future days of tribulation, yet the character, the interests of these witnesses is not foreign or new to us. They have an interest in God's work and worship here and serve God in His power and by His Spirit.  Yours by Grace in Christ  Dr J Stewart Gillespie From a series of systematic bible expositions in the book of Revelation, free to download audio mp3 and free to watch online at graceinchrist.org

Revelation chapter 10 - The Sweet Taste of Victory from the Little book of Mystery - JS Gillespie   

A chapter which calls time on the mysteries of God and invites us to eat a book doesn't have to try hard to be intriguing. Revelation chapter 10 is such a chapter. Key to our understanding of this mysterious chapter of Divine mysteries is verse 7; announcing that the "mystery of God should be finished." This is not simply the announcement of 'time up' but the anticipation of the completion and fulfilment of the Divine purposes of redemption. The 14 great mysteries of the New Testament find their fulfilment now with the blowing of the 7th trumpet.  

The mystery of the Kingdom  

The mystery of the blindness of Israel (Romans 11) 

The Mystery of the spread of the Gospel (Romans 16) 
The Mystery of the Cross (1 Corinthians 1) 
The Mystery of the Rapture (1 Corinthians 15) 
The Mystery of all things headed up in Christ (Ephesians 1) 
The Mystery of Jew and Gentile in one body (Ephesians 3) 
The Mystery of Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5) 
The Mystery of Christ in us (Colossians 1) 
The Mystery of Iniquity (2 Thessalonians 2) 
The Great Mystery of Godliness (1 Timothy 3:16)  
The Mystery of the Churches and Stars (Revelation chapters 1 to 3) 
The Mystery of God (Revelation chp 10) 
The Mystery Babylon the Great  

All of these 14 mysteries seem summed up in the one mystery here - the mystery of God.  

The open book of the Divine purpose in redemption is open and as John tastes it, there is in it's inner workings a bitterness, a pain and a sorrow, the same bitterness we can detect in history as well as in the lives of individual Christians. Men like Joseph, Moses, David, Samson, Daniel, Paul and John all experienced bitter sweet lives. Lives that were bitter in their execution and yet sweet in their exaltation.  

The shadow of the cross casts itself over the workings of history as well as the lives of God's people.  

Here in chapter 10 the mysteries of God unify and complete. From chapter 10 onwards a new word will be injected in the vocabulary of exposition, that of victory. God had a plan and a purpose in the rainbow of Noah, in the law of Sinai, in the pillar of fire and cloud to guide and finally and fully in His Son. All of these pictures are reflected in the unified language of chapter 10 verses 1 to 3 as the angel announces that victory is near.  

We may not be on the easiest side but we are on the winning side!