Revelation In Context

The book Revelation In Context, by Irene Belyeu, is a literary and historical commentary on the Biblical Book of Revelation with supporting referents and notes.

Although you will find many helpful articles and blog posts regarding this historical and inspirational book on this website, seekers of the truth of the Revelation will want to study and explore more in depth by purchasing the book.  There are two editions of the book available.

  • Volume 1 — This book is for the serious seeker of the truth of the Revelation and would be ideal for a class setting where each student has a copy of Volume 1 also with access to the Complete Edition as a reference work. (397 pages)
  • Complete Edition — This book contains all of Volume 1 and, in addition, all of the Referents and Notes from the Bible, Rabbinic writings, the Apocrypha, and Enoch. (657 pages)

Printed versions of the book may be purchased online at: Xulon Press and the Complete Edition from Amazon; and Volume 1 from Amazon. It is also available at Living Word

The ‘Rapture’

Many Christians are expecting “The Rapture” any day now, or even any moment! They believe this is promised in the Bible. This teaching is based on I Thessalonians 4:17:

1Thessalonians 4:17 KJV “Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

There is historical evidence that this was fulfilled for the Thessalonians during the siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD. But that was not the only, nor the final “catching away.”

However, this Scripture in the King James Version of the Bible is about a “catching away,” not a “rapture.” The Greek word used here is arpatso meaning “to snatch away, to carry off.” We find this word used also of Paul, being “caught away” to the “third heaven,” II Corinthians 12:1- 4:

“It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) 4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”

This same word is also used of Philip in Acts 8:39, 40: ” “And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.

From these references we see that the modern teaching of “the rapture” is not at all about this same thing. Paul and Philip were caught away in the Spirit, but were bodily present on earth afterwards. This same phenomenon is also happening in our present day. We have testimonies of this happening in the Arab nations where the life of the Christian is at stake and they are bodily transferred to another place. We have the testimony also of John G. Lake of his being translated from Africa to England, healing an insane woman, and “found” back in Africa, (*John G. Lake, His LIfe, His Sermons, His Boldness of Faith.)

The evidence is that there were several incidents in the Bible of saints being “caught away.” The good news is that God can, and will “catch away” His saints whenever He desires. Praise the Lord. It is not just a one-time event to happen world wide at some future time.

We often hear the word “rapture” used to describe a future, world-wide “catching away.” However, although the word ‘rapture’ is not in the Bible, I Peter 1:8 describes the feeling as: “… joy unspeakable and full of glory.

The root of the word ‘rapture’ is ‘rapt,’ meaning: “transported with emotion; enraptured, as to be rapt with joy.” This rapture can and does happen whenever and wherever saints of God will seek Him with a whole heart. That means to repent, surrender, dedicate, consecrate oneself wholly to the Lord. I experienced this when I was seeking to be filled with the Spirit. It has been a rare experience for me, but I am aware that it can and does happen to we mortals while we wait for the final and complete transport, when our Spirit leaves the body.

Good News! Jesus is not gone! He is here! and will never leave us nor forsake us: Hebrews 13:5: “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have , for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.”

Yes, he did leave for “a little while” in the crucifixion, but he returned after three days and three nights, John 14:1-3. That was his “second coming,” his “coming again.” which he promised. He came in bodily form that still bore the scars in his hands and side. His disciples had no doubt but that it was He, Himself.

Then read carefully John chapters 16-17, how he promised to come to them along with the Father and the Holy Spirit. This was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost, Acts chapter 2. He came and manifested himself to them in unmistakable ways. He could materialize or de-materialize. He could enter a room without opening the door. He could appear in material form to them so that they could touch and handle his body.

So He came and he has never left us! He is “omnipresent,” meaning he can be everywhere at once! He is now not limited to a material, physical body. He is now in his glorified body, and will always be with us, and even “In” us! This is so much better than a return where he would again and be limited in time and space.

Hallelujah! He gave us power: “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” That’s what we must still be doing, so long as there are unsaved sinners in this world! That is our great privilege and our Blessed Hope!

Warning! Prophecy Teachers Beware

Revelation 22:18-21

[Rev 22:18-21 KJV] 18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book. 20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you all. Amen.

[Eph 3:21 KJV] 21 Unto him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Choose: Wrath or Redemption

Are we suffering God’s wrath?

Some are teaching that there is no more wrath since Christ was crucified for us and took the wrath and the curse upon Himself. Praise the Lord forever for that wonderful sacrifice! However, for those who refuse to accept Christ, and refuse His covenant, and refuse to walk in the Spirit, then the wrath of God remains, according to the following Scriptures: John 3:36; Romans 1:18; 2:5, 8; Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:6.

The choice is still open: – Accept Christ or you are outside the New Jerusalem.

Revelation 21:2: “And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride for her husband…. (v.10) And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the Holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God… (v.24-) And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life….

22:14. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15. For without are dogs, and sorcerers and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

16. I, Jesus, have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches, I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. 17. And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.

18. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19. And if any man shall take away from the words of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. 20. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so come, Lord Jesus.”

Between Good and Evil

“The West is on the verge of collapse created by it’s own hands. Between good and evil there is an irreconcilable contradiction. One cannot build ones national life without regard for this distinction. We, the oppressed people of Russia, watch with anguish the tragic enfeeblement of Europe. We offer the experience of our own suffering. We would like you to accept it without having to pay the monstrous price of death and slavery; the price that we have payed. If you lose that distinction you cross the wires of an electric current, and you know then what exactly happens.”
This quote of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is embedded in a speech by Ravi Zacharias at the West Acres Baptist Church as recorded on Youtube.

Was Christ’s “Grave Clothes” – The Shroud Of Turin?

The Shroud of Turin?

Here at Easter time we usually see movies about the “Shroud of Turin” which some have thought to be Christ’s burial garment.  However, according to the Biblical record, Christ was not buried in a shroud. After His crucifixion Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus took the body and prepared it for burial:

John 19:38-40: “And after this Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore and took the body of Jesus.

 “And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.”

“Then took they the body of Jesus and wound it in linen clothes, with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.”

Note that the mixture of aloes and spices were “about an hundred pound weight.” The Greek word for ‘weight’ here is litra, which was equal to our modern weight of about 12 ounces, or roughly ¾ of a pound. Therefore, the hundred litra weight would equal about 75 pounds in modern English terms.

The Body Was “Wound” With the Spices

Note that they “took the body of Jesus and ‘wound’ it in linen clothes with the spices.”  to ‘wind’ something is to take it in a circular or spiral course or direction This would mean that they wrapped the strips of linen around and around his body. The linen strips were cut or torn strips of the linen that were soaked in the spice mixture and wound around His body as we have seen pictures of mummified bodies, embalmed for burial.  After drying, this would have formed a hard, cast-like cocoon for the body. It was not wrapped loosely in a shroud, contrary to the popular story of the Shroud of Turin.

What Was “The Manner Of The Jews”?

The text says: “… as the manner of the Jews is to bury.” The “manner of the Jews to bury” is further indicated in John 11:44 where we see that Lazarus, being raised from the dead, his “grave clothes” had him bound hand and foot, and there was a “napkin” binding his face. That napkin binding his face was not attached to the other “grave clothes.” Jesus commanded him to be loosed. These accounts of Jewish burial, that of Jesus and of Lazarus, indicate that the the manner of the Jews for burial was that the bodies were not merely loosely wrapped in a shroud, but rather were tightly bound, the head being wrapped separately from the body.

We also have the much earlier story of Joseph’s “grave clothes” in Genesis 50:25-26 which may give us a precedent for the “grave clothes” of Jesus and Lazarus. “And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.”

The rest of the story is in Exodus 13:19: “And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away from hence with you.” So the embalming of Joseph, in the manner of the Egyptian mummies,  became a part of the traditions of the Jews.

What Did They See In The Empty Tomb?

On resurrection morning, Mary Magdalene had visited the tomb and saw that Jesus’ body was not there. She hurried to tell the disciples. John 20:3-8:

Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulcher. So they ran both together and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulcher. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying, yet went not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulcher, and seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple which came first to the sepulcher, and he saw, and believed.

What was it about the “grave clothes” that made them believe? It was not merely a shroud lying there, but rather it was that hard shell of the cast-like cocoon,  not broken nor disturbed, but empty! The body was gone from it! Jesus came out of the “grave clothes” without disturbing them. The body wrap was separate from the head wrap but both were totally intact, not broken, but empty! That glorified Body of Jesus went through that cocoon just as it went through the walls where the disciples had met and “the doors were shut,” but Jesus stood in their midst. His glorified Body could not be held by walls, doors, nor grave clothes!

No human power could have removed the body of Jesus from those “grave clothes” without tearing or breaking the cocoon-cast. Seeing was believing. There was only one answer to the empty grave clothes: He is risen!!

He is risen! The Lord is risen indeed!