I couldn’t decide where this topic fits so I am dropping it in here.
Chain of Custody is a term used in the justice and legal system. When a piece of evidence is gathered in connection to a crime, it is tagged, described, logged into a database and stored in a specified place. Anytime that item is moved from its designated place to any other place – even a table in the same evidence room – for any reason by any person, it must be noted in the database. Later in a court of law Chain of Custody proves that the evidence is genuine and hasn’t been tampered with; its integrity has been preserved.
Check out Revelation 1:1-3. God takes special pains to be sure that the reader – us -knows the information contained in this revelation is true; it was true when God spoke it, it was true when John wrote it and it is true when we read it. The Word originates with God the Father who passes it along to Jesus Christ who passes it along to His angel who passes it along to the author, John, who passes it along to the seven churches who pass it along to us. Chain of Custody.
The first thing we learn is that the words of this Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ are true. God says it’s going to happen; therefore it is going to happen. In case we doubt our obligations to the right handling of this Truth, the last chapter of Revelation says, “I warn everyone who hears the words of this prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book. (Rev 22:18) And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city.” (Rev 22:19)
Alongside the consequences of mishandling God’s Truth are the blessings for the correct handling of His words. Revelation is the only book of the Bible that bestows a special blessing on the person who reads it, or hears it read, and believes and holds on to the truth God expressed in the Book of Revelation. “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” (Rev 1:3)
Why does God make so many special points about the Book of Revelation? And states them in both the first and last chapter. Aren’t we equally obligated to believe and hold onto the truth of other Biblical scripture? Aren’t we to be equally careful about how we interpret other verses of prophetic scripture? Of course we are. Perhaps the reason is based on how very difficult and time consuming it is to understand the Book of Revelation. Perhaps the reason is because God knew that the Church, especially its pastors, were inclined to ignore, downplay, dismiss or spiritualize (not take literally) end times prophecy as written in the Book of Revelation.
I have often been asked why pastors don’t preach or teach on the subject. My stock response is that they are afraid to do so because they are not trained to do so. At best, they get a seminary class or two on prophecy; maybe on their own they’ve read a book or two on the subject. Their job is shepherding the flock; no time for digging into prophecy.
Fair enough. But then they’re not entitled to express an opinion. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone is entitled to an opinion on everything. If you’re not knowledgeable about a subject, don’t voice an opinion. Plus, personal opinion about the end times based on scant information most definitely does not trump the learned opinion of prophecy scholars who’ve read hundreds of books and spent thousands of hours studying. Graduating from seminary does not make one an authority on the end times.
If you get the impression this is a personal pet peeve of mine, you’re absolutely right. BTW, before anyone blows off the Book of Revelation, it would be wise to keep in mind the consequences God points out for taking away from the words of this prophecy. (Rev 22:18-19)
At the end of the Book of Revelation, we are reminded of the absolute truth of the prophecy by being reminded of the Chain of Custody, “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you (John) the testimony for the churches.” (Rev 22:16)
Please, neither off-handedly accept nor reject what is said in this blog. Check it out. Look it up for yourself in the Bible. If you are a child of God, you are in good hands and there is the most wonderful eternity waiting for you. If you are not a Christ follower, now is a really good time to honestly explore the truth claims of the Bible.