Monday, September 21, 2015


This is a study that I am teaching at Berean Bible Church in Knoxville TN.  If you are reading this and not part of the study, please feel free to join us! If you are not in Knoxville, please feel free to follow along in this format as it will be updated each week until it is complete.  If you are interested in the study we did in Philippians click here  Feel free to comment or ask questions below, I generally respond to every comment, good or bad.  I hope this study is a blessing to you as I know it will be a blessing to me to present.  Thanks for reading!


SEPTEMBER 23, 2015

Revelation is a book of mystery, intrigue, hope and horror. The first three chapters are pretty straight forward, but as we look into the later chapters, we find much to speculate about. John, whose greatest technology was the wheel and a ship rudder saw our future and explained it to the best of his ability, comparing what he saw to things that he knew.

Ezekiel had much the same problem when he came in contact with the per-incarnate Christ. Take a look at Ezekiel 1:4-28. Ezekiel sees something he cannot describe by any frame of reference. When you look at what Ezekiel saw and the fact that we read this in chapter 3 - 3:12 – 15 Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me the voice of a great earthquake: "Blessed be the glory of the LORD from its place!"
It was the sound of the wings of the living creatures as they touched one another, and the sound of the wheels beside them, and the sound of a great earthquake.
The Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness in the heat of my spirit, the hand of the LORD being strong upon me.
And I came to the exiles at Tel-abib, who were dwelling by the Chebar canal, and I sat where they were dwelling. And I sat there overwhelmed among them seven days. We can only conclude that Ezekiel came into contact with some type of powered vehicle that is not of this world. Later in Ezekiel we see a platform described above the cherubim and a being seated inside on a chair and in chapter 10 we are told that the being is God. We can safely conclude that Ezekiel came face to face with Jesus Christ.
As John describes his vision of the future, we are left to figure how much is literal and how much is John's attempts to explain something for which he has no frame of reference.
Revelation is also the only book that promises a blessing to it's readers

The message is given to 7 literal first century churches. Also, each church described seems to correlate to a church located in a specific time or era. We will look at each of these churches as described and see if we see a correlation of historical church movements of past and present.

The book is written by the Apostle John as he is in exile on the island of Patmos. Tradition tells us that John was the last of the original disciples left alive and that he survived boiling in oil. It is believed that John's banishment was because he could not be killed and at least he would have no one to preach to on a barren island.
  1. Chapter 1 – We find find John being instructed by Christ to write what  was, what is and what will be.
A. V. 3 – Blessed are all who read the prophecy and who hear and do what is written.
B. V. 4 – Written to the 7 churches
C. V. 7 – Christ's return will not be secret
D. V. 10-11 – John commissioned to write to the seven churches
E. V. 12-16 – Describes Christ - Dan 7:9 "As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire.
F. V. 17-18 – the One speaking to John identifies Himself as Christ
G. V. 19-20 – John is commanded to write what was(Gospel), what is(3 epistles) and what will be(Revelation)

SEPTEMBER 30, 2015

  1. Chapter 2 – letters to the churches “then and to come”
    A. V. 1-7 – This letter is message is written to the church at Ephesus. During this time, the church was dealing with two types of heresy – that of the Judaizers and that of the Gnostics which are referred to here as Nicolaitans.
  1. Judaizers were those who Paul battled throughout his epistles. Their goal was to place gentile believers under Jewish law, requiring them to be circumcised and adherent to Levitical dietary laws. This issue was addressed in the Jerusalem council when the Apostles decreed that Gentiles were not required to obey Jewish Law
  2. Nicolaitans or Gnostics were lesser known at the time of the writing of Paul's epistles but were mainly the heresy that John was combating in his first epistle – Gnosticism teaches that the spirit of man is what is redeemed and the flesh is utterly corrupt, therefore, fleshly sin is permissible because the flesh is already corrupted beyond repair. Gnosticism comes from the root gnosis which means knowledge. Gnosticism focuses on secret knowledge on a spiritual level and correlates to mysticism and what we would call esotericism or new age philosophy. When we hear people refer to themselves as “spiritual” chances are they are adhering to a form of Gnosticism. If you will recall, John used the phrase “I write these things that you may know” throughout his first epistle as he was combating the heresy of Gnosticism which claims secret knowledge outside of scripture and beyond God.
  3. The reference to the apostles who were tested and found to be false refers to the men who came into churches established by Paul and claimed to be apostles but were teaching Law instead of grace. We do not know the names of these men, but this is also a reference to Nicolaus, a gentile convert who began to teach heresies related to Gnosticism, thus the term Nicolaitans was applied to his followers.
  4. The warning to this church was that they had become so focused on combating heresy that they lost the focus of love.
B. V. 8-11 – To the church at Smyrna
  1. The church of Smyrna was a literal church, in existence during the time of John's vision. Each city that had a church, also had a Jewish synagogue which opposed the “sect” of Christianity. The opposition from the Jews in Smyrna would have been extreme as in other cities. In Acts 18, we see the Jewish congregation in Corinth trying to bring charges against Paul and when the Corinthian government would not hear their dispute, they turned and beat Sosthenes, the synagogue leader.
    Opposition to Christianity is obviously Satanically inspired and Jesus makes this point when He accuses the Jewish leaders of being sons of Satan: John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
And John makes clear in his first epistle that those who do not follow the will of God are children of the devil
    1Jn 3:10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
    We must be careful and not allow this passage to negate all the other passages in scripture that remind us that Israel is the apple of God's eye and that this passage is specifically about this group of Jews who were persecuting this church
    The meaning behind reference to 10 days of persecution is lost to history, but undoubtedly, it had literal meaning and import to this church that Jesus was addressing. Clearly, verse 11 reveals the truth that those who are martyred for their faith will escape the second death, which is hell
    Second death is identified for us in Revelation 21:8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."
this reminds us of the words of Christ as quoted by Luke in his Gospel account - Luke 12:4-5 "I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do.
But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!

OCTOBER 7, 2015

C. V. 12-17 – Church at Pergamum
1. Pergamum was a major city in the Roman empire and had a temple to both Caesar and Zeus. It is believed that the Temple of Zeus is also considered the Throne of Satan and that as Satan ruled over the nation of Tyre, as referenced in Ezekiel
Ezekiel 28:12-16 "Son of man, raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord GOD: "You were the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you were created they were prepared. You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you. In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned; so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub, from the of the stones of fire.
Tradition tells us that Antipas was designated pastor of Pergamum by the Apostle John and that he was martyred when he refused to bow to Caesar.
  • teaching of Balaam – Numbers 22-25 tells us the account of Balaam, who was hired the Moabite king Balak to curse the Israelites as they encamped on their way to the promised land. Balaam refused to curse Israel, due to the warning of God, but later instructed Balak to entice Israel with the women of Moab, causing them to turn from God and worship the idols of Moab. Pergamum was a pagan center and undoubtedly some in the church struggled with assimilating with the society rather than living in holiness and obedience. Sacrificing meat to idols and sexual promiscuity were major components to the pagan religions of the time.
  • Nicolations – the Nicolations as we discussed earlier, were Gnostics who believed in salvation on a spiritual level and denied the physical aspects of the fall and redemption
  • war with the Sword of my mouth” - we know that the sword of Christ's mouth is His word. Ephesians 6:17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, the word of God is testimony against the evil practices being done in the church. Because those who were practicing idolatry and Gnosticism were living contrary to scripture, yet calling themselves believers, they obviously did not know the teachings of scriptures and Christ is threatening them with judgment in accordance with His word, which they should have known. - the modern church is in the same predicament as there is little difference in the behavior of the world and those in the church, even though we have God's word to govern our behavior. The Word of God is testimony against those who claim faith yet live like the lost.
  • Hidden manna - Those who refrain from indulging in the delicacies that have been sacrificed to idols will be given heavenly food from God.
  • White stone – In roman times, a white stone was often used to gain admission to certain events – this white stone signifies admission into heaven
    2. As we look at the historical church, a case can be made that the church of Pergamum correlates to the time of 313AD to 1517 when the Roman church ruled the western world and sought to conquer the near east. During this time period, Christianity was paganized and the pantheon of gods worshiped by the western world were replaced by saints. The image of the Madonna, which we are all familiar with was not something invented to depict Mary and baby Jesus, but was co-opted by the Roman church from it's pagan roots, the image is found in antiquity representing Semiramis and Tamuuz, or whatever regional name they happened to go by. After 300 years of persecution could not destroy the church, mixing it with paganism was effective in neutralizing the power of the Gospel in much of the civilized world. This was the same trick Balaam pulled to destroy Israel. Gnosticism, the nicolatioan heresy, had taken such a grip on the culture of the Vatican, by the time Martin Luther made his pilgrimage to Rome, he was completely disgusted by the debaucherous conditions and behavior he found among the religious ruling class.
  • A case can be made for the Roman church being the throne of Satan during this period of time. During the inquisition, the Roman church martyred many Bible believing Christians who would not bow to the Pope. Roman crusaders invaded the British Isles in the 900s and attempted to eradicate Celtic Christianity to the point of scalping Celtic priests because they refused to wear the Roman tonsure. During this time period, Roman crusaders burned entire Jewish populations of towns throughout Europe. Nearly all the Bible believing Albegensian Christians of France were killed during this period as well. A strong case could be made that this behavior was Satanically inspired.
The reference Jesus makes to waging war with the sword of His mouth could be seen as a pretty clear reference to the use of scripture at the time of the Reformation to combat the mayhem and abuses inflicted by the Roman Church at the time.

D. V. 18-29 – Church of Thyatira
1. The City of Thyatira was a military outpost which became a center of commerce. Because of the heavy commerce, Thyatira engendered many trades, and with trades, came trade guilds.
v. 19 talks about latter works exceeding the first – this shows a church that was growing like it is supposed to – progressing into greater
works as faith and learning grew.
V. 20-23 tells us that some in the church tolerated the woman Jezebel
and that she was leading the church into sin but would be destroyed
by God – Jezebel here is a reference to the evil influence of Queen
Jezebel . King Ahab of Israel took a Canaanite wife who
influenced Israel to worship Baal instead of God -
Ki 16:30 And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him. And as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, he took for his wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal and worshiped him. He erected an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he built in Samaria.
And Ahab made an Asherah. Ahab did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him.
Traditionally, trade guilds had “patron” gods. Remember in Acts, we read about Demetrius the silversmith who opposed Paul and his teachings of Christ.

Act 19:24-28 For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the craftsmen. These he gathered together, with the workmen in similar trades, and said, "Men, you know that from this business we have our wealth. And you see and hear that not only in Ephesus but in almost all of Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned away a great many people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods. And there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be counted as nothing, and that she may even be deposed from her magnificence, she whom all Asia and the world worship. When they heard this they were enraged and were crying out, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"

Just as the craftsmen in Ephesus worshiped Artemis, the different guilds in Thyatira worshiped various gods and in order to do business one was expected to participate in the culture of the city. Some in the church were lured into immorality and licentiousness
and those who condoned such behavior were working in the spirit of Jezebel who led King Ahab, and all Israel with him, into idolatrous sin.
1Ki 21:25-26 (There was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the LORD like Ahab, whom Jezebel his wife incited. He acted very abominably in going after idols, as the Amorites had done, whom the LORD cast out before the people of Israel.)


V. 24-28 – So entrenched in the society of Thyatira was Satanic behavior
Jesus was pleased with those who simply abstained from the corruption
of the society around them. By not participating in the sin of the nation
around them, the believers in Thyratira would be qualified to rule over
nations in the time of the kingdom: We see Jesus teaching this concept
in Luke 19:16-17 - The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more. And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant!cBecause you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’
2. Church of Thyatira in historical context – the Reformation church about
The similarities of the description of this church to that of the reformation
are striking – Love, faith and service defines the behavior of the church
of the reformation that came out of a very paganized works oriented
system of religion. In fact, the verse that is credited wit leading Luther
break away from Rome and start the Reformation was Romans_1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith."
Within the Reformation, there were believers who were still in the
Roman system which was pagan to the core. Thus the reference to those
who tolerate the woman Jezebel, those who were believers in the Roman
Church had an alternative and yet, some chose to stay affiliated with
Rome. Jezebel is referred to as calling herself a “prophetess” meaning
she is a self proclaimed spokesperson for God. Roman Catholic
doctrine teaches that certain Papal decrees are considered infallible
meaning they are equal to scripture.
Verses 21-23 decrees future judgment for the Roman church – alluding
being left out of the rapture, and suffering greatly and ultimately being
Verses 24-28 – The believers of the reformation were persecuted unto
death by Papal decree. The Jesuit order was formed as a military group
tasked with destroying the reformers. During this time,  just
remaining faithful in the face of persecution was all these small groups of
believers could do. These who prevail are promised rulership over nations
during the kingdom age.

The reference to gaining the Morning Star is a direct reference to these believers being in the presence of Christ. Rev 22:16 "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star."  



  1. Church in Sardis v. 1-6
A. v.1a – Seven spirits and seven stars -
1. Seven spirits represents the Holy Spirit – Isaiah 11:2 And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. We see here in Isaiah seven aspects of the Holy Spirit
2. in the next chapter, we seen in verse 5 - From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, which references Zechariah 4:1-6 And the angel who talked with me came again and woke me, like a man who is awakened out of his sleep. And he said to me, "What do you see?" I said, "I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it, and seven lamps on it, with seven lips on each of the lamps that are on the top of it.
And there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left." And I said to the angel who talked with me, "What are these, my lord?"
Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, "Do you not know what these are?" I said, "No, my lord."
Then he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. This is clearly a reference to the Holy Spirit. In the book of Ezra we see Zerubbabel, who was in line to be king, going to Jerusalem after Israel's 70 years of captivity and overseeing the rebuilding of the temple. So we see the Holy Spirit being referenced with the number 7. The presence of God's Spirit is established here as an integral part of the Church.
3. 7 stars – Verse 20 in chapter 1 identifies the 7 stars as 7 angels assigned to oversee the 7 churches in the spiritual realm. 2 Kings 6:17 shows us that there is a spirit realm around us that we cannot see Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. The Syrian army had surrounded Israel and the prophet Elisha's servant saw the great army and was terrified, so Elisha prayed that the servant would be able to glimpse the spirit world and see the army of angels that were fighting for Israel. We can deduce that we have the same protection around us as believers based on this verse on the fact that the 7 angels oversee the 7 churches.

B. v.1b – reputation - this church has a reputation for being alive, but in reality, this church in Sardis is spiritually dead. The church looked good to outsiders but was not holy in the eyes of God. The danger is of being able to look good by following the rules in front of people but protecting hidden sin or playing churchbut not caring about God. We see this danger in super legalistic churches
C. v.2-3 – The danger of playing church is that it becomes impossible to determine if people truly have a relationship w/God or they are behaving a certain way to get along and be accepted. This is a problem in generational church membership. When we are born into the church, we follow certain rules and give off the appearance of faith, when in reality, we are simply living according to the mores or acceptable standards of church culture. People who grow up in a church can miss salvation and be left out when God demands their soul.

D. v. 4-6 – Even in a church that is very ecumenical or weak in the Gospel, there will be those who are true believers. There are denominations that have become all but irrelevant when it comes to presenting the Gospel, but even in those dead churches, there are those who have discovered faith.

E. In the historical sense, we can find correlation to the church of the age of enlightenment. This period of history was short, in comparison to the other church ages running from 1715 to about 1789. During this period of time, ideas like liberty and tolerance were considered the highest virtue. As these ideas began to mold society, ideas such as Deism and Atheism began to evolve. Deism holds to a belief God as an impersonal creator but removes the power of God's Spirit and the sacrifice of Christ. Self determinism and humanism are natural by products of Deist and Atheist beliefs.

Thomas Jefferson, a Deist, published his own version of the Bible, removing all references to Christ's resurrection and miracles. While America was fighting for independence, two factions, believers and Deists, were vying for preeminence. Jefferson and Franklin were not Christians, but Deists, that related to God quite differently than Bible believing Christians. Many historians would like to lead us to believe these men, and others with similar beliefs, were Christians. They appeared to be alive, yet were spiritually dead. Even in my Christian college days, I was assigned a research paper on the faith of Ben Franklin.

These ideas of liberty and tolerance culminated with the French Revolution, with the throwing off of the church and the rule of God while embracing the goddesses liberty and reason. We actually have a replica of the goddess of liberty standing in the New York harbor, a gift from Godless France.

Even in the midst of this terrible time of liberal spirituality, great men of faith such as John and Charles Wesley and George Whitefield were able to see revival. There was much spiritual thought and discussion, during this time, but much of the thought and discussion led people away from God rather towards salvation. The age of enlightenment really courted darkness and the ideas of the inherent goodness of man which is in direct contradiction to V. 4 which refers to those outside of Christ as having soiled clothing. 

OCTOBER 28, 2015
  1. Church of Philadelphia V.7-13
A. v. 7 – Key of David - This is a reference to Isaiah 22:14-25 The LORD of hosts has revealed himself in my ears: "Surely this iniquity will not be atoned for you until you die," says the Lord GOD of hosts. Thus says the Lord GOD of hosts, "Come, go to this steward, to Shebna, who is over the household, and say to him: What have you to do here, and whom have you here, that you have cut out here a tomb for yourself, you who cut out a tomb on the height and carve a dwelling for yourself in the rock?
Behold, the LORD will hurl you away violently, O you strong man. He will seize firm hold on you and whirl you around and around, and throw you like a ball into a wide land. There you shall die, and there shall be your glorious chariots, you shame of your master's house. I will thrust you from your office, and you will be pulled down from your station.
In that day I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and I will clothe him with your robe, and will bind your sash on him, and will commit your authority to his hand. And he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his father's house. And they will hang on him the whole honor of his father's house, the offspring and issue, every small vessel, from the cups to all the flagons. In that day, declares the LORD of hosts, the peg that was fastened in a secure place will give way, and it will be cut down and fall, and the load that was on it will be cut off, for the LORD has spoken." This is a very prophetic passage. As Jesus references the Key of David, it correlates a transfer of blessing and authority. In verse 9 we see the persecuting Jewish population, once again called the synagogue of Satan. Israel was given the blessing and authority of carrying God's name, but because the Jews in Philadelphia have chosen to do the work of Satan, attacking and persecuting the church, Jesus is making a clear statement of transferring blessing and authority from unbelieving Israel to the Church. In the above passage, from Isaiah, Shebna is rejected and Eliakim is given Shebna's position. Jesus is not just throwing out the phrase Key of David, He is using it to demonstrate the transfer from Israel to the Church. This is where understanding scriptures is so important. If we just looked at this passage, in context, along with Isaiah 22, we would be left with the belief that God is done with Israel and the Church is now the recipient of all God's blessings and promises, as replacement theology teaches. If replacement theology were true, we would throw away most of the book of Revelation, and entire books and chapters of the Old Testament. Also, we would have to conclude that God lied when He gave the boundaries of the land that Israel would one day inhabit, as Israel has never actually attained all the land that God promised to them. Here is a sample passage that we would have to excise from the Old Testament if Replacement Theology were true: Ezekiel 47:1 and 14-23 Then he brought me back to the door of the temple, and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. And you shall divide equally what I swore to give to your fathers. This land shall fall to you as your inheritance.
"This shall be the boundary of the land: On the north side, from the Great Sea by way of Hethlon to Lebo-hamath, and on to Zedad,
Berothah, Sibraim (which lies on the border between Damascus and Hamath), as far as Hazer-hatticon, which is on the border of Hauran.
So the boundary shall run from the sea to Hazar-enan, which is on the northern border of Damascus, with the border of Hamath to the north. This shall be the north side. "On the east side, the boundary shall run between Hauran and Damascus; along the Jordan between Gilead and the land of Israel; to the eastern sea and as far as Tamar. This shall be the east side. "On the south side, it shall run from Tamar as far as the waters of Meribah-kadesh, from there along the Brook of Egypt to the Great Sea. This shall be the south side. "On the west side, the Great Sea shall be the boundary to a point opposite Lebo-hamath. This shall be the west side. "So you shall divide this land among you according to the tribes of Israel. You shall allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the sojourners who reside among you and have had children among you. They shall be to you as native-born children of Israel. With you they shall be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. In whatever tribe the sojourner resides, there you shall assign him his inheritance, declares the Lord GOD.

We see here that God transfers authority and blessing from Israel to the Church, yet we know that God has a plan to redeem Israel and restore Israel, This means that there has to come a time when the blessing and authority transfers back to Israel. This leads us to a quandary, if the church has replaced Israel, as this passage seems to suggest, and the Bible states emphatically that Israel shall be restored, yet the Key of David is used to explain this transfer, how can blessing and authority leave the church and go back to Israel if Eliakim never relinquished his position back to Shebna? We would have to conclude that the church, which had a definitive beginning, on the day of Pentecost, will have a definitive ending at the time of the rapture. It is when the church age ends, that the transfer of blessing and authority goes back to Israel, setting up the millennial reign of Christ. You then get a sense of the timing of the rapture of the church when you compare I Thessalonians 4:16-18 - For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. To the sheep and goat judgment of Matthew 25, clearly these cannot be the same event, so we know that the rapture must take place prior to the return of Christ to earth leaving us with at the very least, a mid or pre tribulational rapture of the Church.

B. v. 8 – Open door – Access to God cannot be challenged by the teachings of religious leaders in a synagogue or by societal mores. The Philadelphians are commended for remaining faithful in the face of opposition.

C. v. 9 – we see again, the synagogue of Satan, which is made up of Jews who have chosen to oppose the work of God and attack His church. These will be brought low at the time of judgment because they had all the information available to them to know the truth, but chose to reject God's Messiah

D. v. 10 – this is the promise of supernatural protection of God's people from the wrath of God. Not protection from bad things happening, not protection from persecution, but protection fro God's wrath. Though there is argument as to when the time of God's wrath begins, a case can be made for the beginning of the Tribulation period being the beginning of God's wrath on earth. We will develop this idea and look at the various beliefs concerning the rapture in coming chapters.

The word trial here denotes a testing of those who are on the earth – thus, the judgment found in Matthew 25 makes much more sense in terms of people being judged by the way they demonstrated faith in Christ vs. professing faith without works.
E. V. 11-13 – For those who endure, those whose faith is real and who have truly been regenerated, they will participate in the New Jerusalem, of which we will study in Rev. 21 but as a glimpse of what is to come, look at 21:1-3 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
Rev 21:2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.

F. Church of Philadelphia in historical context – Evangelical missionary church
1. We can trace trace this church movement to about 1790 but we cannot really
put an end date on this church era which means we may very well be still in this church.
2. Things that coincide with current church age – open door seems to fit well with the great protestant missionary movement began in the 1700s – Synagogue of Satan may be identified with the rise of Christian cults such as Mormonism and Jehovah's Witnesses which sprang forth in the 1800s
3. The next church, Laodicea, is always associated with the end times church. There are those who believe that Philadelphia and Laodicea both represent the church of the last days.
a. Philadelphia receives no rebuke from Christ and Laodicea receives no commendation

b. may be a fulfillment of the parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25:1-13


  1. Church of Laodicea – Vv.14-22
    A. V.14 – Once again, Jesus identifies Himself as the one sending this message
    B. V. 15-16 – When Christ threatens that He is “about to spit you out of my mouth” our translation may lend a weaker sounding announcement than was intended by Jesus. The Greek is mello emeho. Emeho literally translates out as vomit, which is a much more violent expulsion than merely spitting. If that were not emphatic enough, mellois usually translated as shall or will. In fact, whenever mello is translated about to it is in the context of something that is literally about to take place, such as when Jesus asked John and James, “can you drink the cup I am about to drink.” Often this passage is presented as less emphatic in the sense of a loose threat rather than a sure thing that will happen. The implication is that Jesus is going to reject this church because of it's lack of true commitment.
    1. Hot would represent a church that is committed to God and would be best represented by the church of Philidelphia
    2. cold would represent outright rejection of Christ and would be best repre-
    sented by the Synagogue of Satan.
    3. lukewarm indicates a church that is indifferent to God, Christian in name
    only. We find this in many churches, people who claim to believe but have no fruit and do not really care, one way or another. This is those who have made an intellectual ascent to Christ, but who have not placed faith in Him.
    C. V. 17 – What we find here in Laodicea, is a self righteous group of people who believe they have all that they need spiritually and do not acknowledge spiritual need. I remember witnessing to a guy who went to his priest and asked what he needed to do to be saved, and the priest told him, “keep doing what you are doing and you will be fine, you are a good person.” In my esti- mation, that priest sent that guy to hell by giving him false hope in his own innate goodness.
    1. contrast this with Psalm 139:23-24- Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! 2. the Laodicean church should have taken heed from Proverbs 12:15 - The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.
    D. V. 18 – This church is being given a final warning to get saved, to recognize their need and sin.
    E. V. 19 – This is a church that is about go fall under the judgment of God - 1. Proverbs 15:9-11 speaks to this - The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But He loves one who pursues righteousness. Grievous punishment is for him who forsakes the way; He who hates reproof will die. Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the LORD, How much more the hearts of men!… 2. Jesus loves this group of apostates and desires them to repent, so He promises them chastisement and discipline, that they may repent unto regeneration
F. V. 20 – This verse is often used in evangelism, but we see here that the image is a people who identify as the church, yet they have relegated Jesus to a place outside their hearts, while Christ, ever the gentleman, refuses to break through the door, but knocks, patiently, waiting for the closed heart to open up to him.
G. V. 21 – Jesus makes one more plea to these lethargic, closed hearted people, calling them to be conquerers. Jesus identifies Himself as a conquerer, referring to His obedience unto death. This lukewarm church cannot even perceive it's need for true salvation, making it very doubtful that they would be obedient unto death.
1. I John 5:4-5 - For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
Clearly, we see that only those who have faith in Christ can overcome so, in essence, Christ is telling them that those with true faith will rule with Him on His throne.
2. Romans 8:37 - No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
As we follow Christ, we have assurance that we will overcome the
world, even unto death.
H. As we look at these churches, in a historical context, we have no doubt
that this church corresponds to the last days. Last study, we looked at
Philadelphian church and noted that, in the historical context, that church had a distinct historical beginning, but no real clear end and the Laodicean church does not seem to have any definitive beginning, but seems to have a definitive end, at the rapture of the church.
This church is defined as being apathetic to Christ. There is no doubt
that Christ considers Himself on the outside of this church. Christ threatens this church with discipline and implores them to repent but also tells them that if they overcome, as He has overcome, they will be redeemed. Could this be a reference to this church going through the tribulation, where, we are told, people will be killed for the testimony of Christ? Rev 13:7 Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation,
Today, we can see components of both the Philadelphian and
Laodicean churches. 71% of Americans claim to be Christian. Does
this country look anything like it is populated with 71% believers?
Parable of the 10 virgins:
Mat 25:1 "Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.
Mat 25:2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.
Mat 25:3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them,
Mat 25:4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.
Mat 25:5 As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept.
Mat 25:6 But at midnight there was a cry, 'Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.'
Mat 25:7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.
Mat 25:8 And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'
Mat 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, 'Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.'
Mat 25:10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.
Mat 25:11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, lord, open to us.'
Mat 25:12 But he answered, 'Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.'
Mat 25:13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

This parable is given to us by Jesus in Matthew 25, whilst Christ is laying out end time events – as we read this, it is clear that only half of those who believe they are going with the bridegroom actually go. If these virgins are the church of the last days, this indicates that only half of those who claim to be believers are actually going to be taken in the rapture of the church. This opens up the possibility that the last days church will be comprised by both those who are committed and regenerated and those who are apathetic and apostate. The regenerated have the oil, which represents the Holy Spirit, and the apathetic have not the Spirit and are not really saved. From Christ's teachings, we can discern that when He comes for His church, as He promised the disciples, that only half will be going with Him: Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
Jesus did not promise to return to them and set up His kingdom, He promised to take them to where He was going, which we know is heaven. Those who go with Christ will spend eternity with Christ and return with Him to earth to rule with Christ for a thousand years. Those who go into the tribulation will, if they repent and believe, mostly be martyred, thus the call to conquer as Christ conquered, being obedient unto death.

WEEK 8 & 9
NOVEMBER 11 & 18


We will take a break from the text to discuss the different eschatological views most widely held by believers.  This is not an exhaustive study by any means, but an overview of various end time doctrines.  While I hold and teach a specific eschatology, I do not believe it is a matter that Christians should divide over.  It is essential that we agree that Christ will return, it is not essential that we all agree on the timing of the event.  Obviously, I believe my view of the rapture is the correct view as taught in scripture, otherwise, I would not teach this view.  Having said this, I concede that I am not omniscient, nor do I pretend to understand everything concerning prophecy.  I present here, to the best of my ability, what I believe, with all my heart, to be what scripture teaches concerning the rapture, tribulation, and millennial reign of Christ and the order in which I believe these events will take place.  

Amillennialism: Rejects a literal 1000 year reign of Christ on earth. Believes that church age is the Kingdom and that Christ will return only after the church is established worldwide. Rejects any further plan of God regarding Israel and supplants Israel with the church, concerning all the promises and blessings of the Old Testament.

Eastern, Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, DOC, Church of Christ, Christian Church, and Anglican are the most prominent denominations that hold to this doctrine. Popularized by Augustine. Modern proponents include J.I Packer and R. C. Sproul, and Hank Hanegraaff.

Amillennialism requires an allegorical interpretation of Revelation. This view also makes us discount a great deal of the Old Testament's prophecies concerning Israel.

Those who choose to not allegorize Revelation hold to a view called Preterism.
Preterism postulates all the prophecies of Revelation and Daniel were fulfilled in the first century. This view originated in 1614 with a Jesuit priest named Alcasar, meant to counter the Reformation. In 1640, a Dutch Reformer introduced the idea to protestants and in 1845, an American Protestant, Townely, touted the view, making it more widespread. Townely later recanted this view, but the damage was already done.

This view requires an earlier date for Revelation than has been established by scholars and ignores specific details of prophecies.

Post-millenialism: The view that the church will convert the majority of people and usher in a time of peace mirroring the Beatitudes. Often thought to be a literal 1000 years of church rule, at the conclusion which Christ returns to bring final judgment and the usher in the eternal state of man. Post-millenialism emerged in 1658 and was considered a minority view. Jonathan Edwards is the most notable proponent of this view.

This view does not hold up to scrutiny and also requires large sections of scripture to be excised. Philippians 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
and 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. demonstrate Paul expected Christ to return in his lifetime.

If Paul expected an imminent return of Christ, how could there be an emphatic 1000 year church age preceding the return of Christ.
Pre-millenialism: The view that Christ will return and set up a kingdom on earth for 1000 years. This is the prevalent view among evangelicals as it is the natural conclusion of literal interpretation of the Bible and does not require any scripture twisting or allegorization. If one takes the Bible at face value with no preconceived ideas, Pre-millinialism is the only natural conclusion at which one could arrive.

First century believers held to this view.

Within Pre-millenialiam there is debate as to the timing of the rapture of the church. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 -Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. Forthe trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

These passages leave no doubt that the rapture is a real event in which we will be caught up and transformed. The three prominent views on the timing of the rapture are Pre, Mid and Post tribulational rapture.

Post Trib: Postulates that the church will go through the tribulation and be raptured as Christ returns to defeat Anti-christ.

Main passages supporitng – Matthew 24:29-314:29 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
Mat 24:30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Mat 24:31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 - Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,
2Th 2:2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
2Th 2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
2Th 2:4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

Revelation 11:15-18 -
Rev 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Blessed indeed," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!"
Rev 14:14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand.
Rev 14:15 And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, "Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe."
Rev 14:16 So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped.
Rev 14:17 Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle.
Rev 14:18 And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, "Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe."
Rev 14:19 So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
Rev 14:20 And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse's bridle, for 1,600 stadia.

Matthew 13:24-29 - Mat 13:24 He put another parable before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field,
Mat 13:25 but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away.
Mat 13:26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also.
Mat 13:27 And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, 'Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?'
Mat 13:28 He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' So the servants said to him, 'Then do you want us to go and gather them?'
Mat 13:29 But he said, 'No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them.
Mat 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'"

Matthew 24:29-30 - "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
Mat 24:30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Mat 24:31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Mid-trib: Postulates the rapture of the church taking place midway through the rapture, sparing the church for The Great Tribulation.

Verses that are used to support this view:

Revelation 3:10 - Rev 3:10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.

2Th 2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,

Pre-trib: Postulates the rapture will occur prior to the beginning of the Tribulation.

Verses that are used to support this view:

Rev 3:10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.

Revelation 4-19 – Tribulation described but not one mention of the church

Joh 14:2 In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?
Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
Joh 14:4 And you know the way to where I am going."

1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord

Mat 25:31 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.
Mat 25:32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
Mat 25:33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.
Mat 25:34 Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Mat 25:35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
Mat 25:36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.'
Mat 25:37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
Mat 25:38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
Mat 25:39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?'
Mat 25:40 And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'
Mat 25:41 "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Mat 25:42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
Mat 25:43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.'
Mat 25:44 Then they also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?'
Mat 25:45 Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.'
Mat 25:46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

Up to this point, we have done an expository, verse by verse study but due to the nature of the content of the rest of this book, we will take chunks of scripture and do more of an overview. We will look at some very difficult passages that have more than one legitimate possible meaning and we will discuss various ideas. We will, however, be studying this from a dispensational, pre-tribulation world view and we will study these passages with the understanding that the rapture has taken place and the church, as we know it is no longer on earth. We will note that the term saint is employed to refer to believers throughout the Old Testament, without necessarily referring to the Church. The inference that the same holds true here, will be the model from which we will be studying.


  1. V. 1-4 – John is called up and now is standing in the very throne room of God. We see a description of God Himself and there are 24 elders bowing before the throne.
A. God is described in terms of precious stones and no form or physical features are noted
B. The 24 elders: presbeteros
1. angels – Not much support for this view and nowhere in scripture do we find angels referred to as prespbeteros. Angels and Elders are named together in chapter 7 - Rev 7:11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,

2. 12 patriarchs and 12 apostles
a. remember, when Judas left, the Apostles needed to replace him
Act 1:20 "For it is written in the Book of Psalms, "'May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it'; and "'Let another take his office.'
Act 1:21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
Act 1:22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection."
Act 1:23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias.
Act 1:24 And they prayed and said, "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen
Act 1:25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place."
Act 1:26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

b. Paul and Barnabas are called apostles, but they are not numbered as part of
the 12, and we do not see them become apostles in the same manner as the
above passage
c. there are 3 separate listings of the 12 tribes found in scripture. One lists the 12 sons of Jacob, one list omits Levi and Joseph and replaces them with Joseph's 2 sons and one list includes Levi and Joseph's 2 sons and omits Dan
d. problems –
1. John is one of the Apostles and surely would have recognized himself.
2. God's program for Israel is not completed, as the 70th week of Daniel has not been completed 3. Represents the raptured church
a. Whit robes- Jesus tells the church of Sardis that they will be give white robes Rev 3:5 The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.
b. Crowns – Crowns are promised to the churches who overcome - Rev 3:11 I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.
c. 24 relates to offices of priesthood - Ch 24:7 The first lot fell to Jehoiarib, the second to Jedaiah,
1Ch 24:8 the third to Harim, the fourth to Seorim,
1Ch 24:9 the fifth to Malchijah, the sixth to Mijamin,
1Ch 24:10 the seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah,
1Ch 24:11 the ninth to Jeshua, the tenth to Shecaniah,
1Ch 24:12 the eleventh to Eliashib, the twelfth to Jakim,
1Ch 24:13 the thirteenth to Huppah, the fourteenth to Jeshebeab,
1Ch 24:14 the fifteenth to Bilgah, the sixteenth to Immer,
1Ch 24:15 the seventeenth to Hezir, the eighteenth to Happizzez,
1Ch 24:16 the nineteenth to Pethahiah, the twentieth to Jehezkel,
1Ch 24:17 the twenty-first to Jachin, the twenty-second to Gamul,
1Ch 24:18 the twenty-third to Delaiah, the twenty-fourth to Maaziah.
1Ch 24:19 These had as their appointed duty in their service to come into the house of the LORD according to the procedure established for them by Aaron their father, as the LORD God of Israel had commanded him.
d. Thrones – represent royalty - 2Ti 2:12 if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us;
e. the church is a royal priesthood - 1Pe 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
f. Chapter 5 describes these elders in terms that could only describe the church Rev 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
Rev 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
Rev 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

This passage gives great evidence that the church is in heaven at this point and the events of the tribulation are about to begin, making a clear case for a pre-tribulational rapture model.

WEEK 10:

Chapter 4:5-11-

I. verses 4-6 we see a scene right out of Ezekiel 1 - Eze 1:13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.
Eze 1:22 Over the heads of the living creatures there was the likeness of an expanse, shining like awe-inspiring crystal, spread out above their heads.
n their wings.
Eze 1:25 And there came a voice from above the expanse over their heads. When they stood still, they let down their wings.
Eze 1:26 And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance.
Eze 1:27 And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him.
Eze 1:28 Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

And also reminiscent of an event at Mt. Sinai- Exo 20:18 Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off
Exo 20:19 and said to Moses, "You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die."

There is no doubt that this is God Almighty and John is in His throne room

  1. V. 7 – this also mirrors the living creatures that accompanied Christ in Ezekiel 1:10 As for the likeness of their faces, each had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle.
      A. Each face of the living creatures represents an aspect of Christ's ministry as represented by the 4 Gospel accounts
1. Lion – King – Matthew
2. Ox – Servant – Mark
3. Man – Man – Luke
4. Eagle – God- John
B. Notice that the representation is in the same order of each of the Gospel accounts. There is liberal scholars and skeptics that would like to call into question the canon of scripture. You will hear numerous arguments as to why the Bible we have today is incomplete and that the Catholic Church decided what books to include and which to disregard and that there were many more Gospels than the 4 we have.
1. Gospel of Thomas – a collection of sayings supposedly made by Christ but having no narrative and many are contradictory of Christ's known teachings – it is Gnostic in nature and the earliest fragment is dated to around 340 AD. No serious historian considers it authentic, but it is used by those who would want to discredit Christ and the true Gospel
2. Gospel of Q – An imaginary document that has never been seen, but dreamed up by skeptics due to the similarities found in the Gospels of Mark, Luke and Matthew. The theory goes that the Gospels of Mark, Luke and Matthew are so similar, they must have borrowed heavily from an earlier source document.

3. We establish a matter on the testimony of two witnesses – Deuteronomy 19:15 - A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established.
2 Corinthians 13:1This is the third time I am coming to you. Every charge must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.

So, in this case, we see that the Gospels we have in the Bible are the Gospels that God has intended for us to have, nothing is missing and nothing has been removed

  1. V. 8-11 – and here we see worship taking place before the Lord by the raptured church and the living creatures who accompany God's throne

Chapter 5 – Coronation of The King

I. V. 1-3 what we see here is an amazing sight. God, seated on His throne, holds a scroll that is sealed, and none in heaven, on the earth or under the earth were able to open it.
A. those in heaven is the church
B. those on earth are those who are left behind after the rapture
C. those under the earth represent those in Hades, awaiting judgment

II. V. 4 – remember, John is a spectator at this point and does not understand what is going on, so he weeps in helplessness, not realizing what is about to happen

III. V. 5-7 – Christ, who is no longer in the role of mediator, as the church is complete and in Heaven, now enters the throne room as the conquering King and receives the scroll from the hand of the Father. Notice He is identified both as Lion- kingship and Lamb – sacrifice

IV. V. 8-10 – Here, as we looked at in our study on Chap 4, the 24 elders identify themselves as the church, which being in heaven, must have been raptured. Identifying themselves as a royal priesthood by the virtue of the blood that was shed by the Lamb.

  1. V. 9-14 – Great worship breaks out as Christ takes His rightful place and receives the scroll. All the redeemed and all heavenly beings unite together in worship for the King of Kings

CHAPTER 6 – The Tribulation begins

As we enter into our study of Chapter 6 - we begin studying the period of time referred to in Scripture as the Tribulation, the Time of Jacob's Trouble, and Daniel's 70th week.

We first come learn about this in Daniel chapter 9 -

Daniel was in earnest prayer concerning the restoration of Israel and God sent the Angel Gabriel to Daniel, to teach Daniel about the time of the coming of the Messiah and events leading up to the second coming as well.

Daniel 9:21 while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice. He made me understand, speaking with me and saying, "O Daniel, I have now come out to give you insight and understanding.

What Gabriel told Daniel has confounded Bible scholars for centuries, but with a little hindsight and Biblical application, we can discover an amazing prophecy that not only predicts the coming of the Messiah, but gives us the very date that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a Donkey!

First the prophecy: Dan 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

This all seems very cryptic, but it is not very difficult to understand, so we will take it in pieces.

The word translated as weeks is better translated as sevens meaning 70 sevens are decreed for Israel. There is no argument that the meaning is 70 seven years periods. This, in and of itself is not sufficient to give us any real information, but all the information we need is contained in the rest of this passage. - One thing we have to keep in mind, a Hebrew year was 360 days, as opposed to 365, and instead of a leap year, every 4th year, the Hebrew calendar has periodic leap months, in order to make up for the missing days.

We also have to keep in mind that this prophecy is written to Daniel's people, and Daniel's holy city, meaning it is all about Israel, not the church.

Now, to the main prophecy – 70 weeks of years are decreed for Israel. This calculates to 490 years of total history for Israel, with a specific begin date. The date that the clock on this prophecy begins is March 14, 445 BC.

One problem we see here is that the world has obviously gone on for quite a few more years past 490 from 445 BC, but the prophecy is split into two parts for a reason.

Notice that there are 69 weeks of years that take place before anything of note happens. Gabriel tells Daniel that after the decree goes forth to rebuild Jerusalem, there will be 69 seven year periods of time before the Messiah comes.

The Book of Nehemiah gives us the date that this decree is sent forth: Nehemiah 2:1 And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.

Traditionally, in Hebrew writing, if the specific day is not specified, it infers the first day of the month. So, we know that in the 20th year of Artaxerxes reign, on the first day of the Month of Nissan, the king decreed that Nehemiah should return to Jerusalem and rebuild the wall and the city. 69 seven year periods have now been set in motion and we know that Messiah the Prince would come at the end of the 69 sevens. 69 sevens equals 173.880 days, exactly. If you count 173,880 days you come to Sunday, April 6, 32 AD. This is the day that Christ rode into Jerusalem on a Donkey! The date of Artaxerxes' decree is verified in historical writings. The calculations to arrive at the date of Palm Sunday has been confirmed by the British Royal Observatory through astronomical calculations.

So emphatic and detailed was he prophecy, that Jesus rebukes the religious leaders for -4not knowing who He was: Luke 19:43-44 "For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation."

Jesus knows they had the information to determine His coming.

A mere few days later, on Friday, Jesus is crucified and spends two day and nights in the tomb... wait a minute, I thought Jesus said that He would be three days and nights in the belly of the earth? Oh, wait a minute, we can also know the exact date of Passover that year and it was April 10, 32 AD, at sundown. This would have been Thursday... making Friday a sabbath, Saturday a Sabbath and Sunday Resurrection, giving Jesus Thursday night, Friday night and Saturday night in the tomb. Tradition is a sticky thing sometimes, so much for Good Friday!

Where the 70 weeks prophecy gets tricky is the 70th week.

Where the 70 weeks prophecy gets tricky is the 70th week.

The prophecy states that after the 69 weeks, Messiah will be cut off, but not for Himself.
We know this happened the Thursday, immediately following Palm Sunday. So, we can tell by the wording of the prophecy, that the 70th week does not immediately commence with the revealing of Messiah -

Also, stated in the Prophecy, is the destruction of Jerusalem, by the people of the prince who would come(anti-christ) at some undetermined time after the 69th week. We know that the destruction of Jerusalem took place in 70 AD, which is far longer than 7 years after 32 AD. So, we can conclude, that there is a gap of time between the first 69 weeks and the 70th week. What constitutes that gap, and what sign do we have that the 70th week has begun?

Shortly after Christ ascended, 50 days from His resurrection, the feast of Pentecost took place. On that day, the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples and 3000 people in the city of Jerusalem were saved. This is the birth of the Church. If Christ rose on April 13, 50 days later would be June 2, 32 AD. The church age had a difinitive beginning. As we have established, the church will have a difinitive end at the time of the rapture. We see in 2 Thessalonians, a prophecy concerning the coming of the Ani-christ and what appears to be a revelation concerning the Holy Spirit: 2Th 2:1 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,
2Th 2:2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
2Th 2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
2Th 2:4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.
2Th 2:5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?
2Th 2:6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.
2Th 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.
2Th 2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.
So, we can determine that the 70th week cannot commence until there is no more church on earth.

In verse 6, the restrainer seems to be an impersonal force, but in verse 7, the restrainer is clearly identified as he, twice. Who would be restraining the anti-christ? I believe it is the Holy Spirit. I believe that we have precedent in Job chapter 1 for God restraining Satan and Satan being allowed to act, only with permission from God: Job 1:12 And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand." So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

Satan is under the authority of God. If the restrainer is the Holy Spirit, notice that He is out of the way. If we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and if the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way, we would have to conclude that the church is removed along with the Holy Spirit.

According to the prophecy, the 70th week will commence when an agreement of some sort and half way through that 7 year period, the agreement will be broken and the prince who would come will have come and turned against Israel, the literal unfolding of which we will begin to study in chapter 6 with the opening of the first seal. There are many who believe this agreement will be a peace treaty, but the text does not emphatically state this, so we can only speculate on this point. If you followed left behind, you will remember that the Tribulation was depicted as having started at the signing of a peace treaty between Israel and the global leader. The literal interpretation of the original Hebrew he will strengthen a covenant with many(or the strong), which would indicate that there is not an actual peace brokered here but the confirming of or recognizing of something that has already been established, and not necessarily a specific treaty dealing with Israel bur more likely a global covenant of peace. I personally believe this has to do with the reconfirming or strengthening of the 1948 UN declaration forming the nation of Israel.

Right now, Israel's neighbors are calling for the destruction or elimination of Israel. As Iran increases in power and nuclear capability, and ISIS grows in power and Palestine is creeping closer and closer to statehood, we can envision a future where the safety and security of Israel is threatened. Especially as the U S seems to be stepping back from supporting Israel.

Regardless of what this actual covenant is, we see the correlation of this 70th week of Daniel and the opening verses of Revelation 6 and the opening of the first seal.

With that, we can look at Revelation 6 – the Tribulation begins

  1. V. 1-2 – first seal – first horseman -The rider on a white horse
          A. We can, by looking at Daniel 9 and 2 Thessalonians see that this is the Anti-christ revealed to the world.
               1. white horse – mimicking Christ
               2. crown – denotes that he is a political leader: Daniel 8:25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. Hebrew for peace is shalvaw which comes from the root of Shalom and can also mean peaceably or in abundance denoting a time of peaceful prosperity.
               3. bow – a symbol of military power – also, interestingly enough, the word for bow is the same used in the Septuagint of Genesis 9:13 toxon referring to the Bow that God placed in the sky as a promise to not destroy mankind. This symbolically loaded passage speaks volumes about what the Anti-christ is and how he will accomplish his goals.
          B. Some teachers believe this to be Jesus due to the white horse. Obviously, if Jesus is in heaven removing the seals on the scroll, He would not be riding out on a white horse.

II. V 3-4 – second seal, second horseman - red horse - war

III. V. 5-6 – third seal, third horseman – black horse - famine
      A. a loaf of bread – basic sustenance - will cost a days wage. In today's dollars about – roughly $170.00. (mean income of $46,000.00)
      B. Wine and oil spared, denoting luxury items will continue to be available to those who want them. Rich will continue to prosper while rest of world suffers. This brings new insight into Jesus' requirements in the sheep and goat judgment and James' commands to the rich in his epistle.
  1. V. 7-8 – fourth seal – fourth horseman – pale green horse - death                              A. Chloros - Greek for pale green                                                                                  B. ¼ of mankind will be killed through this seal. Close to 2 billion people killed by war, famine, pestilence and wild animal attacks

JANUARY 6, 2016

Revelation 6:9 - 7:17

Two weeks ago, we began to look at the beginning of the 7 year Tribulation which began with the opening of the seals. John, the Apostle, is in heaven observing Jesus opening the seals of a scroll. The first 4 seals have been opened and the 4 horseman have come forth – White, Red, Back, and pale Green. The white horse is the anti-christ, Red is war, Black is famine and Green is death. ¼ of the population of the earth is killed with the first 4 seals.

  1. V. 9-11 – The Fifth Seal - these are the souls of the tribulation martyrs. They are different from those who have been resurrected and those who have been raptured. These are awaiting God's vengeance on those who are killing God's people, yet they must wait until all those who will be martyred join them and God destroys the godless.
  2. V. 12-17 – The Sixth Seal – this is a momentous event. There are those who see this as a solely natural event but when you look at what is taking place, it sounds very much like a nuclear war. The stars fall could be the missiles, the earthquake could be the pounding of the explosions, the sun darkening and the moon turning red could be the results of nuclear clouds and the sky rolling up like a scroll could very well describe a mushroom cloud. I believe John witnessed a nuclear attack of some kind, but again, we can only speculate as to what John is describing.
  3. V. 7:1-8 – Very interestingly, we find a break between the 6th and 7th seal. Much like the break we see between the 69th and 70th week of years from Daniel's prophecy.
          A. the 4 angels hold back the wind – everything goes still for a very important undertaking
           B. The sealing of the 144,000
                  1. 12,000 from every tribe – sans Dan
      2. proof that the myth of the 10 lost tribes is just that - a myth. The northern kingdom of Israel was carried off into captivity by Assyria and other nations were brought into the land. These others co-mingled with the few real Hebrews left behind and created a hybrid people called Samaritans. These were never accepted by the Jews but they practiced a form of Judaism mixed with the pagan practices of the other nations. Remember Christ's conversation with the woman at the well when they discussed the proper way to worship God. Samaritans were not welcome on the Temple mount so they worshiped on Mt Gerizim. Due to this fact, there has been much scholarship as to where the lost 10 tribes disappeared. One very popular idea is that Great Britain is where many of the tribes migrated and established rule, while the tribe of Dan migrated to Northern Europe and became the Danish people. There is quite a bit of circumstantial evidence to support these theories but the Bible tells us that the lost 10 tribes are not really lost at all. When the nation divided between north and south and Jeroboam rejected the Levitical priesthood, the Levites and anyone who feared God from the other tribes fled to Jerusalem. 2Chronicles 11:14-16 For the Levites left their common lands and their holdings and came to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons cast them out from serving as priests of the LORD, and he appointed his own priests for the high places and for the goat idols and for the calves that he had made. And those who had set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel came after them from all the tribes of Israel to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the LORD, the God of their fathers.
The mystery of the lost tribes is not a mystery at all as many of the original tribes had left Samaria hundreds of years prior to the Assyrian captivity. God knows exactly who these people are and right now. The Old Testament is clear that the 12 tribes will be united under Messiah, as well: Ezekiel 37:16 -21 "Son of man, take a stick and write on it, 'For Judah, and the people of Israel associated with him'; then take another stick and write on it, 'For Joseph (the stick of Ephraim) and all the house of Israel associated with him.' And join them one to another into one stick, that they may become one in your hand. And when your people say to you, 'Will you not tell us what you mean by these?' say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am about to take the stick of Joseph (that is in the hand of Ephraim) and the tribes of Israel associated with him. And I will join with it the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, that they may be one in my hand. When the sticks on which you write are in your hand before their eyes, then say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all around, and bring them to their own land.
Obviously, God knows exactly who His people are and who they are descended from.

                 3. These will be God's witness unto the Gospel, preparing Israel to turn to God and preparing them to recognize Christ at His coming: Zechariah 12:9-10 And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.

IV. V. 9-12 – scene shifts from earth back to heaven where a multitude is seen worshiping God.

V. V. 13-17 – The Elders, whom we have previously identified as the raptured church, identify this group as those who are saved during the Tribulation. These are not the church, as the church is not exclusively saved during the tribulation as this group is clearly identified.  

JANUARY 13, 2016

Revelation 8 – The seventh seal and 4 trumpets

As we have previously studied, Christ is removing the 7 seals from a scroll in heaven. The first six seals have resulted in great upheaval and death upon the earth, yet much greater upheaval and death is yet to come. As we look at the opening of the seventh seal and the blowing of the first 4 trumpets, we will bear witness to great ecological destruction wrought upon the earth by God, as He calls mankind to repentance. Remember, He has sent out 144,000 evangelists to proclaim the Gospel in the midst of all this turmoil. Man is not left without a witness or without an opportunity to accept the truth.

I. V. 1-6 – Now, the seventh seal is removed from the scroll by the Lion of Judah, Christ the Lord and there is silence in heaven for half an hour. Remember, previously there was great rejoicing and praise as the multitude of Tribulation martyrs stood before the throne and gave praise to God for their redemption. Now, at the opening of the seventh seal, there is silence as the prayers and petitions of those who were killed for the testimony of Christ are about to be answered. Rev 6:9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne.
Rev 6:10 They cried out with a loud voice, "O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
Rev 6:11 Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.
These are praying to God for vengeance against the evil people who killed them for their faith. Then in the next chapter, we see the fulfillment of verse 11: Rev 7:9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
Rev 7:10 and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"

The worship is silenced as these are about to witness God's answer to their prayers. As the prayers of the saints are a pleasing incense in the nostrils of God, the angel takes fire from the altar that is before the throne and fills the censor or prayers.

This vision of heaven is God's throne, which was replicated by Moses with the Tabernacle and later by David and Solomon with the Temple. God gave specific instructions on the building and set up of the Tabernacle and Temple. This altar in heaven was represented by the altar of sacrifice in the Temple. This is the same altar we see in Isaiah 6:Isa 6:1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.
Isa 6:2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.
Isa 6:3 And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!"
Isa 6:4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.
Isa 6:5 And I said: "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!"
Isa 6:6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar.
Isa 6:7 And he touched my mouth and said: "Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away,

The censor is thrown to earth and the results are identical to the scene at Mt. Sinai when God gave the 10 commandments to Israel. Exo 20:18 Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off
Exo 20:19 and said to Moses, "You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die."
Exo 20:20 Moses said to the people, "Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin."
Exo 20:21 The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.
Exo 20:22 And the LORD said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the people of Israel: 'You have seen for yourselves that I have talked with you from heaven.
And in Hebrews, it is revealed that as God spoke the earth shook: Heb 12:26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens."

God is using the same things from Exodus to reveal that this is from Him. Who would recognize this, but Israel. These events are meant to draw Israel's attention back to God.

II. V. 7- Traditionally, Trumpets in Israel are a call to action. Here, we see the first trumpet is hail, fire and blood. The prophet Joel predicted this event when he wrote: Joel 2:29 Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.
Joe 2:30 "And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke.
Joe 2:31 The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes

Ezekiel also mentions this event:Ezekiel 38:22 "And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that [are] with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone."

Amazingly, this would be the exact results of the tail of a comet passing over the earth. In fact, history tells us of events when a red dust from a comet of meteor mingled with rain caused what appeared to be blood raining on earth. Fire and hail would certainly accompany a comet as the tail is made up of frozen dust and gas. The larger solid parts would become fire as they reacted with our atmosphere, much like a meteorite and the larger pieces of frozen gas would fall as hailstones.
Blood rain is not unprecedented, the Roman Philosopher Pliny recorded a bloody rain over Babylon.

The results of this event is 1/3 or the earth's vegetation being destroyed. Imagine the ecological impact of 1/3 of the earth's oxygen producing organisms being destroyed. Besides the effects of such an immediate destruction would be soil erosion which would result in famine and greatly reduced rainfall on the earth and a sharp rise in greenhouse gas. This sets us up for chapter 11 and the significance of the 2 witnesses who are able to control the rain

  1. V. 8-9 – the second trumpet is blown and what sounds like a tremendous meteorite slams into the ocean destroying 1/3 of all ocean life and 1/3 of the ships at sea. The Pacific Ocean covers roughly 1/3 of the surface of the earth. If this is a meteor crashing into the Pacific Ocean and it destroys even half of the life in that ocean and creates tidal wave events, it could, conceivably, destroy 1/3 of all ocean life and most, if not all ships sailing on the Pacific.
This would impact huge populations of the world that rely on fishing for sustenance. I imagine that many military ships would be lost, impacting warfare and defense of many countries. Thinking beyond the immediate impact of these Trumpets, we also have to consider the long term impacts and what they mean for the people of all the earth. These events, while meant to draw Israel back to God will also assist the coming world leader in consolidating power.

  1. V. 10-11 – The third Trumpet - Wormwood – 1/3 of the fresh water is destroyed. Interestingly, the Russian word for wormwood is Chernobyl, or more accurately, wild wormwood. Is it possible that this is a nuclear or chemical attack that destroys 1/3 of the earth's fresh water resources?
By removing food, defense, and water from man, God is showing him the he cannot rely on his own resources, but ultimately, he must call out to God for provision and help. God is calling man to acknowledge His provision and to worship Him as creator and provider.

  1. V. 12-13 – the fourth Trumpet – 1/3 of natural light is gone. - this could be caused by a number of things. Physically, this could be caused by nuclear bombs or volcanic activity. History records volcanic ash blocking the sun for days. Most recently, Mt. St. Helens blocked the sun 930 miles away. This could also be a supernatural event. I tend to lean toward volcanic activity, but again, we cannot know.

After these 4 trumpets, which certainly seem bad enough, we are told that the next 3 are going to be very bad indeed!  

As We continue to look at the Tribulation in light of God's purpose to restore Israel through refinement I would like to include this link to a blog I wrote on Psalm 80 as it deals directly with Israel, as the nation relates to Christ in the Tribulation    Psalm 80 and Israel in Tribulation 

Chapter 9

  1. I. V.9:1 – The Fifth Trumpet - Here we see a “star” fall to earth, but the star is given a key and is referred to as he. We see passages of scripture that equate angels to stars. Rev 1:20 As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
Job 38:7 when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? This passage will become important as we look further into chapter 9

And also in Revelation 12:4 - His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it.
It is by this passage in Revelation that we get the belief that one third of the Angels fell with Satan.
So, here in verse 1, we can safely say that the “star” that falls and is given a key is an angel
    II. V. 2-10 – The bottomless pit is opened and these creatures are released that are given the power to torment all those who are not sealed by God unto salvation. By the description John gives, we can imagine a grotesque creature, never before seen by human eyes, with amazing powers to inflict great pain and torment on man. These creatures may very well be biological or spiritual by nature, but there is a third possibility – what if these are machines of war, such as attack helicopters equipped with chemical weapons?
    John describes them as both locusts and horses dressed for war, which could be the general shape of an attack chopper.
    Crowns of gold could either be light reflecting off the windshield or the top part of the rotors.
    Human faces could easily be explained by the pilot being visible through the windshield.
    Hair like a woman could be the best way John could describe the spinning rotors.
Teeth like a lion could be the description of shark teeth traditionally painted on aircraft during wartime.
Breastplates of iron could easily be described by the armor on an attack helicopter.
Sound of wings like the sound on many ...horses rushing into battle would be a very apt description of the sound of a helicopter in flight.

Again, this may very well be an actual living creature of some kind, but given the inability of John to understand modern weapons of war, it is very likely that this is a description of attack helicopters flying into battle with chemical weapons.

This event has supernatural components either way as those sealed by God are immune to the effects of the attack and the leader over the attack is not an earthly commander.

  1. V. 11 – the leader over this army is “the angel of the bottomless pit”, named Abaddon or Apollyon. We may have a clue as to who this angel is in Genesis 6 and Leviticus 16.
    A. Gen 6:2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Gen 6:4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.
This is a very controversial passage of scripture. Taken literally, we know that every time the term “sons of God” bane Elohim(Hebrew) is used in scripture it refers to angels. Remember Job 38:7 that we looked at earlier, the passage referred to stars and sons of God(bane Elohim) throughout scripture, the term sons of God always refers to angels.

In Leviticus 16, we are introduced to a character named Azazel. Leviticus 16:7-10 Then he shall take the two goats and set them before the LORD at the entrance of the tent of meeting. And Aaron shall cast lots over the two goats, one lot for the LORD and the other lot for Azazel. And Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot fell for the LORD and use it as a sin offering, but the goat on which the lot fell for Azazel shall be presented alive before the LORD to make atonement over it, that it may be sent away into the wilderness to Azazel.

According to the book of Enoch, Azazel is the angel who led other angels into sin by mating with human women, creating giants on the earth. According to the book of Enoch, Azazel is chained and dangling over a bottomless pit awaiting judgment. Both Peter and Jude quote from the book of Enoch, referencing angels held in chains in a bottomless pit. 2 Peter 2:4aFor if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into Tartaros and committed them to chains of deepest darkness to be kept until the judgment; Tartarous is according to Wikipedia:Tartarus(/ˈtɑːrtərəs/, TAR-tər-əs; Greek: Τάρταρος Tartaros), in ancient Greek mythology, is the deep abyss that is used as a dungeon of torment and suffering for the wicked and as the prison for the Titans.

Jude 6 And the angels who did not keep their own position, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains in deepest darkness for the judgment of the great day.

Apollyon and Abaddon may very well be referring to Azazel, being released to bring great warfare on man. I encourage you to research this for yourself before you just dismiss it and I will also post more information on the website for further study.

We cannot say for sure if this angel has any connection to Genesis 6 or Leviticus 16, but there are surely some similarities that bear looking into.

Relates Azazel to Abaddon, which means destroyer) Seemingly unrelated to any of this is CERN's Particle Accelerator.  According to CERN's own website, subatomic particles called Gravitons seem to enter and exit our universe, suggesting multi-dimentionalism.  CERN has postulated that these particles are entering a dimension different from the 4 dimensions of time and space that we experience. Sergio Bertolucci, director of Research and Scientific Computing at CERN, has stated that a door may open and we may send something in and something may come out.  CERN has created an opera called 
Symmetry a trailer may be seen HERE if you watch the video, you will notice the creepy and occultic imagery.  Who or what is CERN attempting to contact?  Why is a giant statue of Nataraja outside of CERN's headquatrters?  According to Wikipedia, "Nataraja (Tamil:"நடராசர்" or Kooththan"கூத்தன்:), The Lord (or King) of Dance), is a depiction of the Hindu God Shiva as the cosmic dancer who performs his divine dance to destroy a weary universe and make preparations for the god Brahma to start the process of creation." -Wikipedia
The video linked above shows CERN workers doing the dance of Shiva.  If CERN is strictly a scientific venture, why would there be such links to spiritism?  Who or what is CERN attempting to contact, and for what purpose?

IV. V. 12-15 – The Sixth Trumpet – 4 angels who have been bound at the Euphrates River are released to kill a third of mankind.

  1. V. 16-19 – Here we see these angels leading a 200 million man army into battle with some very strange creatures. This army, mounted on what may very well be machines of war, will kill one third of the people left alive on earth up to this point.

We see the purpose of this attack in the next two verses

VI. V. 20-21 – The purpose is to cause the people of earth to repent, yet they do not. Notice the very specific sins mentioned in verse 21 – murder, sorcery, sexual immorality and theft. These are the very things that Jesus said came from within a man and made him unclean: Mat 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
Mat 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
Mat 15:20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

These things are what man harbors in his heart, and without the restraint of faith, these are what will manifest themselves as we can see with the shape of the world around us.  


Chapters 10-11:1-2

  1. 10:1-4 – We have studied the 7 seals and 6 of the 7 trumpets of the Tribulation. The first 4 trumpets brought great upheaval to earth, but it was announced that the next 3 trumpets would be far worse. We saw 2 of those trumpets in Chapter 9 and with them descriptions of either hideous creatures that we cannot even fathom or modern weapons of war. With the 6th trumpet 1/3 of mankind was killed on the earth. Now, another angel appears and he announces the coming of the 7th trumpet.
Down comes what must be a very large being of light clothed in a cloud and rainbow. His legs are like pillars of fire and his face is like the sun. As he lands, he stands with one foot on land and one foot on the sea and speaks like a roaring lion. 7 thunders sound with a message, but John is forbidden to write the message he has heard from the 7 thunders.

  1. V. 5-7 – It is revealed to John that when the trumpet sounds, the mystery of God would be fulfilled. I believe that this is the revelation of Jesus Christ to the nation of Israel. We will see in the next chapter that 2 witnesses will arrive in Jerusalem and preach the Gospel, preparing Israel for the return of Christ.
  2. V. 8-11 – the angel which came down from heaven has a scroll and John is instructed to eat the scroll. It is sweet in his mouth but bitter in his stomach. John is then commanded that he would have to continue prophesying. We see a similar situation in Ezekiel 3:3 - And he said to me, "Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it." Then I ate it, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey.
The word of God is sweet to the forgiven, but to the one for whom the message of repentance is given, it is bitter. Ezekiel was charged with delivering a message of condemnation to Israel and the scroll that John ate seems to have the same type of message as he is charged with prophesying about many peoples, nations, languages and kings. John was not delivering a message of peace and safety, but a message of impending doom for those who are outside the will of God.

Chapter 11
  1. V.1-2 – now we are getting to the half way point of the Tribulation. Things will move fast from this point and we will look at some events of this time that are not recorded in Revelation, but are found in other portions of scripture. We are now introduced to the 3rd Temple. Solomon built the first Temple, which was destroyed by the Babylonians. About 70 years later, Cyrus, king of Persia, prompted by a prophecy from Isaiah, sends Ezra, Zerubbabel, and Jeshua back to Israel to rebuild the Temple. The second Temple is so basic and simple, those who were alive at the time of the original Temple weep. This Temple was destroyed by Rome in 70 AD and no Jewish Temple has existed since.

Some interesting things we see in these 2 verses. For the first time in over 2000 years, a Jewish Temple exists. Currently, the Temple mount is controlled by Islam. The Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque stand on the Temple Mount and Jews are not allowed in the area.

Something, between now and this time in Revelation must take place in order for a third Jewish Temple to be erected on the Temple Mount. It may very well be the event we read about in Daniel 9:27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.” It is well established that the “he” and the “desolator” in this passage is the Anti-Christ. Only an internationally enforced agreement or treaty of some kind would force the Islamic controlled Temple Mount to allow a Jewish Temple to exist.

The measurement of the Temple is 42 months, or 3.5 years. We also see that the outer court is not to be measured as it is given to the Gentiles. We can understand that it will be under Islamic control. Tradition tells us that the Dome of the Rock stands where the original Temple once stood, but, evidence exists that suggests the Temple was originally south of the Dome of the Rock. If that is the case, the Temple and the Dome of the Rock can co-exist on the Temple Mount making the Dome of the Rock the outer court that John is told to not measure.


The Time frame also tells us that we are at the midpoint of the Tribulation and it probably took about 3.5 years to build the third Temple. Now the Temple is built, but the time for Gentile trampling will be 3.5 years.

What is not recorded in this text, but spoken of by Daniel, Paul and Jesus is the Abomination of Desolation. Daniel 11:31 "And forces shall stand on his part, and they shall profane the sanctuary, even the fortress, and shall take away the continual burnt-offering, and they shall set up the abomination that maketh desolate."
Daniel 12:11And from the time that the continual burnt-offering shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand and two hundred and ninety days." Mark 13:14 "But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where it ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains."
we do not see this event take place in Revelation, but in the coming chapters, we will see the results of this event. In a nutshell, the Anti-Christ will enter the newly built Temple and declare himself God. When Israel rejects this claim, he will turn his wrath against Israel, which we will see in the next chapter. 2Thessalonians 2:3-4 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.
Apparently, there will be a time when Israel is able to re-establish the elements of Temple Worship and sacrifice.
What needs to happen first – The Temple Institute in Israel has crafted all the furniture and utensils needed for Temple worship. Priests have are being trained and the priestly garments have been made. Two things remain, the Temple, itself, to be rebuilt and the locating of a red heifer. A red heifer is required Numbers 19:3-4&9 And you shall give it to Eleazar the priest, and it shall be taken outside the camp and slaughtered before him. And Eleazar the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger, and sprinkle some of its blood toward the front of the tent of meeting seven times. And a man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and deposit them outside the camp in a clean place. And they shall be kept for the water for impurity for the congregation of the people of Israel; it is a sin offering. The heifer is required for purification. The required animal is a genetic anomaly, the Temple Institute believed it had a candidate in 1997 and again in 2002, but both proved to have blemish. They claim to have a current third candidate and are also in the process of creating a genetically modified cow that meets the criteria. The only major obstacle to the third Temple is Islamic insistence that it not be built.

As in all things, in God's time this will take place and the right cow will be found and Israel will re-institute Temple worship . As these events take place, two very interesting men show up in Israel and cause quite a stir. We will look at these guys next week and attempt to identify them.

Revelation 11:3-

  1. V. 3 – We are now introduced to the two witnesses of the Tribulation. It appears that these two men show up about the same time the Temple is established. Their ministry will extend for almost 3.5 years, so presumably, they will be key players in the second half of the Tribulation.
Based on the sackcloth worn by these men, we see that their's is a message of repentance. Here is just one of over 40 verses where sackcloth is indicative of mourning and repentance: 1 Chronicles_21:16 And David lifted his eyes and saw the angel of the LORD standing between earth and heaven, and in his hand a drawn sword stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.

Can we know the identity of these two? History and scholars have offered three names as primary candidates. Obviously, only two can be correct, and as the John does not reveal the names, we can only deduce through scripture. The tree names are Enoch, Moses, and Elijah. Elijah is the most obvious choice, as we will see, so we must decide who the other witness might be, Moses or Enoch. First Elijah – We know that Elijah had an incredible ministry in Israel and Elijah is one of only two people who never died. Elijah was taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire. Malachi 4:5-6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” The prophet Malachi told the Israelites that Elijah would return before Messiah, to prepare the way. Evey year, Seders around the world take a moment to look for Elijah and have a place at the table for him, in case he arrives. There is very little argument that one of these witnesses is Elijah.
Enoch comes into play as he is the other person who is recorded to not have died in scripture. Enoch is of the line of Seth to Noah and he was “taken up” prior to the flood in a preview of the Rapture. Genesis_5:24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him. Enoch come into play because, as we will see, these two witnesses will be killed and Hebrews 9:27 tells us “It is appointed unto a man, once to die, and then judgment.”
This passage deals with reincarnation, and is not a proof that Enoch returns. Lazarus and others obviously have died twice, having been raised from the dead by Jesus. There is no hint or mention of Enoch returning to preach found anywhere in scripture. We can agree that Enoch is probably not one of the two witnesses.

When John the Baptist was preaching he was asked specifically if he was Elijah or the Prophet – a reference to the prophet Moses promised would come one day. So here we see a reference to Elijah and Moses(Moses more cryptically).
When Jesus shared the account of Lazarus and the rich man, the rich man was told, Luk 16:29-31 But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.' And he said, 'No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'" Here we see the testimony of Moses and the prophets(represented by Elijah) as being sufficient for repentance.
At the Transfiguration of Christ, we see Moses and Elijah: Luke 9:29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. As Moses and Elijah prepare Jesus for His departure, it is not a great leap to deduce that they will also prepare Israel for His return.

  1. V.4-6 – Here we see that these witnesses are supernaturally protected and exhibit very similar characteristics of Moses and Elijah in terms of supernatural ability.
  1. V. 7-8 – Here we see mention of a player whom we are not introduced to until Chapter 13. This chapter encompasses the final 3.5 years of the Tribulation. The beast here is the Ant-Christ. The Ant-Christ will overcome and kill them in Jerusalem. Notice the description of sin and debauchery that is attributed to Jerusalem with the names Sodom and Egypt.
  1. V. 9-10 – So powerful was the ministry of the witnesses, the whole world will rejoice at their death. Imagine the impact these men will have and the magnitude of the Gospel message that will have gone out due to their ministry. Also, notice how everyone around the world will be able to see the bodies lying in the street. Only through modern tech could such a thing be possible. Satellite television and internet make such a thing possible. More evidence that these events are future and not something that took place at the destruction of the second Temple in 70 AD as some postulate.
  1. V.11-14 – After 3.5 days, the witnesses raise from the dead and in full sight of all, rise up to heaven. Jerusalem is hit with a massive earthquake that kills 7000 but notice that the rest of the city cries out to God, giving Him glory. I believe that this is the turning point for Israel which ushers in the return of Christ, which is encapsulated in the next few verses through Chapter 14. The next few chapters seem to encompass the rest of the Tribulation and then in Chapter 15, we pick up the chronological narrative.
  2. V.15-19 – I believe that these verses are actually setting us up for the events about to take place in chapter 19. Notice the events listed here – Christ has taken His great power, the time for the dead to be judged, the time for servants to be rewarded – Matthew 25, and the destruction of the destroyers of the earth. These are all events that will take place when Christ actually returns. We are getting a preview or glimpse of coming chapters.

Also, notable, is the heavens open to reveal the Ark of His covenant. This is the real Ark, for which the Ark Moses built was a replica. Remember, the Temple on earth was a replica of the Throne room of God.  


Chapter 12
We now come to one of the most difficult to understand passages in scripture. The temptation to allegorize this passage is great, but the Bible is not an allegory and must be taken literally. John describes events that make no sense to the natural mind and but can be understood in light of history and part of this is a prophecy that can only be understood with modern technology. Daniel_12:4 But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase."
  1. V. 1-6 – The woman is Israel and the 12 stars represent the 12 tribes of Israel. The child that is born is Christ and the dragon is Satan. This much is pretty easy to deduce from the passage. That is the easy part. These verses seem to represent an undetermined amount of time leading up to the midpoint of the Tribulation.
A. Verse one is actually an astronomical sign. A great sign appeared in heaven – this is actually an astronomical event that will take place for the only time in history on September 23 2017. It is only after computer modeling was invented that we could even know that this astronomical sign would take place that at all, which puts us in the mind of Daniel's commandment to seal up a particular prophecy until the tine of the end. Given that it was Daniel's influence over the Magi that most likely led to them knowing the time of the Messiah's birth, it gives us a great deal of food for thought. The sign that takes place is the sun moves into the house of Virgo, the new moon will be situated directly below Virgo in the night sky and 9 stars of the constellation Leo along with 3 planets will appear above the constellation Virgo to give us 12 crowns.
Let me be absolutely clear, I am not predicting the rapture to take place on September 23 2017, nor am I making any particular prediction about the time of the rapture. I am simply pointing out the God has given us a sign post to watch for, just as He gave a sign to the Magi who arrived at Jesus' house bearing gifts. I encourage you to investigate the correlation of the signs of the Zodiak or Mazzoreth, as it is called in the book of Job and the Gospel message and you will be amazed to find that God detailed the entire Gospel message in the heavens. Psalm 19:1 – The heavens declare the glory of God and the sky above proclaims His handiwork
B. v.2-6 – Astronomically we will see this play out in the heavens, but this also represents real events. The dragon represents Satan and this passage is where we get the belief that Satan took 1/3 of the angels with him in his rebellion.
We also identify the child as Jesus as He is the one who will rule the nations. This may also be an allusion to the Body of Christ being raptured as we see the Greek word harpozo used, the same word used in 1 Thessalonians in reference to the rapture: 1Thessalonians 4:16 -17 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Harpazo denotes a snatching away, almost in a violent sense. It is sometime after the Harpazo that the woman, Israel, flees into the wilderness for the remaining 3.5 years of the Tribulation.
II. V7-11 – This is a description of a real battle that will take place between the Archangel Michael and Satan. Satan is defeated and thrown out of heaven once and for all. Prior to this, we see Satan entering heaven at will and conversing with God: Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.
Job 1:7 The LORD said to Satan, "From where have you come?" Satan answered the LORD and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it."
Here we see Satan banned from heaven for good amidst great rejoicing No longer will Satan have the power to accuse God's people.

III. V. 12-17 – the inhabitants of heaven are rejoicing as Satan no longer has access but the earth is now in trouble. Satan first sets his eyes to attack Israel. I believe this is the abomination of desolation of which Jesus warned Israel to flee from. And as Satan attempts to pour out his wrath upon Israel, God supernaturally protects her. Because Satan cannot destroy Israel, he turns his attention to those who have come to Christ during this time. We find this compelling verse in the midst of references to the Tribulation in Psalms – Psalm 60:4-5 – You have set up a banner for those who fear you, that they may flee to it from the bow, that your beloved ones may be delivered, give salvation by your right hand and answer us. This passage is pregnant with meaning. Remember that the rider on the white horse, identified as the Anti-Christ, carries a bow. Jesus tells His disciples that any one in Jerusalem for the abomination of desolation must flee, and we wee God helping Israel flee to a place designed to protect her from Satan. Notice that as they are in hiding, they call out for salvation from God's right hand. Who sits at the right hand of the Father, Jesus. Israel is protected from Anti-Christ, and cries out to Jesus for salvation and it is all recorded for us in the book of Psalms!


Chapter 13 – The Anti-christ

We are now going to get a good look at the first horseman, the rider on the white horse.
  1. V. 1-2 – Rising out of the sea denotes he is human and comes out of the sea of humanity. Daniel_9:26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. This passage refers to Rome destroying Jerusalem in 70 AD. From this passage, we can know that the Anti-Christ comes out of the Roman empire described in Nebuchadnezzar's dream in Daniel 2 in which God gave the king a vision of all the major kingdom's of the earth. In the vision, Nebuchadnezzar saw Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. Rome is divided into 2 regions and depicted in the last days as a very uncohesive union described as iron mixed with clay. When Daniel refers to the people of the prince who would come, we know that the people were the Roman empire and the prince who would come is Anti-Christ so simple deduction leads us to know that the Anti-Christ will come out of what was once the Roman empire. This does not mean he will be necessarily European, as Constantinople was in the region of modern day Turkey and very much part of the Roman Empire. More on this later.
We see the beat has great political authority due to the heads crowns and horns. The heads represent nations, the horns represent power and the crowns represent rulership and he has his authority from Satan himself, in fact, many scholars believe that Satan actually indwells the Anti-Christ for the last half of the tribulation. The leopard, bear lion, and dragon all make reference to the previous empires named by Daniel and I encourage you to read through Daniel 7 and see these 4 beasts and what they represent. This leads us to believe that the anti-christ will have descendancy from all 4 empires.

  1. V.3-10 – We know that the Anti-Christ will suffer a mortal wound and have a resurrection of some kind. It is believed that Satan, having been thrown to earth, indwells the body of the Ant-Christ, mimicking the resurrection of Christ. He will at this time begin to make pronouncements against God and all things holy. I imagine the lie that God does not exist is no longer viable, so Satan will blatantly attack the nature and character of God – the same thing he did in the garden. The Anti-Christ will establish world dominion and attack the saints, God's people, and he will have victory over God's people. These are the offspring of Israel mentioned in the previous chapter. The saints are called to persevere through this great persecution.

  1. V.11-15 – We are now introduced to the false prophet. This false prophet will be a religious figure who has power similar to the two witnesses and will direct worship to the Anti-Christ. The false prophet will promote an image of the beast that will have the power to kill. If you have seen the ad for JIBO, you will see how this technology is already in development. Interestingly, the Latin for the image of the beast shall be slain is imaginem bestiae occidantur could JIBO be an acronym for John's Image of the Beast kills unbelievers (occidantur)?
                                  Is this the technology of the image of the Beast?

  1. V. 16-18 – This is the infamous mark of the Beast. The false prophet will cause all mankind to have this mark placed on him for economic purposes. This will accomplish 2 things – 1. control over a worldwide economy 2. the damnation of every person who allows this mark to be put on them. We do not know what the mark will be, it has been postulated as a tattoo, a barcode, or a microchip. It may be a combination of all three.

Interesting parallels to the Islamic Messiah and the Anti-Christ:
    Mahdi or 12th Imam – He will set up a New World Order and destroy all the enemies of Islam – he will establish his throne on the Temple Mount and attack Israel to slaughter all Jews – according to Islam, he will come riding on a white horse ala Revelation 6:2 and he will rule for 7 years.
Issa – Islamic Jesus will come, pray to the Mahdi, acknowledge that the Mahdi is Lord and make a trip to Mecca. Issa will then tell his followers (christians) that Allah is the one true god and that Mahdi is to be worshiped and that Islam is the one true religion. And he will kill Dajjal

Dajjal – the great deceiver who comes to earth on a mule and performs false miracles to lead people away from Allah. Dajjal will claim to be the the Messiah and then he will claim to be God

John MacArthur explains this far better than I can so here is his message on this topic

You can see that Islam has taken the Biblical Anti-Christ, False Prophet and Messiah and completely reversed the roles of each one calling good evil and evil good. Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! 


Chapter 14 continues in what I refer to as a parenthesis in the narrative. We see chronology until we get to Chapter 10 and we do not pick up chronology until chapter 15. Chapters 10-14 give an overview of events taking place in the latter half of the tribulation. As we go into this passage, we must keep in mind that John is viewing these events from a spiritual perspective and many of the things he sees and describes will not be seen or perceived by the people on earth as John sees them. This is important to keep in mind as we get into verse 1 of chapter 14

  1. V. 1-5 – We see the redemption of the 144,000 Jews who were sealed by God back in chapter 7. In verse 1 it says John saw the Lamb on Mt. Zion with the 144,000. We know that when Christ returns, physically, it will be a worldwide event and Mt. Zion will actually split in two. John is seeing this rapture of the 144,000 from a spiritual perspective. Remember, Jesus is in the Throne room, but here we are told He is on Mt. Zion with the chosen. John sees this from a spiritual perspective and I do not believe this will be something that will be perceived by mankind. Jesus is rapturing this group as He raptured the church back in chapter 4. In verse 2-3 we see clearly that the 144,000 are in heaven singing a new song that only they could know.
      A. v4 refers to them as firstfruits, this could suggest that this event will take place on a specific date, the feast of firstfruits and it also is a prelude to the fact that God will redeem His people at His second coming. Last chapter we are told that the saints will be persecuted and overcome, this passage promises redemption of the saints. Though they are overcome physically, they will be glorified spiritually.
      B. v.4-5 also describes the commitment these 144,000 made to God in purity and obedience.

  1. V.6-7 – Lest we believe god has left the people of earth without testimony, after the 144,000 are removed, an angel actually flies around the earth proclaiming the Gospel. Every person on earth will have had a supernatural experience in hearing the Gospel. It is no wonder that the Ant-Christ will resort to attacking the person and nature of God rather than denying His existence, as we saw in the previous chapter. Those who take the mark of the beast will have had every opportunity to know the truth and to reject Satan. Those with the mark will not have been tricked.
  2. V. 18 alludes to the events we will see in chapters 17-18 with the destruction of Babylon. We will look at the different views of what Babylon is and where it is located.
  3. V.9-11 - this is a warning against accepting the mark of the beast, which we saw in the previous chapter. Those who receive it cannot be redeemed and they have been warned by an angel proclaiming the truth.
  4. V.12-13 is an encouragement to the believers who are persecuted and attacked by the beast, as was described in the precious chapter. Death will actually be a blessing to those who serve God at this point, that is how terrible the persecution will be for them. Remember, the true believer will be demonstrating his faith by caring for the poor and persecuted. Death will be a rest from work and a rest from persecution. The Apostle Paul recognized the value of death for the persectued believer as he sat in a Roman prison and declared Philippians_1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Paul understood that he lived to serve God and to do His work but death would actually be beneficial as He would be in the presence of God and resting from his labors.
  5. V.14-20 – Here is a preview of Armageddon, which we will look at more closely in chapter 19. Psalm 18 also gives us a pretty good description of these events: Psalm 18:3-19 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire. Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me. 

Chapter 15 - Prelude to the Seven Plagues

We now come to the return of Chronology. The last 5 chapters were parenthetical in nature, meaning they took a break from the chronology of events and went on to explain events that would be taking place over the last 3.5 years of the tribulation period. We were introduced to the 2 witnesses who would preach from Jerusalem and would be killed, resurrected and ascended toward the end of the tribulation. We saw the rapture of the 144,000 Jews and an angel proclaiming the Gospel to the whole world. We saw the rise of the Anti-Christ and his persecution of Israel and other tribulation saints, and we saw a glimpse into his destruction. The opening verses of chapter 15 return us to the narrative we left at the end of chapter 9. We are now in the second half of the Tribulation. Many of the things we studied in the past 5 verses are yet to take place but will be part of the events unfolding in the next 5 chapters.

  1. V.1 – John's view shifts from events on earth to events in heaven, once again. He sees7 angels who have the 7 plagues that will complete the wrath of God, being poured out on mankind. Remember, at this point, Satan is reigning on earth and has established his image and mark, people will knowingly and willingly receive the mark of the beast and worship his image. God's wrath will not be something unwarranted but will be poured out on those who have deliberately rebelled against Him. This will be the period of time in which Jesus spoke in Matthew 24 - Matthew 24:9-22 "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. "So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),\ then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house,and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
  2. V. 2-4 – here we see a the sea of glass which we saw in chapter 4. Rev 4:6 and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind:
    This sea of glass is before the throne of God and this time we see a new group of people standing before God, “those who had conquered the beast”. This is a very interesting description, as we were told in chapter 12 and 13 that the Anti-Christ would attack and overcome the saints: Rev 12:17 Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea. Rev 13:7 Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, Yet, here, in chapter 15, we are told that those who stand on the sea of glass are those who have overcome the beast, his image and mark. I submit to you that what the world sees as defeat is victory in Christ.
    These are killed for their faith, yet are considered victors in the eyes of God. The Apostle Paul recognized this truth as he wrote to the Philippian church: Philippians 1:21-23 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better We are not to fear death as believers, we are to see death as the final victory over sin and the flesh 1Corinthians 15:53 -55 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?"
The martyrs of the tribulation will sing the song of Moses. T here are 3 passages which record songs of Moses, but the only one that fits this group is the one found in Deuteronomy 32 : Deuteronomy 32:43 “Rejoice with him, O heavens;bow down to him, all gods,for he avenges the blood of his children and takes vengeance on his adversaries. He repays those who hate him and cleanses his people’s land.”Moses came and recited all the words of this song in the hearing of the people, he and Joshua the son of Nun.
As these sing the song of Moses, they also look to the day that will come when Christ returns to earth, establishes His throne in Jerusalem and all the nations of the earth come to Him and worship. Zechariah 14:16-17 Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths. And if any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them.
  1. V. 5-8 – The true temple and sanctuary, which is God's throne room, is opened and the an angel gives the 7 angels from verse 1, 7 bowls or vials, depending on your translation. These 7 bowls of judgment will be what Jesus was talking about in chapter 24 of Matthew. This will be an unprecedented time of turmoil and death. So terrible is God's wrath and judgment on mankind, that no one may enter His presence until this awesome display on His power and wrath is completed. In the next chapter we will see the pouring out of these judgments and then Chapters 17 and 18 will once again take a break and describe a specific event that will have taken place during the latter part of the last 3.5 years. Next week, we will look at the bowl judgments.


Revelation 16 – Seven bowls of God's wrath
In the last chapter we saw the prelude to what is about to take place. Seven angels holding the seven last plagues are about to pour out God's final wrath on earth. 15:1 tells us God's wrath will be completed by the pouring out of these seven plagues. 15:8 revealed these plagues to be so horrific and so final that no one is able to enter into God's presence while they are being poured out. These plagues are poured out on the enemies of God and we will see that there is no repentance, only anger and blasphemy toward God.

  1. V1-2 – the first plague is a physical attack on those who have taken the mark and is pretty self explanatory
  2. V. 3 – Now we see the sea and everything in it afflicted. In chapter 8 we see one third of the sea turned to blood and one third of the living creatures in it killed. Here, the blood and death is total. Remember, the mark was economic as well as religious. Imagine the impact on the economy this would have when all fishing is ended by God. Remember, the earth has undergone great ecological destruction, one third of agriculture has been destroyed. This is a direct hit on the anti-christ's ability to feed his followers\
  3. V.4-7 – Now we see the fresh water being destroyed and the angel reveals why this has happened – so many of God's people had been slain and so much of their blood had been spilled, God is giving the anti-christ and his people blood to drink
    Isa 51:21-23 Therefore hear this, you who are afflicted, who are drunk, but not with wine: Thus says your Lord, the LORD, your God who pleads the cause of his people: "Behold, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering; the bowl of my wrath you shall drink no more; and I will put it into the hand of your tormentors, who have said to you, 'Bow down, that we may pass over'; and you have made your back like the ground and like the street for them to pass over." .
    Remember, those who have taken the mark have basically trusted in the anti-christ to protect them and care for them in return for worship. God is taking away his ability to provide for his people who are worshiping him as god. These people have irrevocably entered into a religious covenant with a false god who cannot make good on his end of the bargain.
  4. V.8-9 – Now the sun is affected and the very thing that was designed by the Creator to sustain life is destroying it because dominion over creation has temporarily been give over to Satan, by demand of the creation. Notice the response – the people curse God for exercising authority over His own creation. These people acknowledge God but only to curse Him. There is no sense of responsibility as mankind continues to believe his path is correct.

  1. V. 10-11 – as man curses God and the sun God plunges them into darkness. This seems to be a regional curse that affects the anti-christ's base of operations. Man's response is to continue cursing God and following Satan.
  2. V. 12 – Here we see the great river Euphrates dry up to allow a path for the armies of the east to march towards the promised land. Ironically, God promised Abraham the land between the Nile and Euphrates. Israel only got the land just beyond the Jordan, never having received from God the fullness of the Abrahmic Covenant: Genesis 15:18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, "To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, This promise will be fulfilled at the second coming. Now, the Euphrates is dried up and the kings of the East are able to join forces with the anti-christ in his attack against Israel. The ant-christ's kingdom is in disarray due to the plagues. The kings of the East are most likely China and it's allies in the Orient
Interestingly, for the past year, there have been numerous articles on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers drying up. Partially from natural causes and partially from dams and levees. ISIS has been actively drying up the river in southern Iraq, which has caused an increase in snake attacks due to the loss of natural habitat from the Euphrates drying up.

    1. V13-16 – Now Satan, the ant-christ and the false prophet send out demonic spirits to call all the nations aligned with them to join in battle against Israel in the Meggiddo Valley. Jesus takes this time to remind His people that He will be coming for them and that they are to hold fast. I believe that at this point Israel has mad a confession of faith in Jesus as Messiah, and He is reassuring them that they will be saved.
    2. V. 17-21 – the final bowl is poured out and is poured out on the air because the air is the realm of Satan. Ephesians 2:1-2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— Because Satan is the prince of the power of the air, God's final act of wrath is directed specifically at Satan and his real. Then the earth is upheaved. Mountains are destroyed, islands are flooded away and 100 pound hailstones fall on and crush people. The response from the people is a continued cursing of God. Wrath does not bring repentance, wrath is the result of a refusal to repent. Grace brings repentance. We preach wrath only that we can make a case for grace.
The cities of the nations are crushed and Babylon is specifically mentioned. The next two chapters will deal with Babylon and it's destruction.  


Chapters 17 & 18
Here, in the next two chapters, we will study the religious system of the Anti-Christ and it's destruction. Remember, there is a false religion that directs all worship to Satan and the Anti-Christ. This religious system originated in the time of Nimrod at the tower of Babel. Every pagan religious system finds it's roots at the tower of Babel and the sun god worship established by Nimrod and his predecessors. Today, this religious system is practiced by one of the largest religious groups on earth, whose current leader is leading them further and further away from Biblical truth.

  1. V. 1-6 –
    A. There is a major clue in the description that lead us to understand the prostitute is a religious system.
prostitute/sexual immorality – Jeremiah 2:20 "Long ago you broke off your yoke and tore off your bonds; you said, 'I will not serve you!' Indeed, on every high hill and under every spreading tree\ you lay down as a prostitute." Matthew 16:4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
Whenever we see these terms used in scriptures it refers to a group that claims to follow God, yet engages in idol worship. This leads us to believe that the woman on the beast is a religious system that claims affiliation with Biblical worship. Never do we see God refer to outright paganism as adultery or prostitution. 2 Kings_16:3 but he walked in the way of the kings of Israel. He even burned his son as an offering, according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel. When referring to the religion of the nations, God refers to them as despicable practices, but when Israel participated in these practices, it was called adultery and prostitution.
B. John is astonished at the fact that this woman is drunk with the blood of the martyrs. Would he have been astonished had this been an obviously pagan or evil entity?

  1. V. 7-9 – this woman is associated with the anti-christ and his religious system and is seen seated on it.
  2. V. 10-11 – seven world empires – Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, Rome II. Satan himself becomes the 8th king and his end is hell.
  3. V. 12-14 – there will be 10 kings who work together with and for the Anti-Christ deferring to his leadership and these 10 kings will join in the attack against Israel and ultimately be destroyed by Christ upon His return
  4. V. 15-17 – at some point, the nations that this religious system thinks it rules over will overthrow the woman and destroy her. I believe that will be the point where the worship of the beast and the mark will be employed. When the Ant-Christ no longer needs a religious system to disguise his intent, he will destroy it and all worship will be directed to him.
  5. Chapter 18:1-3 – Now, the very land where this false religion has it's headquaters is destroyed and the place becomes worthless for human habitation and becomes a home for evil spirits.
  6. V. 4 – another clue that this religious system has some correlation to the God of the Bible as there are some of God's people associated with it.
  7. V. 5-8 – due to the spiritual nature of her sins, the woman's destruction will be swift and powerful. By the nature of the destruction, it is evident that God is extremely displeased with the nature of sin committed by the woman
  8. V.9-24 – there will be a great economic upheaval with the loss of the false religion which may open the door to the mark of the beast economic system. Governments and nations will be adversely affected by the destruction. The false religious system is so evil it is credited with killing prophets, saints and all who have been slain on the earth.
We must be careful to test the spirits 1John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. This religious system will appear to be Biblical and there will be some of God's people actually associated with it prior to it's destruction. Today, there are many religious organizations that pretend to be Christian and are destructive. We must be careful that what we believe and what we practice lines up with scripture.


Revelation 19 – the return of Christ
We finally come to the end of the 70th Week of Daniel. We will see the fulfillment of Messianic prophecy, we will see the public presentation of the Bride of Christ, and the undoing of Satan and his minions, including the anti-christ and false prophet.

  1. V. 1-5 – Great rejoicing takes place in heaven over the destruction of the false religion that deceived so much of the world and killed so many of God's true followers.
  2. V. 6-8 – along with the King of kings, returning to take His throne, comes the Bride, having been adorned in works of righteousness at the Bema seat while earth received wrath and judgment form God and Israel was refined unto repentance.
1 Corinthians 3:12-15 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. The consummation of the marriage between Jesus and His church will have taken place for one “week” in heaven, in the form of the testing of our works in fire. What comes out as righteousness will be what we are clothed in.

In ancient Israel the marriage feast was the last step in a long process that was meant to reveal God's plan for His church.
  1. Betrothal – the period when the Bride is committed to the groom, we can see that as the time of salvation. We belong to Christ but are not yet living with Him in the place He has gone to prepare for us.
  2. Marriage – the Groom goes to the brides home and brings her home to His Father's house to consummate the wedding in a wedding chamber where the Bride is tested for purity. This was a 7 day seclusion in which the Groom and His bride remained in the marriage chamber.
  3. Marriage Feast – at the end of the the 7 days, the bride having been found pure on the first night, both bride and Groom exit the wedding chamber and engage in a very public celebration called the Marriage Feast or Supper.
We see this scenario enacted in the church by Christ calling His church home in the Rapture, 7 years, (the 70th Week of Daniel) where the church stands before the Bema seat of Christ and all works are tested and rewarded accordingly. At the end of the testing period, the Groom is ready to publicly present His bride, the church, adorned in white to signify purity.

  1. V. 9 – now for the guests of the marriage feast: In Matthew 22 Jesus told a parable about a marriage feast where those who are unworthy are not permitted to enter into the feast. The process Christ employs to determine who can come into the marriage feast is found in Matthew 25 where Jesus separates those who have come through the Tribulation without taking the Mark and determines their faith by the way they behaved.
  2. V.10-16 – This is the most glorious event in human history, the coming of the King of glory to destroy the enemies of His people and establish a blessed kingdom on Earth of which there will be no end.
    A. His name is the Word of God – John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
    B. He is the King of Kings - Jeremiah 33:16 - 17 In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: 'The LORD is our righteousness.' "For thus says the LORD: David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel,
This passage is a rebuke to King Zedekiah whose name is translated righteousness of God. The point is that one day God Himself will rule over Israel on the throne of David.

    1. He will rescue and rule Israel – Zechariah 12:10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.
      Isaiah 11:12 He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
      Psalm 48:1-8 A Song. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah. Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised in the city of our God! His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the great King. Within her citadels God has made himself known as a fortress. For behold, the kings assembled; they came on together. As soon as they saw it, they were astounded; they were in panic; they took to flight. Trembling took hold of them there, anguish as of a woman in labor. By the east wind you shattered the ships of Tarshish. As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God, which God will establish forever. Selah.
      This passage leads us right into the last part of Revelation 19
      V. V. 17-21 – This is a very one sided battle. Christ returns in all His glory and destroys the armies that are arrayed against Israel and the destruction and death is such that the carrion birds are called to gorge themselves on the flesh of the dead. Notice that the Ant-Christ and the false prophet are not killed but thrown alive into hell. These are the first inhabitants of hell, as best we can tell. These two do not even stand in judgment but are cast into eternal
       torment, so evil and so intentional are there actions against God.

This is the battle of Armageddon which ushers in the 1000 year reign of Christ. 


Revelation 20:1-5 – 1000 year reign of Christ and fulfillment of God's promises to Israel
Now we will be studying the fulfillment of all God's promises that were made to Abraham concerning the land and to David concerning the throne. Abraham was promised the land from the Nile river to the Euphrates, as we saw talked about back in chapter 16: Genesis 15:18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, "To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, Israel will take possession of the land and Jesus will reign on the throne of Israel with David as a co-regent: Ezekiel 37:24 "My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes.
This will be a time of unprecedented peace and almost Garden of Eden conditions.

  1. v. 1-3 – The first thing that happens here is the devil is imprisoned for the duration of 1000 years. This removes the influence of the enemy over mankind. All sin, of which there will be far less, will be that which comes from within a man. Isaiah 65:20 No more shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not fill out his days, for the young man shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed. Most scholars agree that this passage infers that there will be little sin during the reign of Christ and that people who sin badly enough will be cut off.
  2. V. 4-5 – Christ rules for 1000 years, along with those who are part of the first resurrection.
    A. First we see thrones set up for those who are given authority to judge. Those given authority to judge are the church, we know this because the Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So, we know that the church is identified in this passage, having been presented publicly at the second coming in chapter 19.
    B. Next we see a resurrection, but it is a limited resurrection of believers who died during the Tribulation. those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years...This is the first resurrection. The first resurrection is actually in 3 parts –
    1. Christ's resurrection: 1Corinthians 15:22-24 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.
    2. The rapture: 1Corinthians 15:51-52 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 1Thessalonians 4:14-17 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
    3. the resurrection of the tribulation saints here in this passage
    C. Millennial Reign – we do not find much information about the 1000 year reign of Christ here, but, the Old Testament prophets had plenty to tell about this period of time.
  1. there will be a Temple: Ezekiel 40:4-5 And the man said to me, "Son of man, look with your eyes, and hear with your ears, and set your heart upon all that I shall show you, for you were brought here in order that I might show it to you. Declare all that you see to the house of Israel." And behold, there was a wall all around the outside of the temple area
  2. Christ will reign from the Temple: Ezekiel 43:6 While the man was standing beside me, I heard one speaking to me out of the temple, and he said to me, "Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the people of Israel forever.
  3. There will be a river flowing out from the Temple: Ezekiel 47:1-6 Then he brought me back to the door of the temple, and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. Then he brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate that faces toward the east; and behold, the water was trickling out on the south side. Going on eastward with a measuring line in his hand, the man measured a thousand cubits, and then led me through the water, and it was ankle-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was knee-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was waist-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and it was a river that I could not pass through, for the water had risen. It was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be passed through. And he said to me, "Son of man, have you seen this?" Then he led me back to the bank of the river.
  4. Gentile nations will come and worship Christ in Jerusalem: Zechariah 14:16-17 Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths. And if any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them.
  5. Animals will be harmless: Isaiah 11:6-9 The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. (incidentally, this is probably the most misquoted passage of scripture. Nowhere does it ever say, “and the lion will lay down with the lamb.”)

There are myriad other passages in the Old Testament speaking of this time, we will conclude with the words of the Psalmist as he looked forward in time in anticipation of this glorious age: Psalm 98:1-9 A Psalm. Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The LORD has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations. He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody! With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD! Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who dwell in it! Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity


Revelation 20:7-15, 21:1-8
As we saw last week, much of what we know about the millennial reign, we learn form the Old Testament prophets. Very little is discussed here in this passage, in fact, we skip over about 1000 years in one verse. In verse 6 we are told that there will be a thousand years and in verse 7 we pick up at the end of the thousand years.

  1. V. 7-8 – At the beginning of this chapter, we are told that Satan is bound with a great chain and imprisoned. Now, we move forward 1000 years and Satan is released. Satan gathers a massive army and moves against Israel. Interestingly, we see here two names that pop up in the book of Ezekiel: Gog and Magog. In Ezekiel 38, we are told of an attack that will take place in which Gog, the chief prince of Magog will attack Israel with a coalition made up of Iran, Turkey, Syria, Somalia and possibly Libya. Magog can be identified as Russia and God, the chief prince, is most likely not a human leader, but a high ranking official of Satan in the spirit realm. A careful reading of Ezekiel 38 and 39 clearly demonstrates that the Ezekiel Magog invasion cannot be the same as the one mentioned here.
As an aside, Amos 7:1 says: This is what the Lord GOD showed me: behold, he was forming locusts when the latter growth was just beginning to sprout, and behold, it was the latter growth after the king's mowings. Which in and of itself, does not make much sense, but in the Greek Septuagint version calls the king of the locusts Gog: “Thus the Lord showed me, and behold, a swarm of locusts coming early, and behold, one locust, Gog, the king.” This could possibly tie in to the locusts from the bottomless pit in chapter 9 who were ruled over by Abbadon/Apollyon. Nonetheless, Gog seems to be a ruler in spiritual realms who consistently leads attacks against Israel.
  1. V.9-10 – Instantly Jesus destroys His enemies and Satan is thrown directly into the lake of fire. Satan is given no trial, no opportunity to repent or explain himself, he receives instant judgment.
Something else that we should note here, as well, 1000 years after being thrown into the lake of fire, the Anti-Christ and the false prophet are still in the lake of fire and still burning in torment as they will be for all eternity. This debunks misconceptions and false doctrines concerning hell: Hell is not annihilation as the Jehovah Witnesses and 7th Day Adventists and Hell is not a temporary state that eventually purifies the lost and allows them to enter heaven.
  1. v. 11-15 – There is no more earth, there is no more heaven, the only thing in the universe is God's throne of judgment: This is the final judgment know as the Great White Throne. Books are opened and people are judged. Death, Hades, the abode of the dead and the lost are cast away from God's presence, into the lake of fire.
  2. Chapter 21:1-8 – Heaven and earth have been remade, there is no more sea, and the city New Jerusalem comes down out of the new heaven and is now the dwelling place of God and His people. Now, God will dwell with His people and sin does not separate us from Him. This is when every tear is wiped away, this is when death and sickness and all hardships are no more. This is when hunger and thirst and pain are no more.
We also see, once more, the term Alpha and Omega which Jesus used to identify Himself in chapter one: Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. Here we have a clear statement of the deity of Christ.

MAY 18

V. V.9 Now there is no longer the elect or the grafted, all are unified together as one: Ephesians 1:4-14 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. 
Possibly Isaiah saw the same vision that John is about to describe in the next verses: Isaiah 54:11-14 "O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires. I will make your pinnacles of agate, your gates of carbuncles, and all your wall of precious stones. All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.
In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.

  1. V.10-17 – Down comes the New City of Jerusalem – the city is basically a shining bright cube of precious stone. The literal size of this city is astounding – 12,000 stadia is roughly 1,400 miles. So it is 1,400 miles long, wide and high. From the bottom tip of Florida to top of Maine is 1,595 miles. The International Space Station is 250 miles above the earth. This city will reach over 6 times that height. 12 foundations would suggest that there are 12 levels and if that is so, each level will have nearly 2 million square miles. The spaciousness of this city is beyond our ability to fathom. The majesty of the jewels so pure that they are clear and light shining through and reflecting off, this will be truly dazzling.

  1. V. 18-25 – Some of the stones we see here are familiar to us and others not so much. Scholars and historians argue as to what these stones are in today's language. The following charts borrowed from

    12 Foundations of the New Jerusalem And the 12 Apostles

    List Order Foundation Matthew List Mark List Luke List Acts List Conclusion List
    1 Jasper Simon Peter Simon Peter Simon Peter Simon Peter Simon Peter
    2 Sapphire Andrew James Zebedee Andrew James (Zebedee) Andrew of James (Zebedee)
    3 Chalcedony James Zebedee John James (Zebedee) John John or James (Zebedee)
    4 Emerald John Andrew John Andrew John or Andrew
    5 Sardonyx Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip
    6 Sardius Bartholomew Bartholomew Bartholomew Thomas Bartholomew (or Thomas)
    7 Chrysolite Thomas Matthew Matthew Bartholomew Matthew (or Thomas or Bartholomew)
    8 Beryl Matthew Thomas Thomas Matthew Thomas or Matthew
    9 Topaz James son of Alphaeus James of Alphaeus James of Alphaeus James of Alphaeus James of Alphaeus
    10 Chrysoprasus Labbaeus Thadeus (other Judas) Thadeus Simon Zelotes Simon Zelotes Thadeus (other Judas) or Simon Zelotes (Simon the Canaanite)
    11 Jacinth Simon the Canaanite (Zelotes) Simon the Canaanite other Judas (Thadeus) other Judas Simon the Canaanite (Zelotes) or other Judas (Thadeus)
    12 Amethyst

    12 gates named for the 12 Patriarchs and 12 foundations named for the 12 Apostles

Position of Gates of The City (not but near Jerusalem) or New Jerusalem and the 12 Tribes of Israel
Gates Direction
Direction of Gates
Gates Direction
Reuben Judah Levi
West3 Naphtali Joseph East1
West2 Asher THE CITY Benjamin East2
West1 Gad Dan East3
South3 South2 South1
Zebulon Issachar Simeon

We also see that the city has no Temple because God will dwell there with His people and He will be our Temple. There is no need for sun or moon or stars because time as we know it end, the sun, moon and stars were given to us to mark days and times and seasons, There will be a time of some sort, as we will see in the next chapter, but time as we know it will be no more.  Christ will be our light and there will be no night.

  1. Only those who are redeemed by God will populate this city.
  2. Chapter 22:1-2 – Here is the literal river of Living Water that Jesus alluded to wit the woman at the well, also is the Tree of Life with sustaining fruit and healing leaves. The river itself will be crystal pure and radiating with the light of Christ.
  3. V. 3-5 – This is the best part of all! Forget the precious stones, forget the brightness, forget the crystal river, forget the fruit from the tree of life – WE WILL BE IN THE VERY PRESENCE OF GOD, BASKING IN THE FULLNESS OF HIS DEITY AND LOVE!!! Imagine what that alone will be like. Imagine the greatest time of worship you have ever experienced and the closeness you felt to God in that moment, and that is but a mere shadow of what it will be like to bask in the glory and majesty of God, in His very presence, for all eternity!
  4. V. 6-7 – This is the blessed hope we have in knowing that Jesus us coming soon! Many of the signs that God gave us have come to pass, including the budding of the fig tree which is the revived Israel.
  5. V. 8-9 - This angel that showed these things to John was undoubtedly glorious to behold as John attempted to worship at his feet, yet John is admonished – Worship only God! This is a command that needs to be heeded in our culture of idol worship and “spirituality”
  6. V. 10-21 – Jesus declares His deity, Alpha and Omega – Beginning and the End: Isaiah 44:6 Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: "I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.
    Isaiah 48:12 "Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called! I am he; I am the first, and I am the last. Clearly God is speaking to Isaiah and Jesus is speaking to John, the only conclusion is that Jesus is God!
John is told to not seal up this testimony, while Daniel was told to seal his vision up until the time of the end. This is more evidence that we are nearing the time of theses events. Jesus calls us to salvation that we not miss out. Jesus calls all who desire to come to the waters of life that will flow from His throne. We are charged with presenting that invitation to the lost, we are charged to go into all the world and make disciples. Jesus warns us to not take away or add to this book as doing so will have dire consequences. We take literal all that we can and speculate loosely on the rest.

Jesus promises that He is coming soon and the implication is that we need to be ready, we need to be calling the lost and abiding in Christ, occupying until His return!