- Chapter 1 – We find find John being instructed by Christ to write what was, what is and what will be.
SEPTEMBER 30, 2015
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- The warning to this church was that they had become so focused on combating heresy that they lost the focus of love.
- 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.
- 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 heaven2. 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.
V. 24-28 – So entrenched in the society of Thyatira was Satanic behavior
- Church in Sardis v. 1-6
- Church of Philadelphia V.7-13
- Church of Laodicea – Vv.14-22A. V.14 – Once again, Jesus identifies Himself as the one sending this messageB. 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 Philidelphia2. 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 nameonly. 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
NOVEMBER 11 & 18
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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- V. 1-2 – first seal – first horseman -The rider on a white horse
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
JANUARY 13, 2016
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
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
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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?.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Daniel 12:11 “And 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."
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.
- 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.
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.
– Here we see that these witnesses are supernaturally protected
and exhibit very similar characteristics of Moses and Elijah in
terms of supernatural ability.
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.
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.
– 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.
– 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.
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."
1-6 – 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.
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.
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.
1-2 – 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.
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 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
– 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
of the beast shall be slain is
could JIBO be an acronym for John's Image of the Beast kills
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:
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.
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 -
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
1-5 – 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.
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.
– 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.
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.
- 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
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
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.
– 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
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
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
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.
– 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
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.
then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one
many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.
because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow
the one who endures to the end will be saved.
this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole
world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet
Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),\
let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
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
alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing
infants in those days!
that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath.
then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the
beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.
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.
2-4 – here we see a the sea of glass which we saw in chapter 4.
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?"
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.
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
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.
– the first plague is a physical attack on those who have taken
the mark and is pretty self explanatory
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\
– 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.
– 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.
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.
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:
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
– 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.
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.
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.
A. There is a major clue in the description that lead us to understand the prostitute is a religious system.
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?
7-9 – this woman is associated with the anti-christ and his
religious system and is seen seated on it.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
– 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.
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.
1-5 – 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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,
- 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 19V. 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 eternaltorment, so evil and so intentional are there actions against God.
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.
1-3 – 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.
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
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.
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.
will be a Temple: Ezekiel
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
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.
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
he said to me, "Son of man, have you seen this?" Then
he led me back to the bank of the river.
nations will come and worship Christ in Jerusalem: Zechariah
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
will be harmless:
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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 www.spiritandtruthministries.org
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|
|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)|
Position of Gates of The City (not but near Jerusalem) or New Jerusalem and the 12 Tribes of Israel
Direction of Gates
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.
those who are redeemed by God will populate this city.
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.
3-5 – 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!
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.
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”
10-21 – Jesus declares His deity, Alpha and Omega – Beginning
and the End: Isaiah
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!