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Well, the final 4 Chapters.
Here we go. It would be appropriate to use the word Hallelujah here since it is the first time it is used in the New Testament. It means “Praise the Lord”. As the church is preparing itself to be the bride of Jesus the gate of heaven opens up for the second time. Here is THE REVELATION. The Unveiling of who The Christ Is, and the image we need to keep. He is our mighty Warrior.
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
DO we understand the Holiness of the Lord! This is who is on our team every day. He is so Holy there is a name that we cannot even make out of earthly letters to describe how holy he is. And most importantly, the weapon of choice, the weapon that will strike down all the nations…we take for such granted how powerful the Word of God is! The sword is the Word.
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
At the end of 19 the lamb beast and the false prophet (two of the three from satan’s trinity) are thrown into the Lake of Sulfur (Eternal Hell) while Satan is locked into the Abyss for 1000 years. This 1000 year period is called the Millennium. There will be 2 resurrections of Christians, one at the beginning of the 1000 years, and one that follows but because Jesus conquered death on THE CROSS this second death will not be for the Christians, just for those who STILL don’t believe (and trust me Free Will, will still leave many not to worship Christ even though He will be reigning for those 1000 years) and then Satan will be released and there will be a final battle, Gog and Magog. If this sounds familiar it might be for 2 reasons….one, is Magog is mentioned in GENESIS!!! See the whole Plan has ALWAYS been the PLAN! and second there are three the Apocalyptic Books (Visuals of End times) Revelation, Daniel, and Ezekiel. In Ezekiel 37 and 38, two prophecies are being made.
- The the nation of Israel will be a State. (seemed literally impossible for 2000 years)
- The Battle of Gog and Magog.
The Second Coming of Christ would come in between those 2 events. Well, we see the battle of Gog and Magog now after the Millenium, so when does Israel become a state?? Uhhhh May 14, 1948. So ALLS I am saying, is BE PREPARED. It will come like a thief in the night! That’s right, we are in between those two events.
Well, no need for me to talk about the New Jerusalem, the heavenly Heavens because Chapter 21 is perfectly clear, but I cannot wait. Jesus is our reward! Our storehouse of Treasure is seeing Him face to face in all that Glory. There are no gates on the city (no crime), not even a SUN for THE SON is the source of glorious light. But if I may just add one last and final note:
We just read the Word of God. He may have used people to put it in a scroll but every word was hand picked from God Breathing it into that author. This is our answer Book to every question or situation life will throw at us. Maybe you didn’t realize how perfect it was before but know it is now. God ends the book with a WARNING because He KNOWS our Human Nature and obviously He knows that the “church” will do this too, the oldest written book in history is JOB and it’s theme is false teaching and the last is Revelation and it ends with a warning of false teaching:
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen. (Rev 22: 18-21)
This is so complicated but that is ok. I still feel strong that we should walk away with a vision of our Lord, His Mightiness, not the details of what will happen. I am going to lightly talk about each chapter just so that we can have a glimpse of what is to come. But I tell you what, if you ever seriously dug in and looked up the Old Testaments Prophecies from Joel, Zechariah, Isaiah…your mind would explode with the most amazing picture of how it is all pre-said before it is going to occur.
I still am going to say that if all this is too much for you in this season of your studying, I think just reading Matthew 24 covers it all.
ALSO, keep in mind that God has a Trinity…well Satan too mimiks that.
- Father, Son, Holy Spirit
- Satan, Antichrist, False Prophet
As you read keep that in mind.
Chapter 12: The woman here may represent Israel, as the baby of course is the birth of the Messiah through them. The Dragon is the Devil. Michael and the angels fight against the dragon. (we just read in Jude this is not the first time Michael confronts the devil). You may be noticing that we are still holding to the time period earlier discussed in Daniel, “a time, a times and a half a time” referring to 3 1/2 years or the same 42 months, and also described as 1,260 days. (Basically 7 years divided into 2 parts)
Chapter 13: Two beasts. One is thought (by futurists) to be a political figure and the other is to be a religious figure. (that is why so many people keep their eyes on political events, presidents or the Vatican). Remember Satan mimics everything Jesus does so just like God has himself in the Trinity, Satan will do the very same thing. SO you will have this Antichrist figure (the first beast) that mimics the Resurrection in its own, when the “fatal wound” heals 13:3 and now people follow him just as they follow Christ. The third part of satan’s trinity is this beast that talks like a dragon but appears like a lamb. (the religious figure). He will aid in helping the first beast.
Chapter 14: We pan back to THE LAMB, our Messiah and am I wrong to say that his angels give 3 more warnings of “repent”. My take on this is that God wants sooooo badly for no one to feel the wrath. I mean the entire Old Testament was one big warning after warning from His heart that said “Please turn from evil and Follow Me!” and here on the cusp of the END, The LAMB stands and sends His angels AGAIN to say, “WHOSE are you?”. See, the entire book of Revelation has 2 classes of people. God’s and The Beast’s. There is no third category. This is where it is bitter-sweet. We may be on God’s but we know so many that are not.
The three angels words in chapter 14 may be the last call also, the second angel alludes to the “one world” nation of political and religion. And the third speaks of our eternity (Heaven or Hell) just as the Gospel does.
So after the angels have a call for repentance then they harvest the righteous and God judges the ones that don’t. This huge imagery of a winepress killing so many that the blood fills the whole area of 1,600 stadia (approximately the same size as Palestine. Hmmmm. think on that.)
Chapters 15 and 16. Did you catch that in verse 15:3 the angels were singing The song of Moses (from Exodus! When God parted the Red Sea, the first thing Moses did was STOP and praise God with this song. Well from the beginning to end this song is used).
Finally, we have the 7 bowls, of judgement poured out, these are the final acts of Judgement. The bowls are the Wrath of God that will finally complete the battle. The two nations are God’s nation (Jerusalem) vs Satan’s (Babylon). THe first 4 bowls are poured out on the earth. Even if you started in October with us, I am sure you will recognize the plagues that are poured out to be like the ones in Egypt. The fifth bowl, is poured out on the throne of the political beast (amen!)
The sixth bowl is released and satan’s army (people on earth that are not on God’s team will be in this army) will gather on the plains of Meddigo. Satan will gather 200 million, which we know would be an easy number on this earth to find. They will gather on this plain which is modern-day Iran, Iraq, and Syria (do I have your attention now?) This will set the stage for the Battle of Armageddon! (This all predicted in Psalms 2:2-4). I know this is long and I am sorry, but take a quick look at a scripture in Levitical Law, what happens to those who blaspheme God:
Then the LORD said to Moses: “Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. Say to the Israelites: ‘If anyone curses his God, he will be held responsible; anyone who blaspheme the name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blaspheme the Name, he must be put to death. (Leviticus 24:13-16)
Now let’s look at the Battle of Armageddon
From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible. (Revelation 16:21)
The possible third part of Satan’s trinity is the false prophet. She sits as Mystery Babylon the Great. She represents all the false and ungodly religion in the world that we have been sold. John will later describe the description if another woman “New Jerusalem” the one Jesus will marry, His Church. I am not going to go into the horns and kings for I really am not confident in anything tat I would say, I am not sure who would.
The city of Babylon is destroyed finally when in chapter 18:21 a great angel of the LORD casts the final stone…a millstone. If you want to dig a little on this one, look at the last chapter in Jeremiah 51
Ok, ready. I am just going to gently peel off one layer. The opening of the seals is one of 3 parts of Judgment. (trumpets and bowls are the other 2).
This read opens up with the 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse.
The first seal: The white horse, this is probably the antichrist initiating the Great Tribulation, Remember satan is a mimicker of everything Jesus does, so he will come as a portrait of peace and goodness. War will not open up until the second seal is opened.
The Second seal: The red horse represents warfare. Remember all this is told in the same exact order in Mathew 24. Wars will break out.
The third seal: The black horse and its rider represents famine. The scales in his hands are used to measure scarce food.
The fourth seal: represents death, the natural result of war and famine.
The fifth seal: a vision of the martyrs for Christ, they long for the judgement of the earth for their death.
The sixth seal: is terrible trembling of the earth that affect the sun, moon, and stars.
Then there is this time period in between the 6th and 7th seal. The angels stand in the corner of the worlds and stop the winds. All is completely still. Then 144,000 are sealed. The number is 12 x 12 x 1000. 12 is a number of completeness. (keep tucked in your pocket that satan mimics everything Jesus does) By the way, if you look closely at the names of the tribes, Levi was in there. I am sure you were like “what in the world??” their tribe was not part of the 12 because they were separated as a priesthood in Leviticus. So if they are counted now as the 12…who is missing?? Ahhhh the tribe of Dan. Why? Well, I don’t know, but the Blessings in Genesis 49 said they would be a “serpent by the roadside” and all throughout the book of Judges, and other books the tribe of Dan was always committing idolatry and running from God. Anyway, they are omitted from the sealed.
I am not a Revelation expert so I really don’t know much about the 144,00 other than the comments from a few commentaries, but just to know a great multitude of people come to be saved after the Rapture is awesome. I beleive they are Jews saved to witness to the Chosen People.
The seventh seal is broken and time seems to stand still for 30 minutes, then suddenly judgment is cast down from the Lord (not satan) from the altar in Heaven and great natural disasters occur, terrible plagues and the seven trumpets. The trumpets are worse than the seals.
Somebody asked me last week about the incense in the Church and it goes all the way back to the Tabernacle, and the incense was burned representing prayers up to God. Well, it is the same here too. The incense represents the prayers of the saints (all believers) .
Then you have the Trumpets: So after the saved were sealed the “wrath of the Lamb” or the “four winds” are unleashed and 1/3 of the vegetation is burned, 1/3 the sea is ruined, 1/3 of the drinking water is poisoned, 1/3 of the day is gone. When we get to Chapter 8 verse 13 a huge warning was given with 3 Woe’s meaning the worst is yet to come. Uggg. Do you remember at the end of Daniel we spoke of the 70: 7′s. And 69 had occurred and there will be a 7 year split in half (3 1/2 years and 3 1/2 years) or in other words 42 months as it is in Revelation. The second 3 1/2 will be a lot worse than the first!
The fifth trumpet blows and plagues are unleashed from satan and the key is given to satan for the Abyss. See satan is the fallen star, he was once an angel sitting next to God himself, but his prideful heart ruined him (and his posse). DO YOU SEE THIS HUGE WAR GOING ON BETWEEN THE LORD AND SATAN). So after the Locusts eat everything (prophesied in the book of Joel) the second “Woe” will bring the killing of 1/3 of humans. 4 Fallen angels are unleashed at the Euphrates River. (DId anyone look on the map?? That is present-day Iraq! SO with the help of humans (not surprised) satan will have an Army of 200 million.
Chapter 10: the Little scroll. This is not the Sealed Scroll. So just like in Ezekiel 3 (my favorite chapter!). ANyway, John is instructed to eat the little scroll, (the book of Judgements maybe). It will be both sweet and bitter. Think about that, the entire Bible has been both sweet and bitter if you are a Christian you think of the judgement that will be bitter for those who are not saved. SO just like Ezekiel John has the Word IN him and he is to go and tell people to repent for FINAL judgement is at hand!
Again we have this pause between the 6 and 7, this time trumpet. We have 2 witnesses chosen to come and testify with supernatural power of the days of the antichrist. Who are these 2 witnesses? Well, I don’t know. SOme have said Enoch and Elijah, the 2 men that never died in the Bible and were taken to Heaven without death but I think it might be Elijah and Moses because Elijah created a drought and Moses for the plagues. But truly I don’t know (no one does).
After the first 3 1/2 years “the beast” from the Abyss (satan) will attack them and kill them in the same city Christ was crucified. All the bodies will remain in the streets for 3 1/2 days (same time a Resurrection occurs). They too will be resurrected and the whole world will freak out, and then they will be raptured and an earthquake will occur and 7000 more will die.
Finally! The Seventh Trumpet is sounded!
I am not sure what your “take-home” on this will be today but mine is the Greatness of Jesus. I think my vision of him is as a “human or in his carnate” state. Jesus is not a man, He is Lord. Our vision of Him must not be what we see from movies on Easter but of the Mighty Warrior He is up in Heaven. John writes this “unveiling” of who Jesus our Christ really is.
A reminder of His love and our Purpose are stated in 1:5
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father
John is told in verse 19 to write: what you have seen, what is now, and what will take place later. John writes of his vision of Jesus starting in vs 13, Jesus is dressed in High Priest garments, holding the angels in his hand. His hair is as white as snow, and His eyes blaze with Holiness and the only thing Jesus speaks is the Word of God (sword).
We could spend 5 months on these 5 chapters, but sometimes the less I say the better. Here are the 5 churches (which one describes your church or YOU)
- Ephesus: (Loveless), you are a hard worker, reject evil, persevere but have fallen out of love for Faith. Jesus tells them to repent and do what you used to do for God.
- Smyrna: (Suffering for good) Jesus comforts them with encouragement and for them to remain faithful for they will be given the crown!
- Pergamum (loves the world) You may love Christ and don’t deny him but tolerate other false religions “to each his own” mentality, and immorality in the world does not bother you. He warns us to repent!
- Thytira (False Doctrine), Jesus warns them that they are a “deed based” faith (MANY are) and you also tolerate other religions and worship idols and can be immoral. He warns Judgement is coming, so repent.
- Sardis (a restaurant in NY, how ironic) ( Spiritually dead) a group or church that is spiritually dead and Jesus warns to wake up to the few that remain so they will not be blotted from the book of life.
- Philadelphia (Spiritually Alive) they have kept God’s word! And they will be rewarded in Heaven.
- Laodicea (lukewarm, complacent). You are neither hot nor cold for Jesus and your Faith, and Jesus would rather you be one or the other! He warns, turn from your indifference or you may never see eternity.
Please know that there are soooo many views on the end of times but in 1 Thessalonians the Greek word for Rapture was used so, I believe in a Rapture of the Church. I believe in a literal Revelation and ALL of this book will come true Word for Word. (But I am truly ok if you take a different view( as many do) I believe that God first revealed himself to Israel, then to the Gentiles (Church) and then the Rapture will occur when CHrist will come and take believers before the tribulation occurs (Chapter 4). The Great Tribulation is a time when severe calamities will occur and people who come to know Christ then will still suffer greatly. Then the second coming of Christ will occur on earth and He will reign for what is called the Millenium here on earth and then finally there is a Final Judgment when the earth will cease to exist.
Chapter 4 speaks in vision and if you remember Ezekiel this lines up exact! What all of it means I really don’t know and I think it is dangerous to think we can “figure” it all out. Some scholars have represented the 24 elders and the uniting of the Old Testament and the New Testament with the 12 Tribes and the 12 chosen Disciples.
The four creatures may represent the four attributes of Jesus
- Lion is Power
- Ox is faithfulness
- Man is intelligent
- Eagle is Sovereignty.
But I also think it might me
- Lion is KING!
- Ox as a SACRIFICE
- Man as The Christ (Perfect) Man
- Eagle as Sovereign and Supreme
So now we begin to read of the End Times and what it will be like. There is a scroll with seven seals that only Jesus is worthy of opening. Note the constant comparison between Lion and Lamb. He is The King of Kings yet He was willing to take our place against sin as a Sacrifice to overcome satan’s grip on us. So tomorrow we will jump into the 7 years of tribulation, the seven seals broken…
If you want to prepare for what you about to read so that none of this comes as a shock take a few Minutes to read Matthew 24 again. Jesus has already told us the story and warning of his unveiling.
We started on Day 1 (Gen 3) with the beginning of a battle between God and Satan and now we are going to see how it is all going to end. This book will tell of a war between 2 kingdoms: God’s Kingdom (the New Jerusalem) and Satan’s Kingdom (Babylon).
John the apostle survived waves of persecution. The first being under Nero (in the 60′s), where both Paul and Peter did not survive and then under Emperor Domitian when in a short period of time 40,000 Christians were tortured then killed. The third wave was about to begin under Trajan. It was extremely dark days for the Church. By the way, one of the torture/execution styles was to dip Christians in boiling oil, sometimes head first. Tradition has it that John was boiled in oil and survived it, so that is why he was exiled to the Greek Island of Patmos. This Island is where John got the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
Revelation means the unveiling. The theme is Jesus. So all together it means, The Unveiling of Jesus Christ. It tells of the second coming, the millennial reign on earth, His judgment of the earth and describes His final Victory over our enemy, Satan. As we read of the Wrath of God we must know that this is an OPTIMISTIC book if you are a Christian. We are assured and reassured that we as Christians are under God’s protection with a life of everlasting “Blessedness”.
Revelation is full of Old Testament references (not quotes) upward of almost 300. However, when we read it, it is NOT about explaining every detail it is about the overall theme of Jesus. There are so many views on Revelation and so much no one understands. I will be reading it literal and futuristic. I believe that it is talking about events that are yet to come and I believe that every word is literal, not theoretical.
I by NO MEANS feel adequate to even think I will understand much of this book so I will be heavily in prayer. The only question I think we need to ask ourselves is if this happens today, (and it very much could) Are you prepared? Is your family?
Wow. It all boils down to 1 John. God tells us through John that there WILL be evidence in our Salvation and if there is not…well you can guess. Besides rebuking these gnostic views God speaks about the evidence of Love in us. If God is in us it comes out in the form of Love. In this book, there are 7 evidences of Salvation. Now with that said, will we be perfect, NO, but there will be a behavioral difference.
- Do you walk in the light? In other words, where are you hanging? Are you attracted to hanging out with other Christians or people who make no regard for the Lord.
- Do you admit that you are a sinner and that the ONLY way to eternity with the Lord is that Jesus HAD to die on that Cross and that there is NOTHING you can do EVER to be a Christian.
- Now that you have read the Bible, and see what God will’s for us. Do you do it? Most importantly do you Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, soul and strength. Think about that. Is He your #1 in life…or how far down on the list is He? (Anything above it is an idol)
- Do you imitate Christ. Jesus was THE example. So we walk the walk or talk the talk?
- Love others? I am not talking about the way you love your family, but in general do you take the action of Love to others. Do you Love Christians AS well as people who ACT lost (because they are)
- What is your relationship with the world?? ok ok ok (yes in my head that sounded like Joe Pesce from Good Fellas. what???? I am Italian! We have to watch all those movies) Let’s go back to the 10 commandments, about how many do you break a day and it NOT bother you? Do you love the things of the world? Its materials, its pleasures….
- Prove Christ is righteous by your life! Without telling a person of your faith, wearing a cross, going to church, JUST from watching our lives would they know you were a Christian by your Life?
I have to say next to 1 Peter this is one of those book I could probably read 100 times and love more each time.
This book claims no author but scholars all agree that it is John. This is written about 20 years after the Temple was destroyed in a Jewish Roman War. The entire Temple Herod built was destroyed leaving the Jews without a center for worship. Since then a Philosophy had really taken root called Gnosticism.
Gnosticism in short said that the human nature consists of 2 parts, flesh and spirit. Sin was in the body only, not the spirit. So basically the spirit dealt with Spiritual matters, while the body could do what it wants. In Gnosticism, people believed in a “mystical” knowledge that some could obtain through knowledge, like a spiritual maturity or epiphanies. (I actually know of someone who is a Gnostic).
Gnostics also denied the incarnation, they said that God was more like a phantom, a man in appearance only (called Docetism). Another theory called Cerinthianism (very large following) believed that Jesus was a normal man and that the spirit of God joined Him at baptism and left him before the death on the Cross. By the way, if you think “theories” are not as strong today, get out of your comfort zone of the Bible Belt and just make conversations with some strangers in airports all around the country. It will shock you, especially todays teens.
John writes this Letter to ALL Christians. The book of John (the Gospel) was written on believing to receive Eternal Life. 1 John is about Knowing we have eternal life. The word KNOW will be used over 30 times in this short letter.
Soooooo have you ever questioned your Salvation?? Read this book to see “If” you are saved and KNOW.
Merry Christmas. (Which I just learned at Church that the word means MIGHTY) Have a MIGHTY Christmas! I like that.
Peter keeps this brief and to the point! (SO I will) (But ohhhhhhh I could make this long, what a book!)
Note that the beginning of this book is about SELF ACTS, MAKING AN EFFORT. C’mon guys, now that we read it…what do we do with it??
In all the warnings of False Teachings, how do we know to trust this book? or the next one? It says in vs 16: They were eye witnesses. And then to be honest with you I have had many a conversation regarding my blog with “others” that you all don’t even know about. One guy told me “Yes the Bible is God Breathed, but man is imperfect, therefore the Bible cannot be perfect since it was at the hand of man, soooo we should not take all of it literally”. Then he continued to berate me with the fact that I “interpret the Bible” my way. One of the first things ALL my mentors taught me was Only Scripture Interprets Scripture. Soooo take a look at this (my sword against that guy)
Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 20.
Well that settles that dispute.
I will end with this: Look at the big But!
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.
If it were ANY other day I would find the scriptures on ALL the OT references in this book. ESPECIALLY Balaam, besides the donkey in Shrek, he also had a talking donkey. But know this, if you read the OT next year, when you get to Jude you will be like “Ohhhh I know all this”.