This article covers 7 topics on the Book of Revelation:
- The Book’s Author and a Blessing
- The Letters to the 7 Churches
- The Scene in Heaven
- The Characters on God’s side
- The Characters on Satan’s side,
- A chronology of the end times, and
- The Conclusion
The Author and a Blessing
This was really a revelation to the Apostle John and was penned around 96 A.d. on the Island of Patmos, to which John had been exiled.
John, as you may recall, was the only apostle not to die a martyr’s death, he was the beloved one in John 19:26:
“When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”
He actually put his mother, Mary, under the care of John.
Although probably the least-read book of the Bible, Revelation is the only book which offers a blessing for those who read it, in Revelation 1:3:
Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.
Remember, the only things to occur on God’s calendar, after the church age, are those events discussed in The Revelation.
The letters to the Seven Churches
In chapters 2 and 3, The Revelation starts out with letters to the seven churches.
These were actual churches that existed in and around the turn of the first century but even more, they are examples of seven types of churches that exist even today.
- Ephesus – warns of false teachers and evil and that they had lost their first love.
- Smyrna – was dead and came to life, the persecuted church that is impoverished yet rich.
- Pergamum – you hold fast my name but some hold the teachings of Balaam, therefore repent or I will make war against them
- Thyatira – the church of compromise.
- Sardis – the dead church.
- Laodicea – complaining church who is lukewarm and He will spit out.
- Philadelphia – I know your deeds and because you have kept my word, I will keep you from the hour of testing (what is this hour of testing?)
Of all the churches, Philidelphia was the only church that God did not complain about. Smyrna, because of persecution was dead but came to life. No false believers stay in a persecuted church.
The Scene in Heaven
Chapter 4 shows the Throne of God and states in verse 8:
“…Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and is and who is to come.”
In Chapter 5, the Book of the Seven Seals, or the title deed to the earth, is given to its rightful owner, Christ Jesus.
In Chapter 6, we see the seal judgments:
- Conquest – White Horse – the AntiChrist takes over with a false peace without war – a bow and no arrow
- War – Red Horse
- Famine – Black Horse
- Death – Pale Horse
- Conquest, War, Famine, and Death are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
- Martyrs – these are the Tribulation period believers who are martyred
- Revelation 6:12 “and there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.”
- An Interlude and the introduction of the 7 Trumpet judgments and the 7 Bowl judgments are given – three sets of judgments.
So, Christ is taking back the title deed to the earth, making ready for battle, and preparing the 21 judgments which commence at the midpoint of the tribulation. As you’ll also see in the chronology, there are still other things happening in heaven.
The Characters on God’s side
Aside from Christ and His Bride, (all the believers who were raptured), there are 4 interesting groups of characters who play a part in the Tribulation.
Group 1 – The 144,000 Jewish evangelist of Revelation 7:4, or the 12,000 blameless men from each of the 12 tribes of Israel.
Now understand, it is estimated that there are approximately 40,000 believing missionaries in the world today. (Although Wikipedia states 400,000, remember, they include LDS, 7 day Adventists, Catholics etc., etc., in other words, if you’re not a Jew, Muslim or Buddhist, you’re a Christian.)
This will be three times that. Remember “blameless” is used in 1 Peter, 1 Timothy, and Titus to present the requirements of deacons and elders. These are men who are not only blameless but still virgins.
God will protect these men, and they will survive the Tribulation and occupy the Millenium Kingdom which will be ruled by Christ and his saints.
Group 2 – The Two Witnesses of Revelation 11, who knows, maybe even Enoch and Elijah, who went straight to heaven without dying.
These guys will share the gospel but can’t be touched and they kill those who attack them with fire from their mouths.
At the midpoint of the Tribulation, Satan will kill the 2 witnesses, who will lie in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 1/2 days, in Revelation 11:7. The world will even celebrate and exchange presents (Happy Dead Witness Day), however, after 3 1/2 days they will rise from the dead and ascend into heaven.
These are maybe some of the most interesting verses in the bible.
Revelation 11:7-10 “When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.”
“But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, Come up here. Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them. And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.”
Now earthquakes can be deadly, in fact, the deadliest earthquake on record was in 1556 in Shanxi, China and killed an estimated 830,000 people.
Group 3 – The Three Angels of Revelation 14:6
“And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; and he said with a loud voice, Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.
And another angel, a second one, followed…Then another angel, a third one…”
Group 4 – A Multitude from the Tribulation in Revelation 7:9
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches werein their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying,
Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.
Who is this multitude which no one could count, from the Tribulation?
Do you see “clothed in white robes” As a result of the Rapture, all Old and New Testament Saints living and dead will be given glorified bodies –
1 Corinthians 15:42 says:
“So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body;”
This multitude has white robes, not imperishable bodies, and are the fruits of the first three groups – the 144,000, the two witnesses, and the 3 angels who all share the gospel.
Want further proof? Look at Revelation 7:14:
“…And he said to me, These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
The period of the Tribulation will result in one of the largest harvests of new believers in the history of mankind. Although many will be martyred, some will survive and actually populate the Millenium Kingdom.
The Characters on Satan’s Side
“You are of your father the devil…for he is a liar, and the father of lies”.
“…I will make myself like the Most High.”
Satan, as God the Father,The AntiChrist, as God the Son, andThe False Prophet, as God the Holy Spirit.
The Great Red Dragon, Revelation 12:3, is SatanThe Beast out of the Sea, Revelation 13:1, is the AntiChrist, andThe Beast out of the Earth, Revelation 13:11, is the False Prophet.
A chronology of the end times
The Rapture, Bema Seat Judgement and the Marriage Feast of the Lamb
The Rapture – You’ve already seen part of this in the letter to Philidelphia “I will keep you from the hour of testing”.
Additionally, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 states:
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Now, let me state, I believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. Some, however, believe in a mid or even a post tribulation rapture.
I have no problem with this. For those who want to stay 3 1/2 to 7 years living with the unholy trinity, may your prayers be answered 🙂 I, however, will be in heaven with the Lord.
New Testament believers will also appear before the Bema Seat Judgement as discussed in 2 Corinthians 5:10 where Christ will say “well done, good and faithful servants” and will give the Saints their crowns.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
Finally, we’ll also participate in the Marriage Feast of the Lamb as seen in Revelation 19:7 and 9:
7 “Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.”
9 “Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!”
The concept of “his bride has made herself ready” refers in part to the Bema Seat judgment, the Groom, of course, is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.
Simultaneously, on earth, the Tribulation will exist for 7 years and what is known as the Great Tribulation will refer to the last half or 3 1/2 years all of which the Unhold Trinity – Satan, the AntiChrist and the False Prophet will reign.
So there will be 3 1/2 years of relative calm, and then 3 1/2 years of both Satan’s wrath and God’s wrath.
Look at Mark 13:19:
For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will.
The Mark of the Beast – Now Revelation 13:16 and 17 warns:
“And he causes all…to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark…”.
“Then I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the seven bowls of the wrath of God. So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth; and…on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image“.
in which Satan and the AntiChrist along with those who have the mark of the beast will fight a final losing battle against Christ and His Bride. See Revelation 16:16:
And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon.
or the 1,000-year earthly reign in which Jesus is the ruler, his children are given responsibilities, and real living humans with extended life expectancies will inhabit the earth. Living humans will be the 144,000 jews from the tribulation, those believers who survived, and their children born during the millennium. See Revelation 20:1-5:
“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.”
“Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed.”
The Battle of Gog and Magog at the End of the Millennium
in which those who were born on earth but were never saved will be joined with Satan, who is released with his demons for one last losing battle with Christ Jesus. See Revelation 20:7-10
“When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, togather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
The Great White Throne Judgement
referred to in Revelation 20:11-15 at the end of the Millennium:
“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened.Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books...Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”
And finally, the New Heaven and the New Earth
Referred to in Revelation 21:1-2:
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.”
“…even so, come, Lord Jesus”