Revelation 2:1-3:22 – Letters To The Churches

I. Introduction.

A. Translation considerations. Text and Comments. The New American Standard Bible (NASB) translation was chosen for this article, and has been pasted from Bible Gateway. Comments will be chosen from sources that will be identified when they are used.

B. Terms. Repetition will be used.

II. Verse Examinations.

A. Chapter 1 selected verses.

1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, 2 who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 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.

a. 1:1 The revelation. [ MacArthur Study Bible] The Gr. word from which the Eng. word “apocalypse” comes lit. means “to uncover, or to reveal.”

(1) {Mine} The whole Book of Revelation is “a revelation” (singular) of Christ, and “not a book of revelations,” (plural). [ MacArthur Study Bible. “apocalypse” relates to an “uncovering or revelation,” as opposed to “a happening,”].

(2) {Mine} The path of the revelation is from “God the Father,” to “God the Son,” via “Angel,” to “John the apostle, to seven churches.”

b. 1:3 The blessing. [ MacArthur Study Bible. This is the only biblical book that comes with a blessing for the one who listens to it being read and explained and then responds in obedience. {Mine} It is clear that many people who claim to be believers in Christ are ignorant of the facts of the Book of Revelation.]

c. 1:3. The reality of imminency. “for the time is near.” [Walvord Commentary note. “For the time is near.” The Greek word for “time” here is “kairos,” which means a season of time in contrast to the term “hour,” which means time on a calendar or clock. The next great event on God’s prophetic calendar, the imminent return of Christ to rapture His church, is near from the standpoint of prophetic revelation and could occur at any moment.] {Mine. It is important to remember the term, “imminency,” when we consider the seven churches of Revelation 2-3.}

d. 1:4. The distribution. “John to the seven churches that are in Asia.”

(1) 1:11. Instructions to John. “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” [Mine. Notice the names of the recipient churches that are included in this verse. Notice that the church at Rome is not named, even as being an “info-addressee.”] { MacArthur Study Bible. “book” is a Gr. word that refers to a scroll made of parchment formed from papyrus.}

(2) 1:19. The order of things to be written. “Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things.” [ MacArthur Study Bible. This verse provides a simple outline for the entire book: “the things which you have seen” refers to the vision John has just seen (chap. 1); “the things which are” denotes the letters to the churches (chaps. 2, 3); and “the things which will take place after this” refers to the revelation of future history (chaps. 4–22).]

B. Looking back. [Mine. The instruction from Christ to the churches was for the churches to study “the revelation.” However, that instruction has largely fallen on deaf ears. Consider the reasons that pastors have given for not teaching the book of Revelation, or the other books of prophecy that give scriptural support for a Revelation teaching. If anyone finds it difficult to understand the Book of Revelation, please allow me to recommend the following resoruces: The Ryrie Study Bible, Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D.; “Things To Come,” J.Dwight Pentecost, Th. D.;” “The Coming Kingdom,” Andrew M. Woods, J.D., Th.M., Ph.D.; The books of John. F. Walvoord, Th. D., in the commentaries of Daniel, Matthew, 1&2 Thessalonians, and Revelation.]

C. Looking forward. [Mine. Revelation, Chapters 2 and 3, point to situations that have existed within churches, from the time that the revelation was given to the Apostle John, until today. Such church conditions will continue until the day that Christ comes to catch up His born again believers and takes them to Heaven with Him. Following the rapture (1 Thes 4:16-17), the anti-Christ will make his presence known to the world; his motives will be revealed when he signs a peace treaty with Israel, at which time the Tribulation begins. Mid-way through the seven-year tribulation, the anti-Christ will break his treaty with the Jews, then, the Great Tribulation begins. Revelation Chapter 6 shows the seal judgments which Christ will send to earth; those judgments will include the anti-Christ and his deceptive influence, and persecution upon those on the earth. Christ will use the force of seal, trumpet and bowl judgments to draw unsaved Jews and Gentiles, who were left behind from the rapture, to saving faith in Christ. The judgments of The Tribulation will be severe, becoming much more severe as the judgments follow, one after the other. Israel will see their demise as being imminent, meaning that it can happen at any moment. It will be when Jews call upon Christ to save them from utter destruction and annihilation, that Christ and his raptured believers will return from heaven to earth, at the end of the Tribulation, at the Campaign of Armageddon (also known as the Battle of Armageddon (Rev 19:11-21; Zech 14:1-5; Matt 24:29-31). After Christ is victorious in this battle (Armageddon), the Great Tribulation will end, and the 1000 year millennial reign of Christ will begin (We will continue this timeline in following articles). After Revelation Chapter 3, the church is mentioned no more. The church will have served her purpose. With the church having been removed from the earth, God will then begin to deal with Israel, through the judgments that He will force upon the earth. God’s judgments will be experienced by everyone on the earth, from Revelation Chapter 6 until Revelation Chapter 20. It is important to know that it is God whom is in total control of the events of the Tribulation, and the Great Tribulation. It is the purpose of God that, by using His judgments of the seven-year Tribulation, Jews whom will be left behind from the rapture, may call on Christ to save them. It is also important to remember that the judgments of the tribulation period are God’s judgments that He forces on the earth, and on all who are on the earth, and “are not” judgments of accident, or are judgments that are under the control of Satan and/or the anti-Christ, mankind, or nature.

D. All that is written in the above paragraph, D., is the reason that the Book of Revelation, “must be read, and everyone must heed the things which are written in it,” (Rev 1:3). Because the letters of the Revelation were sent to churches, it is incumbent upon church pastors to ensure that the words of Revelation are made known to the members of each church (Rev 1:4).

E. The events of the Tribulation “will happen!” Many pastors are telling their congregations that “it is all an allegory.” Yet, the Book of Revelation is very clear as to its teaching having a literal meaning. Many pastors are also telling their congregations that Christians will have to go through the Tribulation, or some parts of it. Everyone needs to understand the love that exists between “Christ and His bride, the Church:” Eph 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” No loving husband would put his bride in the midst of such judgments as those that will come upon the earth during The Tribulation.

F. Here is a word to remember: “imminency.” The Tribulation “will happen.” The “imminency” of The Tribulation can not be shoved aside. For something to be “imminent” means that its happening can occur “at any moment.” Imminency is the meaning of Rev 1:3, “for the time is near.”

III. Article Background.

A. This article is a discussion about the Revelation of Jesus Christ, that He gave to the Apostle John, to be written by the Apostle to the seven churches in Asia. It is important to know that the Book of Revelation is “a revelation,” in singular form, and not “the Book of Revelations,” in plural form.

B. Imminency is a term that must be understood in the discussion of the churches that are shown in the Book of Revelation, Chapters 2 and 3.

C. The churches of Rev 2-3 are common in behavior among many congregations that have come into existence ever since the first church was established in Jerusalem, in A.D. 33. Because of the teaching of imminency (Rev 1:3), Christ could have returned to earth for the rapture, to take His born again saints to Heaven with Him, at any time after he ascended to Heaven. No one knows when Christ will return to catch up His bride, the church, but “the fullness of the Gentiles,” as is discuscussed in Romans 11:25, must be considered, with such fullness being determined by God.

IV. Recipient Churches.

A. The following is a brief description of the churches of Rev 2-3.

Ephesus. Rev 2:1-7. Loveless… Smyrna. Rev 2:8-11. Persecuted… Pergamum. Rev 2:12-17. Compromised… Thyatira. Rev 2:18-29. Compromised… Sardis. Rev 3:1-6 Dead… Philadelphia. Rev 3:7-13. Missionary… Laodecia. Rev 3:14-22. Man-centered.

B. Lesson verses. Revelation 2:1-3:22.

C. Key verse. Revelation 3:10 (NASB)

1. Verse. Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

2. My note. The verse was written to the Church in Philadelphia. However, the promise to that church is a promise to believers of all times. The promise relates to the pre-tribulation rapture of all born again believers in Christ (John 14:2,3,6; 1 Cor 15:50-54; 1 Thes 4:13-18).

3. The following commentary note comes from the MacArthur Study Bible.

3:10 keep you from the hour of trial. Christ’s description—an event still future that for a short time severely tests the whole world—must refer to the time of tribulation, the 7-year period before Christ’s earthly kingdom is consummated, featuring the unleashing of divine wrath in judgments expressed as seals, trumpets, and bowls. This period is described in detail throughout chaps. 6–19. The latter half is called “the Great Tribulation” (7:14; Matt. 24:21) and is identified as to time in 11:2, 3; 12:6, 14; 13:5. The verb “to keep” is followed by a preposition whose normal meaning is “from” or “out of”—this phrase, “keep . . . from” supports the pre-tribulational rapture of the church (see notes on John 14:1–3; 1 Cor. 15:51, 52; 1 Thess. 4:13–17). This period is the same as Daniel’s 70th week (see notes on Dan. 9:24–27) and “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (see notes on Jer. 30:7).

V. Tribulation Occupants’ Differences.

A. Earth dwellers.

1. Rev 3:10, “to test those who dwell on the earth.”

2. Revelation 6:10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”

3. Revelation 8:13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
13 Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in mid-heaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”

4. Revelation 11:10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
10 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.

5. Revelation 13:8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.

6. Revelation 13:14 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who *had the wound of the sword and has come to life.

7. Revelation 17:8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
8 “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.

B. Earth dwellers versus believers in Christ.

1. Earth dwellers are those whom will be left behind from the rapture of the Church; they chose earth over heaven, by refusing to believe in Christ as their Lord and Savior. During the Tribulation, earth dwellers will continue to defy God; they will have the opportunity to come to saving faith in Christ, but most will remain in their states of unbelief. Consider the account of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16:19-31. The rich man, whom is in Hades (the place of the unsaved dead, prior to the lake of fire), makes a request concerning his family whom is still alive, but are surely also headed for Hades upon their deaths: “v. 30. if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!” v.31. But, the response to the rich man is: “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.” The earth dwellers whom continue to defy God during the Tribulation will have much of the mindset of the family of the rich man in Luke 16, even as the conditions of the Tribulation become increasingly more severe.

2. All born again believers in Christ have a heavenly citizenship that exists from the time of their new-birth.

Philippians 3:20-21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

3. Nothing stands between us and the time that Christ will come in the air (rapture) to take His born again believers to Heaven with Him, both Jew and Gentile (John 14:2,3,6); “it can happen at any time.” After the rapture takes place, those whom will be left behind from the rapture, Jew and Gentile, will face the deception and persecution of the anti-Christ, as well as the the other judgments of God during the seven-year tribulation. God will bring the anti-Christ into power, and will bring about all of the other judgments of the Tribulation, in order that unbelieving Israel may be brought to saving faith in Christ (Matt 23:39; Zech 12:10).

Tribulation Prophecies And Doctrine 8 – The Purpose Of The Tribulation.

I. The First Purpose.

A. The first purpose of the tribulation is to prepare the nation Israel for her Messiah. The prophecy of Jeremiah (30:7) makes it clear that this time that is coming has particular reference to Israel, for it is “the time of Jacob’s trouble.” Gerald Stanton (Kept From The Hour,” pp.30-31) shows the Jewish character of the period by saying:

The tribulation is primarily Jewish. This fact is borne out by Old Testament Scriptures (Deut 4:30; Jer 30:7; Ezek 20:37; Dan 12:1; Zech 13:8-9), by the Olivet Discourse of Christ (Matt 24:9-26 ), and by the book of Revelation itself (Rev 7:4-8; 12:1-2; 17, etc.). It concerns “Daniel’s people,” the coming of “false Messiah,” the preaching of the “gospel of the kingdom,” flight on the “sabbath,” the temple and the “holy place,” the land of Judea, the city of Jerusalem, the twelve “tribes of Israel,” the “son of Moses,” “signs” in the heavens, the “covenant” with the Beast, the “sanctuary,” the “sacrifice and the oblation,” of the temple ritual — these all speak of Israel and prove that the tribulation is largely a time when God deals with His ancient people prior to their entrance into the promised kingdom. The many Old Testament prophecies yet to be fulfilled for Israel further indicate a future time when God will deal with this nation (Deu 30:1-6; Jer 30:8-10).

B. God’s purpose for Israel in the Tribulation is to bring about the conversion of a multitude of Jews, who will enter into the blessings of the kingdom and experience the fulfillment of all Israel’s covenants. The good news that the King is about to return will be preached (Matt 24:14) so that Israel may be turned to their deliverer. As John the Baptist preached such a message to prepare Israel for the first coming, Elijah will preach to prepare Israel for the second advent:

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse (Mal 4:5-6 ).

C. This witness is seen to be effective in that multitudes of Jews are converted during the tribulation period and are waiting for the Messiah (Rev 7:1-8, and the wise virgins of Matt 25:1-13). It is also God’s purpose to populate the millennium with a multitude of saved Gentiles, who are redeemed through the preaching of the believing remnant. This is accomplished in the multitude from “all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues (Rev 7:9) and in the “sheep” (Matt 25:31-46) that enter the millennial age. God’s purpose, then is to populate the millennial kingdom by bringing a host from among Israel and the Gentile nations to Himself.

II. The Second Purpose.

A. The second great purpose of the tribulation is to pour out judgment on unbelieving man and nations. It is stated in Rev 3:10 “I will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” This passage has been considered earlier. That this period will reach out to all nations is clearly taught in other Scriptures as well:

1. Jer 25:32-33 (New English Translation).

32 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says,
‘Disaster will soon come on one nation after another.
A mighty storm of military destruction is rising up
from the distant parts of the earth.’
33 Those who have been killed by the Lord at that time
will be scattered from one end of the earth to the other.
They will not be mourned over, gathered up, or buried.
Their dead bodies will lie scattered over the ground like manure.

2. Isa 26:21 (New English Translation).

For look, the Lord is coming out of the place where he lives,
to punish the sin of those who live on the earth.
The earth will display the blood shed on it;
it will no longer cover up its slain.

3. 2 Thes 2:12. (New English Translation).

And so all of them who have not believed the truth but have delighted in evil will be condemned.

B. From these Scriptures it will be seen that God is judging the nations of the earth because of their godlessness. The nations of the earth have been deceived by the false teaching of the harlot system (Rev 14:8) and have partaken of the “wine of wrath of her fornication.” They have followed the false prophet in the worship of the beast (Rev 13:11-18). For this godlessness the nations must be judged. This judgment comes on “…the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains of the mighty men, and evey bondman, and every freeman…” (Rev 6:15), all of whom “blasphemed the name of God … and they repented not to give him glory” [Rev 16:9]). Since the kingdom to follow is a reign of righteousness, this judgment must be viewed as another step in the process of God’s program in dealing with sin so that the Messiah may reign. This program of judgment on sinners constitutes the second great purpose of the tribulation period.

III. The Times Of The Gentiles.

A. Scripture Reference (Luke 21:24, New English Translation).

They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led away as captives among all nations. Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

B. the times of the Gentiles. This expression is unique to Luke. It identifies the era from Israel’s captivity (ca. 586 B.C. to Babylon; cf. 2 Kin 25) to her restoration in the kingdom (Rev 20:1-6). It has been a time during which, in accord with God’s purpose, Gentiles have dominated or threatened Jerusalem. The era has also been marked by vast spiritual privileges for the Gentile nations (cf. Isa 66:12; Mal 1:11; Matt 24:14; Mark 13:10).

IV. The Fullness Of The Gentiles.

A. Scripture Reference (Romans 11:25, New English Translation).

For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.

B. mystery. This word is used to refer to NT truth previously not revealed (Rom 16:25; Eph 3:3; 1 Cor 15:51). This mystery has two components: 1) Israel has experienced a partial spiritual hardening, and 2) that hardening will last only for a divinely specified period of time. wise in your own opinion. Another warning to the Gentiles against spiritual pride and arrogance . blindness in part. The nation’s blindness does not extend to every individual Jew. Through all of history God has always preserved a believing remnant . until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. “Until” refers to a specific point in time; “fullness” refers to completion; “has come in” translates a Gr. verb often used to speak of coming to salvation (Mt 5:20; Mk 9:43 45, 47; Jn 3:5; Ac 14:22). Israel’s spiritual hardening (which began with rejecting Jesus as Messiah) will last until the complete number of elect Gentiles has come to salvation.

C. My note. “Fullness” is determined by God. At the time that God’s determined number of Gentiles comes to belief in Christ, the rapture of the Church will take place. This timing has nothing to do with the conduct of mankind, but of God’s plan. At the time that the Church has been removed from the earth, by the rapture (catching up of the saints, John 14:2-6; 1 Thes 4:13-18; 1 Cor 15:50-54; 2 Thes 2:2-3), God will begin drawing left behind Jews to belief in Christ as Messiah; left behind Gentiles will also be drawn to belief in Christ as Lord and Savior. The tribulation will not begin until after “the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” The starting point for the tribulation will be when the anti-christ confirms a treaty with Israel (Dan 9:27).

V. The Judgment Of The Individual Gentiles.

A. Scripture Reference (Matthew 25:31-46, New English Translation).

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be assembled before him, and he will separate people one from another like a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or naked and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels! 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. 43 I was a stranger and you did not receive me as a guest, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not give you whatever you needed?’ 45 Then he will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for me.’ 46 And these will depart into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

B. Mt 25:32. “All the nations.” Lit. All the Gentiles. This is a judgment of those Gentiles who survive the tribulation, and whose heart-relation to God is evidenced by their treatment of the Jews (Christ’s brethren, v. 40), especially during that time. Surviving Jews will also be judged at this time.

C. Mt 25:33. “on His right.” The place of honor.

D. Mt 25:35. To do these deeds of kindness to Jewish people during the Tribulation will undoubtedly expose the doers to persecution, and even death, at the hands of antichrist and his agents.

E. Mt 25:37. “when.” They are unconscious of their goodness, in contrast to the ostentation of the Pharisees. In verse 44, we see the opposite: the unconscious neglect of duty.

F. sheep. I.e., believers (10:16; Ps 79:13; Ez 34). They are given the place at “His right hand”—the place of favor. goats. These represent unbelievers, consigned to the place of dishonor and rejection.

G. Mt 25:31-32. He will sit on the throne of His glory. This speaks of the earthly reign of Christ described in Rev 20:4-6. The judgment described here in vv. 32-46 is different from the Great White Throne judgment of Rev 20:11-15. This judgment precedes Christ’s millennial reign, and the subjects seem to be only those who are alive at His coming. This is sometimes referred to as the judgment of the nations, but His verdicts address individuals in the nations, not the nations as a whole (cf. v. 46)

H. Mt 25:40. These “brethren” are Jews who suffer persecution during the tribulation and who receive help from Gentile believers at that time. (Re: “brethren,” Mt 25:40,  “the least of these brothers or sisters of mine”NET).

I. Mt 25:46. everlasting punishment . . . eternal life. The same Gr. word is used in both instances. The punishment of the wicked is as never-ending as the bliss of the righteous. The wicked are not given a second chance, nor are they annihilated. The punishment of the wicked dead is described throughout Scripture as “everlasting fire” (v. 41); “unquenchable fire” (3:12); “shame and everlasting contempt” (Dan 12:2); a place where “their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched” (Mk 9:44-49); a place of “torments” and “flame” (Lk 16:23-24); “everlasting destruction” (2 Thes 1:9); a place of torment with “fire and brimstone” where “the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever” (Rev 14:10-11); and a “lake of fire and brimstone” where the wicked are “tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev 20:10). Here Jesus indicates that the punishment itself is everlasting—not merely the smoke and flames. The wicked are forever subject to the fury and the wrath of God. They consciously suffer shame and contempt and the assaults of an accusing conscience—along with the fiery wrath of an offended deity—for all of eternity. Even hell will acknowledge the perfect justice of God (Ps 76:10); those who are there will know that their punishment is just and that they alone are to blame (cf. Deu 32:3-5).

VI. References.

A. Paragraph I. Things To Come, 1958, Zondervan, J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. D., pp. 237-238.

B. Paragraph II. Things To Come, 1958, Zondervan, J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. D., pp. 238-239.

C. Pararaph III. NKJV MacArthur Study Bible, 2nd Edition, cut and pasted from Bible Gateway.

D. Paragraph IV. NKJV MacArthur Study Bible, 2nd Edition, cut and pasted from Bible Gateway.

E. Paragraph V. B-E. Ryrie Study Bible, 1986, Moody Bible Institute, Charles Ryrie, Ph. D.

F. Paragraph V. F-G. NKJV MacArthur Study Bible, 2nd Edition, cut and pasted from Bible Gateway.

G. Paragraph V. H. The Moody Bible Commentary, 2014, Moody Publishers, Michael G. Vanlaningham, Ph. D., p, 1505.

I. Paragraph V. I. NKJV MacArthur Study Bible, 2nd Edition, cut and pasted from Bible Gateway.

G. New English Translation scriptures were cut and pasted from Bible Gateway.

Revelation 1:1-20

Part I. Introduction.

A. At this time in our world’s situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19), it has become my strong belief that I should veer from my intended course of writing, and explain the prophetic events of the end times. There are voices in the Christian world that have attempted to place the things that are affecting our world in the “yet future tribulation.” The events of Matthew 24 and Revelation 6 are said “to be happening now,” without making any mention of Israel, or of Christ. Israel is key throughout the tribulation. God will cause the tribulation events to occur, which will include the persecutions of the antichrist. So, what can we say about the things of COVID-19? Is God aware of the world’s situation? Is God a distanced bystander?

B. The recent article that I wrote, “God’s Purposes,” it addresses our world from Genesis to Revelation, prior and beyond. Psalm 103:19 explains God’s power over the entire world: “The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all.” The strength of Psalm 103:19 is that it is God, “who keeps Jupiter from bumping into Mars;” you can take that train of thought further. As we look closer to earth, Psalm 147:8 explains the governing hand of God: “Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who provides rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains.” Again, you can carry that thought further. In this study, we will also introduce and discuss “The Office of Theocratic Administrator.”

C. This study of Revelation will answer many questions about the current world situation as they relate to the end times, and will conclude that we are not presently in any part of the tribulation. The articles in this end times study will show the purposes of the tribulation, which do not relate to anything that is happening in our world today. These articles will also conclude that nothing that occurs during the tribulation will be outside of God’s purposes, and His plan for the salvation of Israel. There will not be an “end of the world, ” which will be caused by global warming, or by “Mother Nature.” God is in charge of global warming, and “there is no “Mother Nature!” I will tip my hand and go “way forward” into this series of articles, and let Scripture speak concerning the subject of world destruction.

(1) 2 Peter 3:7 (NASB) “But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”

(2) Revelation 21:1 (NASB) “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.”

D. That which has been tainted by sin will be replaced by that which is Holy, and will be based on God’s sovereign purposes. No other factor, outside of God’s plan for the ages, has any place in the affect of the end times, which is known as eschatology.

E. Translation. The text is from the New American Standard Bible. Comments will come from the MacArthur Study Bible, unless otherwise noted.

F. Sources of information. Everyone reads articles and books that have been written by other people. Whenever I choose an author, a speaker, or any other type of teacher for source material for the articles that I write, I try to find out as much as is possible about each potential source of information. I want to know about a person’s reputation among their peers; I also want to know how their writings, or discussions, relate to my understanding of the subject that I will be discussing. A potential source’s length of service, in their field of expertise, is an extremely important factor in my search. Such is the background of the many sources of information whose expertise in Scripture I have entrusted to my writings

Part II. Revelation Chapter 1 Study.

A. The Revelation of Jesus Christ (vv 1-3).

1. Verses. 1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, 2 who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 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.

2. Comments.

a. 1:1. The Revelation. The Gr. word from which the Eng. word “apocalypse” comes lit. means “to uncover, or to reveal.” When it refers to a person, it means that person becomes clearly visible. [My note. Notice that Revelation, “singular,” is used. The entire book of Revelation is “one revelation,” and is not a book of revelations.]

b. 1:1. Jesus Christ. The gospels unveil Christ at His first coming in humiliation; Revelation reveals Him in His exaltation: (1) in blazing glory (vv. 7–20); (2) over His church, as its Lord (chaps. 2, 3); (3) in His second coming, as He takes back the earth from the usurper, Satan, and establishes His kingdom (chaps. 4–20); and (4) as He lights up the eternal state (chaps. 21, 22). The NT writers eagerly anticipate this unveiling (1 Cor. 1:7; 2 Thess. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:7).

c. 1:1. God gave Him. As a reward for Christ’s perfect submission and atonement, the Father now presented to Him the great record of His future glory (cf. Phil. 2:5–11). Readers eavesdrop on the gift of this book, from the Father to His Son.

d. 1:1. shortly. The primary meaning of this word (lit. “soon”; cf. 2:5, 16; 3:11; 11:14; 22:12; 2 Tim. 4:9) underscores the imminence of Christ’s return. [Walvoord Commentary note. That which Daniel declared would occur “in the latter days” is here described as “shortly” (Gr., en tachei), that is, “quickly or suddenly coming to pass,” indicating rapidity of execution after the beginning takes place. The idea is not that the event may occur soon but, that when it does, it will be sudden (cf. Luke 18:8; Acts 12:7; 22:18; 25:4; Rom. 16:20). A similar word, tachys, is translated “quickly” seven times in Revelation (2:5, 16; 3:11; 11:14; 22:7, 12, 20).

e. 1:3, Blessed. This is the only biblical book that comes with a blessing for the one who listens to it being read and explained and then responds in obedience. This is the first of 7 beatitudes in the book (v. 3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14). [ My note. The importance of churches studying the Book of Revelation can not be understated.]

f. 1:3. time is near. “Time” refers to epochs, eras, or seasons. The next great epoch of God’s redemptive history is imminent. But although Christ’s coming is the next event, it may be delayed so long that people begin to question whether He will ever come (cf. Matt. 24:36–39; 2 Pet. 3:3, 4). [Walvord Commentary note. “For the time is near.” The Greek word for “time” here is “kairos,” which means a season of time in contrast to the term “hour,” which means time on a calendar of clock. The next great event on God’s prophetic calendar, the prophetic calendar, the imminent return of Christ to rapture His church, is near from the standpoint of prophetic revelation and could occur at any moment.]

B. Message to the Seven Churches (vv 4-7).

1. Verses. 4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood— 6 and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen. 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

2. Comments.

a. 1:4 seven churches which are in Asia. Asia Minor, equivalent to modern Turkey, was composed of 7 postal districts. At the center of those districts were 7 key cities which served as central points for the dissemination of information. It is to the churches in those cities that John writes. [My note. Notice that John did not address the Church at Rome.]

b. 1:4. who is and who was and who is to come. God’s eternal presence is not limited by time. He has always been present and will come in the future. [Walvoord Commentary note. The “who” relates to “God” the Father.]

c. 1:4. the seven Spirits. There are two possible meanings: (1) a reference to Isaiah’s prophecy concerning the 7-fold ministry of the Holy Spirit (Is. 11:2); or (2) more likely, it is a reference to the lampstand with 7 lamps (a menorah) in Zechariah—also a description of the Holy Spirit (see notes on 4:5; 5:6; Zech. 4:1–10). In either case, 7 is the number of completeness, so John is identifying the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

d. 1:5. firstborn. Of all who have been or will be raised from the dead, He is the preeminent one, the only one who is the rightful heir (cf. 3:14; Ps. 89:27; Col. 1:15). [Walvoord Commentary note. Referring to Christ’s resurrection.]

e. 1:6. kings and priests. More accurately, “a kingdom and priests.” All who believe live in the sphere of God’s rule, a kingdom entered by faith in Jesus Christ. And as priests, believers have the right to enter God’s presence. [Ryrie Study Bible note. “A kingdom, priests.” Description of both Israel {Ex 19:6} and the church. See note on 1 Peter 2:9-10, indicating that we shall minister to Him forever.]

f. 1:7 coming with clouds. This echoes the promise of Daniel: The Son of Man will come with the clouds of heaven (Dan. 7:13)—not ordinary clouds but clouds of glory. In the OT, God often manifested Himself in an energized, blazing light, called the Shekinah or glory cloud. No one could see it fully and live (Ex. 33:20), so it had to be veiled. But when Christ returns, the glory will be completely visible. Cf. Matt. 24:29, 30; 25:31; see notes on 6:12–17. [My note. Not every eye will see Christ when He comes in the air at the rapture to take His born again believers to Heaven {John 14:2,3,6; 1 Thes 4:16-17; 1 Cor 15:50-54}. At the 1:7 coming with clouds, every eye, of those whom were left behind from the rapture, will see Christ when He returns to earth from Heaven with His previously raptured born again believers {Zech 12:10; Matt 24:29-30}].

g. 1:7. they who pierced. Not a reference to the 4 Roman soldiers usually involved in crucifixion, but to the Jews who were actually responsible for Christ’s death (Acts 2:22, 23; 3:14, 15). Zechariah identified the ones who pierced Him as “the house of David” and “the inhabitants of Jerusalem,” and prophesied that they will weep tears of genuine repentance because of what they did to their Messiah (Zech. 12:10). [See my note in 1:7, above.]

h. 1:7. all the tribes…will mourn. The mourning of the rest of the earth’s inhabitants is not that which accompanies genuine repentance (cf. 9:21). It is the result of guilt for sin and fear of punishment (6:16; cf. Gen. 3:8–10). [My note. Tribes more directly relate to Jews, as they were the tribes of Israel; see Gen 49:16.]

i. 1:8 Alpha and the Omega. These are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. An alphabet is an ingenious way to store and communicate knowledge. The 26 letters in the English alphabet, arranged in almost endless combinations, can hold and convey all knowledge. Christ is the supreme, sovereign, alphabet; there is nothing outside of His knowledge, so as there are no unknown factors that can sabotage His second coming (cf. Col. 2:3).

j. 1:8. the Almighty. “Almighty God” occurs 8 times in Revelation, underscoring that God’s power is supreme over all the cataclysmic events it records (see also 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7, 14; 19:15; 21:22). He exercises sovereign control over every person, object, and event, and not one molecule in the universe is outside that dominion. [My note. See Introduction I.B., above.]

C. The Patmos Vision (vv 9-20).

1. Verses. 9 I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet, 11 saying, “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” 12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; 13 and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. 14 His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. 15 His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. 16 In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, 18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades. 19 Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things. 20 As for the mystery of the seven stars which 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.

2. Comments.

a. 1:9–18. This vision of Christ is equaled in grandeur only by the vision of His final return as King of kings and Lord of lords (19:11–16).

b. 1:9 tribulation and kingdom and patience. Four characteristics that John and his believing readers share: (1) persecution for their faith; (2) membership in the redeemed community over which Christ serves as Lord and King; (3) eager anticipation of the glory of His coming millennial reign on earth; and (4) endurance and perseverance in spite of difficult times.

c. 1:9. island . . . called Patmos. Located in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Asia Minor (modern Turkey) and part of a group of about 50 islands, Patmos is a barren, rocky, crescent-shaped island that is about 10 mi. long and less than 6 mi. at its widest point. Barren in John’s day, it served as a Roman penal colony. According to early Christian historian Eusebius, the emperor Nerva (A.D. 96–98) released John from Patmos.

d. 1:10. in the Spirit. This was not a dream. John was supernaturally transported out of the material world awake—not sleeping—to an experience beyond the normal senses. The Holy Spirit empowered his senses to perceive revelation from God (cf. Acts 10:11).

d. 1:10. “Lord’s Day.” [Ryrie Study Bible note. Likely not a reference to Sunday (which is called the first day of the week) in the NT) but a “Lordian day,” or an “imperial day” (the same adjective is used elsewhere only in 1 Cor 11:20), referring to the contents of the vision that reveal the future time when Christ will judge and rule]. {My note. See Isaiah 2:4a, “And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples.}

e. 1:10. loud voice. Throughout Revelation, a loud sound or voice indicates the solemnity of what God is about to reveal.

f. 1:11 book. The Gr. word refers to a scroll made of parchment formed from papyrus, a reed that grows plentifully along the Nile.

g. 1:12. lampstands. These were portable gold lampstands that held small oil lamps. Each lampstand represented a church (v. 20), from which the light of life shone. Throughout Scripture, 7 is the number of completeness, so these 7 lampstands are representative of all the churches. [Ryrie Study Bible note. “lampstands.” These represent the seven churches mentioned in verse 11 (see also v. 20).]

h. 1:13. Son of Man. According to the Gospels, this is the title Christ used most often for Himself during His earthly ministry (81 times in the Gospels). Taken from the heavenly vision in Dan. 7:13, it is an implied claim to deity. “garment.” Most occurrences of this word in the Septuagint, the Gr. OT, refer to the garment of the High-Priest. The golden sash across His chest completes the picture of Christ serving in His priestly role (cf. Lev. 16:1–4; Heb. 2:17).

h. 1:13.(1). garment. Most occurrences of this word in the Septuagint, the Gr. OT, refer to the garment of the High-Priest. The golden sash across His chest completes the picture of Christ serving in His priestly role (cf. Lev. 16:1–4; Heb. 2:17).

i. 1:14. white like wool. “White” does not refer to a flat white color but a blazing, glowing, white light (cf. Dan. 7:9). Like the glory cloud (or Shekinah), it is a picture of His holiness.

j. 1:14. eyes . . . flame of fire. Like two lasers, the eyes of the exalted Lord look with penetrating gaze into the depths of His church (2:18; 19:12; Heb. 4:13).

k. 1:15 feet . . . fine brass. The altar of burnt offering was covered with brass and its utensils were made of the same material (cf. Ex. 38:1–7). Glowing hot, brass feet are a clear reference to divine judgment. Jesus Christ with feet of judgment is moving through His church to exercise His chastening authority upon sin.

l. 1:15. voice . . . sound of many waters. No longer was His voice like the crystal clear note of a trumpet (v. 10), but John likened it to the crashing of the surf against the rocks of the island (cf. Ezek. 43:2). It was the voice of authority.

m. 1:16. seven stars. These are the messengers who represent the 7 churches (see note on v. 20). Christ holds them in His hand, which means that He controls the church and its leaders. [ Walvoord Commentary note. The seven stars Christ holds in His hand are identified in verse 20 as “the angels of the seven churches.” Since the word “angel” means “messenger, one who is sent,” it is best to understand these angels not as divine beings, but as the leaders in these churches who are responsible for their spiritual welfare. These messengers representing the churches are in Christ’s right hand, indicating possession, protection, and sovereign control.]

n. 1:16. a sharp two-edged sword. A large, two-edged broad sword. It signifies judgment (cf. 2:16; 19:15) on those who attack His people and destroy His church.

o. 1:17. fell at His feet. A common response to seeing the awesome glory of the Lord (Gen. 17:3; Num. 16:22; Is. 6:1–8; Ezek. 1:28; Acts 9:4).

p. 1:17. First and the Last. Jesus Christ applies this OT name for Yahweh (22:13; Is. 41:4; 44:6; 48:12) to Himself, clearly claiming to be God. Idols will come and go. He was before them, and He will remain after them.

q. 1:18. keys of Hades and of Death. See note on Luke 16:23. Death and Hades are essentially synonyms, but death is the condition and Hades, equivalent to the OT Sheol, the place of the dead (see note on 20:13). Christ decides who lives, who dies, and when.

r. 1:19. This verse provides a simple outline for the entire book: “the things which you have seen” refers to the vision John has just seen (chap. 1); “the things which are” denotes the letters to the churches (chaps. 2, 3); and “the things which will take place after this” refers to the revelation of future history (chaps. 4–22). [My comment. Chapters 2-3 relate to the church age, of which time we are a part today. So, we can look at Chapter 1, as being our past, and Chapters 2-3 being our present time, and Chapters 4-22 being our future. The church is never mentioned in the book of Revelation after the end of Chapter 3. After the rapture of the church occurs, the purpose of the church will have been fulfilled, and the church will be non-existent. Rev 21:1-3 describes those whom will inhabit the eternal state, of what many people refer to as heaven. The Bible says that God will create “a new heaven and a new earth,” and the New Jerusalem will descend from God to the new earth (Rev 21:1-2). In this new creation, “the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God” (Rev 21:3). The word,”men,” relates to all whom are born again believers in Christ, as opposed to “unbelievers,” whom are identified in Rev 21:8. At present time, all Jewish and Gentile born again believers in Christ can take pride in knowing that “we are one in Christ” (Gal 3:28).]

s. 1:20. the angels. The word lit. means “messenger.” Although it can mean angel—and does throughout the book—it cannot refer to angels here because angels are never leaders in the church. Most likely, these messengers are the 7 key elders representing each of those churches (see note on v. 16). [Walvoord Commentary note. As earlier noted, the mystery of the seven stars is revealed to represent the messengers to the churches, and the seven golden lampstands are the churches themselves.]

Tribulation Prophecies And Doctrine 7 – The Source Of The Tribulation.

I. Introduction.

A. In order to understand the Tribulation, it is important to understand the source of the Tribulation. This article will show that God is the architect and orchestrator of the Tribulation, from start to finish, and that its key purpose is to draw unsaved Jews to saving faith in Christ. Consider the following verses of Scripture.

B. Tribulation Overview.

1. The purpose of the Tribulation. Jeremiah 30:7. This prophecy was given in the year 606 B.C., while the Jews were in Babylonian captivity, and speaks of the coming of the tribulation that will come upon all Israel (Jacob). In 30:8 “that day,” the Day of the Lord which will also be the restoration of Israel under Messiah, the son of David. (Ryrie Study Bible)

Jeremiah 30:7, “How awful that day will be! There will be no other like it! It will be a time of trouble for Jacob, but he will be saved out of it.”

2. That which must precede the Tribulation. Daniel 9:27. This prophecy was given in the year 538 B.C., while the Jews were in Babylonian captivity. The Antichrist will make a pact with the Jews, which will mark the beginning of the Tribulation period.

Daniel 9:27,”He will make a firm covenant with many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and offering. And the abomination of desolation will be on a wing of the temple until the decreed destruction is poured out on the desolator.”

3. The Day Of The Lord (Joel 1:15) consists of the events of the Tribulation, the Second Coming of Christ, and the Kingdom Age of the Millennial reign of Christ.

4. In addition to the purpose of the Tribulation for drawing unbelieving Jews to belief in Christ, the entire period of the Tribulation, which will include the Seal Judgments, Trumpet Judgments, and Bowl Judgments, will be a time of testing for all of those that will be left behind from the rapture of the Church (Rev 3:10). Believers in Christ will be “saved from, or saved out of,” the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.” Notice that Rev 3:10 identifies those of the Tribulation as “earth dwellers,” and are also addressed throughout “all of the Tribulation,” in the following verses: 6:10, 8:13, 11:10, 13:8, 13:14, 17:8.

5. The source of the Tribulation judgments, will be God, through Jesus (the Lamb) and God’s angels.

a. Seal Judgments. Revelation 6:1-8:6. Notice that in Rev 6:16-17, those whom have been left behind from the rapture, and have found themselves being the objects of God’s wrath, beginning with Rev 6:1, recognize that “the great day of the wrath of the Lamb has already come upon them.” Notice that in Rev 6:2, the Antichrist is a Seal Judgment which is poured out on the earth by Christ.

b. Trumpet Judgments. Revelation 8:7-9:21.

c. Bowl Judgments. Revelation 15:1-16:21.

6. The Second Coming Of Christ occurs at the end of the Tribulation (Matt 24:29-31 (for Him to set up the Kingdom Age of the Millennium, and to enact judgment on unbelievers of all times) (also Rev 1:7; Zech 12:10, 14; 1-5, 9; Mk 13:24-27; Rev 19:11-21).

7. The rapture of the Church (John 14:7; 1 Cor 15:50-54; Eph 4:13-18; 2 Thes 2:3) is not a part of The Day Of The Lord, but is that event which removes the Church (the born again believers in Christ), from the earth so that God can deal with unsaved Israel and draw them to belief in Christ. Neither the existence of the Church, nor the relationship between Christ and the Church, were known by the Jews in the prophetic writings of the Old Testament prophets. In essence, it was a mystery of Christ and the Church that was not made known until it was revealed in the New Testament (Eph 5:32; 1 Cor 15:51).

8. At the time of the rapture of the Church, all living and deceased believers of Christ of the church age will be taken to Heaven (John 14:3,6); will receive spiritual rewards at the Bema Judgment (2 Cor 5:10); are joined to Christ in Marriage (Rev 19:7-9; 2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:25-27); will be in the Presence of Christ and God until the end of the Tribulation (Rev 4-5); will return with Christ at the end of the Tribulation, at the Battle/Campaign of Armageddon (Rev 19:11-21).

C. The Seventieth Week Of Daniel Examined (The Tribulation).

a. The church and Israel are two distinct groups with whom God has a divine plan. The church is a mystery, unrevealed in the Old Testament. This present mystery age (Inter-Advent age, mine), intervenes within the program of God for Israel because of Israel’s rejection of the Messiah at His first advent. This mystery program must be completed before God can resume His program with Israel and bring it to completion pg 193). The church will be raptured before the seventieth week (pg 194).

b. The seventieth week has the character of: (1) wrath (Rev 6:16-17); (2) judgment (Rev 14:7); (3) indignation (Isa 26:20-21); (4) punishment (Isa 24:20-21); (5) hour of trial (Rev 3:10); (6) hour of trouble (Jer 30:7); (7) destruction (Joel 1:15); (8) darkness (Joel 2:2). It must be noted that these references describe the period in its eternity, not just a portion of it, so that the whole period bears this characterization (pg 194-195).

c. This period of tribulation will see the wrath of God poured out upon the whole earth (Rev 3:10). While the whole earth is in view, this period is particularly in relation to Israel. Jer 30:7, which calls this period, “the time of Jacob’s trouble,” makes this certain. The events of the seventieth week are events of the “Day Of The Lord.” The use of the name of deity emphasizes God’s peculiar relationship to that nation. When this period is being anticipated in Daniel 9:24 (538 B.C.), God says to the prophet, “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city. The whole period has special reference to Daniel’s people, Israel, and Daniel’s holy city, Jerusalem” (pg 195) (Daniel 9:20-27).

d. Since every passage dealing with the tribulation relates it to God’s program for Israel, the scope of the tribulation prevents the church from participating in it (pg 196).

e. The purpose of the seventieth week is two-fold (pp 197-200).

(1) The first purpose is stated in Rev 3:10, “Because you have kept My word of perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of the testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who live on the earth.” Apart from the question involved as to who will be in this time of testing there are several other important important considerations in this verse.

(a) First of all we see that this period has in view, “them that dwell on the earth,” and not the church. This same expression occurs in Rev 6:10; 11:10; 13:8, 12, 14; 14:7; and 17:8. Since this period is related to “earth dwellers,” those that have settled down to permanent occupancy, it can have no reference to the church, which would be subjected to the same experiences if it were here.

(b) The second consideration to be noted here is to express purpose, when God is its subject, “to inflict evils upon one in order to prove his character, and the steadfastness of his faith.” Since the Father never sees the church except in Christ, perfected in Him, this period can have no reference to the church, for the true church does not need to be tested to see if her faith is genuine.

(2) The second major purpose of the seventieth week is in relation to Israel. In Malachi 4:5-6 (397 B.C.) it is stated: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord: And he will turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

(a) The prophet states that the ministry of Elijah was a ministry to prepare the people for the King who was shortly to come.

(b) In Luke 1:17 and Mark 9:12-13, the Lord was showing the disciples that John the Baptist had this ministry of preparing a people for Him. John’s ministry was a ministry to prepare the nation Israel for the coming of the King. It can only be concluded then that Elijah, who is to come before the great and terrible day of the Lord, can have only one ministry: that of preparing a remnant in Israel for the advent of the Lord. It is evident that no such ministry is needed by the church since she by nature is without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but is holy and without blemish.

(3) The two stated purposes of the tribulation, the testing of earth dwellers, and the preparation of Israel for the King, have no relation to the church, whatsoever. This is supporting evidence that the church will not be in the tribulation.

(4) The rapture, the catching up of the New Testament saints (1 Thes 4:16-17) will remove, not all who make a profession of faith in Christ, but only those who have been born again and have received His life. The unbelieving portion of the visible church, together with unbelievers in the nation Israel, will go into the tribulation period.

II. Tribulation Wrath In Focus.

A. Because the postribulation rapturist refuses to distinguish between the tribulations of this age, which the church will endure, and the unique and unprecedented period of tribulation which shall come on the earth, they insist that the rigors of tribulation come only through the agency of man or of Satan, and disassociate God from the period entirely.

B. The tribulation period will witness the wrath of Satan in his animosity against Israel (Rev 12:12-17) and of Satan’s puppet, the Beast, in his animosity against the saints (Rev 13:7). Yet, even this manifestation of wrath does not begin to exhaust the outpouring of wrath that day.

C. Scripture abounds in assertions that this period is not the wrath of man, nor even the wrath of Satan, but the wrath of God.

1. Isa 24:1. Look, the Lord is stripping the earth bare and making it desolate.
He will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants. (Note: The Lord is to deal with the whole earth more severely than He did at the tower of Babel or through the Noahic Flood, MacArthur Study Bible).

2. Isa 26:21. For look, the Lord is coming from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity. The earth will reveal the blood shed on it and will no longer conceal her slain. (Note: The innocent killed by their oppressors are to come to life (cf. v. 19) and testify against their murderers, MacArthur Study Bible).

3. Joel 1:15. Woe because of that day! For the day of the Lord is near
and will come as devastation from the Almighty. (Note: The Heb. term “destruction” forms a powerful play on words with the “Almighty.” The notion of invincible strength is foremost; destruction at the hand of omnipotent God is coming, MacArthur Study Bible).

4. Zeph 1:18. Their silver and their gold will be unable to rescue them on the day of the Lord’s wrath. The whole earth will be consumed by the fire of his jealousy, for he will make a complete, yes, a horrifying end of all the inhabitants of the earth. (Note: The discussion expands to include the whole earth as in vv. 2, 3, MacArthur Study Bible).

5. Rev 6:16. And they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. (Note: 16. Earth’s inhabitants will recognize for the first time the source of all their trouble, MacArthur Study Bible).

6. Rev 16:7. I heard the altar say, Yes, Lord God, the Almighty, true and just are your judgments. (Note.  The personified altar echoes the words of the angel, reinforcing the truth that God is just in all judgment, MacArthur Study Bible).

D. From the above Scriptures, it can not be denied that this period is peculiarly the time when God’s wrath and judgment fall upon the earth. This is not wrath from men, nor from Satan, except as God may use these agencies as channels for the execution of His will; it is the tribulation from God. This period differs from all preceding tribulation, not only in intensity but also in the kind of tribulation, since it comes rom God Himself.

III. Tribulation Summary.

A. The great tribulation is the period of unexampled trouble predicted in the passages cited under that head from Ps 2:5 to Rev 7:14, and described in Rev 11.-18. Involving in a measure the whole earth (Rev 3:10) it is yet distinctly “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer 30:7) and its vortex Jerusalem and the Holy Land. It involves the people of God who will have returned to Israel in unbelief. Its duration is three and a half years, or the last half of the seventieth week of Daniel.  The elements of the tribulation are:

1. The cruel reign of the “beast out of the sea” (Rev 13:1) who at the beginning of the three and a half years, will break his covenant with the Jews (by virtue of which they will have re-established the temple worship (Dan 9:27), and show himself in the temple, demanding that he be worshipped as God (Matt 24:15; 2 Thes 2:4).

2. The active interposition of Satan, “having great wrath” (Rev 12:12), who gives his power to the Beast (Rev 13:4-5).

3. The unprecedented activity of demons (Rev 9:2, 11).

4. The terrible “bowl” judgments of (Rev 16:1-21).

B. The great tribulation will be, however, a period of salvation. An election out of Israel is seen as sealed for God (Rev 7:4-8) and, with an innumerable multitude of Gentiles Rev 7:9) are said to have come “out of the great tribulation” (Rev 7:14). They are not of the priesthood, the church, to which they seem to stand somewhat in the relation of the Levites to the priests under the Mosaic Covenant. The great tribulation is immediately followed by the return of Christ in glory, and the events associated therewith (Matt 24:29-30).

IV. References.

A. Paragraph I. B. 2. The Moody Bible Commentary, @2014 by The Moody Bible Institute, p. 1307 .

B. Paragraph I. B. 3. Things To Come, @1958, by Dunham Publishing Company, J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. D., p. 231.

C. Paragraph I. B.4. Revelation Commentary, @2011, by John F. Walvoord, Th.D., by Moody Publishers, p. 84.

D. Paragraph I.C. Things To Come, @1958, by Dunham Publishing Company, J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. D., pp 194-200.

E. Paragraph II, A-D. Things to Come, @1958, by Dunham Publishing Company, J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. D., pp. 235-238.

F. Paragraph III, A-B. Scofield Study Bible, @2006, by Oxford University Press, Rev 7:14 Note.

G. Scriptures in this article are from the Christian Standard Bible. The scriptures were pasted from BibleGateway.com

V. New Website.

Please check out my new website. The new site complements this Eternity website.

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Tribulation Prophecies And Doctrine 6 – The Essence Of The Tribulation.

I. Introduction.

A. There is no better way to come to an understanding of the Scriptural concept of the tribulation than to let Scripture speak for itself. It is impossible to set forth all the declarations of the Word on this subject. A few will suffice. The line of revelation begins early in the Old Testament, and continues through the New. Consider the following verses of Scripture.

1. Deu 4:30-31. 30 In your distress when all these things happen to you in future days, if you return to the Lord your God and obey him 31 (for he is a merciful God), he will not let you down or destroy you, for he cannot forget the covenant with your ancestors that he confirmed by oath to them.

2. Isa 2:19. They will go into caves in the rocky cliffs and into holes in the round,
trying to escape the dreadful judgment of the Lord and his royal splendor,
when he rises up to terrify the earth.

3. Isa 24:1, 3, 6. 1:Look, the Lord is ready to devastate the earth and leave it in ruins; he will mar its surface and scatter its inhabitants. 3:The earth will be completely devastated and thoroughly ransacked. For the Lord has decreed this judgment. 6:So a treaty curse devours the earth; its inhabitants pay for their guilt. This is why the inhabitants of the earth disappear, and are reduced to just a handful of people.

4. Isa 24:19-21. 19 The earth is broken in pieces, the earth is ripped to shreds, the earth shakes violently. 20 The earth will stagger around like a drunk; it will sway back and forth like a hut in a windstorm. Its sin will weigh it down, and it will fall and never get up again. 21 At that time the Lord will punish the heavenly forces in the heavens and the earthly kings on the earth.

5. Isa 26:20-21: 20 Go, my people! Enter your inner rooms! Close your doors behind you! Hide for a little while, until his angry judgment is over. 21 For look, the Lord is coming out of the place where he lives, to punish the sin of those who live on the earth. The earth will display the blood shed on it; it will no longer cover up its slain.

6. Jer 30:7. Alas, what a terrible time of trouble it is! There has never been any like it. It is a time of trouble for the descendants of Jacob, but some of them will be rescued out of it.

7. Dan 9:27. He will confirm a covenant with many for one week. But in the middle of that week he will bring sacrifices and offerings to a halt. On the wing of abominations will come one who destroys, until the decreed end is poured out on the one who destroys.”

8. Dan 12:1. “At that time Michael, the great prince who watches over your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress unlike any other from the nation’s beginning up to that time. But at that time your own people, all those whose names are found written in the book, will escape.

9. Joel 1:15. How awful that day will be! For the day of the Lord is near;
it will come as destruction from the Divine Destroyer.

10. Joel 2:1-2. 1 Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm signal on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land shake with fear, for the day of the Lord is about to come. Indeed, it is near! It will be a day of dreadful darkness, a day of foreboding storm clouds, like blackness spread over the mountains. It is a huge and powerful army—there has never been anything like it ever before, and there will not be anything like it for many generations to come!

11. Amos 5:18, 20. 18 Woe to those who wish for the day of the Lord!
Why do you want the Lord’s day of judgment to come? It will bring darkness, not light. 20 Don’t you realize the Lord’s day of judgment will bring darkness, not light—gloomy blackness, not bright light?

12. Zeph 1:14-15, 18. 14 The Lord’s great day of judgment is almost here; it is approaching very rapidly! There will be a bitter sound on the Lord’s day of judgment; at that time warriors will cry out in battle. 15 That day will be a day of God’s anger, a day of distress and hardship, a day of devastation and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and dark skies…18 Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s angry judgment. The whole earth will be consumed by his fiery wrath.
Indeed, he will bring terrifying destruction on all who live on the earth.”

13. Matt 24:21-22. 21 For then there will be great suffering unlike anything that has happened from the beginning of the world until now, or ever will happen. 22 And if those days had not been cut short, no one would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.

14. Luke 21:25-26. 25 “And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth nations will be in distress, anxious over the roaring of the sea and the surging waves. 26 People will be fainting from fear and from the expectation of what is coming on the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

15. 1 Thes 5:3. Now when they are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction comes on them, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will surely not escape.

16. Rev 3:10.  Because you have kept my admonition to endure steadfastly, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is about to come on the whole world to test those who live on the earth.17.

17. Rev 6:15-17. 15 Then the kings of the earth, the very important people, the generals, the rich, the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 They said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who is seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 because the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to withstand it?”

B. From the above Scriptures, it is inescapable that the nature or character of this period is that of wrath (Zeph 1:15, 18; 1 Thes 1:10; Rev 6:16-17; 11:18; 14:10, 19; 15:1, 7; 16:1, 19), judgment (Rev 14:7; 15:4; 16:5, 7; 19:2), indignation (Isa 26:20-21; 34:1-3), trial (Rev 3:10), trouble (Jer 30:7; Zeph 1:14-15; Dan 12:1), destruction (Joel 1:15; 1 Thes 5:3), darkness (Joel 2:2; Amos 5:18; Zeph 1:14-18) desolation (Dan 9:27; Zeph 1:14-15), overturning (Isa 24:1-4, 19-21), punishment (Isa 24:20-21). No passage can be found to alleviate to any degree whatsoever the severity of this time that shall come upon the earth.

II. Key Scripture Examinations.

A. Isa 2:19. See Rev 6:15, which vividly describes the desperate actions of people in the coming tribulation.

B. Isa 24:1-13. The coming judgment will be on the entire earth (v. 1, 4), on all classes of people (v. 2), and will remove all pleasures (vv. 6, 13). Only a small remnant will survive (vv. 6, 13).

C. Isa 24:1. The section (chaps. 24-27), that begins here, deals with judgments of the tribulation period and blessings of the millennial age.

D. Jer 30:7. the time of Jacob’s distress. The coming days of tribulation that will come upon all Israel (Jacob).

E. Dan 9:3-19. In Dan 9:3-19, Daniel’s prayer associated himself with the sins of his people 12 times. He approaches God on the basis of His loyal love in His covenant with Israel (v. 4), confesses their sins (vv. 5-10), acknowledges their deserved judgment (vv. 11-14), and supplicates God for His mercy (vv. 15-19).

F. Dan 9:27. The prince of verse 26, the antichrist previously introduced in 7:8, 24-26,who will make a pact with many (of the Jewish people) at the beginning of the tribulation period. But, in the middle of the week (i.e., 3 1/2 years later), antichrist will break his covenant and desecrate the Temple by demanding worship of himself in it. See notes on Matt 24:15 and 2 Thes 2:4. At Christ’s second coming, antichrist and his false prophet will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev 19:20).

G. Dan 12:1. at that time. The time of the events of 11:36-45, the Great Tribulation. Michael. See note on 10:13. such as never occurred. Jesus’ words in Matt 24:21.

H. Joel 1:15. the day of the Lord. The major theme of this prophecy, involves God’s special intervention in the affairs of human history. This eschatological “day” includes the time of the Tribulation (Isa 2:12-19; 4:1), the second coming of Christ (Joel 2:30-32), and the Millennium (Isa 4:2; 12; 19:23-25; Jer 30:7-9).

I. Joel 2:1-2. The locust army is regarded as a foretaste of an invading army in the day of the Lord (v. 1); i.e., in the tribulation period.

J. Amos 5:18-20. They thought the day of the Lord would bring judgment only on their enemies, little realizing that it would also include them.

K. Rev 3:10 . I will keep you from the hour of testing. A promise that believers will be delivered from the time of Tribulation that will come upon the entire earth (Mat 24:14-21). See note on 1 Thes 4:16-17.

III. Point Summary.

A. Jeremiah 30:7 points directly to Israel as being the object of the coming Tribulation. Daniel 9:27 points to the event that will bring about the Tribulation, which is the antichrist making a covenant with Israel. Daniel’s prayer in 9:3-19, is further conclusive evidence that it is the nation of Israel for which God’s Tribulation judgments are directed. The church has no purpose for being in the Tribulation, and is never addressed in Scripture as being a party to God’s judgments of the end times.

B. Even with the problems that have been addressed with Israel, there are scriptures that show the strength of relationship that exists between God and the Jews.

1.Deu 14:2. For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. He has chosen you to be his people, prized above all others on the face of the earth.

2. Jer 31:3. In a faraway land the Lord will manifest himself to them. He will say to them, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love. That is why I have continued to be faithful to you.

3. Zech 2:8. For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: “For his own glory he has sent me to the nations that plundered you—for anyone who touches you touches the pupil of his eye.

4. Matt 24:22. And if those days had not been cut short, no one would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.

C. The comment on Matt 24:22 by The Moody Bible Commentary, shows God’s love for the Jews as Israel is about to be decimated at the end of the Tribulation. “The experience of believing Israel is in view here, not that of the Church.”

IV. References.

A. Paragraph I. Things To Come, Zondervan, 1958, J. Dwight Pentecost, Th.D., pgs 233-235.

B. Paragraph II, Ryrie Study Bible, The Moody Bible Institute, 1960, Charles C. Ryrie, Ph.D.

C. Paragraph III. C., The Moody Bible Commentary, The Moody Bible Institute, 2014, pgs 1500-1501, Michael G. Vanlaningham, Ph.D.

D. Scriptures in this article are from the New English Translation Bible. The scriptures were pasted from BibleGateway.com

V. New Website.

Please check out my new website. The new site complements this Eternity website.

Israel In The End Times

https://endtimesdotcom.wordpress.com

Tribulation Prophecies And Doctrine 5 – Waiting For The Last Days?

I. Introduction.

We are now transitioning from scriptures and context that relate to The Day Of The Lord to those that relate to The Tribulation Period In Scripture. Although this point of transition subject has been touched on briefly in a previous connection, it is necessary to set forth the teaching of the Scriptures on this important eschatological doctrine. All verses in this article come from the New American Standard Bible.

II. The Tribulation In Context.

A. In the teaching of “end times terms,” it is important to consider the context of each verse of scripture. As I have written in a prior article, the Old Testament Jewish prophets wrote of: end times, last days, latter days, day of the Lord, etc., the context always related to the times of the Tribulation or Kingdom Age of the Millennium. Additionally, the Gospel writers, as well as the Jewish Apostles on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:17), addressed the prophecies that were spoken and written by the Old Testament Jewish prophets.

B. The Jews in the Old Testament pre-gospel times had been taught by the Jewish prophets about the times of the Tribulation and Kingdom Age. The Gospel era Jews began being taught by Christ and His disciples, of the end times of the Tribulation and Kingdom Age. On the Day of Pentecost, the Jewish prophets told the Jews, who were in Jerusalem for the Jewish festival of Pentecost, of the aforementioned end times. The church, and everything about Christ and the church, had been a mystery to all Jews (Eph 5:32) until they began being taught about this mystery by Jews (Apostles and their disciples) who were believers in Christ, beginning on the Day of Pentecost. Gentiles had never received any teaching on the end times, or Christ, or the church, until the believing Jews began to evangelize the Gentiles. Gentiles of all prior ages had never been privy to the Word of God that was solely between God and His chosen people, who were the Jews (Deu 14:2).

C. From the second chapter of Acts, forward, such words as ” last days and day of the Lord, “are used according to their context. The “perilous times” of 2 Tim 3:1, relate to the times which lead to the Rapture of the Church and Tribulation. This end times subject was preached by born again Jews and Gentiles to Jews and Gentiles (saved and unsaved) who were present on earth after Acts 1:26 (Day of Pentecost), and the beginning of the dispensation of grace. The subject of Matt 24:3-31, was taught by Christ to His disciples (privately, Mt 24:3, also perilous times), about the conditions that will be present on earth during the Tribulation. This teaching of Christ was “from a Jews, Christ,” to Jews, Disciples,” about conditions that will affect Israel and Jews (Jer 30:7; Dan 9:27) who will be left behind on earth after the Rapture. The Jews who will be affected, as well as Gentiles, will have not been born again at the time of the rapture of the church (John 14:2-6; 1 Cor 15:50-54; 1 Thes 4:16-17; 2 Thes 2:3…”apostasy;” Greek=”aposticia” meaning “falling away,” but more naturally “departure away first.”). God does not react to human behavior, which would make Him a “God of reactions.” Instead, God is a God of Sovereign plans, which He will implement, regardless of human behavior.

III. Key Last Days Scriptures.

A. Isaiah 2:2. Kingdom Age. Millennium.

Now it will come about that
In the last days
The mountain of the house of the Lord
Will be established as the chief of the mountains,
And will be raised above the hills;
And all the nations will stream to it.”

B. Daniel 10:14. Tribulation.

“Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the latter days, because the vision pertains to the days still future.”

C. Joel 2:28-32. Tribulation. Cited by Peter on Day Of Pentecost (Acts 2:17).

1. Joel 2:28. Note. “after this.” I.e., after Israel’s future repentance and restoration (Zech 12:10; 13:1) in conjunction with the second advent of Christ, as written by the portents of verse 30 (see note on Acts 2:16-21). The Holy Spirit will then be poured out on all classes in Israel who belong to the believing remnant (v. 32). For Peter’s use of this passage on the Day of Pentecost, see note on Acts 2:16-21.

2. Scripture. Joel 2:28-32.

The Promise of the Spirit

28 “It will come about after this
That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
Your old men will have dreams,
Your young men will see visions.
29 And even on the male and female servants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”

The Day of the Lord

30 I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth,
Blood, fire, and columns of smoke.
31 The sun will be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.
32 And it will come about that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord
Will be saved;
For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
There will be those who escape,
Just as the Lord has said,
Even among the survivors whom the Lord calls.”

D. Acts 2:17. Day Of Pentecost. Last Days Connection.

1. Acts 2:17. Note. The fulfillment of the following prophecy will be in the last days, immediately preceding the return of Christ, when all of the particulars (e.g., v. 20 and Rev 6:12) of the prophecy will come to pass. Peter reminded his hearers that, knowing Joel’s prophecy (above Joel 2:28-32), they should have recognized what they were seeing as being a work of the Holy Spirit, not a result of drunkenness. (Ryrie Study Bible).

2. Acts 2:17. Prophecy of “last days” during tribulation.

“And it shall be in the last days, God says,
‘That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
And your young men will see visions,
And your old men will have dreams;”

3. Notice that Joel 2:28 and Acts 2:17 relate to Jews and Israel, as to their repentance toward Christ, on the day of Pentecost; and during the Tribulation, which will happen prior to the return of Christ from Heaven (second coming of Christ) to physically stand on the Mount of Olives (Zech 12:2-3, 10; 14:1-5; Mt 24:29-31; Rev 19:11-21); and not in the air at the rapture (1 Thes 4:16-17).

E. 2 Timothy 3:1. Church Age. Dispensation of Grace. Preceding Rapture and Tribulation.

“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.”

IV. Jews In The Tribulation.

The following verses show that Matthew 24:3-29 relates to Israel, and not to the church.

1. Mathew 24:14.  “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (This is not the gospel of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (1 Cor 15:1-8), but of the Kingdom which John The Baptist, Christ and His disciples preached to first century Israel, when they rejected (Matt 3:1-2; 4:17; 10:5-7; 6:9; Lk 10:1, 9).

2. Matthew 24:15-16. “15 Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place—let the reader understand— 16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.” (This is purely related to Jews. Daniel the prophet, the Holy Place, the abomination of desolation, have nothing to do with Gentiles. Personally, I am not planning on fleeing to the mountains.).

3. Matthew 24:20. “Moreover, pray that when you flee, it will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath.”  (The Sabbath was of no concern to Gentiles when this passage was written, and is of no concern to Gentiles today, or when the Tribulation occurs.).

4. Matthew 24:21. “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will again. ” (The events of this verse can not happen prior to the Tribulation, with it being the worst thing ever to happen since the beginning of the world, and still have a Kingdom Age (Millennium) to follow. Consider the Noahic Flood, and the following “day to day” living conditions would not be able to take place during the Kingdom Age of the Millennium. (Amos 9:14, “I will also restore the fortunes of My people Israel, And they will rebuild the desolated cities and live in them; They will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, And make gardens and eat their fruit.”)

5. Matthew 24:29-30. “29 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.”(This passage shows that “after the Tribulation,” the world will mourn when they see the return of Christ…there will be great cataclysmic eruptions taking place. In sharp contrast to the events of this passage, is joy in the rapture of the church. Consider Titus 2:13:”looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” There is nothing joyous about the “left behind world” mourning when Christ returns from heaven “for judgment” on the earth in Matt 24:29-30.

V. What Are You Waiting For?

A. There are many people who are waiting for “the last days.” But, please let me say that, as it relates to 2 Timothy 3:1, “we’re there, already.” Just listen to the news events of these days, and you will realize that we definitely are in “perilous times.” But, for believers in Christ, there is coming an event that will remove us from the earth, and the “must more perilous times” of the Tribulation. The event, the rapture of the Church, will have us taken by Christ from earth to Heaven (John 14: 2,3,6), where we will receive spiritual rewards (2 Cor 5:10), and will have a very important position in the Marriage of the Lamb in Heaven (Rev 19:7-8), as well as the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:9), which will take place when we return to earth with Christ from heaven at the end of the earth’s seven years of tribulation (Mt 24:29-30), in the beginning of the Kingdom Age of the Millennium, where we will rule and reign with Him for 1,000 years (Rev 20:6).

B. Believers in Christ are not told to look for the antichrist, or the Tribulation; but both “are on the waiting list” for all who have not been born again, who do not believe in Christ (John 3:18).

C. Consider the things that are waiting for those who find themselves in “the last days” of the Tribulation.

1. As opposed to believers in Christ, being in the Presence of God (Rev 4-5), unbelievers will be the targets of the Tribulation judgments of God, which will be released through His angels and Christ. The Tribulation judgments will be unleashed on all unbelievers who will be left behind from the Rapture. Please understand that these judgments are Godly ordained judgments that will be directed at unbelievers, as opposed to conditions that affect all who live in our world today.

a. Christ will unleash the Seal Judgments on the earth (Rev 6:1-16).

b. Angels will unleash the Trumpet Judgments on the earth (Rev 8:5-13; 9:1-21).

c. Angels will unleash the Bowl Judgments on the earth ( Rev 16:1-21).

2. As being believers in Christ, therefore the bride of Christ, we will not come under the wrath of God during the Tribulation (1 Thes 1:10); Christ will not beat up His bride. We have our born again spirits indwelled by God’s Holy Spirit (Jn 14:20), who teaches us the things of Christ (Jn 14:20; 16:7-8). As being the born again bride of Christ, we have a new Spirit (2 Cor 5:17), which is as righteous as the Spirit of Christ (2 Cor 5:21). There is nothing of the Tribulation that can make a born again believer in Christ more righteous. We have no reason to be in the Tribulation, as the Tribulation (all of it, Rev 6:1-19:21) is designed for “those who dwell on the earth,” (Rev 3:10), who are “earth dwellers” (Rev 3:10, 6:10, 8:13, 11:10, 13:8, 14, 17:8). Believers in Christ have made heaven their place of choice, and therefore is where our citizenship lies (Phil 3:20).

D. As a believer in Christ, my salvation is secure in Christ (John 10:28-30). I know that through my belief in Christ, that by believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; that I have life in His name (John 20:31).

E. As a believer in Christ, I am not looking for, or waiting for, the last days of the Tribulation. I am eagerly “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,” (Titus 2:13). Amen.

VI. New Website.

Please check out my new website. The new site complements this Eternity website.

Israel In The End Times

https://endtimesdotcom.wordpress.com