Revelation Prophecy – Preview of Tribulation Judgments

I. Video Data. 1

The judgments of the tribulation.

II. Overview. Revelation. Chapters 6:1-18:24. 

A. Revelation 6:1 begins the first of three series of judgments in the book (seals, chap. 6; trumpets, chap. 8-9; bowls, chap. 16). Some see the later series as recapitulating the earlier series. But, more likely, the three series are consecutive, each succeeding one following the preceding one. Rev 6:2. A reference to the Antichrist. Also see Matthew 24. 2

1. Matthew 24:3. Verses 4-14 list characteristics of the first half of the tribulation period, whereas verses 15-28 deal with the second half. 2

2. Matthew 24:6-7. See the same judgments outlined in Rev 6:1-8. 2

3. Matthew 24:14. “The gospel of the kingdom. This is the good news that will be preached during the tribulation days concerning the coming of Messiah and setting up of His kingdom. See Matt 3:2. Evidently, many will respond (Rev 7:9-10). 2

4. Matthew 24:15. “ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION.” This is the man of sin (2 Thes 2:4), the Antichrist, who at this midpoint of the Tribulation breaks the covenant he made with the Jewish people at the beginning of the Tribulation (Dan. 9:27) and demands that they and the world worship him. Those who resist will be persecuted, and many will be martyred; that is the reason for the urgency of the instructions of verses 16-22. 2

5. Matthew 24:29-30. “THE SUN…THE MOON…THE STARS.” These astral phenomena, which will accompany the return of the Son of Man, are foretold in Isa. 13:9-10 and Joel 2:31; 3:15. 2

B. Revelation chapters (6:1-18:24) describe the tribulation, during which God will exercise His wrath toward rebellious sinners, and work to bring Israel to repentance. This section assured first century believers that persecutors of God’s people would not ultimately escape justice. Seals, trumpets, and bowls are labels that John used to describe the judgments of this time period.  3

C. The vision of the glorified Son of man in chapter 1 led to the writing of the seven letters to the churches (chaps. 2-3), Similarly, the throne room vision of chapters 4-5  sets the stage for the opening of the scroll with its sequence of seals, trumpets, and bowls (chaps. 6-16). The dramatic portrayal of God’s righteous judgment is now under way. 4

D. Chapter 6 introduces the seal judgments, which make up the first quarter of the Tribulation Period. The seventh seal then introduces the seven trumpets, which indicates that we are carried to the second quarter of the Tribulation. The seventh trumpet, in turn, introduces the seven bowl judgments, which comprise the last half of the Tribulation Period. Everything else between chapters 7 and 8 must be placed within the consecutive events of these three judgments. John saw the seven seals broken, one at a time; then, the seventh one introduced the seven trumpets, and finally the seventh trumpet introduced the seven bowls. Each of these judgments, whether breaking a seal, blowing a trumpet, or pouring out a bowl, is a symbolic announcement in heaven of an event that actually takes place on earth. These judgments take place consecutively. 5 

E. The opening of chapter 6 of the book of Revelation marks an important milestone in the progressive revelation of the end of the age. In chapter 5 John is introduced to the seven-sealed book in the hand of Christ. In chapter 6 the first six seals are opened with the resultant tremendous events occurring in the earth. The interpretation of these events depends upon the understanding of other portions of the prophetic Word. If the events portrayed are taken in any literal sense, it should be clear that they describe an event yet future, in the words of Christ “the things which shall be hereafter” (1:19). The opening of the seals ushers in the terrible judgments to fall upon this earth after the Church has been caught up to glory, as we saw in chap. 4:1. 6

1. The events here revealed also depend for their interpretation on the question of whether a translation of the church has already taken place. Though the book of Revelation itself does not determine this important question with finality, it is significant that the church so prominent in chapters 2 and 3 is not mentioned again until 22:16 except as the wife of the Lamb at the close of the tribulation. Nowhere in scenes of earth which describe the end time (chaps. 6-19) is the church pictured as involved in the earthly struggle. Further, the hope of the rapture mentioned to the church of Thyatira and the church at Philadelphia does not appear in the detailed prophetic program which unfolds in the book of Revelation. This lends credence to the conclusion that the rapture of the church has occurred before the events pictured beginning with chapter 4. 6

2. There is a remarkable similarity between the progress of chapter 6 as a whole and the description given by our Lord of the end of the age in Matt 24:4-31. In both passages the order is (1) war (Matt 24:6-7; Rev 6:3-4), (2) famine (Matt 24:7; Rev 6:5-6), (3) death (Matt 24:7-9; Rev 6:7-8), (4) martyrdom (Matt 24:9-10, 16-22; Rev 6:9-11), (5) the sun darkened, the moon darkened, and the stars falling (Matt 24:29; Rev 6:12-14), (6) a time of divine judgment (Matt 24:32-25:26; Rev 6:15-17). The general features of Matthew 24 are obviously quite parallel to the events of the book of Revelation beginning in chapter 6. Walvoord. 6

III. Context.

A. A message that is not given within its proper context, becomes a pretext, which means that “it’s not true.”

B. The above noted scholars have made the point that the events of Revelation 6:1 through 18:24 find their place in future prophetic events that relate to the Tribulation, the Antichrist, and God’s judgment on those who will be left behind from the rapture of the church. The severity of the time is described by Jesus in Matthew 24:21: “For there will be a great Tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.” The context  of Matt 24:21 will dictate that nothing, even within the worldwide flood of Genesis 7:10 through Genesis 7:24, will be as severe as the judgments that God will pour out upon the earth during the time of Matthew  Chapter 24, or anywhere within Revelation Chapters 6 through 18.Yet, there are pastors, teachers and other theologians, who will take a verse out of Matthew 24, in particular, as well as Revelation 6-18, and try to match it to a condition of the world that is taking place now; that is pretexting. A passage that can be used to relate to the events of today is 2 Timothy 3:1-5. The Matthew and Revelation passages that are addressed in this paragraph relate to the time of the Tribulation which will take place after the rapture of the church. The 2 Timothy passage addresses conditions that are present upon our earth now, and are confined to the church age, and will be present on our earth until the time of the rapture. 

C. The time and conditions which will be present upon our earth when the Tribulation begins is found in Daniel 9:27:

1. “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.” Daniel 9:27, NASB.

2. Ryrie notes. (Daniel 9:27). “he.” The Antichrist will make a pact with many (of the Jewish people) at the beginning of the tribulation period. “But 3 1/2 years later Antichrist will break his covenant, and desecrate the Temple by demanding worship of himself. (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). 2

3. Before the time of the events of Matthew 24 and Revelation 6-18 occur, the Antichrist will make a pact with unsaved Israel, which has not happened yet, and will not occur until the church is raptured from Earth to heaven (John 14:1-6; 1 Cor 15:50-54; 1 Thes 4:13-18; Tit 2:13.

4. “The Day of the Lord” relates to the Tribulation and Millennium, as was written by the Old Testament Jewish Prophets (Zeph 1:14; Joel 1:15; Isa 13:6; Ezek 30:3; Joel 2:1. Rryrie. 2

5. “The Day of Christ” (Phil 1:6, 10; 2:16) relates to the return of Christ for the rapture of the Church (Ryrie).] “Rapture” is taken out of context when it is used to mean “Day of the Lord.”

IV. Conclusion.

A. God’s plan for eternity is not based on the ungodly actions of His created beings. God has already made a plan that is based on His sovereign eternal purpose; i.e., Rom 11:25, which is the “fullness of the Gentiles.” Such a fullness is the time when a Godly determined number of Gentiles comes to belief in Christ as Lord and Savior, Messiah. At such a time (Rom 11:25), the hardening of the Jews toward Jesus will be removed and the Rapture will take place, with Jesus coming in the air, taking His believers to Heaven with Him (John 14:1-6); the Antichrist will be revealed with His pact with unsaved Israel taking place (Daniel 9:27); the Tribulation will begin, with the judgments of Matthew 24 and Revelation 6:1-18:24 being poured out on earth by God, through Christ and God’s angels, on all (unbelievers, Jew and Gentile) who remain on the earth (See Rev 6:1, 6:3, 6:5, 6:7, etc.). The judgments of the Tribulation do not come at the hands of Satan, the Antichrist, mankind, or “mother nature” (there is no mother nature!). 

B. It is important to know that the judgments of Matthew 24 are shown in a capsule view of the judgments of Revelation. Those judgments have not begun yet, and will not begin until after the Rapture of the church takes place. No one should relate any event that is taking place on earth now, to any judgment that is prophesied to happen in either Revelation 24 or the Book of Revelation. The fall of Adam and Eve, with the resulting curse (Gen 3:17), has affected, and will continue to affect all of the perfection that is shown in Genesis 1 and 2, until the curse is removed in the eternal state (Rev 22:3). 

C. As opposed to Jesus coming in the air at the Rapture to take His church with Him to Heaven, these verses: “Zechariah 14:1-5, 9, Matthew 24:29-30 and Rev 19:11-21” show Christ returning to earth with believers of all times, and angels, to set up His prophesied “earthly, millennial kingdom on earth,” where Christ will rule and reign for 1,000 years. After 1,000 years, the eternal state of the New Heaven, New Earth and New Jerusalem will be the reigning place of God, and of Christ ( Rev 21:1-3, 22).

D. Much more can be said on the subject of Matthew 24, and how it relates to the prophecies of the Book of Revelation, but I will stop here.

V. Footnotes.

1. John Ankerberg Show. Dr. Jimmy DeYoung (M. Div., Ph. D., 1940-2021). 

2. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016). Ryrie Study Bible.

3. Dr. Daniel Green (Th. M., D. Min.). The Moody Bible Commentary.

4. Dr. Robert H. Mounce (Th. M., Ph. D., December 30, 1921 – January 24, 2019). The Book Of Revelation, The New International Commentary On The New Testament.

5.  Dr. Tim LaHaye (D. Min., D. Litt.; 1926-2016). Revelation Illustrated & Made Plain.

6.  Dr. John F. Walvoord  (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002). Revelation Commentary.

VI. My Bucket List shows the references, of people and documents, that I use when I write my articles.

VII. My Websites To Follow. Eternity Equipping The Saints Website Israel Website Israel, History And Prophecy

Revelation Prophecy – Chapters 4 – 5

I. Video Data. 1

When we get to heaven will we see God with our own eyes?

II. Overview.

A. Here begins the third section of the book (see 1:19) describing what is yet future. This section can be divided into three parts: the coming Tribulation (chaps. 6-19), the Millennium (chap 20), and the new heavens and new earth (chaps. 21-22). 2

B. In Chapter 4, the primary focus is on God the Father, sitting on His throne, enjoying the worship of His creatures. In Chapter 5, the focus is on God the Son, the Messiah of Israel, our Lord Jesus Christ. 3 

C. In John’s first apocalyptic vision, the seven-sealed scroll arises in a heavenly vision setting that is dominated by a throne, more specifically by the one sitting on that throne. Chapter 4 focuses on God the Creator who delivers the seven-sealed scroll, and Chapter 5 on God (i.e., Christ) the Redeemer, the only one found worthy to take it and open the seals. 4 

D. The scene has changed from earth to heaven (4:1). The Apostle Paul was once caught up into the third heaven and saw things “not lawful for a man to utter” (2 Cor 12:4). Now, John is caught up and is shown things he has already been commanded to communicate to men (1:1). Three things are impressed indelibly upon his mind. He sees an unforgettable throne, and unforgettable throng, and experiences an unforgettable thrill. 5 

E. These chapters (4-5) look to the future for the first time in the book and contain John’s initial description of heaven. He was caught up in a vision where he saw the Father and the Son in the midst of a host of angels. The Father received praise for His creation of the world, and the Son for His redeeming work on the cross. The original readers would have been comforted by understanding that, while their world was most uncertain, heaven was properly focused and stable. 6 

F. Chapters 4 and 5 are the introduction and background of the tremendous sweep of prophetic events predicted in the rest of the book. If chapter 4 and succeeding chapters relate to the future, they provide an important clue concerning the interpretation of the vision and the prophetic events which unfold in those chapters. One of the principal reasons for confusion in the study of the book of Revelation has been the failure to grasp this point. If Revelation has no chronological structure and is merely a symbolic presentation of moral truth, its prophetic significance is reduced to a minimum. If, as others hold, the predictions of this section of Revelation are already fulfilled in the early persecution of the church, it also robs the book of any prophecy of the future. 7

III. Scripture Text. Revelation Chapters 4 and 5. 8

IV. Verse Examination. 9

A. 4:2. “I was in the spirit,” as in the 1:10 post.

B. 4:4. “24 elders.” Some understand these to be angelic beings, though it is likely that the 24 elders represent redeemed people, who are glorified, crowned, and enthroned. Angels are never said to be given crowns, though believers are (2 Timothy 4:8; James 1:12; 1 Peter 5:4; Revelation 2:10). 

C. 4:5. “7 Spirits of God,” as in the 1:4 post. 

D. 4:6. “4 living creatures,” or living ones. These may be angels, probably cherubim (cf. Ezek. 10:15-20), or they may be representations of the attributes of God, Himself (since they are said to be “in the center” of the throne).

E. 4:7. Many see a similarity between the 4 living ones and the fourfold manner in which Christ is portrayed in the Gospels. In Matthew He appears as the Lion of the tribe of Judah; in Mark He is the Servant who became the sacrifice for sin (the calf was a sacrificial animal, Heb 9:12, 19); Luke’s emphasis is on the Son of Man; and “a flying eagle” links Him with heaven, as does John’s gospel. 

F. 4:8-11. Here is a great anthem of praise by the 4 living ones and the 24 elders to God as creator. In 5:11-14 the focus of worship is on God as Redeemer.

G. 5:1. “a book.” Lit., a scroll. This may be called the “Book of Redemption,” as it contains the story of man’s fall through sin, and rise through Christ (Heb. 2:5-9). 

H. 5:5. “the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah.” The noblest and victorious of the kingly tribe (cf. Gen. 49:9). “the Root of David.” The one who fulfills the covenant with David (cf. Isa. 11:1, 10). The messiah, John is assured, is competent and worthy to break the 7 seals and open the scroll to release the plagues.

I. 5:6. “as if slain.” Christ, the Lamb, bears the marks of His death (See Luke 24:40; John 20:20, 27) even in His glorified state. “horns” are a symbol of strength (cf. 1 Kings 22:11; Zech 1:18). 

J. 5:8. “bowls,” like saucers.

K. 5:9-10. The Lamb is worthy because He died in the past to pay the ransom price for the sins of the world, positioned  us in the present as a kingdom and priests before God, and gave us a promise of reigning on the earth in the future. A few mss. read “us” and “we” in verse 10 instead of “them” and “they.” In either case, the elders could be singing of their own redemption in either the first or third person. 

L. 5:13. All creation joins in praise to God and the Lamb.

M. 5:14. The heavenly scene of chaps. 4 and 5 give heaven’s perspective on the need for the awful judgments to follow, for Christ’s right to reign must be realized, and sin must be punished.

V. My Thoughts. The “redeemed” of Revelation 4:4.

A. The New Testament redeemed consists of those whom will be caught up in the resurrection and rapture of believers in Christ (John 14:2-6; 1 Corinthians 15:50-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). 

B. The Old Testament redeemed will have already been taken to Heaven, per Ephesians 4:8. 10 

C. Job spoke of his redeemer (Job 19:25-27).

VI. Summary.

In these fourth and fifth chapters of Revelation we considered: 4:1 John’s vision of the throne of God in heaven, 4:4 and of the twenty-four elders around it. 4:10 The elders worship him that sits on the throne. 5:1 The book sealed with seven seals. 5:3 No man is able to open it. 5:5 The Lamb that was slain takes the book; whereupon the elders and angels around the throne join in thanksgiving and praise to him. 11

VII. Footnotes.

1. John Ankerberg Show.  Speakers: Drs. Ron Rhodes (Th. M., Th. D.), Ed Hindson (Th. M., Th. D., D. Min., Ph. D.), Mark Hitchcock (Th. M.; J. D., Ph. D.).

2. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016). Ryrie Study Bible.

3. Dr. David Hocking. Bachelor of Arts in Bible, Greek and Ancient History; Master of Divinity in Biblical Studies & Systematic Theology; Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Studies and Languages; Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Studies.

4. Dr. Robert L. Thomas (Th. M., Th. D.; 1928-2017). Revelation Commentary.

5. Dr. John Phillips (D. Min; 1927-2010) Revelation Commentary. 

6. Dr. Daniel D. Green (Th. M., D. Min.). The Moody Bible Commentary.

7. Dr. John F. Walvoord  (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002). Revelation Commentary. 

8. Scripture link pasted from Bible Gateway, New American Standard Bible.

9. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016). Ryrie Study Bible.

10. Dr. John Phillips (D. Min; 1927-2010) Ephesians Commentary. 

11.  Dr. Orville J. Nave, Nave’s Study Bible, 1978 (D.D., LL. D., 1841-1917). Orville J. Nave (Editor), Anna Seamans Nave (Editor)

VIII. My Bucket List shows the references, of people and documents, that I use when I write my articles.

IX. My Websites To Follow. Eternity Equipping The Saints Website Israel Website Israel, History And Prophecy

Revelation Prophecy – Chapters 2 And 3

I. Video Data. Are the letters to the seven churches relevant to us today? 10

II. Overview. 

A. These are letters dictated by the risen Lord to seven literal churches in western Asia Minor toward the end of the first century of the Christian era. 1

B. Chapters 2-3 are devoted to describing practical standards of behavior for the seven churches, and that the Apocalypse was written for a distinctively practical purpose. 2

C. The seven churches are addressed here. They have a common structure that includes:  (1) a greeting, (2) commendations , (3) corrections, (4) an exhortation to repent, and (5) a promise of reward for those who overcome. Most are also encouraged by some aspect Christ’s character from 1:4-20. 3 

D. The seven churches addressed in chapters 2 and 3 were actual churches of John’s day. But, they also represent conditions of churches of all generations. This idea is supported by the fact that only seven were selected out of many that existed and flourished in John’s time and by the statement at the close of each letter that the Spirit was speaking to the churches (vv 7, 11, etc.). 4 

E. The things that are said about each of these churches is a message intended for all churches. There are seven problems or descriptions to which all churches may at one time or another subscribe.  These troubles affect all Christians and churches not only when such matters specifically begin to influence us, but also when a given period of time is generally characterized by these problems. 5 

F. The seven letters are, with minor exceptions, organized in the following general pattern: (1) a description of Christ derived from the vision of ch. 1; (2) a commendation of the congregation; (3) a rebuke for spiritual deficiencies; (4) a correction for what is wrong; and (5) a promise to overcomers. The seven churches were congregations in Asia Minor in John’s day. Sometimes they are interpreted as representing seven stages of church history. But this interpretation is unlikely, since there is disagreement among interpreters about what part of Revelation represents which period in history. More likely, these seven assemblies are examples of the kind of churches that exist throughout history (2:7). This means that all seven letters are warnings to every church in every age (see 2:7). 6

G. In the second chapter of the book of Revelation the second major division of the book begins. As previously mentioned, chapter 1 seems to fulfill the command of 1:19, “Write the things which thou hast seen.” Beginning in chapter 4, the material deals with “the things which shall be hereafter” (1:19). In chapters 2 and 3 the messages to the seven churches are referred to as “the things which are” (cf. 1:19). These messages, therefore, contain divine revelation and exhortation pertaining to the present age; and, having special pertinence in the present situation in the church, they constitute one of the most incisive and penetrating exhortations in the entire New Testament in relation to church doctrine and Christian living.  7

H. Some people hold that these churches, in general,  represent the history of the church – the idea that the church in Ephesus represents the apostolic church, the others the progress of the church through the centuries, and the church at Laodicea as the final church at the time of Christ’s coming. There is, however, no scriptural verification of this type of interpretation.  8

III. Scripture Text. Revelation Chapters 2 and 3. 12

IV. Verse Examination. 11

A. 2:1-7. Ephesus. the church that had forsaken its first love (2:4).

B. 2:8-11. Smyrna. the church that would suffer persecution (2:10).

C. 2:12-17. Pergamum. the church that needed to repent (2:16).

D. Thyatira. 2:18-19, the church that had a false prophetess (2:20).

E. Sardis. 3:1-6. the church that had fallen asleep (3:2).

F. Philadelphia. 3:7-13. the church that had endured patiently (3:10).

G. Laodicea. 3:14-22. the church with the lukewarm faith (3:16).

V. My Thoughts.

As was mentioned in the Overview, there were problems in the churches that existed during the time of John, that also exist during the time in which we live now; such problems can interfere with the work of the church in evangelizing and in teaching the love of Christ. In every congregation, the love of Christ should be visible, and without anyone being forced to look for it.  Also, in every congregation, the Bible should be taught, and in its proper context. 

VI. Summary. 9

In these second and third chapters of Revelation we considered: 2:1 Christ’s message to the angel of the church in Ephesus. 2:8 in Smyrna. 2:12 in Pergamos. 2:18 in Thyatira. 3:1 in Sardis. 3:7 in Philadelphia. 3:14 Laodicea.

VII. Footnotes.  

1. Dr. John Phillips (D. Min; 1927-2010) John Phillips Revelation Commentary. 
2. Dr. Robert L. Thomas (Th. M., Th. D.; 1928-2017). Revelation Commentary, 1992.
3. Dr. Daniel Green (Th. M., D. Min.). The Moody Bible Commentary, 2014.
4. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016). Ryrie Study Bible, 1986, 1995.
5. Dr. David Hocking. Bachelor of Arts in Bible, Greek and Ancient History; Master of Divinity in Biblical Studies & Systematic Theology; Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Studies and Languages; Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Studies.
6. Dr. A. Boyd Luter (M. Th., D. Th., Ph. D.) Holman Christian Standard Bible,  2010. 
7. Dr. John F. Walvoord  (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002). Revelation Commentary, 1974. 
8. Dr. John F. Walvoord  (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002). Every Prophecy Of The Bible, 1990, 1999, p 526
9. Dr. Orville J. Nave, Nave’s Study Bible, 1978 (D.D., LL. D., 1841-1917). Orville J. Nave (Editor), Anna Seamans Nave (Editor)
10. John Ankerberg Show. Dr. Jimmy DeYoung (M. Div., Ph. D., 1940-2021). 
11. Got Questions. 
12. New American Standard Bible, 1995, pasted from Bible Hub.

VIII. My Bucket List shows the references, of people and documents, that I use when I write my articles.

IX. My Websites To Follow. Eternity Equipping The Saints Website Israel Website Israel, History And Prophecy

Revelation Prophecy – Chapter 1

I. Video Data. How is Jesus described in Revelation, Chapter 1? 1

II. Overview.

A. The first chapter of Revelation describes how God prepared John to receive subsequent portions of the revelation that were to constitute the book. After John introduces the work  in its prologue (1:1-8), he describes a vision of Christ especially designed to direct the prophet’s thinking into channels appropriate to what follows in subsequent chapters (1:9-20). 2 

B. The content of the book was revealed by Jesus Christ (v 1). The transmission of the material began with God the Father and was given progressively to Jesus, an angel, the apostle himself, and finally the seven churches of Asia Minor. Blessings were promised for the one who would read the prophetic scroll to the various congregations, as well as to those who would hear and obey its teachings. 3

C. The opening verse of the first chapter introduces immediately the central theme of the book of Revelation, namely, Jesus Christ in His present and future glory. The futuristic and prophetic character of the book is indicated in the words “a revelation of Jesus Christ” in which God will declare to John “things which must shortly come to pass.” The word revelation is the translation of apokalypsis without the article, meaning a “revelation, disclosure, or unveiling.” It is a revelation of truth about Christ Himself, a disclosure of future events, that is, His second coming when Christ will be revealed. It is as well a revelation which comes from Christ. 4

III. Scripture Text. Revelation Chapter 1. 5

The Revelation of Jesus Christ

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, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 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.

Message to the Seven Churches

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, 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— 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. 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.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

The Patmos Vision

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.

IV. Verse Examination. 6

A. 1:1. “of Jesus Christ” = from Jesus Christ. Jesus gave this revelation from God, by means of an angel, to John. “soon.” This word does not indicate that the events described in this book will necessarily occur soon but that when they do begin to happen they will come to pass swiftly. (The same Greek word is translated “quickly” in Luke 18:8.)

B. 1:3. ‘Blessed.” There are seven beatitudes in Revelation. This is the first; the others are found in 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14. John wanted the book read at once, and preferable aloud, in the churches.

C. 1:4. “seven.” The number seven is associated with completion, fulfillment and perfection. In Revelation there are seven churches and seven spirits (1:4), seven lampstands (1:12), seven stars (1:16), seen seals on the scroll (5:1), seven horns and seven eyes of the Lamb (5:6), seven angels and seven trumpets (8:2), seven thunders (10:3), seven heads of the dragon (12:3), seven heads of the beast (13:1), seven golden bowls (15:7), and seven kings (17:10). “the seven spirits.” Many understand this to refer to the Holy Spirit in His perfect fullness (see 4:5a; Isa 11:2), though some take this as a reference to seven angels who are before God’s throne.

D. 1:5. “firstborn of the dead.” I.e., Christ was the first to receive a resurrection body that is immortal. See Col 1:15, where He is designated the firstborn of of every creature (cf. Ps 89:27). 

E. 1.6. “a kingdom, priests.” Description  of both Israel (Ex 19:6) and the church (1 Pet 2:9-10), indicating that we shall minister to Him forever.

F. 1:7. On “pierced” see Zech 12:10. “all…will mourn.” See Matt 24:29:30). 

G. 1:8. “the Alpha and the Omega.” The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, indicating that the Lord God is the beginning and end of all things. 

H. 1:9. “Patmos.” A small island in the Aegean Sea, SW of Ephesus.

I. 1:10. “in the Spirit.” I. e., in a state of spiritual “ecstasy.” “on the Lord’s day.” Likely not a reference to Sunday (which is called the first day of the week in the NT) but literally 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.

J. 1:12. “lampstands.” These represent the seven churches mentioned in verse 11 (see also v 20). 

K. 1:13. Christ’s clothing designates Him as priest and judge. Notice the description of the Ancient of Days in Dan 7:9. 

L. 1:14. “like white wool…..snow.” Pictures Christ’s wisdom and purity. “His eyes were like a flame of fire.”Piercing and penetrating in holiness. Compare the figure used in 1 Cor 3:13 in relation to judgment. 

M 1:15. His “feet” walked through the trials and limitations of His earthly life. No one will talk back to one who has such a “voice.”

N. 1:16-20. “In His right hand he held seven stars.” The right hand is the place of honor (cf. Eph 1:20). The stars are the “angels of the seven churches” (v 20). The word “angel” may mean “a superhuman being,” implying that each church has a special guardian angel or, more likely, it refers to the human leader of each local church. (See Luke 9:52 and James 2:25, where the word “angels,” translated “messengers,” is used of human beings.)  “sword.” A symbol both of the truth and of the severity of the Word of God (Heb 4:12). 

O. 1:17. “I am the first and the last.” In verse 8 God is called “the Alpha and the Omega.” Here, Christ gives Himself a similar title. 

P. 1:18. “the keys of death and of Hades.” The keys denote the authority of Christ over physical death and Hades, the place that temporarily holds the immaterial part of the unbeliever between death and the ultimate casting into the lake of fire (see 20:14).

Q. 1:19. This verse gives the basic outline of the book:  (1) “things which you (John) have seen,” as recorded in chap 1; (2) “things which are;” i.e., the present state of the churches (chaps 2-3); and (3) “things which will take place after these things.” The third section clearly begins with 4:1, since the same phrase is used there.

R. 1:20. “the….stars are the angels.” 

V. My Thoughts.

A. Rev 1:19, per Dr. Ryrie’s note:  (2) “things which are;” i.e., the present state of the churches (chaps 2-3). There is much teaching on the churches of Revelation Chapters 2 and 3, as to future date periods for each of the mentioned churches, from the date forward of the Revelation, such as:

The Church of Ephesus era occurred from 33-100 A.D.
The Church of Smyrna era, the Persecuted Church, occurred from 100-313 A.D.
The Church of Pergamos era occurred from 313-538 A.D.
The era of the Church of Thyatira, the Pagan Church 538-1514 A.D.
The Church of Sardis era, the Dead Church, occurred during the 1514 – 1798 A.D.
The era of the Church of Philadelphia occurred from 1798 – 1866 A.D.
The era of the Church of Laodicea, the Lukewarm Church, 1866 A.D. – present

B. Based on such flawed assumptions of when certain church periods will occur, the rapture of the church could not have been possible until present day. Per Paul’s writing of Titus 2:13, “l
ooking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,” Christians were looking forward to the return of Christ, from the time of Paul’s writing of Titus in the year 65 A.D. John Walvoord had a sign in his office at Dallas Theological Seminary with the words, “Maybe Today.” As in the time of the writing of the New Testament, until all years forward, there has always been a teaching of imminency in regard to the Rapture of the Church. However, if the above suggested church periods were true, the Rapture could not have occurred until sometime during the “present”? Laodicean Church age. Chapters 2 and 3 address churches as they were functioning at the time of John’s writing. As we move on to chapters two and three of Revelation, we will see that every church problem that The Revelation addresses, has been common to the churches of every era of time, from the time of the Revelation, through present day churches. 

C. In addition to the “church ages” incorrect teachings, it is important to address another incorrect teaching in reference to the Book of Revelation. Many people relate to “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, ” as to “the book of revelations.” But, per Rev 1:1, the correct wording is “The Revelation.” The Book of Revelation is “one revelation” (singular) that Jesus gave to the Apostle John, and “not many revelations” (plural).

VI. Summary. 7

In this first chapter of Revelation we considered: The preface (vs 1-3); John’s salutation to the seven churches of Asia (vs 4-6 ); the coming of Christ (vs 7-8); the Apostle’s vision in Patmos (vs 9-16); the effect of the vision of Patmos on the Apostle (vs 17-18); what the Apostle is commanded to write (vs 19-20).

VII. Footnotes.

1. John Ankerberg Show: Drs. Ron Rhodes (Th. M., Th. D.), Ed Hindson (Th. M., Th. D., D. Min., Ph. D.), Mark Hitchcock (Th. M., J. D., Ph. D.).

2. Dr. Robert L. Thomas (Th. M., Th. D.; 1928-2017). Revelation Commentary, 1992.

3. Dr. Daniel Green (Th. M., D. Min.). The Moody Bible Commentary, 2014. 

4. Dr. John F. Walvoord  (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002). Revelation Commentary, 1974. 

5. Scripture Text. Revelation 1, New American Standard Bible (NASB 1995). Pasted from Bible Gateway.

6. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016). Ryrie Study Bible, 1986, 1995.

7. Dr. Orville J. Nave, Nave’s Study Bible, 1978 (D.D., LL. D., 1841-1917). Orville J. Nave (Editor), Anna Seamans Nave (Editor).

VIII. My Bucket List shows the references, of people and documents, that I use when I write my articles.

IX. My Websites To Follow. Eternity Equipping The Saints Web Site Israel Web Site Israel, History And Prophecy

Revelation Prophecy – Introduction

I. Opening Video Data.

What are the three main themes in the Book of Revelation? 1 

II. Introduction. 

This series of articles on the Book of Revelation will be a refining of previous posted articles on this subject. The purpose of this series of articles is to write each chapter in Revelation in a more concise narrative, thereby making it easier for someone to understand and explain to others. The website category for this series of articles is “About Revelation.”

III. Overview. 2

Revelation WRITER: The Apostle John (1:1) 

DATE: A.D. 96 

THEME: The theme of the Revelation is Jesus Christ ( 1:1), presented in a threefold way: 

1. As to time: “which is, and which was, and which is to come” (1:4); 
2. As to relationships–the churches (1:9-3:22), to the tribulation (4:1-19:21), to the kingdom (20:1-22:21); 3. In His offices–High Priest (8:3-6), Bridegroom (19:7-9), King-Judge (20:1-15). 

But while Christ is thus the central theme of the book, all of the events move toward one consummation, the bringing in of the covenanted kingdom. The key-phrase is the prophetic declaration of the “great voices in heaven” (11:15), “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. .” The book is, therefore, a prophecy (1:3). 

The three major divisions of Revelation must be clearly held if the interpretation is to be sane and coherent. John was commanded to “write” concerning three classes of “things” (1:19): 

1. Things past, “the things thou hast seen,” i.e. the Patmos vision, 1:1-20. 
2. Things present, “the things which are,” i.e. things then existing–obviously the churches. The temple had been destroyed, the Jews dispersed: the testimony of God had been committed to the Churches (1 Timothy 3:15). Accordingly we have seven messages to seven representative churches, 2:1-3:22. It is noteworthy that the church is not mentioned in chapters 5-18. 
3. Things future, “things which shall be hereafter,” lit. “after these,” i.e. after the church period ends, 4:1-22:21. The third major division, as Erdman (W.J.) has pointed out, falls into a series of six sevens, with parenthetical passages, making, with the church division, seven sevens. The six sevens are: 

1. The seals, 4:1-8:1. 
2. The seven trumpets, 8:2-11:19. 
3. The seven personages, 12:1-14,20. 
4. The seven vials (bowls), 15:1-16:21. 
5. The seven dooms, 17:1-20:15. 
6. The seven new things, 21:1-22:21. 

The parenthetical passages are: 

1. The Jewish remnant and the tribulation saints, 7:1-17. 
2. The angel, the little book, the two witnesses, 10:1-11:14. 
3. The Lamb, the Remnant, and the everlasting Gospel, 14:1-13. 
4. The gathering of the kings at Armageddon, 16:13-16. 
5. The four alleluias in heaven, 19:1-6. 

These passages do not advance the prophetic narrative. Looking backward and forward they sum up results accomplished, and speak of results yet to come as if they had already come. In 14:1, for example, the Lamb and Remnant are seen prophetically on Mount Sion, though they are not actually there till 20:4-6. The end of the church period (2-3) is left indeterminate. It will end by the fulfilment of 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17. Chapters 4-19 are believed to synchronize with Daniel’s Seventieth Week (See Scofield Daniel 9:24). The great tribulation begins at the middle of the week, and continues three and a half years (11:3-19:21). The tribulation is brought to an end by the appearing of the Lord and the battle of Armageddon (Matthew 24:29,30; Revelation 19:11-21). The kingdom follows (20:4,5); after this the “little season” (20:7-15), and then eternity. 

Interpreters of the Revelation should bear in mind two important passages: 1 Peter 1:12; 2 Peter 1:20,21. Doubtless much which is designedly obscure to us will be clear to those for whom it was written as the time approaches. 

IV. Footnotes.

1. John Ankerberg Show. Dr. Jimmy DeYoung (M. Div., Ph. D.; 1940-2021). 
2. Dr. C.I. Scofield (D. D.; 1843-1921),  Scofield Reference Notes 1917.

VIII. My Websites To Follow. Eternity Equipping The Saints Web Site Israel Web Site Israel, History And Prophecy