Click and jump to chapter

Revelation 1

We now come to the final book of the Bible – it’s not merely the Revelation of the future, it actually begins with the Revelation of Jesus Christ, an examination of the church, and then the things which must shortly take place. This speaks of the fact that when the events of prophecy being to materialize, it will take place swiftly.

The book of Revelation comes with a built-in blessing to those who read it, hear it, and keep the things written within in it (Revelation 1:3).

We see the Trinity in verses 4-5, in the greeting of grace and peace from the Father, from the Holy Spirit, described as the seven Spirits (see Isaiah 11:2 where the seven characteristics of the Holy Spirit are listed), and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness (Prophet), firstborn from the dead (Priest) and the ruler of the kings of the earth (King). These are the three anointed offices in the Old Testament, Messiah (Hebrew) and Christ (Greek) mean “anointed.” Jesus is the Anointed Prophet, Priest, and King…who loved us, and washed us from our sins…in His own blood (see also Acts 20:28).

One day we will rule with Him as kings (small k). Today we can represent Him as priests, and share God with others, and bring others to God.

Revelation was written to prepare us for the coming of Christ. It’s interesting that Jesus is described as the Almighty in v. 8.

History tells us that John the Beloved, the writer of Revelation was actually placed in boiling oil, for his faithful service to the Lord, but he survived the ordeal and was then banished to the Island of Patmos. And there he is, “in the Spirit,” on the Lord’s Day (probably a reference to Sunday) and he hears the voice of Christ as the voice of a trumpet informing John of who He is (the Alpha and Omega are the first and final letters in the Greek alphabet, this is who Jesus is, the first and the last, the Beginning and the End) it all started and culminates in Him. Jesus then instructed John to write letters to the 7 churches in Asia (modern day Turkey).

When John turned to see the voice he heard, what a glorious vision it was! It was Jesus in the midst of the seven golden lampstands. The number seven is the number of completion and perfection within the Bible and we find it 32 times in the book of Revelation. The seven lampstands are the seven churches and there’s Jesus in the midst of them. His robe covers everything but his feet, the gold band about His chest speak of deity. His head and hair which are as white as snow speak of his purity, He eyes of flaming fire symbolize the way He sees and sifts through everything, His feet of refined brass represent perfect steps of judgment that will take place (brass symbolizes judgment in the Bible), His voice as the sound of many waters reveal that in heaven His voice drowns out all other voices…what majesty! The seven stars in His right hand represent the seven messengers or pastors of the seven churches. The sword that protrudes from His mouth reveal that all He has to do is speak it, and it’s done, and His countenance as the sun, reveal His unparalleled glory. The Gospels veiled His glory for the most part, but the book of Revelation unveils it.

1:19 provides an outline of the book of Revelation:

  1. The “things which you have seen,” refer to what John’s seen in the vision of Jesus. (Chapter 1)
  2. The “things which are,” refers to the condition of the 7 churches. (Chapters 2-3)
  3. The “things which will take place after this,” concern the future. In the Greek language, the 2 words “meta tauta” are found here and in 4:1. This is in reference to the future, afterthe church age. Then come the Rapture, Tribulation Period, Second Coming of Christ, Millennial Kingdom, Eternal Judgment, and finally finishing in the New Heavens and the New Earth. (Chapters 4-22)

Revelation 2

Revelation chapters 2 and 3 contain the 7 letters to the 7 churches in Asia Minor, referred to in 1:11. These letters are fascinating, for not only are they actual churches of that day, but they also describe the journey and history of the church throughout the ages – generally, plus, we can all search our own hearts to see which one we belong to today, personally. Pastor Chuck said this about this section, “The book was addressed and sent to seven literal churches in Asia Minor, which is modern day Turkey. But they also can be seen to represent 7 stages of church history. The church of EPHESUS represents the Apostolic church. The Persecuted church includes a portion of the Apostolic church. SMYRNA begins in this era but continues on through the 10 Roman Emperors who persecuted the church fulfilling the prophecy of “tribulation 10 days” (v. 10). The Roman Emperors were, Nero-Paul was beheaded under his reign; Domitian– he exiled John to the island of Patmos; Trajan– Ignatius was burned at the stake while he was emperor; Marcus Aureliusthe emperor when Polycarp was martyred, Severus, Maximinus, Decius, Valerian, Aurelianand Diocletianwho Pastor Chuck described as the worst of them all.

PERGAMOS was developed by Constantine as a state church; THYATIRA is usually linked to the Catholic church; SARDIS describes the Protestant church that became more and more liberal and dead; PHILADELPHIA is the remnant church waiting for the rapture; and the LAODICEAN church is the lukewarm church of the last days.

As you read through each letter you’ll notice that Jesus usually begins with “positive” words (if any) He then states His concern and/or warning (if any), followed by words of counsel…and concludes with a promise for all overcomers.

I’m challenged by Jesus’ words to the church of Ephesus who had left their first love. They were still working and laboring to the point of exhaustion, they were careful to stay away from sin and sinners – nevertheless they had left their first love (see Genesis 13:14; Jeremiah 2:2). I don’t know if it’s possible to “feel” those same feelings I felt in the beginning, and I know we walk by faith and not by feelings, but those early days of Christianity were so special to me, sweet, intimate, overwhelming, without a doubt I had fallen in love – I must search my heart – now that I now the routine and all the clichés, do I love the Lord the way I did in the beginning? I sure hope so!

If ever I sense that persecution in my life, I cling to Jesus’ words in 2:10b, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Which brings up another fascinating fact about these letters, how Jesus reveals Himself uniquely and appropriately to each church, in this case as the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life. As these Christians were martyred for their faith, they could endure the suffering and death, for Christ had modeled it for them and the certainty of life.

Other sins addressed by Christ were idolatry, sexual immorality, domination of leaders over the laity; he described the Catholic churches’ inclusion of the worship of Mary, prayers to saints and statues, all of it carrying a serious warning, even a promise that these people would be left behind to endure the Great Tribulation Period (2:22). God help us to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, and to be overcomers in Christ!

Revelation 3

So – here’s a church that has plenty of works, and even their name boasts of their life (New Life Community Church), but when Jesus scrutinizes them with His eyes of omniscience, He pronounces them dead…as a church. This is probably why He revealed Himself to them as “He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars.” The messengers, pastors, and leaders of this church needed to be revived by the power of the Holy Spirit. This can happen to any person, church, and even an entire denomination when we begin to merely go through the motions. It began as a movement, continued as a machine, and is now dead as a monument. We all have to search our hearts – do we need a revival?

Pastor Chuck also described the church of Sardis as, “…the period of church history called the Protestant Reformation. It began in the 1500’s and exists through the present day. How sad it is to see some protestant churches become as dead as the church they set out to reform.”

If we all had to choose one church to identify with, it would most likely be the church of Philadelphia, which literally means, “brotherly love.” This church is not a denomination but represents the church as a whole who has been faithful to God’s Word, preaching the Name of Jesus, and although weak in-and-of ourselves, finds herself drawing her strength from God (see 2 Corinthians 12:10). This is the church with ministry opportunities (open doors) and sovereign guidance from God (closed doors). This is the church that Jesus says will be kept from the trial which shall come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth. That means that this church will be raptured out, before the Tribulation Period begins, for God has not appointed us to wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

The Luke-warm Laodiceans probably represents most of the church today (at least in America), neither hot nor or cold, and that’s not good for coffee or coke, which is why Jesus shares a heavy warning, that such people will be vomited out of His mouth (doesn’t sound good).

This is a church with a lot of money, and maybe even many members; they appear to be successful in man’s eyes, but Jesus reveals their true state in that they’re wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. Wow! I was thinking, how many times we focus and try so hard to look good to those who are watching, it’s all about appearance, at the expense of reality. Jesus counseled the Laodiceans to get right, to do whatever they need to do, to buy the gold that Jesus offers, pure gold, that they may be clothed in the right-white clothing; and anoint their eyes with the eye salve Laodicea was known for, so that they could see everything from a Spiritual perspective. Verse 19 reminds us that God’s rebuke and chastening are all motivated by love.

The letter to the Laodiceans contains that classic visual of Jesus standing at the door, knocking. Somehow, Jesus ended up on the outside of His church. Lord is that me/us? God help us to open the doors of our hearts and let Jesus in…where He belongs, to dine with Him and fellowship forever and ever.

Revelation 4

“After these things” means after the church age. I believe that when John is called to “Come up here,” it is a picture of the rapture of the church. From this point on in the book of Revelation, we will only see the church in heaven.

What will be the first thing we see when we get to heaven? Some say (based on Revelation 4:2) that our first sight will be God on His throne (makes sense to me). I like what Sandy Adams said regarding John’s vision at this point, “Perhaps you have thought of heaven as a series of cumulus clouds. Or that the halls of heaven were hospital white and God appears in sterile scrubs. Discard those mythical notions. Heaven is adorned with a kaleidoscope of color. God is dressed in ruby red garments that sparkle like diamonds. Lightning bolts dart from His emerald green throne. A rainbow stretches overhead…colors on earth look pale when compared to the brilliance of heavenly hues.”I’m not sure if God is clothed in red, but John saw God as these brilliant and dazzling stones in appearance; and the rainbow is not simply an arc, it encircles the throne, a perfect picture of grace (Genesis 9:11-17).

We’re not sure who the 24 elders are – if I HAD to guess, I would say that these are the 12 Patriarchs of the Old Testament and the 12 Apostles of the New Testament. Others say they are symbolic of the church.

The lightning, thunder, and voices that proceed from the throne may be symbolic of God’s sovereign rule and even the way He answers prayer (see Revelation 8:3-5).

Once again, we see the Holy Spirit symbolized in the number 7 (see also Isaiah 11:2; Revelation 1:4) and emphasized with fire (see Acts 2:3-4).

The four living creatures may be living witnesses to the nature of Christ who came as a Lion (King), a Calf (Servant), a Man, and an Eagle (Deity). I also see them as worship leaders, for whenever they worship God, the 24 elders join in to do the same.

They worship God for His holiness (holy, holy, holy), His power (God Almighty), His eternal and self-sufficient existence (Who was and is and is to come) and they worshipped God for the simple fact that He is worthy as the Creator of all things. This gives us a glimpse of what we will be doing in heaven – so every time we worship, we are preparing ourselves for that time. And every time we serve the Lord in love and proper motives, we are laying up treasures in heaven – “crowns” – that we can cast before God’s throne, giving Him all the glory for making us and redeeming us – it’s worship for who He is and what He’s done.

Revelation 5

Revelation 5 is one of the most glorious scenes in all of eternity – and you and I today get a glimpse of it, it’s a video of eternal value, but one day we’ll be there.

Can you see the scroll there in the right hand of the Father? It represents the title deed to the earth. This title deed had been given to Adam but then forfeited to the devil at the fall of man. Satan offered it to Jesus for one act of worship (Luke 4:5-7) but of course, Jesus refused. Jesus did it the right way, the hard way, as a Kinsman Redeemer He bought the title deed back – with His own blood. Technically, Jesus owns the earth, but practically He has not yet taken complete possession of what belongs to Him.

When John saw this whole scene unfold, it was clearly communicated to him that no one was worthy to unseal the scroll – or even look at it. He wept much, what a horrible feeling that is, that feeling of hopelessness. Imagine if the whole wide world, if all the people of all time who are represented in this scene, were lost and defeated by the Devil. John got it, he felt that feeling of forever failure – and he was emotionally devastated.

But then…one of the elders (maybe a church representative?) spoke to him, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”

And then John saw Jesus. It’s fascinating the way He is described – the location and description. He’s in the “midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders…”How can He be in the “midst” of the throne, unless He’s God? And how can He be in the midst of the elders unless He’s man? Remember, the four living creatures most likely represent Jesus as He’s presented in the four Gospels.

Not only where He is, but how He’s looks, as “…a Lamb as though it had been slain.” Isaiah tells us that when Jesus died on the cross for us, He was marred more than any man – He was a bloody mess. This is why John described Jesus the way he did in Revelation 1:5, “…to Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.” This is why John the Baptist described Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away our sins. That was the price for the title-deed to the earth, to undo what Adam did, the second Adam laid down His life as the perfect and eternal sacrifice for all of our sins.

In the Bible, horns represent power, strength, and the authority to rule. Since 7 is the number of completion and perfection, Jesus has 7 horns. He did it, He prevailed!

Can you see Jesus taking the scroll from the right hand of the Father? It’s time to claim His land!

The rest of the chapter records the appropriate response – worship. We worship with our lips and we worship with our lives (Romans 12:1-2). He is worthy (this is the root of the word worship) for He has redeemed us (bought us back to God with His blood). If you’re a Christian, you’ll be there that day. This is us, after the rapture of the church, worshipping God for who He is, and what He’s done, and what He’s about to do.

Revelation 6

In Revelation 5, no one was worthy to open or look at the seals with the exception of Jesus Christ, who prevailed and proved Himself worthy by His incarnation and redemption of mankind (John 5:27).

When the first seal was opened the first of four horsemen were unleashed upon the earth. The first horse is white, and some might mistake this one riding the horse as Jesus, who at the end of the Tribulation Period returns on a white horse (Revelation 19:11), but this is actually the antichrist. He “conquers” the world, through a pseudo-peace. Wiersbe summarizes it this way, “The world ruler (Antichrist) begins his conquest of the nations by peacefully taking control (vv. 1–2). He has a weapon but no ammunition; and men are saying, ‘Peace and safety!’ (1 Thess. 5:1–3). Satan usually declares peace before he declares war, so beware his offers.”

When the second seal is opened, the true colors of the antichrist come out – this horse is no longer white, but fiery red, and peace is taken from the earth, a world-wide-war begins, the enemy starts swinging a “great” sword.

When the third seal is opened, scarcity and famine hit hard at the arrival of a black horse, the scales are scandalous! Imagine paying a day’s wages for only one quart of wheat, or three quarts of barley – (barley was the poor man’s food). It’s interesting also how a declaration is made during this time, “…do not harm the oil and the wine.” This may be in reference to the luxuries still enjoyed by the rich.

When the fourth seal is opened, judgment arrives on a pale horse and the rider’s name is Death, followed by another rider named Hades. This is the agenda of the enemy, to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10) – his goal is not simply death physically, but death spiritually, home in Hades which will eventually be thrown into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:14). The sentence of this seal allows death in many forms, through famine, violence, and even by the beast. One-fourth of the world perishes at this point, many of them martyrs for Christ.

The fifth seal reveals those who have been martyred for Christ, most likely during the tribulation period, and theirs is a cry for justice. Much like us today, we long for the time when evil will end, when justice and righteousness reigns. But we must “rest a little while longer” until all those who will be martyred and saved is completed.

The sixth seal brings many cosmic disturbances – the black sun, and red moon may refer to atmospheric changes that distort our view, but there’s no mistaking the “stars” that fall on the earth as meteor showers; the earthquakes begin to level mountains and cover islands. It doesn’t matter if one is rich or if one rules, they run but they cannot hide, the wrath of the Lamb has arrived. The wrath of the Lamb sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it? Jesus offers His love but cannot violate His holiness. How do you want to face Jesus? As the Lamb, or as the Lion? As your Savior or as your Judge?

Revelation 7

The next vision John had, was four angels standing at the four corners of the earth (North, South, East, and West) and they were holding the “winds” – speaking of the way the invisible God was working visibly on planet earth, in this case, judging the world. There’s now a pause, judgment is held back for a bit, in order for the angels of God to “seal” 144,000 Jewish servants.

I thought it was interesting how John is writing about the “seals” of judgment, and here God “seals” His servants. It shows us that even in times of Great Tribulation, there is opportunity for great service and salvation. Warren Wiersbe wrote along the same lines, “The day of the Lord will bring judgment and destruction, and it will also result in the saving of people. In wrath, God remembers mercy (Hab. 3:2). When you experience trials, ask God to use you to win others to the Savior even in the midst of troubles.”

Why did they seal them? David Jeremiah explains, “It was common in John’s day for masters to seal or brand their slaves on the forehead or hand to declare ownership. This mark also granted protection from those who would steal or misuse them.” Ephesians 1:13 speaks of the fact that all Christians are sealed with the Person of the Holy Spirit.

It’s crazy how some people get confused as to who the 144,000 are! The Jehovah Witnesses even claim this as an elite group amongst themselves, but the Bible clearly states that these people are the children of Israel, and God even gets more specific by stating there would be 12,000 from each tribe. It’s important for us to remember that during this time, God will be dealing with, and drawing the nation of Israel back to Himself; He is not done with the Jews (Daniel 9:24-27; Romans 11).

You may have noticed that the tribes of Dan and Ephraim are not mentioned in this list. That doesn’t mean that descendants of these tribes won’t be saved, it just might mean that they won’t serve in the same sense. Keep in mind that Ephraim was Joseph’s son and Dan is mentioned in the Millennial Kingdom in Ezekiel 48:32.

In this chapter there is mention of those who are protected from harm (1-8) and those who are martyred for their faith (9-17). God in His perfect wisdom knows what’s best for everyone, and even in a Christian’s death, there is blessing beyond our wildest imagination!

I believe that these 144,000 Jews will be like 144,000 Paul the Apostles and people from every nation will be saved as a result of their witness. Here they are from all nations tribes, peoples, and tongues in the wonderful worship of God and thanksgiving for their salvation. The angel identified them as Tribulation Saints who will forever serve God day and night. B. F. Westcott said, “We make a great mistake if we connect with our conception of heaven the thought of rest from work. Rest from toil, from weariness, from exhaustion—yes; rest from work, from productiveness, from service—no. ‘They serve God day and night.’”Being a tribulation saint meant much suffering on earth, hunger, thirst, unimaginable horror as the elements of the earth erode and the rule of the antichrist prevailed, but now they were led and comforted by Jesus Himself forever.

Revelation 8

The judgments described during the Tribulation Period will increase in frequency and intensity. We’ve seen the 7 seal judgments, next is the 7 trumpet judgments which give way to the 7 bowl judgments. When He opened the 7th seal, there was silence in heaven for a half an hour (this is significant – see Psalm 78:6-8; Habakkuk 2:20; Zephaniah 1:7; 2:13). Wiersbe comments, “The silence in heaven is the lull before the storm. Even the heavenly hosts stop their worship as they contemplate the awesome judgments about to fall.”

I’ve always been fascinated by the picture of prayer that is painted in verses 3-5. We visualize the prayers rising as incense before God, He takes every single one of them in; this is something seen in the tabernacle and later the temple at the altar of incense located in the Holy Place. Here we see the answer to prayer as fire from the altar thrown down to the earth from heaven…and there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. You might remember John’s first glimpse of God’s throne in Revelation 4:5a, “And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices.” God is about to answer one of the prayers we’ve been praying since Jesus gave us the model prayer, “…Thy Kingdom come…”

Some might look at these judgments and see them symbolically, but I think that for the most part, all this will happen literally. It’s interesting to note that five of these catastrophes were part of the plagues used by God to set Israel free in the great Exodus. In the Exodus the water was turned to blood, here after the first angel sounded, the hail, is mixed and mingled with blood.

1/3 of the trees and all of the grass is gone; 1/3 perish in the ocean, of both man and sea creatures; 1/3 of the fresh water deposits are struck – many more die; then the sun, the moon, and the stars are struck, giving way to more and more darkness. Taken literally these appear to be some sort of meteor showers – that we might describe as heavenly “smart bombs.” Scientists tell us that meteors typically travel at 11,000 MPH and explode upon impact due to the fact that they carry kinetic energy equivalent to its mass in TNT. We have the prophecy of Joel 2:30–31, 30“And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood and fire and pillars of smoke. 31The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.”

During this time God will be wooing people to Himself and warning them of the judgment to come. We even read of angels flying throughout the first heaven (earth’s atmosphere), crying out loudly, Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth. There are only two times a word is said “tri-peated” in the Bible, holy, holy, holy, and woe, woe, woe. This is a heavy, heavy, heavy warning! The book of Isaiah has an interesting prophecy about this time, and how God would rapture His people out prior to this period. We read in Isaiah 26:20–21, 20Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past. 21For behold, the Lord comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain.

Revelation 9

When the 5thtrumpet is blown all hell breaks loose on planet earth. An angel is sent down with the key to the Abyss (bottomless pit) he opens it up and out come creatures whose sole calling is to torment the inhabitants of the earth for 5 months. Imagine wanting to die and trying to die but being unable to escape the prison of pain. The description of these creatures is fascinating, a combination of locusts, scorpions, horses, faces of men, hair like women, the teeth of lions, breastplates of iron, wings whose motion musters up the sound of chariots running into battle. The only ones they are unable to torment are those who were sealed with God’s mark – everyone else is open game.

Verse 11 informs us that their general is none other than the Devil himself – when you translate his name into any language, or tongue, it always leads to his ultimate agenda, he is Abaddon and Apollyon, in Hebrew and Greek, in English he is the “Destroyer.” Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have itmore abundantly.” The Devil wants to steal us from God, kill us, and destroy us forever in the Lake of Fire – that’s his agenda as “Destroyer.”

When the 6thangel sounds the 6thtrumpet, four angels are released (more than likely these are fallen angels – demons) who had been bound at the great River Euphrates. They’ve been prepared for this very “hour” (some say it all happens in 1 literal hour) and 1/3 of the world’s population is massacred by this army of 200 million. This means that at this point in the Tribulation Period half of the world’s population has perished. Again, these are horrific creatures, the heads of the horses were as lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone – but that’s not it. They have tails which end in serpent’s heads.

There will be death everywhere. But there will also be the offer of eternal life. The 144,000 will have been preaching the gospel, explaining to everyone that this is the end of the world, this is the wrath, justice, and judgment of God. No doubt there will be others who knew the Christian Word intellectually but weren’t saved and were left behind at the Rapture, who get saved during this time. They will be spreading the Word as well. You would figure that all this would bring everyoneleft to their knees, to real and radical repentance. But John tells us that – still – generally speaking, the world refuses to turn to God. They love their sin, their idols, their gold, silver, brass, stone and wood possessions; they hold to their hate, fury, and murder; they delight in their drugs (sorceries) and of course, their sexual immoralities.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The reason for the woe, woe, woe of God’s judgment, is because of the holy, holy, holiness of God Himself (see Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8). The only way to avoid God’s just judgment is to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Jesus paid the price of judgment we could never pay – as we saw in the beginning of this book – thank Your Lord. Revelation 1:5, “and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,”

Revelation 10

You may have noticed a pattern by now. 7 seals and then an interlude; 7 trumpets and then this interlude. We’ll see it again later, after the 7 bowls of judgment, an interlude.

In the Greek language the words “mighty angel” are literally “strong messenger.” I believe that this messenger is none other than Jesus Christ. Now, we must remember that Jesus is not an angel in our classic sense of the word, He is God the Son, second Person of the Trinity; but Jesus is a messenger, He’s the Divine Angel of the Lord.

Notice His clothing – He’s clothed with a cloud. Clouds are often connected with the glory of God. We read in Exodus 16:10,“Now it came to pass, as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.” It’s interesting, when Lucifer fell in his foolish pride, we read his words in Isaiah 14:14,“I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.”

Not only does He have the clothes of God, He has the crown of God, that of the rainbow taking us back to John’s first vision of God and His throne in Revelation 4:3. His face like the sun, is similar to the description of Jesus in Revelation 1:16, and his feet take us back to Revelation 1:15. Most commentators believe the book He has in His hand is most likely the title deed to the earth, for this is a picture of Jesus’ literal, actual return to claim His property (He redeemed the world) which was purchased on Calvary.

Imagine the day when there’s no more delay.

But the book might also be somehow connected to the Scriptures, to prophecy, and even the book of Revelation itself, for John is commanded to take and eat the book. The voice from heaven tells him that the book will be bitter-sweet. So John took the book, ate it, and sure enough, it was bitter sweet.

As John prophesied, he needed to take in the Word before he could distribute it; in many ways the message is bitter-sweet.

Wiersbe put it this way, “…to share God’s message, we must take the Word, receive it inwardly like food, and let it become part of us (Jer. 15:16; Ezek. 3:1–11; 1 Thess. 2:13). The Word is sweet when you read it (Ps. 119:103) but bitter when it goes deeper and you digest it.” On this side of time it’s hard to digest. We long for Jesus to come and claim His rightful throne, to reign from Jerusalem, to eradicate and end all evil. But many souls will suffer and perish forever and ever. On the other side of time we will have a better grasp of it all, and even now we know that God doesn’t take pleasure in the death of the wicked. We read in Ezekiel 33:11, “Say to them: ‘AsI live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’” It’s bitter-sweet, there’s no way around it, but we must eat and share God’s Word.

Revelation 11

John was instructed to measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. This reveals a few things to us. For one, “ownership” – any time something is measured in the Scriptures, it is an indication of ownership. Secondly, the temple will be rebuilt. In Israel today there is a great push for the rebuilding of the temple – we have all the articles, furnishings, and even the clothing necessary; the red heifer is ready, crimson dye for the garments has been produced, and even the training is taking place. The following words from an interesting article in the Jewish Voice, explain, “The Sanhedrin and the Temple Movement also hold reenactments of Temple ceremonies for the training of those who are from the priestly class known as Kohanim. This training involves special schooling on the duties of the priests, the use of ritual vessels created for use in the Third Temple…”[1] More information on the rebuilding of the temple can be found at The third thing we notice in the measuring of the temple is that John was instructed to leave out the court which is outside that has been given to the Gentiles. On the Temple Mount today there is the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, both considered to be sacred sites to Muslims. We believe that the Antichrist will be able to make some sort of covenant to rebuild the temple, and the location may be just north of the Dome of the Rock. For that reason, John is instructed to leave that out of the measurement.

There may be some sort of connection with the two witnesses and the new temple. Eventually these two witnesses not only prophesy, but they defend themselves and are instruments of God’s judgment as fire proceeds from their mouth. They shut the heavens to withhold rain, turn water to blood, and strike the earth with plagues at will. I believe that the two witnesses will be Moses and Elijah. A strong case can be made for Elijah by the simple fact that he never died and there are two prophecies of his return in the last of the last days (Malachi 4:5; Matthew 17:11). From there we remember that it was Moses and Elijah who appeared to Jesus in the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:3). Moses represents the law, and Elijah the prophets; and when we look at the nature of these miracles for ministry it seems to fit the wonders done through the hands of Moses and Elijah.

Just like us, these guys will be invincible – until they finish their testimony (v. 7). But then the Antichrist will defeat them and the world will rejoice as their bodies lay in Jerusalem, which by this time has been reduced to a spiritual Sodom and Egypt (Sodom is known for homosexuality and Egypt is a “type” of the world).

As their dead bodies are on display for all the world to see through satellite television, after 3 ½ days God will raise them up and they will ascend (bodily) all the way to heaven. This will be followed by an earthquake; 7,000 people will die in Jerusalem and the others will be shaken up.

We’re getting closer. All the believers in heaven at this point will worship as we see the day drawing near, judgment and justice…Jesus will reign. What an answer to prayer! (v. 19 mentions again the lightning and thunder – see Revelation 8:3-5)


Revelation 12

The first sign is the woman who is representative of the nation of Israel. Some would say that the woman is the church, or even worse, that it’s Mary the mother of Jesus, but this is one of those cases where the best commentary on the Bible is the Bible, and back in Genesis 37:9-10, we read of Joseph’s dreams, “Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, ‘Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.’ So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, ‘What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?’”Jacob, interpreted Joseph’s dream of the sun, the moon, and the stars to be his family, the nation of Israel. Here we see she’s pregnant and ready to give birth – the child is Jesus Christ, the Messiah would come through Israel.

The second sign is Satan, this fiery red dragon with many crowns and horns, speaking of both his political and spiritual power on earth. We read in v. 4 that his tail drew a third of the stars of heaven to earth. This is in reference to the fact that when Satan fell from heaven, he drew 1/3 of the angels with him – these angels are now demons.

This chapter speaks of the fact that Satan opposes the woman (who represents Israel), but God protects her; God protects Israel to give birth to the Messiah, and we see in v. 5 that Jesus finished His work, ascended into heaven, and that Jesus will one day rule the world with a rod of iron (firm and fair, perfect justice).

Verse 7 describes a war in heaven between the good angels, led by Michael, and the bad angels (demons) wherein Satan is completely kicked out and no longer has any type of access to God. Up to this point, Satan somehow is able to present himself before the Lord to oppose and accuse the brethren (see Job 1:6; Zechariah 3:1). Not anymore. The end is near – we’re starting to hear it more and more as we read through the Book of Revelation, “…salvation and strength, and the kingdom of God, and the power of His Christ have come…” (v. 10). The accuser has been cast down.

Just as a quick side-note, the enemy doesn’t just accuse us to God, he lies and accuses us in our own minds, or to others, it’s his task and title. He’s the king of condemnation. But the Bible tells us there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Don’t allow the accuser to condemn you as a Christian, thank God for His grace and His blood that really does wash away all of our sins (Romans 5:20; Revelation 1:5).

It’s important for us to understand that the devil knows his time is short, so he will persecute us with a passion if we endeavor to keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Christ. We read in this chapter of God’s supernatural protection of the children of Israel, and the same is true for us (Psalm 91:1). God will do His part, but I also need to do my part. I love what we read in Revelation 12:11, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” Revelation 2-3 speaks of overcomers – how? The cross for me, the cross through me, and the cross in me.

Revelation 13

The enemy always counterfeits the work of God and even God Himself. In this chapter we have the unholy trinity – the rise of the Antichrist, who is empowered by the Dragon, and promoted by the False Prophet.

The antichrist, or beast as he is called, rises from the sea, which symbolizes the mass of humanity. The reason he is called a beast is because he is not domesticated, he is not tame, he is a wild, savage, vicious monster (his true colors of hate, murder, and destruction will eventually be exposed). This is the fourth beast spoken of in Daniel 7 (it would be helpful to read that chapter). We’ve read of this beast back in Revelation 11:7 and will see him mentioned 29 times in the book of Revelation.

As anti-christ, he opposes Christ, and claims to be the Christ. We see in verse 1 that he has 7 heads and 10 horns, something we read about the Dragon back in Revelation 12:3 (the Dragon gives him his power – see Matthew 4:8-9). The 7 heads are explained in Revelation 17. As the 7th and 8th head the Antichrist will follow after Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, the Revived Roman Empire out of which the Anti-Christ will rise. The anti-christ will rise to power with that same the spirit of the past who hungered to rule the world, some even elevating themselves as deities, which explains the blasphemies. As you read through Daniel 7 you’ll find these beasts mentioned there as well (leopard, bear, and lion). The 10 horns correspond to the 10 toes spoken of in Daniel 2:41-42 and refer to the organization of the world’s powers in the last days – some say specifically speaking of the sections of the Revived Roman Empire.

The counterfeits continue in the many lying signs and wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9) even counterfeiting a resurrection from the dead, which leads the world to worship him, all those whose names are not written in the Book of Life (13:8). At this point John issues a warning, “If anyone has an ear, let him hear.” He wants us to stop and examine our lives, if a person’s name is not found in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that person will bow down to the beast.

John then mentions the false prophet (another beast) (he is called the false prophet in Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10). He performs great signs with the incentive to call the entire world to worship the first beast. The antichrist is a political figure, the false prophet is a spiritual figure, and together they figure out a way to convince the world that this is now a religious rule, he claims to be god (see 2 Thessalonians 2:4).

As his power grows, he causes everyone to receive a mark on the right hand or forehead, without which they cannot buy or sell. People must sell their soul to buy a loaf of bread. Some say this is in reference to a microchip that can easily be inserted under the skin. If you rewind 50 years ago such technology would have been scoffed at, but now with the astronomical advances in technology, chips the size of a grain of rice (or smaller) can contain all the information necessary for such transactions.

John challenges us to calculate the number of the beast – 666. Is this the numerical value of his name? Is it the pinnacle of man’s creation (the computer)? Hmmm.

Revelation 14

The scene returns to the 144,000 Jews we saw back in chapter 7. There we read that they were sealed on their foreheads (7:3) and here we read that the seal consisted of the Father’s name. During the Tribulation Period these “Jews for Jesus” witnessed to the world and as we read a description of their lives here in chapter 14, their love for the Lord overflows, it’s both unique and inspirational.

We should all have worship songs that resonate within us because they describe our individual experiences. Such is the case of this song the 144,000 sing – it consists of an expression of worship unique to their lives and love for the Lord. When we read of their virginity in v. 4, it’s not to be taken literally, this group was pure in that they did not commit spiritual adultery (Exodus 34:15; James 4:4). But I love the way they followed Jesus wherever He led them, they were redeemed as firstfruits to God, they spoke only the truth, blameless before Him.

After the 144,000, we have 3 messages from 3 angels. The first angel has a message of salvation as he flies throughout the whole world, to every nation, tribe, tongue and people – the message spoken in 6,500 languages is so simple, fear God, obey God, and give glory to God, the one who made you.

The second angel makes a proclamation about Babylon, symbolic of all the false religions of the world – the day has come for its fall. It all started with the tower of Babel (Genesis 11) when men tried in their own efforts to reach heaven – in doing so they caused the world to fall into idolatry and spiritual adultery, but the day will come when all manmade religion will be destroyed (see also Revelation 17).

The third angel warns the people, ever so clearly, not to take the mark of the beast; there is absolutely no hope for anyone who does so. This angel takes some time to describe the wrath of God, the cup of His indignation, the torment, fire, and brimstone, ascending forever and ever – there is no rest, no relief, in all eternity for those who worship the beast, by taking his mark. During the Tribulation Period there will be that pressure to take the mark, but John gives that Godly counsel to those facing that temptation then, and really at any time – Revelation 14:12 (NLT) “This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently, obeying His commands and maintaining their faith in Jesus.” Many will be martyred for their faith in Christ. Verses 13-14 remind us that although the suffering of such death may be excruciating, it’s only temporary, the rest and reward are eternal.

Verses 14-16 speak of the harvest of grain and emphasizes the sifting in the harvest. As Jesus raptures His church and separates the sheep from the goat, the wheat from the tares – the Lord knows those who are His (2 Timothy 2:19).

Verses 17-20 speak of the harvest of grapes and emphasizes the severity of the harvest, culminating in the Battle of Armageddon, where the blood of rebellious man stretches 184 miles, 4-feet high. Our God is a Lamb, but He’s also a Lion; He’s our loving Savior, but He’s also the righteous Judge – when you have a moment read Isaiah 63:1-6 – how we need to fear the Lord!

Revelation 15

The number 7 is found 32 times in the book of Revelation. It’s the number of completion. The Tribulation Period is 7 years long, John writes his letters to 7 churches, there were 7 seals, followed by 7 trumpets, and now 7 bowls that will be poured out by 7 angels with the 7 last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is “complete.” We’re getting closer.

This scene, in one sense, takes us to the heavenly temple, and before the temple there is this sea of glass mingled with fire. Some compare this to what was called the “brazen sea,” the large laver of water that stood outside the Jewish tabernacle and temple where the priests washed. Of course, there’s no washing taking place in heaven, but it may represent the fact that we are washed in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 1:5). Other’s simply see the sea as the mass of humanity from which the people rise. In either case these are people who have won the battle. Victory over the beast, over his image, over his mark, and over the number of his name.

They sing the song of Moses and of the Lamb; it’s a song where-in the people rejoice over the victory God has granted! We read in Exodus 15:1, “Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the LORD, and spoke, saying: ‘I will sing to the LORD, for He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!’” You’ll notice when you read Revelation 16 there is quite a parallel between the plagues of Exodus and the plagues of Revelation. God is clearly making that connection as He triumphs over the enemy, finally, and sets His people free eternally.

This song gives praise to God, declaring His ultimate victory, but it also declares His justice. In v. 3b we read those words, “…just and true are Your ways O King of the saints!” There are those who question God’s ways, even His judgments; but it’s only because we are a sin-sick people who don’t even begin to understand the severity of sin. When we get that glimpse of God’s majesty and holiness, when we ourselves are home in heaven, we will all join in with that declaration, “…just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints.” The seals, the trumpets, the bowls of wrath – the non-believer sees it as only painful judgment…the believer sees it as pure justice.

There were those times in the Old Testament where the Jewish tabernacle or temple was filled with so much smoke, representing God’s glory, that no person was able to enter in – this is not a man-thing, this is a God-thing, God Himself will judge the world and complete what He has started.

Although it’s bittersweet, I desperately long for that day, when there will be no more sin, and when evil is eradicated.

Revelation 16

7 bowls of wrath will be poured out on the earth and take us even closer to the end – something that is so painful to read, and yet joyful to realize. As I hear of – and see so much evil taking place today, mindless murder, widespread war, mass-shootings of random lives – abortion, sexual perversion, confusion, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg, I see ever so clearly that the only hope for evil to end, is for Jesus to come. That’s what this is all about – you might remember the very first words of this, the final book of the Bible, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ…” (Revelation 1:1). These bowls make the message loud and clear that God is holy, and He really will judge sin.

Imagine scores of sores on all unbelievers, the ocean turns to blood, the fresh water springs and rivers are blood, the sun-screen is gone and the world is scorched with its heat. You would figure that the people of this planet would fear God, but they refuse to repent and give God glory. So God hits them with darkness and pain, but they still refuse to repent of their dark deeds.

The 6th bowl is interesting in that it allows the nations of the world to be deceived by devilish demons, the unholy trinity of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet – they somehow seduce the world into thinking they can actually fight Jesus Christ. God’s judgment includes the drying up of the Euphrates river, which opens the door for the armies of the world to march to their death. This is the battle of Armageddon.

Warren Wiersbe comments, “Armageddon (Rev. 16:16) is Hebrew for “the hill of Megiddo”; and Megiddo means “place of slaughter.” It is the plain in the Holy Land where Barak defeated the Canaanites (Judg. 5:19) and Gideon the Midianites (Judg. 7). King Saul fought his last battle there (1 Sam. 31). One of the greatest natural battlefields in the world, it is where the Antichrist will gather the world’s armies to fight against Jesus Christ (Isa. 24; Joel 3; Zech. 12–14). Revelation 19:11–21 records the outcome.”

Revelation 16:15 is another one of those straight-out reminders – I need to be ready for the return of Jesus Christ, I need to be living in the light of His eminent return. We can sense the season, but we don’t know the day or the hour, He’s coming unexpectedly, I need to always be watching and wearing the righteousness of Christ.

The 7th bowl ushers in an earthquake way beyond any Richter scale reading, it rocks the world to the point that no island or mountain is found on the planet. Our prayers are answered, Babylon is judged, the hail falls from heaven weighing in somewhere between 75 to 100 pounds! Wow!

The response?

Rather than people believing in God, people blaspheme God, they blame God. They refuse to bow down and believe in their Maker and Redeemer. Because they refused to receive Jesus as the loving Lamb, they will experience Him as the just Judge He is.

No one can say they haven’t been warned!

Revelation 17

One of the seven angels spoke with John in order to show him some details about the judgment of God on the “great harlot.” Many Bible teachers refer to Revelation 17 as the judgment of God on “Religious Babylon,” while Revelation 18 is the judgment of God on “Commercial Babylon.”

Warren Wiersbe explains the harlot, “The woman represents the ultimate in godless world religion. She is joined with government (carried by the Beast) and corrupts everything she touches.”

As John is carried away in the Spirit he sees this woman sitting on (riding) a scarlet beast which has blasphemous names, seven heads, and ten horns (an obvious reference to the antichrist). We believe that in the last days there will be a dominant one-world religion that will “marry” (work hand in hand) with the antichrist. Verse 5 associates her with the Babylon the Great, the mother of all harlots, because it was there at the tower of Babel (Genesis 11) that man tried to reach heaven by his own works. This is the heart and origin of every other belief system known to mankind – they’re all trying to earn their way to heaven through good works, they’re all trying to climb “up” the mountain. Christianity is the only belief system in the world where God has come down the mountain, we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. All other “religions” are descendants of and bonded to Babylon.

In the last days this religion will ride the advantages of the government, something to be warry of. Again, Warren Wiersbe comments on this, “Though Christians must be good citizens and seek to influence government for the Lord, the church must not marry political systems. The systems will only use the church to promote their own plans and then abandon it.” Which is exactly what the antichrist does (see v. 16). Once the antichrist is done using the religion of the day he devours it and creates his own, where he presents himself as God (2 Thessalonians 2:4).

Together the antichrist and the harlot are responsible for the death and blood of many, many martyrs of Jesus (v. 6). But it’s better to die for Christ, than to live for the devil. The only way a person can make sure he or she is not swept away by the antichrist (who will be the epitome of evil deception) is to have their names written in the Book of Life (mentioned 7 times in the Book of Revelation). This principle is true of all our challenges and temptations in life – the only way to “overcome” is to place our faith in Jesus Christ – this is how we “win.”

John goes on to give us details on the 7 heads and 7 mountains (vs. 9-11). Some might point to the 7 mountains as a reference merely to Rome, which is often described as a “city built on 7 hills,” – this same school of thought points largely to the Roman Catholic church as the harlot. That may be true, but as I read the description in v. 10 (…five have fallen…one is {present tense} the beast is of the seven but will be the eighth), it seems to refer to world powers, 1-Egypt, 2-Assyria, 3-Babylon, 4-Medo-Persia, 5-Greece, 6-Rome, 7-the Revived Roman Empire (European Community), 8-the antichrist will rise out of the Revived Roman Empire. The ten horns are the 10 districts this Empire will be divided into (these are the toes of Daniel 2:41-42).

With all this on the horizon, let us flee mere religion and make sure we are those who are “called chosen and faithful.” (Revelation 17:14)

Revelation 18

We come now to the judgment of what many call “Commercial Babylon.” There have been and will be many people committing spiritual adultery and idolatry through the worship of money and the things that money can buy. It’s okay to have possessions, but it’s not okay when those possessions posses us. It’s okay to have what we need, but God knows that oftentimes we go way beyond our necessities and live in lavish luxuries. Jesus said in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” But the kings, leaders, movers and shakers of this world worship at this altar, and get rich at the same time, through the seduction of society – people get caught in culture (especially in America).

Again, I appreciate the way Warren Wiersbe describes this chapter, “John certainly had Rome in mind when he wrote this chapter, but his imagery means much more. Babylon symbolizes the whole godless world system that caters to the appetites of sinful men and women (1 John 2: 15–17). True believers have nothing in common with the harlot and her city and should be separated from them (v. 4; Jer. 50:8; 51:6; 2 Cor. 6:14–18). In every age, the church has had to identify its Babylon and separate from it.”

For that reason the warning is issued in verse 4, “Come out of her, My people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues,” (reminds me of the warning in 2 Corinthians 6:17). It’s so easy to get sucked into the things of this world, the latest, the greatest, to where it consumes us – even as Christians. Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 6:8,“And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.” He also wrote in Philippians 4:19, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” God will supply all our needs, not all our “greeds.” How we need to be careful – for as we see in this chapter, the citizens of Babylon will be judged by God…yes it’s true, “It’s all gonna burn!”

I was captured by the concept that it will happen not only in one day (Revelation 18:8), but one hour (Revelation 18:10, 17). Some say the future city may be a literal place like New York, or Los Angeles, or maybe even a rebuilt Babylon in modern-day Iraq, but somehow the judgment is connected to a place where materialism was mainstream. The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her.

The list of merchandise included jewelry, clothing, things made of wood, metal, and other materials, there was food and drink, stock, horses, chariots (cars?) and even people were for sale – I think of the sex-trafficking taking place throughout the world, as well as slavery. Our hearts ache for them. Revelation 18:14 is so sad – to think that sometimes our soul “longs” for these things, we’re told and sold through the endless advertising that bombards us. I need to be careful that my heart doesn’t go after these things, I wouldn’t be the first servant of God who sold out for money (Achan, Gehazi, and Judas did).

The day is coming when this entire entity, this world system, the Babylonian spirits will be judged. I thought it was interesting how in Revelation 18:2 the demons are all captured, imprisoned, and caged. Revelation 18:22 mentions the music – what a powerful tool of the enemy much of the worldly music has been…can’t help but think of Romans 12:2.

Revelation 19

Revelation 19 begins with a great multitude in heaven praising God for His just judgment. This is the first time we see the word Alleluia in the New Testament. This is a Hebrew word that has been transliterated into a universal language-word whose meaning is “Praise the Lord!” Once we’re in heaven, we’ll be able to understand even more so, the necessity of judgment upon those who reject God’s righteousness provided in His Son, and not just a temporary punishment, we read something tragic in v. 3, “Again they said, ‘Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!’”

The next “Alleluia” is due to that glorious wedding day and Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Jesus is the Bridegroom (John 3:29), the church is the bride, and this is the Day we’ve all been waiting for, a formal, finalized, and forever “outward” expression of an inward reality. We belong to Jesus, as a chaste virgin, dressed in white, clean and bright. (2 Corinthians 11:2) He bought us by dying for us and takes personal care of us as His bride (see Ephesians 5:25-33).

In Revelation 19:10 we’re reminded that we are NOT to worship angels (Colossians 2:18), we are forbidden to bow down before anyone but God (see Matthew 4:8-10).

Next – O what a glorious scene, Jesus returns on a white horse, finally coming to conquer the world, and to literally physically rule and reign from Jerusalem – the King returns. His names (Faithful and True, the Word of God, King of kings, Lord of lords, and one that only He knows). His description (eyes like fire, many crowns on His head, a sharp sword proceeding from His mouth). He comes to conquer, He returns to reign and He will do so with a rod of iron, meaning that if anyone gets out of line, He will deal with it immediately – there will be no nonsense when Jesus is rules.

This is the battle of Armageddon, and all the rebel soldiers who marched to war as described in Revelation 16:12-16 will foolishly fight God and therefore be massacred on the battle field with a simple word from the lips of the Lord.

Sandy Adams has some helpful words, “Revelation chapter 19 describes the climactic conclusion to a galactic battle. Waged in heaven, resumed on earth, won at the cross, resisted through the ages – the war between God and Satan winds up for its grand finale’ in the Valley of Megiddo. It has been a long time since this wicked world has seen the Lamb. What a surprise to hear Him roar like a lion. He came the first time to save. He comes the second time to slaughter.”

Verse 14 reveals the fact that we will be with Him, but I have a hunch that Jesus does all the fighting, we’re just following Him on white horses. If you travel to Israel today you can see this battle field that will one day be 4 feet high in blood. In verse 19 we read of the capture of the beast (antichrist), as well as the false prophet who are both cast alive into the Lake of Fire burning with brimstone, while the rest of the resistance were killed by the “sword” of our Savior. What a glorious day that will be – it’s not the absolute end of evil, but we’re getting there, and from this point forward it only gets better. Next is the Millennial Kingdom, followed by the Eternal Kingdom.

Revelation 20

For many of us, it’s a prayer we’ve been praying our entire lives, “…Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Satan is bound in the bottomless pit for a thousand years. That means that the devil and his demons won’t be around to tempt and torment for an entire millennium. During this time, Jesus will rule from Jerusalem as King and we will rule with Him in different cities. Our future jurisdiction as blood bought believers will be based on our present faithfulness. We recall Jesus’ words in Luke 19:17, “And He said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’”And in Luke 19:18-19, “And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’ Likewise He said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’” (see also Matthew 19:28; 1 Corinthians 6:3; Revelation 3:21).

The Bible is filled with many passages that paint wonderful pictures of the Messiah’s reign. It will be a time of peace and prosperity; if anyone gets out of line, it will be dealt with swiftly as Jesus rules with a “rod of iron.” Death can take place, but for the most part, people will live much longer. Dangerous animals will be tamed as described in Isaiah 11:6-9, “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.”

What a wonderful time it will be! Many aspects of the curse (Gen. 3:15-19) will be reversed. People will live to a great age, but death will still occur. As before the flood, animals will revert to vegetarianism and will no longer fear man. Living waters will flow from beneath the sanctuary of the Millennial Temple bringing life to the regions they water.” (Isa. 11:6-9; 65:20, 25; Eze. 47:8-12; Zec. 8:4; 14:8; Rev. 21:1-2)”[1]

It will be a lush and loving land when the Lord physically and literally reigns from Jerusalem, but at the end of the thousand years, Satan will be released one last time to test the heart of man, for love must always be tried. Tragically there will be many who despise Christ reigning over them (Luke 19:14) and they will follow Satan and his soldiers to a futile resistance where fire comes down from heaven and devours them. FINALLY, the devil is cast into the Lake of Fire where the Antichrist and False Prophet are, and all whose names are not written in the Book of Life, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Imagine that Great White Throne – where all non-believers will stand before Jesus to be judged (John 5:22). Is your name in the Book of Life? If you’re not sure, I pray you would receive Christ today, as your Lord and Savior, and then join in on this mission to pull as many people out of the fire as we can (Jude 23).


Revelation 21

God gives us a glimpse of the glory of heaven, which can ultimately be defined as the sphere of God’s unveiled existence. In “heaven” (which Paul refers to as the “third heaven” (2 Corinthians 12:2) there will be a new heaven and a new earth (the first and second heaven refer to this planet’s atmosphere and outer space). Some Christians believe that the current heaven and earth will be obliterated and replaced – but I tend to lean more towards God redeeming all creation as Paul wrote in Romans 8:20-22. Just as our bodies will be resurrected so too will “heaven and earth.”

In verse 3 the voice is loud because God wants everyone to hear! In heaven, God will be with us, we will be with Him, we will see Him (Job 19:26; Matthew 5:8) and there will be, no more painful tears, suffering or sorrow, no more death or decay, all that is sinful will pass away, God makes ALL things new. God Himself told John (and us) “Write for these words are true and faithful.” This is not just wishful thinking or a fleeting fantasy, this is reality, there is life after death.

It’s clear that all this is written not merely as information, but even as an invitation, Jesus Himself invites the weary worn out world, “If you’re thirsty, come to Me, I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to all who thirst.”

It’s also clear that this book is written as a bold and blunt warning, those who resist God and insist on their sin, rooted in unbelief, “…shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

We then get this visual of the New Jerusalem, this is where God’s people live, it’s some sort of structure approximately 1,500 miles in length, in depth, and in height. If every level was a ½ a mile high, the total surface would be larger than the entire land mass of planet earth. The jewels, the pearly gates, the names of the 12 tribes of Israel on each gate, the names of the 12 Apostles on the foundations of those gates, the walls of jasper, the city and streets are made of pure gold. There is no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. Imagine not needing the light of the sun or any other lamp because the glory of God illuminates it, the Lamb is its light! As I read, I sense God’s full and unveiled presence everywhere in heaven.

We read that the nations of those who are saved shall walk in this light, they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it, which means that there is still this perfect diversity in heaven. Perhaps the different foods, cultural practices, skin colors and the like will be there in heaven. There are still many mysteries and things we don’t know or understand, there are many questions – we have as Christians, but the most important part of it all is that we will be with God, and that’s all that matters. Jesus said in John 14:2-3, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it werenot so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, thereyou may be also.”

 “That’s all I want Lord, that where You are, there I may be also…and please Lord, help us to bring as many people with us as we can.”

 Revelation 22

More visuals of heaven – the throne of God (which includes the Lamb), and from that throne this pure river, this water of life proceeds. Not only will this be something we actually drink, it also symbolizes the wonderful life that God grants to us in His sovereign grace.

There is the Tree of Life (something we saw back in Genesis 2:9; 3:22, 24) that somehow springs up in the middle of the street, as well as on either side of the street…yielding different fruits each month (does that mean there’s still this yearly type of calendar we have, with orbits of the earth and moon?). Somehow the consumption of the water, fruit, and leaves contribute to the preparation of our bodies/beings for eternity. It’s for that reason God did not allow Adam and Eve to partake of the Tree of Life while in a fallen state.

How beautiful the words, “no more curse,” only God’s crown, His righteous rule over all; and there we will serve the Lord, see the Lord, and reign with Him forever and ever. No need for artificial lights, the darkness flees forever from the presence and glory of God, His Light illuminates every nook and cranny in heaven.

Again, John is instructed to write all this down, for the words are faithful and true – and blessed are those who read and heed this book of Revelation, who preserve its pages and share it with others, “…who keep the words of the prophecy of this book.”  (see also Revelation 3:10; 12:17; 14:12). Some people steer clear of the book of Revelation, they avoid it thinking it’s too tough to interpret, but the angel commands John NOT to seal the words of this prophecy, for the time is at hand.

  1. 11 is not a passage teaching us that God doesn’t want people to repent, it’s simply a literary tool urging us to act NOW – don’t wait ‘till later or tomorrow – it may be too late. And if you’re one of those who love the Lord and are set apart to Him – stay there, may you never be moved.

Jesus does try to move and motivate us with His reward, so let’s do what John tells us in 2 John 1:8,“Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but thatwe may receive a full reward.”

And the revelation continues with the wooing and warning. If we do His commandments it shows we know God and love God (John 14:21, 23) – we will be blessed to partake of that Tree of Life – God is wooing us. But God also warns, outside are dogs (metaphorically speaking of a man with an impure and impudent mind), sorcerers (drug addicts), sexually immoral, murderers, and idolaters. Jesus Himself sent His angel to communicate this message to all of us – if anyone thirsts, let that person come to Christ, an invitation from Jesus, the Spirit, and the Bride (the church) (see also Isaiah 55:1; John 7:37-38; Matthew 11:28-30) – come to the King of kings (the root and offspring of David), the bright and morning star (announcing the arrival of a new dawn, a new dynasty) – the warning and wooing – how can we possibly be ready for His return? I’m eternally grateful that the Bible ends with those words of grace!

I want to know Christ more, and make Him known…

%d bloggers like this: