THE REVELATION FRAMEWORK – IN SMALL CHUNKS (PART 1)

BIBLICAL PRESUPPOSITIONS

  • God means what He says and says what He means.
  • The Bible is an integrated whole: Every detail is there by design (Mt 5:17,18).
  • Nothing is trivial: All things are for our learning (Rom 15:4).
  • God is His own interpreter.

REVELATION: “THE UNVEILING”

  • The consummation of all things.
  • 404 verses containing over 800 allusions from the Old Testament.
  • It presents the climax of God’s Plan for Man.

REVELATION: A PROPHETIC BOOK

Revelation 1:19 says, “Write the things which thou hast seen [The Vision of Christ, Chapter 1], and the things which are [The Seven Churches, Chapters 2,3], and the things which shall be hereafter [That which follows after the Churches, Chapters 4-22]”

The Book of Revelation covers the things of the past, present and future:

  • Past – The Things Which Thou Hast Seen (Rev 1:12-18)
  • Present – The Things Which Are (Rev 2 & 3)
  • Future – The Things Which Shall Be Hereafter (Rev 4-22)

Nevertheless, as seen above, the book mainly claims be of a futuristic / prophetic nature (1:3; 22:7, 10 18-19; cf.10:11):

  • In the Old Testament, there are 1,845 references to Christ’s rule on the earth as 17 OT books give prominence to the event.
  • In 216 chapters of the New Testament, there are 318 references to the Second Coming. It is mentioned in 23 of the 27 books.
  • For every prophecy relating to His First Coming, there are eight that relate to His Second Coming.
  • The New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed; The Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed.

We are being plunged into a period about which the Bible says more than about any other period in history – the end times. Sadly, there are however three different key interpretations being used by Christians:

BOOK WITH A SPECIFIC BLESSING

It is the only book in the Bible that contains a specific blessing, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”

In fact, it contains seven beatitudes

  • Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear and keep those things… (Rev 1:3).
  • Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord (Rev 14:13).
  • Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments (Rev 16:15).
  • Blessed are they who are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:9).
  • Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection (Rev 20:6).
  • Blessed is he that keepeth the words of the prophecy of this book (Rev 22:7)
  • Blessed are they that wash their robes (Rev 22:14).

THE STRUCTURE OF SEVENS

  • Seven Churches 1:4,11,20; 2; 3
  • Seven Seals 5; 6
  • Seven Trumpets 8, 9
  • Seven Bowls 15; 16; 17:1; 21:9
  • Seven Lampstands 1:12, 13, 20; 2:1
  • Seven Spirits 1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6
  • Seven Stars 1:16, 20; 2:1; 3:1
  • Seven Lamps 4; 5
  • Seven “Title-pairs” 2; 3
  • Seven Promises to the Overcomer 2;3
  • Seven Horns 5:6
  • Seven Eyes 5:6
  • Seven Angels 8:2,6; 15:1,6,7,8; 16:1; 17:1;21:9
  • Seven Thunders 10:3, 4
  • Seven Thousand 11:13
  • Seven Heads 12:3; 13:1; 17:3, 7, 9
  • Seven Crowns 12:3
  • Seven Plagues 15:1, 6, 8; 21:9
  • Seven Mountains 17:9
  • Seven Kings 17:10,11
  • Seven Years of Judgments 11:3; 12:6,14; 13:5
  • Seven “I Am’s” of Christ 1:8, 11, 17, 18; 21:6; 22:13,16;
  • Seven Doxologies in heaven 4:9-11; 5:8-13; 7:9-12; 11:16-18; 14:2,3; 15:2-4 ;19:1-6
  • Seven New Things 20, 21

…and many, many more.

THE PATMOS EXILE

Patmos is a small island, 6 miles by 10 miles, 40 miles from Miletus and 24 miles from the coast of  Turkey. John was exiled by Domitian (A.D. 81-96), the brother of Titus who destroyed Jerusalem. According to Irenaeus (2nd century A.D.), Revelation was written by John during the reign of Domitian.

Irenaeus, Clement, and Eusebius wrote that after Domitian died, John returned to Ephesus, went to the churches, and appointed leaders, and set things in order.

THE JUDGEMENTS

There are 3 categories of judgement, namely the Seals (Rev 8:5); Trumpets (Rev 11:19); and, Bowls (Rev 16:18).

THREE WOMEN

Revelation deals with the three women:

COMPARISON BETWEEN GENESIS VS REVELATION

GENESIS (Beginning) REVELATION (End)
Earth Created 1:1 Earth Passed away 21:1
Sun, moon, stars 1:14-16 Sun, moon, stars 4:12; 8:12
Earth’s government 37 Earth’s judgment 16:8
Sun to govern Day 1:16 No need of sun 21:23
Darkness called night 1:5 No night there 22:5
Waters He called seas 1:10 No more sea 21:1
A river for earth’s blessing 2:10-14 A river for New Earth 22:1,2
Man in God’s Image 1:26 Man Headed by Satan’s Image 13
Entrance of sin 3 End of sin 21, 22
Curse pronounced 3:14-17 No more curse 22:3
Death entered 3:19 No more death 21:4
Cherubim first mentioned 3:24 Cherubim final mention 19:4
Man driven out of Eden 3:24 Man restored 22
Tree of life guarded 3:24 Access to Tree of life 22:14
Sorrow & suffering enter 3:17 No more sorrow 22:4
Nimrod founds Babylon 10:8-10 Babylon falls 17, 18
God’s Flood to Destroy evil generation 6 – 9 Satan’s flood to Destroy elect generation 12
A bow: God’s promise 9:13 A bow for remembrance 4:3; 10:1
Sodom & Egypt: Corruption, judgement 13, 19 “Sodom & Egypt” (Jerusalem) 11:8
A confederation vs. Abraham’s people 14 Abraham’s Seed 12
A bride for Abraham’s son 24 A bride for Abraham’s Seed 19
Marriage of 1st Adam 2:18-23 Marriage of Last Adam 19
Promised Seed: Possess gate of enemies 29:8 Promised Seed possessing 19
Man’s dominion ceased, and Satan’s begun 3:24 Satan’s domain ended and man’s restored 22

A CHANGING WORLD – SOME KEY THEMES OF PROPHECY

  • Scattering and Regathering of Israel
  • Redemption and Judgement of the Righteous
  • Jerusalem
  • Russia (Magog)
  • Temple
  • Antichrist and False Prophet
  • European Super State
  • Ecumenical Religion
  • Global Government
  • Rise of the Occult
  • Babylon
  • Tribulation
  • The Wrath of God
  • The Second Coming
  • Spiritual Healing of Israel
  • The Millennial Reign of Christ On Earth
  • Judgement of the Unrigteous
  • Eternity – New Heavens and a New Earth

(KEY SOURCE: Supplemental Notes: The Book of Revelation – Chuck Missler)

WHY BIBLE PROPHECY IS IMPORTANT

Bible prophecy is one of the most ignored topics in churches today and pastors avoid it like a plague. They usually assert that it is either too controversial or too difficult to understand. Some even claim it has no relevance to Christian’s living today. The result is that almost one-fourth of God’s Word has been put on the shelf, and the average Christian ends up living with no anticipation or even yearning for the Lords’ soon return.

There are two areas of God’s Word that have been terribly ignored and abused in the history of the Church. They are the opening and the conclusion of the Bible — the books of Genesis and Revelation. They spiritualize the Bible by claiming that it doesn’t really mean what it says. But, the abuses of Bible prophecy apply to more than just the book of Revelation. It applies to all of God’s prophetic word, and that is a shame, because the study of Bible prophecy is very important for many reasons.

There are eight key reasons why all Christians should be interested in studying God’s Prophetic Word. This should be done without adding to or taking away from it (Revelation 22:18-19).

1. QUANTITY

As mentioned, approximately one-fourth of the Bible is prophetic in nature. In the Old Testament, you have the major prophecy books like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and all the Minor Prophets. Plus, you have the Psalms. Many of the Psalms are also prophetic in nature.

Then in the New Testament and you have entire books like 1 and 2 Thessalonians, the book of Revelation, and huge passages like Matthew 24 and Luke 21.

What we are told in 2 Timothy 3 is that all Scripture, including prophecy, is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness that the man of God may be adequate equipped for every good work. Don’t take one-fourth to one-third of God’s Word and put it on the shelf. Study it. It will bless you (Revelation 1:3 and 22:14)..

2. UNIQUENESS

Fulfilled prophecy is a unique characteristic of the Bible. There is no other religion or book in the world that contains fulfilled prophecies. Did you know for example there’s not one fulfilled prophecy in any of the sayings of Confucius or Buddha? There is not one fulfilled prophecy in the Koran, the Hindu Vedras or in the book of Mormon. Only the Bible contains fulfilled prophecy.

Isaiah 41:22-23 challenges other religions and their gods, “‘Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.”

3. VALIDATES SCRIPTURE

Scripture. Prophecy attests to the supernatural origin of the Bible. Prophecy proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Bible is God’s revelation to man.

In Isaiah 13, as an example, he prophesied that Babylon will fall to the Medes and the Persians. When Isaiah wrote this prophecy, Babylon wasn’t even a world empire. The world empire was the Assyrians. Or, consider Micah 3:12 where it was prophesied that Jerusalem would become a heap of ruins and that the Temple Mount would be plowed. That was written 100 years before Jerusalem was destroyed and the Temple Mount was plowed by the Babylonians.

Jesus also was a prophet. It was 40 years later in 70 AD that Jerusalem and the Temple fell, just as Jesus prophesied.

There are many prophesies about the return of the Jews to their land and after approximately 2000 years, Israel became a nation again on 14 May 1948.

4. VALIDATES JESUS

Bible prophecy validates Jesus as who He said He was, that He was God in the flesh.
Look, for example, at Micah 5:2. This is probably one of the best known prophecies about the First Coming of the Messiah. It says that the Messiah will be born in the town of Bethlehem. This was written 500 years before Jesus was born.

Psalm 22 is about the Crucifixion. Verse 16 says the Messiah will die by having His hands and His feet pierced. That was written 1,000 years before Jesus Or, look at the book of Zechariah.

There are approximately 330 prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures concerning the First Coming of the Messiah, but if you take out all the repetitive prophecies, it leaves you with 109 separate and distinct prophecies.

5. TOOL FOR EVANGELISM

Bible prophecy is a tremendous tool of evangelism. The very first Gospel sermon ever preached is found in Acts 2, where Peter preaches. All he did in that sermon was saying, “The prophets said the Messiah would do this.” That is all Peter’s sermon is — one prophecy after another. Suddenly the people interrupted him and asked, “What must we do to be saved?” They were convicted by the teaching of Bible prophecy and him showing them that Jesus had fulfilled prophecy.

Or, consider Philip and the Eunuch. Philip is given a horizontal rapture. He is taken over to another road. He sees this Ethiopian eunuch coming down the road reading a big scroll. He stops and they start talking. The Eunuch asks, “What is this scroll?” He quotes from it. What’s the passage? It’s Isaiah 53. Philip asks, “Do you understand it?” The Eunuch replies, “I don’t understand it.” Philip said, “Let me explain it.” He explains how Yeshua (Jesus) was the fulfillment of Isaiah 53. The man is baptized and then goes on his way rejoicing.

6. STIMULUS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH

Prophecy is a great stimulus for spiritual growth in two areas. First, Bible prophecy provides hope. The average Christian has very little hope. In terms of trying to define hope, just ask the average Christian, “What is your hope?” And they’ll say, “My hope is to go to Heaven.” You then ask, “Okay, what is Heaven?” Suddenly they become very inarticulate. Are you going to have a body? Going to have a name? Going to be recognizable? Are you going to eat? You going to work? You going to create things? Where are you going to be? Are you going to be on a cloud playing a harp? Are you going to be on the ground? Are you going to be in the New Jerusalem in the ground, or the New Jerusalem out in space? Thhe Bible answers every one of these questions asked.

The more you know about Bible prophecy the greater your hope will be. Promise after promise after promise after promise is made to us as overcomers, and we need to know those promises and live in the hope and expectation of those promises.

Second, Bible prophecy motivates holiness. Almost every passage in the New Testament that talks about prophecy says, for example in 1 John, to focus your life upon the return of Jesus Christ. Think about the return of Jesus Christ, because as you think about the return of Jesus Christ you will purify yourselves.

7. UNDERSTANDING OF CURRENT EVENTS

Bible prophecy provides an understanding of current events. There is no way you can understand why there is so much decay in society today unless you know what the Bible says about that. Jesus prophesied that before He returns, it would be as in the days of Noah. We are seeing that happening before our very eyes.

Consider this apostasy in the Church. Who would ever dream just 20 years ago that we would live in an age when denominations would be endorsing homosexuals as bishops of their churches, and even advocating marriage between homosexuals? Some self-proclaimed Christians now even question the virgin birth, the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ. Just think about the Emergent Church Movement who are just taking the Word of God and throwing it out claiming, “There’s not really any truth. We just have got to be touchy-feely about doctrine. We mustn’t be judgmental. We mustn’t be intolerant.” Truth is going out the window! Paul said it would be a perilous time, where many would have a form of godliness but would reject the power thereof.

There is no way you could even begin to understand what is going on the Middle East today unless you know something about the history of Israel from the Word of God and His promises to Israel. The fact that Israel has an everlasting covenant for that land God has never taken it away. The deed to that land belongs to them. You can’t begin to understand all the conflict that is going on there today unless you get into Bible prophecy.

8. REVEALS THE SEASON OF THE LORD’S RETURN

Finally we need to study Bible prophecy because it reveals the season of the Lord’s return. Nobody can know the date or the hour, but beyond a shadow of a doubt we can know the season.

1 Thessalonians 5 says. “Now as to the signs and the seasons, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you for you yourselves know full well that the Day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.” Unfortunately, most pastors and self-proclaimed Christians stop there. If you read on, it says, “But you, brethren, you believers, are not in darkness that the day should overtake you like a thief. For you are sons of light, and sons of day. We are not of night or darkness, so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.” Because we have the Holy Spirit residing inside of us, we can understand things from the Word of God that others cannot understand, like the season we are living in. For those who know Bible prophecy, He is not coming like a thief in the night.

Look at Hebrew 10:25: “Do not forsake the assembling together as is the habit of some. But encourage one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” It is the Day of Judgment. In verse 27 it is saying that there is something we can see. There is something that can be perceived, and of course those are the signs of the times.

Or, consider what Jesus said in Matthew 24:33, “Even so, when you see all these things…recognize that He’s near right at the door.”

(Main source used: The Christ in prophecy journal A Lamb & Lion Ministries Blog)