Over the past few years, I have felt a strange shift in my spirit. It’s almost like when the seasons are changing from winter to spring. There is a new crispness in the air. The sun shines a little brighter and warmer. An excitement begins to stir. I’ve begun feeling this same change deep inside my spirit, and it has begun to stir an emotion of urgency. It’s begun to inspire the need to pursue holiness and righteousness with an impassioned pace. One significant and noticeable change is my desire to study the book of revelations. Just months ago, I was saying that I didn’t see the great necessity in studying Revelations. Now, I have a strong desire to grow in knowledge of this book.
It is very important that we as Christians study the book of Revelations. Revelations is the end-time action plan. God, Himself, has laid it all out for us for us to study. It’s an awesome revelation of Jesus as the righteous judge.
Here are the first two sessions of Mike Bickle’s study on Revelations.
Session 1: Overview of the Book of the Revelation
Session 1: Overview of the Book of Revelation
I. THE BOOK OF REVELATION IS FOR EVERYONE TO UNDERSTAND
A. Revelation gives us more information on the End-Times than any other book in Scripture. It was written to help God’s people endure and overcome in victory throughout history but especially in the Great Tribulation. It will be the “prophetic prayer manual” for the End-Time Church.
B. I do not ask anyone to accept my views, rather I urge you to think for yourself. Truth is never hurt by scrutiny but rather it is confirmed. You must boldly challenge all ideas that you hear. Refuse any that you cannot clearly see in Scripture for yourself. Often, I will clarify which one of the 3 positions I am speaking from: biblical conviction, informed opinion, or personal theory. The Bereans searched the Scriptures to see if the things that Paul said were so (Acts 17:10-11).
11 These were more fair-minded…in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. (Acts 17:11)
C. The most controversial point in this course is found in my conviction that Church will go through the Tribulation (in great victory and power). This differs from the popular pre-tribulation Rapture view that teaches that the Church will be raptured at any minute and will therefore, miss the End-Time revival and crisis. The Bible teaches that the Church will be raptured. The issue is one of timing. The Church will be raptured at the end of the Tribulation, rather than at its beginning. I honor the godliness and wisdom of many who hold the pre-tribulation Rapture view, but I see it as a serious mistake that will leave many unprepared. We can disagree in a spirit of meekness without a spirit of debate. The reality of the Tribulation is too weighty to reduce it to arguments.
D. Common lies related to the Book of Revelation:
1. Lie #1: It is not relevant for today because every generation has believed they were the final generation. (It is possible that each generation has had 1% or less who believed this, yet only two generations have had a universal conviction about it).
2. Lie #2: Revelation is to be interpreted symbolically. The events and numbers in Revelation are to be understood in their plain meaning (literal) unless the Scripture specifically indicates that they are symbolic (Rev. 1:20; 5:6; 11:8; 12:1, 3, 9; 17:7, 9).
3. Lie #3: Revelation is impossible to understand except by scholars. (It was written to be understood by all. The majority of the people through history were uneducated).
E. It is unique in being the only book in the Bible that God promises a special blessing to anyone who reads or hears it (Rev. 1:3) as well as cursed if anyone adds or subtracts from it.
7 Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book…18 If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues…in this book 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of…this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life… (Rev. 22:7-19)
II. DAY OF THE LORD: 2 EXTREMES IN THE GENERATION JESUS RETURNS
A. The subject emphasized in Revelation is the Day of the Lord which refers to the unusual events related to Jesus’ Second Coming. It will be a Great Day for the responsive who will experience the greatest revival in history. It will be a very Terrible Day to the rebellious who will experience the most severe judgments of God in history along with Satan’s rage in the Great Tribulation.
11 For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; who can endure it? (Joel 2:11)
B. The Great Tribulation emphasizes the negative dimensions of the 3½ years before Jesus’ return. The great trouble will be caused by the wrath of God on the rebellious (3 numbered judgment series: Seals, Trumpets, Bowls), the rage of Satan seen in the Antichrist’s reign of terror and the actions of evil people (Rev. 9:21) along with convulsions in nature (earthquakes, storms, etc.).
21 There will be great Tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world…nor ever shall be. 22 Unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved… (Mt. 24:21-22)
C. The principle of judgment: God will use the least severe means to reach the greatest number of people at the deepest level of love without violating anyone’s free.
III. OUTLINE OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION: 4 MAIN PARTS
A. Pt. 1 Introduction (Rev. 1): John’s commission to reveal Jesus’ majesty and beauty
Pt. 2 Letters to the 7 Churches (Rev. 2-3): Exhortations to be overcomers
Pt. 3 The Heavenly Court (Rev. 4-5): Jesus receives the 7 sealed Scroll (title deed of earth)
Pt. 4 Storyline on earth (Rev. 6-22): Tribulation, 2nd Coming, Millennium and New Earth
B. The storyline covers the largest section in the Book of Revelation telling us what happens on earth during the Great Tribulation (3½ years), the Millennium leading to the New Earth. In this section, John highlights the 3 numbered judgment series (7 Seals, Trumpets and Bowls). They are literal (actual events not to be explained away symbolically), future (greatest fulfillment is future), progressive (increasing in intensity) and numbered (released in a sequential order).
IV. PT. 4 STORYLINE ON EARTH (REV. 6-22): CHRONOLOGICAL/PARENTHETICAL SECTIONS
A. This main storyline unfolds in a sequential or chronological way as the First Seal leads to the Second Seal which in turn leads to the third and so on, throughout the seven Trumpets, then the seven Bowls (Rev. 6:1-17; 8:1-9:21; 11:15-18; 15:1-16:21; 19:11-21:8).
B. Two main literary features in the book’s structure: 5 chronological and 5 parenthetical sections
A) Five Chronological Sections (are written in a straight forward way)
B) Five Parenthetical Sections (storyline is put on “pause” after each chronological section).
Parenthetical sections follow chronological sections to answer tough questions about the
severity of God’s wrath (seen in the chronological sections). We ask what requires such
severe judgments? What will happen to the saints? How will God help us?
C. Chronological Section #1: The 7 Seals (Rev. 6:1-17)
Parenthetical Section #1: Sealing for protection: physical and spiritual (Rev. 7:1-17)
Chronological Section #2: The 7 Trumpets (8:1-9:21)
Parenthetical Section #2: Prophetic Ministry: direction and power (Rev. 10:1-11:13)
Chronological Section #3: The Rapture of the Church (Rev. 11:15-19)
Parenthetical Section #3: War in the Spirit: Antichrist and False Prophet (Rev. 12:1-14:20)
Chronological Section #4: The 7 Bowls (Rev. 15:1-16:21)
Parenthetical Section #4: Fall of Babylon (Rev. 17:1-19:10)
Chronological Section #5: Jesus received as King of kings over the earth (Rev. 19:11-21:8)
Parenthetical Section #5: Victory of the Bride (Rev. 21:9-22:5)
D. The Parenthetical Sections mostly describe Satan’s attack against the Church and then God’s intervention to help with power, protection, direction or reward. They are the interpretative sections of Revelation that answer two main questions. First, “Why are these judgments are so severe?” In other words, how can a God of love be so violent? Second, “What will happen to the Church?” In other words, will we be safe in God’s favor and will we be anointed to stand against deception and persecution? The five parenthetical sections answer these two questions.
E. John is given “pastoral insight and assurance” that things will be good for the believers. For example, after John saw the severity of the seals, he was undoubtedly overwhelmed by what he learned. Thus, the angel put the chronological storyline “on pause” as if to say, “John sit down and let me explain things to you.” These sections provide strength and comfort for the Church.
F. Understanding the relationship between the Chronological Sections and the Parenthetical Sections, makes the Book of Revelation much easier to grasp. The parenthetical sections are the most challenging parts of Revelation because most of the symbolism is in these sections.
V. SEVEN PRIMARY SYMBOLS IN THE PARENTHETICAL SECTIONS
A. How do we know when a passage is symbolic? When the text clearly indicates that it is. For example, the angel tells John the 7 lamp stands are symbolic of seven churches (Rev. 1:20). Daniel used some of the same symbols as John (Dan 7:3-7, 12, 17; 8:4). Daniel prophesied of the Antichrist as the Beast with an evil empire (Dan. 7:7, 11, 19, 20-23) that was supported by ten kings seen as ten horns (Dan. 7:7, 20, 24; 2:41-42; Rev. 12:3; 13:1; 17:3, 7, 12, 16).
B. The dragon: is always symbolic of Satan (Rev. 12:3, 4, 7, 9, 13, 16, 17; 13:2, 4; 16:13; 20:2).
C. The first Beast: is symbolic of the Antichrist (Rev. 13; 14:9-11; 17:3-17; 19:19-21; 20:4, 10). He is called the Beast 36 times in Revelation
D. Another Beast: is symbolic of the False Prophet who is only called, “another Beast” one time. Every other time he is called the False Prophet (Rev. 13:11-17; 16:13; 19:20; 20:10)
E. The 7 heads: are 7 empires from history that persecuted Israel (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, revived Roman Empire of Dan. 2:41-42; 7:7, 20, 24; Rev. 12:3; 13:1; 17:3-16)
F. The 10 horns: speak of a future 10-nation confederation that will rule simultaneously over their own nation as they come into an enthusiastic agreement or partnership together under the Antichrist’s authority (Dan. 2:41-42; 7:7, 20, 24; 11:36-45; Rev. 12:3; 13:1; 17:3, 7, 12, 16)
G. The Harlot Babylon: will be established in the literal re-built city of Babylon on the Euphrates River in Iraq (50 miles south of Baghdad) that will be restored and used as a headquarters for the Antichrist. It will function as the center of worldwide demonic religious and economic networks (Rev. 17-18; Isa. 13-14; 21; Jer. 50-51). It will seduce many to sin and to persecute the saints.
H. The Woman with the Male-child (Jesus): the woman is the faithful remnant of Israel through history (Rev. 12:1-5). Satan wars with her offspring who are Gentile believers (Rev. 12:17).
I. The 7 beatitudes in Revelation are brief injections (some are parenthetical encouragements) that do not advance the unfolding story line (Rev. 1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14).
VI. PT. 1 INTRODUCTION (REV. 1): JOHN’S COMMISSION TO REVEAL JESUS’ MAJESTY
1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him (Jesus) to show His servants–things which must shortly take place. He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John… (Rev. 1:1)
A. The Book of Revelation is called the revelation of Jesus because it reveals His heart, power and leadership in preparing the nations for God’s glory. If we read the Book of Revelation right, it causes us to adore Jesus. Revelation is not an optional book for the Church.
B. The Gospels (89 chapters) give us a record of Jesus’ miracle power at His first coming to accomplish redemption. The end-of-the-age (with over 100 chapters in Scripture) tells us about Jesus’ miracle power in taking leadership over the earth. The Gospels and the End-Time Scriptures reveal the same Jesus operating in the same power of the Holy Spirit.
VII. PT. 2 LETTERS TO THE 7 CHURCHES (REV. 2-3): EXHORTATIONS TO OVERCOMERS
Jesus spoke prophetically to 7 churches in the first century calling them to be overcomers (Rev. 2-3). His prophetic messages are intended to give us instruction on how to best prepare for His coming in the midst of the End-Time dynamics. Jesus promised us eternal rewards (Rev 2:7, 10, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21).
VIII. PT. 3 THE HEAVENLY COURT (REV. 4-5): JESUS RECEIVES THE 7 SEALED SCROLL
Jesus takes a 7 sealed scroll from the Father. The scroll represented the title deed of the earth and the action plan to judge, cleanse and prepare the earth for Jesus’ rule on the earth while bringing the Church to maturity and in unity with redeemed Israel. This plan is seen in the events of Revelation.
IX. FIRST CHRONOLOGICAL SECTION: 6 SEALS OF JUDGMENT (REV. 6:1-17)
A. The seven seals are released by Jesus, the Lamb of God (Rev. 5:5; 6:1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12; 8:1).
1 I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals… (Rev. 6:1)
B. THE SEVEN SEALS (Rev. 6:1-17; 8:1)
First Seal (White Horse): Antichrist’s political aggression (Rev. 6:1-2)
Second Seal (Red Horse): bloodshed and World War (Rev. 6:3-4)
Third Seal (Black Horse): famine and economic crisis (Rev. 6:5-6)
Fourth Seal (Pale Horse): disease and death to 1/4 of the earth (Rev. 6:7-8)
Fifth Seal (Prayer Movement): spiritual atmosphere – releasing God’s judgment (Rev. 6:9-11)
Sixth Seal (Cosmic Disturbances): natural atmosphere – cosmic crisis (Rev. 6:12-17)
Seventh Seal (Anointed Prayer): heavenly atmosphere – an angel is given divine incense to
enhance the End-Time prayer movement that contributes in releasing the 7 Trumpets (Rev. 8-9)
X. FIRST PARENTHETICAL SECTION: WHO CAN STAND? (REV. 7:1-17)
17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand? (Rev. 6:17)
A. This Parenthetical Section answers the question, “Who can stand?” John sees a divine sealing on people that gives them physical and spiritual protection (Rev. 7:1-17). There will be 144,000 Jewish believers who will stand in victory (Rev. 7:1-8). Gentile believers (7:9-17) will also stand strong without wavering even in persecution. Many saints will be physically protected in the End-Times (Rev. 9:4; Zeph. 2:3; Mic. 7:14-19; Isa. 11:15-16).
3 Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” 4 I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 of all the tribes of…Israel were sealed…9 Behold, a great multitude…of all nations…before the Throne …clothed with white robes…10 saying, “Salvation belongs to our God… (Rev. 7:3-10)
B. God puts a protective seal on His people before He strikes the earth (Rev. 7:3). Other believers (Gentiles) will be sealed by God (Rev 9:4). In the Exodus, Israel received a “protective mark” on their doors that saved their first born from death. The Goshen Principle: Ex. 8:22-23; 9:4, 6, 26.
XI. SECOND CHRONOLOGICAL SECTION: 6 TRUMPETS (REV. 8:2-9:21)
The Trumpet judgments are supernatural acts of God to destroy the Antichrist’s resources.
First Trumpet (Food Supply): burning 1/3 of the earth’s vegetation (Rev. 8:7)
Second Trumpet (Food Supply): destroying 1/3 of the sea (Rev. 8:8-9)
Third Trumpet (Water Supply): poisoning 1/3 of the earth’s fresh water (Rev. 8:10-11)
Fourth Trumpet (Light, Energy): darkening 1/3 of the earth’s light (Rev. 8:12)
Fifth Trumpet (Torment): releasing demonic locusts that torment for 5 months (Rev. 9:1-12)
Sixth Trumpet (Death): releasing demonic horsemen that kill 1/3 of the earth (Rev. 9:13-21)
XII. SECOND PARENTHETICAL SECTION: PROPHETIC MESSENGERS (REV. 10:1-11:13)
A. Rev. 10:1-11:13 is a parenthetical section after the crisis of the six Trumpet judgments. This section is focused on the welfare of the saints as God promises to provide prophetic direction and power by releasing an unprecedented outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:17-21).
B. God has concealed key information that will be vital in the End-Times. He will reveal it to the Church (Rev. 10:4). He will raise up the Two Witnesses (prophets) who will help God’s people with great power during the last 3½ years of the Tribulation. Jesus will also raise up prophetic messengers who will carry the “seven thunders prophetic messages”. My prayer is for 10,000 forerunners to serve in the End-Time drama in each local and regional part of the earth.
XIII. THIRD CHRONOLOGICAL SECTION: RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH (REV. 11:14-19)
15 The seventh angel sounded…voices…saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord…” 17 You have taken Your power and reigned. (Rev. 11:15-17)
51 We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed– 52 in a moment…at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible… (1 Cor. 15:51-52)
The Rapture occurs at the Last Trumpet which is the 7th Trumpet (Rev. 11:15; 1 Cor. 15:52). The Last Trumpet signals the time that Jesus raptures the Church. The Rapture is the first event in the Second Coming Procession (that has three stages). First, Jesus comes across the earth in the sky (Rev. 1:7) to Rapture the saints. Second, He comes across the land (Isa. 63:1-6; Hab. 3:3-16). Third, Jesus enters Jerusalem (Mt. 23:39) using the 7 Bowls of wrath to destroy the Antichrist’s armies that are gathered around Jerusalem (Zech. 12:1-3; 14:1-5). He will replace all the evil governments on earth.
XIV. THIRD PARENTHETICAL SECTION: WAR IN THE SPIRIT (REV. 12:1-14:20)
A. This Parenthetical Section occurs after the 7th trumpet and the Rapture (Rev. 11:15). It gives us insight into the magnitude of Satan’s attack against the Church and thus why God’s wrath is so severe. Namely, Satan makes war through his two evil vessels the Antichrist and the False Prophet. In this Section, the saints are assured of full victory and judgment on the Antichrist.
B. This parenthetical section occurs just before the announcement of the release of the 7 Bowls of wrath (Rev. 15-16). This Section gives insight as to why God’s wrath is so severe as to require the 7 Bowls of wrath. The answer is that billions will willingly worship the Antichrist as god. Consequently, they will operate in the same spirit and do the same deeds. God will allow man’s free will to be exercised to its full degree. Thus, the seven Bowls of wrath will be necessary to stop evil men from exterminating the whole human race and polluting the earth with evil.
C. In Rev. 13:1-10, the Antichrist will wage war against God and His people with a political, military and economic alliance of a ten-nation confederation. In Rev. 13:11-18, the False Prophet will be devoted to causing all nations to worship Satan and the Antichrist (Rev. 13:4, 8).
XV. FOURTH CHRONOLOGICAL SECTION: 7 BOWLS OF GOD’S WRATH (REV. 15:1-16:21)
A. The 7 Bowls of wrath are the third and final numbered judgment series (Rev. 16). Jesus will release the 7 Bowls in a way that parallels Moses releasing the ten plagues of Egypt against Pharaoh (Exod 7-12). They will destroy the resources of the armies of the Antichrist. All the Bowls will be poured out over a 30 day period as Jesus marches up through Jordan to fight the final battle in the Armageddon campaign in Jerusalem and to rescue the unsaved remnant of Israel (Zech. 12:1-9; 14:1-5; Isa. 63:1-6; Hab. 3:3-16).
B. The Second Coming Procession occurs over a 30 day period which can be seen by comparing the 1,260 day (3½ year) time frame in Rev. 11:2-3; 12:6, 14; 13:5; Dan. 7:25; 9:27; 12:7 with the 1,290 days of Dan. 12:11. (See appendix at www.IHOP.org).
C. The 7 Bowls of wrath (3rd Judgment series) recalls the ten plagues of Egypt (Exod 7-12).
First Bowl (Sores): painful sores on those who worship the Antichrist (Rev. 16:1-2)
Second Bowl (Food Supply): destroying the sea with blood and killing all in it (Rev. 16:3)
Third Bowl (Water Supply): poisoning the earth’s fresh water with blood (Rev. 16:4-7)
Fourth Bowl (Torment): scorching heat and fire from the sun (Rev. 16:8-9)
Fifth Bowl (Destruction): darkness on the Antichrist’s global empire (Rev. 16:10-11)
Sixth Bowl (Global Guilt): deceiving the nations to come to Armageddon (Rev. 16:12-16)
Seventh Bowl (Annihilation): shaking by earthquakes and hail stones (Rev. 16:17-21)
XVI. FOURTH PARENTHETICAL SECTION: THE FALL OF BABYLON (REV. 17:1-19:10)
The Seventh Bowl declares God’s fierce judgment on Babylon (Rev. 16:19). This parenthetical section tells why such severe judgment is necessary. God assures the saints that judgment is certain to come on Babylon, who seems invincible in her evil worldwide economic and religious networks that seduce many to do evil and to persecute the saints. The judgment of the Great Harlot (Rev. 17) and the fall of Babylon (Rev. 18) will destroy many of the resources for the infrastructures of darkness. The Marriage supper of the Lamb is the revelation that motivates each believer (Rev. 19:7-10).
XVII. FIFTH CHRONOLOGICAL SECTION: MILLENNIUM, NEW EARTH (REV. 19:11-21:8)
11 Behold, a white horse. And He (Jesus) who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war….14 And the armies in heaven…followed Him on white horses. 15 Out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them…16 He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS…20 The Beast (Antichrist) was captured, and with him the False Prophet …These two were cast alive into the Lake of Fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. (Rev. 19:11-21)
A. In this section, Jesus marches into Jerusalem as the Warrior-King (Rev. 19:11-21) to end the Armageddon campaign by destroying the armies of the Antichrist. These passage describes Jesus’ Second Coming to Jerusalem to sit on an earthly Throne as King over all kings. He will cast the Antichrist and False Prophet in the Lake of Fire (Rev. 19:20).
B. Jesus will cast Satan into prison (Rev. 20:1-3) and establish the Millennium (Rev. 20:4-10).
2 He (angel) laid hold of…Satan and bound him for 1000 years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit…4 I saw thrones, and they (saints) sat on them…They lived and reigned with Christ for 1000 years…6 They shall reign with Him 1000 years. (Rev. 20:2-6)
C. The Millennium is a literal 1,000-year period in which Jesus will rule the whole world from Jerusalem in righteousness and peace. Millennium is from the Latin “mille” (a thousand). At this time the Kingdom of God will be openly manifest worldwide affecting every sphere of life (political, social, agricultural, economic, spiritual, educational, law enforcement, family, media, arts, technology, athletics, environment, social institutions, etc.). The result will be a 1,000-year period of unprecedented blessing for the whole earth as Jesus establishes righteousness and prosperity, and restores the agriculture, atmosphere, and animal life to some of the conditions that were seen in the Garden of Eden (Rev. 20:1-6; Isa. 2:1-4; 9:6-9; 11:1-16; 51:1-8; 60-62; 65:17-25; Ps. 2:6-12; 110:1-7; Deut. 8; 28; Mt. 5:5; 6:10; 17:11; 19:28; 28:19; Acts 1:6; 3:21).
D. Immediately following the Millennium, all unbelievers will be judged before the Great White Throne (Rev. 20:11-15). The earth will be cleansed by fire (2 Pet. 3:10-13) to be the New Earth.
XVIII. FIFTH PARENTHETICAL SECTION: NEW JERUSALEM ON EARTH (REV. 21:9-22:5)
A. This Parenthetical Section shows the victory of the Bride and describes the New Jerusalem’s relationship to the Millennial earth. (Rev. 21:9-22:5). God shows how fully He will vindicate and reward the saints for standing true throughout the Great Tribulation. In other words, it will be worth it. This parenthetical section produces great hope and stability.
B. The New Jerusalem descends during the Millennium (Rev. 21:10) revealing heaven coming down to earth. Jesus brings the heavenly and earthly realms together. (Eph. 1:9-10). When the New Jerusalem comes to earth, then heaven is literally on earth. New Jerusalem is the place where resurrected saints will live. The earth will continue forever (Ps. 37:29; 78:69; 104:5; 105:10-11; 125:1-2; 1 Chr. 23:25; 28:8; Isa. 60:21; Ezek. 37:25; Joel 3:20).
12 The New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. (Rev. 3:12)
C. The New Jerusalem will descend with the Father’s Throne (Rev. 21:1-8). The New Jerusalem will descend to the earth (Rev. 3:21) in two stages. First, it descends at the time of Jesus’ Coming to begin the Millennium (Rev. 21:10). Second, it will descend to the New Earth after the Millennium (Rev. 21:2). Stage one of the descent of the New Jerusalem is partial yet substantial. Stage two is total and ultimate after the Millennium.
D. The New Jerusalem will descend to a place above Millennial Jerusalem (Temple on Mt. Zion) creating a vast “governmental complex” joined by a “Corridor of Glory.” It will be the governmental center of heaven and earth referred to as Jesus’ Throne of glory (Mt. 19:28; 25:31).
31 When the Son of Man comes…then He will sit on the Throne of His glory. (Mt. 25:31)
The Revelation of Jesus: Bridegroom King and Judge (Rev. 1)
I. THE MESSAGE OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION: THE MAJESTY OF JESUS
A. The main theme of the Book of Revelation is to reveal the personality, power and action plan of Jesus in preparing His Church to participate with Him in releasing God’s glory in all the nations.
1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants… (Rev. 1:1)
B. The Father commissioned Jesus to reveal more of His majesty to His Church. Jesus revealed Himself as the Bridegroom King who judges all that hinders love as He takes over the earth.
1. Jesus is a passionate Bridegroom who is filled with tender yet jealous love. Jesus will come only in context to a prepared Bride who lives in unity with Him and the Spirit.
7 The marriage of the Lamb has come…His wife has made herself ready. (Rev. 19:7)
2. Jesus is a King who will intervene to save the earth by taking over the government of every nation for the glory of God and the good of His people forever. Jesus will replace all the unrighteous governments on earth with righteousness leaders and laws.
15 The seventh angel sounded…voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord…and He shall reign forever!” (Rev. 11:15)
3. Jesus is a righteous and wise Judge, who works redemptively to confront hatred of God and truth in order to establish love across the whole earth (Rev. 16:5-7; 19:1-5).
3 Great and marvelous are Your (Jesus) works…just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! 4…For Your judgments have been manifested. (Rev. 15:3-4)
C. The nations will hate Jesus and rage with anger against His love and truth (Ps. 2:1-3).
18 The nations were angry and Your wrath has come… (Rev. 11:18)
D. There is no contradiction between Jesus as Bridegroom and Judge. Jesus has burning love and fierce zeal to remove everything that hinders love. His love is expressed and promoted by His redemptive judgments to remove all that hinders love by confronting those who aggressively oppose and hate His love and leadership. The zealous Jesus of Armageddon who slays the wicked is the same Bridegroom God of love and tenderness.
E. We marvel and tremble in seeing what His love is capable of and how far it will go. So fierce is His zeal for love that He became human and was crushed by the wrath of God. This is the same love, zeal and wisdom that He manifests in killing multitudes who hate God at Armageddon. He uses the least severe means to reach the greatest number of people at the deepest level of love.
F. Theme: Jesus returning to take leadership of the earth in deep partnership with His people
7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him… (Rev. 1:7)
G. Daniel prophesied that the Messiah as the Son of Man (God-Man) would rule all the nations.
9 The Ancient of Days (the Father)…His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool…13 Behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days…14 To Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples…should serve Him…27 Then the…the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. (Dan. 7:9-14, 27)
H. As King of Kings, Jesus will strike the nations to remove their unrighteous leaders and laws.
15 He should strike the nations…He Himself treads…the fierceness and wrath of God. 16 He has on His robe…a name written: King of kings and Lord of lords. (Rev. 19:15-16)
I. Jesus is preparing His Church to operate in authority to bring a great Harvest of souls to God.
9 A great multitude…of all nations…and tongues standing before the Throne… (Rev. 7:9)
14 This gospel…will be preached in all the world…and then the end will come. (Mt. 24:14)
II. THE BIBLICAL VIEW OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION
A. The primary theme of the Tribulation is God’s judgment against the Antichrist’s empire that is being released by the End-Time Church under Jesus’ leadership. The secondary theme is tribulation against the saints from the Antichrist (Rev. 12:12; 13:4, 8). In the Book of Acts, some were martyred, yet its primary theme was the acts of the Spirit through the praying apostles.
B. We need not fear the Tribulation as powerless victims seeking to escape it. We stand boldly as Jesus’ Bride who releases it under His leadership. Moses did not seek to escape his role in releasing tribulation on Pharaoh nor did the apostles seek to avoid their role in the Book of Acts.
C. The Church is not absent for the Tribulation but under Jesus’ leadership will release the Tribulation by prayer. Jesus will not release it without the partnership of His praying Bride.
III. THE BOOK OF REVELATION: END-TIME BOOK OF ACTS
A. Book of Revelation is the End-Time Book of Acts given to us in advance so we may walk in a unified prayer focus by knowing the sequences of the Seals and Trumpets. We will engage in the prayer of faith globally to bind and loose according to God’s will (Mt. 16:18-19; 18:18-19).
18 On this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. (Mt. 16:18-19)
18 Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven…19 If two of you agree on earth…it will be done… (Mt. 18:18-19)
B. The Mt. 16 context focuses on prevailing over the authority of hell. The Mt. 18 context focuses on how the Church will function in unity (with several hundred million intercessors).
C. As Moses released the plagues or tribulation on Egypt and as the first apostles established the Church in the Book of Acts, so the Tribulation will be released by the praying Church. The Book of Revelation is a record of the acts of the Spirit through the End-Time apostles and prophets.
D. The miracles of Exodus and Acts will be combined and multiplied on a global level. This “Jn. 14:12 prayer anointing” will loose revival and the Tribulation and will bind the works of Satan.
12 The works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do… (Jn. 14:12)
E. The Book of Revelation is a “canonized prayer manual” that equips the Church to partner with Jesus in confronting Satan’s authority. Jesus is coming back only after the Church is prepared in love, wisdom and faith to release the Tribulation through prayer against the Antichrist’s empire. Jesus is waiting on the Church to grow up into agreement with His character and End-Time plan.
F. Because the Book of Revelation is canonized the entire Body of Christ will eventually use it. As Jesus’ judgments progressively unfold according to their numbered sequence, the Church will become greatly unified and focused in prayer. The momentum will build as the Church sees the Seals and Trumpets unfold in numerical order. Nothing like this has ever happened in history where 100s of millions were unified with an “infallible prayer guide” revealing Jesus’ action plan including the coming glory and pressures. If the early apostles had the Book of Acts written in advance, they would know which cities revival and/or persecution would break out.
G. Jesus will come ONLY in context to a praying Bride in unity with the Spirit. We cry, “Come Lord Jesus” differently after experiencing His love as the Bridegroom King.
17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come!” (Rev. 22:17)
H. In Rev. 22:17, John records the “final unified global prayer focus” that crescendos after the Sixth Trumpet. All the saints will know that soon after the Sixth Trumpet is the Seventh Trumpet in which Jesus will appear in the clouds so the cry, “Come Lord Jesus” will explode worldwide.
I. The End-Time prayer movement under Jesus’ leadership will bind and release His redemptive judgments according to the will of God (Rev. 5:8; 6:9-11; 8:3-5; 9:13; 10:6; 14:18; 16:7; 19:2).
4 The prayers of the saints, ascended before God…5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth… (Rev. 8:4-5)
J. As a warrior, John prayed out of his anger and pride for fire to fall on a city instead of praying out of bridal partnership with Jesus who only always works to establish love.
54 Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them…? 55 He rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of”. (Lk. 9:54-55)
K. The spirit of prophecy and prayer is to make known the testimony of Jesus or what is on His heart. Revelation was given to equip the Church to operate in the spirit of prophecy and prayer.
10 For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. 11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on him…He judges and makes war. (Rev. 19:10-11)
L. Revelation changed my paradigm of the prayer and prophetic movement, which is currently very sincere and dear to God. However, it is profoundly deficient on what the Book of Revelation teaches about the most significant generation in history.
M. Jesus allowed the Devil to see His End-Time plan by publishing this “canonized prayer guide”. Satan’s schemes are same as those he has used through history because they are effective.
1. First, he causes some in the Church to reduce Revelation to allegorical poetry, thus, causing the Church to be indifferent to Jesus’ perfect End-Time action plan.
2. Second, he causes some to misinterpret Revelation either by the pre-tribulation Rapture so they fix their hope on escaping it or by a defeatist view so they retreat in fear.
3. Third, he causes some to present Jesus’ judgments as a demonic contradiction to love so they end up offended as this aspect of Jesus’ majesty. This is the “role reversal” scheme that he used in the Garden of Eden in convincing Adam that God’s work was demonic.
N. Satan wants the Church to be in confusion about Jesus’ judgments to divide the Church about His loving leadership, to keep the Church unprepared in prayer and to eventually be offended at Jesus when His judgments surely come to pass instead of trusting in His loving leadership.
O. All heaven will rejoice as Jesus releases judgment against those who hate God and His salvation (Rev. 11:17-18; 15:3-4; 18:20-21; Ps. 82:8; 94:1-17).
1 A great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia…2 For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot…” 3 Again they said, “Alleluia!” (Rev. 19:1-3)
P. The Scripture defines false prophets as those who promise peace in a time of impending judgment (Jer. 23:16-22; Ezek. 13:10; Zeph. 1:12).
Q. In the End-Times there will be a battle for the truth about Jesus. The Holy Spirit was sent to glorify and exalt Jesus by guiding us into all truth about Him (Jn. 16:13-14). In the End-Times some believers will give heed to doctrines that lie about the person of Jesus.
1 The Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons…2 having their conscience seared… (1 Tim. 4:1-2)
R. The conflict in the End-Times will center around defining who Jesus is. Three truths about Jesus that offend humanists include, first, His deity thus His right to establish absolute standards for which the nations are accountable to Him for. Jesus is NOT tolerant and accepting of everyone’s view of righteousness and love. Second, the only way of salvation is through Jesus. Third, that He possesses the wisdom and love to judge sin in time and eternity.
22 Consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. (Rom. 11:22)
IV. THE FOUNDATIONAL ISSUE IN THE END-TIMES: WHO IS JESUS
A. The most important issue to the early apostles was concerning the truth about Jesus. The same issue will be emphasized by the Holy Spirit to the End-Time apostles and prophets. The question to the End-Time leaders is “who do they say Jesus is”. Jesus has called His people to partnership with Him through prayer that binds and looses in agreement with His Word.
13 He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” 14 They said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah…” 15 He said, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Peter answered…, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” …18 On this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom…and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Mt. 16:13-19)
B. Jesus highlighted 24 distinct aspects of His majesty in Rev. 1-3. These 24 descriptions give us the clearest picture of who He is (how He thinks/feels in Rev. 1) and what He does (action plan for the Church in Rev. 2-3) in preparing (Rev. 6-19) for transition of all governments (Rev. 20).
10 I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the 7 churches…
12 Having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. 17…I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. I have the keys of Hades and of Death. (Rev. 1:10-18)
C. Jesus describes Himself in 24 distinct ways in Rev. 1-3, giving us 18 descriptions in Rev. 1 and 16 in Rev. 2-3, for a total of 34 descriptions. However, since 10 are used in both Rev. 1 and Rev. 2-3, we end up with 24 distinct descriptions. Jesus gives 8 descriptions in Rev. 1 that are not mentioned in Rev. 2-3 and 6 descriptions in Rev. 2-3 not mentioned in Rev. 1.
D. Jesus is fully God and fully man. The Gospels emphasized His humanity with some reference to His deity, whereas the OT emphasized His deity with some reference to His humanity. In Rev. 1, we have a much fuller picture of Jesus as the God-Man who is the Bridegroom King and Judge who will openly manifest His power to prepare His Bride, win the harvest and cleanse the planet.
E. The clearest picture of Jesus as our Bridegroom King who judges all that opposes love is in Rev. 19:11-21. There is no contradiction in the “Jesus of Christmas” who brings peace and goodwill to all men who receive Him and the “Jesus of Armageddon” who confronts all who refuse love.
11 He…was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war…13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood…15 Out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. He will rule them with a rod of iron. He treads the winepress of
the…wrath of Almighty God. 16 On His robe…a name: King of kings… (Rev. 19:11-16)
V. 18 DESCRIPTIONS OF JESUS IN REVELATION 1
A. Jesus is the First and the Last: Humanity. He is the first to be raised from the dead and the first in authority (Col. 1:15, 18; Rev. 5:12). This is the title Jesus used most (Rev. 1:11, 17; 2:8; 22:13). He spoke it in context to His death and resurrection calling us to resist fear before martyrdom.
8 These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life…10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer…be faithful until death. (Rev. 2:8-10)
15 He is…the firstborn over all creation…18 He is the head of the body…who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. (Col. 1:15-18)
B. Alpha and Omega: Deity with absolute completeness in wisdom and love. The Greek alphabet started with “alpha” and ended with “omega”. The common phrase Alpha and Omega means the first and last letters including all the letters in between to indicate completeness.
1. This title sets forth Jesus as the sovereign Lord over everything that takes place in the entire course of history. Jesus established an eternal plan for us in which nothing is missing. His Bride has all the elements necessary for eternal love, joy, peace, and fascination without sin yet retaining a free will. The government is right, the human dynamics are right, eternal rewards are right in varying measure according to love yet there is no jealousy but only gratitude in God’s partnership with people forever.
2. Because of His wise leadership we will live forever with awestruck affectionate gratitude.
C. Voice like a trumpet: witness who faithfully warns the people of coming judgment. He is the Faithful and True Witness telling us the truth (Rev. 1:5; 3:14).
6 If the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned… (their) blood I will require at the watchman’s hand. (Ezek. 33:6)
D. Son of Man: the God-Man who rules all nations as the King of kings seen in Dan. 7:13-14.
13 Behold, One like the Son of Man…came to the Ancient of Days… 14 Then to Him was given dominion…that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away… (Dan. 7:13-14)
E. Garment down to His feet: by wearing the robe of the High Priest, Jesus shows Himself as the sympathetic High Priest who made a way for us to live in God’s presence.
19 Having boldness to enter the Holiest…20 by a new and living way…through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest…22 let us draw near… (Heb. 10:19-22)
14 We have a great High Priest…Jesus the Son of God…15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb. 4:14-16)
F. Girded about the chest with a golden band: breastplate of the high priest (Ex. 25:7; Lev. 16:4)
G. Head and hair white like wool, as white as snow: Ancient of Days has white hair (Dan 7:9). Jesus’ eternal preexistence with pure and perfect wisdom and dignity (Lev 19:32; Prov 16:31).
9 The Ancient of Days was seated…the hair of His head was like pure wool. (Dan. 7:9)
H. Holding the 7 stars in His right hand: Jesus holds the seven stars (apostolic leaders) as His promise to anoint, direct and protect them. He is tender towards us even when we feel inadequate or like a failure. Jesus holds His leaders as He helps us to do that which He entrusts to us.
I. Walks in the midst of the 7 golden lampstands: manifest power with consequences because of His goodness and holiness. He walks in the midst of the candlesticks (church; Rev. 1:20) in His deep involvement with us. He walks with us aware of our needs, frailty and pressures.
3 I will not go up in your midst, lest I consume you on the way… (Ex. 33:3)
J. Eyes like a flame of fire: His knowledge searches and penetrates all things as fire penetrates metal. He is fully God with eyes like fire to impart holy love and remove all that hinders love. He has eyes of love and zeal for His people as a Bridegroom. He imparts love and holiness.
18 The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass…20 I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel…to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality… 21 I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. 22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation…23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. (Rev. 2:18-23)
K. Feet like fine brass: judgment of sin. His feet are like fine brass that judges all His enemies. His commitment is as a mighty warrior to trample over Jezebel in victory. He will bring all His enemies under His feet (Ps. 110).
L. Voice as the sound of many waters: powerful as in Gen. 1 and directs the armies of heaven
11 The LORD gives voice before His army, For His camp is very great…(Joel 2:11)
M. Sharp two-edged sword coming out of His mouth: releases the Holy Spirit and judgment. He has zeal to fight for us against all that opposes us with the sword of His mouth. The breath of Jesus’ mouth is another way of expressing the power of His words.
17 The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God… (Eph. 6:17)
15 Out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. (Rev. 19:15)
N. He who lives: He came back to life. He has power over death and gives eternal life. He was “dead and came to life” after He experienced the suffering of a cruel death. He understands our humanity and suffering and possesses power over death knowing the way to victory. Our view of death is different from Jesus’ because He is rooted in eternity.
O. Countenance like the sun: exhilarates His Church and is a weapon against His enemies since it is impossible to look directly into the sun. He is the Morning Star that fills us with brightness.
8 Then the lawless one (Antichrist) will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. (2 Thes. 2:8)
P. Keys of the kingdom: authority over Hades and Death and key of David to establish the Kingdom. He has the key of David to open and shut all necessary doors.
VI. 6 DESCRIPTIONS OF JESUS IN REVELATION 2-3 (NOT MENTIONED IN REV. 1)
A. Son of God (Rev. 2:18): He has all power as the eternal omnipotent God.
6 “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! (Rev. 19:6)
B. Has the seven Spirits of God (Rev. 3:1): Jesus has authority to release the diverse ministries of the Spirit to equip and revive us.
C. Jesus is holy (Rev. 3:7): two primary applications, His holiness as a man and as God. As a man, Jesus lived set apart fully to obey the Father. He understands what it means to walk out costly commitments among sinful people. He is sympathetic (Heb. 4:15). As God, He is transcendent (wholly “other than”) or infinitely superior to all. He is worth whatever it costs to obey Him.
8 He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. (Heb. 5:8)
D. Jesus is true (Rev. 3:7): reliable in giving extravagant promises that seem too good to be true. He is faithful to follow through with us for His promises are sure.
E. The Amen (Rev. 3:14): He requires agreement with us as the way to finishing what He started in us.
F. Jesus is the Beginning of the creation of God (Rev. 3:14): first in cause and authority. The power and authority over all creation “begins” with Him (Jn. 1:3; Col. 1:16-17; Rev. 1:8; 21:6).