Revelation Explained

This site contains my personal views on Revelation. I will be teaching through the book verse by verse. My teachings will be from a conservative evangelical background.

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Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Torment or Rest

"Then another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a mighty voice, Whoever pays homage to the beast and his statue and permits the [beast's] stamp (mark, inscription) to be put on his forehead or on his hand, He too shall [have to] drink of the wine of God's indignation and wrath, poured undiluted into the cup of His anger; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no respite (no pause, no intermission, no rest, no peace) day or night--these who pay homage to the beast and to his image and whoever receives the stamp of his name upon him. Here [comes in a call for] the steadfastness of the saints [the patience, the endurance of the people of God], those who [habitually] keep God's commandments and [their] faith in Jesus. Then I heard further [ perceiving the distinct words of] a voice from heaven, saying, Write this: Blessed (happy, to be envied) are the dead from now on who die in the Lord! Yes, blessed (happy, to be envied indeed), says the Spirit, [in] that they may rest from their labors, for their works (deeds) do follow (attend, accompany) them!" (Revelation 14:9-13 - Amplified Bible)

Verses nine to eleven directly link the mark of the beast to the worship of the beast. To receive the mark of the beast during the Tribulation will only be possible if you worship him. It will be a mark of allegiance and submission to the Anti-Christ.

Those who worship the beast will drink of God's wrath. “Without mixture” means undiluted. It was common in New Testament times for people to add water to their wine as it become fermented to reduce the alcoholic content. However, God's wrath will be poured out in its full strength.

Those who accept the beast and reject Jesus will be tormented for eternity in the Lake of Fire. This is an awful warning. Yet so many ignore it and will ignore it.

What allows those who suffer and die because of their faith to endure their trials with patience, hope and faith? It is the knowledge that God will judge the wicked and will reward his servants. This knowledge should cause us to keep God's commands.

During the Tribulation, those who die for their faith in Christ will be blessed. They will then have rest from their troubles. They will then be rewarded for what they did for the Lord.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Two Angels and Their Messages

"I saw another Angel soaring in Middle-Heaven. He had an Eternal Message to preach to all who were still on earth, every nation and tribe, every tongue and people. He preached in a loud voice, 'Fear God and give him glory! His hour of judgment has come! Worship the Maker of Heaven and earth, salt sea and fresh water!' A second Angel followed, calling out, 'Ruined, ruined, Great Babylon ruined! She made all the nations drunk on the wine of her whoring!' " (Revelation 14:6-8 - The Message)

God allows an angel to preach to mankind. This angel will fly through the sky proclaiming his message! This message will be threefold.

First he will tell mankind to fear God. The people of the earth at this time will fear and reverence the Anti-Christ. Yet he will only rule a short time; God will rule forever.

Second, he says to give God glory. They should worship God not the Anti-Christ and his statue. The judgment of God is about to be released on the earth. A person's only hope of avoiding eternal torment is to seek after God and his gift of salvation.

Finally, the angel tells people to worship the Creator. If a person will consider God's creation, they will see the power of God. They should be able to recognize his goodness and wisdom. If they will seek after God, God will draw close to them.

John sees another angel in verse eight making an announcement. Wicked Babylon, which represents both the political and religious structure of the Anti-Christ, is fallen. This is further explained in chapter seventeen. We will discuss it more fully when we get to that chapter.

Friday, November 17, 2006

144,000 Sing

"And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless." (Revelation 14:2-5 - New American Standard Version)

John hears a voice from heaven. This is God's voice. We are not told what He says. Then the orchestra of heaven plays and the 144,000 sing. Of all the people on the earth at this time, they alone can sing this song. It is a song of redemption and salvation. At this time, they will be the only ones on the earth who are believers. Their song comes up to heaven and is heard by God and the angels.

Verses four and five describe the 144,000 to us in more detail. We learned from chapter seven that they are Jewish. Here we learn that they are men. They are not married and are virgins. Upon being saved, they become committed followers of Christ. They are called first fruits, because they are the first to be saved after the rapture. When they are saved, they are the only Christians on earth.

They are prepared to go wherever the Lord leads them. They tell the truth not lies. Though not sinless, they quickly ask forgiveness, and stand faultless in Christ before God. They will bring many to a saving knowledge of Jesus. However, they are not God's only witness during this time.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

144,000 Saved

"Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads." (Revelation 14:1 - New International Version)

Most commentators believe that Mount Zion in this passage refers to heaven. However, there are several problems with this interpretation. First, of the twenty three times that Mount Zion is mentioned in the Bible, only one refers to heaven, all others refer to Jerusalem. Second, in verse two, John hears a voice from heaven. If Mount Zion is in heaven, then how could this voice come from heaven? Third, at the second coming of Christ to rule, there will be many saved Jews on earth and many others who will be ready to immediately accept him. It makes sense that these 144,000 Jewish believers will be witnessing to their fellow Jews and others, just before the return of Christ at the end of the Tribulation.

Taking this verse literally, it would teach that after the seventh trumpet and the rapture, before God's wrath is poured out, Jesus appears in Jerusalem to the 144,000 Jews who had been sealed by God against death. Like the Apostle Paul, they are converted when they see Jesus. He commissions them to preach the Gospel during the final weeks of the Tribulation.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Mark of the Beast

"And it maketh all, the small, and the great, and the rich, and the poor, and the freemen, and the servants, that it may give to them a mark upon their right hand or upon their foreheads, and that no one may be able to buy, or to sell, except he who is having the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is the wisdom! He who is having the understanding, let him count the number of the beast, for the number of a man it is, and its number [is] 666." (Revelation 13:16-18 - Young's Literal Translation)

The mark of the beast has been the source of much useless speculation. We cannot know the details of this event until it happens. However, we can understand the implication.

In order to buy or sell anything, it will became law that a person must have a certain mark on their hand or forehead. This mark may or may not be directly related to the transaction. It may be a magnetic strip or similar object containing bank account information or it may not. That is not clear.

What is clear is that this mark will be directly tied to the worship of the Anti-Christ. To get a mark, a person will have to worship the Anti-Christ as god. No one else will be able to have this mark. So those who will not worship him will not be able to legally buy or sell anything.

We are told that the number of the Anti-Christ is 666. This number may help us to identify the Anti-Christ when the Tribulation comes. It is a waste of time to attempt to do that before then.

Six is the number of man because he was created on the sixth day. Three sixes would indicate that this man is great. The number of the Anti-Christ, 666, is the number of a “super man.” That is what the world will think of him.

This chapter warns us of the danger of accepting religious leaders by their appearance. This man will appear to be harmless; he will do miracles that will be seen as divine; he will be a man of religion. However, the truth will be that he speaks Satan's words; he does great things by the power of the devil; and he will lead people into hell. He will be the False Prophet.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Statue of the Anti-Christ

"He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed." (Revelation 13:13-15 - New King James Version)

The False Prophet will have the ability to do miracles. He will even be able to call down fire out of the sky. People will be awe struck by his deeds. The world will be convinced that he is a man of God. They will be ready to believe whatever he tells them in regard to religion.

He will tell the world that they should worship the Anti-Christ. He will have a statue made of the Anti-Christ. This statue is the abomination of desolation. It will be placed in the new Jewish temple in Jerusalem.

The False Prophet's miracles will include the supernatural animation of the statue of the beast. Through the powers of darkness, the False Prophet will cause the image to speak.

The image will declare that all who do not worship the Anti-Christ should be killed. Of course, those who are not willing to go along with the policies of the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet will be considered traitors against humanity. The words of the image will just be further encouragement to seek out and destroy true Christians, those Jews who reject the message of the False Prophet, and any others who are not willing to go along with their plans.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Beast of the Earth

"Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed." (Revelation 13:11,12 - English Standard Version)

The last few posts have examined the second member of the unholy trinity: the Anti-Christ. He is Satan's imperfect imitation of Jesus. The last part of chapter thirteen describes the third member of the unholy trinity: the False Prophet. He imitates the work of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit seeks to draw attention to Jesus. The False Prophet seeks to draw attention to the Anti-Christ. The Holy Spirit encourages people to do what is right. The False Prophet will encourage people to do what is evil. The Holy Spirit reveals the truth. The False Prophet is a deceiver.

John sees a second beast. This beast has the same character as the first. The word translated another means another of the same kind.

This beast comes up out of the earth not out of the sea. The sea represents the Gentile nations. The Anti-Christ is a Gentile. The False Prophet, on the other hand, will be Jewish. The earth represents the Hebrew people.

The horns on the first beast represent kings. It is possible that the two horns on this beast represent the two ancient Israelite kingdoms: Israel and Judah. This would then indicate that, at first, he has the support of all Israelites.

He appears as a lamb: innocent and harmless. However, the words he speaks are the words of the dragon: Satan. His ideas and teachings are harmful and dangerous. He supports the work of the Anti-Christ who obeys the orders of the devil.

The Anti-Christ will give his full support to the work of the False Prophet. This man will seek to unite all religions. He will encourage all people to view the Anti-Christ as their savior and god.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

War with the Saints

"And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints." (Revelation 13:5-10 -King James Version)

God allows Satan to control the Anti-Christ for forty-two months, the last half of the Tribulation. God allows the Anti-Christ to make war upon the saints and kill them. God allows him to rule over the entire world. God allows it; Satan wants to do these things; and mankind freely follows the commands of the Anti-Christ. Only the saved, and those who will be saved, do not worship the Anti-Christ.

Verse ten has been much debated. There are several different readings among the various Greek texts and none of the readings have strong enough support for us to be certain of the original. However, the major readings contain similar thoughts.

The King James Version carries the idea that God will avenge His children who suffer during the Tribulation. Those who take them captive will become captives. Those who kill them will be killed. This is a direct application of the universal law of sowing and reaping. This law is stated in Galatians 6:7: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall we also reap.”

The New International Version is based upon a different Greek reading and teaches us a different lesson. It reads, “If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.”

This reading deals with accepting God's will. It is not fatalism. It is recognizing that when things happen that we cannot control, we should accept them as part of God's will for our lives. We will be taken captive if God allows. We will be killed if God allows. This teaches us that when difficult times come, we must with patience and faith believe that Romans 8:28 is still true: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

The New American Standard Version is based upon a third reading which combines the thoughts of the other version we have examined. It reads, “If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.”

This reading teaches that if God allows we may be taken captive; we may even be killed. But God will avenge us. Those who do evil will be punished. Most commentaries seem to favor this last reading.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Fatal Wound

"I saw that one of the heads of the beast seemed wounded beyond recovery—but the fatal wound was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the beast. They worshiped the dragon for giving the beast such power, and they also worshiped the beast. 'Who is as great as the beast?” they exclaimed. “Who is able to fight against him?' " (Revelation 13:3,4 - New Living Translation)

Three times in this chapter, the Anti-Christ's wound is mentioned, in verses three, twelve and fourteen. Verse twelve describes it as a deadly wound. Verse fourteen states that it was caused by a sword. Verse three describes it the same way as the wound of the Lamb are described in chapter five.

It seems that the Anti-Christ receives a fatal wound in either a battle or an assassination attempt. The Anti-Christ dies from this wound. However, before the world can mourn the loss of their leader, Satan resurrects him. I do not believe that Satan can bring a person back to life. Rather, he indwells the body of the Anti-Christ and animates like a puppet. So that Anti-Christ is Satan in the flesh. The Anti-Christ's miraculous recovery causes the entire world to wonder at the beast.

As a result of his amazing recovery from death, the people of the world proclaim him to be a god. He is worshiped and through him the dragon is worshiped. Not only is he given adulation, he is also feared. It seems that no one can match his abilities in diplomacy, war or charisma.

The Anti-Christ, indwelt by Satan, is wicked beyond belief. Yet it is only because God allows him and the people of the earth to fulfill their sinful desires that they can accomplish their wicked plans. The Tribulation period will demonstrate how wicked man is. When God removes the limitations which He now has in place, man deteriorates into greater sin.