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10 Week Bible Podcasts Revelation

Week 7: Revelation 12-14

Last week we talked about how God is going to provide prophetic revelation and guidance during the time of the great tribulation. This week we get into the meat of Revelation’s symbolism and grit.

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There is are too many symbols to go through during a podcast, but they are dealt with at length in the book, Revelation: a 10 Week Bible Study. I encourage you to get the book and go through it as you read Revelation.

Instead, here I want to deal with some of the higher level things that are taking place in this passage. We are in another parenthetical section that delves into the conflict between God and Satan that will play out on earth with devastating consequences.

Putting Revelation Into Perspective

Before we begin, we need to understand a little better what this great tribulation period really is, and for that we turn to Matthew.

15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

Matthew 24: 15-22

From Daniel and Revelation, we understand that this time of great tribulation will be 3-1/2 years, beginning precisely at this moment of the “abomination of desolation.” This is an event that will take place within the new temple established in Jerusalem. Many commentators believe the phrase “let him understand” is a reference to Antiochus IV Epiphanes who did just what this passage speaks of in the past as of Jesus’ quote. Jesus was referencing Antiochus’ defiling of the temple as a foreshadow of a yet to come future event. And that brings us to chapter 12.

The Great Conflict

  • John sees a sign in heaven—literally an astronomical even that he understands to have meaning.
  • The Woman—we can understand that she is Mary, or figuratively, Israel. She would give birth to the Messiah, Jesus.
  • The Dragon—This is satan, and here we will see him once and for all cast out of heaven. This did not happen at the moment of Jesus’ death on the cross, but likely sometime within the period just before the great tribulation begins. He is on earth before the last 3-1/2 years take place (1,260 days).
  • War in heaven—we must understand that angels are not like God. He speaks and people are destroyed. These angels are caught in a very real battle, much like the one we see in Daniel 10:13. Much like this passage in Daniel, the archangel Michael wins the decisive battle and Satan is cast out of heaven once and for all.
  • The song—Once and for all, our accuser no longer has a place to stand before God and accuse Him and us, like we see in Job. Forever we are now free of his accusations, but the earth will feel his wrath because of his fury.
  • Satan will try to destroy the “woman.” This brings us back to the passage in Matthew 24. All this coincides with the abomination of desolation and Jesus specifically tells the Jews living in Jerusalem to flee as fast as they can.
  • God will protect many Jews during this time supernaturally, as we have already seen earlier in Revelation. Now Satan turns his great anger against God’s people, the Christians as we will see in chapter 13.

Chapter 13 is where we see the two beasts, often referred to as the Antichrist and the False Prophet. Together with the dragon (Satan) they make up an unholy trinity with two goals—destroy God’s people and deceive as many as they can to turn away from Him.

This False Prophet will be so good at deceiving the world, Jesus said it like this:

24For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

Matthew 24:24

Don’t Take It!

The Mark of the Beast will be set up and the Antichrist will have authority over all the earth and will be given authority to kill Christians. We are told to have patience and endure, even to death, because of what we will inherit.

We finish this parenthetical passage with Jesus arriving on earth with His armies and a very specific 144,000 who He has has preserved during this tribulation time. Jesus, along with His armies and angels will gather together all those on earth who took the Mark of the Beast and literally execute them. This is a difficult passage for many because of all the death at the hand of Jesus Himself, but we get a hint as to the “why” behind all of this in John’s reference to Babylon.

We will soon find out that Babylon is the why. Babylon is the reason God will release on the earth the book of Revelation in the first place, and the reason why the saints on earth will ask for it.

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10 Week Bible Podcasts Podcasts Revelation

Week 6: Revelation 10-11

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Last time we ended with the blowing of the sixth trumpet, and now we will take another break from the action to be given more background information. This is the second parenthetical section of Revelation and it will set up the majesty that is the seventh trumpet.

This section of Revelation will show us that God fully intends to speak to His people prophetically during the tribulation period. God will not leave His people in the dark during the darkest days of history, but He will speak to us and give us direction when we need it the most.

The Seven Thunders

  • This angel carries great authority, and looks physically different
  • Stands on the sea and the land
  • Announces that the seventh trumpet ushers in something important
  • They mystery of God will be revealed at the seventh trumpet

The Seven Thunders

  • No accident John heard this
  • There is more to be revealed in the end times

The Scroll

  • Just like Ezekiel’s scroll from Ezekiel 3:1-3
  • Tastes sweet but turns their stomachs sour
  • Represents the reality of prophecy: sweet to hear from God, but difficult to bear up under the weight of it when confronting people—prophecy is truly a bittersweet reality of God’s kingdom

The Two Witnesses

  • Is it a real or figurative temple?
  • John is asked to measure it, which makes it seem like it will be real
  • 42 months & 1,260 days—first reference in Revelation matches Daniel’s 3-1/2 years—the last half of the Great Tribulation
  • They have great power and authority. They are divinely protected
  • The Beast (have not yet been introduced to him) will kill them at the end of 3-1/2 years
  • Sodom and Egypt? Why is Jerusalem called this?
  • Great rejoicing over their death
  • Resurrected as everyone watches their ascension to heaven

Seventh Trumpet

  • The earth is becoming God’s kingdom forever
  • God is going to “begin to reign” now that the seventh trumpet has been sounded
  • Time to judge the dead and reward the prophets
  • Destroy those who have destroyed the earth with their sinfulness
  • Paul speaks about this event in 1 Corinthians 15:52:

51Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

This is the moment that God will rapture His beloved bride—we will indeed be “caught up” (in Latin, “rapio”, or “rapture”) as Paul also calls it in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

We will see that as soon as Jesus’ bride is raptured (taken away, “caught up”), God will now pour out His wrath on earth and make it His own. The Seventh Trumpet brings to a close the 1,260 days of the Great Tribulation, and now this “mystery of God” will be revealed.

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10 Week Bible Podcasts Revelation

Week 5: Revelation 8-9

Week 5: Revelation 8-9

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In chapter 8, we are immediately whisked back into the midst of the seal judgments as the seventh and final seal is opened.

The final seal is what has held back the opening of the scroll that God the Father gave to Jesus, and as we see it opened, we will now hear trumpet blasts announce the judgments written within it.

Seventh Seal

  • Silence in heaven for 30 minutes: what does that look like?
  • Holy moment just like when Solomon dedicated the temple in 1 Kings 8: silence
  • The saints’ prayers are mixed with incense from heaven that release the trumpet judgments

First Trumpet

  • I don’t know what hail and fire look like, and being mixed with blood is a complete mystery, but it will be terrifying.
  • The world’s supply of firefighters will surely be put to the test and will be unable to stop the fires until 1/3 of all the trees and grass of earth burn.

Second Trumpet

  • Great mountain thrown into the sea: sounds like a comet or meteor
  • We will see a theme of thirds in the trumpet judgments
  • 1/3 of the sea creatures die along with 1/3 of ocean-going vessels will be destroyed.
  • Is this one large meteor/comet, or is it many that this happens to 1/3 of the entire earth, or just one large part of the earth?

Third Trumpet

  • What exactly is meant by star is unknown, but it will surely be seen by all
  • Wormwood means sulfur. 1/3 of the fresh water will become undrinkable.
  • Like the sea, will this be 1/3 of the water worldwide, or a localized 1/3?
  • In addition to who has already died and who will be killed in the future, this undrinkable water will result in death.

Fourth Trumpet

  • How is a third of the sun struck? The moon? The stars?
  • Are the days getting shorter? Is the earth moving faster? Is there something in the sky blocking the light?
  • What kind of impact will this have on food, emotions, etc.?

Woe, Woe, Woe

If this all hasn’t been bad enough already, we are told that things are about to get much, much worse for the inhabitants of earth.

Fifth Trumpet

  • John again calls this thing a star that crashes to the earth
  • We quickly see that the angel wasn’t kidding about the “woe” – whatever the “abyss” is, it seems really horrible
  • What on earth are these locusts? Machines? Demonic creatures? Created beings reserved until this very moment?
  • We learned about a seal in chapter 7 – is this the same or something different? – We will soon understand
  • If you’re not terrified by these creatures, you’re not reading Revelation
  • Abaddon, Apollyon, Destroyer – these things are meant to destroy and torture, pure and simple

Sixth Trumpet

  • Four angels have had no duties in eternity except for this moment
  • They are captains over this vast army
  • Is this army human, angelic or demonic?
  • There were not 200 million people alive on earth in John’s day – unthinkable number, but John heard it specifically
  • 1/3 of the earth will die by three plagues inflicted by these odd horses.
  • If you’re doing the math, 1/4 + 1/3 = 1/2. 1/2 of the earth has died between the seals and the bowls
  • We see clearly here that people know who is doing this, why He is doing it, and they still refuse to repent. Their rebellion is open and obvious—there is no confusion.

We will have another parenthetical section before the seventh trumpet, and we will see that this is a tremendous, holy moment for those watching from heaven. Whatever the last trumpet is, it is one of the greatest moments in human history. We will see that it is the culmination of the plans of God on earth—the greatness of His creation!

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10 Week Bible Podcasts Revelation

Week 4: Revelation 6-7

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In Revelation five, we saw God give Jesus the scroll with seven seals holding it closed. Now we will watch as Jesus pulls apart the scroll one seal at a time.

First Seal

  • John must look
  • Jesus is the one who gives authority to this conquerer
  • Much debate over the identity of this conquerer because of his white horse
  • Seals 1-4 are four aspects of this conquerer
  • This is the antichrist

Second Seal

  • Now the conquerer makes use of his bow with ammunition. War breaks out and death begins.

Third Seal

  • Now this conquerer will have a hand in bringing scarcity
  • Could be intentional or a consequence of his wars from the second seal
  • This increases the hatred on earth as Paul references in 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8

Fourth Seal

  • This next horse represents the color of dead flesh.
  • The amount of dead from this would amount to 1.75 billion people if it were to occur today
  • This will happen in a very short period of time, possibly two years or less

Fifth Seal

  • Each set of judgments change with #5
  • These saints are asking for the vengeance God promised He would provide in Deuteronomy
  • They are right in asking for this
  • This is a far worse judgment than the first four, because God always hears the cries of His people and He responds.
  • This will cause God to release His wrath on those on earth who have killed and mistreated His beloved people

Sixth Seal

  • The drama ramps up with the sixth seal
  • We move from natural to supernatural judgments
  • The people of earth know who is doing all this – there is no confusion
  • They will henceforth openly rebel against God – they are not ignorant or innocent

Parenthetical Section on Divine Protection

  • 144,000 Actual Jews, not “figurative” Jews
  • The list Excludes Dan and Ephraim but includes Joseph and Manasseh
  • Sovereign protection amidst catastrophic calamity

Innumerable Saints

  • People from every tribe, tongue and nation
  • Fulfillment of Matthew 24:14 and Acts 1
  • They have suffered in the great tribulation—first reference in Revelation
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10 Week Bible Podcasts Revelation

Week 3: Revelation Chapters 4-5

In Revelation chapters 4 and 5, we transition from the message of the seven churches to the heavenly realm. John is whisked away into the presence of God, and he begins to see things that will forever change history.

This place has been described by Isaiah, Ezekiel and Paul, but no one gives us so detailed a tour as John. God is pulling back the veil of heaven for we believers to be able to peer into eternity. This is the beginning of a truly life-changing encounter with God.

John is only writing the main points of what he sees from now on, and doing the best he can with human language and experience. We are seeing everything from here on in Revelation through the lens of a first century Jewish Christian. We must understand that John saw this all clearly, but what he saw likely confused him at times. We see that by the end of this Revelation in chapter 19, he is so undone by all of it he is willing to fall down and worship anything that seems to have any amount of glory on it.

  1. Throne Room
    • Color: The first thing we notice is color. For whatever reason, John described the color of God and His throne first before anything else. We should take this to heart—God is architect, designer, engineer, master builder and expert craftsman. He has given Himself beautiful accommodations and He intends them for us too, and it caught John’s eye first and foremost.
    • The Elders
      • John?
      • Angels?
      • Humans?
    • Sounds: Next John notices sounds. This is a fully immersive experience like no other. John is really there, not in a dim visionary state
    • Seven lamps: Seven Spirits of God
      • This is the second time we see this in Revelation. We don’t know what the seven spirits are, or what is meant, but many believe it is a reference to the seven spirits of God listed in Isaiah 11:2 (inclusive of the “Spirit” Himself)
    • Sea of Glass: How big? Why is it there? It is what was represented by the sea that was part of the tabernacle Moses was commanded to build. We see here that the tabernacle and the temple were meant to represent and foreshadow the very real place that exists around God’s throne.
    • Living Creatures
      • Same as Ezekiel saw?
      • Why only four?
      • What do their faces represent?
  2. The Activity Of The Throne Room
    • The four living creatures sing constantly: Are we to understand that they literally never stop, or is it a regular thing that breaks out at set times?
    • Is this singing why David established 24/7 prayer and worship around the tabernacle? David alluded to having visited this place (in person or in a vision) when he gave Solomon the temple plans in 1 Chronicles 28.
    • When the elders hear the songs of the creatures, they join in the song and throw down their crowns before God. They realize that they are in the same debt to God as we are. Everything given to them, and to us, is due back to God and God alone. That cannot help but recognize this in His presence.
    • God is worthy of all power and glory because He created everything, therefore we owe everything to Him.
  3. The Plan
    • God is holding the plans for the culmination of this temporary world, wrapped up within a scroll and sealed with wax seals on the outside.
    • Why does John see Jesus as a slain lamb with seven horns and seven eyes?
    • Jesus Himself will open these seals and release the deadliest battle plan in human history upon the earth.
  4. The Song
    • Here we find that the elders are each holding harps and bowls of incense – which we are told represent the prayers of the saints. This is important, because we will see that as the judgments of God are released on the earth, it is actually these very prayers that will play a primary role in this plan’s release.
    • Jesus is alone is worthy to open this scroll. The judgments that will come can only be released by Jesus Himself because He paid for this right with His own blood. Only the lamb who was slain for our sins and so redeemed man to God has the right to release judgments on those who refuse Him.
    • Here we bring together two aspects of God’s nature that cause Western Christians trouble: The God of love and the God of wrath. They are not two separate identities, but two aspects of the same God manifested on different groups of people based on their acceptance of His grace.
  5. The Chorus
    • The song builds as a very large throng in heaven joins in. They repeat again that Jesus is worthy of this great burden and honor because He was slain for our sins. He is due all honor and glory forever.
  6. The Conclusion
    • The song ends as John hears all the earth join the song. John says that anything and everything that could join the song does.
    • The elders are once again undone by this Revelation of God and they fall down and worship Him again.

The power and weight of what is taking place in chapters four and five do not sink in the first time you read Revelation. I encourage you to read this book over and over again. The more you read it, the more it will force you to contemplate the cross, and this scene will begin to unravel your heart. It will bring you kneeling before the One who began this world, and the One who is worthy to transition it to eternity.