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John Brown :: The Book of Revelation: Introduction

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I. INTRODUCTION

A. The National Enquirer is the nation's most read newspaper!

1. Each year it publishes the nation's leading "prophet's" predictions for the coming year.

a) So far they have predicted that "inflation would be stopped dead in its tracks".

b) That discoveries for the cure of cancer, tooth decay, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, arthritis, the common cold and even the ageing process itself would be ours by now.

c) They predicted that food prices would be drastically reduced, that Ronald Reagan would leave his wife, that Muhammad Ali would win a seat in Congress, and that the first human, red haired boy would be cloned in Ketucky!!

(1) Yet millions of people still read and believe in their credibility!

(2) You would think that even if they were impowered by the supernatural, they would have a little higher percentage of success!

(3) It is ironic, the Enquirer prints the success ratios of these "prophets"!

2. They point is this only God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent!

a) We can know the future only to the extent He will allow!

b) All other attempts are just that "attempts"!!

c) We do however, have in front of us this morning the greatest book of predictions ever assembled!

d) Whatever the Lord wants us to know about the future is contained in this book!

(1) The one great advantage we have is that all of these prophesies will come true!!

Dr. Charles C. Ryrie has pointed out that, by the law of chance, it would require two hundred billion earths, populated with four billion people each, to come up with one person who could achieve one hundred accurate peophecies without any errors in sequence. But the Bible records not one hundred but over three hundred prophecies fulfilled in Jesus Christ's first coming, not to mention his last!

B. The Book of Revelation is a "revealing" book!

1. The Greek word for revelations is apokalupsis which literally means "unveiling" or "taking off the cover"

a) We are meant to understand the book of Revelation!

b) It was not written to be so symbolic and "hidden" that only a few can understand it!

(1) Revelation chapter one verse three promises a blessing to those who read and hear the words of the prophecy given to John by the Lord.

(2) How could anyone be blessed by words they couldn't even understand?

(3) Yes it has been said that the book of Revelation is hard to understand. It has also been said, "that it is not hard to understand, it is hard to believe!!!"

(4) We will be taking a look at the book of Revelation as futuristic and premillennial.

(a) Meaning that the events are yet to come and that the thousand year reign of Jesus Christ on the earth can only be yet future if it is to be taken literally.

II. THE SEQUENCE OF EVENTS!

A. The book starts at the time of the writting which is approximately 100 A.D. and extends on into eternity, with a new heaven and a new earth!

1. Just before the establishing of the new heaven and new earth, (which really is the beginning of eternity), there is a final thousand year period on the existing earth known as the millenium. A time in which Jesus along with the Christians (not denominations) will rule the earth.

a) Revelation 20:1-6 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. (NKJV)

2. Prior to this thousand year reign, the earth is under the rule of a satanically-controlled man that Bible refers to as the "beast."

a) His world-wide, demonic government will last just "fourty two months" before he is defeated!

(1) Revelation 13:4-5 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" 5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. (NKJV)

b) Before that 42 months, there will be a period of 1260 days in which there will be tremendous prophecies and works of miracles performed by what the Bible calls "two witnesses."

(1) Revelation 11:3-6 "And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. 5 And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. 6 These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire. (NKJV)

(2) It is only when the "beast" is allowed to conquer them that he is able to set up his world power.

(a) Revelation 11:7 When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. (NKJV)

(3) These two periods - the 1260 days and the 42 months - are consecutive and each consist of a period of 3 1/2 years. For a total of 7 years existing just prior to the millenium. We commonly refer to these 7 years as the "tribulation period."

(a) The first of these 3 1/2 years is dealt with in chapters 4-11, and the last 3 /12 years corresponds with chapters 12-19.

(b) Chapters 4 and 5 contain a tremendous sceen that just preceeds this seven year "tribulation" period.

(c) In this sceen there is a tremendous assembly of redeemed saints gather around the throne singing praises to the Lamb of God!

(d) That sceen can only take place if Christ had returned and gathered His people to Himself in the heavens.

(i) John 14:2-3 "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (NKJV)

(ii) 1Corinthians 15:51-52 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed -- 52 in 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. (NKJV)

(iii) 1Thessalonians 4:16-17 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. (NKJV)

(iv) Matthew 24:36-42 But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 "But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 "For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 "and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 "Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 "Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. (NKJV)
The story is told of a generation ago when an old farmer brought his family to the big city for the first time. They had never seen buildings so tall or sights so impressive. The farmer dropped his wife off at a department store and took his son with him to the bank - the tallest of all the biuldings. As they walked into the loby, they saw something else they had never seen before. Two large steel doors opened. A rather large and elderly woman walked in, and the big doors closed behinf her. The dial over the door swept to the right and then back to the left. The doors opened and a beautiful young lady came walking out. The farmer turned to his son and said, "You wait right here son. I'm gonna go get your momma and run her through that thing," At the rapture, we will taken up. But we will be transformed and come back with resurrected bodies." --Green

(v) With this in mind, we as Christians can study this book with great anticipation and with no fear!

3. With chapter 20 dealing with the millenium, chapters 21 and 22 dealing with eternity, and chapters 4-19 dealling with the 7 year "tribulation" period, that only leaves chapters 2-3, since chapter 1 serves as an intorduction!

a) Chapters 2 and 3 deal with the time from 100 AD to the resurrection of the saints!

(1) It seem appropriate that these chapters speak to the churches!

(2) There are 7 churches that represent all "religious" life. The good and the not so good. The true and the not so true!

(3) The messages to the churches are for all of us to take to heart, and see where our life falls in among those represented!

III. CONCLUSION

ARE YOU READY?

Ephesians 6:10-24 ← Prior Section
Revelation 1:1-20 Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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