The message of end time prophesy is one that is neglected by the church today. This however is the plan of devil, for the unveiling of devil takes place in the book of Revelation; as well as the glorious revealing of Jesus Christ to the world at large. Many people don’t want to preach on the end time prophecies, while others don’t want to hear its message; because they simply don’t understand what the book is talking about. First we must understand that Revelation is a very symbolic book and many of the things we read of will not be seen in the physical world as expressed in Revelation, but nevertheless, it is all relevant and evident when we measure up what Revelation is revealing to the current affairs of the world.
The simple aim of this article is to shed a bit light on the things Revelation speaks of. Before we dig into the hardcore of Revelation, I want to shed light on what each chapter in Revelation is relating to us.
Introduction to Revelation:
The skeletal structure of Revelation is contained in the seals, the trumpets and the vials. Revelation chapter 12 describes a war that will take place in heaven three and a half years before the second coming. Revelation chapter 13 foretells the coming one-world government, one-world religion and the global economic system. Revelation chapters 17 and 18 contain a detailed account of the coming destruction of the false religious systems that will be in alliance with the Antichrist. The Bible has given us reliable signs that we are in the end times. Jesus said, “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” (Matthew 24:33-34). Which generation will not pass until all these things are fulfilled? The Answer is, the generation that shall see the things prophesied by Jesus in Matthew 24. We are witnessing the fulfillment of these things right now! Revelation 1-3 – Revelation 1:7 reveals the entire theme of the Book of Revelation, the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ. “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him…” Chapters 2 and 3 contain special messages written to the seven churches of Asia. After John was released from exile, he became the overseer of these churches and was able to personally deliver the messages from God to them. Revelation 4-5. We get a glimpse of Heaven and see the worship of the One “Who sits on the Throne.” The cry goes out, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” No one in all of heaven and earth was found worthy to open the scroll until the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, stood in the midst of the throne. In Revelation 6 the Lamb looses the seals, revealing the four horsemen of the apocalypse, the souls under the altar and the heavens departing like a scroll. Revelation 7 describes the sealing of the 144,000 to protect them from the calamities to come. The later part of the chapter describes those that have come out of great tribulation. “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). Revelation 8-11 Five of the first six trumpets reveal great catastrophes upon the nations, but the people still do not repent. The sounding of the seventh trumpet in Revelation 11:15 signals the time when the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of Jesus Christ. This includes the Battle of Armageddon and the second coming of Christ. The Bible states that at this time men will finally repent and give glory to God. This seventh trumpet is the “last trump” referred to in 1 Corinthians 15:52. Revelation 12 describes a woman with twelve stars about her head. The woman is depicted in the throes of childbirth. The dragon, satan, stands before the woman to devour the child as soon as he is born. The woman is Israel, and the twelve stars symbolize the twelve tribes of Israel. The child is Jesus. Herod the Great did attempt to kill Jesus just as soon as He was born; however, he failed. The narrative of Revelation 12 then jumps 2,000 years. Satan wages war against the forces of God in heaven but is defeated. Satan is cast out of heaven with his angels and confined to the earth. The dragon then wages war against Israel, but Israel is protected by the wings of a great eagle (this all speaks of ages of happenings that has passed and revolves into present happenings, this describes the things yet to come). A beast rises from the sea, a confederation of world empires led by the Antichrist. Another beast comes out of the earth, appearing as a lamb, but speaking like the devil. This second beast, the False Prophet, deceives the people of the earth influencing them to worship the Antichrist (these are the things we are witnessing now). Revelation 13 depicts the Antichrist and his one-world government. It also describes the Antichrist’s religious partner, the False Prophet. In the latter part of the chapter, the economic system of the endtime, called the “mark of the beast” is described (this is the things we are heading into now). Revelation 14 talks of the 144,000 redeemed, undefiled, blameless and protected by God. Revelation 14:8 announces that Babylon the Great has fallen because it made all the world commit spiritual adultery. Chapter 14 tells of the reaping of the harvest of the earth—the rapture of the church. Then there is another harvest, the “reaping of the vine of the earth,” to be thrown into the winepress of the wrath of God. This speaks of the Battle of Armageddon. Revelation 15 introduces the seven angels having the seven last plagues. It states that in these plagues “is filled up the wrath of God.” Revelation 16 records the pouring out of the final seven plagues (the vials). Verses 12-16 record the preparations for the Battle of Armageddon. The seventh vial is the same as the sixth and seventh seal and the seventh trumpet. Revelation 16:16-19 introduces Armageddon and the judgment of the false religious system called Mystery Babylon. God so hates false religion that He spends chapters 17 and 18 on the judgment “the great whore.” God always uses a woman to symbolize a church. He uses a virgin to symbolize His true church, and a harlot to symbolize the false compromised church of the endtime. Revelation 19 – After spending two chapters on the judgment against the false church, God proceeds to describe His marriage to the true church. “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.” After the marriage, Jesus proceeds to the earth to fight the Battle of Armageddon and to set up His kingdom. Revelation 20 – After Armageddon, Satan is bound for the next 1,000 years. After the thousand-year period has ended, satan will be released to deceive the nations again. Satan is finally cast into the lake of fire, to be tormented forever. The books are opened for the final judgment, and all are judged according to their deeds. (Revelation 20:12) Those whose names are not found written in the Lamb’s Book of Life are cast into the lake of fire, where Satan and his angels are in eternal torment. The only way to get your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life is to be born again, as said in Acts 2:38, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” In Revelation 21 John states that there will be a new heaven and a new earth. He is told that the New Jerusalem is the bride, the Lamb’s wife. The New Jerusalem is then described in great detail. Revelation 22 The final chapter of Revelation summarizes the goal of the entire book. It describes the river of life and the tree of life that will be in the New Jerusalem. It also states that those who hear the sayings of the book of Revelation will be blessed. A dual warning is given. If any person adds to the things written in the book of Revelation, God will add to that person the plagues that are written in the book. If anyone takes away from the book of Revelation, God will take away his name from the book of life. Finally, in this concluding chapter, God emphasizes the central message of the book by saying three times, “Behold, I come quickly.” The book of Revelation indeed ushers in the return of Jesus Christ and He is revealed to the world at large!
Revelation is written in 4 sectors, not in order of events, but for our studying and decoding accordingly to the wisdom God gives us through His Spirit. Giving you the large overhaul picture of the book of Revelation, I want us to take a look at two of the main themes of the Throne of God in the end time, which is the Four Living Creatures and the 7 seals.
Four Living Creatures:
John spoke of some of the things he was allowed to translate back to the world concerning God’s glorious Throne Room, the center of God’s operation and managing system – where all has started and all will end. Even John tried to express the things he could speak off, it doesn’t come near to what he really experienced. The presence of God is so overwhelming, but the Holy Spirit will draw your attention to certain things only. With Jesus seated on the Throne, glowing with the marvelous light of God’s presence which is within Him, Jesus is seated at the centre of creation; and everything revolving around the Throne of God.
Before the Throne is what Revelation describe as a sea of crystal. These are the pure souls who laid their lives down for Jesus. Also in front of the Throne, at the crystal sea, this is what Revelations speaks of, the four Living Beings, with the faces of;
1) Lion – Courage and boldness (in the New Testament this is Faith) 1 Corn.12:8
2) Eagle (Is.40:31) – soaring high in liberty…
3) Man – reflects the grace of God, and that of prayer (Eccl.8:1 – wisdom in face of man)
3) Ox – Acts 6:15 – strengths and endurance.
Each face is symbolic to the characteristic of each creature. Looking at each face, you will not see the physical image, but rather perceive what characteristic they have. They are the custodians of the Throne and Glory of God. Surrounding the Throne of God, Revelations also speaks of 24 elders, which is the symbolic resemblance of the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 apostles.
The Throne Room of God is glorious and His presence is overwhelming. This is the place God wants us to be at when the end comes. Now not every born again Christian will enter the Throne Room of God, but every true born again Christian will enter Heaven. The Four Living Creatures represents God’s complete Holiness; the nature of God which we are born off. Therefore, we can understand that these Four Living Creatures which represent God and His true children are all in one and form part of God’s glorious existence.
When we take a look at biblical truths and historical events of this world, we will see how the prophesy of Revelation is unfolding before our very eyes. This will take some studying of your own to understand; however, I want to sum it up in short. Although John saw the opening of the 7 seals in his future, we are living them in our present hour. The first 6 seals seen in Rev.8 has been opened already. The 7 seal also has been opened and are being played out in the heavenly realms, manifesting in the physical realm. Rev.9 speaks of 7 angels which will blast 7 trumpets and the pouring out of the bowls upon the earth. The first 5 trumpets has been sounded, leaving us near the end with the 6th and 7th trumpet to be sounded.
Looking at our current world events; nations waging war against Israel, diverse sicknesses, increase of human brutality and social evils, the fight for a one world government and one world religion, the rapid increase of concrete jungles and destruction of green jungles, the dangers in our drinking water, etc… is all evident of the signs of end time prophecies seen in Revelation. Mankind is building up an empire, a modern Babylon; but God will destroy this city, for this city does not have God as their foundation. Just looking at how Hollywood and the media platforms of this world have slowly and cleverly introduced the counterfeit of God to be accepted by many – which is satan, we can surely call for a wake-up.
Spirit Realm Realities:
I have many times heard preachings about satan and the forces of darkness of the spiritual realm. It is evident that majority of the church today lack the understanding of this reality, as we are daily surrounded by spiritual bodies and activities. This is very disturbing, considering that ‘the new agers’ of this time is very comfortable with the unseen realm or spiritual realm; and sometimes even understand truths that the typical Christian never been taught. It is important to remember that satan operates his kingdom by counterfeiting the true Kingdom of God. Satan uses the good things in this world and make it look as real as possible; while on the other hand, he uses the bad things of this world to take the attention off his real work and purpose – counterfeiting God’s Kingdom and deceiving many who lacks knowledge – even Christians!
A counterfeit tries to imitate the truth, yet it will never be the truth. A counterfeit looks very real. Remember why satan was cast down from Heaven; he wanted to take God’s place, and still trying to do so now. We can’t run away from the real just because there is a counterfeit. Unfortunately, that’s what many Christians are doing today; and the sad things is that they don’t even consciously know they doing that. They rather listen to a message that’s pleasing unto the ears, because they can understand it and it seems to make better sense than the things which is difficult to the ear – yet they haven’t received the revelation of Rom.12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…” It is through the Word of God that our understanding will be enlighten (Ps.119:130).
Many Christians consider themselves inadequately equipped to understand deep things of the Spirit or the operation of the spiritual world. Is it not the Spirit of God which will tell you about the things He hears from the Father? Is it not Jesus that said; “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” (John 14:26). What will He teach you? You see, the Bible has a subliminal message, and the Holy Spirit will teach you all about it if you allow Him too. All we will ever need is wrapped up in the Word of God, but if we don’t give heed to the teaching of the Spirit, we might never understand the operation of the spiritual realm. This is the reasons why many people see the book of Revelation as a horror story instead of that of an expected end (Jer.29:11).
I don’t live my life around the fact that devil is real; I live my life around the reality that he’s been defeated! For that reason, I done an article in our series, ‘Quicken by the Spirit’, titled: ‘Spiritual Warfare’. In that article I spoke of the Christian life beyond the battle field. You see, there’s many wounded people out in the world, because religion has painted such a real picture of battle and spiritual war in their minds, that it became a reality to many – yet it is false teaching!
Experiments prove that when you take two people and place one in an environment surrounded by negativity, that person will most probably be a very negative person – and placing the second person in a positive surrounding, that person will likely be positive. In today’s life it is evident that those who have good teachers at school is more likely to be better educated than those who had bad teachers. This ought not to be the case of a Christian, for the Holy Spirit is our Teacher; and what an excellent Teacher He is. Christians who lean on man’s understanding are programmed for failure; but those who lean on the Holy Spirit’s teaching are wired for success.
It matters where you go and who you surround yourself with, especially when it comes to your spiritual growth. Now, be careful that you don’t withdraw from non-Christian people; because we are to fellowship in a church to gain knowledge under a corporate anoiting. After being filled, we need to empty into other peoples lives so we can be filled again – be blessed to be a blessing! It is more important to minister salvation to non-Christians than it is to a Christian, because those who aren’t saved needs to hear it more then those who has received salvation already.
We are to lead people unto the path of salvation, and help those who gave their hearts to Jesus in the working out of their salvation through discipleship. The Holy Spirit is preparing His people for the rapture, are you giving heed to His teachings and leading? The end is nearer than what most people realize. In fact; God had saved every single person already the day Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected to give us life – the only difference between a Christian and a non-Christian is that the non-Christian haven’t accepted salvation yet. It is our responsibility to live our Christian life in such a way that it looks attractive to everyone – because it is a glorious life!