Step by Step Through the Book of Revelation/Program 2
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung; ©2008|
|Why is it so hard for Christians to understand the Book of Revelation? What are the great promises in this book God wants us to know? In this session, Dr. Ankerberg interviews Dr. Jimmy DeYoung on these questions concerning Revelation. We will develop the concept of the three pillars of Revelation to help us understand why the unfulfilled prophecies of Revelation are important. …|
Today one out of every four Christian adults believes Jesus could return in their lifetime. The book of Revelation is God’s message to all of us who are concerned about the future. It contains Jesus Christ’s last words to the church on such important doctrines as the rapture, the second coming, the final judgment, and reveals what will ultimately happen to Satan, to the Antichrist, and to those who follow false religions. Jesus warns of the terrible future events that will take place on earth during the tribulation, the battle of Armageddon, and His second coming to earth. In this book He tells about the millennium, the final judgment of every person who has ever lived, and what God has planned for His people in eternity future.
Today, we will take you step by step through the book of Revelation in a clear and concise manner, to help you understand its message and the future events God predicts are up ahead. We invite you to join us for this special edition of the John Ankerberg Show.
- Ankerberg: Welcome to our program. We are talking about the exciting topic of what’s in the book of Revelation. Why is it so hard for Christians to understand it? What are the great promises that God wants us to know? What’s the information about the future that He has disclosed to us? There’s nobody that’s any better at telling people in ways they can understand what is in the book of Revelation than my guest today, Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, who is a journalist who’s lived in Israel since 1993. He’s talked to every Prime Minister, Israeli Prime Minister, since that time; other leaders in the Middle East. And he’s a prophecy scholar; he knows his Bible upside and down. So, Jimmy, I want us to come back to the fact, you’ve got a tremendous illustration, a walk through the book of Revelation quickly. And then we’re going to come back to the person of Jesus Christ, what He reveals to us today in the letter of Revelation. So, take us through a walk through Revelation.
- DeYoung: We have three pillars here, John. They represent the three main events in God’s calendar of activities that is laid out for us in the book of Revelation. Prior to this first event would be chapters 1, 2 and 3. This is chapter 4 verse 1. This is the rapture of the church. Jesus shouts, the archangel shouts, the trump of God sounds, we are caught up to be with Him. Between that event and the next event would be a period of seven years. This is the terrible time of judgment upon the earth. They refer to it as the tribulation.
- And then this particular pillar represents, and this is the second of the three pillars, the return of Christ back to the earth, the revelation of Jesus Christ. And at the second coming of Jesus Christ, He actually steps back on to the Mount of Olives in the city of Jerusalem. Then there will be a thousand year period of time. Satan will be bound for that thousand years. Jesus Christ will rule and reign in His kingdom, a theocracy, during that same thousand year period of time.
- The last of the three main events that we see in the book of Revelation is the Great White Throne Judgment. That’s when Jesus Christ will be the judge. He will sentence those – not determine saved or lost, nobody will be at the Great White Throne Judgment unless they are lost; their name is not written in the book of life – they will be sentenced into the lake of fire where Satan, the Antichrist, and the false prophet will be as well. And after that, eternity future: new heaven, new earth and new Jerusalem.
- Ankerberg: Alright. Tell me in terms of the number of chapters that are devoted to each of these topics, because there’s 15 chapters that goes just to one little area here.
- DeYoung: Well, this is chapter 4, verse 1, the rapture of the church. John heard as it were the voice of a trumpet asking him to come up hither. And then chapter 19, verses 11 and following deals with the return of Christ back to the earth. He’s riding a white horse; we that are in the heavenlies with Him, having gone there at the rapture of the church, will come back on those white horses, coming back to Jerusalem. This thousand year period of time is chapter 20 verses 1-6. And then this is chapter 20, verses 11-15, the Great White Throne Judgment.
- Ankerberg: Alright. Now, let’s go back to the very first. There is a presentation of the person of Jesus Christ before we even get to the rapture or the judgments that are coming upon the earth. And let’s talk about what is revealed about Jesus Christ; what does He reveal about Himself to us?
- DeYoung: He reveals that He’s coming as the judge, John. When you go to chapter 1 we see the person of Jesus Christ. You and I are what they consider to be grey heads. Well, the truth is, Jesus Christ, as seen by John the Revelator, has white hair, depicting His purity, His longevity. He has eyes like flames of fire. The Bible talks in many different locations about Jesus Christ being able to see everything that’s going on. He has the voice as the sound of many waters. That voice that one day spoke the worlds into existence will shout and call us to be with Him at the rapture of the church. But it will also be the same voice that will say, “Sorry, I never knew you. Depart from me into everlasting hell and damnation.” His feet like fine brass, as if they’d been burned in the furnace, depicting that He is indeed coming as a judge. His face as the sun shineth in its very strength. And, of course, when we see Him, He had the seven stars in His right hand, He was walking among seven golden candlesticks. And remember, verse 20 in chapter 1 says that the seven stars are the seven angels of the seven churches, and those seven golden candlesticks the seven churches themselves.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. He also say, “I am the first; I am the last; I am the living one.” This talks about the fact that Jesus Christ absolutely has life that He can give to anybody. He also says He has the keys to heaven, to Hades, He’s….
- DeYoung: To everything. Chapter 1 verse 18 is the cornerstone of our faith. Jesus says here, His testimony: “I am he that was alive and dead. And I now stand before you alive.” That proves that He was who He said He was. He resurrected from the dead. And it also proves He can do what He said He is going to do. But He can give life to all, because of His resurrection. That is not only the cornerstone of our faith, but, John, it is the foundation for Bible prophecy. The resurrected Jesus Christ is the only one qualified to tell us what’s going to happen in the future. And that’s, in fact, exactly what He does when He comes to verse 19 of chapter 1. He says to John, “Write down those things which were, write down those things which are, and write down those things which shall be hereafter.”
- Ankerberg: Alright. After Jesus’ resurrection, the last words of Jesus Christ to the church aren’t found in the gospels or in the letters of Paul or so on, they are found right here in Revelation. And there are seven letters to seven actual churches that also applies to us. How so, and talk about that.
- DeYoung: Those seven letters to those seven church are just such an important message to the body of Christ today. We talk about the pastoral epistles. You talked about Paul’s writings there in 1 and 2 Timothy, where it seems that he is told, the apostle Paul, to tell the church how to operate. But Jesus Christ actually speaks to the church. He speaks to the angel of each of these churches. And by the way, that word in the Greek is angelos, it’s not a pastor, it’s an angel at each of these church. Remember 1 Corinthians 11 says that angels do attend each and every church service. He gives the message, and that’s very similar to all seven churches. The fact He gives that message to these angels, and then He follows with a description of Himself, something we talked about in the person of Jesus Christ from chapter 1. He talks to the seven churches, He says, “I know thy works.” He has been watching. Remember His eyes as a flame of fire. He watched every single church and what they did.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. Let me talk about that for a minute. Revelation 2:9, to the church of Smyrna. These are just a few things: “I know the distress you are suffering and your poverty.” To the church at Sardis He said, “I know your deeds that you have a reputation that you are alive, but in reality, you are dead.” And to the church at Philadelphia He said, “I know that you have little strength. But you have obeyed my word and have not denied my name.” Jesus knows about what’s going on in the churches. But how does that apply to us, Jimmy?
- DeYoung: When you study through chapters 2 and 3, and you see and understand the messages to these seven churches, five of the churches He condemns, two of the churches He commends, the church at Smyrna, the church at Philadelphia. You were talking about Philadelphia, has little strength; but because they stand upon the authority of the word of God, they can reach the world for Jesus Christ. But then when you come to the church at Laodicea, he said, “You’re not cold, you’re not hot, you’re lukewarm. I spew you out of my mouth.”
- And so what He’s saying in these letters, he’s saying to the church today – and by the way, to individuals in each of those churches, seven different individuals – He’s saying, “Wake up! Here’s where we are. Here’s what I know about you.” And He says, “If you don’t repent,” in other words, turn around, go the other direction, to five of these churches, “I will remove your candlestick.” And then He concludes by saying, “He that hath an ear,” to all seven churches, “He that hath an ear, let him hear. And to those who are overcomers” – now, an overcomer according to 1 John 5:4, is someone who knows Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior – He makes some wonderful promises to those who are overcomers. To the Ephesians He says in 2:7, “I will give you to eat of the tree of life in the Garden of Eden.” That’s just one of my favorites. But to all seven churches, He gives them a blessing if they are overcomers and do what He’s told them to do.
- Ankerberg: Alright, so they were seven actual churches, historical churches, but they still describe the seven different kinds, types, of churches we have today, and the seven different kinds, types, of Christians that are in the churches today.
- DeYoung: That’s exactly right, and that’s why these two chapters are so important for individual study. It’ll bring revival to anybody who will spend time in these two chapters of the book of Revelation. And I would suggest to pastors, use this as a seven week series. It’ll preach.
- Ankerberg: Alright. So the first part of Revelation, we’ve got the person of Jesus Christ that’s described. It’s not the meek and mild Jesus, but you’ve got the Jesus that knows everything that’s going on and He’s coming as the judge. And then you’ve got these letters to the churches that are really instructions for us in the churches today, how we should live. And next we’re going to take a break. When we come back, we’re going to start to talk about the first seven judgments that are in the seal judgments that come right after the rapture. So, folks, don’t go away. We’ll be right back and we’ll talk about it.
- Ankerberg: Alright. We’re back. We’re talking with Dr. Jimmy DeYoung and we’re looking at Revelation. And now we’re going to the first set of judgments that the Bible says is coming in the future. And, Jimmy, walk us through the timeline again and tell us where these judgments come in.
- De Young: Now, last segment, John, we talked about the letters to the seven churches in chapters 2 and 3. Chapter 4 verse 1 is represented by this first pillar here. That is the rapture of the church; Jesus calls us to be with Him. And then from chapter 4 verse 2 through chapter 19 verse 10, 16 chapters basically of detailed information about the tribulation period, followed in chapter 19 verse 11 with the return of Christ, the revelation of Christ back to the earth. Chapter 20 verses 1-6, the thousand year millennial kingdom when Satan is bound and Jesus Christ rules and reigns from His throne in Jerusalem. Chapter 20 verses 11 to 15, the Great White Throne Judgment, and then into eternity future.
- Now when we come back to the activities after the rapture of the church, we see in chapter 5, there is a scene in the throne room in the third heaven. God the Father is seated there with a scroll in His hand. One of the elders says, “Who is going to open the sealed book?” Another one says, “What about Jesus? He was pure, perfect, without sin.” This is the title deed to the earth. And this is what God is going to give Jesus Christ, to open the seven seals on this scroll type book for the purpose of bringing the earth under submission and the earth dwellers under submission, so ultimately God the Father can give Jesus the Son the kingdom on this earth.
- We begin now this seven year period of time, the title deed as Jesus Christ takes that sealed book and breaks the first seal. Chapter 6 verse 1 reveals to us a man on a white horse. He has a crown on his head, has a bow in his hand – by the way with no arrows – riding this white horse, and goes forth conquering and to conquer. Many people would probably say that sounds like Jesus Christ, because you talked about Him coming on a white horse. Well, notice where I am. This is why this time line through the book of Revelation is so key, John. I’m standing here right after the rapture of the church. That’s when these seals begin, in the first three and a half years. Jesus Christ comes seven years after the rapture back to the earth on a white horse.
- This individual is the Antichrist. Now, remember that’s one of 27 names. Over in the book of Daniel in chapter 7 he’s talked about as the little horn; in chapter 9, the prince that shall come; in chapter 11 of Daniel, the willful king; in Revelation chapter 13, he’s talked about as the beast out of the sea and the one that will be worshiped, when the people must take a mark on their forehead or the back of their hand because he designates the fact that they must have that mark in order to be able to buy or sell. The Antichrist is this first seal, coming on a white horse, trying to do everything he can do to depict himself as Jesus Christ, the true messiah.
- Now, notice he has a bow in his hand with no arrows. The Bible tells us, and let me just remind everybody, the book of Revelation basically refers to the rest of the Bible in 500 different times throughout the entire book, a section of Scripture, most of them in the prophetic books in the Old Testament, some in the New Testament as well. This is evidence you cannot understand the book of Revelation without understanding the entire Bible. Chapter 9 verse 27 says that the Antichrist will appear, and by the way, chapter 9 of the book of Daniel, verse 27, is describing this seven year period of time. It says the tyrant, the Antichrist, will come to power, coming out of the revived Roman Empire. And that basically probably most likely is the European Union of today.
- Now, I say most likely. I cannot exegete the scripture and say dogmatically. I can say that the revived Roman Empire has its infrastructure in place in the European Union. But he comes out of that revived Roman Empire, he comes to power. He goes to Jerusalem, and he confirms, not signs, the text does not say he signs a peace treaty, he confirms treaties that are already on the table not working: the Camp David Accord, the Oslo Accords, the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan, and whatever peace treaty may be in place by the time the Antichrist appears.
- Ankerberg: Alright. Last week you said that you believe that the Antichrist was alive and living somewhere in the world. Explain that a little bit more.
- DeYoung: He has to be alive and well, because every bit of Bible prophecy is at the point, John, of being fulfilled. In fact, let me just remind everybody, there’s not one Bible prophecy that must be fulfilled before the rapture of the church. All Bible prophecy yet to be fulfilled in God’s word will be fulfilled after the rapture of the church.
- The constitution that was not ratified by the European Union was replaced by the Lisbon Treaty, signed back in 2007, and it was signed there at Lisbon, Portugal. That Lisbon Treaty calls for the European Union – it has 27 member states but there are going to be many others that are added, including those states in the Mediterranean Union that President Sarkozy of France has put together recently, and that would be combined, they would be integrated together to have at least 45 different states. And those would be the actual borders of the old Roman Empire. In fact, Colonel Kaddafi of Libya, who did not attend the meeting when the formation of the Mediterranean Union took place, said, “What is Sarkozy trying to do? Revive the old Roman Empire?” Well, that’s exactly what he was trying to do.
- This treaty that has been put in place call for a powerful political, economic, governmental operation, headquartered in Rome in that old border area of the old Roman Empire. It calls for a very strong leader. There have been several suggestions to take over as the leader of this powerful political, economic, governmental operation, the European Union, which I believe is at least the infrastructure for the revived Roman Empire.
- This individual, who comes on the scene to be energized by Satan, Revelation 13:2, will step forward, confirm a peace agreement. He will bring everything together that the Bible talks about, even going into a temple, the temple that he has told the Jewish people to build. And Revelation 11:1-2 talks about a temple that will be standing on the Temple Mount in the city of Jerusalem at the midway point of the tribulation where Antichrist will desecrate the temple with the abomination of desolation. That’s called for in scripture.
- Ankerberg: I’ve heard you say before, Jimmy, that you have believed that because Satan is waiting for God to pull the trigger, and the rapture to take place, and he doesn’t know, he doesn’t have any control over that, that you’ve always had an Antichrist standing in the wings, somebody that he could use to put into place if God were to send Jesus to the world.
- DeYoung: Let me just remind everybody, John, we’re not naming an individual as the Antichrist. If these men pass from the scene, the three main candidates to be president of the European Union, and to possibly fill the bill to become the Antichrist, then there would have to be somebody else. Satan has selected an individual, it doesn’t matter who it is, Satan has in mind one individual that he will energize, give him his seat of authority. That’s what chapter 13 talks about. That’s what will happen. And we see that stage set for that man, that Antichrist, to appear.
- Ankerberg: Alright, Jimmy, we’re just getting started on the seal judgments. And the second seal judgment, from what I can see here is war and judgment of war on the earth. And you’ve talked about the alignment of the nations that is coming about, and we see it in our world today. Talk a little bit about that; give us a taste for where we’re going next week.
- DeYoung: You know, Jesus Christ, in the Olivet Discourse, said we’ll hear of wars and rumors of wars, nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom, people against people. That is exactly what’s going to unfold at the beginning of the tribulation period. Nations like Russia, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia. These are all mentioned in the word of God. In the book of Daniel, Ezekiel, and even in the Psalms, it talks about this group of nations that will align themselves against the nation of Israel. And I want to tell you this, John, as I’ve lived in the Middle East these last 19 years, I’ve seen these nations forming into that alignment and ready to attack Israel.
- Ankerberg: Alright. Folks, we’re going to talk about the alignment of the nations, we’re going to go through the seal judgments, we’re taking you through the book of Revelation in five weeks, and I hope that you’ll join us next week as we continue.