Step by Step Through the Book of Revelation/Program 4
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung; ©2008|
|The seven-year tribulation period in Revelation will reveal an unprecedented time of judgment upon the earth. The apostle John’s vision mentions seals, horses, horns, and several other symbols to explain these future judgments. Many of these symbols can be confusing. How can we understand what God wants to communicate?|
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. God has given us the fabulous book of Revelation. He’s given it primarily to Christians to tell us about where we are at in world events and what is coming in the future: what God says is going to happen. Now, a lot of people have a hard time with the book of Revelation, and today, I’ve got a guest that can explain it so we can understand it. He is Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, who is a journalist who’s lived in the Holy Land, in Israel, since 1993. He’s interviewed every Israeli Prime Minister since that time. He knows the Middle East backwards and forwards. He is also a great prophecy scholar, which you will hear along the way. But, what I love is that he can explain this to the common man here, that we can understand what the book of Revelation is all about. And we’re giving the broad panorama, and for the folks that haven’t been with us, this is the first time they are joining us, we’ve got to say, what are these pillars, here, and walk us through the entire book of Revelation.
- DeYoung: John, this is a simple way of explaining how the three main events in the book of Revelation follow in chronological order and help us then to use these events as a roadmap through eschatology, and in particular, through the book of Revelation. This first pillar would represent the next main event, which is the rapture of the church. Jesus will shout, the archangel will sound, trump of God will be blown and we will be caught up to be with Jesus Christ in the heavens. Now, that has not happened yet, you and I are still here. The rapture is the next thing to happen. We’re probably just prior to the rapture.
- Chapter 5, a great choir of angels singing, “Worthy is the Lamb.” After that, a period of time, this will be a seven year period of time; it’s referred to as the tribulation period. Chapter 6 is the beginning of three sets of judgments: that will be seven seal judgments, seven trumpet judgments and seven vial judgments. These 21 judgments get progressively worse as we go through the seven years. The backdrop for the first three and a half years of the tribulation will be the false church, that’s Revelation 17. There will also be two witnesses that will preach during this first three and a half years. These two witnesses will be killed, they’ll lay in the streets of Jerusalem for three and a half days, at which time they will be raised from the dead and be called up into heaven.
- At the midway point of the tribulation, there will be a battle in the heavenlies between the good angels, led by their commander-in-chief, Michael, the archangel; and the evil angels, led by their commander-in-chief, Satan. Satan and all of his evil angels will be thrown down to the earth. Those in the heavens say, “Praise the Lord, Satan is gone.” Those on the earth say, “Woe, Satan has come to the earth.” And he will start to persecute the Jewish people, trying to wipe them off of the face of the earth.
- In the last three and a half years of the tribulation period, there will be the seven trumpet judgments and the seven vial judgments. Now, the backdrop for this last three and a half years will be a one world, economic, political, governmental system that is headquartered in the city of Babylon, the literal city of Babylon, located on the shores of the Euphrates River, in what we know as modern day Iraq. At the end of that time, all of us who know Christ as Lord and Savior, who will have gone to the heavenlies at the rapture of the church, will mount white horses. I believe those are literal horses we will come back on, as Jesus leads on His white horse, back to the earth, back to the city of Jerusalem. That’s the revelation of Christ or the return of Jesus Christ.
- The battle of Armageddon takes place. He then establishes His millennial kingdom for the thousand year reign, after having an angel cast Satan into the bottomless pit for that thousand years. At the end of the thousand years, Satan will be loosed for a season, captured again by God, and then the Great White Throne Judgment, at which time, Jesus will be the judge. He will sentence all of those who have rejected Him, casting them into the lake of fire, because their name was not found written in the book of life. Then we move into eternity future, new heaven, new earth, new Jerusalem.
- Ankerberg: Fabulous, Jimmy. Some people get mixed up, the fact of, they know Jesus Christ is coming back, they know about the second coming, but define the fact of the rapture where we meet Him in the air, versus the time He actually comes to planet earth.
- DeYoung: This is very important. You remember what Jesus said in the upper room that night they had the Passover Seder before He would be crucified the next day. He said, “Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. 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 [now listen] and if I go, I shall come again and receive you unto myself.” He was referring to the rapture. At the rapture, He does not come back to the earth; He receives us up into the heavenlies to be with Him. That’s the rapture. That’s when all Christians depart this earth and move to another place. The second coming of Christ is when we get on those white horses, coming back to the earth with Jesus Christ to establish His kingdom after the battle of Armageddon. So, we go to meet Him here, in the heavens, at the rapture, we come back with Him from the heavens to the earth at the return of Christ.
- Ankerberg: Alright, the 21 judgments here, you said they get progressively worse. And it also goes with what Jesus said in Matthew 24, this thing, that it’s like a woman having birth pangs, when you start having the baby, the pains are far apart and as you go along, the fact is, they get not only get shorter, but they get more intense. And that’s what you are saying happens here in the tribulation. Roll through the seven seal judgments that start that tribulation.
- DeYoung: The seven seal judgments include the appearance of Antichrist; he will be on a white horse, that’s chapter 6, verses 1 and 2. Verses 3 and 4, the man on the red horse, that will be the wars that will break out across the world, in particular, in the Middle East, the alignment of nations. A man on a black horse with a pair of balances in his hand; that is depicting famine: “a measure of wheat for a penny, three measures of barley for a penny.” Famine will take place, that is the third seal judgment. The man on the pale horse is death, and at that time, this judgment will mean one fourth of the entire earth’s population will be killed. That would be one out of every four people – 1.5 billion people. And then the next judgment, the fifth judgment, will be the martyrdom of those who have trusted Christ during the tribulation period. Not the Christians, they will have been gone, but Jews and Gentiles who trust Christ. In the heavens, ecological judgment starts upon this universe as the Lord turns the moon to blood, the sun starts to darken. All of these earthquakes that we hear so much about today will intensify and increase around the world. That would be the sixth seal judgment.
- The seventh one is found in chapter 8 and verse 1: silence in the heavens for a space of a half an hour. I believe that’s speaking of how awestruck we are going to be from the heavenlies as we see these judgments being released upon the people on the earth. Out of the seventh seal judgment comes the seven trumpet judgments. And ecological judgment really comes into place here, because in the beginning of these trumpet judgments, we’ll see a third of the ocean turned to blood. A third of the fish in the oceans of the world will die, a third of the ships on the waves of the ocean will be destroyed. And that follows the burning up of the trees and the grass and the shrubs. Ecological judgment upon the earth during those trumpet judgments, which will be followed in the last three and a half years by the vial judgments, which will only intensify as they lead up to the return of Jesus Christ to the earth.
- Ankerberg: Alright we’re going to go to a break and when we come back, I’m going to ask Jimmy to talk a little bit more about what’s happening in Revelation 11:3-13, the two witnesses. There’s a lot of discussion that goes on among the lay people about who these witnesses are and what they do. Jimmy just cruised by it, we’re going to come back to that, and then we’re going to talk about an alien invasion that God allows to come to the earth, right out of this bottomless pit. And you won’t want to miss it. Stick with us, we’ll be right back.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’re back and we’re talking with Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, and we just have a boat load of information that God has given to us in the book of Revelation about events that are coming in the future. Jimmy just cruised by very quickly the two witnesses that are to preach during the first three and a half years of the tribulation. Let’s talk about who they are. And the Bible gives quite a description of what they do, what they say, and what happens to them.
- DeYoung: John, just before I do that, may I just remind everybody, this walk through Revelation is key, because this lays out the roadmap. This is a skeleton and we can take the meat from the different passages in the book of Revelation and put it on the exact spot.
- We were talking about those judgments that conclude and go into the last half of the tribulation. But now, when you come back to the two witnesses, notice I moved back here right after the rapture of the church on our roadmap through eschatology. That’s when these two witnesses appear. Chapter 11, verse 3 and following, talks about two witnesses that will come. They will be headquartered on the Temple Mount in the city of Jerusalem. They will preach for three and a half years. The text says 1260 days. Now, that’s unique, because that is not three and a half Christian years, that’s three and a half Jewish years. The Jewish years on the lunar calendar, which gives us 30 days in 12 months, 360 days. And that’s what we look at when we see the 1260 days. And that is another indication the church will not be at the tribulation. It’s for the Jews and the Gentiles.
- These two witnesses will be protected during their ministry of 1260 days or three and a half years. For example, if somebody tries to shoot them with a weapon of some type, that weapon will be turned on the perpetrator, so that individual dies – the two witnesses protected. They can stop it from raining in the sky; they can bring plagues upon the face of the earth. These two witnesses will be protected during their preaching ministry. The first result will be 144, 000 male, virgin Jews will turn to Jesus Christ as their Messiah and their Savior. That’s found in chapter 7, verse 4 and following. These two witnesses and these 144,000 male, virgin Jews spread across the world, giving the gospel of the kingdom, so everybody, during that seven year period of time, has an opportunity to hear the message of the gospel of the kingdom.
- There’s much speculation as to who the two witnesses are. I would suggest that you would consider two men: Elijah, he’s the one, of course, remember, that crossed over the Jordan River and was caught up in a chariot of fire into the heavenlies. And then, Enoch, in Genesis 5. One day he went for a walk with God. And I love the little story that I heard Vance Havner tell. As he was walking with God, the Lord said to him, “Why Enoch, we are a lot closer to my house than we are your house – come on, let’s go to my house.” And he was taken into the heavenlies.
- These two men, Elijah and Enoch never died. But the Bible says in Hebrews 9:27, “It is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgment.” I believe they come back to the earth, they’re the two witnesses, Elijah and Enoch, that are killed, and after three and a half days, they lay in the streets of Jerusalem for three and a half days, the entire world sees them laying in the streets of Jerusalem. And you know what they do, John? It’s party time! I mean, they send gifts. It says it in the text; they send gifts to those, and they rejoice in the fact that these two witnesses are not tormenting them any more at all.
- Ankerberg: Let’s talk about that. The reason that they are glad they’re dead was because they had great power. God gave them great power while they were preaching. If somebody tried to touch them, what happened?
- DeYoung: They could call fire out of heaven to destroy them, they could cast them dead. They are so protected by God, this is key, and it is happening in the first three and a half years, so that everybody will get that opportunity to hear the gospel who have never heard it before. By the way, they will be resurrected from the dead and enter the heavenlies. Can I just throw this into your computer to think about and consider for a few moments? The book of Luke, chapter 24 talks about two men in white apparel standing by the gravesite of Jesus Christ. When the Marys arrive, they said, “He’s not here, He has risen.” And then in Acts 1, right there on the Mount of Olives when he ascended into the heavenlies, the text tells us, two men standing in white apparel said, “Why stand ye here gazing into heaven? As he’s gone, so he’s going to come again.” I believe that these two witnesses – Elijah and Enoch – saw the resurrection of Jesus Christ, his ascension into the heavenlies. They know he’s coming back. That’s what they will be preaching in this three and a half year period of time.
- Ankerberg: Alright, so we had the seal judgments and this ecological thing. The trumpet judgments is very interesting, especially on the fifth one. We have the vegetation is struck by God, Revelation 8:7; the ocean is struck in 8:9; the waters are struck in 8:10; the heavens are struck in 8:12. And then the fifth trumpet, tell us about that, what comes next right there?
- DeYoung: What happens is the bottomless pit is opened. God allows Satan to take the key to the bottomless pit. He opens it up, and out of that bottomless pit – now where is the bottomless pit, we don’t know; my suggestion is probably in outer space someplace, maybe in those black holes that we hear the scientists talking about – wherever it is, out of that bottomless pit comes demons, aliens, unidentified flying objects.
- Now, why do I make that statement? It sounds like I’m talking about UFOs. Well, the text refers to them as locusts. Not locusts like a grasshopper – hop, hop, hop – but I think it’s a different kind of locust, I believe it’s an alien from outer space attacking the earth. It’s there in the description of these aliens or these evil angels that are coming to the earth, where we see they have the face of a man, the hair of a woman, the teeth of a lion, a breastplate like a horse running to battle, the tail of a scorpion. They’ll be able to torment the earth. And when you go to sixth trumpet judgment, they will kill. These evil angels, coming out of the bottomless pit, will kill one third of the earth. That will mean at that time, half of the earth’s population, three billion people will have been killed.
- Ankerberg: Alright, Jimmy, you’ve got the seal judgments, you’ve got the trumpet judgments and then they get progressively worse until we get to these bowl or vial judgments. And what happens to the earth there?
- DeYoung: They unfold very quickly, John, because they are moving towards the climax of the seven year tribulation period, with the destruction of the literal city of Babylon. Prior to that, we’re going to see the culmination of all this ecological judgment. Remember in the trumpet judgments, one third of the ocean turned to blood, one third of the fish died. In these vial judgments, all of the ocean turns to blood, all the fish die. The sun gets so hot, it scorches men on the earth and the pain is so bad, they literally gnawed their tongue in pain. But I want you to notice something. In the text, in the sixteenth chapter, these men upon the earth, under this intense judgment, never turn to Jesus Christ. They simply look and blaspheme Him for what is happening.
- In the sixth vial judgment, that’s chapter 16, verse 12, we see that the kings of the east will have their way made ready, so they can come into Jerusalem where all the nations of the world will gather at the end of the tribulation period. The Euphrates River, which is basically the border between the Middle East and the Far East, it will dry up, making way for these kings to come in.
- Interesting phrase, it’s a parenthetical phrase there in chapter 16, verses 13-16, it talks about Satan, Antichrist and false prophet, remember that’s the satanic trinity, and they will perform signs, wonders and miracles to gather all the leaders of the world, all the people of the earth, into Jerusalem to battle against Jesus Christ when He comes back. They call it the battle of Armageddon, and it actually starts in Jerusalem. We must probably change that title to the campaign of Armageddon, culminating with the battle which takes place in the Jezreel Valley.
- Ankerberg: Alright, people want to know why all these judgments. What’s the purpose of this?
- DeYoung: It’s to bring the earth under submission and earth dwellers under submission. Daniel 7 says God, the Ancient of Days, will give to the Son of Man, His Son, a kingdom; a kingdom that was promised to the Jewish people. And after His return, He sets up that thousand year millennial kingdom. And so the earth has to be brought under subjection, the earth dwellers brought under subjection. It’s to bring an end to the Gentile world powers. Remember the prophecy that Daniel was able to interpret for Nebuchadnezzar. These Gentile world powers will be destroyed. It’s to bring an end and bring a sentence to the satanic trinity: Satan, Antichrist and false prophet. They will be cast into the lake of fire, where there will be torment forever and ever and ever. And the third reason for this tribulation period, the reason the judgment is upon the earth, is to bring the Jewish people to their Savior, to the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
- Ankerberg: Alright, what’s the good news? How close are we to the time of tribulation? Before that, you have the rapture. For people that are saying, how close are we, and what do I do to get ready?
- DeYoung: Let me just say this, we’ve talked about the Antichrist that comes on the scene soon after the rapture of the church. Everything is ready for the Antichrist to appear. The revived Roman Empire is in place, he will appear, confirm that peace agreement with the Jews, the nation of Israel and all of the other nations. But at the same time, when they lay down their weapons, Ezekiel 38:8, 11, where they live at peace in the land because they are under this so-called peace, set up by the so-called messiah, the Antichrist, the alignment of the nations comes.
- When you just think about those first two judgments that are going to unfold, plus everything else we’ve been talking about. And the curtain is about to go up, not on the rapture, but the second coming of Christ. Let me just say they rapture precedes all of these things. None of this judgment will come to fulfillment until after the rapture of the church.
- My thinking is if we’re that close to all of these prophecies being fulfilled, how close could the rapture be? And each and every person listening to this broadcast needs to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. My friend, we have been talking to you about judgment that will be released upon this earth. You don’t have to go through that judgment. You can receive Jesus Christ, as your Lord and Savior. You can be prepared for that time. You simply admit you’re a sinner, you believe in the death, the burial and the resurrection of Jesus Christ; that He will save you. You call upon Him to come into your heart and life and save you and He will do that. and He will keep you, the book of Revelation chapter 3, verse 10, He will keep you from those judgments that will be unfolded during the tribulation period.
- Ankerberg: Alright, next week we’re going to talk about some of the great big events that everybody knows about: The battle of Armageddon; we’re going to talk about the millennial kingdom; and we’re going to talk about the Great White Throne Judgment. Folks, you won’t want to miss this, so I hope that you’ll join us then