Step by Step Through the Book of Revelation/Program 5
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung; ©2008
|Dr. Tim LaHaye makes an important point in his book Are We Living in the End Times? He writes that when people have taken prophecy seriously in the past, it has led to three convictions: 1) It has challenged believers to holy living in an unholy age; 2) It has given Christians a greater challenge to evangelize; and 3) It has caused the church to be more missionary-minded as the church has realized it must fulfill the Great Commission before Christ returns.
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. Today we’re going to talk about the battle of Armageddon. We’re going to talk about the millennial kingdom and the Great White Throne Judgment and eternity future. What the book of Revelation is saying. We have got someone that you’ve got to hear. His name is Dr. Jimmy DeYoung. He’s a journalist, actually in Jerusalem, who’s covered events there since 1993. He knows every Prime Minister of Israel that has been in power since that time; he’s interviewed each one of them. He knows other leaders in the Middle East. And he’s also a great Bible prophecy scholar. He knows the Bible backwards and forwards, which you’ll see in a moment. What we’re trying to do is take you step by step through the book of Revelation in a way that you can understand it. I don’t want you to be scared about this book. God’s given us great information. There’s a purpose for it being in the Bible. And Jimmy is telling us what that is. Jimmy, you’ve got three pillars here, three identification marks, that are going to help us identify what’s going on in the timeline through the book of Revelation and what these event signify. Start us off.
- DeYoung: Well, you talked about the three main events – the rapture, the return of Christ, and the retribution, the Great White Throne Judgment. We have these three pillars here that represent those three main events that happen in the book of Revelation. The rapture, chapter 4 verse 1, and then 4:2 through 19:10, 16 chapters, detailed information about the seven year tribulation period. Now, this pillar represents the return of Christ to the earth. That’s chapter 19 of Revelation, verses 11 and following. And then in chapter 20 we see the number one thousand years. That’s talking about the millennial kingdom. Jesus Christ will rule and reign during that thousand year period of time, but also Satan will be bound, so there will be peace upon the earth. This last pillar, the third of the three pillars, represents the third of the three main events of the book of Revelation, the Great White Throne Judgment, Revelation 20:11-15. And after that, eternity future, new heavens, new earth and new Jerusalem.
- Now after the rapture, Chapter 6, the beginning of three sets of seven judgments. There are seven seal judgments, seven trumpet judgments, seven vial judgments: 21 judgments that get progressively worse as we go through the seven year tribulation period.
- In the first three and a half years, you have the backdrop of the false church; that’s Revelation 17. And then the first seal is broken, and that is the Antichrist. He comes on a white horse, a crown on his head, a bow in his hand; no arrows, that means he establishes peace at the beginning of this seven year tribulation period. In fact, when he confirms that peace, as talked about in Daniel 9:27, that actually starts the clock ticking on the seven year tribulation period. The second seal would be the release of a man on a red horse. That would be an alignment of the nations: we’re talking about Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Egypt, Turkey. We’re talking about Saudi Arabia, Lebanon. We’re talking about these nations that will align themselves against the Jewish state of Israel. And we can see that happening even as we are doing this broadcast. Ankerberg: And how do you know those specific nations that you just mentioned are the ones?
- DeYoung: Because the Bible tells us in specific locations. Those two nations that I talked about that begin to attack Israel, Syria and Egypt, that’s Daniel 11:40-45; many of the other nations in Ezekiel 38 and Psalm 83. These chapters in God’s word lay out the scenario and the names of the nations that will come against Israel in the last days.
- Ankerberg: We’ve gone through the seal judgments, the trumpet judgments, the bowl or vial judgments. And at the last part is an interesting verse that comes in Revelation 16:12-16, where it says “Satan persuades kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. And they gather them together to the place called in Hebrew Armageddon.” Now, in real terms that we can understand, what is this gathering of armies of the world? Could it happen soon?
- DeYoung: It could indeed happen soon. And let me tell you why I make that definite statement. Because in the last three and a half years of the tribulation period, the backdrop would be the focus on Babylon. That’s modern-day Iraq. That will be the international headquarters of a one world, economic, political, governmental system that will be headed up by Antichrist. This will be leading up to when the armies gather together.
- The portion of scripture that you mentioned just a moment ago is a parenthetical phrase between the sixth vial judgment, when the nations of the Far East gather into Jerusalem, which would be the gathering of the nations together. But just prior to that, this location on the Euphrates River, the literal city of Babylon, which dates back 4500 years ago, when Nimrod, the great grandson of Noah, brought into existence a one world, economic, political, governmental system, a prototype, which will be unfolded here in this last three and a half years of the tribulation period.
- Chapter 16, verses 17 and following, gives us the record of that final vial judgment, number 21 of 21 judgments unfolded upon the earth. And it is this destruction of the literal city of Babylon, which is where the Antichrist has been headquartered. Then the armies of the world will gather at Jerusalem. The campaign of Armageddon is better terminology than the battle of Armageddon. Let’s say that there were only a hundred nations there. I think the United Nations says there’s something like 197 nations. Let’s say that those hundred nations had a million soldiers apiece: we’re talking about a hundred million soldiers that will gather at Jerusalem. As He steps back on the Mount of Olives, Zechariah 14:4, the Mount of Olives splits, making way for the nations of the world to go to the valley of the mountains. Now that’s a terminology describing the Jezreel Valley. You have Mount Carmel, you have Mount Moreh, you have Mount Tabor, you have Mount Gilboa. You have all of the mountains there that surround this 1,000 square mile valley, where the battle of Armageddon takes place. By the way, that would leave plenty of room for a hundred million soldiers to go there and take on Jesus Christ.
- Well, Jesus will build a temple when He gets back. He’s going to rule and reign from a millennial temple, so He builds that first, that’s Ezekiel 40-46. And then He goes to the Jezreel Valley, He speaks and they die. I don’t know what He’s going to say, maybe its just “Die.” The Bible says in Revelation, chapter 14, verses 19 and 20, that when the battle of Armageddon takes place, blood flows out of the horses and those men that are in that battle, and it flows as high as a horse’s bridle for 176 miles. If you have a hundred million soldiers, and that’s just an example, there’s no text that says that, but that’s a very conservative example, I believe, that when you have those men up there, that’s 600 million quarts of blood. That would be about 50 quarts of blood for every foot for 176 miles. Interestingly, the 176 miles reaches from the Jezreel Valley, the battle of Armageddon, and that’s how far it is to Petra, which I believe is the place, chapter 12 verse 6 of Revelation, that God has prepared to protect His people. He goes there, He gathers them in, He brings them across that Jordan Valley, He brings them up the backside of the Mount of Olives, across the Kidron Valley, through the Eastern Gate and into the temple complex. Those Jews, according to Zechariah 13:9, turn to Him as their Lord and Savior. He walks into the temple, He sits down and becomes King of Kings and Lord of Lords, there in the holy of holies on that day, Yom Kippur, in the future.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’re going to take a break. And when we come back we’re going to talk about the fact Jesus Christ comes back to earth and He sets up His millennial kingdom. What takes place in the millennial kingdom? What does Jesus Christ do on earth? What changes and where does that go and how does that get us into the Great White Throne Judgment and eternity future? Stick with us. We’ll talk about that when we come right back.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’re back and we’re taking you through the book of Revelation, step by step. And, Jimmy, again, review where we’ve been at, and we’re coming right back to the return of Jesus Christ to earth and then the setting up of His millennial kingdom. What’s He going to do during that millennial kingdom? But, again, review where we’re at here.
- DeYoung: Well, we’re talking about the three main events represented by these pillars: the rapture of the church, the seven year tribulation period, the return of Christ to the earth, the thousand year millennial kingdom, the Great White Throne Judgment, and then eternity future.
- Ankerberg: Alright, you’ve brought us right to the battle of Armageddon. And now Jesus Christ comes back and He conquers, and He now has returned to earth. And what happens then?
- DeYoung: When He comes back to the earth, He builds His temple. Ezekiel 40-46 is 202 verses, detailed information about Messiah’s temple. But there was a Tabernacle during the wanderings in the wilderness and there were two temples previous on the Temple Mount in the city of Jerusalem. Neither the Tabernacle nor the two previous temples meet the requirements of Ezekiel 40-46, in the description of Messiah’s temple. Jesus, Zechariah 6:12, builds this temple. Verse 13 of Zechariah 6, He will rule and reign from the temple.
- This is during the millennial kingdom. God promised the Jewish people, He would give them a king and the kingdom would be set up under the leadership of this king. He offered it when Jesus Christ came the first time, but the Jewish people rejected Jesus Christ. Now the kingdom will be literal on the earth. Many people talk about a kingdom now that we’re living in. We’re not living in a kingdom. Jesus Christ is not now on His throne. He’s on the right hand of the Father. The book of Hebrews, chapters 1, 8 and 12 says Jesus Christ is interceding for us believers at the right hand of the Father in the heavens. But one day, seemingly in the near future, after the battle of Armageddon has taken place, Jesus Christ will receive from His Father the kingdom. And He will rule and reign during this thousand year period of time.
- John, it will be a time of peace. The lion will lie down with the lamb. There’s so many other things we could talk about, if we only knew. And the reason I say that we don’t know is the Bible doesn’t say much about the kingdom period. It says that there will be people who will come out of the tribulation period in physical bodies: Jews and Gentiles that become believers. They’re not martyred, they will enter into the millennial kingdom.
- Ankerberg: Alright. Let’s talk about that, going back to the time when Christ comes back. Before you go into that millennial kingdom, people want to know what does happen to the Antichrist, the false beast and to Satan. What happens when Christ comes back?
- DeYoung: At the battle of Armageddon, when that battle is completed, chapter 19 in Revelation, Antichrist and false prophet are cast into the lake of fire. They will be there during that thousand year period in time. Jesus Christ will delegate an angel to come and take Satan, to bind him and cast him into the bottomless pit, where he will be for that thousand year period of time. And this will be so that the Lord can set up His millennial kingdom. It will be a dictatorship, a theocracy. Nobody will have rights during that period of time. We will all be serving Him, which is His plan. And you and I who know Christ as Lord and Savior, as His bride, will rule and reign with Christ during that time.
- Ankerberg: I think it’s very important what you just said. The fact is there are some people that are going to go into the millennial kingdom that will be believers. But the fact is at the beginning part of the tribulation all the believers on earth are raptured out of here. So, those are people that get saved, either under the two witnesses, the 144,000…
- DeYoung: Yes.
- Ankerberg: …and that make it through the slaughter of the Antichrist going up until the return of Jesus Christ. And those people, who have not been changed, like we have been changed – we’re in heaven; we’ve been changed, we’ve been given new bodies, you can’t marry or give in marriage – the fact is, those people go into the millennial kingdom and they have physical bodies. And they have children and now those children grow up. And the fact is, along the way, God’s going to give them a chance to choose as well.
- DeYoung: Exactly. And the reason, for example, when we read in chapter 20 of the book of Revelation, verses 7, 8, 9 and 10, where Satan is loosed for a season, is to go and ferret out those who were simply professors and not true possessors of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. But at the end of that thousand years, when Satan is loosed, he will ferret them out, gather them at Jerusalem for one final battle against Jesus Christ. In essence, it’s not going to be a real battle –Jesus Christ is going to smash Satan and He’s going to cast him into the lake of fire, where the Bible says, the Antichrist and the false prophet are. That will then lead up to the Great White Throne Judgment.
- Ankerberg: And what happens at the Great White Throne Judgment? Again, who is there, who gets judged, where does the information come from and what happens to them?
- DeYoung: Jesus Christ will be the judge. John 5:22, God gives Jesus Christ responsibility. He will be the judge at the Great White Throne Judgment. Those to be judged will be those of all of time who rejected Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They will have been held in a holding pen in Hades, a location of torment, and they will all be brought to the Great White Throne Judgment.
- Now, where’s the Great White Throne? We do not actually know. It says “the heaven and the earth fled away and I saw a Great White Throne.” Wherever it is, Jesus Christ will be the judge, those who have rejected Him will be the ones who will judged. He will open two sets of books. There is a book, which is the Book of Life, and books, plural. The book, if their name is not written in the Book of Life, they will cast into the lake of fire forever. Those books, they will be judged according to the works they have done, the evil works, and there will be degrees of punishment at the Great White Throne Judgment. All of those who’ve rejected Him will be cast alive into the lake of fire, “where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” I’m quoting what Jesus Christ said, not my opinion, what Jesus Christ said in Mark 9. This is a terrible time of judgment. It’s what they refer to as the second death, those who have rejected Jesus Christ.
- It should motivate me and you and all of us, John, for those loved ones that we have who do not know Christ, to warn them of the judgment to come, of this Great White Throne Judgment. The only people that will be standing here are those who are lost. And they stand there of their own free will, not because God has caused them to do anything. A terrible time of judgment. And by the way, this is the end of history. In Genesis it says, “In the beginning God created.” That started history. This brings an end to history and we move into eternity future.
- Ankerberg: Talk about the new heavens and the new earth.
- DeYoung: The new heavens and the new earth, that’s going to be thrilling. The book of Isaiah, chapters 65 and 66, refer to the new heavens and the new earth, so this is not new to the book of Revelation. But chapter 21 says – and in 2 Peter 3 – this old earth, this sin cursed earth, the sin cursed heavens. Now, that includes the first, second and third heaven. The third heaven is where God is. But remember, chapter 12, verse 10, in the book of Revelation says that Satan day and night would go into the throne of God and accuse the brethren, accuse you and me for things we had done wrong. Of course, Jesus Christ was there to intercede for us. But that means the third heaven was cursed; it has to be burned up. And God will create, not refurbish, but create a new heaven, and a new earth. And there we will then see the New Jerusalem.
- The New Jerusalem is described in chapters 21 and 22. We could take five more programs to talk about the New Jerusalem. It’s going to be an amazing place. It’s 1500 miles high, wide and long. It has one street of gold. People talk about streets of gold, there’s no such thing as “streets” of gold. In chapter 21, it says there will be a street of gold; in chapter 22, a street of gold. That’s because we’ll all live on Main Street when we get to the New Jerusalem.
- It won’t be on earth, because of the fact the Bible says in Ezekiel, His temple will be in Jerusalem forever. In chapter 21, verse 22, of Revelation, it says there will be no temple in the New Jerusalem, because God and Jesus are there. Twelve pearly gates: three in the north, three in the east, three in the west, three in the south, names of the tribes of Israel. The Jews will be able to come from earth to enter into the New Jerusalem. It’ll be hovering someplace above the earth and we’ll be there with Jesus Christ forever and ever.
- I wish I could go on. this is a beautiful description of what’s going to happen in the future. And, by the way, we’re going to serve him during that time; we’re going to worship him; we’re going to fellowship with the saints of all of time. Jesus, as He concluded the book of Revelation, through the angel to John the revelator, said, “Behold, I come quickly. And blessed is he that keep the words of this book.” And then He said again, “Behold, I come quickly. And I have My reward with Me,” to give us rewards, so we will know what we will do for eternity. It’s the rewards that we receive way back there at the Judgment Seat of Christ, that set in motion what we’re going to do forever and ever and ever, as we serve Him, as we worship Him and as we fellowship with Him.
- Ankerberg: Alright…
- DeYoung: And the last thing, I’ve got to tell you this one more behold, there was three of them. John, the revelator said, as Jesus said for the third time, “Behold, I come quickly. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”
- Ankerberg: Jimmy, that was absolutely fantastic. And folks, this has been the walk through the book of Revelation, so that you would catch the key things that are presented by God to us, that we need to know about the future. Now, as Jimmy was walking through the book of Revelation, we did it so fast, there are some questions that I am sure you have raised in your minds, you have listened to what he is saying. We are going to catch those questions in the next half-hour, so I hope you will join us. We are going to ask him to talk a little bit further about some of these key questions that have arisen out of this information. I hope that you will join us next week.