The Revelation Puzzle
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung; ©2008|
|Step by Step Through the Book of Revelation. – Question and Answer Bonus Material|
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.
- John Ankerberg: Welcome to our program, we’re talking about the fabulous book of Revelation. And Dr. Jimmy DeYoung has been taking us through a step-by-step view of the book of Revelation, and we’re going to review that today. But then we’re going to get to some of your questions that you want to know about the information that he’s been telling you. And so, Jimmy, let’s start us off. You’ve got these three statues out here, you’ve got a timeline that the book of Revelation gives to us. And I think that you are helping people understand in a much easier way by giving us this timeline right in front of us, so proceed.
- Jimmy DeYoung: John, chapter 1 of the book of Revelation presents the person and power of Jesus Christ. In that chapter, we see Jesus Christ, with His white hair; His eyes as flames of fire; His voice as the sound of many waters; His feet as if fine brass had been burned in a furnace. We see His face as the sun shineth in its very strength. He has seven stars in His hand, and He’s walking among seven golden candlesticks. Of course, the stars are the angels to the seven churches, and the seven golden candlesticks, the seven churches. That’s chapter 1. The power of Christ, of course, is verse 18: “I am He that was alive and dead, and I now stand before you alive.”
- Then we see in chapters 2 and 3 of the book of Revelation the letters to the seven churches. There were seven church letters given to the angels of the churches and passing along a special message from Jesus Christ, the last word of Christ to the church, in those seven letters to the seven churches, that were alive in 95 AD in Asia Minor. They have been periods of church history, and they are churches, not necessarily the church at Ephesus or Thyatira or Sardis, or Laodicea, but describing churches that are alive today.
- Chapter 4, we see the first of the three main events of the book of Revelation, the rapture of the church, chapter 4, verse 1. John hears, as it were, a voice of a trumpet calling him to come up and be up with him in the heavenlies. Chapter 5, a great choir of angels, singing “Worthy is the Lamb,” chapter 5, verse 12 to be exact. 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.
- You have the rest of the seal judgments that are released upon the earth, and that would include one fourth of the earth being killed, starvation running rampant, earthquakes in diverse places, a martyrdom of believers—not Christians, because they go at the rapture, but those who turn to Jesus Christ in the tribulation period. How will they turn to Christ? There will be two witnesses that will preach. This is chapter 11, verse 3 of Revelation through chapter 11, verse 13. These two witnesses will preach. I believe it’s Elijah and Enoch, who have never died, by the way; they were translated to the heavenlies, they will come back; and as Hebrews 9:27 says, “It is appointed unto man, once to die, and after this, the judgment.” These two men will die, they’ll lay in the streets of Jerusalem for three and a half days, at which time they miraculously will be raised from the dead and enter the heavenlies.
- In the last three and a half years, you’ll have the backdrop of what’s going on in Babylon. You see, after this false church is destroyed, Antichrist leaves Rome, Italy, where the false church will be, he goes to Jerusalem, walks into a temple, sits down, claims to be God and then he leaves Jerusalem. The false prophet, one of the members of the satanic trinity, will put up a statue of the Antichrist. Through signs, wonders and miracles, he’ll make it speak and move. Meanwhile, the Antichrist goes to the literal city of Babylon, which is on the shores of the Euphrates River, some 58 miles out of downtown Baghdad, Iraq. That’s where Babylon was 4500 years ago when Nimrod established that one-world economic, political, governmental system, a prototype for what would be happening in the last days.
- In the last three and a half years of the tribulation period, you have the seven trumpet judgments and the seven vial judgments in front of this backdrop of what is happening in Babylon. And during those seven trumpet judgments, you will see ecological judgment upon the earth. One third of the ocean will turn to blood; one third of the fish in the seas, will be destroyed; one third of the ships on the waves of the sea will be devastated as well. The grass will burn up, the trees will burn up. There’ll be ecological judgment upon the face of the earth during those periods of those trumpet judgments. The fifth one will be an invasion from outer space, as those demons released out of the bottomless pit take on the form, the Bible says of a locust, but it’s a different locust, than I’ve ever seen: face of a man; hair of a woman; teeth of a lion; breastplate like a horse running to battle; a scorpion’s tail. And they come and they will kill one third of the earth’s population. With the one fourth killed in the fourth seal judgment and then in this in sixth trumpet judgment, one third in addition to that killed, that’s half the earth’s population.
- We move then into the last of the judgments, the last seven judgments, the seven vial judgments, which will take place very quickly. The rest of the oceans turn to blood, all the fish in the seas die, the suns gets so hot that it scorches man so that he gnaws his tongue in pain. But he never turns to Christ, he blasphemes God. In chapter 16 and verse 12, we see the river Euphrates dry up. That’s the border between the Middle East and the Far East, making way for the kings of the East to come in. We’re talking about China and India, which makes up almost half of the population of the world, even today. Well, that will be followed by the destruction of Babylon, literal Babylon. That will be the headquarters for an international, economic, political, governmental system, headed up by Antichrist, literal Babylon. Babylon has never been destroyed. Babylon the empire was destroyed; Babylon the city has never been destroyed. Isaiah 13 and 14, Jeremiah 50 and 51, the book of Revelation, chapter 18 verses 10, 17 and 19, says in one hour that great city, the city of Babylon, that international, economic, political, governmental headquarters will be wiped out.
- And then Jesus Christ will step back on the earth. Zechariah 14:4 says Jesus Christ comes back to the Mount of Olives in the city of Jerusalem. At that time, all the armies of the world, Zechariah 14:2, will have gathered at Jerusalem. Revelation 16:13-60 says that the satanic trinity—Satan, Antichrist and the false prophet—will use signs, wonders and miracles to gather all the armies of the world into Jerusalem, basically for the beginning of the campaign of Armageddon, not necessarily the battle, but the campaign.
- Jesus Christ will build His temple. Ezekiel 40-46, talks about the Messiah’s temple that will stand on the Temple Mount during the millennial kingdom. Meanwhile, all the armies of the world will go to the Jezreel Valley, the valley of the mountains, up there where all the mountains surround this valley. Napoleon said that the Jezreel Valley is the most strategic battlefield in all the world. Well, they’ll gather there, Jesus Christ will go up, they will die. He will walk down a valley of blood, which is spoken of in Revelation 14:19-20, and He will go all the way to Petra. Revelation 12:6 says God has prepared a place to protect the Jewish people in the last three and a half years. I believe that is Petra. And He will go there, gather the Jews in, bring them across the Jordan Valley, up the backside of the Mount of Olives, across the Kidron Valley on to the Temple Mount, into the Temple itself. And then establish His kingdom, a thousand year millennial kingdom.
- Now the Antichrist and the false prophet will be thrown into the lake of fire at the end of the battle of Armageddon. Jesus Christ will delegate an angel to take Satan, bind him and cast him into the bottomless pit for a thousand year period of time. That’s where Satan will be during this thousand year millennial kingdom when Jesus Christ will rule and reign on the earth. At the end of that thousand years, Satan will be loosed for a season to ferret out all of those who were professors and not true possessors of Jesus Christ, that came to life during the millennial kingdom.
- They will go one more time to try to surround the city of Jerusalem and to overcome Jesus Christ. At that time God will snatch Satan, take him and throw him into the lake of fire, where the Antichrist and false prophet are. Then a very sad time, the time of the Great White Throne Judgment, when Jesus Christ will be the judge. He will sentence all of those who have rejected Him into the lake of fire, which is the second death. And after that, eternity future: new heaven, new earth and new Jerusalem.
- Ankerberg: Alright. We are going to take a break. And when we come back, we are going to talk about, one of the first questions people ask, what about children that are not believers, what happens to them at the rapture? So folks don’t go away, we’ll be right back and we’ll talk about it.
- Ankerberg: Alright we’re back, and we are talking with Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, and we are looking at Revelation. One of the first questions people ask, what about children that are not believers, but they are not past the age of accountability, so the fact is, what happens to them at the rapture?
- DeYoung: We do not know for sure. There’s no text in God’s word that gives us a definite answer. Many mothers, many grandmothers, ask me that particular question in prophecy Q & A sessions. What I tell them is twofold: number one, King David said, at the death of his young son, “I can go to him, he cannot come to me.” Seemingly, it’s indicating that his little boy went into the heavens and David would be able to go and be with him. So, we have possibly, that assurance, that at the time of the rapture, even in children in the wombs of their mothers, will be taken up. That’s number one. Number two, Matthew 18 says, “Jesus said, Suffer the little children to come unto me.” He loves the little children. He dispatches guardian angels to take care of them. Whatever is going to happen to the little children, Jesus loves them so much, He will protect them. We never have to worry about them.
- Ankerberg: Alright. Second question about the rapture, there are some people that have heard the gospel and they might be on their way to accepting the Lord, but they haven’t done it: the rapture comes, Christians are out of here and that person in left. Will they get a second chance in the tribulation time period?
- DeYoung: I do not believe that there’s a second chance in the tribulation period for someone who has made three steps: first of all, heard the gospel; secondly, understood the gospel; and thirdly, of their own free will rejected the gospel. Second Thessalonians 2:8-12 says that those who have heard the gospel, understood the gospel, and then rejected the gospel, God shall send them a strong delusion, that they might believe a lie, the lie of Satan, that the Antichrist is telling them who he is and what they need to do to gain salvation. They will not have a second chance. But there will be many people, John, who hear the gospel of the kingdom preached by the two witnesses during the tribulation period, by the 144,000 male virgin Jews, as they spread across the world, and in this seven year period of time, preach to every single person on earth. The only ones that will not have an opportunity to receive Jesus Christ are those, who before the rapture, heard, understood and rejected the gospel.
- Ankerberg: Some people say, Jimmy, that the rapture occurs at the middle of the tribulation; some toward the end of the tribulation. Why is it that you believe the Bible is teaching that it precedes the tribulation, that Christians will not be involved in any part of the wrath to come? What’s the scriptural evidence?
- DeYoung: The book of Revelation, chapter 3, verse 10. It’s the letter that was written to the children and the people, all of those in church attendance in the church at Philadelphia. And it says this, “I will keep you from that hour of testing,” that hour of temptation, the tribulation period. It didn’t say, “I will take you out of,” it says, “I will keep you from.” That’s one reason. The word church is used 25 times in the book of Revelation. It’s used 19 times prior to chapter 4, which is the rapture, and it’s used six times after chapter 19, verse 11, which is the return of Christ to the earth. It’s used zero times in the 16 chapters describing in minute detail this seven year period of time called the tribulation. John, either God forgot to put us in the tribulation or we’re not supposed to be there. But there’s another reason that we’re not going to be there. The purpose for the tribulation is three-fold: it’s to win Jewish people to Jesus Christ; it’s to bring an end to Gentile world powers; and it’s to bring an end to the satanic trinity, Satan, Antichrist and false prophet. We will not be here for that period of time. He will protect us from the wrath to come. He will take us away before that wrath begins.
- Ankerberg: Everybody wants to know what happened to the greatest country in world history, the one that is the most powerful, the wealthiest country in the world: America. If America is all of that and we’re going toward end time events, where do you find America, the United States of America, in Bible prophecy?
- DeYoung: John, that is the most asked question in Bible prophecy Q&A. The United States is not mentioned anywhere in prophecy. There’s a reference in Zechariah 14:2, where it says all nations of the world will gather at Jerusalem at the end of the tribulation period before Christ comes back. If indeed, America, after the rapture, is still on this earth and in operation, they will gather with all the nations.
- Now, listen, here’s some sanctified speculation, I believe at the rapture of the church, the backbone of this nation disappears. And a nation on the slippery slope to moral decay, educational decay, military decay, economic decay; a nation that kills babies and lets sodomites play in the street, God will have to judge. I believe America will fall from its pedestal of power down to a third, fourth, eighth, ninth, twelfth rate nation. They’ll be a nothing, a non-entity, by the end of the tribulation period.
- Ankerberg: Alright. People want to know about the Antichrist. And you raised a lot of things. First of all, a lot of people think the Antichrist is going to be Jewish. Should we look for the Antichrist to come from somebody who is of Jewish background?
- DeYoung: No, sir, we should not, because the Antichrist will be a Gentile energized by Satan. When you go to Daniel 7:7, it talks about the ten horns on that fourth Gentile world power. And in verse 24 it says that would be the revived Roman Empire. Out of those ten horns comes a little horn. That’s one of 27 names for the Antichrist. So, he comes out of the Gentile world. When you go to Revelation 13, which is the most detailed passage of scripture on the Antichrist, it talks about and refers back to Daniel 7; it talks about a connection with a leopard, with a bear and with a lion. Those were the images in the vision that Daniel had in chapter 7. That’s talking about the Gentile world. The Antichrist will be a Gentile.
- And the next question is, well, why would the Jews accept him as their Messiah. When I talked about 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12, where it says those who have rejected the love of the truth that they might be saved, God shall send them a strong delusion, so that they believe the lie. Any Jew, during this seven year period of time that trusts in Jesus Christ, will, of course, not accept the Antichrist as the Messiah, but the true Christ, the true Messiah. Every Jew or every Gentile that rejects Jesus Christ during that period of time, God shall send him a strong delusion, so he believes the lie. And the biggest lie is that this Gentile world leader, the Antichrist, is the Jewish Messiah.
- Ankerberg: We’re going to wrap this up, and people around the world as well as here in America, I want them to hear, how do you come to know Jesus as Savior before you meet him as Judge who is going to judge you?
- DeYoung: John, the good news is that Jesus Christ came, came of a miraculous birth, He lived a miraculous life, then He died a treacherous death, but a blessed, miraculous resurrection took place. We have to come to believe that. You, my friend, if you do believe that, you must first admit that you need a Savior; believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ; believe that He came to wash away your sin – that’s what He did when He died on the cross. But when He resurrected from the dead, He proved that He was who He said He was and would do what He said He would do – give you eternal life. And call upon Him, simple little 3 phrased prayer: Jesus, I’m a sinner; Jesus, you save sinners; Jesus, save me right now. You can pray that simple little 3 phrased prayer and come to know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and be with Him forever and ever, in the New Jerusalem and in eternity future.
- Ankerberg: Jimmy, it’s just been fabulous, and your illustrations have been terrific. And I think you’ve helped so many people, who have been listening, to understand what God is trying to communicate to us about the future, that He’s put in the book of Revelation. Thank you very much, and folks, we hope that you’ll take this information to heart and this will be the start of you studying more in-depth, the book of Revelation.