So please, go to KJVRevelation.com, and order your copy today. Now revelation chapter one, verse number one, the Bible reads "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass, and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John". So right there in verse number one we get the purpose of the book, to show unto his servants, things which must shortly come to pass. So who is this book being primarily written to? The saved or the unsaved?-The saved, God's people, His servants. To show THEM the things which must shortly come to pass. And let's not forget, the book is called "the revelation" of Jesus Christ. It is there to reveal things unto his servants. Not to obscure things, not to be difficult to understand. But to make things easy to understand, and to reveal them openly, go to the last verse of chapter number 1. The Bible reads in verse 20 "the mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand and the seven golden candlesticks". Now many people will look at the book of revelation and think that it is a very mysterious book, and a lot of Christians will even shy away from studying the book of revelation, many preachers don't want to preach on the book of revelation, because they say "oh, wow, it's so hard to understand. It's so complicated, it's so mysterious, and it’s so difficult".
But really if you finish verse number 20, you will see the greatness of the book of Revelation because it says yes, "the mystery of the seven stars", but look at the last part there. "The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches". Is it a mystery anymore? No, because he just told us what it was. "And the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches". So the book of revelation does not have to be a mystery, it doesn't have to be a difficult book. Sure there are some things in there that are a little bit tough to understand. But, you know most of the book of Revelation is pretty easy to understand, as long as you are saved. A lot of people just can't understand Revelation because they're not saved. And the Bible says "The natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned".
But if you are saved, if you are a born again child of God, you should have no trouble understanding the basics of the book of Revelation. And I hope you will stay with the whole series, because we are going to go through this whole book verse by verse, we are going to leave no stone unturned. And I think you will realize that a lot of the reason why people are misunderstanding things in the book of Revelation is just because they have a preconceived idea that they are having trouble letting go of. But if you will put away preconceived ideas and just let the Bible speak to you, let THIS BOOK reveal unto us the things which must shortly come to pass, I don't think you will have any trouble understanding it.
So he says in verse 1 "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto His servants the things which must shortly come to pass. And he sent and signified it by His angel, unto His servant John, who bare record of the Word of God". So this book is the Word of God, "and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein, for the time is at hand". So right there in verse three, we see that if you're not reading this book, you're missing out on a blessing. You are lacking information that you may even need in a short time because it is very possible that the events of the book of revelation could take place in our lifetime. And you would much rather know these things, blessed is the one who does know these things going into the period of the end-times, as opposed to the one who doesn't know anything about it, because they have not read the book of revelation on their own, and they have not gone to a church that would preach unto them the book of Revelation that they might hear these things preached from the pulpit. Look at verse 4 "John to the seven churches which are in Asia. Grace be unto you and peace, from Him which is and which was and which is to come, and from the seven spirits which are before His throne".
So right here we see that the book is being addressed by John unto seven churches which fit in perfectly with the fact that the book of revelation is written unto God's people, unto His servants, unto the churches. See a lot of people look at revelation as being a warning to the unsaved. And most people's belief is that we will not be here for most of the events in revelation. I mean, you know "90 per cent of the book of Revelation, we are not even going to be here". Well then why would He write the whole book to show unto us the things which must shortly come to pass? Now, true, there are parts of the book of revelation where God is pouring out His wrath while we are already gone. But very much of the book of revelation involves periods of time where we are on this earth, and we WILL face the things that are mentioned. And so the book is being written unto 7 churches which are in Asia. Now these 7 churches which are in Asia are listed a little bit further down in the passage in verse 11, where He talks about Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. Let me emphasis to you that these were real, literal churches that existed at the time the book was written. Now, these churches no longer exist today.
But at the time, these were Bible believing churches that were located in Asia. And when the Bible says Asia there, it is referring to what we call today "Asia minor", which is the modern day country of Turkey. And when you look at the epistle written unto the Thessalonians for example, Paul commands that the Epistle unto the Thessalonians would be read unto the church at Laodicea, and that the epistle that is written unto Laodicea, would be read unto the church at Thessalonica. And of course, we know that the church at Ephesus is a literal church because we have the whole book of Ephesians written unto the church of Ephesus. And so these are literal congregations of believers, and John is sending out the book of Revelation, the whole book, he is sending to each of these seven churches. You say "why would he send out the book to 7 different churches? Why write the book seven times, why not just write it out once and send it out?" Well go to the very end of Revelation, to chapter 22 and I will show you why I believe it was sent unto 7 churches.
One of the reasons that is, part of the reason is that in chapters 2 and 3, he has a personalized message for each of the 7 churches. But also if you look at chapter 22 verse 18, the Bible says "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book. If any man shall add unto these things, God shall unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and of the Holy city, and from the things which are written in this book". So we have a very serious curse put on anyone who would tamper with the contents of the book of revelation. Anyone that would add to the words, or take away from the words, is doomed and damned and cursed, in the last chapter. You see it was very important to God, and very important to the apostle John that this book arrived at the destination unaltered and intact. Now, one of the ways that God could assure that the book would not be tampered with was by making seven copies.
Because if you send out seven copies to seven different churches, let's say one of them gets intercepted and tampered with, or someone changes something, or adds something, or takes away something. Well, you have still got six other copies and when we see six copies that match up, and then one copy that is different, we will be able to tell right away which one is the fraud, right? And so that's how we know by the way that the Bible that we have today in 2013 is the same as it was when it was originally written. Because believe me, there have been a lot of people out there who have attempted to corrupt the Word of God and to change the Word of God. And there are people out there today who will say "well, what you have today with the Bible is nothing like what they had back then, because it has been copied so many times, and it has been translated, and... it's not anything like the originals". That's what they will say.
But here is the great thing about the Bible. When the Bible was originally written, it was always copied into many copies right away. And it was always translated immediately into many different languages. And so to say that all of those copies have been changed would be ridiculous, okay? Like for example, let's say the newspaper came out today. You know, how many copies of the "Arizona Republic" were printed today? I don't know, but I'm sure it was many thousands of copies of that newspaper, right? Well, what if I had a copy of that newspaper and ten years from now, because maybe something really big happened today, and so I kept that newspaper. You know, sometimes people keep a newspaper that says "Hitler invades Poland", and they will keep that of a memorial of a major event in human history, or maybe the newspaper of the moon landing, or the newspaper of John F Kennedy being assassinated. People will save those newspapers. What if somebody saved that newspaper, and many many years later, somebody said "hey that newspaper has been changed. That newspaper is a fraud. That newspaper is nothing like the original newspaper".
It would be very easy to tell whether it was a fraud or not, because there are so many copies of that newspaper that were made, and there were probably lots of people that saved that newspaper because it was such a big monumental event. And what we would do is we would go and we would look at other people's copies wouldn't we? I mean isn't this just the logical thing you would do? You would go and check other people's copies, and make sure that they said the same thing as that copy, and you would say "there is no way that all of these have been changed! They are held by different people in different parts of the city that had no connection with each other, and they are all saying the same thing, therefore it's accurate". Now if we found ONE that said something different, then all the other copies of that newspaper that had been saved, we wouldn't assume that the majority was the fraud, we would assume that that one had been altered. Well it is the same thing with the Bible. Although there have been people throughout history that have put out corrupted Biblical text, corrupted manuscripts, altered and changed things as God warned that people would do... We still can look at the Majority Text.
We can still look at the vast majority of evidence, what is known as the "Textus Receptus" or the "Received Text" of the original Greek and Hebrew. No we don't have the exact original manuscripts, but we have copies of copies of copies in all different parts of the world, in all different languages dating back thousands of years, or many hundreds of years, and we can compare them. And when we see that they are all saying the same thing, we are going to go with that majority received text, not with the outlier. Okay? And that is why we know that the Bible that we have today is the same as when it was originally written. And of course we know and believe that Bible is the Word of God, and that every word of God IS pure today, just as it was when it was written down.
So that's one of the reasons why it was sent out to the seven churches. To assure us today, that what we are reading in the book of revelation is accurate today. Because it was right away copied into 7 copies, and I guarantee you that it was immediately copied into many other copies and many other languages right away. And that's what we see in verse 4, he is writing to the seven churches which are in Asia, "grace be unto you and peace, from Him which is and which was, and which is to come, and from the seven spirits which are before His throne and from Jesus Christ."
Now, what is this about the 7 spirits which are before His throne? Well look if you would at revelation 3:1, this is Jesus Christ speaking. Unto the Angel of the church in Sardis, write, these things saith He that hath the seven spirits of God and the seven stars". So the Bible has Jesus there saying that He has the 7 spirits of God. Go back to Isaiah 11, and we will see the 7 spirits of God, in Isaiah chapter 11 in reference to the Lord Jesus Christ having those 7 spirits. And the 7 spirits of God are something that is mentioned throughout the book of Revelation. But look if you would at Isaiah chapter 11 verse 1 "and there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots, and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord. And I don't know if you were counting there, but we have basically 7 spirits listed. Let's count them right now, in verse 2. The spirit of the Lord(1), the spirit of wisdom(2), the spirit of understanding(3), the spirit of counsel(4), the spirit of might(5), the spirit of knowledge(6), and the spirit of the fear of the Lord(7).
So there we go, the 7 spirits of God there listed in Isaiah chapter 11, about whom? In verse 1 it said there would come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots and of course the branch is something that Jesus Christ is called. We know Jesus Christ came from the seed of David, David is the son of Jesse, that's what that is referring to. So back to revelation chapter 1, the Bible says "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth, unto him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father, to him be glory and dominion fro ever and ever, amen". How is anyone worthy to be saved? How is anyone worthy to inherit eternal life and to go to heaven? Many people will teach that it is by being a good person and by living a good life. The Bible says "as it is written, there is none righteous, no not one". Jesus said "there is none that doeth good but one, and that is God". "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" the Bible says. But, the reason that we are able to be accepted in the beloved, the reason that we are able to be joint heirs with Jesus Christ, the reason that we are able to inherit eternal life and be saved from all of the horrible plagues that are in the book of Revelation is that we have been washed from our sins in His own blood. It's the blood of Jesus Christ His son that cleanses us from all sin. And the Bible says that not only has he washed us from our sins in his own blood.
But verse 6 says "he hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father, to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever, amen". So we are kings and priests, if we are washed in the blood, the Bible teaches, we are a chosen generation, we are a royal priesthood, and I will get to that a little later on in the book of Revelation in much more detail. But he says there that we're kings and priests unto God and His Father. Now let me ask you something. Are God and Jesus' Father two different people? It's the same person, right? You have got to be careful when you study the Bible. A lot of times the word "and" is referring to two different things is, and a lot of times the word "and" is referring to the same thing restated in a different way. And so when it says God "and" the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for example elsewhere in the NT, we are talking about the same person. Now at the end of verse 6, there is an amen.
An amen is a word that is used in closing in the Bible. That's why a lot of times when we pray we close out our prayer by saying Amen. Well out of the 27 books of the NT- I don't have it in my notes- but I believe that 24 of the 27 book end with the word Amen. So when we see the word Amen in verse 6, basically we have come to the end of the introduction of Revelation. Verses 1 through 6 are introductory, and then he says Amen. Then in verse 7 we get into the key verse of Revelation. This is the quintessential verse that basically tells us what the whole books focus is. What is the book of Revelation about? And notice, there is an "amen" before verse 7, and an "amen" after verse 7. I mean that one statement just stands alone between “amens” as the key verse of Revelation. MEMORISE this verse, this is the key verse. "Behold he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him, and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him, even so, amen".
So the Key themes of the book of Revelation are all contained in that verse. First of all, the second coming of Jesus Christ is the major theme of the Book of Revelation. And also God's judgment upon the wicked is a major theme of the book of Revelation is it not? I mean those are the two most important themes of the book of Revelation: the second coming of Jesus Christ, and God's judgment upon the wicked. That's why it says all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Wailing is basically like, crying out in sorrow and pain and anguish. Like, for example, when the Bible talks about hell. It says there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. You know, you can just hear, basically, the screams and the yelling of the damned when you hear the term "wailing". Now, let's look at Acts chapter 1. I am going to spend a little time on verse 7 here, because it is the key verse of the book of Revelation. Let me say this. Understand Revelation 1:7, and you will understand the book of Revelation. FAIL to understand Revelation; you will fail to understand the book of Revelation. You might as well just quit now. If you can't get this verse right, you are going to go into the book of Revelation with the completely wrong view. So that's why we need to take some time and establish this.
What does verse 7 teach? It says that Jesus Christ is coming with clouds. And that "every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him, and all kindred of the earth shall wail because of him, even so amen". Now in Acts chapter one, we're going to see part of why this is important. This is the ascension of Jesus Christ. Now, what we call the first coming of Jesus Christ, or the first advent of Jesus Christ, is of course when he was born in Bethlehem's manger, approximately 2000 years ago. That was when Jesus Christ came unto this earth. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God. Even to them that believe on his name. And when Jesus came to this earth 2000 years ago, he died on the cross, he was buried, and 3 days later, he rose again from the dead, having conquered death and hell, and Jesus Christ is assembled together with his apostles in Acts chapter one. And he is about to ascend up to heaven where he is going to be seated at the right hand of the Father.
And look what the Bible says in verse 9, "And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld"- what does "beheld" mean?-While they watched, while they looked on It says "while they beheld, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their"- what? "Sight". So do you notice how God is emphasizing the fact that they were watching him, and seeing him as he went up in a what?-A cloud. So when he ascended up from this earth, he went up in a cloud, they beheld, he is in their sight, and then it says in verse 10 "while they looked steadfastly toward heaven", making it very clear that they are very steadfastly watching him go up into the cloud. "While they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel"- white clothing- "which also said, ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner, as ye have seen him go into heaven".
There you go. There's the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. "He will come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven". Again emphasizing that they have seen him go, so what is the like manner? People are watching, people see him, and he goes up in a cloud, he is coming back in a cloud. They watched him go up, and every eye shall see him, when he comes again, when he returns again. Now, go to Mathew chapter 24. Mathew chapter 24 because I want to show you other scriptures in the NT, that deal with Jesus Christ coming in the clouds, coming with clouds as it said in Revelation 1:7. And again, very important that you understand this, because the vast majority of Christians today have verse 7 wrong, that's why they have most of the book of Revelation wrong. But look if you would at Mathew 24. Let me show you verse 21 first of all. The Bible says in verse 21 "for then shall be great tribulation, such as was not from the beginning of the world to this time, no nor ever shall be". So in verse 21, Jesus Christ makes reference to the great tribulation which is something that is going to be covered in the book of Revelation. It is something that we have probably all heard of.
But look at verse 29. The Bible reads in verse 1, "Immediately AFTER the tribulation of those days, shall the sun be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken". Now right there in verse 29, the Bible tells us of events that will take place AFTER the great tribulation. And these are very major events, wouldn't you say? The sun being darkened(1), the moon not giving her light(2), and the stars falling from heaven(3)… Not only are these major cataclysmic events, but they are events that show up in OT scripture over and over again. Book of Isaiah, book of Joel, over and over again you will see reference made to the sun and moon being darkened, and it is always associated with the day of the Lord, the Bible talks about the day of the Lord, being a time when the sun and moon are darkened. And it also mentions the stars falling here in verse 29, look at verse 30. "And THEN shall appear the sign of the son of man in Heaven".
So we see a chronology of events here. First is the great tribulation(1). Immediately after the tribulation, the sun and moon and stars are darkened(2), and THEN we see after that- notice the words "and then" in verse 30... We see the son of man appearing in heaven(3). Okay, now who is the son of man? Well 89 times in the NT, Jesus Christ called himself the son of man. And so the Bible says basically that Jesus will come in heaven. It says "then shall the sign of the son of man in heaven..." "And then shall all the tribes of the earth MOURN". Now does that remind you of the wailing? Wailing and mourning are synonymous. "Then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory". Now doesn't this match up exactly with Revelation 1:7? They're going to see the son of man coming in the clouds, it's in the clouds, they are going to see him, they are going to be wailing, and they are going to be mourning. I mean it's identical. And it says "and he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds from one end of heaven to the other". Now, who are the elect? Well if you study the NT, just look up every time the word "elect" is used, and over and over again the word elect always is referring to those that are saved, every time.
I mean the Bible says in Romans 8, in the famous passage, "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. If God be for us, who can be against us?” Look, if you are justified, if you are SAVED, you are the elect. He says "there is neither Jew nor gentile, there is neither bond nor free". He says "put on therefore, as the elect of God... bowels and mercies" and so forth. So over and over again, you look up the word "elect", and it is very clearly always referring to the saved, whether they be Jew of gentile, whether they be bond or free. Some will try to say "the elect is referring to the nation of Israel". You know, the entire NT is filled with references to the elect. Just look them up. They're all referring to the saved. Not the nation of Israel. They are always referring to believers. So he says here, that Jesus Christ, after the tribulation, and after the sun and moon are darkened there, is going to come in the clouds, a trumpet is going to sound, and he is going to gather up the saved, okay? Have you got that?
Go to Mark 13. Mark chapter 13. And in Mark chapter 13 we find a parallel passage that teaches the same thing as Mathew 24. Look at verse 24 of Mark 13. It says "but in those days, after that tribulation(1), the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken(2), and THEN shall they see the son of man coming in the clouds(3) with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect, or the saved, as we saw, from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth, to the uttermost part of heaven. Now learn a parable of the fig tree"... And on and on, he talks about the fig tree. Go to Luke 21. Luke 21 is another parallel passage with these 2, Luke chapter number 21. Now I don't think that there is any disagreement amongst anyone that is looking at this, that Mark 13, Mathew 24 and Revelation 1:7 are all talking about the same event, right? Because we have got Jesus coming in the clouds. We have got the people weeping and wailing because of him, the tribes of the earth that is.
Look at Luke 21. The Bible says in verse 25, "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars", sound familiar? "and upon the earth, distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring." Let me ask you this, is distress, and in verse 26 "men's hearts failing them for fear", in line with the wailing and the mourning that we saw in the other passages?-Absolutely. "Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth. For the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” So they're not afraid of what has already happened. They are afraid of what is ABOUT to happen. And it says "and THEN", verse 27, "shall they see the son of man coming in the cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh". So notice, in Mathew 24, and Mark 13, he said the elect are gathered from one end of heaven to the other: from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. Here, instead of saying the elect are gathered, he says "YOUR redemption draweth nigh; YOU lift up your heads, for YOUR redemption draweth nigh". So the elect being gathered IS our redemption. Is that not what the Bible says? Our redemption is equivalent to the elect being gathered, okay?
Everybody got that? Now if you would, flip over to 1st Thessalonians chapter 4. Again, no question in people's minds that Mathew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 are all referring to the same quintessential event as Revelation 1:7, which is the second coming of Jesus Christ. But here's where false doctrine comes in. There are those out there that believe in what's called a "pre-tribulational" rapture. They believe that the rapture takes place before the tribulation. And when I say rapture, "rapture" is not a word that is used in the Bible, but it is a biblical concept. When people say: "the rapture", what they are referring to, is when we are caught up together to be with Christ in the clouds. When we are gathered together to be with Jesus Christ in the clouds, that is known as the rapture. Because the rapture means "the catching away" or "the catching up", that is where that term comes from. And so I am going to use the term "rapture", even though it is not a term that the Bible specifically uses, just to make myself understood, so that people will know what I am talking about. Okay, so let's look at the Bible's terminology for this event. 1st Thessalonians chapter 4 is the key rapture passage. And no-one will disagree that 1st Thessalonians 4 is dealing with the rapture.
Here is where the disagreement comes in. The people who believe in a pre-tribulation rapture will try to separate THIS coming in the clouds, from the coming in the clouds that we saw in Revelation 1:7, Mathew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. And they will try to say "well this is a different event, that happens before the tribulation, don't confuse it". And here is what they will say. "This is not the second coming of Christ". I mean those who believe in a pre-trib rapture will point at 1st Thessalonians 4, and say "this is not the second coming of Christ", they will say "the pre-tribulation rapture and the second coming of Christ are two different things". They will say Mathew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, Revelation 1:7, Acts 1... Yes, those are all talking about the second coming of Christ!" But they say "1st Thessalonians 4 is a separate event, it's a pre-tribulation rapture". Let's read it, and I will let you be the judge for yourselves. If this passage is teaching a separate event that takes place before the tribulation, read the Bible for yourself. Verse 13: "But I would not have you to be ignorant brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, them also which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord"... oh, oh, what was that? "We which are alive and remain unto" what?-"The coming of the Lord.”
Let me just back up and read that again. "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the COMING OF THE LORD.” Now is it just me, or is this event that we are reading about in 1st Thessalonians 4 called "the coming of the Lord"? Is there any question about that? Okay. But yet people will insist on saying, "this is not the second coming". And these theologians and these scholars will tell you, "we must differentiate between the rapture in 1st Thessalonians 4, and the second coming of Christ.” But wait a minute, what is this called?-"The coming", right? So if it's not the second coming, tell me which coming is it? Is it the first coming? Are they saying that Jesus Christ never came the first time? Well that's blasphemy. Because the Bible says that anybody who does not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is a deceiver and an antichrist. So look, don't tell me Jesus did not come the first time. Yes he did come the first time. That makes this the second coming of Jesus Christ. Well, I mean, unless you want to say it's the third coming.
But that's not what their saying. They just don't want to count this. Their just like "let's just forget about that whole "coming" thing. This is a pre-trib rapture, because we said so". But it says right there, it's the coming of the Lord. So either this is "Coming 1.5", or this is the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, because it says this is the coming of our Lord". Let's keep reading. It says "we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord". And look, don't let... I'm not going to let anybody wiggle out of this one. (Impersonates false teachers) "Welllll......” NO! Is it the second coming or not!? And you say "what does it matter? You are just playing word games". This is not a game. Do I look like I am playing a game right now? This is the second coming of Jesus Christ, and it is very important that we establish that when the Bible talks about Jesus Christ coming again, that is what it is talking about. And don't try to wiggle out of it. "Wellll, that's not what we meant". I know what you meant. You meant that this is not counting as the coming of Christ, but I am going to go with what the Bible says. So he says here, that "we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep", meaning we're not going to come before them which are asleep.
So let me ask you this, is the rapture going to take place before the dead in Christ rise? No. That's why he says "for the Lord himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first(1). THEN we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with him in the clouds(2), to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words". Now why does he say to comfort one another with these words? The comfort is that you are going to see your loved ones again. Because earlier in the passage he said in verse 13, "I would not have you to be ignorant brethren concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as them which have no hope". The purpose of him writing this is that people had lost loved ones, and they're sorrowful... of course everyone that loses a loved one is sorrowful.
But he is giving them hope saying, "You don't have to mourn like those who have no hope, because we know that if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so those which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him". He is saying "you are going to be reunited with your loved one once again, wherefore comfort one another with these words". What is the comfort?-Being reunited. That's why this is a great passage at funerals, where we can comfort one another with these words. And I have seen it often used at funerals. So what do we see in this passage? Do we see Christ coming in the clouds? Well we know he is coming, because he used the phrase "the coming of the Lord" in verse 15. It says in verse 17 "then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up"- and remember the term "caught up" is where the word rapture comes from- "caught up together with them in the clouds". So do we have Christ coming? Yes. Do we have the clouds? Yes. Do we have the trumpet? Did we have a trumpet in Mathew 24? Yes, same thing.
Okay, so here is my question. What is different about this event? Let me ask you this. I just read for you 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18. Did it mention anything about this being before the tribulation? Did it mention anything about the timing of this event? No, it mentioned nothing. Now look at chapter 5 verse 1. "But of the times and the seasons brethren, you have no need that I write unto you"- yeah, I noticed, because he didn't give us the timing, in chapter 4. He said "Of the times and the seasons brethren, you have no need that I write unto you, for yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night". So why does he not have to tell us the timing of the rapture in verse 4?-Because we already know that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. So why does knowing that the day of the Lord cometh as a thief in the night... Why does that make us not have to know the timing of the rapture? Because here is the thing: the timing of the day of the Lord is the same as the timing of the rapture, obviously.
Because, that's the only way this makes sense, to say "well you don't need me to tell you about the timing of these events, because we already know that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night, because we already know basically, the timing of the day of the Lord, that means we already know the timing of the rapture, because the timing of the rapture, and the timing of the day of the Lord, are the same timing. They both come as a thief in the night. And then it says "when they shall say peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape". So when we look at this passage, what do we see? We basically see the same exact elements that we saw in all the other passages about the other passages about the second coming of Christ. We saw that basically Jesus coming in the clouds, a trumpet sounding, we saw the gathering of the elect, or us being caught up together with him in the air, and then the only thing that you might look at this and say well, "the one thing that is missing is the sun and moon being darkened". Yeah, but he says in chapter 5, verse 2, "the day of the Lord", in reference to what he just talked about in 1st Thessalonians 4. He says "you already know the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night".
Okay. What is the day of the Lord always characterized by, every time that it is mentioned?-Sun and moon being darkened. So there is your sun and moon being darkened in this passage. See how this passage matches exactly? Have we seen anything yet that says it is before the tribulation? No. And you say "okay, where is the weeping and wailing? Where is the mourning?" Okay, "for when they shall say peace and safety, then" What? -"Sudden destruction cometh upon them. As travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape". There you go. And then it says this. (Sarcastically) "But ye brethren, don't worry, because you're going to be gone looooooong before this happens, you are going to be gone waaaaaaaaaaay before in the pre-trib rapture". Is that what it says in verse 4?-No! It says "but ye brethren are not in darkness that that day should overtake YOU as a thief". Now does that say that that day is not going to overtake you at all? (Sarcastically->) "You are not even going to be there. This day isn't even going to happen to you". No! He says "you are not in darkness that the day should overtake you as a THIEF". The day will overtake you, but not as a thief. Why not? Because it says, we are all the children of the light, and the children of the day. "We are not of the night, nor of darkness", verse 6 "therefore let us not sleep as do others, but let us watch and be sober". He is saying wake up, be alert, be watching, and if you're watching, this day will not overtake you as a thief. It will not take you unawares. It will not take you by surprise. Will you be there? Yes. You will be there, but it will not surprise you.
Because when you see these things begin to come to pass, he said then look up; lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh, you will see this coming. Now flip back quickly to Mathew 24. And we will move on to something else. But before we do, let me just, while you are turning to Mathew 24, 2nd Thessalonians 2:1 says "Now we beseech you brethren, by the COMING of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him", so again in 2nd Thessalonians in 2:1", the coming of Jesus Christ is associated with our gathering together unto him. You say "well Pastor Anderson, it said the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, AND our gathering together unto him, that's two different things". Oh, sort of like "God and the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, right? Two different people, right? Didn't we cover that earlier in the sermon? And sort of like "looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our saviour Jesus Christ". Two different things, or two of the same? very easy to tell.
But in Mathew 24, right after the subject of after the tribulation Christ coming in the clouds, the trumpet sounding, the elect being gathered, he gives the parable of the fig tree. He says "learn the parable of the fig tree", verse 32, "when his branch is yet tender and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh. So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things"... See? He is saying when YOU 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". Meaning that when you see them begin to come to pass, that generation that sees the beginning of this, is not going to pass until it's finished.
He says "heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels of heaven, but my Father only". Now look, what day... He says "of that day". If I said to you, "that day", wouldn't your next question be "which day?" It has to be something that I talked about previously or it wouldn't make any sense to say "that day". He said "But of THAT day and hour knoweth no man". What day and hour are we talking about? The day that we just talked about when the sun and moon are darkened and Jesus Christ will come in the clouds and gather the elect. Now here is what's funny. People will take the verse "of that day and hour knoweth no man" and say that, that means that Jesus can come at any moment; because, "no man knoweth the day or the hour". But then when you take them to Mathew 24:29, where it is happening after the tribulation, they will say "oh that's not about the rapture, because that's after the tribulation, that can't be about the rapture, because we KNOW that the rapture is before the tribulation". Okay, and then you say, "Well, how do you know Jesus can come back at any moment?" And they will say "well, because no man knoweth the day or the hour. And you are like "well, where does the Bible say that?" "Oh, right here in Mathew 24:36". "Wait a minute; I thought Mathew 24 is not about the rapture?" "Oh no, verse 26 is about the rapture". "Well what about verse 29?" "Oh that's not about the rapture".
I mean, see how the logic falls apart, it makes no sense. Is this passage about the rapture or not? See how you can just find somebody that can pick and choose of the verse, and rip it out of context, and say... and it sounds believable. "HEY! The bible says that no man knoweth the day or the hour of Jesus Christ's coming! It could happen tonight!" "Amen... amen... amen..." But here he said it's after the tribulation. Now look, doesn't it make sense to say we don't know the day or the hour, but we know it's after the tribulation? I mean look, I know that the rapture or the coming of Christ in the clouds happens after the tribulation, I know that, because that's what the Bible says. But do I know the day or the hour? Could I tell you the date? Could I tell you the year? I mean this could happen a hundred years from now, this could happen five years from now. I have no idea when this could happen.
But I do know one thing; it's after the tribulation because that is what Jesus said. Now Go to Revelation 6 quickly and then we will finish up in Revelation chapter 1. And I am spending a lot of time on the coming of Christ in the clouds, because, like I said. Revelation 1:7 IS the key verse. And if you are going to be mixed up about the subject matter of Revelation 1:7, you are going to be mixed up for the rest of the book. You are not going to understand the rest of the book. And you know what? That's why so many people don't understand the book of Revelation. Because this pre-trib rapture, this false doctrine has so confused people, that they look at the book of Revelation, they try to make it fit, it doesn't fit. They are trying to jam that square peg into the round hole. They throw up their hands. They say "oh man, that's a complicated book, I can't figure it out". Throw that out and you will be able to understand this book.
Look at Revelation 6 where the sun and moon are darkened. And it says in verse 12 "And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood, and the stars of heaven fell on the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs when she is shaken of a mighty wind". And, I will go over this in great detail once we get to these chapters, once we get to chapter 6. But let me just point out to you, that this is the sun and moon being darkened, and this is the stars falling in Revelation 6. And this is the only time in the book of Revelation where you will find sun and moon darkened and stars falling. The only time! So obviously this is the event that we read about in Mathew 24. This is the event we read about in Mark 13 of sun, moon and stars being darkened, and stars actually falling, okay? So that shows that with the opening of the sixth seal, that is what the Bible refers to as "after the tribulation". That means that everything before the sixth seal is the tribulation, okay? That means everything that comes after the sun and moon are darkened is not the tribulation. That is God pouring out His wrath. And God pouring out His wrath is very different than the tribulation.
The tribulation does not go the entire 7 years of the events that are, the main events of Revelation cover a period of 7 years- often called "Daniel's seventieth week". The tribulation does not cover that whole period. The tribulation only covers a little more than half of that period. Then sun and moon are darkened, Christ comes in the clouds, THEN he pours out His wrath in the remaining period. And you know, you have got to just stay with the series. I am going to prove everything from the book of Revelation beyond a shadow of a doubt. If you stay with this series, there will be no doubt in your mind that this is the way things play out, because the Bible is very clear, we are going to compare scripture with scripture. We are going to leave no stone unturned. And so on and so forth. And you say "oh, Mathew 24 is talking to the Jews". We are going to cover all that. I mean, I am going to put that to bed, and so back to Revelation chapter 1.
Let's go to the next verse. After the key verse, verse 7. The Bible reads "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending saith the Lord, which is, and which was and which is to come, the Almighty". Now let me point out, who is it that is saying "I am the Alpha and Omega, I am the beginning and the end, I am the Almighty". Who is talking here? Well jump down if you would to verse number 17, it says "and when I saw Him, I fell at his feet as dead, and he laid his right hand upon me saying unto me, fear not, I am the first and the last. I am he that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive forevermore, amen, and have the keys of hell and of death". Who is talking there? Is that God the father, or is that the son, God the Son speaking? That's the son. Because, wasn't it the son who "was dead, and is now alive forevermore"? Look, the son died and was buried and rose again. And it is Jesus Christ the son of God who says "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the LORD, which is and which was and which is to come, the Almighty". So look, Jesus Christ is being called here, "the Almighty". He is also being called "the first and the last, and the beginning and the ending". The "Alpha and Omega"... Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. He is basically saying A to Z. I am the beginning, I am the end.
Now look, I have talked to a lot of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, when I am out knocking doors, and they don't believe that Jesus Christ is God. They say "well he is the son of God", and they say he is "a God". And go to Isaiah 9:6. In their version, they have a false Bible version called the New World Translation. And in this false corrupted Bible version, they have changed the Bible where in John 1:1 it says "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God", and it says "the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory as of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth". They changed that to where it says "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was A GOD". Let me tell you something. There is Only One God. So this whole thing that saying that Jesus is "A god", is teaching multiple gods, it's a false doctrine. I often take Jehovah’s Witnesses to Isaiah 9:6, because their Bible makes a lot of corruptions, but it does not change Isaiah 9:6, I like to take them to Isaiah 9:6 where it says "for unto us a child was born, and unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace". And I show them right there, Jesus Christ is called "the Mighty God".
Go back to Revelation 1. And they say "well..." you know they look at it for a minute, and they just don't want to accept the truth. Their heart resists the Holy Ghost speaking through His word. And they say "well... Jesus is the "Mighty God", but he is not the "Almighty God". As if there is a difference. There is Only One God, my friend. But they try to make a distinction. But what is Jesus calling himself at the end of Revelation 1:8?-"The Almighty". Jesus Christ speaking says that he is the Almighty. It says in verse number 9, "I John, who also am your brother and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the Isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ". So according to verse 9 there, John is their companion in tribulation. Now, what is tribulation? Isn't tribulation a pretty important word, when we are dealing with end times Bible Prophecy? People talk a lot about the tribulation. The great tribulation, we saw it in Mathew 24. And remember the false doctrine that I am dealing with tonight, is the false doctrine of a pre-tribulation rapture. And people say "God will not allow His people to go through the tribulation. They will be raptured before the tribulation because God will not allow His wrath to be poured out on His own people", that's what they will say. Is that consistent with what we see in verse 9?
The first time tribulation is used in the book of Revelation is to talk about a saved child of God, who is serving God, going through tribulation. Now, flip over quickly to Mathew 13, I am going to show you the first time the word tribulation is ever used in the NT. Mathew chapter 13, this is Jesus Christ speaking. And I often find that if there is a word in the Bible, and you want to know the definition of it, usually if you go to the first time that word is used... God helps to define that word. And so look at the first time the NT uses the word "tribulation". This is the parable of the sower. And the Bible is talking about different people who hear the word of God, it says in verse 20, "But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it. Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth", or endureth "for a while. For when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended". So what is causing tribulation in the life of this particular believer? It's persecution because of the word of God, okay? So look, what about John in Revelation 1:7? He said "I am your companion in tribulation", and then he mentions that he is in the isle of Patmos for what?-For the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. He is being punished, by being imprisoned on the isle of Patmos because of serving God, and he is saying "that is my tribulation that I am going through".
Look, look up every time that the word tribulation is used in the NT. 90 per cent of the time; it is God's people going through tribulation; because tribulation is usually referring to persecution or affliction. And most of the time it happens because of the Word. The Bible says "yea, and ALL that will live godly in Christ Jesus, SHALL suffer persecution". Let me ask you this: is "tribulation" in Revelation 1:9 referring to the wrath of God being poured out upon John? So this idea that "well, tribulation, that's God's wrath", you know, that is just what THEY say it is, but is that really biblical? Does tribulation have to be God's wrath? Tribulation just means trouble, persecution, affliction. Now look, tribulation could be referring in other places to God afflicting someone. But 9 times out of 10 it's man afflicting someone, when the word tribulation is used, okay?
And here we see that John is our companion in tribulation. Now he says "I John, who also am your brother", who is he talking to when he says "your brother"? Is he not talking to the reader? Blessed is he that readeth. And who is the reader? Remember the book is to show unto HIS SERVANTS, things which must shortly come to pass. You know what that tells me? That tells me that if you are a servant of Jesus Christ, you are going through tribulation. And people think that they can serve Jesus Christ and live for God, and do great things for God, and not be persecuted, they're wrong, because the Bible says "yea and ALL that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution". It doesn't say most. "Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing had happened unto you". Because let me tell you something. EVERY servant of God is going to go through tribulation in their life. That is what it means to be a servant of God. You WILL be persecuted. You WILL suffer. You WILL be afflicted. But be thou faithful unto death, and He will give you a crown of life, we will talk about that in the next chapter. But he says here, that John is our companion in tribulation and the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, verse 10 "I was in the spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice AS of a trumpet", so did he hear a trumpet? No. But he heard a voice like a trumpet. What does that mean?
Well in Isaiah 58:1, the Bible says "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet". And what he is saying there, when he says a voice like a trumpet, he is saying a very loud voice, because trumpets are very loud. So a voice like a trumpet is a very loud voice. And the voice said "I am Alpha and Omega", verse 11, "the first and the last, and what thou seest write in a book, and send it unto the 7 churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks one like unto the Son of man", who is the Son of man? Jesus. He is in the midst of the candlesticks. What did verse 20 say the candlesticks are?-The seven churches at the end of verse 20. He is "clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were as a flame of fire". What a fearful sight-White hair, white skin, flaming fire eyes.
It says in verse number 15 "His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters". I mean when he speaks, it sounds like the rushing of the waves crashing in. And it says "He had in his right hand seven stars", what are the seven stars? The angels of the seven churches, we will get to that in chapters 2 and 3. And it says "And out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword", what is that sword that is coming out of his mouth? The Bible says "For the word of God is quick and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thought and intents of the heart", referring to the word of God there with that two-edged sword. And it says "his countenance", or his face, "was as the sun shineth in his strength". His brightness is so bright; it's like looking into the sun. And you know that if you try to look into the sun- first of all, kids don't do it; if you try you are going to go blind, okay? Don't try this at home. But you know, if you look into the sun, you can't. And if you do it will blind you. And so he is saying that looking upon him was like looking into the sun.
And it says "when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead". You can see why. You would just collapse. "And he laid his right hand upon me, saying fear not, I am the first and the last. I am he that liveth, and was dead, and behold I am alive forevermore", referring to the death, burial and resurrection, "amen, and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; the mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks.
The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches. And the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches". Now in verse 19 there we see an outline in the book of Revelation where he tells him "write the things which thou hast seen". Basically, that's everything that he has seen up unto this point right? Everything he saw up unto this point in chapter one and he already wrote it down for us. And then he says "the things which are", that's present day events. And then he says "the things which shall be hereafter". Well, look at chapter 4 quickly, and in chapter 4 verse 1, it says "After this I looked and behold, a door was opened in Heaven, and the first voice which I heard was as I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me, which said come up hither and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter".
So the Bible is real clear that the "hereafter" phase begins in Revelation 4:1. So the things that are hereafter are shown in Revelation 4:1; the things that he has already seen is everything up to that point in chapter 1. That means that chapters 2 and 3 are the things which are, meaning present day events, which makes sense, because chapters 2 and 3 are letters to 7 churches talking about the trials and the struggles that they were going through at that time, presently. Now many people will mistakenly teach that chapters 2 and 3 are about future events.
Now, although there are things in chapter 2 and 3 that symbolize future events, no question about that. He does make reference to His second coming; he makes reference to things that can be tied in with future events symbolically. But the primary application is that they are the things that are. This is not "giving us an outline of the different church ages", and I will deal with that more in chapters 2 and 3. But what he is giving us is messages to things that were happening at that time; messages to the churches at that time. And so, all that to say this: the book of Revelation can be easily understood if you are saved, and if you get rid of false doctrine and preconceived ideas. Stay with us through the rest of the series here. Because if you'll listen to all of these, you will know the book of Revelation very well, if you get through all 22 sermons. Let's bow our heads and have a word of Prayer.
Father we thank you so much for your Word. And we thank you so much for the power of your word. Thank you for revealing these things to us and not hiding them for us. Thank you for making it so clear and for explaining it to us. Help us to be diligent and to study your word, and in Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
PW: Thank you so much for watching part one of the Book of Revelation, please support us today, and go to Kjvrevelation.com, and order your copy today.