The Early Church Jesus Christ Revelation - History Prophesied

Revelation

The woman and the dragon; the two beasts

[Rev 12-13]

The woman and the dragon

[Rev 12] Next is seen a vision of a woman and a beast. The woman is pregnant and soon to give birth. The dragon, identified later as Satan, stands before the woman ready to devour her child. She bares a son, who is taken up to God and to His throne, then flees to the wilderness where God has prepared a place for her, and where she is to remain and be fed for three and a half years. Then a war is fought in heaven between Michael and his angels and Satan and his angels, with Michael prevailing and Satan and his angels being cast out of heaven. There is rejoicing because they overcame Satan by the blood of the Lamb, but a warning is given to the inhabitants of the earth that the wrath of Satan is to come, because he has only a short time left. Satan persecutes the woman and makes war with the remnant of her seed, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

The beast out of the sea

[Rev 13:1-10] A beast is then seen rising out of the sea having the name of blasphemy, and is given power and authority by Satan. This beast has a wound that was deadly, yet he survived it. The world wonders over this miracle and consequently worships Satan and the beast. For three and a half years this beast will blaspheme against God and everything that is of God, making war with the saints and being victorious over them. Yet a word of comfort is given to the saints, encouraging faith and patience.

The beast out of the earth

[Rev 13:11-18] Then a beast is seen rising out of the earth, being like a lamb, but speaking as a dragon and exercising all the power of the first beast. This beast deceives the world with miracles, and instructs an image of the first beast to be made that everyone must worship or be killed. Everyone is to receive a mark of the beast on their right hand or forehead, without which they will not be able to buy or sell anything. The number of the beast is that of a man and is given as 666.

The joy of the redeemed and the harvest

[Rev 14] John now sees Jesus with the 144,000 having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. They sing a song that only they are able to sing, having been redeemed from the earth and having no blemish, the first-fruits through Jesus. Next John sees an angel having the everlasting gospel to preach before everyone on earth, calling them to fear God and worship Him for the hour of judgement has come. This angel is followed by another announcing Babylon has fallen because of her fornication. Then a third ngel is seen, warning that anyone who receives the mark of the beast on their forehead or hand would receive the full wrath of God. The patience of the saints will be tried and the overcomers rewarded. John now sees a vision of the reaping of the harvest of the earth. The reaper is Jesus, who has a sharp sickle and is called on to reap by another angel, saying the time has come for the earth is ripe. Upon this, the earth  is then reaped and the redeemed gathered. Another angel appears from the temple with a sharp sickle, and the power over fire, to whom another angel calls to gather the wicked who are then trodden in the winepress of divine wrath, resulting in much blood being spilt.

The seven bowls

[Rev 15-16] Preparation is made to pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath. A song of God’s victory is sung and the temple of the ‘tabernacle of the testimony’ in heaven is open. The seven angels come out of the temple, and the four living creatures (beasts) give them seven golden bowls full of God’s wrath. No man is now able to enter the temple until he seven plagues of the seven angels are complete. John hears a great voice calling to the angels to go their way and pour out the bowls of God’s wrath upon the earth. The first angel pours his bowl specifically upon the earth, causing a grievous sore, offensive to the senses, on those who have the mark of the beast and have worshipped his image. The second pours his bowl upon the sea, causing the sea to become blood, killing every living creature in it. The third pours his upon the rivers and fountains of water, which also become blood so that those who killed the prophets and saints should have to drink it. The fourth pours his upon the sun, causing men to be scorched with fire, for which they blaspheme God and do not repent. The fifth pours his upon the seat of the beast, and his kingdom becomes full of darkness, causing great anguish, but no repentance. The sixth pours his on the River Euphrates, causing it to dry up to prepare the way for the kings of the east. Between the pouring of the sixth and seventh bowls is the battle of Armageddon. The seventh bowl is poured into the air and a great voice from the throne in the temple of heaven announces, ‘It is done.’ There are voices, thunders and lightnings, the greatest earthquake ever seen, the fall of Babylon and a great hail with stones as heavy as a talent (about 26 kg!). Men blaspheme God because of the great hail, and do not repent.

God’s final judgement

[Rev 17-22]

The Woman and the Beast

[Rev 17] One of the seven angels who had the bowls comes to John to invite him to see the judgement of the great whore, with whom the kings of the earth had committed fornication, and who had made the people of the earth drunk with the wine of her fornication. John is carried into the wilderness and sees a woman on a scarlet beast. She is dressed in purple and scarlet, arrayed with precious jewellery, and having a cup in her hand full of abominations and filth. She is described by the names on her forehead, and is drunk with the blood of the saints and martyrs. The angel then explains to an astonished John the mystery of the woman and the beast that carries her. First, the mystery of the beast is explained, how, having been consigned to the bottomless pit, it now ascends from it. The beast’s seven heads represent the succession of seven kings, or empires, of which one is yet to come. Its ten horns represent ten kings who give their power and strength to the beast, and who shall make war with the Lamb, but will be defeated. The angel then tells John the waters on which the woman sat are the peoples of the earth, and that the ten horns will come to hate the whore and turn against her, according to God’s will to fulfil prophecy. The woman is then declared as being the great city (Babylon), which reigns over the kings of the earth.

The Fall of Babylon

[Rev 18] Then another angel comes and announces that Babylon the great has fallen, having become the habitation of everything evil, where nations and kings had committed fornication with her, and merchants become enriched with her luxury. Another voice is heard calling His people to come out of Babylon, and not be partaker of her sins that are causing her to receive her plagues, but to take full vengeance on her because she has glorified herself and felt secure. Plagues will come on her in one day and she will suffer death, mourning and famine, and will be utterly burned by fire. The kings of the earth will lament over her from afar, as will the merchants, for all have benefited from her greatness and riches, which have all now come to nought within the space of one hour. God’s people are called to rejoice, for God has now taken vengeance on her. A mighty angel appears and casts a great stone into the sea, signifying Babylon’s permanent destruction.

The hallelujah and the wedding feast

[Rev 19:1-10] There follows a great rejoicing in heaven for the triumph over Babylon. The multitude in the church give glory and honour to God for His righteous judgements, and the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fall down and worship God. All God’s servants are called upon to join in the praise. After this, the voice of a great multitude is heard calling one another to be glad and rejoice, for the time of the Lamb’s marriage with his bride has come. His wife, having made herself ready, is dressed in white linen, the linen depicting the righteousness of the saints. John is told to write concerning those called to the marriage supper. He is told these are the true sayings of God, at which he falls on his feet to worship he angel but is prevented from doing so, being reminded by the angel that he is just a fellow servant; God is the only one to be worshipped.

Christ victorious

[Rev 19:11-21] John sees heaven open and Jesus riding on a white horse to judge and make war. He is followed by His armies in heaven, also on white horses, clothed in the white linen of the righteous. An angel calls with a loud voice to gather the birds of heaven for the supper of the great God, to eat the flesh of those judged as evil. The beast, kings of the earth and their armies then gather to make war against Jesus and His army. They are defeated and the beast and his prophet are both cast into the lake of fire, and the kings and their armies are slain to the rejoicing of the righteous.

The Thousand Years and the last judgement

[Rev 20] John sees an angel with the key to the bottomless pit and with a chain in his hand. He binds Satan for a thousand years so that he is unable to deceive the nations. During this time the church sits on thrones to judge with Jesus, as do the saints who had been martyred and had not received the mark of the beast or worshipped him. This is described as the first resurrection. The rest of the dead will not be raised until the thousand years are complete. When the thousand years are up, Satan is released to deceive the nations. The number deceived is great and are gathered to do battle, but are defeated. Satan is cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and false prophet are, and will be tormented day and night for ever. All the dead, small and great, now stand before God to be judged according to their works. Death and hell are cast into the lake of fire, as are those whose name is not found written in the book of life. This is the second death.

God’s new world

[Rev 21-22] John now sees the new heaven and the new earth in which there is no more sea, and in which there is no tabernacle, as God will now dwell amongst His people. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Jesus then declares the work is done. One of the angels who had the seven bowls shows John the bride, the Lamb’s wife, which is the new Jerusalem. John sees the detail of its size and structure, which is then measured by the angel. John observes there is no temple within as God and the Lamb are its temple, there is no sun or moon as the glory of God and the Lamb are its light, and the gates are not shut as there is no night. Everything within it is pure and nothing can enter that might defile it. John sees a pure river of water of life coming from the throne of God and the Lamb, with the tree of life that bares twelve fruits, yielding a fruit every month, and whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. The angel tells John that all the visions he has seen are faithful and true, and that the Lord God had sent His angel to reveal these things to him. John is overwhelmed and again falls down to worship the angel, and again has to be reminded to worship God only. John is told to reveal all that he has seen. Jesus tells John He will come quickly with His reward to give every man according to his works, and confirms John has been given these visions to testify to the churches. A warning is given that no man is to add to or take away from the words of this book. Come, Lord Jesus The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
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