Friday, February 28, 2020







Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Why Should We understand the Letters to the Seven Churches?



A. Revelation is called the “revelation of Jesus Christ” because it reveals His heart, His power and His leadership.

Rev. 1:1 “The Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave Him to show His servants what must soon take place.  He made it known by sending His angel to His servant John.”

B. The theme of Revelation is Jesus returning to take leadership of the earth, in partnership with His people, to reap a harvest of souls (Rev. 7:9) and to replace all worldly governments with the Kingdom of God (Rev. 11:15; 19:15-16).

Rev. 1:7 “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him.”

C. Jesus will come only in the context of a prepared Bride in unity with the Spirit and anointed in prayer to release God’s glory on the earth and to release the Tribulation to confront darkness.

Rev. 19:7 For the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.

Rev. 22:17 “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come!”

Rev. 8:4-5 “The prayers of the saints, ascended before God . . . Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth.”

At the end of this present age, the final seven years of the Tribulation Period, evil will be full grown or mature through the Antichrist Kingdom. But the Church of Jesus Christ will also be full grown—a Church without spot or wrinkle. The end time Church will truly be amazing. She will be awesome and mighty as she reflects the true beauty of Jesus in the earth! Hopefully you are getting the picture or revelation of the end time Church alive in the Tribulation Period. This Church will not only be mature but she will also be a mighty force in praying down the Kingdom of God. There is a good reason why Satan, the Red Dragon, will go after the Church through the Babylon Harlot and the Antichrist.

Solomon describes this end time Church in the Song of Solomon, Chapter 6 and verse 10: “Who is this that grows like the dawn, as beautiful as the full moon, as pure as the sun, as awesome as an army with banners.”

Mary Queen of Scotland said, “I fear the prayers of John Knox more than all the assembled armies of Europe.”

The Antichrist will learn to fear the global intercession of the end time Church as she prays down the judgments of God upon his evil kingdom!


Rev. 1: Jesus gives the clearest picture of who He is with 24 descriptions of His majesty. (There are 6 more distinct descriptions in chapters 2-3; 30 total)
Rev. 2-3: Jesus gives us the clearest picture of what He wants in the Church in His seven letters.
Rev. 4-5: Jesus gives us the clearest picture of His heavenly commission and resources.
Rev. 6-19: Jesus gives us the clearest picture of how He will prepare the nations to receive the Kingdom of God.
Rev. 20-22: Jesus gives us the clearest picture of our eternal inheritance on earth with Him. 

III. LETTERS TO THE SEVEN CHURCHES: PREPARING TO OVERCOME AND OPERATE IN POWER (7 letters from Jesus, the Great Shepherd of the Church, to the Church)

A. The Book of Revelation is an end-time book of Acts. Just as the Book of Acts revealed the works of the Holy Spirit through the apostles and prophets, the Book of the Revelation reveals the acts of the Holy Spirit through the end-time apostles and prophets. Although these are seven messages to seven churches in John’s day and to the Church in each successive generation, they are also messages from Jesus to the end-time Church in how to prepare to partner with Him in His worldwide actions related to His Second Coming. Jesus knows best how to prepare His own Bride. The Church will play a major role in the seven year Tribulation Period. This will definitely be a time where people are living in what has been called “Bible Days.”

B. These letters show us the kind of Church that Jesus is building and what His agenda is. In them, we see how Jesus defines love and what He says is relevant. In these letters, the Lord defines the kind of Church that will be mature enough to release God’s judgment against the Antichrist in the way that Moses released the ten plagues on Egypt, and as the Apostles established the Church in Acts. The Tribulation Church will be a “Bible Days” Church!
C. The seven letters define the truths and focus necessary to equip the Church to walk in love for Jesus. Our love is expressed as we obey His commands, heed His warnings, and believe His promises—especially the eternal rewards! There will be great challenges for the end-time Church but also great rewards.


A. Individually: These letters were written to inspire a response from each individual believer (from Jesus to you—make it personal).
B. Corporately: The most powerful application is when local churches walk in these truths together. How good and pleasant when brethren dwell together in unity. True holiness produces true fellowship of the supernatural kind! This provides the environment of true holiness for revival!
C. Historically: The letters were first written to seven historical churches in John’s generation to address the actual conditions of seven real churches.
D. Universally:  The letters were written for all churches in the first century and throughout 2,000 years of Church history, just as the letter to the Romans was for the Church at Rome and for all churches, past, present and future.
E. Eschatologically (end-time): To prepare the Church for the events seen in Revelation 6-19. This is when there will be the most believers in history living in the most difficult time in history—and the most blessed!


A. Historical context:  It is important to know that these were seven real churches. Therefore, we will look at the political, economic, and spiritual context behind them. It is important to understand these churches and what Jesus said to them, in context, because it will provide prophetic insight in preparing you to not only live in the world but how to overcome it.
B. Affirmation for faithfulness: Jesus gave affirmation before He brought correction. Two churches received no affirmation (Sardis and Laodicea).
C. Rebuke for compromise: What they must not do. Jesus’ correction is not rejection. He had things against three churches: Ephesus (2:4), Pergamum (2:14), and Thyatira (2:20). Two churches did not receive a correction (Smyrna and Philadelphia). The compromises He gave the sternest rebukes were for passivity, immorality, and idolatry (covetousness and or sorcery; Col. 3:5; Eph.5:5; I Cor. 10:20-22). These were enabled by false teachings on grace that did not require repentance. This is prevalent in the Church today.
D. Exhortation to respond: What must they do? Jesus gave actions that He required, often with an element of warning. The warnings that Jesus gave most were against passivity (distraction with their increased blessing) and fear (persecution/rejection).

E. Promise for overcomers: As motivation for diligent faithfulness to Jesus. Most of these promises are for the millennial Kingdom. Insight into rewards is essential to help equip us to stand in pressure. Jesus promised 18 eternal rewards in Revelation 2-3.
F. Revelation of Jesus:  Each message begins with Jesus calling attention to the specific aspect of His majesty seen in Revelation 1 that was needed in each church’s situation. Sixteen different aspects of Jesus’ majesty are highlighted in Revelation 2-3. (You have the handout on the 30 descriptions of Jesus; this can also be accessed on my blog at Can you see the importance in keeping Jesus central? The person of Jesus is the power to overcome!


For those who say that the book of the Revelation is just a bunch of symbolism that nobody can understand, I would say to you that nothing could be further from the truth. The Book of the Revelation is God’s detailed Word for the end-times. It reveals the majesty of God’s Son and His plan to establish the Father’s eternal Kingdom on the earth. It reveals God’s plan to overcome all evil by removing everything and everyone who stands in the way of His love. Also in this amazing book is the Lord’s Church, a Church whom is destined to rule and reign with Him forever and ever. The book of the Revelation is the story of the end and the new beginning! If you allow it, this book will take you to places you have never been before. As Revelation 1:3 says “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.” And I can confidently say, much more near than ever before!

What is meant by the phrase, “what must soon take place.”? It has been 2,000 years and the events described in this book have not yet taken place. I’m going to, humbly, tell you what I believe is meant here. When referring to end time events, Daniel said in Daniel 2:28 that what God was showing to King Nebuchadnezzar in the prophetic dream he was given were events that would take place “in the latter days.” Then we read in Daniel 12:4 “But as for you Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the time of the end . . .” Jesus, when speaking of end time events in the Gospels, said that certain things must happen first, but the end was not yet. However, in the Book of the Revelation, John shows for the first time that the events predicted by Daniel and foreseen by Jesus stood in readiness to be fulfilled. The Second Coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, was now in view and ready to be fulfilled. The Lamb of God had been slain for the sins of the world, had been raised up, and ascended back to Heaven. The next event would be His return to earth. Or look at it this way: The Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Pentecost had been fulfilled; the next Feast to be fulfilled would be the Feast of Trumpets—the Rapture and Second Return of Jesus to the earth. But here is where we need to understand the way God views time and the way we view it. They are different. In II Peter 3:8 we read, “But do not forget this one thing dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like a
day.” In the way that God views time, it’s only been two days since John wrote the Book of the Revelation!  And comparatively speaking, two days or even two thousand years is not much time when you consider the thousands of years that took place from the creation to the first coming of Jesus! I would add one further thought here. Although it’s my conviction that the Lord wanted every generation, and every believer, to live in readiness and expectancy of His Second Coming, I believe that the rebirth of Israel in 1948 and the retaking of Jerusalem in 1967 by the Jewish people are two definite and profound, prophetic signs that let us know that we are in the generation of the Lord’s return and the events written in the Book of the Revelation being fulfilled. We are closer to the Lord’s return than ever before, and we should live our lives in light of that truth.

Monday, February 17, 2020

The theme of Revelation: Jesus



A. The Book of the Revelation is called the “revelation of Jesus Christ” because first it reveals the majesty of His heart and leadership in His plan to transition this present evil age to the glorious age to come.

Rev. 1:1 “The Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave Him (Jesus) to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to . . . John.”

B. Second, it is a book about events that take place in His end-time plan to purify the Church, bring in the harvest, and replace the evil governments on earth with the Kingdom of God. God’s purpose in this book is first to reveal the Man behind the plan. Many only see the plan and miss the man—Christ Jesus.

C. In Revelation 1-3, John gives us 30 specific descriptions of Jesus in His majesty, ministry, and personality along with 18 eternal rewards.

1. We can identify these 30 descriptions from Jesus’ titles, names, appearance, actions, and clothing. For example, the garments that He wore speak of Him as a High Priest. His eyes like fire reveal His passion, intensity, judgment, and full knowledge of every situation.

2. There are 24 descriptions in Revelation 1 plus 18 in Revelation 2-3, totaling 42. Since 12 are used in both Revelation 1 and Revelation 2-3, there are 30 distinct descriptions.

D. These 30 descriptions and rewards are an invitation to search out the Word of God to get a greater picture of what the Spirit is saying about Jesus. The more we know about Jesus, and the more we know Jesus, the better equipped we will be in overcoming temptation and persecution.

E. Each description and reward gives us a specific insight about Jesus  that is necessary in equipping the Church to overcome compromise, endure persecution, and have the heart to partner with Him in the great end-time drama. Knowing Who He is, what He has done and what He will do is key.

F. Revelation 1 is the most complete picture of Jesus in the Bible. It describes who He is (how He thinks and feels) and what He does in His end-time plan. If we read Revelation with the right perspective, it inspires us to adore Jesus and trust in His leadership. Here we see what Jesus wants emphasized about Himself to prepare His Church for the greatest release of His glory.

G. Jesus gave us these insights into His heart and ministry to form the way we pray, prophesy and serve Him in releasing His glory and warring against evil. This revelation will give us the ability to move with a spirit of boldness, gentleness, and confidence instead of with a spirit of harshness and fear.

H. No aspect of God’s grace more powerfully transforms our emotions and satisfies our souls than when the Spirit of God reveals Jesus to our hearts.

I. The Apostle Paul spoke of this truth in Philippians 3:8 when he said, “I count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus. . .”

J. The Holy Spirit was given to us to reveal Jesus to us.  And no one knows Jesus like the Holy Spirit. As we study the Book of The Revelation, our prayer should be for the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus to us. I have spoken about keys in understanding this amazing book, but the ultimate key to understanding Revelation is in knowing Jesus. It is in knowing who He is and what He does, and why.

John 16:13-14 “The Spirit . . . will guide you . . . He will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

I Corinthians 2:10-12 “The Spirit searches . . . the deep things of God . . . We have received . . . the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”

K. In Revelation 1, Jesus is seen as the Son of Man who leads the Church through history as the Prophet, Priest, and King. These truths are to equip the Church (Rev. 2-3) to be faithful to Him.

Rev. 1:13 “. . . One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet . . .”

1. Jesus used the title Son of Man more than any other when speaking of Himself (85 references). When Jesus spoke of Himself as the Son of Man, He proclaimed the two most important truths about Himself, that He was both fully God and fully human. By using that title, Jesus was saying I am fully God yet fully human. I am one of you.

2. As the Son of Man, He stood before the throne of God to be commissioned by the Father (Ancient of Days) to rule all the nations on the earth (Dan. 7:13-14):

“Behold, the One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven . . . Then to Him was given dominion . . . His dominion is an everlasting dominion.”

L. In Revelation 1, Jesus’ leadership in the Church is seen as the righteous prophet, merciful priest, and sovereign King. However, as the book unfolds, His leadership is openly revealed before all the nations at the end of the age in Revelation 19-22 as the Bridegroom, King and Judge.

M. In Revelation 19-22, the righteous prophet is seen in greater light as the zealous judge, the merciful priest, as the passionate Bridegroom, and the sovereign King.

Monday, February 10, 2020

The Seven Main symbols in The Revelation


1. DRAGON: Satan
2. FIRST BEAST: Antichrist
3. ANOTHER BEAST: False Prophet
4. HARLOT BABYLON: worldwide, demonic religious and economic system
5. SEVEN HEADS: represents seven empires from history that persecuted Israel
     (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, revived Roman Empire)
6. TEN HORNS: represent a ten nation confederation that will serve the Antichrist
7. WOMAN WITH THE MALE CHILD (Jesus): faithful remnant of Israel throughout history

The Structure of The Book of The Revelation


REV. 1         PART 1 John’s CALLING to prophesy about the end times: John gives
                     specific truths about the glory and majesty of Jesus—truths that
                     form the central message of the Book and which equip us as
                     believers. (There are 30 descriptions of Jesus in Rev. 1-3)

REV. 2-3      PART 2 Jesus gives SEVEN LETTERS to seven churches: The
                     instructions Jesus gives to these seven churches, located in Asia
                     Minor or modern day Turkey, is about overcoming sin. They give us
                     practical insight into what we must overcome today.

REV. 4-5     PART 3 Jesus takes the SCROLL: The scroll represents the title deed of
                    the earth and the battle plan of Jesus to cleanse the earth in
                    preparation for the Kingdom of God. This battle plan is seen in the
                    events of Revelation 6-22.

REV. 6-22 PART 4 Jesus’ BATTLE PLAN  is written in the scroll and includes the
                   the Great Tribulation against the Babylon religion and Antichrist’s
                   empire. In these chapters, Jesus reveals the His main story line of
                   cleansing the earth of evil and establishing the Kingdom of God. His
                   battle plan is described in FIVE CHRONOLOGICAL SECTIONS describing
                   the judgment events, each followed by an ANGELIC EXPLANATION.

The five chronological sections tell us what happens to Antichrist’s followers in the twenty-one numbered judgment events (7 seals, 7 trumpets, 7 bowls) which intensify in severity as they unfold (The trumpets are more intense than seals).
The five angelic sections are parenthetical. They pause the story line. They answer questions such as, why is God’s wrath so severe? What will happen to us? Angels explain to John what will happen to God’s people, including what Jesus will do to help the saints and what the Antichrist will do to persecute them.

REV. 6               CHRONOLOGICAL SECTION 1: The SEAL JUDGMENTS against the
                           Kingdom of darkness
REV. 7               ANGLELIC EXPLANATION 1: The saints receive PROTECTION from
                           judgments and from falling away from the faith
                           Antichrist’s empire
REV. 10-11       ANGELIC EXPLANATION 2: The saints receive DIRECTION by the
                           great increase of prophetic ministry (the two witnesses)
                           and the rapture of the Church
THE SEVENTH AND LAST TRUMPET (I Corinthians 15:52; I Thessalonians 4:16;
Revelation 10:7): Jesus will replace all governmental leaders on earth in a hostile takeover. He will lead a royal procession across the earth. He will first travel across the sky to rapture the saints (every eye will see Him, Revelation 1:7), then through the land of Edom (modern day Jordan, Isaiah 63:1-6; Habakkuk 3:12) destroying His enemies, then to Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:2-5).

REV. 12-14    ANGELIC EXPLANATION 3: Antichrist’s violent CONFRONTATION
                        against the saints and all that is good in society requires that all of
                        his evil governments be replaced
                        infrastructures in society (Psalm 2:9)
REV. 17-18    ANGELIC EXPLANATION 4: The SEDUCTION of society by Babylon’s
                        evil religion will permeate and infiltrate every social structure,
                        requiring that Babylon be totally destroyed
                        Jerusalem (Revelation 19:11-21:8)
REV. 21-22    ANGELIC EXPLANATION 5: The RESTORATION of all things
                        (Acts 3:21; Revelation 21:9-22:5)

The Book of The Revelation, A Simple Outline

The Book of The Revelation
A Simple Outline


This past Wednesday night, I taught another lesson on the Kingdom of God. In this lesson I taught that the Bible makes it clear that the Kingdom of God is now and not yet. I’ll use a couple of scriptural examples to illustrate this truth. First we read what Jesus said in Matthew 12:28, “But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.” Demons are driven out by the authority of God; therefore men are set free from Satan’s bondage by the rule and authority of God. This is the Kingdom of God now. But then we read in Revelation 11:15 that “the seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud noises in heaven, which said: ‘the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our God and of his Christ, and He will reign forever and forever.’” This is the second coming of Jesus and so the kingdom of God is not yet or still yet to come in its’ fullness. 

In the first coming of Jesus the Kingdom of God was seen in its’ power and authority over Satan, over nature, and over death! As a matter of fact, in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead with a new and glorified body, we have a tangible demonstration of His coming kingdom. In the resurrection of Jesus we see what is yet to come. It’s a taste and guarantee of what is to come for us. 

And that brings me to my subject today. My goal in this message is to share with you a simple outline of the Book of The Revelation (I took this outline from the teaching of Mike Bickle at IHOP with a few minor changes. I believe its layout is the simplest and clearest way to understand the book; also see the commentaries on Revelation by Robert Thomas). I will expand on this outline in the future looking at each section more in depth and what I believe it means. But as I share the basics of this outline with you this morning, I believe that it is really important to understand that what is behind the events in the Revelation is Jesus removing anyone and anything that is standing in opposition to the establishment of God’s Kingdom on the earth. When Jesus came to earth the first time His message was the Kingdom of God.  And the Kingdom of God was seen and manifested in Him. But as we all know, we have been living in the age or time when the Kingdom can either be received or rejected. That time will come to an end when Jesus comes the second time! At His Second Coming, He will release the 7 Seals, 7 Trumpets, and 7 Bowls of wrath. These judgments will decimate the Antichrist kingdom that Satan has set up in an attempt to keep God’s Kingdom from being established on the earth. However, Satan will be defeated, and God’s Kingdom will come with irresistible force!

I want to go to the Book of Daniel to get a prophetic picture of what this will look like.

Daniel 2:36-45 (King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream)

36 "This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king. 37 You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; 38 in your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.

39 "After you, another kingdom will rise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. 40 Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron — for iron breaks and smashes everything — and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. 41 Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. 42 As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.

44 "In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.
This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands — a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.

"The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy."

This is actually a fourth key in understanding the Book of the Revelation. Jesus is essentially establishing the Kingdom of God through the 21 judgments that are released. These are the chronological sections.

In the outline there are 5 chronological sections. And along with the five chronological sections, there are five angelic explanations. Because what happens in the chronological sections is so very intense, God explains to John and to the Church why these judgments are so intense. Also in these explanations, the Church is reassured that God is going to keep them. These judgments are being poured out on the Antichrist and his kingdom and not on the Church. These intense judgments are what is required to establish the eternal Kingdom of God on the earth. It will be a hard time but it will usher in the glory of God and the reward of the Saints.

To understand this will be very significant for those who are going through the Tribulation. They will need to know why the judgments are being poured out and why they are so severe, and that the judgments are not for them. Further, they will need to know that God will take care of the Church and also the remnant of Israel that will be saved.

If you can begin to understand this outline then you can begin to understand the Book of the Revelation.


Hopefully you are beginning to understand the reality of God’s redemptive plan. Life does have meaning and eternal purpose. What we have taught you from the Gospel in the stars as well as in the 7 Feasts of God, and now in the Book of The Revelation, is the eternal story of God.

This story is about God’s kingdom that was manifested in the first coming of Jesus. As we said, the mission of Jesus was clear, “repent, for the kingdom of God is near.” And that mission of establishing God’s Kingdom will be completed when Jesus comes the second time. It’s His heart.

As we go deeper into The Book of The Revelation, the relevant question for each of us today is this: where are we in this eternal story. Of all that we learn from the Book of the Revelation, the one central truth is this: Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and on one comes to the Father except by Him. Our study in this amazing book is to draw our hearts closer to Him—the only One who is worthy and the only One who has the power to save us forever!

With that said, let’s take a look at the outline and structure of the Book of The Revelation.

Friday, February 7, 2020

30 Descriptions of Jesus, the greatest man who ever lived!


In Revelation 1:5-7 there are 7 descriptions of Jesus
1. Jesus (Rev. 1:5)
2. Christ (Rev. 1:5)
3. Faithful and true witness (Rev. 1:5; 3:7, 14)
4. Firstborn from the dead (Rev. 1:5) - similar to “the First” (Rev. 1:11, 17; 2:8; 22:13)
5. Ruler of the kings of the earth (Rev. 1:5), similar to King of kings (Rev. 19:16)
6. He who loved us and washed us and made us kings and priests (Rev. 1:5-6)
7. He is coming with clouds (Rev. 1:7; 3:11) – One who intervenes in history; He is not silent
In Revelation 1:10-18 there are 17 descriptions of Jesus
1. Loud voice, as of a trumpet (Rev. 1:10) similar to a faithful witness
2. His voice as the sound of many waters (Rev. 1:15)
3. I am the Alpha (Rev. 1:11; 22:13)
4. I am the Omega (Rev. 1:11; 22:13)
5. I am the First (Rev. 1:11, 17; 2:8; 22:13)
6. I am the Last (Rev. 1:11, 17; 2:8; 22:13)
7. In the midst of the seven lampstands (Rev. 1:13; 2:1)
8. Son of Man (Rev. 1:13) Dan. 7:13-14

9. Garment to the feet (high priest) and girded about the chest with a golden band (Rev. 1:13)
10. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow (Rev. 1:14)
11. His eyes like a flame of fire (Rev. 1:14; 2:18)
12. His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace (Rev. 1:15; 2:18)
13. He had in His right hand seven stars (Rev. 1:16, 20; 2:1; 3:1)
14. Out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword (Rev. 1:16; 2:12)
15. His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength (Rev. 1:16)
16. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. (Rev. 1:18; 2:8)
17. Has keys of the kingdom: I have the keys of Hades and of Death (Rev. 1:18; 3:7)
In Revelation 2-3 there are 18 descriptions of Jesus (the last 6 are not in Revelation 1)
Note: Jesus holding the 7 stars and being “true” are mentioned twice (Rev. 2:1; 3:1, 7, 14).
1. Who holds the 7 stars in His right hand (Rev. 2:1; 3:1)
2. Who walks in the midst of the 7 golden lampstands (Rev. 2:1)
3. The First (Rev. 2:8)
4. The Last (Rev. 2:8)
5. Who was dead and came to life (Rev. 2:8)
6. He who has the sharp two-edged sword (Rev. 2:12, 16; also Rev. 1:16; 19:15, 21)
7. Eyes like a flame of fire (Rev. 2:18)
8. Feet like fine brass (Rev. 2:18)
9. Has the seven Spirits of God (Rev. 3:1)
10. He who has the key of David (Rev. 3:7)
11. The Faithful Witness (Rev. 3:14)
12. The Beginning of the creation of God (Rev. 3:14)
13. The Son of God (Rev. 2:18)
14. I will come upon you as a thief (Rev. 3:3)
15. I am coming quickly (Rev .3:11)
16. The True Witness (Rev. 3:7, 14)
17. The Amen (Rev. 3:14)
18. He who is holy (Rev. 3:7)

Jesus, the wisest and greatest man whoever lived!

This is a word to those who are believers in Jesus and to those who think it is foolish to believe in Jesus. “At the literally mundane level, Jesus knew how to transform the molecular structure of water to make it wine. That knowledge also allowed him to take a few pieces of bread and some little fish and feed thousands of people. He could create matter from the energy he knew how to access from the heavens right where he was. Surely one who could play on the energy/matter equation like that could do anything. He knew how to transform the tissues of the human body from sickness to health and from death to life. He knew how to suspend gravity, interrupt weather patterns, and eliminate unfruitful trees without saw or ax. He only needed a word. In the ethical domain he brought an understanding of life that has influenced world thought more than any other. And one of the greatest testimonies to his intelligence is surely that He knew how to enter physical death, actually die, and then live on beyond death. He seized death by the throat and defeated it.” For those who believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior, you need never bow at the altar of secular idolatry! And for those who don’t believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior, perhaps you should reconsider.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

keys to Understanding the Book of The Revelation

(Keys open doors)


Have you ever looked for the right key to open a door but could not find it? It is incredibly frustrating . . . until you put the right key in the lock and the door opens! Success! It is my desire to give you keys that will help unlock the meaning in the Book of the Revelation. Hopefully these keys will open up more insight and understanding which will subsequently lead to greater blessing for you from this amazing book.

I. Key number one: Revelation 1:10 “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day. . .”[i]

A. What is meant by “The Lord’s Day?”

1.  Some answer Sunday, the first day of the week. Yes, Sunday does belong to the Lord and it may mean that, but the scriptures nowhere call it “the Lord’s day.” And none of the Christian writings, for 100 years after Christ, ever call it “the Lord’s day.”
2. But there is a “Day of the Lord” spoken of by prophets, apostles and fathers of the Church. It is that day in which Isaiah says men shall hide in the rocks for fear of the Lord and for the glory of His majesty (Isaiah 2:19-21); the day of which Joel describes as a day of destruction from the Almighty when the Lord shall roar out of Zion and utter His voice out of Jerusalem, and the heavens and earth shall shake (Joel 3:16); Malachi says it will be a day which will burn like an oven and which the Sun of righteousness will arise with healing in His wings (Malachi 4:1-3); It is the day in which the Apostle Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction” (the antichrist); The Apostle Peter said in II Peter 3:7 “By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”
3. Is the Apostle John saying that he in some sense was, by the power and person of the eternal Spirit, “in” that Day—the Day of the Lord? Before you dismiss this possibility I would like to remind you that in II Corinthians 12:2-4 the Apostle Paul said he was caught up into the third heavens, whether in the body or out, he didn’t know. He said he saw things that he was not allowed to speak. Perhaps God had reserved that revelation for the Apostle John? The point is that John was given a very important revelation of the end times!
Did not John say in Revelation 4:1 that he was “caught up into heaven?”[ii]

4. What is the difference between “The Lord’s Day” and “The Day of the Lord?”
What is the difference between the Lord’s people and the people of the Lord, or the Word of God and God’s Word? There is no difference. If John was somehow allowed to “see” the scenes of the Day of the Lord, the last days, and he wrote about what he saw, what then would that be? It would be what is written in the Book of the Revelation. It would be preeminently the revelation or apocalypse (the unveiling) of Jesus Christ when He comes to judge the world in righteousness. (Know that the Day of The Lord will be bad for the unbelievers but, fear not, because it will be GOOD for the believers!)
5. The themes of the Book of the Revelation are what other portions of the Word of God refer to as “The Great Day of the Lord.” It is apocalyptic,[iii] revealing what has been secret or veiled from beginning to end. First it the apocalypse of Jesus in His glorified state; then His revelation to the seven churches; next is the apocalypse of His 21 judgments upon the earth beginning with the seven seals, followed by the seven trumpets, and finally the seven bowls of wrath; it is the apocalypse of the destruction of both the harlot Babylon[iv] and the antichrist along with the false prophet. Jesus will literally be manifested, unveiled—with every eye seeing Him, along with His Church. Then will be the apocalypse of His Millennial Kingdom, the Great White Throne judgment of the unrighteous; and the destruction of death and the grave. This will be followed by the apocalypse of the final and perfected state of redemption forever!
6. This is a key to understanding the Book of the Revelation or the apocalypse of Jesus Christ. It is the Day of the Lord; it is the fulfillment of the plan and purpose of God in the last days. This is, I believe, what John was allowed to supernaturally see by the power and person of the Holy Spirit and write about in The Book of Revelation. “By the Spirit I was in the Day of the Lord.”

CONCLUSION: I want to end with a personal note to demonstrate the reality of our relationship with God “by the Spirit” and the hope we have in Him. (Wendy’s dream about Josh, our son who went to Heaven on March 31, 2019) I believe this dream came by the same Holy Spirit that spoke to John in the Revelation to comfort and encourage the Church down through the ages. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.   

“I had a dream we were at church. You and Connie were up front and Josh was in the middle. He kept trying to go up and he was happy. He was trying to tell y’all he was home. He had a new body. I can’t explain how it looked. I don’t have any words to explain. Connie had pictures of him when he was little. She was trying to hang on to him. He was saying he was home. I dreamed that twice. I don’t know what it all means but all I know is I woke up and I felt different this morning and I have struggled if I was supposed to tell you this. I wish I could describe his appearance. It was not anything I can compare to. It was beautiful brother Jimmy. He was glowing but not in a way we see on earth. The happiness was not different than what we have on earth.” (We will pick up right where we left off! We will be family and we will love each other like we do now. That part will not change. We will know each other. We will keep the beautiful memories that we made in this life. It will be heaven. I have prayed to God that He would let Josh know how much I love him and miss him. I believe this dream was God telling me that the message has been delivered and that Josh knows how much we love and miss him, and that he is at home and happy, and he will see us on the other side). The Book of the Revelation is God speaking to John through the Holy Spirit letting us know that the best is yet to come!

And that brings us to key number two.

II. Key number two is understanding the excursus of Revelation chapter 12.

1. An excursus is a digression in a narrative. It is seeing and describing the big picture in the middle of the story. It is parenthetical to the chronological story line.  It helps fit all of the different parts together for a better understanding.
2. Chapter 12 of Revelation gives the view of the unseen battle occurring throughout history and especially throughout the rest of the Book of The Revelation. This excursus or big picture view of history is important in understanding what is happening in the Book of the Revelation and why it’s happening.  
3. This chapter focuses on what events like the birth of Jesus looks like in the context of the spiritual war being waged between God and Satan. It gives a view of history concerning Israel, the Messiah, and the Church.
4. This excursus begins with a great sign in the heavens. The great sign is a woman, clothed with the sun, standing on the moon, and wearing a garland of twelve stars on her head. To be clothed with the sun is to be wrapped in the light of God. The position of the moon—under the woman’s feet—represents dominion. The crown of stars shows her regal standing. The twelve stars correlates to the twelve tribes of Israel. The woman symbolizes Israel, God’s chosen people. And she is in labor according to verse 2.
5. Verse 3 introduces us to another sign in heaven: a great, fiery, red dragon with seven heads crowned with seven diadems and ten horns. This beast, the complete perfection of evil on the earth, corresponds with the ten horns in Daniel 7.

The dragon itself is Satan, the old serpent represented in Isaiah 27 as leviathan whom God will punish. In this “perfected” kingdom of evil in the Tribulation Period, Satan will manifest himself through political leadership in the human realm. Keep in mind that throughout history Satan has been at war with “the
Seed of woman” (Genesis 3:15) by persecuting the woman, Israel, through whom “the Seed of woman,” the Messiah—even the Lord Jesus—would come. (This is the story that God also wrote in the stars)
6. In verse 4 the action begins as the dragon’s tail sweeps a third of the stars to the earth, signifying Satan’s alliance with a third of the angels in his rebellion against God. Satan is the chief rebel who rebelled against God in the beginning and a third of the angels joined him in that rebellion. That is what is being referred to here.
7. Israel, the woman, is ready to give birth, and the dragon waits ready to devour the child, knowing that the child is “the Seed of woman,” the One who will crush his head and redeem mankind. The child is Yeshua/Jesus the Messiah who is “to rule all nations with a rod of iron” (Revelation 12:5).
8. It is clear that Satan is attempting to destroy Jesus and His work from the time of His birth until His death on the cross. First, Herod was Satan’s instrument, commanding the slaughter of babies around Bethlehem in an attempt to kill the Son of God as an infant. Later he worked through “religious” leaders who sought to kill Him before His time. However Satan did not prevail. Instead, Jesus died on the cross by his own volition when He laid down His life, which was His mission and purpose in redeeming man back to God. After His resurrection, Jesus ascended back to the Father, or as verse 5 states it, He was “caught up to God and to His throne.”
9. In verse 6 the Holy Spirit takes John, and us, to the last days and the time leading up to the Lord leaving Heaven for the second time (the first time was when he became a man in the Person of Jesus Christ) and returning to the earth to complete the redemptive plan of God. In this verse the woman, Israel, flees into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God. This “time” in the wilderness is described as 1,260 days, 42 months, or three and a half years. (I personally believe God spoke of this time in these three ways, days, months and years, to make clear that it is NOT a symbolic time period as some wrongly believe). This will be the last half of the Tribulation Period, and it will be the most intense time ever on the earth! It should be noted here that just as God kept His protective hand on His people when His judgment fell on Egypt, so too during this time period will God keep His protective hand on His people (Israel and the Church) as His judgments are being poured out on the Antichrist Kingdom. (Pharaoh was a type of the end-time Antichrist)
10. The initial conflict of verse 4 is now expanded in verses 7-9. This is the battle between the fallen angels of Satan’s rebellion and the angels who remained faithful to God. Michael, the head of God’s faithful angel army, prevails and Satan and his rebellious angels are cast down to the earth.
11. In verses 10 and 11 we see the way that God protects His people is through the power of the blood of the Lamb. He did this through the blood of the Passover Lamb in Egypt when it was applied to the doors of the Israelites when the plague of death came into the land and took all the lives of the first born of Egypt. And He will do it again as the blood of The Lamb of God—even Jesus the Messiah—will protect His people, the Church and redeemed Israel, in the seven year Tribulation Period as God’s judgments are being poured out on a Satan and an unbelieving world!
12. When the dragon has been cast down to the earth, he really goes after the woman, Israel, to destroy her. This will be anti-Semitism at a level that will surpass anything we have ever known—even what Satan did to the Jews through Hitler and Nazi Germany. But God supernaturally protects Israel from Satan’s attacks for these last 3 and one half years of the Tribulation Period. These years are actually known as the Great Tribulation. Enraged because he can’t overcome the woman, Israel, he then attacks the “woman’s offspring” or the Church (verse 17).  As I have told you many times, the two people groups that Satan hates most intently are Israel and the Church. Why? He hates them because his destruction is tied to both Israel and the Church. First is Israel because Israel has to be in the land and be in Jerusalem to fulfill the prophecy of Jesus in Matthew 23:39 where He said to the Jewish leadership in Jerusalem, “you will not see me again until you say, ‘blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’” If there is no Israel to welcome Jesus back, then the prophecy of Jesus can’t be fulfilled and the devil has a little longer to continue in his rebellion and not be chained in the bottomless pit for a thousand years. Secondly is Satan’s hatred of the Church because of the prophecy of Jesus in Matthew 24:14 “And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” What end? Who’s end? Satan’s end! So if there is no Church to preach the Gospel then the end, Satan’s end, can’t come! Therefore Satan hates both Israel and the Church because God will use both to bring about his destruction!

As far as to how God will protect His people during this time, there will be cities of refuge where God’s people are in control. These places of safety will be in many areas that God will have prepared. As far as those who will be called to be martyred, just know “that not a hair of their head will be lost.” Even in death they will be victorious because they will ultimately rule and reign with Him forever! Shalom!

III. Key number three in understanding the Book of the Revelation is knowing the conditions that will exist at the end of the age, where things are moving.

In Genesis 28:12 the Bible says that “He (Jacob/Israel) dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.”

In Jacob’s dream, he saw a ladder that gave him access to the heavenly realm in the will of God. And Jesus also spoke of this ladder, when He was on the earth, in John 1:51, “He (Jesus) said to him (Nathanael) ‘Most assuredly I say to you, hereafter you will see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.’’’

The Harlot Church (mystery Babylon) in the Seven Year Tribulation Period, at the end of the age, will also have access to a ladder. This ladder will be to the demonic realm, enabling the nations to escalate in their experience with sin and with demons. The people of Babel sought this connection under the leadership of Nimrod, a type of the Antichrist (Genesis 10:8-10; 11:1ff). In Hebrew the name “Babel” means “confusion,” but in the Babylonian language it means “gate of heaven.” The people of Babel were attempting to reach a demonic open heaven under the leadership of Nimrod. Sin’s effects that began in the Garden of Eden with the fall of Adam and Eve were escalating at the Tower of Babel. Instead of worshipping and obeying God, the Creator, they were moving further and further away from Him in the rebellion of the Serpent and the worship of other things (idolatry).

Satan and a multitude of demons will be cast down to the earth from their place in heaven. They will appear to people and interact with them at a level never known in history!

Revelation 12:7-9 “War broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon . . . but they did not prevail, nor was there a place found for them in heaven . . . The great Dragon was cast out, that Serpent of old, called the Devil was cast to the earth, and his angels . . . with him.”
Revelation 13:2 “The dragon gave him (the Antichrist) his power, and great authority.”

In the end times there will be an unprecedented interaction between the demonic and human realm, leading to a worldwide judgment. The time before Jesus’ Second Coming is compared to the days of Noah, including the demonic realm touching the earth and leading to an exponential escalation in violence and murder.

In Matthew 24:37 Jesus said concerning His Second Coming, “But as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the coming of The Son of Man.”

The people in Genesis 6, the antediluvians or pre-flood people, walked in a “counterfeit” open heaven as demons interacted with humans in the natural realm in an evil way (Genesis 6:4; 2 Peter 2:4-5; Jude 6).[1] At that time on the earth there was an unprecedented connection between the natural realm and the demonic realm. It resulted in great violence, (remember, “the thief (Satan) comes only but to steal, kill and destroy . . . “John 10:10a) causing God to destroy the earth with the flood in Noah’s day (Genesis 6:7; 7:1-24).

Genesis 6:5-7, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that the very intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. v.6  . . . the Lord . . . was grieved in His heart . . . v.7 the Lord said, I will destroy man . . . from the face of the earth.”

Genesis 6:11-13, “The earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt: for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. God said to Noah, ‘The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them;
and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.’”

John was surprised that the Harlot was the mother of harlots,[2] the source of false religion through history as well as being the primary source of false religion and abominations in the end times. Her offspring (false religion through history) will crescendo at the end of the age.

Revelation 17:5, “Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and the abominations of the earth.”

The Harlot will have a murderous heart despite her humanitarian appearance (a false justice movement and so-called tolerance). John marveled at this mysterious plan, which will bring forth the salvation of Israel as it also purifies and empowers the Church to be used in the great end-time plan of God.  As we understand this prophecy, we will marvel like John as we feel the weightiness of what is in God’s heart.

Revelation 17:6, “I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.”

 In Matthew 13:24-30 Jesus spoke about what would happen at the end of the age, namely that both good and evil will come to fruition or be full grown. This is where things are going. These are the end-time trends.

24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.  26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.  27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?'  28 He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, 'Do you want us then to go and gather them up?'  29 But he said, 'No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.  30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn."'

Revelation 13:1-2 “And the Dragon stood upon the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. . . The Dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority.”

The number seven means perfection and the number ten means completeness. At time of the end of the age, in the last world empire under the power and authority of Satan and the Antichrist, the seed of sin and rebellion that began in the Garden of Eden with the fall of Adam and Eve will be perfected. Evil will reach its’ pinnacle. And like in the days of Noah, God will have no choice but to destroy this wicked empire from the earth! Hence, this is the reason for the 21 judgments of the 7 Seals, 7 Trumpets and 7 Bowls of Wrath released by Jesus.  

These judgments of Jesus upon a corrupt and wicked earth will come through a Church that is also being perfected and completed. This will be a mature Church “without spot or wrinkle.” It will be a Church that will be a part of God’s plan through a supernatural release of intercession and the prophetic on a global scale.  This Church will see the unprecedented Presence and power of God—a ladder between the natural and spiritual realm—with a combination of what God released in the Exodus and in the Book of Acts—just as the kingdom of Antichrist will have a ladder of connection into the demonic realm. It will be the most unique and the intense time that planet earth has ever experienced! If you can understand what I have just said, you can understand why that there are those who say that even the first century Christians will line the balcony of Heaven to see and cheer on this last generation of God’s Church on the earth! I believe that my kids and grandkids will very likely be part of that final generation. May God give me the grace to help prepare them!

Now, as I have said and will say again and again, there will be some things that will not be fully understood until they are literally fulfilled. I believe that is how God planned it.   But, if you use these keys that we have taught on, you will be able to understand the Book of The Revelation in ways that you haven’t known before. And as The Revelation says in 1:3, “Blessed is he that reads and hears the words of this prophecy, and keeps those things which are written herein; for the time is at hand.”

[1] Genesis 6:4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were old, men of renown.
2 Peter 2:4-5 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness with seven others when he brought a flood on the ungodly. . .
Jude 6 And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under judgment of that great day
[2] Genesis 11:1-9 A one world order

[i] John declares that he was literally “in Spirit on the Lord’s Day.” I believe that he could very possibly be saying that by the Spirit’s presence and power he had a front row seat to the end times or to the Day of the Lord. I say that because what follows in the book is a revelation of the Day of the Lord.
[ii] Revelation 4:1-2 “After these things I looked, and behold a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking to me said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.’ Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold a throne was open in heaven, and One sitting on the throne.” John is seeing these scenes by or through the Person of the Spirit.
[iii] The Greek word for apocalypse simply means to bring into full view what has been hidden or veiled. It is making known God’s end time plan.
[iv] The Harlot Babylon is Satan’s counterfeit kingdom and religion that will seduce the world, especially at the end of the age. It is “The Lie.”