64 – God’s Plan For The Ages – Revelation 2-3 – Discussion

Click onto any blue letter of number to see the Worship And Praise videos and text on the blog.

What does the Bible tell us about two wars that will take place in the end times?

Christ’s Letters to the Seven Churches

God’s love for Israel

Zechariah 8:7-8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

7 Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Behold, I am going to save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; 8 and I will bring them back and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God in truth and righteousness.’

Introduction To Post

This post uses repetition for the purpose of teaching things that are often difficult to understand.

The book of Revelation is one of the most criticized, and least taught books of the Bible. Yet, between twenty-five and thirty per cent of all verses in the Bible relate to prophecy. In spite of the encouragement of scripture to study and teach the Book of Revelation, such study and teaching is greatly neglected. In Chapters 1-3 the word “church” is mentioned 19 times. As is mentioned in the video of Revelation 2-3, the church is not mentioned again in the Book of Revelation until we see the second coming of Christ, with His saints, in Revelation Chapter 19:11. Such a lack of reference to the word, “church,” indicates the absence of the born again believers of Christ from the earth, which also verifies that the “rapture of the church,” the snatching away of the saints, has removed the true saints of God from the earth and taken them to Heaven, where the marriage of the Lamb takes place (John 14:1-3, 1 Corinthians 15:50-54, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). The return to earth of the saints with Christ, after the tribulation, is shown in Revelation 19:7-21, Zechariah 14:1-16 and Matthew 24:29-31.

Consider the rapture of the church (from rapio, Latin; from Greek; harpazó: in English, to seize, catch up, snatch away).

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 New American Standard Bible (NASB) (The rapture of the church, “caught up”)

16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

The judgments of God upon the earth, and upon the earth dwellers, “will happen; it’s not an allegory!” The seal judgments of Revelation 6:1-8:6, will be poured out on the earth by Christ. The trumpet judgments of Revelation 8:7-9:21, will be poured out on the earth by angels. The bowl judgments of Revelation 15:1-16:21, will be poured out on the earth by angels. The judgments become increasingly more severe;”they will happen!” These judgments occur during the 70th week of Daniel, which is also known as the tribulation, and is described by Christ in Matthew 24:21, as to its severity.

When the rapture takes place, all humans that are left on the earth will be here because of their unresolved sin, that is a result of the sin of Adam and Eve, and the curse that followed. ALL OF HUMANITY WAS CURSED. Sin followed and caused death. Only our Spirit is eternal, and will remain eternally, in either a sinful or non sinful state. ALL Sin WILL COME UNDER GOD’S JUDGMENT. The born again experience gives humans a new spirit that is as pure as the Spirit of Christ, exempting them from the judgment that will come upon non born again people. Those who are not born again, have retained the cursed and sinful spirit, and will remain on earth to either accept Christ as their Lord and Savior and be born again and receive a spirit that is free of sin, or will remain on earth and be subject to the judgmental punishment of God. Only through the new birth does anyone receive the new and perfect spirit.

Born again believers in Christ are removed from earth at the time of the rapture; their spirits have no sin. Only sin will remain on the earth. Those who have not been born again, “are sin,” because of the sinful conditions of their spirits. God will judge all sin.

Matthew 24:21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

21 For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.

The reason for the tribulation is to judge sin and to call unsaved Jews to accept Christ as Messiah. As believers in Christ, our judgment was satisfied when Christ died on the cross. The severity of the Revelation judgment was experienced by Christ on the Christ; He took our punishment. Believers in Christ have no need to go through the same punishment as those whom did not accept the offer of Christ to accept Him as Lord and Savior. For believers in Christ, He took our place for judgment. He became sin, but not a sinner; we became His righteousness.

2 Corinthians 5:21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Where there is no sin, no judgment is needed. Consider the severity of the cross, where Christ took on Him the sin of everyone who would come to know Him as Lord and Savior through the born again process. (Matthew 27:45-54; Mark 15:33-38; Luke 23:44-48; John 16:19-30). Christ took on Him the severity of judgment that will come on the earth dwellers of Revelation. It’s not just a matter of, “He died to take away our sins;” it is much more severe! Consider the words of Christ when He said, in Matthew 27:46.

Matthew 27:46 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Christ, who was all God and all man, felt the absence of “God the Father” in His life. He felt the severity of the Judgment of God on the sin of the world, becoming His punishment to bear. God would not even look upon Christ, because Christ became sin. We can only stand in the Presence of God after our sin has been removed by the new birth, which is through faith in Christ.

John 1:29 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

29 The next day he *saw Jesus coming to him and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

The sin of the world to be taken away to allow eternal life with Christ, “is the sin of unbelief.”

John 3:16-18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

belief in Christ (vs 16) or unbelief (vs 18). Belief results in eternal life with Christ. Unbelief results in condemnation, such as is shown in the tribulation (Revelation 6-18 Judgments of God), and in the lake of fire (final and eternal judgment)

John 3:3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 3:8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

8 The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

God’s Holy Spirit causes the new birth to happen.

If you believe in Christ, you have been born again. If you have been born again, you believe in Christ.

Ephesians 2:8-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

A simple faith in Christ as Lord and Savior makes all of the above (John 1:29 to Ephesians 2:8-9) to happen.

The term, “earth dwellers, those who dwell on the earth,” refers to those unsaved, unborn again people, who are not “saved, born again, or snatched away from earth.” At the time of the rapture, Christ will rapture, “catch up or snatch away,” those who have been saved and born again from the earth. As the following verses show, those earth dwellers show no remorse for their sinful lives. They refuse the offer of salvation and eternal life with Christ, even though they see the judgments of God being poured out on “all who dwell on the earth,” (Revelation 3:10).

The judgments of the tribulation can not even be compared to the severity of the eternal judgment that will follow, at the Great White Throne Judgment and the Lake of Fire.

Revelation 20:11-15 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Great White Throne Judgment

11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

The Great White Throne Judgment is for those who have not been born again, from the time of creation until the time of the judgment. The punishment is severe and eternal.

Consider those who are not born again at the time of the rapture of the church; they are earth dwellers. See Revelation 3:10 – 17:8, as follow.

Revelation 3:10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

10 Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

Revelation 6:10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”

Revelation 8:13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

13 Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”

Revelation 11:10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.

Revelation 13:8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.

Revelation 13:14 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who *had the wound of the sword and has come to life.

Revelation 17:8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

8 “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.

Earth dwellers, who remain earth dwellers by not accepting Christ as Lord and Savior, have their next stop in eternity at the Great White Throne Judgment. Don’t be an earth dweller; accept Christ as your Lord and Savior NOW!

Consider the encouragement that we read in the verses of Revelation to not neglect an understanding of Revelation.

Verses

1:3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near

1:19 Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things.

MacArthur Study Notes

1:3 Blessed. This is the only biblical book that comes with a blessing for the one who listens to it being read and explained and then responds in obedience. This is the first of 7 beatitudes in the book (v. 3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14). time is near. “Time” refers to epochs, eras, or seasons. The next great epoch of God’s redemptive history is imminent. But although Christ’s coming is the next event, it may be delayed so long that people begin to question whether He will ever come (cf. Matt. 24:36–39; 2 Pet. 3:3, 4).

1:19 This verse provides a simple outline for the entire book: “the things which you have seen” refers to the vision John has just seen (chap. 1); “the things which are” denotes the letters to the churches (chaps. 2, 3); and “the things which will take place after this” refers to the revelation of future history (chaps. 4–22).

Revelation Chapter 2-3 – Video Discussion

Consider the seven churches that are mentioned. Of the seven churches, only two of them are mentioned elsewhere in the Bible, “Ephesus and Laodicea.” The importance of identifying the other five churches, is that the early believers in Christ were fulfilling the great commission (Matthew 28:18-29; Acts 1:8) and planting churches. Also, of missing significance, is that the church at Rome, which has been called the mother church of Christianity, is not listed as being a recipient of the revelation of Christ. In essence, Rome was left “out of the loop.” So, what are we to think about the church at Rome? Every congregation is important. But, we can see that the church at Rome was not more significant than that of any other body of believers in Christ.

(1) Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7) – the church that had forsaken its first love (2:4).

(2) Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11) – the church that would suffer persecution (2:10).

(3) Pergamum (Revelation 2:12-17) – the church that needed to repent (2:16).

(4) Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29) – the church that had a false prophetess (2:20).

(5) Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6) – the church that had fallen asleep (3:2).

(6) Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13) – the church that had endured patiently (3:10).

(7) Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22) – the church with the lukewarm faith (3:16).

Text – Revelation Chapter 2-3 – God’s Plan For The Ages 64

Chapter 2: http://biblehub.com/nasb77/revelation/2.htm

Chapter 3: http://biblehub.com/nasb77/revelation/3.htm

What does the Bible tell us about two wars that will take place in the end times?

Ezekiel 38 War: Ezekiel 38:1-9 http://biblehub.com/nasb77/ezekiel/38.htm

Battle Of Armageddon:
Revelation 16:13-16 http://biblehub.com/nasb/revelation/16.htm
Revelation 17:14 http://biblehub.com/nasb/revelation/17.htm
Revelation 19:11-21 http://biblehub.com/nasb/revelation/19.htm

Revelation Study

This post is one of many others that you can find in this blog that deal with God’s Plan For The Ages. All posts in this series can be found under the category of Journey. Please follow this blog so that you can receive updates automatically.

Eschatology

Eschatology is the study of the teachings in the Bible concerning the end times and of the period of time dealing with the return of Christ and the events that follow. Those events, follow, but are not in the order as shown: the Resurrection, the Rapture, the Tribulation, the Millennium, the Binding of Satan, the Three witnesses, the Final Judgment, Armageddon, and The New Heavens and the New Earth. In one form or another most of the books of the Bible deal with end-times subjects.

Background

My study of the end times goes back to the year of 1976. There have been many people who have helped me to understand this exciting part of God’s Holy Word. There have also been many credible source documents that I have studied, “over and over.” The following individuals (some alive, and some deceased) are recognized for their knowledgeable of matters that relate to the end times. Their study materials have helped me to prepare this series of posts on “God’s Plan For The Ages.” Their names are presented below in no special order of importance. It is easy to research their qualifications through the internet.

Sources

John Ankerberg, Craig Blaising, Darrell Bock, E. Ray Clendenen, Jimmy DeYoung, Andrew Hill, Ed Hindson, Mark Hitchcock, Tommie Ice, Grant Jeffrey, David Jeremiah, Walter Kaiser, Tim LaHaye, Hal Lindsey, John MacArthur, Shawn C. Madden, J. Vernon McGee, Henry Morris, Richard Patterson, J. Dwight Pentecost, John Phillips, David Reagan, Ron Rhodes, Adrian Rogers, Charles C. Ryrie, C.I. Scofield, Renald Showers, Charles Swindoll, Frank Charles Thompson, Merrill Unger, Jack Van Impe, John F. Walvoord, Andy Woods, Roy Zuck, and others.

If you want to make a comment, please place that comment on this blog in the appropriate space at the bottom of this page. If you do not want your comment to be shown, please let me know. I moderate all comments, and will not violate anybody’s trust.

The scripture text was taken from Biblegateway.com

The translation of the text is from The New King James Version.

The Ryrie Study Bible, New American Standard Bible, was used for lesson preparation.

Unless otherwise noted, scripture notes were taken from The MacArthur Study Bible notes that are contained in Biblegateway.com

Everyone should own the Ryrie and MacArthur Study Bibles.

Biographies

Dr. John Ankerberg, founder and president of The John Ankerberg Show, the most-watched Christian worldview show in America
https://www.jashow.org/about-dr-john-ankerberg/

Dr. Mark Hitchcock http://marklhitchcock.com/about/
Mark Hitchcock is a leading Bible prophecy expert, prolific author who has penned over 20 books on the end times, senior pastor, and adjunct faculty member of the Dallas Theological Seminary.

Dr. Ron Rhodes http://ronrhodes.org/meet-ron.html
Th.D., Dallas Theological Seminary (1986). Major: Systematic Theology. Graduated with High Honors.
Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary (1983). Major: Systematic Theology. Graduated with Honors. Elected to Dean’s List.
B.A., Houston Baptist University (1979). Recipient of the Greek Excellence Award. Chief nominee for the Riverside Scholarship.

Dr. Ed Hindson, http://thekingiscoming.com/about-dr-ed-hindson/
Dr. Ed Hindson is the Bible Teacher on The King Is Coming telecast. He is also the Assistant Chancellor, Distinguished Professor, and Dean of the Institute of Biblical Studies and the School of Religion at Liberty University in Virginia.

Other bios.

Signs of the Last Days – Dr. Jimmy DeYoung
Bio – http://jimmydeyoung.com/aboutdrd.shtml

Dr. Renald Showers
http://www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?SpeakerOnly=true&currSection=sermonsspeaker&Keyword=Dr.%5ERenald%5EShowers
Dr. Renald Showers is an author and Bible teacher for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc.

MacArthur Study Bible Notes
Bio – Dr. John MacArthur – https://www.gracechurch.org/Leader/MacArthur/John?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

Dr. John F. Walvoord, (1910-2012) long-time president of Dallas Theological Seminary, was one of the most prominent evangelical scholars of his generation. He is considered perhaps the world’s foremost interpreter of biblical prophecy.
Bio – https://bible.org/users/john-f-walvoord

Hal Lindsey https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hal_Lindsey
Harold Lee Lindsey (born November 23, 1929) is an American evangelist and Christian writer. He is a Christian Zionist and dispensationalist author. He graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with a Master of Theology degree, majoring in the New Testament and early Greek literature.

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