We continue to look at the prophecies in The Book of Revelation, talking through how the message of Revelation works together with other passages from both the Old and New testaments, tying in Daniel 9 & Matthew 24. Everyone experiences tribulation, but we have the choice to be an overcomer and a witness for God. Prophecy is about exposing truth. And we are called to be a witness to the truth, first in our own hearts and then in the world at large.
Today is an episode I am really excited about. We’re going to go through the rest of Revelation as an overview and see what happens so you have a structure to understand the rest of this book. We are in the what-is-to-come part.
Then what I want to do is show you how Revelation, Daniel 9, and Matthew 24 all work together.
One of the main points that’s going to come out of it is; these events that we’re going to be talking about are in a period of time that’s seven years that was prescribed by Daniel. Revelation never says seven years. It talks about three and a half years. And that three and a half years is the Great Tribulation.
I’m going to show you how the Great Tribulation fits into the 70 weeks of Daniel and how these things really fit together.
You’re going to get an overview, and then you’re going to get the timeframe today. And then, we’ll start marching through the chapters. But by having the overview and the timeframe, I think it will help you a lot in understanding what’s going on and keeping track.
God is on the throne
First, let’s just overview. We did what was and is via the letters to the seven churches. And then we started what is to come in the last two episodes. We started off in the throne room. And in the throne room, it’s really clear who’s on the throne: God. And that’s a very important thing for us to know because the world’s about to have the wheels roll off of it.
And when things are going crazy, one of the main things you want to know is, where’s God in all this? And the answer is on the throne. Yes, that’s where he is. This is the game of thrones. And we’re going to see as we go through here that the throne of God and the Throne of Satan are going to be in a monumental clash.
God is on the throne, and there is this scroll that needs to be opened so that history can culminate. And the scroll has seven seals in it. And we’re going to see the seven seals.
The story comes to life
So you break a seal. You unroll part and read part of the story. And you break a seal, and you read part of the story. And you break a seal, and you read part of the story. Except what we’re going to see is you break a seal, and the story comes to life.
Now I don’t know if this is going to be a common thing in heaven where you can go into the library and unroll a scroll, and it comes to life; but I hope so. I think that will be a cool thing to be a part of.
But that’s what’s happening to John. And he breaks the seals, the seven seals.
Each of the seals, some new thing happens. And one of the things you’ll notice is it’ll say something like, “and a crown was given to him,” or “authority was given to him” to do something.
So the action on the earth, this horrible stuff is being authorized and empowered from the throne room. Very important to remember because this is a dark and terrible time. And in dark and terrible times you wonder, where’s God? And where’s God? On the throne. These things are emanating from God. In fact, they’re written in this book to happen.
The scroll can only be opened by someone who’s worthy
And we saw that John knew this book needed to be opened. The scroll needed to be unrolled and nobody could unroll it, and he cried. And then somebody comes and says, “Don’t worry. This scroll can only be opened by somebody who’s worthy.” Thankfully, somebody is worthy; and it’s Jesus who was slain.
So Jesus opens the scroll, and things start to happen.
So here’s what happens. You have seven seals. Each time he breaks a seal, new stuff happens. When you get to the seventh seal, seven trumpets blow. So there’s seven trumpets inside the seventh seal. Every time the trumpet blows, something happens.
So every time a seal opens, something happens, and then every time a trumpet blows, something happens.
The last three trumpets are called the three woes.
These things are progressively getting more intense as you go through. Seven seals. The seventh seal is seven trumpets. The last three trumpets are the three woes.
Then when the seventh trumpet blows, there’s a pronouncement: The kingdom is now inaugurated. That’s pretty cool.
It’s just like the founders got to Philadelphia, signed a document and said, “The United States is now a country.”
It’s just like David Ben-Gurion went on the radio in 1948 and said, “Israel is now a country.”
Every country starts this way: with a pronouncement.
And there’s a pronouncement: The kingdom has now begun. The reign has started. This is in the seventh trumpet.
And then, seven bowls are poured out. These are the bowl judgments, and these are really nasty. And the seven bowls include the prayers of us.
So, you have history unrolling from heaven initiated by the throne room and by us on earth. And all the time, the main message of Revelation is remain a faithful witness because it’s your choice whether you’re going to remain a faithful witness or not. By your choices, you’re affecting what happens even though everything’s already written. I cannot explain that part, except one thing: God is on his throne, and he’s God.
So, we have the seven seals. Break each seal. Unroll. Seventh seal, seven trumpets blow. Seven judgments happen. The last three trumpets, three woes. Last woe or last trumpet, kingdom is pronounced. Kingdom is pronounced then bowl judgments happen. And then, Jesus comes back, and he defeats the armies of Satan, inaugurates a new kingdom. It’s a thousand-year kingdom. This earth is restored largely. Satan’s locked away during this thousand years. At the end of the thousand years, he gets out for a little while, and there’s another rebellion, of all things. Then a final culmination, new heaven and a new earth. Old heaven and old earth pass away, and there’s a new age inaugurated. That’s the rest of Revelation.
We’re in the throne room. I don’t know where John is—when he says, “Come over here and look,” I don’t know whether John is looking through a window or looking down in a pool or being transported somewhere else. But it’s all emanating from the throne room. Seven seals, seventh seal, seven trumpets, last three trumpets three woes, last trumpet inauguration of the kingdom, Satan’s evicted from heaven, and then seven bowl judgments, and then the millennial kingdom, and then a new heaven and a new earth. That’s the overview of what’s to come.
Within that I want to show you where this fits chronologically. And this is within a seven-year period predicted by Daniel. Let me show you that. First, let me take you to a couple of places in Revelation that talk about time periods.
Let’s look at Revelation 11:2. He’s measuring the court, the temple. He says, “Rise and measure the temple.” We’ll go through all these things, but today we’re just looking at the time period.
But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.
Part of what is predicted here is Jerusalem is going to be overrun by the Gentiles for 42 months.
Now let’s go over to 12:6. This is this sign where the woman, which is Israel, is fleeing, and the dragon is trying to devour the child that she bore. And then verse 6. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
So 42 months is three and a half years. One thousand two hundred and sixty days is three and a half years if you use 30-day months, which is the way the Jewish calendar works. They use the moon calendar instead of adding five days a year to make it fit the earth revolving around the sun. They just go with the lunar calendar, throw in an extra month every so often. I think it’s every seven years. I’m not sure about that.
Then 13:5. So in 13:5, and this is the antichrist now. He’s a “little horn” in this particular vision. And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he—the beast—was given authority to continue for forty-two months.
So we’ve got 42 months, 1260 days, and 42 months. Three and a half years. That’s the time where there’s all this bad stuff that’s been given to happen.
Now, hold that thought, and let’s go to Revelation 7:9. This is now, we’re in the sixth seal. We broke the sixth seal, and various things are happening in the sixth seal. Remember seven seals, seventh seal, seven trumpets, last three trumpets three woes, last trumpet kingdom inaugurated. Then seven bowl judgments. The millennial kingdom. And then the new heaven and the new earth.
Keep that in mind. We’re back in the sixth seal. In the sixth seal, he says in verse nine, After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne, and before the Lamb—
Here we are in the throne room, and there’s all these people, throngs of people—
—clothed with white robes, with palm branches in the hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying:
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
Be to our God forever and ever.
Then one of the elders answered, saying to me—John— “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir, you know.”
This is just like one of my granddaughters says. If you ask her a question she doesn’t know, she’ll say, “You say!” Same thing. It’s biblical.
So he said to me, “These are the ones who came out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
So there’s this great tribulation that’s going to happen. People are going to come through it, and they’re going to get an extra special blessing. That’s the point here.
And remember, the whole point of Revelation is, what? Read, understand, do. What is it he wants us to do? Be a faithful witness until the end. Do not fear death. That’s the point. That’s the point of Revelation. These people did that, and they’re getting a huge reward.
But, there’s something called the Great Tribulation. So we’ve got three and a half years where bad stuff is happening. We’ve got the Great Tribulation. What is this, and how does it fit in?
Christ’s prediction of desolation
Go to Matthew 24. The reason we’re going to Matthew 24 is to set up going to Daniel 9.
The setting here is that Jesus, in verse 1, departs from the temple, and his disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
You’ve got this beautiful, amazing Herod’s temple, and Jesus says, “All this is coming down.”
This is immediately after the previous chapter where Jesus says in verse 37, just a few verses back, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
The disciples ask three questions
So Jesus here, with a standing temple, with a functioning Jerusalem, is predicting a desolation. And, naturally, the disciples ask a question. Actually, they ask three questions in 24:3. Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives—here they are sitting on the Mount of Olives. It’s about a 500-foot-tall ridge overlooking Jerusalem. It’s a very beautiful view today. I’m sure it was beautiful back then. —the disciples came to Him privately—so this is not a meeting. They’re private. And they said, three questions:
Number one. “Tell us, when will these things be?
Jerusalem is going to be desolate. The temple is going to be knocked down. When is that going to happen? Number one. Wouldn’t you want to know? Number one.
Number two. And what will be the sign of Your coming—
He said you’re not going to see me again until you say blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. So what does that look like? What is the sign?
And the third thing: What’s the sign of the end of the age?
So when? What’s the sign of your coming? What’s the sign of the end of the age?
What’s the end of the age?
And Jesus answered—all three questions. He answers the last question first. 24:4. And Jesus answered and said to them—When’s the end of the age, he’s answering now. —Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
So what question did they ask? What’s the end of the age? That’s the third question. And he says a whole bunch of bad stuff is going to happen. He just told them the temple is coming down, right? Wars, rumors of war, lots of bad stuff. But the end is not yet.
Verse 7. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation— There’s tribulation but not great tribulation. —and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
The end of what? The age. What’s the end of the age? Well, all this stuff happens. The end’s not yet. If you endure till the end, you’ll be saved. Saved from what? Hating. Saved from not being a good witness. Being delivered from losing your witness.
Verse 14. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations—
We’re going to see that happen in Revelation. An angel is going to fly through the earth to make sure everybody’s heard. Preaching the gospel to the kingdom.
—and then the end will come.
So when’s the end going to come? It’s going to come after the gospel of the kingdom is preached to the entire world. He’s talking to a group of 12 disciples. How many people in the world have heard the gospel of the kingdom at this point? Not very many, right?
So they’re thinking, wow, that’s a big job to do.
And I think Jesus wants to get that across, don’t you? Because he’s going to tell them, OK, it’s up to you now to make this happen. I’m going back to heaven. “What?!”
What’s the sign of your coming?
So then, the second question. He starts with what’s the end of the age. The end of the age is going to come when the gospel of the kingdom….Then he starts the second question: the sign of your coming.
Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place’ (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down and take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation—
So here’s Jesus. What’s the sign? Daniel’s abomination of desolation is the sign. And what that’s going to inaugurate is great tribulation. So, when is this building going to get knocked down? When are you going to come back and be restored? Well, the sign of my coming is going to be the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel. And there’s going to be such a great tribulation, you just drop your hoe and run. That’s how great it’s going to be.
When is this going to happen?
And then he answers the third question which is, when is this going to happen? And that is in verse 36. Nobody knows. The answer to that one is nobody knows.