It’s almost here. My Bible Study on Revelation has been two years in the making and I am getting the first proof sent to me this week. If I find nothing wrong with it, it will be available for sale! If there are a few tweeks, it will take no longer than a month to get done. Sooooo, if you want to know about the end times, the feasts of the Lord, the rapture, the Antichrist, the Return of the King – get excited. This study is an eleven week rock-your-world Bible Study that is broken down into 5 day study sessions each week. By the end of it you will understand the hardest book in the Bible.
I am giddy.
So, as a sneek peek, I am including day one here. Hope you enjoy…..
Day One – Week One
You know a book is exceptional when it begins with “the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Consider for a moment this awe-inspiring introduction. Jesus, our Lord and Savior, the Lamb of God and the Lion of the tribe of Judah is about to tell us something previously unknown. Jesus is revealing, uncovering, and disclosing to us a truth that we could not possibly understand unless He Himself reveals it. You have undoubtedly heard Revelation is full of symbols, signs, and images we can’t possibly comprehend. This is a false statement and the first verse of Revelation proves it. Jesus isn’t trying to hide anything from us or it wouldn’t be deemed revelation. The signs and symbols Jesus uses in Revelation are not intended to conceal, on the contrary, they are intended to uncover things He wants us to understand.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ is our Savior disclosing to us how, and in what manner, this age will end. The Revelation of Jesus Christ is about the return of the King. The Revelation of Jesus Christ is about our return to the King. The Revelation is Jesus Himself. This is profound. This is extraordinary. This is Revelation.
So let’s open our eyes and dive right in, because the book of Revelation is a little more black and white than what many people think.
THE REVELATION IS ABOUT THE RETURN OF THE KING!
I wish I could sit down with you and discuss every verse in detail. Revelation is so rich in revelation (no pun intended) that volumes could be written about it. To know and understand Revelation, you have to know and understand the entire Word. There is so much treasure to uncover; you even find an occasional diamond! I just LOVE God’s Word!
However, I know our time is limited, so please forgive me if I do not touch on a verse you are curious about. Please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you have. I may not be able to answer every e-mail, but I will sure try. I would love to hear from you, Christian soldier!
But for now, let’s focus on a few phrases in the first three verses that might very well perk your interest.
READ REVELATION 1:1-3
The vision must soon _________________ (vs1) and John says the time _______________(v. 3).
Does this mean the Revelation happened closer to John’s day? Many scholars think so. They are called “preterists” because they point to the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD and the later fall of Rome as fulfilling most of the prophecies. Another view called the “spiritual” view believes Revelation isn’t literal, but a big spiritual allegory for events throughout history – a sort of rulebook for the bad and the good in the world. If you would like to study further about these views of Revelation, please pick up Revelation: Four Views, A Parallel Commentary by Steve Gregg.
I would wager a guess that since you have this book in your hands you are probably of the “futurist” camp or those who believe the revelation John saw will unfold at some point in the future. Although a lot of biblical prophecy is both applicable to the past as well as the future, Revelation is mainly about end-time events. This is the view I hold and it will be the focus of the remainder of this book. So why does scripture say the vision must “soon take place” and the “time is near?”
Before we answer that question, turn to Daniel 12:9. What did the angel say to Daniel about the words given him? “They are sealed up until ___________________________.”
So, the words discussed in Daniel could not be completely understood until the “time of the end.” If you study the book of Daniel (I highly recommend Beth Moore’s Daniel study), it becomes plain some elements of Daniel are also in Revelation. In other words, some prophecies in Daniel are further clarified in Revelation. So Revelation, like Daniel, is very important for the “time of the end.”
Both Daniel and Revelation deal with ushering in the Millennial Kingdom of Christ. The beast we will meet in Revelation 13 can only be explained by referring back to Daniel. Although we will not study Daniel in-depth, we will study parts of Daniel when we meet the beast of Revelation. Revelation, like Daniel, is for “the time of the end.” So why do the first verses of Revelation say “must soon take place” and “the time is near?” I believe the meaning is two-fold.
First, Revelation is written to individual believers. It will become apparent as we study chapters two and three that Jesus is talking to each person throughout history urging them to prepare for His return. For each believer, the time is near. Life is fragile and short. Christ is urging each and every person to examine themselves because He is coming quickly. Once you are dead, there is no more time. “Repent!” Jesus urges, “The time is near!”
Secondly, the main body of Revelation, those chapters after chapter three, deal with the final generation of believers, the end time generation, the one for which the time would be near. Look at Jesus’ own words regarding the timing of His return in Matthew 24:32-34. “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.”
What did Jesus mean by the “fig tree?” And what did He mean about “all these things?” Let’s first look into the fig tree.
Read Jeremiah 24:5 and Hosea 9:10. Who is compared to a fig tree? _____________________
Judah and Israel! So the fig tree (Israel) needs to put forth its leaves for the “end times” to begin. Has this happened? Yes! In 1948 Israel became a nation after being dispersed for almost two thousand years. Israel’s rebirth is prophesied in Ezekiel 37 and clarified throughout scripture. This has come to pass in our lifetime. Israel is now “putting forth leaves.” They are back in their nation and they are taking root.
It is interesting to note when Jesus entered Jerusalem a few days before His crucifixion He became hungry and saw a fig tree. “He came to it and found nothing on it except leaves only; and He said to it, ‘No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you.’ And at once the fig tree withered” (Matt. 21:19). I believe this was a representation of what would happen to Israel because she did not recognize Jesus at His first coming. She withered. Yet Jesus foretold of a future generation that would see the fig tree bear, not figs, but leaves. Does this mean the Jews have to come to faith for the end-times to begin? No, Jesus said they would bear leaves, not fruit (Matt. 7:15-23).
Now, what about “all these things” referenced in the Matthew scripture quoted above? Right before this scripture, Jesus described what would lead up to the end times.
Take a look at Matthew 24:1-14. List some things that we should find if we are in the “last days.”
Date setting is a “no-no” when it comes to end time events. We aren’t God and we shouldn’t play gods by guessing about His timing. But we do know this: Jesus says the generation who sees “the fig tree produce leaves” and sees “all these things” which you listed from Matthew 24 would not pass away until the end comes.
Jesus spoke to a future generation – our generation. That is why Revelation is no longer in gray, but in black and white. We are that generation!
What we need to remember is this: until 1948 the “end times” could not begin. Why? Based on the prophecies of Daniel 9, Ezekiel 37, and Revelation 12, the Jews have to be in their homeland for the final events to begin that lead to Jesus’ return. The end time prophecies of Daniel and Revelation hinge on Israel being a nation. Some of you doing this study have never lived without the nation of Israel, but your parents may still remember the day Israel was born. Israel’s rebirth was a huge occurrence for those who studied Biblical prophecy. This was, I daresay, the event! I personally don’t believe the generation born in 1948 will completely pass away before Jesus’ return. Now, is Matthew 24 the only indication that we are living in the end times? I am glad you asked that question.
Read 2 Timothy 3:1-5. List some things that we will find in the “last days.”
That scripture always leaves me feeling a little uneasy. You need to make up your own mind whether or not we are in the last days, but to be clear, they can now start at any time because the nation of Israel is back in their homeland.
Let’s end this day with the words of Jesus. “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it.”
Let’s highlight something. Fill in the blank. “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and ___________________________ the things which are written in it.
You have to heed to be blessed – not just read. Many have read Revelation and put it down, never to give it a second thought. But if you heed it, if you believe it enough to watch for the return of the King, you will be blessed. Why? Although we can’t know the date, we can know something very important. Read Matthew 16:1-3. Jesus criticized the Pharisees because they did not recognize ____________________________________________.
We can know the signs of the times. In other words, we can know the season of His coming. And if we heed the book of Revelation, we will be prepared. The horseman will not surprise us, the famine will not surprise us, the beast will not surprise us, and the persecution will not surprise us.
And God assures us, because we have heeded His Revelation we will be. . . BLESSED.
If you want to order this Bible Study, click here.
Amen and Amen, Come Quickly, Lord Jesus!