Book of Revelation – Lesson #1

Let Us Begin Our Journey for Answers in the Book of REVELATION…
Everyone is required to participate with imput.
Many of you are concerned about the events that are taking place, at this time, in our world. The events in the Middle East especially where Israel is involved … Wars … Terrorist threats … New diseases … Violent crimes … Wicked Weather … Increase of natural disasters such as hurricanes which have now actually destroyed large areas and even devastated entire communities along the coasts of America and other nations … Even the divisions in family such as the divorce rate, which is skyrocketing and is a definite sign of love waxing cold which Jesus foretold as being a sign of the End Times.
These events and circumstances surrounding us may appear to be the End Times Signs … But, are they? It very well may be. The Bible is clear as to which End Times signs we are to watch for, so let us seek the TRUTH together.
Saints, in my own study of the prophecies, I strive for interpretations consistent with the context and with the rest of the inspired Word. That means digging deeply into any passage to find a harmonious picture. We can’t take a few isolated verses and hang our whole belief system on them. Still, it’s good to meditate on isolated verses and prayerfully ask for the blessing God has in them for us. Then, as we have opportunity, we should study the context and compare with other verses.
I consider my interpretations basically sound although improvements and corrections are always in order when new light is discovered. We must always study for ourselves no matter who is telling us what they think is truth. And truth is tested by the Scriptures ( Isa. 8:20; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Matt. 4:4; John 17:17).

God made it clear that He is the one and only TRUE God and that He is the God of prophecy.
Isaiah 46:9-10

9 Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me,
10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
The term “END TIMES” is used to define Bible prophecy of the last days. This time period is also called Apocalypse and Doomsday by many. We will study these prophecies from the books of Revelation, Daniel and also from the Olivet Discourse (Located in the Gospels)
The “END TIMES” is a phrase used to describe a time of great tribulation like never before.
Matthew 24:21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.
And, it very well may be YOUR future. But, I want you to know that It is clearly written in the Bible, that nobody knows the day or the hour of the “END TIMES.”
Matthew 24:36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son,but the Father only.
And that day, comes as a thief in the night.
2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed

We are ALSO told to WATCH and BE PREPARED, so that day does NOT come upon us as a thief in the night.

Matthew 24:42-44 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
The number one question that EVERYBODY wants to know is … Will the “END TIMES” occur in our lifetime?
They also wonder WHY it is that if nobody is to know what day and hour the END TIMES will happen … WHY they should even worry about it?
There is another scripture that answers these questions.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers,you have no need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5 For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. 6 So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober

It says that, even though that day will come as a “thief in the night” upon many souls, that the children of the light will not have that day overtake them as a thief. A child of the light, is a child that is enlightened … One that knows what is to be and is prepared at any given hour.
Revelation 3:3 Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.
So the answer to the question of “Why we should even worry about it” is … It could come at any time and we need to be prepared. This leaves us with three simple questions … We will look into all three of these questions and seek the answers together …
What happens during the END TIMES?
What signs do we watch for?
How do we prepare for the END TIMES?

WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE “END TIMES”
There are many books in the Bible that foretell of the events that will occur during the “END TIMES”, but there are three books that really sum it up well and these three books will be where we will focus our search. These books are Revelation, Matthew and Daniel. The books of Mark and Luke also speak of this time period.

Luke 17:22-37 … Luke 21:7-36 … Mark 13:1-29
We will begin with Matthew Chapter 24, the Apostles asked Jesus, exactly what we are asking … In verse 3, they asked, WHAT shall be the signs of the End Times? Jesus answered their questions in what is known as the “Olivet Discourse”, which simply means that His response to their questions, was given upon the Mount of Olives.
Chapter 24 of the book of Matthew, starting with Verse 4, is His response …

FALSE CHRISTS
Matthew 24:5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.
This means that many will show up and claim to be Christ. We have seen many false christs and false prophets as of late. Many had their followers die for them and their cause, only to find out that they were not Christ as they pretended to be.
This left many families and loved ones broken hearted. It also left many afraid to hear the Word of God from those who are truly sent to share it. So, how do we know if someone who claims to be Christ, is the REAL Christ?
Jesus, Himself told us the answer. Jesus will not come back and be in a secret place with some sect or group of people. He will come from the Heavens, and ALL eyes shall see Him.
Acts 1:11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
Revelation 1:7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
Jesus then spoke of another sign to watch for …

WARS AND RUMORS OF WAR
Matthew 24:6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.
This means that there will be wars and constant talk of war.
Just look around you to see if that is occurring.

It used to be that if two or more countries were at war, it was something MAJOR. These days, there is a war going on somewhere, every day. There are so many wars, that we have become immune to the news reports about them.
But, Jesus said that these are just signs that tell us that the End is near, not here.
Jesus then spoke of another sign to watch for …

FAMINES
Matthew 24:7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
I often wonder if He is referring to the millions of Americans that are homeless, or the starving children from other countries that we see on television. This may just be a prelude to a worldwide famine, that we are to expect.

Jesus then spoke of another sign to watch for …

PESTILENCES
Pestilences are Diseases. Well, now let’s see … We have everything from mad cow disease to S.A.R.S. to A.I.D.S.. We even have a new one called the H591 bird flu. Millions of people are infected with the deadly A.I.D.S. virus and as popular as sex is, we ought to have that number multiplied many fold as the years pass. Not to mention the thousands of other diseases killing off our society every day. With the new threat of terrorist’s using chemical weapons to fight … It is very conceivable that pestilence could be a major factor in the “END TIMES” …
And what of the Earthquakes that Jesus prophesied would come? Are the Earthquakes not becoming more frequent just as He predicted?THEN JESUS SAID …
Matthew 24:8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.

Wow … That is just the BEGINNING of the horrible events ahead.
Jesus then spoke of another sign to watch for …

CHRISTIANS KILLED
Matthew 24:9-14 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come
Many Christians will be killed for their beliefs …

Jesus also shares with us that a sign of the End Times beginning is that Love shall wax cold.
People go from hello to “I do” without considering what lies ahead. People get married for all the wrong reasons. Then, after months and even years of pain, arguing and hatred, they do what has to be done … They divorce. This division of family leaves our children angry, hurt and lost. The children then make poor choices and some even become extremely violent. With this type of behavior being exercised and taught to our children, it has become a vicious cycle that has become a trend of disobedience and hatred, which are signs of the “END TIMES.”

Betrayal and hatred rule.
2 Timothy 3:1-7 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

This causes division, even between family members and those who are not Christians will seek out those who are Christians and the Christians will be killed. But those that keep their Faith, will be saved.
Matthew 24:13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

Jesus then spoke of another sign to watch for …

GREAT TRIBULATION
Matthew 24:15-29 So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, 18 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 19 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 20 Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22 And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. 23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. 29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall

Jesus says, at the time we see the “abomination of desolation” set up in Israel, that the “END TIMES” are upon us. The abomination of desolation is where someone defiles the holy place in Jerusalem as prophesied in the book of Daniel.
Let us take a look at the “abomination of desolation”
ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION
WHAT IS THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION AND WHAT DO THE
ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION HAVE TO DO WITH CHRISTIANS?

In the book of Daniel, there is prophecy of an abomination of desolation.

Daniel 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the middle of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured on the desolate.

Daniel 11:31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that makes desolate.

Daniel 12:11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that makes desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

Did you see it said daily sacrifice?
This is referring to the daily prayer and sacrifices the people give to God.
“cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease”

This event will be stopped as when this event occurs, the one setting up the abomination of desolation wants no sacrifice of any sort to God.

This entity wants all to worship him.
What is abomination of desolation?

An example of abomination of desolation would be what occurred around 168 BC… An evil ruler named Antiochus IV Epiphanes, one of the most evil rulers that Israel has ever encountered did so much damage in fact, that when he was finally conquered, the Israelites made a celebration that is still carried out to this day.
It is called Hanukkah.
But, during his reign of terror…. Antiochus Epiphanes put a statue of Greek “god” named zeus, in the Temple of God at Jerusalem and sacrificed pig’s blood on it.
This was an abomination of desolation.

Jesus warned us that an abomination of desolation would occur and quoted Daniel:

Matthew 24:15 “Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),

Mark 13:14 “But when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.

So, the abomination of desolation that Jesus refers to is probably the image or statue of antichrist being set up.

Revelation 13:14-15 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. 15 And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.

Antichrist will have an image created where all must bow to it much like Nebuchadnezzar had the people do.

Daniel 3:1-7 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, the height of which was sixty cubits and its width six cubits; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent word to assemble the satraps, the prefects and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates and all the rulers of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.Then the satraps, the prefects and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates and all the rulers of the provinces were assembled for the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then the herald loudly proclaimed: “To you the command is given, O peoples, nations and men of every language,
that at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe and all kinds of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up. “But whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire.” Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe and all kinds of music, all the people, nations and men of every language fell down and worshiped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

There are many similarities between certain aspects of the Book of Daniel’s shared prophecy af Antiochus and antichrist and for good reason. They are spiritual one in the same.
What Antiochus did is going to happen, but this time it will be much worst. Antiochus was but a shadow of antichrist.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 That which hath been is that which shall be; and that which hath been done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

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