Step by Step Through the Book of Revelation/Program 3
By: The John Ankerberg Show
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung; ©2008|
|The Bible discusses a terrible future time called the tribulation. Is this a real historical series of events? If so, when will they begin? Should we fear that we will live through these tribulation times?|
Today one out of every four Christian adults believes Jesus could return in their lifetime. The book of Revelation is God’s message to all of us who are concerned about the future. It contains Jesus Christ’s last words to the church on such important doctrines as the rapture, the second coming, the final judgment, and reveals what will ultimately happen to Satan, to the Antichrist, and to those who follow false religions. Jesus warns of the terrible future events that will take place on earth during the tribulation, the battle of Armageddon, and His second coming to earth. In this book He tells about the millennium, the final judgment of every person who has ever lived, and what God has planned for His people in eternity future.
Today, we will take you step by step through the book of Revelation in a clear and concise manner, to help you understand its message and the future events God predicts are up ahead. We invite you to join us for this special edition of the John Ankerberg Show.
- Ankerberg: We’re talking about the book of Revelation and answering all the questions that you want to know about the book of Revelation. My guest is Dr. Jimmy DeYoung. He’s a prophecy scholar, he’s lived in the Middle East since 1993, knows every Israeli Prime Minister that has served since that time. He’s interviewed each one of them. He knows the events that are going on in our world. He’s tying those events to the book of Revelation. But the fact is that this is just the basics of walking you through the book of Revelation. And, Jimmy, for the folks that have missed the last couple of weeks, let’s review. Let’s talk about the rapture, let’s talk about the second coming, let’s talk about the final judgment, and where the tribulation comes in, and we’re going to talk about the rise of the Antichrist. Bring us into focus again.
- DeYoung: Well, you talked about the three main events – the rapture, the return of Christ, and the retribution, the Great White Throne Judgment. We have these three pillars here that represent those three main events that happen in the book of Revelation. The rapture, chapter 4 verse 1, and then 4:2 through 19:10, 16 chapters, detailed information about the seven year tribulation period. Now, this pillar represents the return of Christ to the earth. That’s chapter 19 of Revelation, verses 11 and following. And then in chapter 20 we see the number one thousand years. That’s talking about the millennial kingdom. Jesus Christ will rule and reign during that thousand year period of time, but also Satan will be bound, so there will be peace upon the earth. This last pillar, the third of the three pillars, represents the third of the three main events of the book of Revelation, the Great White Throne Judgment, Revelation 20:11-15. And after that, eternity future, new heavens, new earth and new Jerusalem.
- Ankerberg: Alright, that’s the overview, and we’ve talked about the person of Christ in the first chapter, we’ve talked about the letters to the churches. And now, after the letters to the churches in the book of Revelation, then you come to this point of everything transfers to heaven. We have the rapture, we have the folks going to heaven. And then something happens on earth, this seven year period of tribulation. And it starts with seven seals that are talked about in the book of Revelation. And let’s review what we talked about with the Antichrist, the rise of Antichrist in that first seal.
- DeYoung: John, those first seal judgments, the seven seal judgments, the first of three sets of sevens, do take place in the first three and a half years, and immediately after the rapture of the church. In fact, the clock starts ticking on that seven year period of time, that’s indicated by Daniel 9:27, when the Antichrist, this one world governmental, economic, political leader, will confirm a peace treaty with Israel and her enemies. Now, that is the man on the white horse in Revelation 6:1-2. The Antichrist, I believe, is alive and well on planet earth. Every single thing that we see unfolding in our world, in particular the European Union, which is at least the infrastructure for the revived Roman Empire, which will bring about the appearance of the Antichrist. It will be the base upon which he will start to take control of this world in the first three and a half years of the tribulation period. It’s all set, the Antichrist is ready to appear.
- Ankerberg: Okay, you start it with that first seal, and it says that the Antichrist will appear. Why is the man riding on the white horse the Antichrist?
- DeYoung: Because of the fact that he has a crown on his head, has a bow in his hand with no arrows. That’s giving us the information that is found there in Daniel 9:27 that he does confirm that peace treaty. He doesn’t sign it, he confirms that peace treaty. And the Antichrist has to be in place. The backdrop of this first three and a half years, and we mentioned it on a previous program, is the false church that will be headquartered in the city of Rome. When you look to chapter 17 of the book of Revelation, you see the word beast. Now, that’s the name of the Antichrist in the book of Revelation. This beast, used eight times in chapter 17, will take charge of this false religion. He will start to have the world worship him as he sets up a false religion. This is the backdrop for the seal judgments then to be unfolded.
- Ankerberg: Alright, this is apocalyptic literature but it tells us true things. Why did God use apocalyptic language to talk to us, and how do we figure it out?
- DeYoung: I believe He used apocalyptic literature, and He does that in the book of Daniel, Ezekiel, Zechariah, and Revelation because we really would not have been able to comprehend what He’s talking about. And He uses a symbol, it’s not a fairy tale, and it’s not an allegory, but a symbol that will communicate an absolute truth. Let me remind everybody back in chapter 1 we saw Jesus standing among seven golden candlesticks with seven stars in His hand. Now to interpret apocalyptic literature you simply keep reading the Word of God. When you come to verse 20 of chapter 1, it says the seven stars were the seven angels of the seven churches and the seven candlesticks were the seven churches. That hermeneutical principle then is applied to all of the Scripture that we will be looking at in Revelation when it is using a symbol, apocalyptic literature to explain the judgments.
- Ankerberg: Okay what I love is that all of the Scripture goes together. You just need to read. If you took Ezekiel, if you took Daniel, if you took Zachariah, if you took the Book of Revelation and you put them together. The fact is, you would start to have definitions coming out where the Bible says, “This is what we are talking about.”
- DeYoung: Those are the four major books that you have just mentioned John. And their prophecies fit like hand in glove as you understand what God’s plan is for the future. The book of 2 Peter 1:20 says there is no prophecy of private interpretation. That’s another hermeneutical principle everybody must remember. You can’t use a text here to disprove another text prophetically someplace else. They all must fit hand in glove exactly like you said.
- Ankerberg: Alright. Jesus is opening these seals, and as he does, judgment is coming on the earth. The first one is the rise of Antichrist. And the second one is the rider on the red horse. What does that mean?
- DeYoung: The rider on the red horse goes forth and starts wars all over the world. Remember Jesus Christ said that there would be rumors of wars, there would be information that would tell everybody in the world wars were happening some place. I was recently down in Columbus, GA, preaching; that’s a military town. I said that there were 57 conflicts going on someplace in the world at that time. A colonel who had just graduated from the War College in Carlisle, PA, approached me and said, “Dr. DeYoung, I’m going to have to correct you.” I said, “What did I say wrong?” He said, “You said there are 57 conflicts. I just graduated from the War College; they tell us there are 153 conflicts in this world.” That’s happening. And the nations, John, are aligning themselves against the Jewish state of Israel. That’s what this second seal, the man on the red horse, who comes forth with a sword to have wars all over the world. And these nations are aligning themselves right now to attack the nation of Israel.
- Ankerberg: Alright. We’ve talked about Ezekiel 38, you’ve rolled through that list. But roll through the list; because you say Ezekiel 38 comes into play right here. And a lot of people want to know, where does Ezekiel 38 come in the book of Revelation.
- DeYoung: Ezekiel 38 comes in the beginning of the seven year tribulation period. And I’ll explain that in a moment. But let me give you the other chapters in different books that deal with that alignment of nations as well. Over in Daniel 11:40-45, it mentions the king of the north – and we know that is Syria – and the king of the south is Egypt. Now, those two nations will be the first ones to make a move against Israel. In that same text it says you will hear something out of the north, out of the south, out of the east and out of the west. That takes us then to Ezekiel 38, and it mentions in verse 2 of Ezekiel 38, Gog in the land of Magog. Gog is the leader, Magog the location. We don’t have time to get into all the explanation on the broadcast. Let me take a shortcut and say Magog is that nation that was in existence at the time when the author, Ezekiel, wrote the book, and it was north of the Caspian and Black Sea. That is the area of Russia today. Also in verse 2 it mentions Meshach and Tubal. Verse 6 Gomar and Togarmah. Well, those were the biblical four quarters of what we know today as modern day Turkey. In chapter 38 verse 5 of Ezekiel it mentions Persia. And until 1936 Persia was what we know today as Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. It mentions Ethiopia, or Cush maybe in your Bible, that would be Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan. Then it mentions Put, or Libya. That’s modern day Libya. And you could go over to Psalm 83 and it adds Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.
- These nations that I’ve just mentioned will align themselves, and they will do it in the first six months, I believe, of the tribulation period. Ezekiel 38:8 says they’ll do it when the nation of Israel is at peace, when they’ve laid down their weapons. They live in unwalled villages. It’s military terminology meaning they have laid down their weapons. They’re dwelling safely in the land. When does that happen? Only after the Antichrist has established this peace, a pseudo peace, a short lived peace. But the Jews will believe their Messiah is back, the peace is in place. They lay down their weapons. This alignment of nations then will attack. And that happens in the first six months of the tribulation period.
- Chapter 39 verse 2 of the book of Ezekiel says all of those nations will be wiped out. When you stop to think about it, every nation I mentioned, the lowest common denominator, maybe with the exception of Russia, is that they are Islamic nations. That means the Islamic world, in the first six months of the tribulation period, will be rendered inoperative. And that is very key. Remember, the Antichrist has another responsibility. He’s over there in Rome, Italy, heading up a one world false church. And Islam will not coexist with the false church the Antichrist will put in place. They have to be taken off the world scene for that false church to operate during the first three and a half years of the tribulation.
- Ankerberg: Alright. Daniel 11, the nations there, with Ezekiel 38, they cause a lot of turmoil. They come against Israel, and God protects Israel. But it looks like the third seal gives you the results of the massing of these armies and the wars that do take place, because now the third seal is famine across the world. Worldwide war will destroy the food supply, which spawns global hunger.
- DeYoung: You know, WHO, World Health Organization, said that one half the earth’s population is going to go to bed tonight not having had a full stomach that day. And it says every seven seconds, every seven seconds, a child dies of starvation. We have to realize where we are in this world. American’s, the prosperous American, does not understand how people are starving to death. That’s what’s taking place. And then that fourth seal, now that is death. And one fourth of the earth’s population – at our present population of six billion people, that’s 1.5 billion people – they will die because of the wars, because of the famine, because of all that’s taking place. After that there’s going to be martyrdom of those who are believers. Now, the church, the Christian, leaves at the rapture. But during that period of time those two witnesses we talked about previously will witness. And many of the people on the earth, both Jews and Gentiles, will come to know Christ. Many of them will be martyred because they will not take the mark of the beast. And then in the heavenlies, and beginning on the ground, ecological judgment.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’re going to take a break and we’re going to get to that, because we’re going to get to the mid point of the tribulation. And we want to talk about this Antichrist, this world leader that for some reason goes down to Israel, and he goes into the temple and he proclaims some absolutely unbelievable things. And we’re going to talk about that when we come right back. So stick with us.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’re back. Folks, God gave us the book of Revelation. He gave it to Christians so we would understand where we are at in the scheme of things in history. And we’re talking about now, after the church is taken out of here, what God is going to do on planet earth. And we’ve talked about these seal judgments. Let’s finish that up, and then we want to talk about the Antichrist going into the temple in Jerusalem. And we’re going to talk about ecological judgments and then some fantastic things that God says is up ahead. But for folks, Jimmy, that are saying, why did you bring Israel into this thing? What’s the big deal about Israel? And why do all the nations of the world finally end up there and attack Israel?
- DeYoung: You know, God made a promise to the Jewish people, in fact He made four promises: the Abrahamic Covenant, the Land Covenant, the Davidic Covenant, and the New Covenant. He has a plan that He must complete with the Jewish people. In order for Him to be consistent and true, He made promises to the Jewish people, these promises must be fulfilled. For example, that Land Covenant. That Land Covenant guarantees the Jewish people they will have ten times the real estate they have today, and it includes half of Egypt, all of Israel, all of Lebanon, all of Syria, all of Jordan, three quarters of Iraq, all of Kuwait, three quarters of Saudi Arabia. Now, when you think about that, that’s what God has promised the Jewish people. That being the case, you can understand why the nations that we talked about, and the alignment of nations, want to go against the Jewish people. They’re God’s chosen people. He promised them not only this land, He promised them a kingdom. And that kingdom will come, ultimately, after Jesus Christ returns to the earth. That’s why all these judgments will take place. These Gentile world powers must be brought to their knees. They must be finished off before Jesus and God the Father can fulfill all the promises they have made to the Jewish people.
- Ankerberg: Alright, there’s stuff happening in terms of men, but there’s also spiritual warfare that’s going on as well, you’re going back and forth here in the book of Revelation. Talk about the spiritual warfare that’s going on and how that intersects with what’s happening with earth.
- DeYoung: Remember, I said the backdrop for this first three and a half years in the tribulation period would be the false church, the whore, as it’s referred to in the Bible, that is depicted for us in the book of Revelation, chapter 17. Chapter 17 verse 5 talks about Babylon, the mother of all harlots. Now, the word harlot there, that’s that apocalyptic literature. Remember, those of us who know Christ as lord and savior, we’re His bride. We will be married to Jesus Christ. What’s the opposite of a pure virgin, virtuous woman who will come to the altar to be married? Well, that would be a whore, a prostitute, an unvirtuous, non-virgin woman. And that’s describing the false church in chapter 17.
- Antichrist comes to power, the revived Roman Empire plays a key role. It talks about in chapter 17 verse 3 that what John the Revelator saw was this beast with ten horns, seven heads. The ten horns are the revived Roman Empire. And that’s dealt with in verse 12 of chapter 17. Verse 9 says those seven heads, that would be seven mountains upon which the woman sitteth. And when John wrote the book in 95 AD, he was talking about the city of Rome. So in the end times, after the rapture, in that first three and a half year period of time, the false church will be headquartered in the city of Rome.
- At the end of that three and a half years, by the way, the revived Roman Empire is going to rise up, this is verse 16, they’re going to destroy that false church. Verse 17 of chapter 17 has a very interesting principle. It says that God put in the hearts of evil men, of world leaders at that time, to do His will. And that was the destruction of this false church.
- The Antichrist will then move from Rome, where he will have been headquartered, into the city of Jerusalem. And in the city of Jerusalem, he goes into a temple that will have been rebuilt. It will be standing on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Bible tells us in chapter 9 verse 27 of Daniel, that the abomination of desolation will take place. Jesus confirmed that, Matthew 24:15, when he said, “When you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, flee.” Second Thessalonians 2:4 says the Antichrist walks into the temple, sits down in the holy of holies and claims to be God. That’s what Isaiah 14 said, when Lucifer became Satan, he said, “I will be worshiped in Jerusalem.” That will be the case.
- And so all of this scripture, even Revelation 11:1, which says there will be a temple at the midway point of the tribulation, all of it is in place, because all preparations have been made to erect that temple in Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount, where the Antichrist will desecrate it. And it is at that point the Antichrist will then allow the false prophet to put an image of him in the holy of holies. He’ll be able to make this image speak and move. This is chapter 13 of Revelation, starting in verse 12 there. Miracles; by the way, signs, wonders and miracles, a key component to this false church and the worship of the Antichrist. But at that point, Jesus Christ is watching all this unfold. And Antichrist moves to another location, other than the city of Jerusalem to set up a one world economic, political, governmental system.
- Ankerberg: Okay, so he travels from Rome to Jerusalem. And let’s go to the rest of the story here.
- DeYoung: He goes to what we know as modern day Iraq. He goes to a literal city, this is chapter 18 of the book of Revelation, called Babylon. In chapter 18 the word Babylon is used three times. The word city is used six times. The word great is used eight times. Chapter 18 of Revelation is talking about the great city of Babylon. Now, that will become the international headquarters for a one world economic, political, governmental system, headed up by Antichrist, that will be in operation in the last three and a half years of the tribulation period, just prior to Jesus Christ returning to the earth.
- Ankerberg: Alright. In the seal judgments, they end up with a great earthquake, but go through the numbers of people that are lost, that die on planet earth during that short period of time of the seal judgments.
- DeYoung: In those first three and a half years, one fourth of the earth’s population will be killed. That one fourth would be, today at our present numbers, 1.5 billion people. In the last three and a half years, in one of the trumpet judgments, another third will be killed. That would be an additional 1.5 billion people. That’s half of the earth’s population that will die during this terrible time of judgment here on the earth.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’re going to get to the midpoint of the tribulation, and then after the midpoint of the tribulation we get into these trumpet judgments that are these ecological judgments that come upon the earth. And they’re absolutely unbelievable. And so, folks, we want you to join us. We’re also going to talk about an alien invasion, if you want, to planet earth that’s going to take place, that the book of Revelation describes very explicitly. And so I hope that you’ll join us then. It’s going to be something that you’ll remember forever.