This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things which must happen soon, which he sent and made known by his angel to his servant, John
As we saw in the previous subchapter, the singular theme of the book of Revelation is:
Signs of What Must Occur Quickly: To Reveal Jesus.
At the first coming of Christ in the first century, Jesus came as the Lamb of God, the Savior of the world, to die on the cross for our sins... to make dead men live.
In the second coming, the book of Revelation describes Jesus with eyes of fire, a face that shines as bright as the sun and a sword coming from His mouth. WHEN HE COMES, He will rip the rule of the earth out of Satan's hands and establish the rule of Christ forever.
Revelation reveals that Satan, his demons and human followers do not willingly relinquish control. Instead they persecute and kill God's children. But, God's authority will be established in a judgement of bloodshed, fire and destruction.
This cataclysmic regime change is revealed mystically through visions of seven seals, seven trumpets, seven bowls, seven thunders and three signs. Those three signs communicate this regime change using other signs like stars, fire, blood, mountains, harlots, beasts, a dragon and etc. In the final step of the seventh trumpet and the seventh bowl, the prayers of the persecuted saints will be completely and decisively answered. The fate of our persecutors will not be pretty, but their rule and tyranny must end... it will... and Christ will bring it to pass... as He is revealed to the world as judge, conqueror and king.
What is our role? How do we overcome Satan?
- "They overcame him because of the Lamb's blood, and because of the word of their testimony. They didn't love their life, even to death" (Revelation 12:11).
If you read all of chapter 12, you will see that Satan makes war against those who "hold Jesus' testimony" (12:17). In other words, he attacks those those who testify of Jesus, those who make disciples. Click here to see that all Christians are supposed to make disciples.
The rapture occurs in Revelation 14:14-16, then Armageddon, the one thousand year reign of Christ, and the Great White Throne Judgement. Then the book reveals God's creation of the new earth... the New Jerusalem, the eternal state.
The entire book of Revelation is the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. And the role of the Christian in the book of Revelation is to reveal Jesus, by making disciples.
The Seven Thunders
- "When the seven thunders sounded, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from the sky saying, "Seal up the things which the seven thunders said, and don't write them" (Revelation 10:4).
The message of the seven thunders was not revealed to us. Do you remember subchapter 5.4? It revealed that the second coming will occur "in an hour that you don't expect". God has intentionally left holes in the prophesy. The first verse of the book plainly states that the prophesies are not presented plainly. They are communicated metaphorically, by SIGNS. Signs like a red dragon, and a seven headed beast. There are 7 seals, 7 trumpets, 7 bowls and 7 thunders, plus 3 signs and numerous other images. It is a vague figurative revelation of 24 events with 7 events totally withheld. God did not reveal the future with clarity. Possibly, this is so that we will not wait to get ready until His coming is obviously imminent. We are to be making disciples as part of our daily lives.
Christ will come and take the rule of Satan away from him 'in an hour that you don't expect" (Matthew 24:44).
One cannot gain a working understanding of the book without reading it 40 times, from beginning to end. One cannot understand one passage until one knows what is in other passages. As you read the book, you may think that each event is being presented chronologically. But after you get to the end, you see that some events presented late in the book actually precede events which were presented earlier.
For example: In the seventh trumpet, Christ receives the kingdom of the world (11:15), begins to reign (11:17), judges the dead (11:18), rewards the saints (11:18) and destroys those who destroy the earth (11:18). In the sixth bowl (16:12-16), Jesus said "I am coming." Well, chapter 16 comes after chapter 11. But the coming of Jesus described in chapter 16 precedes the actions of Jesus described in chapter 11. So, the sixth bowl (16:12-16) precedes the seventh trumpet (11:15-14:20). In other words, Jesus says "I am coming" in the sixth bowl and comes in the seventh trumpet. So, the sixth bowl precedes the seventh trumpet, even though the seventh trumpet begins in chapter eleven and the sixth bowl appears five chapters later... This is because the trumpets and bowls occur as pairs. The first trumpet and first bowls occur together. Then the second trumpet and second bowl occur together and so on.
Help with the Confusion
Links are provided at the bottom of this page to help you unravel and receive the mysteries of the book of Revelation. Look for links in the section at the bottom of this page titled, "Additional Help on the Book of Revelation".
One link in particular will help you to see how the book of Revelation is organized:
Subchapter 5.4 titled, "The Second Coming of Christ: Are You Ready?" revealed that we will be ready if we are making disciples when Christ returns. The saints are to be "faithful to death". Saints overcome because of the Lamb's blood, and because of the word of their testimony.
Subchapter 5.5 titled, "Will the Rapture Come Before the Tribulation" revealed that the rapture clearly comes after the beast overcomes, kills and is killing the saints. So, all saints should be prepared to die for their testimony.
Subchapter 5.6 titled, "Signs of What Must Occur Quickly: To Reveal Jesus" revealed that the singular theme of the book of Revelation is: Signs of What Must Occur Quickly: To Reveal Jesus.
Quickly applies to every saint who has lived since the book of Revelation was written, roughly 2000 years. Revelation prophesies that events will occur over a period longer than 1000 years and then says that the events will come "quickly". How can 1000 plus years of events be predicted to come "quickly"? It's not a typo. It's not a failed prophesy. But it is hidden from those who think "beyond the things which are written" (1 Corinthians 4:6). Read subchapter 5.6 or click here to see.
Armageddon, the judgement, New Jerusalem and the eternal state are prophesied in the book of Revelation. They have not yet come to pass after 2000 years. The only way I can currently understand that these events can have come quickly to those who have lived and died over the last 2000 years is through departed spirit sleep. In other words, believers over the last 2000 years closed their eyes in physical death... and the next thing they know will be their awakening in the rapture... in the "twinkling of an eye" as scripture says. More on departed spirit sleep in a link below.
Now, subchapter 5.4 also revealed that the second coming will occur in an hour that you don't expect. And the message of the seven thunders have been hidden from us. So,
Here is What the Book of Revelation Means
We saints should be making disciples in our daily lives, being faithful to the death in our testimony to Him because Christ will return "in an hour that you don't expect".
Christ will return in a time when God's children are being killed all around the world. And when he does, He will take all of the kingdoms of the world away from Satan and give them to the saints, forever.
Additional Help on the Book of Revelation
- Participants and Equivalents (Try this one first.)
- Chronology and Organizational Structure in the Book of Revelation
- Departed Spirit Sleep
- Who Are the 7 Spirits before the Throne of God in Revelation?
- The Beast of Revelation 13:18: Who is 666?