REVELATION AT MIDPOINT — REVIEW
I. LOOKING BACK — THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD (Chapters 1-11):
. . A. Christ is the true Head of the Church.
. . . . 1. To His followers on earth, Christ is a powerful, majestic, awesome Person (1:13-16).
. . . . 2. To the heavenly host surrounding the Fathers throne, Christ is the Lamb, looking as if it had been slain (5:6,9,12;
. . . . . . 6:1,3,5,7,16; 7:14,17).
. . . . 3. To the Church, Christ is the source of all power (He holds the Church and its leaders in His hand, 1:20); He knows
. . . . . . all that goes on, and gives praise, rebuke, and rewards as He determines (chapters 2 and 3).
. . . . 4. He is the only Person in all Heaven, earth, and "under the earth" qualified (by His death on the cross) to execute
. . . . . . God's plan of redemption and judgment of mankind (the scroll in Gods hand) (5:2-5).
. . B. The Church is the body of the redeemed.
. . . . 1. It is the Church visible (1:11), the Church invisible (7:1-8), and the Church triumphant (7:9-17).
. . . . 2. Some of its members please Christ; others invoke His rebuke, even His disgust (chapters 2 and 3).
. . . . 3. The Church is entrusted with the dissemination of the Gospel (the rider on the white horse, 6:1-2; the little
. . . . . . scroll, 10:1-11 ) to all the world (every people, tribe, language and nation) (chapters 10 and 11).
. . C. The World is the body of the unrepentant.
. . . . 1. They are called the inhabitants of the earth (8:13), those people who did not have the seal of God on their
. . . . . . foreheads (9:4), unrepentant mankind (9:20-21), Gentiles (11:2), men from every people, tribe, language and
. . . . . . nation (11:9).
. . . . 2. They are the targets of Gods wrath. God causes one-third of them to be killed by natural disasters on land and
. . . . . . sea (8:7-12. He allows demonic forces to torture them (9:1-12) and to kill one-third (9:13-19).
. . D. God uses both natural disasters (the rider on pale horse, 6:7-8) and the works of unrepentant mankind to discipline
. . . . the Church. Anti-Christian governments persecute physically through confiscation, imprisonment, and death (the
. . . . rider on the red horse, 6:3-4). Anti-Christian society persecutes economically through discrimination, denial
. . . . of employment, spoilation (the rider on the black horse, 6:5-6). But God protects His people from demonic
. . . . forces (sealing, 7:1-8).
. . E. The seven letters, the seven seals, and the seven trumpets represent Gods direct intervention in the affairs of
. . . . mankind — both redeemed and unrepentant. The two witnesses symbolize the Church in the world. Only when it has
. . . . finished its task will God permit it to be neutralized — “killed” — and then He will resurrect it and call it
. . . . to Himself in Heaven (11:12).
II. LOOKING FORWARD — CHRIST AND SATAN, THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH
. . (Chapters 21-22):
. . A. Satan has opposed Gods plan for the redemption of mankind from the very beginning (Genesis, chapter 3). He has
. . . . tried repeatedly throughout history to foil it, first by destroying the line of the righteous (Abel), then the
. . . . line of David (Athaliah and others), and finally Christ Himself (Herod and Judas). This is briefly synbolized
. . . . by the allegory of the Woman and the Dragon (12:1-6).
. . B. Satan continues his fight against Christ through his opposition to the Church (12:13-17).
. . C. Satan attacks God's people (the Church) through anti-Christian governments (the beast out of the sea, 13:1-10),
. . . . through anti-Christian religion (the beast out of the earth, 13:11-18, later called the false prophet), and
. . . . through the seduction of the World (symbolized by the woman on the beast, 17:1-18, identified in 17:18 as Babylon).
. . D. God deals with these attacks of Satan and with that portion of mankind that follows Satan as described in chapters
. . . . 14-20. He intensifies his punishment of the wicked through the seven bowls of God's wrath (16:1-21, previewed in
. . . . 6:12-16 and 14:17-20). The destruction of Babylon is described in 18:1-24, of the beast and the false prophet
. . . . in 19:20, and of Satan himself in 20:10. The final judgment of mankind, both redeemed and unrepentant, is
. . . . described in 20:11-15.
. . E. God deals with His redeemed people as described first in 14:1-5 and possibly 14:14-16 (see Matthew 13:24-30,
. . . . 36-43), and in detail in 19:1-10, 20:4-6, 21:1-27, and 22:1-5. Not only are God's people protected from demonic
. . . . forces, but He also brings them into the very center of His Kingdom and promises to dwell with them forever
. . . . (21:3). Because Heaven is God's dwelling place and earth is man's, the symbolism of the New Heaven and the New
. . . . Earth must mean one place, where both God and redeemed man dwell forever.
. . F. Although some of the symbolism of these chapters applies to the whole of the Christian Era (from the First to the
. . . . Second Coming of Christ), most of it undoubtedly applies to the end times. Its value to us is two-fold: the
. . . . certainty of God's judgment on the unrepentant, and the equally certain provisions for God's redeemed, who will
. . . . be made perfect before becoming Christ s “bride” (14:1-5).
Go to Act 4 (Chapters 12-14)
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