“Behold, I come quickly: BLESSED IS HE THAT KEEPETH THE SAYING OF PROPHECY OF THIS BOOK (capitals mine). And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, AND OF THEM WHICH KEEP THE SAYINGS OF THIS BOOK: WORSHIP GOD (capitals mine).”
In the very last chapter of the last book of the Holy Bible, John (the author of the Book of Revelation) was told by Jesus Himself those who kept (read, believed and taught) the prophecies in the Book of Revelation would be Blessed. What makes this quote even more meaningful to us today is in the very first chapter where John writes in Revelation 1:1-2:
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to SHEW UNTO HIS SERVANTS (Christians) THINGS WHICH MUST SHORTLY COME TO PASS (capitals mine); and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of ALL (capitals mine) things that he saw.”
John was told directly by God and Jesus what must shortly come to pass and to write down what he saw. Now compare that verse to what the Old Testament prophet Daniel was told about the End Time prophecies he mentioned in Daniel 12:4:
“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book (of Daniel), even until the time of the end: and many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”
In approximately 600 BC the prophet Daniel was given many end times prophecies but was also told to “seal” them up until the last days. In other words, mankind would not know or understand at that time what would occur in the Last Days. Why? Because it did not pertain to them. Those things would be revealed years later to the generation which will witness ALL these things (Matthew 24:34). As all these things began to converge their “…knowledge shall be increased.” John, on the other hand, was told to write in approximately 95 AD these “…things which must shortly come to pass.” What one event changed these two commandments, both pertaining to events of the Last Days? The prophesied birth, death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ!
The Book of Revelation is the most prophetic book in the entire Holy Bible with 95% of it related to prophecies to be fulfilled AFTER it was written. Since John saw the vision and wrote the Book while imprisoned on the Isle of Patmos for his Christian beliefs in 95 A.D., we know these future prophecies essentially started after that date which was about 60 years after the death and Resurrection of Jesus. Basically, the prophecies begin with John writing to seven of the Christian churches he founded in Western Asia and ends with the beginning of Eternity with Jesus in Heaven. Everything in between has been told to us as to what to expect according to the Word of God! While mostly chronological from his letters to the seven churches to the very end of human existence, there are some areas duplicated from previously not yet revealed prophecies (like Daniel) to broaden the meaning and significance of the newly identified events. Still, for the most part, they closely follow a chronological timeline.
Most Biblical scholars believe, for example, while John wrote to the seven churches in Revelation chapters 1-3 to tell them the good and the bad things they were currently doing, their chronological alignment also prophetically matches the nearly 2,000 year history of the Christian church. That history is as follows:
Church Characteristics From To
- Ephesus Apostolic 30 AD 100 AD
- Smyrna Martyr/Persecution 100 AD 316 AD
- Pergamum False Doctrine 316 AD 800 AD
- Thyatira Pagan 800 AD 1517 AD
- Sardis Dying Faith 1517 AD 1750 AD
- Philadelphia Evangelism 1750 AD 1900 AD
- Laodicea Apathetic 1900 AD Today
What is fascinating is if you look at a map of where these churches were located, there is no rhyme or reason for the order in which they were placed. It is not like John physically went from church 1 to church 2 to church 3 etc.. The characteristics are such the churches are not lumped together as being good or bad. You might ask, how can you equate John’s letters to seven various churches he founded in the first century to the entire history of the Christian church? One example above might be the Church of Sardis, which equates to the start of the Protestant movement in 1517 AD. While it began as a rebellion against the unethical, unbiblical and powerful teachings of the governmental run Roman Catholic church at the time, it brought new life and excitement to true Christianity. But, it also failed in many ways. For us living today and observing the apathy of the Laodicean church today (most Christian churches), one must only read Revelation 3:15-16:
“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.”
As I have attempted to find a good church home since moving to Nashville, I have been surprised at how many churches perform music for up to one half of the “service”. While it is enjoyable, it does nothing to educate the worshippers to the Word of God. When the pastor finally does start delivering his sermon, I again find them “calming” but neither “…cold nor hot.” For the most part, they don’t teach, especially about End Times prophecies! There is little enthusiasm and practically no urgency to His soon Second Coming! They are lukewarm! I am sure many of you have observed some of the same things in your churches. So, is it coincidental or prophetic? I am spending this additional time to address the Book of Revelation because at the very beginning in Chapters 1-3 John RECORDS what Jesus told him to write. What else did Jesus say?
“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation (7 year Tribulation period), which shall come upon ALL THE WORLD (capitals mine), to try them that dwell upon the earth.”
What is absolutely amazing, as a book of prophecy, is just a few verses later we see John symbolically “raptured” exactly as we will be BEFORE God unleashes His Wrath “…upon all the world.” In Revelation 4:1-2 John says:
“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven and the first voice which I heard was as it were a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And IMMEDIATELY (as in the“…twinkling of an eye”! – capitals mine) I was in the spirit: and, behold a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.”
Not only does John experience a type of Rapture to Heaven IMMEDIATELY or in the twinkling of an eye AFTER the Church age ends, but he is then told what must then happen afterward, meaning AFTER the Rapture of the Church or Believers in Jesus. There is probably no other verse in the entire Bible more convincing of a pre-Tribulation Rapture than this one. Not surprisingly, after Revelation chapter 3 the Church, having been Raptured in Revelation 4:1, is not mentioned even ONE TIME until the very last chapter of the very last Book of the Bible (Rev. 22:16). Where are they? In Heaven with Jesus! Coincidental or prophetic?
Why did Jesus put so much emphasis on “keeping” the Book of Revelation? How do you motivate/strengthen people who are being persecuted for being Christians? How do you turn people around for rejecting God and get them to repent of their sins? That’s easy! Telling them beforehand what is going to happen after certain events, things with clarity and certainty. When they know of these events and see them happen, they should Believe! I recently wrote an article intended for those who do not believe in the Rapture or many other prophecies of the Bible. My intent in writing Did Millions of People Just Disappear? You Better Read This NOW! was to put on the table all the prophecies we have been told which will be fulfilled between the Rapture of the Believers and the Second Coming of Jesus. Obviously, I pray it would influence people TODAY to read the Bible, search the prophecies and repent of their sins, asking Jesus to come into their lives so they also will be Raptured BEFORE God unleashes His Wrath on an unrepentant world. But, I also requested all continuing non-believers to at least print it out and hold onto it so they might have a succinct listing of what to expect will happen next if they previously failed to accept Jesus’s death and Resurrection and saw the Rapture occur. Please remember. This is not me saying those things which will happen. This is what the Bible says!
What else does the Bible say about this time period? There will be a “peace treaty” between the Palestinians and the Israelis, possible due to the previous invasion of Israel by Russia, Iran, Turkey, et.al., who will be defeated in ONE day by God Himself. This “peace treaty” will be for 7 years and will allow the Palestinians their own country in the West Bank of Israel, aka Judea. It will allow the Jews to finally rebuild their long awaited 3rd Holy Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. There will be a leader of a one world government known to us Believers as the anti-christ who will also have at his side a leader of a one world religion known as the false prophet. An economic system will be introduced requiring ALL to take a “mark” (the Mark of the Beast – Could the iPhone be the Mark of the Beast?) without which they will not be able to buy or sell. By the way, if they DO take the Mark of the Beast, we are told emphatically they will be doomed to Hell for eternity! One half of all humans on the earth will die due to prophesied wars, pestilence and famines. The anit-christ will enter the then rebuilt 3rd Jewish Temple and demand to be worshipped as God. Meanwhile there will be two witness from God spreading His Word to the world with the help of 144,000 Jewish evangelicals. Those two witnesses will be killed by the anti-christ and their bodies will lay in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 1/2 days while the world parties over their deaths. After 3 1/2 days they will miraculously come to life and ascend to Heaven while the entire world watches (only possible today after 2,000 years with the recent advent of TV and satellites). After seven years of the Tribulation, a 200 million man army from the east will march towards Israel where the Battle of Armageddon will be fought and where Jesus will Return to defeat the anti-christ, throwing him and the false prophet into hell for eternity. He will bind Satan and throw him into a bottomless pit for 1,000 years while He Reigns on earth for 1,000 years. Should I go on, because I have only touched the surface of what the Bible has told us. This is not what I have said. I am only keeping what the Bible has told us in the Book of Revelation! I personally take very seriously what the Bible tells all of us in Revelation 22:18-19:
“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
Do not add anything to these prophecies AND do not take away or dismiss ANYTHING of what the Bible says! Even more comforting however, is knowing I have done nothing more than reiterate what the Bible has told us:
“He that testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”
Jesus gave John and us the Revelation of what is soon coming! He did this to not only tell us what to expect in the days ahead, but to take solace and comfort in knowing with 100% accuracy of His Prophetic Word. We are told in Amos 3:7, “Surely the sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing His plan to His servants the prophets.” John was His servant AND His prophet! Since we know we can trust what John has written which was revealed unto him, we should also take heed of and KEEP his words and prophecies for our own comfort.
“We also have a prophetic word made more sure, WHICH YOU DO WELL TO HEED (capitals mine) as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”
2 Peter 1:19
As I mentioned earlier, the Bible’s prophecies are intended to give comfort to Believers as we witness to their fulfillment exactly as prophesied and also to be used to persuade non-believers to read what the Bible has told all of us, hopefully to persuade them to repent of their sins and ask for Jesus to come into their lives. This is a Christian duty we are all instructed to do! The entire purpose of this blog is to make sure as many people as possible are aware of those things prophesied in the Bible and also to ensure we all help spread His Word’s of comfort in knowing all that is happening is always under His command. We are ALL told to “…therefore comfort one another with these words.” Knowing these words to be true and accurate, please help me by sharing His message with your friends and family. Together, let us KEEP His Word!
May God Bless you (He will if you keep His Word)!