Summary: The second of a two part series in Revelation.
Title- Revelation Part 2
Text- Revelation 12-22
I. More Tribulation- 12-18
a. The Woman, the Child, and the Dragon
b. The Beast from the sea
c. The beast from the earth
d. The Bowl Judgments
i. Painful Sores
ii. The Sea turns to Blood
iii. Waters turn to Blood
iv. Scorching Sun
vi. Armageddon is Prepared
e. Religion and Economics during the Tribulation
i. The Harlot and the Beast
ii. The Great City
II. Christ is King- 19
III. The Millennium Reign- 20
IV. The New Heavens and New Earth- 21-22
All right, time for a pop quiz- The main theme of Revelation is… Christ is KING!
For those of you who were gone last week, you really missed out. On Saturday evening we had a guy who came and recited the entire book of Revelation to us from memory. It was amazing. It has so awesome to hear the whole thing all at once like that.
Then on Sunday morning I did my best to unpack the first 11 chapters of Revelation for us. Today I am going to finish up the last 11 chapters of Revelation. But before I do, allow me to offer a quick review for those who where not here last week.
The book of Revelation is a book of prophecy. It is a vision, given to the Apostle John, of the things that will take place at the end of the age.
The first three chapters are a message from Jesus to the seven churches in Asia minor. Jesus offers words of warning and rebuke to the majority of these churches. Some of the churches were tolerating sin, some had become worldly, some were legalistic, and some were cold and dead. The one true church, the church in Philadelphia, is given praise by Jesus for holding fast to the Word of God. Jesus even tells them that because they have kept His word, He will keep them from the hour of testing that is about to come upon the whole world.
The true, faithful church of Jesus will be saved from the wrath of God that is described in the remainder of the book of Revelation here.
Last week we read about Jesus opening this scroll with seven seals. Each seal brought on a new level of destruction on the earth. There was war and famine and death. The seventh seal began a whole new phase of God’s wrath with the seven trumpets. Each trumpet that sounded brought even more destruction to the earth. The trees are burned up, the oceans are struck, the fresh water is poisoned, and there is more death.
With the sounding of the final trumpet we find that Jesus Christ is crowned the ruler and king of all the earth. The kingdoms of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord.
That is the central theme of the book of Revelation- Christ is King. Jesus Christ is worthy to receive honor and glory and thanksgiving and praise, for ever and ever. This book is a great book of worship and adoration to Jesus. Those who read it looking for the secret to the end of the world, or those who read it and want to focus all their attention on the beast or the anti-Christ, are really missing the big picture. This isn’t a book that was written to give us a time table, or a book to help us properly identify the anti-Christ, it is a book to help us see that God is completely sovereign, and that Jesus Christ is king. If you take nothing else away from our study of this book, I hope you at least get that truth.
So today we are going to pick up our study of Revelation at the beginning of chapter 12. At the end of chapter 11 we find Jesus Christ set up as the king of kings. All the kingdoms of the earth are given to Him. Chapters 12-18 really deal in more detail with events that are taking place on the earth during the time of the tribulation. John has already told us about how God had appointed 144,000 missionaries from the nation of Israel to go out and preach salvation. And a huge multitude of people come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ during this time of tribulation.
John told us about these two prophets who are sent out to preach salvation and are eventually killed by the beast.
Even during this time of God’s wrath being poured out on the whole world, His love and grace and mercy still abound. God is still providing opportunities for people to turn to Him. God gives us more grace than we deserve.
Here in chapter 12 we see these amazing signs. These symbolic images. Before we dive in to what these images mean, I have to add another disclaimer this week. So much of the imagery that we are about to read through is confusing and difficult to interpret with 100% accuracy. What I have done is consulted the best commentaries and read what some of the smartest theologians out there have to say about these images. What I have compiled is pretty much the best guess.