What will God say about the Book of Revelation? We know that He values Revelation very much. It’s the exceptional book in the Bible that says at the very beginning, “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy,” and says at the end that people who destroy this book should be cursed; And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy or adds anything to them, God will put on him the punishments which are in this book, and they will also lose the salvation and the chance to enter the Holy City. That’s quite serious! It is not ordinary that people, who read or hear it and take to heart what is written in the book, will be blessed; however, people who take words away from the book will be cursed. There is only this book on the Bible that states the conditions to be blessed and to be cursed. (The outline of Come With Me Through Revelation, David Pawson)
Revelation 1:3 “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.”
In Demons’ mind, they hate this book. There are two parts which Satan doesn’t want you to read most, which are the first three chapters and the last three chapters of the Bible. (C20 To C22)
Let’s begin with the verse about casting out ghosts. Revelation Chapter 18 to 20. One interesting instance: “One day some persons and I were eating at a restaurant. A pastor within us passed his cellphone to me. He said it’s a newcomer in their Church who was disturbed by an evil spirit, yelling, screaming and rolling at home. Their Church workers came to pray for her but nothing was changed. She was still kept bound. Because I might not be able to leave for her house, all I can do is seek God in prayer. Then I saw the verses in Revelation, therefore I asked the Church workers who were at her place to read the verses for her. It wasn’t until 3 am that they came to Revelation 20:10 and the evil spirit escaped from her. We can learn from this event, Demons don’t like Revelation.
If it can make you believe that Genesis is just a mythology and Revelation is an occultism, it will be pleased. Satan hates you to study Revelation this day.
IS REVELATION DIFFICULT?The Bible says: “Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.” (Deuteronomy 30:12-14)
“Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end. 10 Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.” (Daniel 12:9-10) It is now the end time. We, as smart men, should be able to understand the prophetic books such as Revelation.
To whom was the Book of Revelation written for? First, Revelation is actually for general population. Originally it was for the seven Churches which are located in the western Turkey on this day. They were general people without high education and honored identity. They’re so ordinary, even some were slaves. The scrolls were written for them, and they can understand the words.
The second principle of Revelation is in Rev. 14:12 “This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.” It was written for the Christian who are going to suffer, especially for the Saints who suffered. Thus we can’t understand it because we haven’t suffered.
The author of the Book, John was a person who had suffered personally for the Lord. He wrote the book for the saints who are about to suffer for Jesus. He was preparing them into sufferings.
The closer the end of the day is, the more sufferings there will be. This Book prepares us to face the sufferings to come. That way, when the sufferings come, we might be able to stand.
WHAT IS THE BOOK OF REVELATION?
A Book of history: From the beginning of the universe to the end of the universe and the mankind; A Book of love: The Heavenly Father is looking for the bride for His son, and engages them, finally in Revelation, the Christ marries the bride. (The marriage supper of the Lamb)
We can read Revelation from the viewpoint of love and know that this Book is full of love and is quite romantic, a book that says a Father is looking for the bride for His son. If there’s no Revelation, we are not able to image what the wedding is, therefore all we can know is that the Son is engaged to the woman. Paul wrote to the Churches that I have promised you to Christ. That’s exactly the relationship between Christ and Christians nowadays. We’ve engaged to Jesus, however it’s just an engagement not a marriage. The wedding is for the last and is like the touched love story.
If there’s no Revelation, the engagement will be canceled. But the ending of the Bible is the marriage supper of the Lamb. So the marriage supper is important. The banquet is important. It is so important that the Lord reminded us the significance of the banquet in the Bible through the dream couples weeks ago. Every single of us, regardless of believers or non-believers, will meet at the banquet. Your attitude toward life today will decide the position in the banquet of the future. (For instance: the dream of the marriage supper, which is skipped here.)
In the Kingdom of God, either when we pass away or when the Lord comes, each of us will have a position to stand. Will everyone have a position to stand in front of God?
Since we talk about the banquet, let’s see the verses about it.
At the end time, the Bible says there are several kinds of people: the bride (the martyr), the forerunner (the martyr), the virgin (the martyr), the overcomer (the martyr) and the guest. (Matt. 22:11-13) They will be all in the marriage supper.
1. START WITH THE WELL KNOWN VIRGINS
The Virgins: Matt. 25:1-13 says the wise virgins and the foolish virgins went to the banquet to meet the bridegroom.
In the Middle East, the marriage supper is held in the evening.
The bridegroom must go out to meet the bride and take her to his house.
The family of the bride will take torches and leave for the house of the bridegroom from her father’s house. The bridegroom set up the banquet to entertain the invited guests.
On the way, there will be a flock of people waiting the bride there, intending to join the line.
When Jesus saw the above situation, then He said the interesting parable of the ten virgins. He made use of the virgins’ experience to explain what the Churches will go through before His second coming.
Ten virgins who wait for the bridegroom
Ten young girls with white clothes hovered around and waited nearby their houses. Everyone took a lit lamp and a tiny oil jar. All of them were waiting for the bridegroom anxiously, but the bridegroom was late. Verse 5 “The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.” After hours, people who waited were weary and fell asleep. At midnight, they heard somebody say “Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!” Girls who fell asleep was roused from sleep and jumped. They saw the glorious torches in the lines of the marriage, moving forward in hilarious music.
Who were ten virgins? Two groups of virgins who waited for the bridegroom signified two kinds of people who thought they were waiting for the Lord. They were called virgins because they proclaimed to have the pure faith. What is the lamp? The lamp signified the word of God. The poet said “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” What is the oil? The oil signified the Holy Spirit. The prophecy of Zechariah also introduces that attribute.
Ten virgins took their lamps and deterged them carefully, hoping to hit the road right away. Five of the virgins didn’t think of that the bridegroom will postpone for such a long time so they didn’t prepare for this incident. In such awkwardness, they began to ask the wiser virgins, “Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.” However five partners in waiting who just deterged their lamps carefully, whose oil also ran out. They didn’t have any extra oil for share.
While the foolish virgins went to buy oil, the line of wedding was moving forward, leaving them behind. Then the foolish virgins came to the door of the banquet hall, however, were rejected unexpectedly. The Lord of the banquet said, “I don’t know you.” Thus they were abandoned outside in the dark of midnight, standing on the lonely street.
Five virgins with lit lamps joined the line of the marriage and entered the house with the entourages of the bride. Then the door was shut.
The Foolish Virgins
People who were signified as the foolish virgins have nothing to do with hypocrites. They’ve got the word of God, but no oil. They think highly of the truth. They’ve ever stood up for the truth. They also become intimate with the people who believe the truth. However they never get obedient to the work of the Holy Spirit. They have never dropped on the spiritual rock-Jesus Christ to break down their old habits. The Holy Spirit works in the heart according to everyone’s aspiration, and He promises to develop a whole new character for us inside Him. However people who stand for the foolish virgins are satisfied with the shallow work.
“Give us some of your oil.” When the foolish virgins who didn’t prepare oil were roused from sleep, they just found themselves deficient and asked someone else to make up their deficiency. However the spiritual things can’t be complemented by others, because the character of people is non-transferable. No one can substitute somebody to believe and receive the Holy Spirit. (For example, I can’t stand for my husband to pray, instead he has to build up the relationship with God himself, not me.
The wise virgins got the oil in the jar. They bought the oil in the early morning with effort. The foolish got no oil. They bought it temporarily, but it’s too late.
The virgins who didn’t prepare were not able to be seated in the banquet. (The wiser virgins: get into the banquet. The foolish virgins: the Lord said, I don’t know you.(Matt 7:23) The consequence: they cannot enter the Heaven.)
2. THE GUEST:
(Matt 22:2) “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.” (Matt 22:10-14) “So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless. “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ “For many are invited, but few are chosen.” According to the custom of the Middle East, before they can set up a wedding banquet or hold a big festival, the host must distribute the formal dress for the guests and have them put on the clothes to attend the banquet. Therefore the guests need not to bother to choose the suitable dress. The Jewish tradition also has the similar metaphor. The king invited the guests to the banquet, but didn’t tell them when to start. (The banquet is usually held in the evening.) The king just told them to get prepared. The wise guests might estimate that the banquet will start immediately so they took the dress waiting in front of the door of the palace. But the foolish guests thought that the banquet takes time to prepare so they set forth on other activities. Nobody knows the banquet started unexpectedly, the wise guests can enter the palace to have the banquet right away, but those who had no time to go home and take their dress just can sigh and regret outside the door.
The people who got the identity of the guests are asked by God to put on the wedding clothes. But how could some guests be thrown outside and be weeping and gnashing of teeth? The answer is the people who don’t put on the dress.
God has invited us to join His banquet of salvation and wished us to wear the wedding clothes in the banquet. What is the wedding clothes indeed? The Bible reminds us that after we know God, “we should clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 3:26-27, Romans 13:14), and “attain to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”(Ephesians 4:13) If we can “take off your old self with its practices and put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” (Colossians 3:9-10)
The wedding clothes signify the fight against the old selves in the lives of Christians. To deal with the life’s problem is the wedding clothes of the guests. The outcome of the guests is that the guests who wear the wedding clothes enter the banquet and the guests who don’t wear the wedding clothes are thrown outside in the dark and are weeping and gnashing.
3. THE FORERUNNER: (FRIENDS OF THE BRIDEGROOM)
Matt. 25:6 “At midnight the cry (the forerunner) rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!” The forerunner: sometimes they watch, pray and look out at night.
What Is The Ministry of Forerunner?
- The believers who prepare the way of the Lord. “A voice of one calling: In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” (Isaiah 40:3)
- They in advance declare the things to happen and the unprecedented works of the Holy Spirit, things that is unusual and never happen in this generation.
- They declare the truth that God reigns in order to make people realize His judgment.
- They get people’s hearts ready for the marriage supper of the Lamb. (Revelation 19:7)
- They declare God is the Bridegroom, the King and the Judge.
Isaiah 57:14 “And it will be said: ‘Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.’ ”
Isaiah 62:10 “Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations.”
Malachi 3:1-6 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty”
John 3:29 “The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.” The forerunner is the friend of the bridegroom.
4. THE BRIDE
The bride of Jesus is a collective noun. Regardless of the Jews in the Old Testament and the Christians in the New Testament, people who are eligible to be the bride will be called the bride of Jesus.
What is the position of the bride at the end time?
- They are the believers who fight with the Lamb against Satan and are first resurrected from the death and will be raptured in the air to meet the Lord after 1260 days. Revelation 17:14 “They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”
- They will reign in the Holy City, the new Jerusalem for ever and ever. Revelation 21:2 “saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” Revelation 22:3-5 “And they will reign for ever and ever.”
- On their heads will be written three names. Their names will be written in the Lamb’s book of life. Revelation 3:12 “The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name.”
Revelation 22:3 “No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.”
Revelation 21:9 “One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, ‘Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.’”
Revelation 21:27 “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” (Revelation 19:7-9)
John wrote: “I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” (Revelation 21:2) and he wrote: “One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God……”(Revelation 21:9-27)"
Conditions To Be The Bride of Christ: Revelation 17:14
1. His called followers;
2. His chosen followers;
3. His faithful followers;
4. Those who are Victorious. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) Revelation 19:8
5. THE OVERCOMER:
In Revelation, there are seven kinds of overcomers who are indeed the bride of Christ.
- Revelation 2:7 “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”
- Revelation 2:11 “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death.”
- Revelation 2:17 “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.”
- Revelation 2:26 “To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations.”
- Revelation 3:5 “The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.”
- Revelation 3:12 “The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name.”
- Revelation 3:21 “To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.”
Revelation 17:14 “They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”
Now we know both the seven conditions and the results of the overcomer (which can unify with God). We can realize through the seven results that only the “overcomer” is eligible to live in the new Jerusalem.
Revelation 3:12a “The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it.”
Who are the believers that will be resurrected in the first and will reign with Christ a thousand year? (Who is the bride of Christ?) Revelation 20:4
- THRONES, “thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge” – Boys. Revelation 20:4
- “The souls of those who had been beheaded”- Martyr (Both in the New Testament and Old Testament). Revelation 20:4
- No worship toward the beast and no its mark (Those who are alive and are raptured). Revelation 20:4 Revelation 20:4 “I saw thrones (NIV, NKJV, ESV, thrones) on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
The People Who Enter The City: Revelation 21:27
Revelation 21:3 “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.” God’s dwelling place stands for the new Jerusalem. Outside the City is God’s people and inside the City is the bride of Christ (the overcomer). So finally there’re only the Holy Spirit (God’s quality) and the bride of Christ (the overcomer: Christians with mature godly life) and people outside the City who hear and are thirsty.
Revelation 22:17 “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”
THE FINAL DESTINATION: THOSE WHO ARE INDSIDE AND OUTSIDE
Inside: Revelation 20:4, The bride (Those who share the first resurrection):
- Thrones – Boys;
- Those who had been beheaded;
- No worship toward the beast and no its mark (Those who are alive and are raptured)
1 Thessalonians “After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” (Those who are alive and raptured to meet the Lord in the air will have the spiritual body.)
1 Corinthians 15:52 “In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”
Outside: Revelation 22:15
- The dogs: The rest are outside the City. Revelation 22:15 “Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.” (Revelation 20:6) This is the first resurrection. The rest are not resurrected yet until the thousand years are over.
- The guests without wedding clothes;
- The foolish virgins
In The Lake of Fire: one person’s destination: consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur, this is the second death.
- The unbelieving (Revelation 21:8).
- Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life (Revelation 20:15)
- Those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name. (Revelation 14:11)
1. The unbelieving (Revelation 21:8)
Revelation 20:5 “The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.” Revelation 20:12“And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.”
Revelation 20:13-14 “ The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.”
Revelation 21:8 “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
2. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life
Revelation 20:12 “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.”
Revelation 20:15 “Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.” (The book of life and Lamb’s book of life)
Revelation 3:1-3 ““To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead……, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.”
” Those who are not raptured have a reputation of being alive (Christians have got the salvation), but they are dead (Their behavior is dead). (Verse 2)Their deeds are unfinished in the sight of God. God will come like a thief. 2 Corinthians “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (The judgment will begin with God’s household. It’s the judgment before the judgment seat of Christ.)
It is so clear for brothers. 1 Thessalonians 5:2-8 “Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.”
3. Those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.
Revelation 14:9-11 “A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.”
The Final DestinationInside: 1. The wise virgins; 2. The guest with wedding clothes; 3. The forerunner (The martyr); 4. The bride: Those who share the first resurrection: A. Thrones (Boys); B. Martyr; C. No worship toward the beast and no its mark (alive and raptured)
Outside: 1. The foolish virgins; 2. The guest without wedding clothes; 3. The dogs
In The Lake of Fire:
1. The unbelieving 2. Those whose names are not written in the book of life
3. Those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name
4. The devil, the beast, the false prophet and death and Hades. (Revelation 20:10)(Revelation 20:14)
Review1. With what position will I stand before God?
2. What kind of life should I choose to live before God?
3. How much time do I still have on pleasure?
4. How should I live a godly life in the end time?