Revelation - Part 2 - Lecture 9

Introduction: These transcripts of Kay Arthur's lectures on Revelation (Parts 2-4) are provided as a service to the body of Christ with the written permission of Precept Ministries International. This material is the property of Precept Ministries International and all rights are reserved. The transcripts are for the most part verbatim with deletions identified by the characters (...). The utilization of italics, bolding, hyperlinks and pop up notes represent editorial additions. Any written additions are identified by the designation "Ed note". Note that all text in blue identifies a link or popup. All reference are the NASB unless otherwise indicated. Please note that these lectures by Kay Arthur supplement the excellent Precept Upon Precept inductive Bible study on the Revelation. Click the following links to view each division of this encouraging study and note that you can also download the first lesson of each of the 4 parts:

Revelation - Pt 1 - Revelation 1-3, 10 lessons
Revelation - Pt 2- Revelation 4-22, 12 lessons
Revelation - Pt 3- Revelation 4-22, 11 lessons
Revelation - Pt 4 - Revelation 4-22, 14 lessons

If you can find a local Precept class studying Revelation, I would strongly encourage you to join the class, as I know of no other study available anywhere in the world that will equip you so thoroughly to discern the signs of the times and cause you to live expectantly as you look for Christ's Return!

Literal chart summaries
Revelation 4-10
Revelation 11-16
Revelation 17-19
Revelation 20-22

Index to Revelation Lectures
Kay Arthur

Click Here for other "Futuristic" Resources on Revelation
Click here for Kay Arthur's Older Lecture Series on Daniel

Part 2 Part 3 Part 4
Lecture 01
Lecture 02
Lecture 03
Lecture 04
Lecture 05
Lecture 06
Lecture 07
Lecture 08
Lecture 09
Lecture 10
Lecture 11
Lecture 12
Lecture 00
Lecture 01
Lecture 02
Lecture 03
Lecture 04
Lecture 05
Lecture 06
Lecture 07
Lecture 08
Lecture 09
Lecture 10
Lecture 11
Lecture 00
Lecture 01
Lecture 02
Lecture 03
Lecture 04
Lecture 05
Lecture 06
Lecture 07
Lecture 08
Lecture 09
Lecture 10
Lecture 11
Lecture 12
Lecture 13

GOD CAN'T BE TIED UP
IN A NEAT LITTLE BOX

Revelation Pt 2, Lecture 9

by Kay Arthur

Would you like to tie God's book of Revelation into a NICE NEAT BOX? If you have dug into the Book and tried to understand it on your own and have not run to the wisdom of men, you know that God cannot be tied up in a neat little box!.

Kay thinks that Christians through the centuries have tried to tie up God in a box. They've tried to tie up His word, His ways, the way that we are to live. They tried to put Him in a box doctrinally. To be sure, God could have given us a list of rules, of how to's for every situation and a simplified doctrinal statement that says that those who are true Christians believe ''one this'', ''two that''.

God is the Master Teacher and could have done it this way but He didn't. Why not? Why didn't He put it in a neat box so that we could tie it all up doctrinally, with a ''code'', with a list of ''do's'', a list of ''don'ts'' that we could just check off every day?

Why? Because God wants an INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP with you and with me, a relationship NOT a RELIGION.

And Kay believes that is why the book of Revelation cannot be tied up in a nice neat package. Kay admits that even as she digs into Revelation inductively (Click here for part 2 of Precept course on Revelation and download lesson 1), without commentaries, she cannot lay the entire book out neatly and tell us exactly when this begins or that fits, etc.

So why didn't God do it this way? Because He is not looking for little puppets who are all duplicates of one another who say and do the very same thing. Because Christianity is about an INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP with God.

A lot of people would rather have it the other way...God in a box. Why? Because an INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP takes time and is costly. It takes spending time shut up alone with Him with everything else turned off so that you can hear that still small voice. God wants to have an intimate relationship with you.

So if you are troubled in trying to understand Revelation just remember that in your striving to understand it you are building a relationship with God. So PERSEVERE for this struggle that you are going through will pay a great harvest in the days to come. You may not understand the exact timing of every event but you are going to so understand the book of Revelation that WHATEVER COMES YOUR WAY, if you have friends who believe one way and it doesn't happen that way, you are not going to be shaken because you've delved into the Revelation and you understand the complexities of it and you will ''...no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming'' (Eph 4:14). There will be men who try to deceive us with cunning craftiness (a term used for ''throwing the dice''). But if you know Revelation the dice will not be ''loaded'' against you.

''GIVENS'' IN THE REVELATION
THE THINGS WE CAN KNOW FOR CERTAIN

(Click here for summary of "Givens")

Rev 6: Review of the first 6 seals broken by the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ (click here for chart summarizing the seven seals). For summary of Revelation 4-10 and 11-16 click here.

5TH SEAL: The souls under the altar cry out for vengeance. Is this appropriate...to cry out for vengeance? Yes because God says ''Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord. ''(Ro 12:19). In 2 Thessalonians Paul reiterates this idea of vengeance re-paid writing that ''after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.'' (2Th 1:6-8). As Jesus breaks these seals He is standing there as our Kinsman-Redeemer, the Blood Avenger.

6TH SEAL: The EARTH DWELLERS cry out to be delivered from the Wrath of the Lamb and from the One Who sits on the throne because THE GREAT DAY OF HIS WRATH HAS COME a very important phrase because there is also a day when the day of His wrath is finished.

Rev 6:17: ''...for the great day of their wrath has come; and who is able to stand?" It is worth emphasizing that the Greek verb "has come" (not ''is coming'') is aorist active indicative. Aorist tense indicates a definitive and specific point in time. The indicative mood is the mood of reality or certainty and defines this as an actual specific event. The active voice indicates that the subject [God] carries out the action of the verb). The main point is that this verse describes an event that has in fact begun.

When is the wrath of God finished? At the SEVENTH BOWL and all 7 bowls are described in Revelation 16. Verse 1 says "And I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the seven bowls of the WRATH of God into the earth."

John goes on to record in (Rev16:19) that "the great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce WRATH."

The question is this -- does this verse describe when God says the wrath is finished? And the answer is "no". . . So when is the wrath of God finished?

REVELATION 15:1
THE
WRATH OF GOD IS FINISHED

Revelation 15:1 TELLS US THAT THE WRATH OF GOD IS FINISHED.

Rev15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, [which are] the last, because in them THE WRATH OF GOD IS FINISHED.

So we know when the WRATH OF GOD BEGINS and when the WRATH OF GOD IS FINISHED. There are a lot of people who don't understand these aspects of the timing, because instead of reading inductively, they consult and compare what different commentaries have to say on the timing. And this is not to be critical of the use of commentaries. The problem is going to the commentaries before one goes to the Scripture.

Revelation is probably the most controversial book in the Bible and the diversity of opinions and interpretations is so overwhelming, that you are strongly advised not to read the commentaries UNTIL you make careful observation and know the general flow of the book of the Revelation! Once you know the book, then you go to commentaries and learn from other men. But if you don't know the book and you go to commentaries, you will encounter some potentially confusing interpretations.

For example one commentary divides the seals into SEAL #1 that is said to bring 31/2 years of peace and SEAL #2 begins the last 31/2 years. Then these same commentaries take all of the events in Revelation and place it in between these two events. How will you know which way is right and which is wrong if you don't know the book from your own inductive study?

Some may not appreciate this methodical approach in the Precept inductive study on Revelation. However if you are faithful to pour over this word, (Psalm 12:6 "The words of the LORD are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.") this very process of interacting with Scripture is in fact to be interacting with God. Why?

Because Jesus said in John 6:63 ''... the words that I have spoken to you are SPIRIT AND ARE LIFE.''

The psalmist adds that ''Thou hast magnified Thy word according to all Thy name.'' (Ps138:2)

And John reminds us that "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (Jn 1:1)

Jesus spoke truth and He is the way, the Truth and the Life. If you want to know God, you've got to know His word. So the very process of trying to figure it out will bring you into an INTIMACY WITH GOD and a KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WORD. So don't shirk from it.

REVELATION 7

John writes "After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind should blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree." (Rev7:1)

And so he describes 4 angels holding back the wind so it won't blow on the earth or sea or any tree. Why? So there can be a SEALING: to allow 144,000 Jews (12,000 from every tribe) to be sealed on their forehead. Where else do you find the 144,000? In Revelation 14 we see the 144,000 but this time they are in heaven.

Rev14:1 And I looked, and behold, the Lamb [was] standing on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard [was] like [the sound] of harpists playing on their harps. 3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; (SO THIS IS IN HEAVEN NOT ''MT. ZION'' ON EARTH.) and no one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been purchased from the earth.

So between the 6th seal (Rev6:12-17) and the 7th seal (Rev 8:1-2) we are told about 144,000 in Rev7 who are sealed and are living ON EARTH. How do you know this takes place on the earth? You know because it says the angels are holding back winds from blowing on the earth, etc. In Rev14 they are living IN HEAVEN with God's name on their foreheads (sealed). So they have been PURCHASED from the earth. Somewhere between chapter 7 and 14 the 144,000 somehow move from earth to heaven.

John records that "...These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb." (Rev14:3) They are part of the FIRST FRUITS which indicates that a HARVEST IS TO FOLLOW.

NOW BACK TO REVELATION 7

Why is the multitude of 144,000 sealed?

They are sealed for protection -- John records in Rev7:3 "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, UNTIL we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads."

When is the earth and the sea harmed?

This occurs during the TRUMPETS (See Rev8:7-12 describing the devastation associated with the first 4 Trumpets -- 1/3 earth, trees, sea, etc.). It follows that we can know that the SEALING of the 144,000 has to happen BEFORE THE TRUMPETS are sounded.

Rev7:9-17 begins with the time phrase "AFTER THESE THINGS" and describes "a great multitude"

What can we know for certain about this "great multitude"?

The Great Multitude
Revelation 7:9-17

They come from every nation, (so in essence they come from everywhere)

They can't be counted (they are too numerous).

They are standing before the Lamb (so they are in HEAVEN) while the 144,000 Jews are still on EARTH sealed so that they cannot be harmed.

They are those who have washed their robes white in the blood of the Lamb which tells us that these are BELIEVERS

The great multitude are those who have washed their robes white in the blood of the Lamb which tells us that these are BELIEVERS, because w/o the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.

In 1Pe1:18-19 Peter reminds the believers "that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with PRECIOUS BLOOD, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the BLOOD OF CHRIST.'

In Rev7:15 John records the phrase "FOR THIS REASON".

The question of course is "for what reason"?

The answer is obviously because they have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and therefore are able to stand "before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne shall spread His tabernacle over them. 16 They shall hunger no more, (they must have been hungry) neither thirst anymore; (they must have been thirsty) neither shall the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; (they must have suffered) 17 for the Lamb in the center of the throne shall be their shepherd, and shall guide them to springs of the water of life; and God shall wipe every tear from their eyes. "

So we can know with certainty that this GREAT MULTITUDE consists of believers who have suffered and even physically having "...come out of THE GREAT TRIBULATION...'' (Rev 7:14). '''THE'' (in "the great tribulation) is the definite article in the Greek sentence which when present marks the word that it modifies as very specific rather than general. And so here what John describes is not just any tribulation but ''the specific great tribulation''. So these came out of the great tribulation which tells us that there must be a specific period of time in which there is GREAT TRIBULATION.

Go to Mt 24:21 where Jesus describes a specific time period in which "there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall."

When you know the Revelation well and then you go to Scriptures like Mt 24 and 2Thess 2, you will be amazed that you will be able to see how it all fits together.

Since Revelation 4-22 describes future events that are yet to come to pass, we know that "the great tribulation" occurs somewhere in these chapters.

Does "the great tribulation" begin at Seal 1 and go through Bowl 7? etc, etc.

We may not know this detail at this point in the study BUT we do know there will be "the great tribulation" and that people will die and others will be saved. So during this time "a great multitude" will come to know the Lord Jesus Christ be saved only through the blood of the Lamb.

REVELATION 8:
THE 7TH SEAL

In Rev 8:1 John records that when the Lamb "broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God; and seven trumpets were given to them."

Just imagine this scene -- silence in heaven for about half an hour. Night and day the four living creatures have been praising God and crying ''Holy, Holy, Holy''. And yet now, all of a sudden, we encounter absolute, total, complete silence. Not a word uttered. Not an anthem of praise. Not a chorus from any angelic being. Total silence. This is an awesome scene! Our world virtually always has some type of sound in the background. But here John describes a period of absolute silence.

In Rev 8:3 John describes ''another angel'' (in addition to the seven angels he had just described) who is actually associated with 7 Trumpets, albeit representing a separate angel. In other words, we find 7 angels + another angel which equates with 8 angels in this section forming a prelude to the sounding of the Trumpet judgments.

Rev 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. (This is the first description of the "golden altar" in the Revelation. Compare this altar with the altar of incense in the earthly tabernacle depicted schematically below) 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel's hand. 5 And the angel took the censer; and he filled it with the fire of the altar and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake. 6 And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them.

THE TABERNACLE
ON EARTH

The Tabernacle on earth was set up as a PATTERN ("MAKE all things ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN WHICH WAS SHOWN YOU ON THE MOUNTAIN" Heb 8:5 for the full context read Hebrews Chapters 8-10) of the Tabernacle in heaven. The earthly Tabernacle (refer to the schematic diagram of the earthly Tabernacle) was composed of an "OUTER TABERNACLE" (Heb9:6) and an INNER TABERNACLE (referred to in Hebrews as "the second" -- "into the second only the high priest enters, once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance." Heb9:7), these two tabernacles being divided by a VEIL. (referred to in Hebrews as "the second veil" -- "And behind the second veil, there was a tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies...." Heb9:3)

The Tabernacle could be entered through only ONE doorway (picturing the truth that there is only one way for sinful man to approach a holy God and that is through Jesus Who Alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life John 14:6) after which the worshipper would immediately encountered the BRAZEN ALTAR (which pictures the sacrificial death of upon the Cross of the Messiah, the sinless Lamb of God), followed by the BRONZE LAVER which was for washing. The literal washing parallels the figurative washing of the water with the word Paul described in Ep5:26. This literal washing also finds a parallel in Jesus' instruction to Peter on the night in which He was betrayed. (John records the scene for us writing that "Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God, and was going back to God, rose from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself about. Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. And so He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, "Lord, do You wash my feet?" Jesus answered and said to him, "What I do you do not realize now, but you shall understand hereafter." Peter said to Him, "Never shall You wash my feet!" Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me." Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head." Jesus said to him, "He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you." John13:3-10) (Ed note: The once for all time cleansing that Christ does at salvation does not need to be repeated. On the other hand Jesus' washing of Peter's feet symbolizes the believers continual need for figurative daily washing as they battle sin in the flesh, this latter daily cleansing picturing sanctification). In other words, Peter had no need to wash all over because he had believed in the Lord Jesus. Jesus however was teaching that there was still a need for the believer to experience DAILY CLEANSING by Christ and in the Tabernacle that need was foreshadowed by the washing in the BRONZE LAVER.

Continuing into the Tabernacle, as one entered THE HOLY PLACE they would find the TABLE OF SHOWBREAD on the right side (Ed note: This pictures Jesus declaration "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger..." Jn6:35) on the left was the 7-BRANCHED CANDLESTICK (Ed note: the lampstand again gives a foreshadow of Jesus Who declared "I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life." Jn8:12) In front of the VEIL is the ALTAR OF INCENSE. (Ed note: incense can symbolize prayers and thus pictures Jesus Who "always lives to make intercession for" us Heb7:25)

Once per year, on the Day of Atonement (Ed note: known as "Yom Kippur", read the description in Lev16, Lev23:27ff), the Jewish high priest would approach the ALTAR OF INCENSE, take coals from the altar, place them in an incense pot and go behind the veil into the Holy of Holies. Note again that this approach into the presence of God was carried out only once each year. Before the priest could go into the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement, he would lift up the VEIL and would swing the incense pot to prepare his way into the Holy of Holies.

After passing through the VEIL the high priest would approach the ARK OF THE COVENANT which had a lid on it which was referred to as the MERCY SEAT and was covered over by two arching cherubim on either side of the ark. The ark represented the THRONE OF GOD Whose abiding presence was visually symbolized to the people by the presence of the Shekinah cloud of glory (Ed note: The term "Shekinah" does not occur in Scripture but is derived from the Hebrew root word "shakan" meaning "to dwell") which hovered over the MERCY SEAT.

Now Christ, our Intercessor, is at the right hand of the throne of God and He "always lives to make intercession for" us (Heb7:25)

Credits: These transcripts of Kay Arthur's lectures on Revelation (Parts 2-4) are provided as a service to the body of Christ with the written permission of Precept Ministries International. This material is the property of Precept Ministries International and all rights are reserved. The transcripts are for the most part verbatim with deletions identified by the characters (...). The utilization of italics, bolding, hyperlinks and pop up notes represent editorial additions. Any written additions are identified by the designation "Ed note".

Please note that these lectures by Kay Arthur supplement the excellent Precept Upon Precept inductive Bible study on the Revelation. Click the following links to view each division of this encouraging study and note that you can also download the first lesson of each of the 4 parts:

If you can find a local Precept class studying Revelation, I would strongly encourage you to join the class, as I know of no other study available anywhere in the world that will equip you so thoroughly to discern the signs of the times and cause you to live expectantly as you look for Christ's Return!

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