Amazing Chapters in the Bible for All of the Chapters in Our Lives, Pt. 5
Study Guide, August 8, 2021
Pastor Clay Olsen
How many here have toured Israel? Most tours include a visit to the top of Mt. Carmel. There you’ll see a statue of Prophet Elijah, commemorating his challenge to and defeat of the prophets of Baal. And how great that in Israel, various Biblical events and Bible characters are their National Parks! They honestly show that the Bible is a record of real people that lived in real places in real times! What a refreshing difference to our present country that tries to cover up and remove Biblical people and Biblical accounts from public life. America needs to just ‘get real’!
But also, from the vantage point of Mt. Carmel you look out at the most significant Valley in all the world…the Jezreel Valley. This valley has been the site of many battles throughout history, from Barak with the Canaanites to Gideon with the Midianites to Joshua with the Mosquito bites…well, that may have been like a battle…that’s a battle for everyone. Anyway, Napoleon once called this valley the best battle ground on Earth for fighting a war. And no doubt that it is because Bible students know that this Valley is also called in Hebrew ‘Har-Magedon’…or better known as ‘Armageddon’, where the final battle of the present Earth will occur.
By the way, do you see in the distance shapes that look like landing strips for airplanes? That’s because they are. That is the sight of some underground hangers for the Israeli Airforce at the Ramat David Air Force base. Israel has one amazing and innovative Military organization. Also notice what town is very near this prophetically significant valley. Nazareth – How amazing that Jesus grew up just a few miles away from where He would one day return in what is prophetically called: The Second Advent, or the Second Coming of Christ. Also notice a few other sites on this map…You have Mt. Tabor. This was the site of the Transfiguration, where Peter, James, and John saw Jesus brilliantly transfigured and speaking with Moses and Elijah. And then you have Mt. Moreh. This is the site where Gideon started the attack against the Midianites. And to the right of that is Mt. Gilboa. This is where Saul and his three sons were slain in their battle with the Philistines. Which is all to say how helpful it is to put the real events of the Bible with the real events in the land where all these real things took place. We can all benefit by learning more and more about the lands of the Bible along with the people and the events of the Bible. It even deepens and inspires your personal devotional Bible reading when you can picture these real places in these real lands of the Bible.
But that brings us back to this: Once a month we read the Lord’s Prayer together. And in it is an appeal to God for His Kingdom to come so that His will can be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Well, chapter 19 of the book of Revelation is the answer to that prayer. Or we could also say, the answer to that prayer is about to come to pass, because God’s prophetic calendar is readily unfolding. So let’s explore one of the most amazing chapters in all of the Bible.
Rev. 19:11-16 reveals Christ to the world as He has never appeared before in history. And, whereas the Apostle John once introduced Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, now he shows us that the Lamb that came to give His life as a ransom for our sins is now returning as the Lion who is coming to establish His Kingdom and rule over the nations with a rod of iron. Lets look: Rev 19:11-16- “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” NASU
“I saw heaven opened”…John says that several times in this book. We often call it ‘prophetic vision’, but it’s actually just John seeing God’s plans before they happen. The book of Revelation is God’s plan-book…His future ‘play-book’. It’s God showing His plans to the Prophets and the Apostles things that are about to happen before they happen. And remember, God said that He is the only One who does that, which is another way of God saying to the world: “This is all the proof that you need to know that I am God”. In Isa 46:9-10 God says: “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’…” NASU
It’s very important to understand that about one third of the Bible is prophecy. It is God revealing to the world what is going to happen before it happens so that the world, which God so loves, will turn to Him as their God and trust in Him as their Savior so that they can be saved from what He also said will happen if they refuse to repent and believe…that is, ‘they will perish’. Remember, God does not want anyone to perish, but for all to come to repentance and be saved. But if they do not repent, if they will not say to God, “Thy will be done”, then God will have to say to them… “Then, thy will be done.” And they will get their way, but they will perish in their way.
The First Advent was proclaimed to the world thousands of years before Jesus came to Earth so that when He came, people would have been looking for Him and would have gotten ready to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. And now, the Bible has been proclaiming the Second Advent for thousands of years so that the saved will be ready and will help others get ready by becoming Born Again, so that they can enter into His Kingdom. The Bible has put the world on notice that the Second Coming of Jesus is close…the trouble is, so few have taken notice or are taking notice.
God has also revealed to the world that the only two options for all people are: Salvation for the Saved or Separation for the Unsaved. Everyone you have ever known, everyone around you, everyone you know is either Saved or Lost. But they don’t have to remain ‘lost’, as Jesus said: Luke 19:10- “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” NASU Everyone on Earth is or once was ‘lost’. But Jesus came seeking to save the lost. So every person has either let themselves be found, and have let Jesus save them from their sin, or they are still lost in their sin. It’s not complicated, but it is eternally precise. And in this prophecy of Revelation 19 every person will either be returning with the King to enter into His Kingdom or are saved and ready to enter into His Kingdom, or they will have neglected so great a salvation and will thus be under the judgment of the King, and will be confined to Hades in temporary confinement and then transferred into Gehenna Hell for eternal separation from God.
And yet, with the return of Jesus to the Earth getting closer and closer, how very strange that people all around us are going about their business like neither the First Advent ever happened and like the Second Advent isn’t about to happen! It’s like those spiritual scales over people’s eyes are growing thicker and the minds of people are growing duller and the hearts of people are growing colder. But those very things are some of additional signs of the end times. So many are so deceived and are so willing to stay deceived. But the strange this is that they are but one breath away from death every day, and yet they live each day like they’ll live forever. Well, their soul will live forever, but because their spirit is already dead in their sins, they will live forever separated from God in a land called ‘Gehenna Hell’. Again, until you believe unto salvation you are eternally under condemnation. So Revelation 19 is message to the world that the King is about to set up His Kingdom, and all who believe will join in with Him, but He will judge all who refuse to believe and they will not enter His Kingdom.
Now, let’s point out some other amazing things from this amazing chapter. What has just happened on Earth before King Jesus returns? What had happened is what Jesus also predicted would happen just before His return. Matt 24:21- “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.” NASU All Christians should know and should be able to explain to our totally deceived world around us that this present world is not headed for some ‘utopian’ peaceful type of existence organized by the wisdom of mankind. No…far from it. For Jesus revealed that this world is heading toward the greatest period of the worst tribulation that the world has ever experienced in war, famine, pestilence, and judgment. In fact, the world-wide trouble and turmoil is going to be so bad that unless the Lord cut it short, no life would be left on the planet. That is what the near future holds for this world.
But again when or where do you ever hear about that? No, instead, government leaders, world scientists, corporate executives are all promising the world that humanity is on the verge of solving the problems that it faces if everyone just follows their instructions into a new world order. But what they always forget is that the central problem in life is not environmental or medical or governmental…no, the central problem in life is the sin-sick heart of mankind. We even have an X-ray of every human heart if people will only look at their true spiritual condition. Mark 7:21-23- “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.” NASU And the Prophet Jeremiah reveals that: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jer 17:9 NIV
The most deceitful thing on earth is the sin-diseased heart of man, and it cannot be cured by man. Until mankind fixes that, any such talk of a future of peace on Earth and love between those who live on the Earth is complete foolishness and arrogance and deception and unbelief, and the worst…it’s rejection of the very Words of the Creator as to why He came to save us from our sin-diseased hearts and this world that is about to be judged.
Jesus is the only One who can save anyone from their sins…the only One that can give people a brand-new spiritual heart…and Jesus is the only One that can re-create a world that will be more peaceful and more loving than anyone could ever dream of or imagine. What the world needs now is not more lies from those who being used by the devil to deceive the nations…no what the world needs now is Jesus to be their Savior and Lord if they ever hope to experience the coming world of peace and love and joy that Jesus is about to create…or re-create.
So, again, just before Jesus returns as King to establish His Kingdom upon the Earth, the Earth has undergone the worst period of tribulation it has ever experienced. That’s what all of the earlier judgments in the book of Revelation reveal are going to happen in the near future. And just before this worst period of tribulation of the world is the best thing that has ever happened to Christians who are living on the earth, apart from their personal salvation of being born again as children of God. That is, before this period of what’s called ‘a period of wrath’ upon the Earth is the best and most exciting thing anyone living on the Earth could ever experience…and that is, to be ‘raptured’ from the Earth by the Lord Jesus Christ. The Rapture of the Church, which could happen at any time now, in which God’s people are removed from the Earth and translated into Heaven, will come just before these times of tribulation will happen upon the Earth.
Several corporations have recently developed space vehicles that are now capable of letting people travel into space to get a look at the Earth from space, just like the astronauts have done for years. That’s really cool, and if I find a quarter million dollars in change around the house, I might just book a flight myself. But as great as that is, every Christian who is living on Earth when Jesus comes for the Rapture of the Church, is going to see views of the Earth and the Heavens that mankind hasn’t even dreamed about yet! Again, that could be at any time now!
But then another thing that we notice will have happened just before Jesus returns to the Earth with His saved family is that we see that God’s people are “clothed in fine linen, white and clean…following Him on white horses.” And just before that the Apostle John tells us what this white linen represents that we are wearing… Rev 19:8- “Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her (the Church) to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)” NIV So John reveals to us that the Judgment Seat of Christ had been completed before God’s people return with the King. Remember, that is where all of God’s people, where we meet with Jesus, and He reviews our life to determine what rewards or Kingdom privileges and service assignments we will be given in His Kingdom based upon what we did with the time and the talents and the treasures we were given to serve Him now in this life. The fine linen represents the things that will have lasting inheritance rewards and service privileges as we reign with Christ in His Kingdom.
That’s another reason to make sure that our words and our works and even our motives, for which we will give an account of before Christ, are God honoring and will not be judged as carnal and selfish, and thus, will not be rewarded. Remember, what we are doing for Jesus in this present kingdom will determine what we get to do for Jesus in the coming Kingdom that is about to be established. And we will want to do as much as we can in the coming Kingdom in our service for the King. As has been aptly put: “Remember, this is Training time for Reigning time’! That’s right! We are Training for Reigning…or at least we should be. What you are doing with your time, and talents, and treasures that God has given to you to serve Him now will affect what time and talents and treasures God gives to you to serve Him later in the Kingdom of Heaven. Let’s each do our best to use them as wisely as possible!