Revelation Lectures(57)

Revelation 11:14-19

[14] The second woe is past; behold, the third woe is coming quickly.
[15] Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”
[16] And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God,
[17] saying, “We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign.
[18] “And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”
[19] And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

The main background of the Book of Revelation is the 7 Year Great Tribulation.

After all the saved souls are caught up into heaven, the 7 Year Great Tribulation begins on earth.

Therefore, the Book of Revelation has, by and large, the story of tribulations and calamities.

When each seal of the seven seals are broken, and each trumpet of the seven trumpets is sounded, the Tribulation is getting more and more serious.

Due to all kinds of natural disasters, famines, and wars, the earth becomes a more and more difficult place to live.

Furthermore, in the 15th chapter there is coming the seven bowls.

By the way, these seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven bowls may confuse you because they are mentioned continuously.

If you don’t grasp the whole context as a whole, the similar contents seem to keep repeating again and again.

‘When does the Third World War begin exactly?” “When is it that the antichrist takes hold of its power?” “At what point do the two witnesses appear?”

You may find the answers to these questions are not clear to you.

However, the incidents in the Book of Revelation may not occur exactly in the same order as listed.

One incident and some other incident may happen in the same period of time.

Some are mentioned in the beginning of Revelations, but they may be incidents that will take place later in the time order.

Therefore, don’t stick strictly to the time order of these incidents, but try to understand the whole flow of them.

Let me tell you the flow briefly. When the 7 Year Great Tribulation begins, after a triangular contest (that is a tri-nation power struggle), the EU eventually takes the initiative.

The EU doesn’t reveal its identity in the beginning, but tries to lead the world situation with caution.

And, when the time comes, it reveals its identity, and takes the control of the world situation completely.

Meantime, 144,000 bond-servants of God rise from all over the world and preach the gospel.

And countless people believe them and reach salvation.

However, the nation of Israel still waits for their Messiah.

In the providence of saving Israel, the ministry of the two witnesses finally begins.

Many people are surprised at the power of the two witnesses, believe and they accept Jesus as their Savior.

However, the moment when Israel truly repents and turns back is when they realize the true identity of the antichrist.

After they realize that they are being deceived into defiling the Holy Temple of God by the antichrist, they start their repentance for their ignorance.

At this point the ministry of the two witnesses accelerates and the nation of Israel faces the great work of salvation.

So, why will the force of the antichrist not leave this situation alone?

They try every means possible to arrest and kill the two witnesses, but they can’t until the time comes that God has set.

Now, when it’s time the ministry of the two witnesses comes to an end, the two die as martyrs in the providence of God.

However, when the antichrist kills the two witnesses, they don’t spear on the stage by themselves.

Even though they already seize and control the world situation, they hide themselves and manipulate the events that occur secretly from behind the scenes.

They mobilize the armies of other countries and conduct the large-scale offensive to arrest the two witnesses.

They mobilize the armies of other countries such as the armies of Russia. They surround Israel and apply pressure on her.

And they finally arrest the two witnesses and kill them.

Through the last lecture, I have explained about this so far.

From this point on we will take a look from the moment the seventh trumpet is sounded.

Verse 14 says, “The second woe is past; behold, the third woe is coming quickly.”

Here, the third woe is the calamity that comes down at the sound of the seventh trumpet.

Dear brothers and sisters.

During the 7 Year Great Tribulation, people have to live unbearably gloomy lives.

One year, two years, and three years; as time passes, the realities of life appear to become more disappointing. Even a minute or a second seems too long.

However, no matter how terrible the calamity is, it eventually comes to an end when the time comes that has been set.

And then, the Millennium Kingdom begins.

After the Millennium Kingdom comes the Great White Throne Judgment.

All of these take place with the slightest error in the providence of God.

When the second woe is over, the third woe is surely coming.

It says, “…the third woe is coming quickly.”

Now, verse 15 says, “Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.””

Since the beginning of the 7 Year Great Tribulation, due to continuing calamities, the destruction of the world is so severe that restoration seems impossible.

Moreover, the evil people seem to exercise their power and do whatever they want to do as they please.

They do so because God hasn’t taken away the authority that the enemy devil and Satan have over the world yet.

The authority over the world was taken over by the enemy devil and Satan after Adam committed sin.

Luke 4:5-7 says, “And he [the devil] led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.””

According to the law of the spiritual realm, you become a slave of the one whom you obey.

Romans 6:16 says, “Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?”

If you are obedient to sin, you become a slave of the enemy devil and Satan who rule over sins. If your obedience is to God, then you become a righteous child of God.

Adam was deceived into committing sin at the temptation of the enemy devil and Satan. He then became a slave to the one who controls sin, the enemy devil and Satan.

At this point, the authority over the whole world, which originally belonged to Adam was also handed over to the enemy devil and Satan.

That’s how the enemy devil and Satan came to have the authority over the world.

But the situation was reversed when the enemy devil and Satan crucified Jesus, who was sinless, on the cross.

It is a violation of the law of the spiritual realm for the law says that ‘the wage of sin is death.’

From this moment on, the enemy devil and Satan came to have no authority over those who accepted Jesus as their Savior and became one with the Lord by faith.

Since they are forgiven by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, the enemy devil and Satan cannot insist upon their authority of death over them.

They have to hand them over to God as His children.

However, the enemy devil and Satan still have the authority over darkness.

This gives them the authority to rule over the people who live in sin and darkness. It is the authority to lead them to death.

During the 7 Year Great Tribulation, using such authority, the enemy devil and Satan do evil upon evil until the end.

But soon, the time comes when such enemy devil and Satan surrender to the power of the Lord. This is the time when the Lord restores everything.

It is when the 7 Year Great Tribulation ends, and when the new Millennium Kingdom begins.

All the authority is taken from the enemy devil and Satan, and the Lord reigns over everything.

He purifies all the polluted things on the earth and restores all the things destroyed.

After the peaceful Millennium Kingdom on the restored earth, there comes the Great White Throne Judgment.

And then, we will enter the kingdom of God where the Lord reigns forever and ever.

Like this, for the upcoming incidents of the future, loud voices in heaven, proclaim saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”

This is the response to the proclamation, “the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God” as written in the verse 16.

They worship God who has planned and accomplished all the providence of human cultivation.

The 24 Elders have their own thrones before God, and they are qualified to sit on them.

They are in the highest ranks in heaven so that they enjoy such great positions and authority.

However, in an extremely humble manner they fall on their faces in their worship of God.

Now, how and in what kind of manner do you worship God?

Please check what kind of heart and attitude you keep when you worship God and pray to God.

For example, how much beauty and goodness are in the words that are spoken when you pray?

Has there never been rudeness in your actions when you have called on the name of God or when you have dealt with the Bible, which is the word of God?

Of course, God is our Father who is full of love.

The more we live in the light and the truth, the more lovely and friendly Father God becomes to us.

However, even though He is so friendly and close to us, it doesn’t mean that we can be rude before God.

I can proudly say that I love God the Father more than anybody, and that I have kept the closest relationship with God the Father and the Lord.

But still, I’ve never been rude before God.

I’ve never come before God the Father with a heart which is not holy.

Whenever I pray, or listen to His word, I always keep even my outlook decent and attitude clear, not to mention the reverent conduct of my heart.

Even when I go to bed, since God the Father is looking down on me from heaven, I again examine myself from head to toe.

It is never done by force or under pressure.

It is from the depth of my humble heart since I love and fear the Father God so much.

5 years, 10 years, or how many years have passed, my heart and deed to respect and fear God the Father has never been changed.

It is even getting more and more as days go by.

Even though God is invisible to our eyes, God is surely looking over us.

Please remember this wherever you are at any time.

How can you compare coming before God with coming before someone who has immense authority or power?

You must be able to stand before God all the more rightly and perfectly in manner.

And it must be done because you love God that much, not because you are afraid of God.

When you become like this, God honors you as well.

1 Samuel 2:30 says, “those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me will be lightly esteemed.”

If you truly honor God, how can you fall asleep during a worship service or prayer meeting? How can you let your thoughts and heart wander somewhere else?

Your heart, mind, eyes, ears, and everything must be all directed toward only God.

The 24 Elders were those who truly loved and feared God.

They served God with love, passion, and deeds that are good enough to be a standard for other believers.

That’s why God leads them to the more honorable places.

I hope that you, too, will honor God and be honored before God like this.

I pray in the name of the Lord that you may enter glorious place as an honorable one in heaven.

The 24 Elders will be praising and worshiping God, and it is written in the verse 17 and 18.

It reads, “……and saying, “We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.””

In other words it means that this is at the time when the authority of Satan is finally broken and God begins to reign.

When it says, “…the nations were enraged,” it means that those who don’t believe in the Lord stand against God in their own evil.

To those, the wrath and judgment of God come, and it is written, “the time came for the dead to be judged.”

Here, ‘the dead’ refer to those whose spirits are dead; in other words, they are those who are not saved.

Adam was originally a living being consisting of spirit, soul, and body. He was a living spiritual being.

But, his spirit died because of his sin of disobedience.

When a spirit is dead, it means the spirit cannot be active because the communication with God is disconnected due to sin.

Now, when the spirit is dead, the soul takes control of the body.

And the soul is controlled by Satan.

Since the spirit is dead and under the control of the enemy devil and Satan, a man lives as a slave to the enemy and eventually goes to hell, which is eternal death.

But, when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, the Holy Spirit, the gift of God, comes into our heart.

And then, the dead spirit comes to life again.

Once the spirit is revived, even though one’s lifespan comes to an end and the body is dead, since the spirit is alive, we say that it is ‘sleep,’ and not ‘death’.

Therefore, when tonight’s scripture says, ‘the dead to be judged,’ it means those whose spirit is dead are to be judged.

On the other hand, at the time of this judgment, it says, “the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great.”

It means that those who are saved will receive the Reward Judgment according to their deeds.

So you see that the scripture says the time will come to judge both those who don’t believe, but stand against the Lord, and those who are saved.

When the 24 Elders confessed as they will, the Apostle John saw the temple of God in heaven is opened.

Verse 19 says, “And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.”

When it says, “the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple,’ it means that all the promises that God has made are faithfully accomplished.

And, when it says, “…there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm,” it means that all the calamities and judgments of the 7 Year Great Tribulation are also under the control of God.

The flow of history and the fortune and misfortune, life and death are done according to Justice.

However, they are, in the end, accomplished as God has planned and worked.

That’s because God plans and works precisely in the Justice.

James 1:17 says, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”

Also, Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

Just as all the prophecies of the Bible have been fulfilled exactly, the words of the Book of Revelation will surely be accomplished.

The Second Advent of the Lord, the 7 Year Great Tribulation, the Millennium Kingdom, and the Great White Throne Judgment; all these will be fulfilled.

According to the precise justice, they will be surely accomplished just as God planned.

This applies equally to each and every one of you.

When you believe the Lord and receive the Holy Spirit, your heart becomes an individual temple.

1 Corinthians 3:16 says, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

A temple is where God dwells.

Since the Holy Spirit dwells in your heart, your heart becomes a temple.

In addition, just as the Ark of the Covenant is in a temple, the promise that God gave to you is in you.

He says He will give you blessing if you live in the light.

He says that when you live in the truth you will receive answers to your desires from God.

On the contrary, 1 Corinthians 3:17 says, “If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.”

It means that you must keep your body and heart holy since your body and heart are the holy temple where the Holy Spirit dwells.

If you destroy the temple, the word of promise regarding the blessing, hope, and salvation cannot be in you any longer.

Therefore, please always keep the temple that is your heart holy.

When you do so, it is a fact that those words of promise given to you will be accomplished faithfully.

I pray in the name of the Lord that you may face all the things that will take place in the future with joy and thanks, but not with fear and trembling.

Dear brothers and sisters.

From the chapter 12, the situation makes acute and tense progress.

And the story is like that of a sci-fi novel.

Revelation 12:1-5 says, “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. And she gave birth to a son, a male childwho is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.’

And the incidents between the woman and the dragon are also recorded afterwards.

The dragon persecutes the woman, and the woman is given the two wings of the great eagle and flies into the wilderness.

And the story of the dragon’s failure to kill the woman continues afterwards later in the account.

This is not a science-fiction, but it is the report of the incidents that are related to the salvation of the people of Israel in the future.

We will look into this in the next lecture.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

When you take an exam or a test, there is a range of pages in the book the exam will cover.

It is like a promise that questions are made only from within that range.

Now, even though the range in the book is announced, there are various types of students who deal with the exam.

There are students who study the range of pages in the book completely and receive good grades.

Some others study just good enough to pass.

On the contrary other hand however, there are some students who don’t study at all, but fail on the test even though the range of pages in the book is announced.

The same applies to the process of the human cultivation.

All the necessary instructions for the human cultivation are found in the word of God.

And the words are interpreted and taught all the time from this podium.

Sometimes there might be some people who don’t understand the deep spiritual words, but in not understanding such words it doesn’t always mean they are not properly cultivated.

The problem is not putting the word into practice even after hearing and understanding.

People hate others even though they know they should not hate.

They don’t love even though they know they should love.

They don’t cast off ill feelings even though they should.
They don’t worship God in spirit and truth even though they should.

They love the world more than God even though they have to love God first.

Most of the time, they don’t do as they are taught even though they know the truth and the answer.

It is as though they prepare for the exam every diligently, but they actually keep missing the questions they already know.

Now, you should not repeat such a foolish thing.

Philippians 4:9 says, “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Please practice what you have learned, received, heard, and seen from now on.

By doing so, may you live a blessed and prosperous life since God of peace is always with you, in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, I pray!

Amen

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