The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 10 : The Revelation (Commentaries on the Revelation)

[Chapter 1-2] (Revelation 1:1-20) We Must Know The Seven Eras

(Revelation 1:1-20)
 
I thank the Lord who gives us hope in this dark age. Our hope is that everything would unfold as written in the Book of Revelation, and to wait in faith that all the Word of prophecy would be fulfilled.
Much has been written on the Book of Revelation. While theories and interpretations by scholars abound, it is still difficult to come across a work that is truly biblical in its approach. It is only by the grace of God that I, having spent countless hours studying and researching on the Word of Revelation, am able to write this book. Even as I speak right now, my heart is filled with the truth of Revelation. The Holy Spirit has also filled me while I prepared my commentaries and sermons for this book.
It is little surprise, then, that my heart would be abundantly filled by the hope for Heaven and the glory of the Millennial Kingdom. I have also come to realize just how glorifying the martyrdom of the saints is for our Lord. Now, I am ready to share with you the Word of wisdom that God has shown me, and to help you to understand it.
As I write this book on Revelation, the glory of God fills my heart evermore. In all frankness, I truly had not realized just how great the Word of Revelation is.
God showed John the world of Jesus Christ. What is meant by the opening words, “the Revelation of Jesus Christ?” The dictionary definition of the word revelation is an act of revealing or communicating divine truth. The revelation of Jesus Christ, then, means the revealing of what would happen in the future in Jesus Christ. Put differently, God showed to John, a servant of Jesus Christ, all the things that will come to pass in the end time.
Before we delve into the Word of Revelation, there is one thing that we must be sure of beforehand—that is, we must ascertain whether or not Revelation’s written Word of prophecy is symbolic or factual. All that is written in the Book of Revelation is certainly factual, as through the visions that John saw God has revealed to us in detail what will come to pass in this world.
It is true that many scholars have put forward different theological theories and interpretations on the prophecies of Revelation. It is also true that these scholars’ efforts have been to unveil the truth of Revelation to the best of their abilities. But such hypothetical propositions have done more harm to the Christendom, as they did not conform to the truth of the Bible and only brought about confusion. For example, many conservative scholars have supported the so-called ‘amillennialism’—that is, they claim that there will be no Millennial Kingdom. But such opinions are far removed from the biblical truth.
The Thousand-year Kingdom is factually recorded in chapter 20 of Revelation, where it is written that the saints will not only reign this Kingdom, but also live with Christ for a thousand years. Chapter 21, on the other hand, tells us that after the Millennial Kingdom, the saints will inherit the New Heaven and Earth and live and reign with Christ for eternity. All these are facts. The Bible tells us that all these truth will be realized not as a symbolic fulfillment in the hearts of the believers, but as an actual fulfillment in history.
But looking at the Christians today, we find that many of them appear to have little hope for the Millennial Kingdom. Were their claims of denial true, would this not mean that God’s promise to the believers would be only empty words? If there were no Millennial Kingdom waiting the believers, nor the New Heaven and Earth, then the faith of those who have been saved by believing in Jesus as their Savior would turn useless.
On a related note, many theologians and ministers today claim that the mark of 666 prophesized in Revelation is only symbolic. But make no mistake: when the day of this prophecy’s fulfillment comes, the faith of those unfortunate souls who believed in such false claims will founder at once like a house built on sand.
Were those who believe in Jesus not to believe in the Word of truth revealed to them in the Bible, they will be treated by God the same as the unbelievers. This can only mean that they not only do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by God, but that the Holy Spirit does not even dwell in their hearts. This is why their hearts have no hope for the Millennial Kingdom or the New Heaven and Earth that God has promised us. Even if they had believed in Jesus, they had not believed in Him according to the written truth of the Word of God. What is written in Revelation is the Word of God that shows us what will absolutely and soon come to pass in this world.
Chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation record the Word of admonition to the seven churches in Asia. In them are found both the commendations and rebukes of God for the seven churches. In particular, God promised that the crown of life would be given to those who persevere in their faithfulness and overcome their tribulations. This means that there will surely be martyrdom waiting all the believers of the end time.
The Word of Revelation is about the martyrdom of the saints, their resurrection and rapture, and the promise of the Millennial Kingdom and the New Heaven and Earth that God made to them. The Word of Revelation can be a great comfort and blessing to those who believe in the certainty of their martyrdom, but it has little to offer to those who do not believe in it. We can therefore live in steadfastness by abiding by our unfaltering faith in the Word of promise written in Revelation and its Word of the truth on the end time.
The most importantly treated subject of the Word of Revelation is the martyrdom, resurrection and rapture of the saints, and the Kingdom of one thousand years and the New Heaven and Earth. This is why the purpose and will of God for the Early Church were to have the saints defend their faith to the end with their martyrdom. It is because God planned all these things that He spoke of martyrdom to all the saints. God has told us, in other words, that all the saints will overcome the Antichrist through their martyrdom in the end time.
A full understanding of chapters 1-6 is critical to understand the Book of Revelation in its whole. Chapter 1 can be described as the introduction, while chapters 2 and 3 speak of the martyrdom of the saints of the Early Church. Chapter 4 tells us of the sitting of Christ on the throne of God. Chapter 5 tells us of Jesus Christ’s opening of the scroll of the Father’s plan and its fulfillment, and chapter 6 discusses the seven eras that God has set for the mankind. Understanding chapter 6 is particularly important, as it will open the door to the understanding of the whole Revelation for you.
Chapter 6 may be described as the blueprint for the seven eras that God the Father has planned for the humankind in Jesus Christ. In this blueprint of God is found the divine providence for the seven eras that God will bring to the human race. When we know and understand what these seven eras are, we will be able to realize in which of these eras we are now living. We will also realize what kind of faith is needed for us to strive against and overcome the era of the pale horse, the age of the Antichrist to come.
As described in Revelation 6, when the first seal was opened, there came out a white horse. Its rider held a bow, was given a crown, and he went out conquering and to conquer. The rider on the white horse here refers to Jesus Christ, while the fact that He had a bow means that He will continue to fight against and win over Satan. Put differently, the era of the white horse refers to the era of the victory of the gospel of the water and the Spirit that God has allowed on the earth, and this era will continue until all God’s purposes are fulfilled.
The second era is the era of the red horse. This refers to the advent of the era of Satan, in which Satan will deceive the people’s hearts to wage wars, taking peace away from the earth and persecuting the saints.
After the era of the red horse comes the era of the black horse, when famine will strike both the souls and the bodies of the people. You and I are now living in this era of spiritual and physical famine. When this is followed by the era of the pale horse in near future, the Antichrist will arise, and with his appearance the world will fall into deadly calamities.
The era of the pale horse is the fourth era. In this era, the world will be struck by the plagues of the seven trumpets, where one-third of the forest will burn off, one-third of the sea will turn into blood, one-third of the fresh water will also turn into blood, and one-third of the sun and the moon, having been struck, will turn dark.
The fifth era is the era of the saints’ resurrection and rapture. As recorded in Revelation 6:9-10, “When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’”
The sixth era is the destruction of the first world. According to Revelation 6:12-17, “I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’”
What, then, will happen in the seventh era that God has set for us? In this final era, God will give the saints His Millennial Kingdom and the New Heaven and Earth.
Which among these seven eras, then, are we now living in? Having passed the era of the red horse, during which the world had been ravaged by many wars, we are living in the era of the black horse.
All the Word of Revelation is written not negatively, but in a positive spirit for the believers. God said that He not only wants to give the believers of the end time hope for His Thousand-year Kingdom, but also that He would not abandon them as orphans in the world.
To realize the truth revealed in Revelation, however, we must first discard such false teachings as the theories of pre-tribulation rapture, amillennialism, and post-tribulation rapture, and return to the Scripture.
God has set seven eras for us in Jesus Christ. These seven eras were all planned by God for the saints in Jesus Christ at the very beginning of His creation. Yet because many scholars, remaining ignorant of these seven eras set by God, have offered only their own interpretations and unfounded hypotheses on the Word of Revelation, people have been confused even more. But we must all recognize the seven eras set by God, and with the knowledge and faith in this truth, give thanks and glory to Him for all He has done for us. All the plans of God for the saints are set and fulfilled within these seven eras.
I hope that my discussion so far has given you some basic understanding of the introductory passage to Revelation. Through the Book of Revelation, we find that God’s creation marked the beginning of the seven eras that He has set in Jesus Christ with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. By knowing these seven eras, our faith will become stronger. And by knowing them, we will realize what kind of trials awaits us while living in the era of the black horse, and with this realization, we will be able to live by faith.
The believers—and that includes both you and I—are to be martyred when the era of the pale horse comes as one of the seven ages planned by God. When the believers realize this, their hearts will be filled by hope and their eyes will see what they could not see before. When the servants and saints of God realize the imminent arrival of the era of martyrdom, their lives will be cleaned of all the debris, for as soon as they realize that they are set to become martyrs in the era of the pale horse, their hearts will become prepared even when they do not realize it at the moment.
We will all be martyred in the same way as the saints of the Early Church were martyred. You must realize that when the era of the pale horse comes, martyrdom becomes the unavoidable reality for the true believers, for immediately following their martyrdom will be their resurrection.
After martyrdom will come resurrection, and with resurrection rapture, and with rapture our meeting with the Lord in heaven. After the saints’ martyrdom, our Lord will raise the saints from death and bring them up in rapture to the marriage supper in heaven.
By the time the saints’ rapture comes, the earth would have been so thoroughly destroyed that it would be virtually uninhabitable. One-third of the forests would have been burnt off; seas, rivers, and even springs would have turned into blood. Would you want to live in such a world any longer than you absolutely had to? The saints will have even more reason to join in the martyrdom, as there will no longer be any hope left for the world.
Do you want to live in such a desolated world, trembling in fear? Of course not! At the end time is the martyrdom of the saints, and after it their resurrection and rapture, and with their resurrection and rapture is the glory of living eternally with God in the Millennial Kingdom and the New Heaven and Earth.
The Bible tells us clearly that after the midpoint of the Great Tribulation—that is, three and a half years into the seven-year period—the saints will be martyred for standing against the Antichrist with their faith, and that this will be followed by their resurrection and rapture and the second coming of Christ. In other words, the return of Christ and the resurrection and rapture of the saints are to occur after their martyrdom during the Great Tribulation. Now is the time for you to have more careful thoughts on such subjects.
Can we be martyred even when the era of the pale horse set by God has not arrived yet? Of course not. But the “theory of pre-tribulation rapture” teaches that all the saints will be raptured by God before the beginning of the Great Tribulation, and that they will thus not go through any of the seven-year Tribulation. This view claims that there is no martyrdom, and does not believe that the era of the pale horse will come to the saints.
If this “theory of pre-tribulation rapture” is true, what, then, does the martyrdom of the saints spoken in chapter 13 of Revelation mean? It is said here quite clearly that the saints will be martyred because they, whose names are written in the Book of Life of God, would not capitulate before Satan.
Those who teach the “theory of post-tribulation rapture” also lack the proper understanding of the era of the pale horse, and the martyrdom, resurrection, and rapture of the saints. According to this hypothesis, the saints will remain on this earth until all the plagues (the seven trumpets and the seven bowls) are finished. But Revelation tells us unambiguously that the resurrection and rapture of the saints will occur when the last angel sounds the trumpet—before, in other words, the seven bowls of the wrath of God are poured. This is why Revelation is the Word of great comfort and blessings to those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
“Amillennialism” has brought only disappointments and confusion to the people, and is not the truth. What our Lord promised to His disciples—that the saints will be rewarded the authority to reign over five or ten cities—are what will actually happen in the Millennial Kingdom.
You must remember that such hypothetical notions as the theories of pre-tribulation rapture, post-tribulation rapture, and amillennialism are groundless claims that bring only distrust and confusion to the believers.
Why, then, did God give us the Book of Revelation? He gave us the Word of Revelation to show us His providence through the seven eras and to give those who have become the disciples of Jesus the true hope of Heaven.
Even now, things are happening as planned by God. The age in which we now live is the age of the black horse. In the near future, this era of the black horse will soon pass and the era of the pale horse will arrive. And with the era of the pale horse will begin the martyrdom of the saints with the rise of the Antichrist. This era is the era in which the whole world will become integrated and united under the single authority of the Antichrist. The disciples of Jesus must prepare now and be ready to face with their faith the imminent arrival of the era of the pale horse.