Friday, September 18, 2015

BIBLE STUDY: DANIEL, EZEKIEL, and REVELATION WEEK # 7

Date:          9-18-15

Part III       Continue:             Revelation:

The Tribulation:

The tribulation is a future seven-year period of time when God will finish His discipline of Israel and finalize His judgment of the unbelieving world. The church, made up of all who have trusted in the person and work of the Lord Jesus to save them from being punished for sin, will not be present during the tribulation. The church will be removed from the earth in an event known as the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-181 Corinthians 15:51-53). The church is saved from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 5:9). Throughout Scripture, the tribulation is referred to by other names such as the Day of the Lord (Isaiah 2:12;13:6-9Joel 1:15;2:1-31;3:14;1 Thessalonians 5:2); trouble or tribulation (Deuteronomy 4:30Zephaniah 1:1); the great tribulation, which refers to the more intense second half of the seven-year period (Matthew 24:21); time or day of trouble (Daniel 12:1Zephaniah 1:15); time of Jacob's trouble (Jeremiah 30:7).

An understanding of 
Daniel 9:24-27 is necessary in order to understand the purpose and time of the tribulation. This passage speaks of 70 weeks that have been declared against "your people." Daniel's people are the Jews, the nation of Israel, and Daniel 9:24 speaks of a period of time that God has given "to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy." God declares that "seventy sevens" will fulfill all these things. This is 70 sevens of years, or 490 years. (Some translations refer to 70 weeks of years.) This is confirmed by another part of this passage in Daniel. In verses 25 and 26, Daniel is told that the Messiah will be cut off after "seven sevens and sixty-two sevens" (69 total), beginning with the decree to rebuild Jerusalem. In other words, 69 sevens of years (483 years) after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem, the Messiah will be cut off. Biblical historians confirm that 483 years passed from the time of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem to the time when Jesus was crucified. Most Christian scholars, regardless of their view of eschatology (future things/events), have the above understanding of Daniel's 70 sevens. With 483 years having passed from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem to the cutting off of the Messiah, this leaves one seven-year period to be fulfilled in terms of Daniel 9:24: "to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy." This final seven-year period is known as the tribulation period—it is a time when God finishes judging Israel for its sin.
Daniel 9:27 gives a few highlights of the seven-year tribulation period: "He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him." The person of whom this verse speaks is the person Jesus calls the "abomination that causes desolation" (Matthew 24:15) and is called "the beast" in Revelation 13.Daniel 9:27 says that the beast will make a covenant for seven years, but in the middle of this week (3 1/2 years into the tribulation), he will break the covenant, putting a stop to sacrifice. Revelation 13 explains that the beast will place an image of himself in the temple and require the world to worship him. Revelation 13:5 says that this will go on for 42 months, which is 3 1/2 years. Since Daniel 9:27 says that this will happen in the middle of the week, and Revelation 13:5 says that the beast will do this for a period of 42 months, it is easy to see that the total length of time is 84 months or seven years. Also see Daniel 7:25, where the "time, times, and half a time" (time=1 year; times=2 years; half a time=1/2 year; total of 3 1/2 years) also refers to "great tribulation," the last half of the seven-year tribulation period when the beast will be in power. For further references about the tribulation, see Revelation 11:2-3, which speaks of 1260 days and 42 months, and Daniel 12:11-12, which speaks of 1290 days and 1335 days. These days have a reference to the midpoint of the tribulation. The additional days in Daniel 12 may include the time at the end for the judgment of the nations (Matthew 25:31-46) and time for the setting up of Christ's millennial kingdom (Revelation 20:4-6).

In summary, the Tribulation is the 7-year time period in the end times in which humanity's decadence and depravity will reach its fullness, with God judging accordingly.
The Dragon:
In Revelation chapter 12, John sees a vision of a woman "clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars" (Revelation 12:1). Note the similarity between this description and the description that Joseph gave of his father Jacob (Israel) and his mother and their children (Genesis 37:9-11). The twelve stars refer to the twelve tribes of Israel. So the woman in Revelation 12 is Israel. Additional evidence for this interpretation is that Revelation 12:2-5 speaks of the woman being with child and giving birth. While it is true that Mary gave birth to Jesus, it is also true that Jesus, the son of David from the tribe of Judah, came from Israel. In a sense, Israel gave birth—or brought forth—Christ Jesus. Verse 5 says that the woman's child was "a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne." Clearly, this is describing Jesus. Jesus ascended to heaven (Acts 1:9-11) and will one day establish His kingdom on earth (Revelation 20:4-6), and He will rule it with perfect judgment (the "rod of iron"; see Psalm 2:7-9).

The woman's flight into the wilderness for 1,260 days refers to the future time called the Great Tribulation. Twelve hundred, sixty days is 42 months (of 30 days each), which is the same as 3 1/2 years. Halfway through the Tribulation period, the Beast (the Antichrist) will set an image of himself up in the temple that will be built in Jerusalem. This is the abomination that Jesus spoke of in 
Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14. When the Beast does this, he breaks the peace pact he had made with Israel, and the nation has to flee for safety—possibly to Petra (also see Matthew 24; Daniel 9:27). This escape of the Jews is pictured as the woman fleeing into the wilderness.
Revelation 12:12-17 speaks of how the devil will make war against Israel, trying to destroy her (Satan knows his time is short, relatively speaking—see Revelation 20:1-3,10). It also reveals that God will protect Israel in the wilderness. Revelation 12:14 says Israel will be protected from the devil for "a time, times, and half a time ("a time" = 1 year; "times" = 2 years; "half a time" = one-half year; in other words, 3 1/2 years).

The Beast from the Sea:
The beast (Greek: Θηρίον, Thērion) refers to two beasts described in the Book of Revelation. The first beast comes from "out of the sea" and is given authority and power by the dragon. This first beast is initially mentioned in Revelation 11:7 as coming out of the abyss. His appearance is described in detail in Revelation 13:1-10, and some of the mystery behind his appearance is revealed in Revelation 17:7-18. The second beast comes from "out of the earth" and directs all peoples of the earth to worship the first beast. The second beast is described in Revelation 13:11-18 and is also referred to as the false prophet. The two beasts are aligned with the dragon in opposition to God. They persecute the "saints" and those who do "not worship the image of the beast [of the sea]" and influence the kings of the earth to gather for the battle of Armageddon The two beasts are defeated by Christ and are thrown into the lake of fire mentioned in Revelation 19:18-20. The description of the beast is found primarily in Revelation chapters thirteen and seventeen. Chapter thirteen gives the fullest description of the beast. John saw the beast "rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy." (Revelation 13:1) The beast was like a leopard, with feet like the feet of a bear, and had a mouth like a lion. One of the heads of the beast had a mortal wound but the wound was healed, causing people to wonder and follow the beast. (Revelation 13:1-10) This description draws many parallels with a vision in the Book of Daniel where four beasts symbolizing a succession of kingdoms come out of the sea in the forms of a lion, bear, leopard and a beast with ten horns.  In Revelation chapter seventeen we learn of a third beast, scarlet in color and some of the symbols are explained. The prevailing view is that the scarlet beast is another, distinct, visualization of the same subject as the beast of the sea. The beast of the sea is pictured with crowns on its horns, which are not present on the scarlet beast. The scarlet beast is shown being ridden by a harlot who "reigns over the kings of the earth", (Revelation 17:18) whereas the beast of the sea is not being ridden, and is given "power...and great authority." The seven heads of the beast represent both seven mountains and seven kings, and the ten horns are ten kings who have not yet received kingdoms. Of the seven kings we are told that five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come. We are also told that the beast itself is an eighth king who is "of the seven", and is going to perdition. We are also told that this beast "was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition."

The Beast from the Earth:
The second beast is primarily described in Revelation chapter thirteen. This second beast comes out of the earth whose overall appearance is not described, other than having "two horns like a lamb", and speaking "like a dragon". His purpose is to promote the authority of the first beast with the ability to perform great signs, even making fire come down out of heaven. This second beast is also called the false prophetHe speaks like a dragon commanding the people of the Earth to make an image "to" the beast that was wounded by a sword. It is declared that anyone who does not worship the beast or its image would be killed.[7] The lamb-horned beast from the earth also causes all people to receive the mark of the beast "in their right hand or in their forehead."

Image of the beast:

The Revelation of St John chapter 12:
Those who dwell on the Earth are deceived into making an image of the beast as a means to worship his authority. It is the lamb-horned beast who breathes life into the "image of the beast", so that the image becomes alive and is able to speak. It also declares death to anyone who does not worship the authority of the beast. Those who are killed for not conforming to the authority of the beast are blessed through the "first resurrection" that allows them to rule in Christ's presence as priests during the one thousand year reign. The second death has no power over these individuals who were victorious over the beast by not being deceived, even though they lost their lives on Earth by his authority.

 

Mark of the beast:
The Beast from the sea also bears a name, but this name is not given anywhere in the book of Revelation. However, his name corresponds to a numerical value, that of the number 666. This number is associated with that of a man. The "mark" can be identified by either the beast's written name, or the numerical value of his name. Without this identification, one could not buy or sell.

Fate of the beast and false prophet:
The beast and the false prophet gather the kings of the earth and their armies to prepare for war against "He who sits on a white horse". The battle results in the beast being seized, along with the false prophet, where they are thrown alive into "the lake of fire". Those against the "King of Kings, and Lord of Lords" are killed and left for the fowls. In the lake of fire, the beast and the false prophet are tormented day and night forever and ever.[15] The dragon joins them a little more than a millennium later after the Great War.

DID YOU KNOW?
Technically, an imprecation is a spoken curse. An imprecation can be issued in the form of a request when one prays that God would curse, or judge, His enemies (the enemies of His people). Revelation 6:10 contains an imprecatory prayer offered by the Tribulation martyrs: "How long . . . until You judge . . . those who dwell on the earth? Imprecatory prayers were common in the Old Testament, specifically in the Psalms (35, 40, 69, 79, 83, 109, 139, 143). Imprecatory prayers were not personal; the prayer was not offered out of frustration or a desire for personal revenge or vengeance. They were based on a desire for God's honor to be defended and restored, for His name to be vindicated. Vengeance and justice are always God's to pursue, not ours, as the New Testament teaches (Romans 12:17-21).

QUESTIONS:     WEEK # 7
1.  What is the difference between the Dragon and the Beast?
2.  How long will the tribulation last?
3.  Throughout scripture, what is the tribulation is referred to by other names?
4.  What do the seventy (70) weeks mean in Daniel?
5.  Briefly, explain the tribulation period.
6.  Who is this person Jesus referred to as "Abomination that causes desolation"?
7.  What do the last half of the tribulation means?
8.  How will people be saved during the tribulation period?
9.  Who is the dragon?
10. Who is the woman in Revelation 12:1-2?
11. Explain the Holy Trinity and the unholy trinity.
12. What are some characteristics of the Antichrist?
13. Who will worship the Antichrist?
14. Who is the beast from the sea?
15. Who is the beast from the sea defeated?
16. This beast from the sea will not come from a physical ocean, explain.
17. Who is the scarlet woman in (Revelation 17:18; Nahum 3:4)?
18. Describe the beast from the earth (Revelation 13:11).
19. What is the second beast called?


SALVATION PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I confess that I have sinned against You and need Your salvation. Please forgive me. I believe Jesus died for my sins and rose from the dead.  I receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, fully trusting in the work He accomplished on the cross on my behalf.  Thank You for saving me, accepting me, and adopting me into Your family. Guide my life and help me to do your will, and walk in close step with You, amen.

In your name, Amen:


Reading Assignment:            Week # 7        Revelation 15-21        Monday through Sunday

Prayer Time

Prayer Time
Praying for Peace