The most frequently requested Christ in Prophecy television show episodes on Revelation have been pulled out of the vault and re-released!
Over the six episodes, Dr. David Reagan and guests Don McGee of Crown and Sickle Ministries and Dennis Pollock of Spirit of Grace Ministries go chapter by chapter through the book of Revelation, explaining that the book of Revelation isn't difficult to understand, rather it is difficult to believe. But, if you will believe it for its plain sense meaning, you will understand it. For anyone who's been born again and has the Holy Spirit residing within them, Revelation can become very clear.
We'll continue on in our journey through the great book of Revelation by getting our teachers back together to continue discussing Chapters 13-19. Feel free to watch, listen, or read along by clicking one of the icons below.
Revelation: Discussion of Chapters 13-19
[Read Chapters 13-19 in the NASB version via Biblegateway.]
The United States in Bible Prophecy
Dr. Reagan: Let me get to a very specific question as we move towards chapters 17 and 18 in our observations. Today, many books are being written, many articles being written, every time I go to a book store I see another one, saying that the United States is what is being described in Revelation 17 and 18, that we are that superpower that will dominate the earth and will be destroyed in one hour of one day. What about it? Do you think that Mystery Babylon here is the United States of America?
Don McGee: I don't think so at all. The United States does not fit the profile that we have here in Chapter 17 for several reasons. I personally believe that this is a religious system that John in talking about here, and though the United States is a great nation and has a lot of influence, we don't know what that influence will be like during this time. But, even if the U.S. would be a powerful and great nation during this time, it would not be the religious system that John is seeing here.
Dr. Reagan: Basically, what we have here is a religious system in Chapter 17, but we have a political economic system in Chapter 18. The two are welded together so that we've got all three. We've got political, economic, and religious systems that are dominating the world.
I think the reason so many people point to the U.S. in these passages is because they look at the world scene right now and they say, "Well, there's one superpower and that superpower is the United States of America, so this must be talking about the United States of America."
But, folks, this is talking about the end of the Tribulation, and during the end of the Tribulation we're talking about the worldwide kingdom of the Antichrist. His kingdom is the one that is going to dominate the world as no other kingdom ever has, because as we saw just a few moments ago in Revelation 13, he's going to control every kingdom, every nation, every tribe on planet Earth. This is something people have dreamed about for years, but have never accomplished. That's who is being talked about here.
I don't think Mystery Babylon is the United States. A superpower that's rising in Europe right now that's already eclipsed the U.S. in terms of numbers, economic power, and everything else is the European Union.
Dennis Pollock: I think there's a certain arrogance among many Americans that says we've got to be there somewhere. And so, they're looking here in Revelation and there and beyond, but it just doesn't fit.
Reconciling Jesus' Nature
Dr. Reagan: Over in Chapter 19, Jesus is portrayed there very, very dramatically and very vividly as returning in great wrath, pouring out the wrath of God upon the earth. In fact, in some places we're told that when He comes His wrath will be so great that the presidents, the prime ministers, the leaders of the world will all crawl into holes in the ground and cry out for the rocks and mountains to fall upon them. How do you reconcile this image of Jesus as a fierce warrior returning to pour out the wrath of God? How do you reconcile that with the image that we hear in church all the time of the compassionate, loving Savior?
Don McGee: We need to talk about God being a God of love. The world needs to hear that message. There are a lot of people right now that need to understand God loves them more than anything else in the world. But, God has facets to His character and to His nature. Love is just one of them.
Another facet equally important as love is the one that we call justice, and one of these days He is going to demonstrate that part or that facet of His character when He pours out His wrath on this world. It's not going to be like you or me getting angry at someone and pouring out wrath upon them because sometimes as humans it's unjustified or it's too much or something like that. Not so here. This is a fierce wrath and it's a justified, righteous indignation that God is going to pour out upon this earth which makes His wrath a lot different from ours.
Dennis Pollock: I hear people asking questions like, "How do you reconcile God's love with this idea of His wrath?" I'm reminded of what Spurgeon once said, "You don't need to reconcile two friends."
The Two Feasts
Dr. Reagan: In Revelation 19, we read about two feasts — one in Heaven and the other here on Earth. The one in Heaven is a glorious time of rejoicing as Jesus is united with His Bride the Church, but the one on Earth is a horrible scene of people being eaten by vultures.
Dennis, how can a person be assured that they will receive an invitation to that heavenly feast where they'll be the guest and not to this earthly feast where they'll be the meal?
Dennis Pollock: This is a party that you don't want to miss. It's the banquet of all banquets, and the feast of all feasts. It's a gathering of all those who have served Christ for the last 2,000 years. John Wesley will be there, Charles Spurgeon, D. L. Moody, Charles Finney, and millions of more ordinary Christians as well. But, the most important figure at this banquet is going to be the host — the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
There's a saying in this world that goes, "It's all in who you know." And, that's pretty much true here. To receive an invitation to that great wedding feast of Jesus, you have to know the Bridegroom personally. You have to know Jesus, not know about Him and not merely be able to recite the main facts of His life, but know Him personally as a result of being born again.
So, how do you get to know Him? You invite Him into your life. Jesus is such a gentlemen that He will never come into your life without your invitation. He knocks at the door, He speaks to your heart, but you have to invite Him in. That's why the Bible says, "to as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God." Receive Christ as your Savior. Invite Him into your life today. He's waiting for you.
Dr. Reagan: There's also a message for believers in these chapters of Revelation. It is summed up in the call to come out of Babylon. Don, what in the world does that command mean in practical terms?
Don McGee: I think it's a call for believers to separate themselves from the world, not in the sense of going into hiding or living a monastic life, but in rejecting the standards of the world. We are to be in this world, but not of this world. We are called to interact with people of this world, but we're also called to reject the standards and the values of the world. We're to be salt and light, standing for righteousness. We're to be ambassadors for Christ, but we are to keep in mind that this world is not our home, we're passing through. We're aliens in route to our eternal home with God. In the process, we need to be constantly checking to see if Jesus is really Lord of everything in our lives. Is He Lord of our music? Is He Lord of our television, our movies, our jobs, our money. That's what holiness means in practical terms.
In the next part on this series on Revelation, we'll get a glimpse into life living in Christ's Millennial Kingdom and rejoice at the final end of evil in Revelation 20.
Revelation Revealed DVD