The Time of the End
A Study About the Book of Revelation
Arlen L. Chitwood
1. The Revelation of Jesus Christ (1)
2. The Revelation of Jesus Christ (2)
3. The Revelation of Jesus Christ (3)
4. In the Lordís Day (1)
5. In the Lordís Day (2)
6. The Judgment Seat of Christ
7. Crowns Cast Before Godís Throne
8. The Seven Sealed Scroll
9. Redemption, Marriage, Regality
10. Taking the Scroll, Breaking the Seals
11. Seals, Trumpets, Vials
12. Danielís Seventy Weeks
13. The Four Horseman
14. Souls Under the Altar
15. The Great Seismos
16. Silence in Heaven (1)
17. Silence in Heaven (2)
18. Silence in Heaven (3)
19. The Opened Scroll
20. The Two Witnesses
21. A Woman, a Dragon, a Man Child
22. The Beast ó In the Types
23. The Beast ó In the Psalms, the Prophets
24. The Beast ó In Daniel
25. The Beast ó In Revelation
26. The One Hundred Forty-four Thousand
27. The Beast and the Woman
28. Judgment of the Great Whore
29. Godís Firstborn Son
30. The Marriage Supper of the Lamb
31. Christís Return
32. The Great Supper of God
33. The Millennial Reign
34. Following the Millennium
35. From Time to Eternity
36. The Eternal Ages
Appendix 1 The Intractable Middle East Problem
Appendix 2 The Death of the High Priest
Appendix 3 Faith and Works
Appendix 4 The Second Death
The Apostle John wrote five of the twenty-seven books comprising the New Testament. He wrote one of the four gospels, which is quite different than the other three. And this gospel should be the opening book in the New Testament, not Matthew, for the gospel of John, unlike any one of the other three, parallels Genesis in every respect. John wrote three short epistles, which are quite different than any of the other epistles; and he wrote the closing book in Scripture, the book of Revelation, which, of course, is quite different than any other book in the New Testament as well.
The Old Testament begins with Genesis, revealing what Godís revelation in the Old Testament is about; and, if the gospel of John occupied its proper place as the opening book of the New Testament, exactly the same thing would be revealed at the beginning of the New Testament that Genesis reveals at the beginning of the Old Testament. Johnís gospel would relate, at the beginning, what the New Testament is about; and the subject matter would be exactly the same as previously related in Genesis about 1,500 years earlier, revealing, at the beginning, what the Old Testament is about.
(Both Genesis and John begin at the same point, ďIn the beginningĒ; both have the same septenary structure in the opening two chapters [where Creation, Ruin, Restoration, and Rest is seen in each (Moses deals with the restoration of the ruined material creation occurring over six days time, with a day of rest following; and John deals with the restoration of a subsequent ruined creation, ruined man, occurring over six days time, with a day of rest following)]; and the subject matter throughout each, in keeping with the introductory septenary structure in each, is the same ó Moses using types and John using signs to convey this subject matter.)
Thus, it is only natural that God would choose John to write the closing book of Scripture, which, as his gospel, has been written in a manner connected with signs and has to do centrally with the Jewish people.
Then, inseparably connected with the preceding, the book of Revelation is actually the sequel to the gospel of John, for this book deals with how God brings to pass the purpose for the eight signs in this gospel. And this occurs through Israel being brought to the place of repentance during the fulfillment of Danielís Seventieth Week (Daniel 9:24-27), seen beginning in Revelation chapter six and continuing through the first part of chapter nineteen.
(ďSignifiedĒ in Revelation 1:1, revealing how this book has been transmitted and structured, is a translation of the Greek word semaino, which is the verb form of the word for ďsignĒ [semeion] in Johnís gospel, showing the manner in which this book has been transmitted and structured as well).
And, beyond this, the book of Revelation opens up and further reveals that which began to be opened up in the gospel of John, at the beginning of the New Testament, which is the same as that which began to be opened up in Genesis, at the beginning of the Old Testament.
There is nothing in later revelation (the New Testament) that is not seen in former revelation (the Old Testament). And the book of Revelation draws from all previous Scripture. This book is simply an opening up of previous Scripture, beginning in Genesis. It is about the unveiling of Jesus Christ, which is how the text of the book begins.
This book is about an opening up of the Old Testament Scriptures that became flesh in the person of the Son (John 1:1, 2, 14; cf. Luke 24:25-27; John 5:46). In this respect, this last book in Scripture, as well, is about the mystery of God being finished (Revelation 10:7), which is another way of saying the same thing as the unveiling of Jesus Christ.
(A ďmysteryĒ in Scripture has to do with something made known in the Old Testament but not fully opened up and revealed until the matter had been dealt with at a later time in the New Testament. And the Word, which was God, becoming flesh in the person of the Son, allows both the unveiling of the Son and the finishing of the mystery of God to be viewed in a synonymous sense in this book.)
Following introductory remarks concerning Christ, the book begins at a time very near the end of Manís Day (a 6,000-year day), progressing from that point into the Lordís Day (the 1,000-year Messianic Era), and ending in the Day of God (the eternal ages beyond the Messianic Era).
Events seen in this book beyond the introductory remarks concerning Christ (1:1-9) begin with the removal of the Church into the heavens at the end of the present dispensation and the subsequent appearance of the Church before Christís judgment seat (1:10-3:22). As well, chapters two and three also present a history of the Church throughout the dispensation, beginning with Ephesus that had left its ďfirst loveĒ and ending with Laodicea that is described as ďwretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and nakedĒ (2:4, 3:17).
But, though a history of the Church is also shown in chapters two and three, the emphasis in these two chapters is not on the historical aspect of the chapters. Rather, from the way matters are introduced in chapter one (vv. 10-20), the emphasis in these two chapters must be seen as judgmental.
Chapter four begins the same way chapter one began beyond the introductory remarks concerning Christ ó depicting, once again, the removal of the Church into the heavens (vv. 1, 2; cf. 1:10). But, though beginning with this same scene from chapter one again, matters in chapter four then immediately move to the outcome and purpose for the previous judgment of Christians (chapters 1b-3), which is regal.
God, on the throne (v. 3), is the One who appoints and removes rulers in His kingdom (Daniel 4:17, 25, 26; Matthew 20:23). And in this chapter, twenty-four crowned elders are seen relinquishing their regal positions in Godís kingdom (as it would relate to the earth), with a view to others ruling in their stead (vv. 10, 11). Crowns are cast before Godís throne (which, at this place in the book, could only be a relinquishment of crowns by angels who, in time past, ruled with Satan in his kingdom), with a view to others (Christians, having previously been shown qualified to rule through decisions and determinations rendered at the judgment seat) wearing these crowns in the coming kingdom of Christ (Hebrews 2:5).
Chapter five has to do with the seven-sealed scroll containing the terms for the redemption of the inheritance (the territory presently in Satanís possession and under his control ó the earth ó that, following redemption, will pass into Christís possession and be under His control). And the redemption of the inheritance, taking place by Christ breaking the seals of the seven-sealed scroll (6:1ff) ó bringing judgments to pass of such a severe nature that no parallel exists in manís 6,000-year history ó is the central subject of succeeding chapters, all the way into the opening part of chapter nineteen.
The harlot woman, Israel, seen in this condition numerous places in the Old Testament (e.g., Isaiah 1:21; Jeremiah 3:1ff; Hosea 2:2), is seen in the book of Revelation at the apex of her harlotry, at the end of the Times of the Gentiles (Revelation 17:1-19:6). And during this time, by the process of these judgments coming to pass, the Jewish people will find themselves in such dire straits that they will have nowhere to turn other than to the God of their fathers.
The nation will be brought to the place of repentance, with Israelís harlotry being put away (Revelation 17:16; 18:8-10, 18-21; 19:1-3). Then, in accordance with His promise, God will send the Deliverer (cf. Exodus 2:23-3:10; Leviticus 26:40-42; 2 Chronicles 7:12-14); and the Jewish people, looking upon and receiving their Deliverer, their rejected Messiah, will apply the blood of the Lamb that they slew 2,000 years ago (Zechariah 12:10-14; 13:6).
Israelís Deliverer will return with His angels (2 Thessalonians 1:7), sending them out worldwide to re-gather the Jewish people from the nations of the earth (Matthew 24:30, 31). And the Old Testament saints will be raised from the dead at this time in order that those who died out of the land can return back to the land with the living (Exodus 12:41; 13:19; Daniel 12:1, 2).
The Jewish people will then be dealt with in a place called ďthe wilderness of the peopleĒ (Ezekiel 20:34ff). A new covenant will be made with the house of Israel at this time (Jeremiah 31:31-33); and the nation will then be placed back in their own land, never to be uprooted again (Ezekiel 36:24-38; 37:21-28; 39:25-29).
After Israelís repentance, the Times of the Gentiles, following 2,600 years of Gentile control and dominance, will end. Gentile world power will be destroyed, the theocracy will be restored to Israel, Satan will be bound and cast into the abyss, and the long-awaited Messianic Era will be ushered in. These things are seen in the latter part of chapter nineteen and the first part of chapter twenty.
Then, events from the middle of chapter twenty to the end of the book deal with that which will be brought to pass following the Millennium, leading into the eternal ages that follow.
Satan will be loosed from the abyss, go out to deceive an innumerable multitude from the nations of the earth, and lead those whom he will have deceived against the King in Jerusalem and against His people, the Jewish people. Those coming against Christ and the Jewish people in that day will be destroyed by fire from heaven, with Satan then being cast into the lake of fire where he will reside throughout the endless ages of eternity (20:7-10).
The Great White Throne Judgment will follow (20:11-15). The unsaved dead throughout time dating all the way back to manís creation will be judged at this time. And these individuals, following judgment, will be cast into the same lake of fire where Satan had previously been cast, where they will reside throughout the same endless ages of eternity.
Beyond this, in chapters twenty-one and twenty-two, material in the book moves into the eternal ages.
Christ, with His co-heirs, will reign over the earth from Christís throne during the Millennium (Revelation 3:21). But during the ages beyond the Millennium, Christ will be seated on a throne with His Father, in the New Jerusalem on the new earth, referred to in Revelation 22:1, 3 as ďthe throne of God and of the Lamb.Ē And from this throne, God will continue His rule over the whole of His kingdom, extending throughout the multiplied billions of provinces scattered throughout the multiplied billions of galaxies comprising the physical universe. Christ will sit on this throne with His Father; and from this throne, redeemed man will exercise regal power out in the universe.
This is what lies in store for redeemed man throughout the unending ages following the Millennium, comprising eternity.
Paradoxically though, it is mainly unredeemed man, not redeemed man, who is interested in and talks about going out into the heavens today. Man, in NASAís Apollo missions, has been to the moon and back nine times (í68-í72). But manís dream is to go far beyond, out to the planets.
Redeemed man is interested in and does talk about going to heaven, but thatís not the same thing at all. And when the Millennium or the eternal ages are in view, itís not even biblical to talk about going to heaven in a manner of this nature.
The biblical picture has to do with redeemed man exercising regality in relation to this earth, followed by regality in relation to the universe itself. Manís creation, his fall, and the purpose surrounding his salvation all center on regality. And this regality will be realized in Christís kingdom over the present earth during the Millennium and from the new earth out into the heavens in the whole of the universe during the eternal ages that follow.
Thus, though unredeemed man may talk about going out into the heavens, he is not going. It is redeemed man ó who seems to know very little about it today ó who is one day going out into the heavens.
But man moving out into the heavens in this manner will occur only following the Millennium. The next event in Godís ordered program is Christís rule over the earth for 1,000 years. And that is where redeemed man should focus his attention during the present dispensation, though not to the exclusion of the ages beyond.
The entire program of God has, from the beginning, been moving toward the coming Sabbath of rest, paralleling the seventh day in Genies 2:2, 3 and John 2:1. The great prophecies of Scripture speak of this day, Christians are exhorted to fix their attention upon this day, and the judgment seat of Christ precedes and has to do with this day.
To ignore the Millennium, one must ignore the central teaching of Scripture, beginning with the book of Genesis and ending with the book of Revelation. And such can ultimately lead to only one thing: disaster in the Christian life.
A trained runner fixes his attention upon the goal; and a trained Christian, in the present race of the faith, will likewise fix his attention upon the goal.
Rear Cover Data
The book of Revelation is about the unveiling of Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:1). This book is about an opening up and full disclosure of the Word, which was/is God. It is about an opening up and full disclosure of the Old Testament Scriptures that became flesh in the person of Godís Son (John 1:1, 2, 14; cf. Luke 24:25-27, 44; John 5:45-47).
John began his gospel account by calling attention to the Old Testament Scriptures (the written Word) being opened up and revealed in a new and living way ó by and through the person of Godís Son, the Word, becoming flesh.
Then John began the book of Revelation through a similar means ó an opening up and unveiling of the Son, which is another way of saying an opening up and unveiling of the Old Testament Scriptures.
(It should go without saying that there is nothing in the New Testament that is not seen after some fashion in the Old Testament. If there were, the Son, the Word made flesh, could only have been incomplete.)
And within this opening up and unveiling of the Son in this book, after this manner, three things occupy center-stage:
1) Godís purpose for the present dispensation will be realized. The Spiritís search for a bride for Godís Son will have been completed (Genesis 24:1ff), with the Church subsequently removed and judged (Revelation 1b-3). The bride will then be revealed, allowing the Son to reign, for He cannot reign without a wife (Genesis 1:26-28).
2) Godís purpose for the past dispensation will be realized. Israel, through the judgments of the Tribulation, will be brought to the place of repentance (Revelation 6-19a). This will, in turn, allow God to deal with Israel relative to national conversion, restoration to the land, the restoration of the Kingdom under the New Covenant, the destruction of Gentile world power, and the ushering in of the Millennium (Revelation 19b, 20a; cf. Ezekiel 36:24-38; 37:21-28; 39:25-29).
3) Godís ultimate purpose in all things will then be realized in the eternal ages following the Millennium (Revelation 21, 22).