Intro to Revelation Pt. 3

Introduction to the Book of Revelation

Part 2, Chapter 4

Review of chapters 1-3

Chapter 1 prologue and John’s vision of Jesus

Chapters 2-3 description of 7 churches, age of the church

Overview of Chapters 4-5 (see handout) 

John’s vision of heaven

Prior to the return of Jesus, there will be 2 types of church, __________ or __________.

Revelation 3:7-10

7 “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:

These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.

Revelation 3:14-18

14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

The church at Philadelphia was promised and ____________, “see I have opened a door no man can shut” as well as reprieve from the hour of trial that is coming upon the whole world.

Revelation 4:1-2

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this. 2 At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.

In Revelation 1-3 the church is mentioned 19 times then in Revelation 4, the church disappears and is not mentioned again until chapter 19. Where is the church at that time? It is not found in chapters 4-18. The church doesn’t get mentioned until chapter 19 where she is with the Jesus and returning to earth for the millennium. Those same chapters 7-18 describe the great tribulation period. The church plays no role on earth at that time. Why? The church is taken away, to be with her groom. This is the blessed hope, the great rapture of the church.


  1. Whats the difference between the rapture and the tribulation?
  2. What is that going to be like when Christ comes back?
  3. What about loved ones who died before Christ’s return?
  4. What happens the moment after a “believers” last breath?

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Caught up, come from the greek word Harpazo which means to take by force, catch up, to seize or snatch away suddenly and vehemently.

R – _______ (a believers death is like a siesta)

A – __________ (allows for a different kind of grief)

P – __________ (of a dramatic return)

John 14:1-2

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

I Thessalonians 4:14-15

14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.

T – ___________ (of the living/dead)

Romans 15:51-55

51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”

U – ___________ (a forever element)

R – ___________ (characterized by joy)

E – ___________ (source of comfort)

Titus 2:11-14

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

3 Views on the Timing of the Rapture

1. Pretribulationist—often abbreviated “pre-Trib”—teaches that the church will be raptured before the seven-year Tribulation period begins (i.e., the seventieth week of Daniel). The Tribulation will begin at some point after the Rapture, marked by the Antichrist’s seven-year treaty with Israel (Daniel 9:27).

2. Mid-Tribulationist—this view holds that Christ will rapture His church midway through the seven-year Tribulation. Thus, believers will endure the first half of the seven-year Tribulation. Midtribulationists maintain that God’s wrath will be restricted to the latter half of the Tribulation, but believers will be raptured to heaven before this.

3. Posttribulationists— believe the Rapture and the Second Coming are considered one event separated by a few moments. The Rapture will occur at the end of the Tribulation concurrent with the second coming of Christ. Believers will meet Christ in the air, make a quick U-turn, and accompany Him back to the earth.

Hitchcock, Mark. The End: A Complete Overview of Bible Prophecy and the End of Days (p. 138). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

The doctrine of Imminency. When it comes to imminency, there are three main ideas in mind: it could happen at any moment; it could happen without warning; and it will certainly happen, even if it doesn’t happen soon.

1 Corinthians 1:7 (NASB)—“Awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ”

1 Corinthians 16:22 (NASB)—“Maranatha” (This word means “our Lord, come.”)

Philippians 3:20 (NASB)—“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Thessalonians 1:10 (NASB)—“to wait for His Son from heaven” (The word for wait in Greek is in the present tense, which means they were to wait continuously and literally means to “wait up for” like a parent waiting up for and looking for a child that he or she expects to be home at any moment.)

Titus 2:13 (NASB)—“looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” (Why be constantly looking for Christ if He can’t come at any moment?)

Hebrews 9:28 (NASB)—“So Christ . . . will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.” (Why eagerly await His coming if it’s a long way off?)

James 5:7-9 (NASB)—“Be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. . . . For the coming of the Lord is near. . . . Behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.”

1 Peter 1:13 (NASB)—“Fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Jude 1:21 (NASB)—“waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life”

Revelation 3:11; 22:7, 12, 20 (NASB)—“I am coming quickly.”


Revelation 4:2-11

2 At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. 3 And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. 4 Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. 5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits[a] of God. 6 Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.

In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:

“‘Holy, holy, holy

is the Lord God Almighty,’[b]

who was, and is, and is to come.”

9 Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:


“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.”

Symbols and Images in chapter 4

Throne in heaven! What do we find around the throne?

  • 24 Elders
  • Thunder & lightning
  • 7 Lamps
  • Sea of Glass
  • 4 Living Creatures

Homework for next week”: Read Chapters 5-8

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