Posted by: Nito | March 9, 2014

The Book of Revelation (Apocalypse) – Part 1 – It’s Not the End of the World?

What Does the Apocalypse Mean?

The “apocalypse” is a Greek word and it simply  means “revelation”, so what is the Book of Revelation revealing to us? As stated in its very first sentence this book is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John” (Revelation 1:1).

This simply means that as you will read the book you will learn about the events that will precede Jesus Christ’s return to the earth. The first time he came here was about 2000 years ago and he came in the role of the “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”  (see John 1:29). He was sent by God to die on the cross and to pay for your and mine salvation, healing and deliverance: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Okay, but why is then “apocalypse” deemed such a dreadful word, connected with death and destruction? Oxford dictionary defines it as “The complete final destruction of the world, as described in the biblical book of Revelation.” If Jesus Christ is coming again, and he is so wonderful, why are we talking about the “end of the world”?

The Book of Revelation is clear in stating that Jesus is coming to establish his kingdom on earth and his faithful will rule with him for a thousand years (see Revelation 20:4) . This is the basis for the belief in the New Age and the 1000 years of peace and prosperity on earth. The “only” problem is that newagers forget that the earth’s ruler in this super prosperous period is Jesus, and he clearly stated that only those who he knows will be allowed to stay with him (see Matthew 25:31-46).

So, it’s not about the end of the world, but about the end of the human government on earth. Human government will be replaced by God’s government where Jesus Christ and his saints will rule the world as God’s representatives. Bible states that nations of the earth will continue to live in the millennium, but their dominion will be taken away as God will set up His kingdom on earth (see Daniel 7:12, where ‘beast’ is used as a synonym for a kingdom and his ruler).

But the Book of Revelation does talk about upheavals, cataclysms, wars and rumors of wars and the Great Tribulation such as has never been seen in the history of the mankind. First world war,  World War II, the Gulf War and the future World War III are all mentioned in the Book of Revelation. It’s no wonder the perception of the apocalypse (revelation) is so bad, because many will experience the final period of the Great Tribulation as being the end of their world.

How Does God Deal With Sin?

The Bible is also clear in stating that this final judgement is God’s wrath on unbelievers and represents His final attempt to persuade them to change for better. You might have seen my earlier post titled “Why God “Doesn’t” Punish Evil, … Until the Judgement Day“, which states that you cannot ask God to judge one person without Him judging you as well. Hence, God has reserved a day in the future (i.e. The Judgement Day) when He will judge everybody (living as well as the dead) fairly and squarely.

Here is how it works. God has only three options when dealing with sin:

1) Leave it to go unpunished indefinitely – in other words everybody does what they want and nobody is ever punished. In such a scenario there is no Bible as God is a neutral observer and is not interested in setting up the rules of the “game”. Another possibility is that there is a “bible” but it teaches the law of the jungle, where big fish eats a smaller one. Does this remind you of a materialistic view of the world? Soon enough all joyfulness is squeezed out of life and survival is the only thing that majority of the people think about. Man becomes wolf to his fellow man. I hope you will agree with me that leaving sin unpunished indefinitely is not a good option.

2) God could intervene constantly, as soon as bad things happen, in order to rectify and prevent any problems that may arise. In this scenario free choice does not exist and man is just a puppet in God’s hands. Man is not able to do anything which is contrary to God’s will as God will immediately change things. I’m not sure if it is even possible for a man to function as an independent being in such a world, as things might inexplicably change from one second to another. It might be sunny one second and then snow the next. Events in one’s life would make sense only to God as He would be the only one who has the complete picture and is able to see and interpret all of the “butterfly effects” which caused all of the changes. I hope you will agree that this is not a good option either.

3) God could withdraw Himself from the people that don’t want Him. This means that people who reject God (and are able to do so because of their free will) will end up in a place where God is not present. He will grant them the fulfilment of their “wish” to live without Him and will create an environment (i.e. hell) where such an existence is possible. So how does the place where God is not present look like? Living there means living in endless darkness (as God is light, see 1 John 1:5, and He is absent from that place) and it also means living in constant torment, fear and hate (because God is love, see 1 John 4:8, and He is not present there). Well, this is also not a good option, but it’s ultimately the fairest one – everybody gets what they want. But, there is a catch. Ultimately, death and hell will be destroyed in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14) and all those who are not found written in the Book of life will be also thrown in there (Revelation 20:15). This just means that because God is also Life (see John 1:4 and John 14:6) those who choose to be without God (i.e. Life) are basically choosing to die!

So, option three is what God is doing. But can you imagine Love and Light doing this without any warning? No, our Heavenly Father is not doing it without warning. The whole Bible talks about how He loves us and how He planned and executed our redemption and salvation by sending His Son Jesus to die on the cross instead of us. This purchased everyone’s ticket to eternal life and whosoever wants it (i.e. to live eternally with God) just needs to grab his or hers ticket. But Bible also gives warnings to those that don’t want such a ticket.

God’s Love for Everyone, Even the Naughty Ones

God doesn’t want anyone to end up in the lake of fire where the existence stops. We think that God is slow to punish the evildoers, but the secret is that He loves everybody and wants them to change and choose to be with Him (and not end up in the lake of fire). “The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people’s conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9,  AMP version).

Obviously, evildoers and ignorant folk have to repent and stop choosing death (i.e. living without God). Bible is therefore given to everybody to learn about who God is and what His plans are so they could choose wisely. The Book of Revelation is the ultimate warning about the final Judgement Day on which God will look into His books to see what people chose. Those without the ticket (purchased by Jesus’ blood on the cross) will be thrown into the lake of fire.

But because God gave us the outline of the plan in the Book of Revelation, where He detailed the sequence of the events that will happen in the “end time”, this is not just a warning but also a blessing for those who do not believe. Once they realize that the sequence of events in the world is tracking exactly according to God’s plan, they should figure out that God does exist and He is true to His Word. This should lead them to repentance and realization that Jesus died for them as well, so their ticket is also purchased and ready for pick up. There will be multitudes that will change their minds during the tribulation and will take this “exit clause” and join other saved believers in heaven (see Revelation 7:9-17).

As we track the events outlined in the Book of Revelation we will see how calamity and upheaval intensify as we approach the day of Jesus’ second coming. God’s wrath increases as people (who do not want Him) choose to stay defiant. They will blaspheme God and His name and will not repent of their deeds (see Revelation 16). They will even gather an army to battle against God (see Revelation 19:11-21) . How stupid is that!? Can anyone make war against Him who created the universe? This just shows you that there are some people in the positions of power and influence that do not think rationally. Once you figure out God is real and things are developing according to His plan, do not hesitate to choose Jesus and get your ticket.

Because evildoers and their ignorant followers will consistently choose to go up against God they will be ultimately granted to live without Him in hell and then ultimately to die if they aren’t found in the Book of life. But, as Peter said, God was delaying granting them that wish, because life without Him is not pleasant at all. The very purpose of pouring out torment on people is to give them a foretaste of where they are heading and what will they “enjoy” in the end.

It is actually God’s mercy to try to open their eyes to what they are actually choosing, as they can’t really figure it out themselves beforehand. Sadly, they assume, living their current lives in the freedom of choice, that things will be like that for the eternity. However, God in His goodness will elaborate, highlight and illustrate to them (through the upheavals and calamities scheduled for the end time) the utter ugliness of living without Love, Peace, Light, Presence and Protection (i.e. without Him).

The Coming World War III, Rapture and the Great Tribulation

The Bible is also clear that God’s church, comprised of individuals that love Him and are with Him, will be spared of this judgement as they do not require such an illustration and elaboration. They already chose God and His plan is to snatch them away before the tribulation begins. The word that describes this event is “rapture” and we’ll talk more about it later in one of the future posts.

It is also good to know that ultimately God’s plan is to destroy the devil and put an end to his messing up with people’s lives (see Revelation 20). Part of the plan is also to restore man to his original state of immortality and fellowship with God (see Revelation 21:3-4).

In the next post we will look into the structure of the Book of Revelation and events that are coming. World War III is on its way, for which the Bible says will kill one third of the mankind (more than 2 billion people!) and will start in the region of the river Euphrates (which flows through Turkey, Syria and Iraq).

As a way of warmup you could watch Irwin Baxter’s 14-part DVD series “Understanding The End Times“. At the time this post was originally published it was available on youtube, but since then it has been removed. The first video in the series describes the nations that will be present on earth at the time of Jesus’ second coming. The fourth video talks specifically about the the World War III. There is a little bit more information given about each of the DVDs here.



  1. […] the part 1, written in March, I’ve mentioned that “because God gave us the outline of the plan in […]

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