Introduction to the Revelation

For all its symbolism, the book of Revelation is above all else a story: the final scenes of an age-old battle between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness. Satan began his assault on God’s Kingdom in heaven, but then took his attack into a new level in the Garden. All that mankind lost when we said “yes” to the devil there, will be restored at the end of the age. This fascinating book describes the Messiah’s final triumph over evil. Steve Gallagher (46:04)

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Revelation 1:1-4

After long ages of being hidden by God from mankind, the Lord has allowed man to gaze upon profound mysteries of the Kingdom of God and the final scenes of man’s history. This fascinating book not only provides a glimpse into the unfolding of God’s eternal plan, but it is also, from beginning to end, a tremendous revelation of Jesus Christ. There is a special blessing promised to the reader of it found nowhere else in Scripture. Why not partake of that blessing and prepare yourself spiritually for the soon coming events predicted in it by joining in this unique study in the weeks ahead? Steve Gallagher (62:33)

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Revelation 1:5-20

Once John dispensed with the introductory statements, he was able to recount the powerful vision of Jesus Christ that was so overwhelming that he fell in a heap as a dead man. But there was more to this vision than simply a fuller revelation of the Savior. He was given a message that the suffering saints of Asia desperately needed to hear–a message that End Time believers desperately need to hear. And it came through a thundering voice. Steve Gallagher (46:41)

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Revelation 2

Lost love, intense persecution, apathetic indifference to false teaching–it was all flourishing in the congregations in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum and Thyatira. Jesus Christ had a word for each church specific to their need. But these same issues continue in the Post Modern Church. Until a person allows the Lord to search out his heart and life, he is not prepared to move forward in the Revelation. Steve Gallagher (45:35)

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Revelation 3

Although Sardis was known far and wide as a congregation full of the life of God, Jesus could see that a spirit of death had permeated the church. When Jesus looked at the fledgling congregation meeting in Philadelphia, He didn’t see the lack of “success” that worldly-minded Christians would see; He saw a group of believers who would faithfully follow Him no matter what they encountered. The last of the seven churches Jesus would address was the nauseating, self-satisfied congregation of Laodicea. Their prosperity deluded them into believing they were godly Christians, when actually they were spiritually impoverished. Steve Gallagher (45:24)

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Revelation 4

John has emerged from the trance in which he received the vision of Christ amongst His churches. Now he is summoned into the very throne room of God and provided with a vantage point to watch the spectacular events which will transpire there. Dominating the scene is the magnificent throne of God, accentuated by angelic attendants of the highest order. The entire majestic scene is setting up the momentous events soon about to transpire. Steve Gallagher (40:09)

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Revelation 5

We rejoin John at his perch overlooking the magnificent panorama of the throne room of God. Four different times during this chapter the Lord opens his eyes to see new additions to the scene. John watches as the amazing inauguration of “the Lamb” unfolds. The magnitude of this event cannot be overstated: God is handing over the execution of His eternal plan to His Son. Although its significance is typically lost on man, the angelic beings present understand it and lead all creation in a symphony of praise. Steve Gallagher (42:56)

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The Rapture and the Revelation

The vast majority of evangelicals hold a pre-tribulation, pre-millennial perspective of the Second Coming. This dispensational understanding has largely shaped the minds of modern believers (i.e. The Left Behind series) regarding the End Times. Before proceeding into the momentous events described in Revelation 6, Pastor Steve felt that an objective examination of the main theories regarding the Second Coming of Christ was necessary. His personal conclusions about the future are thought provoking and possibly even fascinating.  Steve Gallagher (41:57)

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Revelation 6a (The First Five Seals)

It is the beginning of The Day of the Lord with its accompanying worldwide devastation. The world seems to be coming apart at the seams. Of course, Jesus had already laid all of this out in the Olivet Discourse, some sixty-five years prior to the Revelation. But the real story as all this unfolds is the way God’s people will shine through it all! (Please watch Something is Going On before listening to this message.) Steve Gallagher (39:18)

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Revelation 6b (The Sixth Seal)

While calamities pile up on earth from the first four seals, suddenly a meteor shower pounds the planet, its devastating effects being felt worldwide. This is the long-awaited beginning to The Day of the Lord. As terrifying as the physical effects are to earth-dwellers, there is something even more ominous: the face of God. Steve Gallagher (40:41)

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Revelation 7

Although it is not an “action” chapter, Revelation 7 is important for another reason: it forces the reader to decide which school of thought he will subscribe to in the theological understanding of the rest of the book. There are two groups of people described here and much debate regarding who makes up those groups. Put your thinking cap on for this one because you will have to determine who the believers are who will go through the Tribulation period. Steve Gallagher (43:42)

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Revelation 8

The Sixth Seal has shaken earth’s population. The saints have been sealed by God. Now the pent up fury of a rejected God begins to pour forth upon the earth-dwellers. The first three trumpets seem to indicate some sort of cosmic onslaught that makes the catastrophe of the Sixth Seal seem pale in comparison. The fourth trumpet sounds, then darkness. God is giving people the darkness that they have shown they love.  Steve Gallagher (37:18)

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Revelation 9

As promised, the first two woes fall upon mankind. What kind of torment must these hordes of monsters be inflicting upon earth-dwellers that they would seek to kill themselves to escape? To their shock, nothing they attempt will bring about the death they are lusting for. One can only imagine the gruesome scenes of people who have attempted suicide to no avail–God does not allow their souls to leave their bodies. Steve Gallagher (43:42)

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Revelation 10

The eschatological narrative forms a framework for the book of Revelation. Chapter 10 is one of six interludes in the book that provide valuable details in the unfolding story. The subject of this interlude is the little book which Jesus Christ received in chapter 5 and opened, little by little, in chapter 6. Now John is told to eat the contents of the book and send forth a fresh stream of devastating prophecies to the earth-dwellers.  Steve Gallagher (39:47)

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Revelation 11

Three new characters enter the story of the Apocalypse. The first two, who come “in the spirit and power of Elijah” and Moses, fulfill the biblical requirement that guilt cannot be established without two witnesses. They torment the earth-dwellers with their godly lives and penetrating testimony of Jesus Christ. But then a third person arrives: “the beast who comes out of the abyss” makes war with them and kills them. The people of earth rejoice; that is, until the 7th trumpet sounds.   Steve Gallagher (37:18)

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Revelation 12

Before John is shown the final outpouring of God’s wrath, he witnesses a number of visions that act as an interlude between the trumpet judgments and the bowls of wrath. Chapter 12 provides a glimpse into the great spiritual war between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness. It was a war that began when Lucifer and his followers rebelled in heaven and extends all the way through the Millennium. A woman, a child and a murderous dragon: what do they mean? Steve Gallagher (38:55)

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