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John Barnett here and welcome to the promised 52b. This is the conclusion of our study of Revelation. We’ve been studying the whole book of Revelation in the 52 Greatest Chapters Study for three weeks now. When we finished last week, I said, I saved all the prophetic updates for one entire class. That’s what we’re looking at, the What’s Next series. What that means is, I’ve been studying since about 1989. When I was pastoring in New England and the Iron Curtain fell in the former Soviet Empire where I had spent my college summers smuggling Bibles to believers that were persecuted behind the iron curtain. When that Iron Curtain fell and when all those momentous events occurred way back in the 80’s, I began having a very intense interest in saying, Lord, I’ve read Revelation and You explain the future, but what’s next? What’s happening in the world that is reminding us, that’s underlining, that’s highlighting what the book of Revelation tells us is going to happen? That’s what I’m going to take you on, a journey through the scriptures. I’m going to show you my Bible. That’s over here under a camera. I’m going to show you my slides that are right here in front of me. I’m going to remind you of our 52 Greatest Chapter Study, that this is all right from my journal, where I’ve been reading the Bible and writing my notes, using the resource you see down in the description of this video. The MacArthur Study Bible, which gives voluminous theological comments, footnotes, language helps, historic helps, and also a complete overview of the Bible, that you can get from a study Bible.
In fact, I have an online version of the MacArthur Study Bible. Let me say something that I want you to think about. We, that’s our ministry, my wonderful wife Bonnie over here is recording and there’s a whole team of volunteers we have, literally in the U.S. and outside the U.S. That help us put Bible teaching materials online. We were de-platformed a couple of months ago on one of the large social networks. They just turned us off. 4,500 of my videos. Wow, was that ever a wakeup call. All of a sudden I thought, what happens if my Bible Study, I have the MacArthur Study Bible, what if it gets de-platformed from being online? That’s why I recommend to everybody that you have a paper Bible, that you read and study and mark, and it’s your journal of your progress through God’s word. That you have a solid, paper copy that can’t be a E.M.P.ed, electromagnetic pulsed or solar stormed into being gone or de-platformed. You need a study Bible that answers those key questions, that helps you understand all the cardinal orthodox doctrines. I’m a strong believer in having a paper, solid Bible. I use electronic 90% of the time but you need the paper as your record of your study and as your backup.
What we’re going to look at is the birth pain trends. It says in Matthew 24:3 & 8, look over here in my Bible, I’ll show it to you. In Matthew 24, “Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came and showed Him the buildings of the temple.” Jesus makes a prophecy. It’s one of the most amazing prophecies. He to them, “Do you see all these things?” That’s the temple mount of 40 acres of buildings. “Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Wow. What was that talking about? That’s talking about AD 70, that’s talking about the Roman Empire’s destruction of Jerusalem after their relentless rebellions and insurrections and all their killing of the Roman Legionnaires. Finally, Vespasian said enough is enough. Actually, Nero said enough is enough and Vespasian was dispatched to start the war against the Jews, that culminated with his son Titus, obliterating the Jewish people and the temple. What did he do in the process? They didn’t just knock it down; they threw everything they could off the top. They wanted to erase this Jewish monument. Plus, they wanted all the gold that had been beautifully ornately covering this. They burned and tore it apart. That’s one of the most vivid fulfilled prophecies.
Look what Jesus continues to say, verse 3. “As He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?’ “ Look at my title. They were asking Him, what’s next? What’s going to happen and when? What and when. How do you tie all that Jesus taught in Revelation and in His sermon, Matthew 24? How do you know what and when it’s going to happen? That’s what we’re studying.
What we’re going to see is, Jesus says in verse 8, “All these are the beginning of sorrows.” This word right here is the word in English, birth pains. These birth sorrows, these are the beginning of birth pains. I’m going to show you that over here on this board. I have listed off just 10. There are many of these, I’d say they’re probably two dozen of them, but let me show you these 10.
Jesus tells us global travel will be just unbelievable. At the End of Days global knowledge will explode. Weather will become known around the planet. People will be communicating with one another right to the end. Not just talking, they’re going to be seeing, it’s audio and visual. There are going to be worldwide or global pandemics. Money and tracking are going to become digital. It’s going to become globally interlinked. There is going to be global weapons of mass destruction. Jesus says in Matthew 24:22, if He didn’t stop this, we’d all kill ourselves, each other. In other words, there are going to be weapons that can wipe out nations. Think about historically in Jesus’ time, how did you conquer a nation? You marched in slowly with your legions. You slowly built up siege works. You made forts. You came and battled during the day and rested at night. Hypersonic missiles. We can get a city destroying missile anywhere on the surface of the Earth in less than an hour. Once it comes down, it’s coming so rapidly at 5, 6, 7, and 8,000 miles an hour. That it’s much faster than a bullet. Do you know how you can’t really dodge a bullet if sniper shoot at you? Once they aim you can’t move fast enough, you can’t miss hypersonic missiles.
You know what Jesus said? When they’re loading thermonuclear devices on hypersonic missiles, they’re going to destroy each other and “no flesh would be saved.” See what it says in verse 22? Let me get the pointer over here to verse 22. “Unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” Weapons of mass destruction.
There’s going to be a global longing for peace and prosperity. That’s what Paul tells us. That’s going to be the announcement for the Anti-Christ. There’s going to be a worldwide or global hatred for the Jews. In fact, Zechariah tells us every nation on Earth is going to be opposed to Israel. Right now, only about 95% of them on Earth, of the nations of the UN, are opposed to Israel. At the end, it’s going to be 100%. Israel is not going to have the United States, and the United Kingdom, and Australia, and New Zealand, and other favorable nations to them. Finally, I saved the best for last. There’s going to be global evangelism on an unprecedented scale, so that everyone is going to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Do you know what? Jesus said, that’s what it looks like when I return. Those 10 that you see, those trends beginning small and getting bigger and stronger and wider and greater. Guess what? Jesus said, those are what the world looks like when He returns. Every single one of those are present today. Every one of those on the board are getting bigger, stronger, and wider and more visible than ever before. Let’s go through the slides really quickly.
Notice what I wrote here. This is 52 Greatest Chapters Study, lesson 52b. Last week we did 52a. That was a survey of Revelation. What’s next for planet Earth? I call this a current assessment of those 10 trends I just showed you up on my marker board, of Christ’s coming based on Matthew 24’s expansion in Revelation 6 and onward.
Remember Revelation, context is so important, the book of Revelation was written to a group of churches at the epicenter of the Roman Empire. Do you remember my Roman Empire map? I told you that right here is Rome, right here is the island of Patmos, here are the seven churches. This was the Roman Empire that arrayed all of its forces against the Judean revolt the Jewish Wars. That’s the context for the book of Revelation.
The book of Revelation was written from Patmos to these seven churches. The bigger story is, they were right in the center of the most difficult part of the Roman Empire to live. God said, I’m going to show you how to live for Me in an ever darkening world. Do you see why Revelation has always been loved? It’s applicable in every generation. Specifically, when Jesus ascended to Heaven after the cross, there’s a first-generation Church. Then, most of the apostolic missionary journeys are over. The second generation Church goes through, and they have all of the New Testament except for the few epistles that haven’t been written by John, especially Revelation when Jesus comes back to visit. He tells them He gives them a report card on how they’re doing, living for God in this darkening world.
This is what Jesus says. There’s a coming global panic attack. That’s in Luke 21. If you were looking out your window and saw this flaming car, a car bomb, and you saw that going on, it probably would be a little disheartening. Look what it says in Luke 21. I have the verses for you, starting in verse 26, “men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things, which are coming on the Earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” That’s not all, look what it says right here in verse 11. There will be “great earthquakes.” There will be “famines and pestilences.” COVID. “Fearful sights and great signs from Heaven.” “Signs in the sun,” like solar flares. “In the moon.” We just had the super moon tides. One place where Bonnie and I teach regularly. I’ve never seen the water right up to the road, and it wasn’t a storm. It was just the tide. “And in the stars.” Look at this, “on the Earth distress of nations.” We have that today. “Perplexity,” what to do. Even the weather, “the sea and the waves roaring.”
This chart here, do you see this nice line? This is what investment people always show you. If you invest with them, that’s what it looked like. It gets bigger and bigger and bigger. This is the Earth, troubles, disasters, cyclones, wildfires, storms in the winter, storms that are severe flooding, freeze, drought, cyclones, and hurricanes. Did you know that from 1980, the last 40 years, they’ve only been ascending? That’s troubling.
God gives specific trends for the end of the world. We already read these in Matthew 24:8, and he expands it in verses 30 to 34, but then He illustrates it in the book of Revelation. Actually, Matthew 24 is the outline for Revelation 6 to 19. This is what I mean, Revelation expands and illustrates what Jesus taught. Look up for a second. I want you to think about something next time you read Matthew 24. Think about, when was Jesus giving this message? He’s headed to the cross. He’s about to die. He goes right from giving this message to the last supper, to being captured, and to be cruelly treated and scourged and mocked, and having a crown of thorns on His head, and then crucified. Why was Jesus talking about the Rapture, and the Tribulation, and all the horrors when it’s His last few hours with His disciples? He wants us to be confident. Revelation is the map of the future God gave us because He wants us to understand what’s happening in the future.
Here’s the whole summary. You want a summary of Revelation in 30 seconds? This is the book of Revelation. Chapter 1 introduces us to Jesus, God’s Son, who is the image of God. He has all the attributes of God. He is the Creator, and the Redeemer, and the Judge. He said, I want you to know My arms are extended out to you. Here we are, His Church, that’s chapters 2 & 3. It’s almost like He’s saying, hey, I have My arms around you. I am the Creator of this universe. I have power you can’t fathom. I am the Redeemer who died on the cross for your sins. I’m coming back as the Judge. This is how I want you to live in an ever darkening, evil world. That’s the purpose of Revelation. The purpose Of Revelation is not for us to worry about getting a barcode or a social security number, or even a vaccination. That is not the purpose of Revelation. What is the purpose of Revelation? God says, I want you to know the map for the end of the world. I want you to know that you’re going to be with Me in Heaven. That’s chapters 4 & 5. That I’m going to right all wrongs on Earth, that’s chapter 6 through 20. Then, I have prepared a place for you in Heaven. Revelation is Christ final explanation and application of all the rest of the Bible.
Let’s go through this chart that you see in front of you. This is what Jesus taught about just before the cross. This is what John sees in the book of Revelation. False christ, that’s how the tribulation starts. Wars ever increasing, that’s what Revelation declares. The ultimate famine over the world, Jesus warned about. We see it unfold in Revelation’s third seal. Death, that’s the fourth seal. Martyrdom, that’s the fifth seal. Jesus warned about it, we see it happen. These signs that Luke records, we see them in the sixth seal.
Let me just survey, visually, the book of Revelation. The tribulation starts in chapter 6, with the Anti-Christ showing up. Wars, famine, pestilences, martyrs, a cosmic storm, then we have the sealing of the 144,000 evangelists. Then the launch of the trumpets. Those trumpets unfold with the trees burning, the sea dying, all fresh water being embittered (A third actually, it’s not all yet. That’s not till the bowls.). A third of the sea dies. A third of the waters. A third of the celestial lights are dimmed. Then look at this, these are natural disasters. This is a supernatural disaster. Demons, this angelic army that kills a third of humanity. Then, the seventh trumpet announces these bowls. All unredeemed get these malignant sores. All creatures in the sea die with the second bowl. All the rivers and water become blood. The sun scorches everyone. Darkness permeates the whole kingdom of the beast. Then the march to Armageddon, God says it’s done. How do you like that for a quick survey?
Basically, you could say, this is what Revelation says. In the fourth seal, a fourth of all people die. In the sixth trumpet, a third of all people die. That’s actually not 50, but 58% of all humanity is killed during that short time.
Back to what Jesus said, “these are the beginning of sorrows.” What? All those wars and rumors of wars that you read about in Matthew 24. When you see all of them happening at once, “it’s near, at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation,” the one that sees all 10 of those going and crescendo-ing, getting worse. When they, when that generation sees it, “all these things are going to take place.” In other words, it’s going to be the end of the world.
What are those end of the world trends? What Matthew 24 says are birth pains. What are the birth pain characteristics? Birth pains get greater frequency, greater intensity, greater visibility, greater impact. In other words, the closer together and stronger they are, you can see the person that’s giving birth is grimacing and it’s having an impact. They don’t think about anything else but that, because the baby’s coming.
What are the end of the world trends? What Jesus said. Global diseases will get more lethal. Global warming will get hotter till it scorches people. There’ll be global water shortages, more and more and more until all the Earth has shortage. Global food scarcity until there’s starvation haunting. The world global conflicts are going to get bigger and deadlier. Global hatred for Christ and Christians will get more personal. It says mothers and fathers will betray their children, and children their parents. Global hatred is going to just magnify this global tracking so that the Anti-Christ can know who’s who and turn off their number.
By the way, last August, the largest earthquake to shake the United States in 50 years, hit us off Alaska’s coast. I was at a Bible conference; it was a nice reminder. I brought it up in my message, how fragile and helpless we are. It’s a reminder that our plan is continuing to disintegrate. You know what? The whole world is quickly, in the last few decades, gotten alarmed about watching global warming, global pollution, and global resource scarcity, which is basically what Revelation is all about. Our whole Earth is shaking. Did you know there were a half a million earthquakes last year? It’s likely that you could say the Earth has tremors like it has some terminal disease. It does by the way. This is a picture of everybody fleeing the big Alaska quake. It says greater earthquakes are going to come closer and harder, and that’s what’s happening.
Let’s go through the trends. Let me show them to you on the board again. I want you to track with me. I’m going to go very rapidly. I’m going to illustrate these. Every time I do one of these updates I just go through my file, Evernote, and I just keep clipping. Every time I see a trend, I take a screenshot. I’m going to show you my screenshots of what’s happening. That if you step back, it’s alarming for the world, but it’s encouraging for us because God the Son is holding us. He’s watching us, how we respond, how we hold forth and share. Remember my Gospel tract all the way through I’ve been showing you? I always keep a Gospel tract here to remind you of what it is. It’s a printed paper that has Bible verses that you can share the plan of salvation with someone. Then, hand it to them and say, could I give you this? It’s a Bible study on how you can know all your sins are forgiven and that you have eternal life. That’s what a Gospel tract is. I even have some like this one, which is basically pictures showing people the great chasm and only the cross bridges that Gulf between us and God. I hope you are sharing the plan of salvation.
Down to the slides, the first trend is global travel. It says in Daniel 12, “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end.” What’s the end going to look like? “Many shall run to and fro.” 3000 years ago Jonah got on a sailboat. A very similar sailboat to the one 2000 years ago Paul sailed, on his missionary journeys. It was quite remarkably similar to the one that Columbus got on and found the New World. Interestingly enough, when America was in their Revolutionary War, it was very similar to one Ben Franklin sailed over in to ask the French to help the Americans defeat the British. Then, everything started changing 150 years ago. The steam engine, and then the internal combustion engine, then the automobile, then the airplane. Look at this, 4+ billion. In fact, about 4.5 billion people crisscrossed the Earth. That’s global travel explosion.
How about number two, global knowledge explosion. Look what Daniel said, “knowledge shall increase.” Has knowledge increased? These terms are getting very common; Google, nano meter, architecture, zettabytes. My phone, look, let me show you my phone. Right here’s my phone. Let me read to you the description that Apple gave of this phone. My phone has, as Apple describes it, a camera right here powered by a chip with 11.8 billion transistors. They’re inside of this telephone. Those transistors are in a 16 core neural engine that’s capable of, listen to this, 11 trillion operations. When I take my phone and I snap a picture, 11 trillion processes took place inside this little, tiny, not even the whole thing’s involved, the chip in there is involved. Those are called teraflops. 11 trillion operations per second. For perspective, just 15 years ago teraflop computing was only done in building sized, government funded computers, that were only in Japan, the USA, and Russia. 15 years ago. The EU had some too. Look, I have a computer as big as a government funded, building sized computer in my pocket. Knowledge is increasing.
Look what’s happening. Scientists, (that we even can know it, is the explosion of knowledge) they said there’s an insect apocalypse. They call it the bug index. When you drive this summer, through anywhere, see how many bugs hit your windshield. There’ll be remarkably less than what hit your parents’ windshield and much less than your grandparent’s windshield. You know what? The more people know about that, people are getting alarmed. That’s why they’re worried about climate change and everything else.
Look at this, look at what knowledge is that’s perplexing people and scaring them. Airborne plastic pollution. These are the Himalayas. What they found out is, there is microplastic pollution. Little particles of microplastics that are destroying our bodies, that are in the Virgin snows almost six miles up in the Himalayas. The world is dying. That’s an explosion of knowledge for sure.
How about number three, global weather explosion. Look what Jesus said in Luke 21. “There will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the Earth distress of nations, with perplexity,” because look at this, “the sea and the waves roaring, men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the Earth.” Look at last year. California had the biggest heat wave ever recorded. Canada had people dying in their apartments, cold kind of Eskimo country. When you think of up there in the north woods, you think of cool, green, no heat waves. Islands off of Africa, Algeria, Sweden had forest fires because it was so dry. Greece, did you hear about those on the news? It was burning all around Athens. Japan, a heatwave. 65 died because it was so hot in their sealed up apartments, they couldn’t make it. The world is on fire. That’s what the Bible said is going to happen.
This is a satellite image. This is that gigantic derecho. It went 770 miles in 14 hours and produced winds greater than 100 mph. It just covered Iowa, Illinois. In fact, Bonnie and I were traveling, I was speaking. I was doing the 52 Greatest Chapter Lessons and teaching them. When we drove up to our spot we were going to in Iowa. We’d been driving, not paying attention. It looked like some of the fields had gotten into a storm. Then I started looking out the window and I looked at the odometer. We drove for a about 60 miles and the corn fields were flattened. That is global weather going wild. We got to the hotel that night, where we were staying, and they said boy, you’re lucky. I said we’re not really lucky, but they didn’t even let me answer and tell them about the Lord. They said, we just got our power back on. They said, you should have seen the storm we had. I said, I’ve been watching it on the interstate. It flattened the cornfields of Iowa. Global weather going wild.
How about in 2020, seems like ancient history, but we had a record breaking US wildfire. This is the coast, the west coast of the United States. This is how satellites and God can see the smoke from America on fire. Then, outside of Earth we’ve got solar storms. Did you notice that Elon Musk’s satellite ring around the Earth, that 40 of them (I’m not talking about whenever that article is in 2021) last week, 40 of his satellites were blown out of usefulness. They’re falling back to the Earth because of a solar storm.
Solar storms are back. This is Bloomberg, the largest financial news service in the world, they’re saying it’s threatening our power grid and our satellites. Look at this society’s disasters lead us to seek a global savior. That global savior is who God calls the beast or the Anti-Christ. “When they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them,” when they choose him over God.
Here’s the fourth trend, global communication. You know what it says in Revelation 11? People all over the world will see the two witnesses’ dead bodies, “and those who dwell on the Earth,” which happens to be… every human that’s alive happens to be dwelling on the Earth. We have some that are under the Earth that are in Hades. We have glorified ones that are up with the Lord in Heaven. All living humans dwelling on the Earth are going to see an event at the same time. How did they do that?
Look at yesterday. At 4:30 PM, I took this screenshot. All the blue is every Facebook user. Look at that. They’re out there in the middle of the Pacific. They’re out there in the way southern Atlantic, they are way southern in the Indian Ocean. You can see every continent; you can see every island. Look at the dark ones. Everyone was, at 4:30 PM yesterday, on Facebook. They’re probably watching Russia invading the Ukraine.
Look what the sociologist are saying. 73% of adults can’t imagine going a whole day without, what Bloomberg called yesterday, their pacifier. That’s what it said. It said that the phone is becoming the adult pacifier that everybody just needs that all the time. That’s what the Bible said, global communication.
Then number five is global pandemics. Do I need to say anything about that? Look what Luke 21:11 says. It says there’ll be pestilences. Do you remember the pestilence? Yeah, I know it’s waning, and I know of the variants. People aren’t as afraid anymore. The mask rules are going down. Will we ever forget the two last years of our lives through COVID? They’re talking about, what if Ebola spread like COVID did, and it just started flying around the world. The lethality is much greater for that.
How about number six? God predicts in Revelation 13 that there will be global, digital money, and a global tracking system. What is that? The Anti-Christ causes it. Actually, it’s the false prophet working for the Anti-Christ. “All, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads.” That’s what the mark of the beast is. It’s a literal mark caused at a literal time in the future. That means you cannot have that mark today. I hope that calms some of your hearts. Verse 17, “that no one may buy or sell,” anywhere on Earth, “except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” That number is tied to buying and selling. Numbers. Digital buying and selling as money and not buying and selling if you don’t have that means, he’s tracking you. How is that possible? Oh, we didn’t even think of that contact tracing, do you remember that back in COVID? Google and Apple said, we’re going to combine all your address books and the fact that cell phones always know where you are. We know when your two phones are close enough and we’re going to see if you have contacted someone that had COVID. Instantly, they had the details of half of Earth. Those are the ones that use Google and Apple, and they were looking at their location.
“On their right hand or on their foreheads.” Look at this. Do you remember facial recognition? You know what facial recognition does? It’s just a biometric looking at your eyes, and your face, your forehead, your mouth. It tracks you. We’re so used to that. That’s how we open our smartphones. Biometric data is how you get into all secure facilities. Look what can happen with it. China recently launched an app where citizens can say, I just heard my neighbor express a mistaken opinion. Look up at me for a second and think about that. What’s going to happen when you’re at a coffee shop doing your 52 Greatest Chapter Study and writing in your notebook, and you have started picking up a conversation with the person next to you. Who asked, why you were reading the Bible. You share your testimony and the plan of salvation, and you offer them a Gospel tract. Think about the future. If they didn’t like that, they’re going to have an app. They’re going to say, this person at Starbucks (snap a picture) just had a mistaken opinion about me. They thought I was a poor lost sinner headed to destruction and needing God. I don’t believe in any of that. I want to report them. Look back at the slide. You say, huh? Was that possible? It’s already possible in China. Look, what’s coming.
Facial recognition is the routine policing tool in America. When they put together all the traffic cams, and all of the security cams, and everything else. You watch any of the movies, action movies these days, it’s like a part of every movie. Did you know it’s not a movie, it’s reality? “No one may buy or sell,” the Anti-Christ is going to use all these tools.
What about digital money? Did you know cryptocurrency despite its recent drop is now worth more than all currency of the United States in circulation. The treasury department is working with MIT and they’re going to make a digital dollar. No more counterfeiting.
It isn’t just the police that are watching us, look at all these doorbells and all these hey Alexa and Siri helped me. Cars have trackers. You can’t rent a car without a tracker. All cars are going to have trackers. Every phone is being tracked. Our phones, our laptops, even our doorbells. Do you know how your data is being collected?
Number seven, the trend of weapons of mass destruction. Look at this, which is all about global human death and destruction. You remember what Jesus said? I already showed you this, no flesh would be saved. Think about this. This is just the headlines from right now. This is Russia attacking the Ukraine. Look what this news service said; The countdown to WW III. Russia, missile blitz. All-out attack. Explosions in Kyiv. Airspace over the country closed. Oil breaks $100. Do you know what? Look up for a second. I prefer to use my Bible like a window that I look through, at the events taking place in the world as we’re headed toward the end, as these trends are amplifying, I look at all the news through the scriptures. Here’s what I wrote. We’re seeing the future that God has already written down.
Here’s another headline from that, Putin deploys fearsome robot army amid the Ukraine war threat. You know what it says? Look at Luke 21, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” Wow. How would you like to be facing off with a robot shooting missiles at you?
This one is worse members. Jesus said, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars.” This was yesterday. Putin is feared to have deployed thermobaric rocket launchers in the Ukraine. Do you know what thermobaric rocket launchers are? Look up for a second, it’s horrible. You know what it is? It’s a rocket that comes down and comes near the surface of the Earth and explodes, igniting the oxygen in the air and consuming it so rapidly, by the vapors that it dispels and then explodes, that it pulls the air out of people’s lungs, actually collapses their lungs, and kills instantly. Thermo, that’s high heat. Baric, that’s changing the barometric pressure by making a vacuum. It just explodes people’s lungs.
The birth pains Jesus promised are just starting. We’re watching it in the news. Did you know, everyone used to worry about the doomsday clock and atomic bombs. Then, we had all the disarmament stuff, but guess what? It’s starting back. This is a satellite image of China’s second nuclear missile field. Look at all those. Those are all nuclear, intercontinental, ballistic missiles. Each one could wipe out a city like the one you live in. Then last year we witnessed the first artificial intelligence war. Did you notice on the news how amazing it was that Israel fought Hamas and almost lost no soldiers, almost had no damage or casualties. Why? The big tanks deployed all these little robots, and everything was run through artificial intelligence. It was amazing to see where warfare has gone.
Last year also saw the biggest Navy war games in 40 years. We had a Pacific fleet, and Atlantic fleet, and more that were scattered all between. It was the largest across 17 times zones and every ocean in the world. You know why? To prepare for tensions with Russia, China, and Iran. This is not a prophetic paper, that is not your church bulletin, it’s not from a Christian college. This is basically US news from a British perspective. This is a British newspaper; they always do lots of graphics, so I clip their front pages. What this side is over here is secular, this way.
This is what the Bible says. The final war that ends human existence involves the armies of the east in Revelation 16, Iran and Russia in Ezekiel 38. Russia, China, Iran. God has told us the future in advance.
It isn’t just wars, look what Revelation 9 says. It says they wouldn’t repent of their murders. What is it? The height of the tribulation going on, murders. How do you like this headline? It says there were 54 mass shootings in the last month in the United States. That was in April of 2021, when people were crazy during COVID. Look at the 54 mass shootings on that map. Look what God says. Murders are only going to ramp up.
It isn’t just murders, it’s sorceries. Same passage. Look at this, our state of Oregon decriminalized the possession of hard drugs. Do you know what this word sorcery is in Greek? It’s the word pharmakeia. Sorceries, inducing demonic mental surrender. It doesn’t end there, not only are people going to be worshiping demons, and murdering, and committing drug induced sorceries, and sexual immorality, look at this, they wouldn’t repent of their thefts, Revelation says.
Another screenshot of a headline, San Francisco cop says viral Walgreens shopping incident is par for the course. People are using their phones to film people stealing, and nobody does anything about it. That’s the end of the world.
Number eight, the trend of global peace, prosperity, and materialism. Everyone wants peace, not war. They want safety, not terrorism. It says they’re going to want it; it’s going to become like a labor pain, and they won’t be able to escape the one who’s going to bring global peace. Who is that? That’s the Anti-Christ. Did you know that America’s billionaires along with the rest of the world’s got richer during the pandemic? Look at how much Bezos went up, and Musk went up, and Gates went up, and Zuckerberg went up until last month, remember he went a little down. Look at all these guys in the world; the rich, the powerful, the wealthy, the politicians. They want peace. They want security. If they don’t have it, they’re willing to pay any price, which is what the Anti-Christ offers.
Jesus said, watch out. They’re going to be after you and surrounding Jerusalem. It says, all the nations of the Earth will gather against, remember that’s what Zechariah says, against Jerusalem. Look at this headline, top Iranian general: Forces in Syria awaiting orders to… not hit, not teach them a lesson… Destroy. Destroy the evil Zionist regime. That’s what they call. God’s chosen people of promise, Israel.
There’s a new cold war. The green are against Israel. The red are at this present moment trying to help Israel. We’re locked into a horrific struggle.
Then there’s the trend of global evangelism. Matthew 24 says the Gospel is going to go into all the world to all the nations. It’s happening, look at this. This is the Southern Baptist, which is called the I. M. B. International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Church. This map, you can just type in International Mission Board Southern Baptist Church, this is the unreached people groups. See all these red dots here? All of those are people that need the Bible in their own language and a missionary that learns their language. They’ve mapped every last group that needs the Gospel. The Gospel is going into all the world.
Look up. I want to go into the final stretch. I want to go into the final stretch with you for why we would summarize Revelation with all these scary things that are next. How can we apply these birth pains to the book of Revelation in our lives? We have to get a focus on Jesus’s plan for us as we see the world end.
46 times in Revelation. We’re focusing on the One on the throne. Look, all these dots are where it is. Two times in chapter 22. Two times, three times. This is a little map from the Logos software. With these dangerous trends increasing all around us that you see, that I’ve just talked about, God wants us convinced that He’s the one on the throne. What does it mean to be convinced God is on the throne? First of all, I told you in the book of Revelation we see Jesus Christ illustrating all the attributes of God.
I’ll give a little reminder. You can study the attributes. Some of you really are diligent students. You like to not just read about stuff in the study guide, but you want the heavy duty seminary level work. I recommend Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology. Let me show you why. Here on the slide, this is Wayne Gruden’s list of the 25 attributes of God. Independence. Unchangeableness. Eternity. Omnipresence. He has a page of scripture on each one of these and what they mean, how God exhibits them, the impact on our lives, and even has a hymn of the faith that help us to worship God for each of these. Look at this. If you really think about it, there are four prime attributes of God that all of us know about. He’s everywhere present. He knows everything. He’s all powerful. Oh, how glad we are that He loves us; has mercy, and grace, and patience, and gives us peace, and righteousness, and is just.
How do we apply? Remember, God is on the throne. What that means is, He operates according to His attributes. What does that mean? Let’s apply the attributes of God to get all of our fears whatever your fear might be like COVID, or losing your job, into a biblical perspective. Here’s how. Trusting God with our life’s fears and struggles. Finances are a big problem for us in this current COVID recession time. Accidents, car accidents are up exponentially because people are so struggling. Unexpected losses, millions of people have died through all the diseases and all the repercussions of the pandemic. We have had unexpected losses. Cancer, nobody wants to get that report. What does God say to do? Trust Me. How do you trust God? His first attribute, He always loves. That means He will not withhold anything from us, no good thing will He withhold from us. He loves us. He knows everything before it happens. He says, trust Me. I’m always out here. I never sleep. I know what’s happening. He says, no matter what’s coming into your life, I’m right there. I’m omnipresent. I’m with you all the time. I’m so powerful. God has this powerful shield around us. He knows what’s coming. He loves us so much. He powerfully keeps everything from us. He’s with us always.
If you trust the Bible, then God is good. If you don’t trust Him, He’s bad. If you trust the Bible, He’s wise. Don’t trust Him, He’s dumb. Either He is powerful or He’s weak. Either He’s here or He’s absent. Our response to our struggles and fears declare to God, and to the world around us, if we’re trusting God. Trusting God means nothing accidentally touches us. He’s always good. Always knows. Always in the box with us. He’s powerful and doesn’t let anything in.
What motivated the Early Church? Look at Hebrews 10:24-25 with me over here in my Bible, Hebrews 10:24-25. “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.” That’s our assignment. That’s your assignment, today. That’s my assignment, today. To look and consider anybody around us that knows Christ, and try and stir them up to love Him and serve Him. That’s what good works are. How do we do that? By “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together.” Some of you need to remember that COVID has really broken down the need for people to get together. We had an excuse. We had social distancing and masks and everything else. God says we need to be assembling ourselves together “as is the manner of some, but exhort one another, and so much the more…” Look at this last line of Hebrews 10 verse 25, “as you see the Day approaching.” What day is he talking about? He’s talking about the day of Christ’s return. He’s talking about the fact that He wants us trusting Him as His Church, doing what He left us to do as the world falls apart, as we see these trends ramping up more every day.
What motivated the Early Church? That’s what we just read. Those trends reminded them that Christ was coming back. “As you see the Day approaching.” What should we do? We should do what Hebrews 10 says. As the world gets darker, we should “stir up love and good works,” in ourselves and everybody around us. How do you do that?
Martin Luther said, I have two days on my calendar. Today, and the day I’m going to stand before Christ. In other words, I’m going to stir myself up. How I live for God anywhere, anytime, no matter what happens is getting stirred up.
What is getting stirred? Number one, time listening to God by feeding on His word. That’s just reading the scriptures. You should make a sacred vow that you’re going to be in God’s word every day. Number two, you don’t just read it. You apply it to your life. That’s scripture memory and meditating. That’s why in this study we write down the lessons and we make a prayer out of it asking God to change me. That’s what number three is, we pray. We pray in proportion to how much we need God. Little prayer, don’t need Him much. Much prayer, I really need Him. Then, like I talked to you about with the tracts, we share with others God’s plan of salvation. We witness whenever we can, God’s hand in our life, and we try and lead people to Christ.
That means you should have a group of people that you see regularly (that’s what he said about gathering together), where you talk about what you’re eating, what you’re chewing on, what you’re breathing in and out, and where you’re going. That’s reading and feeding, memorizing, meditating, praying, beseeching God, and seeking and sharing the Gospel. That’s what I share with you in every class.
What is God’s purpose for disasters, and epidemics, and tragedies, and wars like we’re watching, and earthquakes, and tsunamis, and massacres, and terrorist attacks, and every other bad thing? Each one of them, Jesus said in Luke 13, is an opportunity for people to change their minds about God. Look up for just a second. I want to share one thing. When Russia started the war in the Ukraine, I was traveling with Bonnie. I reached into my phone, went to YouTube, and I pushed public on a Q & A that I had done about what does the Bible say about Russia. I looked after two days. 150,000 different people in 90 different countries watched that video. Most of them on their mobile device. We are living in an unprecedented time where people can change their mind about God, where they can repent. That’s the time we live in.
Life is fragile, death is inevitable, and Christ is the answer. Christ is the only answer. By the way, in 2021, the year that we just finished, two people died every second. 7,000 an hour, 163,000 a day. Over 60 million died last year. How many of them are our neighbors, our coworkers, fellow students, people we live around? Have we shared the Gospel?
What’s the only thing you can take with you to Heaven? People. I want to tell you something before we go. When I was an early on pastor, I was a pastor in New England. I was serving in a church in Rhode Island and one of our missionaries was in Ethiopia. While I was serving there faxes, do you know what a fax is? It’s a piece of paper that comes out of a machine where someone typed a faraway message. It came through electronic lines, and it printed it. It came out of the machine. It was called an F A X a facsimile message, a fax.
Do you know what it said? It was tragic for some people. It said that one of the elders of the church where our missionary served in Ethiopia was flying between Ethiopia and another place. The plane they were on was hijacked by a hijacker. That hijacker threatened to blow up the plane unless they flew him to wherever he wanted to go. The pilot said we don’t have enough fuel and he wouldn’t listen to the pilot, the Hijacker wouldn’t. He forced them at knife point to fly the plane way out over the Indian ocean where it ran out of fuel and crashed. About half of the people died in the crash. That’s the tragedy.
Do you know what was going on inside the airplane? Look back at this slide. You can look it up. It was called flight 961. My friend, Andy Meakins, the elder at that church did something. Let me show you what he did. He was sitting in his chair with a seatbelt on when the pilot said our plane has been hijacked, I am being forced to (and he told the whole story) fly over the Indian ocean. He said, we’re going to run out of fuel and crash. The fax that I read in my office said this. It was Andy Meakins wife. She was sitting here; he was sitting there. He had a seatbelt on, she had her seatbelt on. By the way, his wife survived. She wrote the fax. She said, I’ll never forget the distinct click of my husband’s seatbelt. As he took off his seatbelt, sat on the arm of our bank of seats, looked this way and earnestly shared the Gospel with everybody there. Anybody that would listen, he told them how they could come to Christ. He would even pray with them. She said he moved to the next bank of seats. Talked to that group. By then, everybody is listening. He turned and talked to this group of seats. She said he continued to move his way all the way down, all the seats of the airplane. The hijacker was quite busy knife pointing the pilot. He was free to move. Everyone was in a panic. He would look back down the aisle and go like this, and motion to his wife how many people had trusted Christ.
Let me ask you this. Jesus said the world is crashing. Jesus said, you’ll know the world is crashing when you see all these things happening. My question is, there’s only one thing you can take with you to Heaven, people that you share the Gospel with; are you stirred up to eat the word of God, to chew through it, to cry out to God for help, and then to go and share the Gospel? That’s the purpose of prophesy.
You want to get stirred up? Living Hope book, I’ve told you about many times. You can study every detail of prophecy, so you can become a guru at the coffee shop. Maybe, Christ’s Last Words? You need to get closer to Him? That’s also based on Revelation. I’ve talked about all through our class about the DTBM online academy, that was in the last class. Take a course, do whatever it takes until you understand God’s map for the future. You start getting focused on taking someone with you to Heaven.
Thanks for joining the What’s Next summary. What I just shared; the last five minutes is what prophecy is all about. Taking people with us to Heaven, getting stirred up, reading and digesting, and letting the word of God transform us until we cry out to God. Say, I’m weak, You’re strong. I need Your power. Help me to go into all the world and be a witness like You left me here to be.
That’s how we end our 52 Greatest Chapters of the Bible study. Thanks for joining us. If you missed any of them, go back to the playlist and fill in those missing ones. The whole purpose of Bible study is to become Christ-like, get His compassion for the lost, and go into all the world. I hope that you will.
John Barnett, my wonderful wife Bonnie, saying thanks for joining us on this journey. God bless you. Can’t wait to gather with you around the throne in Heaven and see how many people we’ve taken with us to Heaven.
Check Out All The Sermons In The Series
You can find all the sermons and short clips from this series, 52 Greatest Chapters In The Bible here
Looking To Study The Bible Like Dr. Barnett?
Dr. Barnett has curated an Amazon page with a large collection of resources he uses in his study of God’s Word. You can check it out here.