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Revelations 2000

by M.J. Agee

Chapter 1, Part 1

Revelation's setting: when the Rapture is "at hand."

The Vantage Point

Revelation 1

As we begin to read the apostle John's vision of things to come, it is as if great theater doors have just swung open on oiled hinges so we can slip in and settle into plush seats to listen to John read a play--the most momentous play ever written. Different from any other, it is spellbinding.

  • Title: "The Revelation of Jesus Christ"
  • Author, Producer, and Director: Jesus Christ
  • Scenes: Earth and Heaven
  • Time: When the Rapture is at hand
  • Main actors: Jesus and John
  • Supporting cast: Angels
  • Narrator: John
  • Method of transmitting the script: A vision
  • Sent and signified by His angel to John
Nothing about this production is ordinary. This is a miracle play full of surprises. Jesus is the playwright. He gave John the vision and told him to write it down. The script is preserved for us in the last book in the Bible.

As the playwright, the Lord decided on the time. He viewed events from one single vantage point and looked forward and backward from that day. He used two stages, heavenly and earthly, and cast both himself and John as actors. He called in angels as supporting cast.

We look through John's eyes to see what he saw. At times, he is caught up to Heaven and we hear his voice speaking from there. In other places, he speaks from Earth. Through John's miraculous experiences, we are given a view of Heaven never seen before. We not only find out what it looks like but exactly where it is located. We also find out what will happen after Jesus comes to take his Bride to Heaven. He tells us precisely what we will see and hear right after we are transported to His Place in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture.

In John's vision of this play, it is almost as if certain scenes are photographed with a movie camera with a telescopic zoom lens that can penetrate the mists of time. Far off things can be brought up close for a good look at the details. Only the Lord could direct this type of work accurately. Most of the scenes have register marks to show us where they fit in his overall Plan of the Ages if we will but look for them. Every detail is preplanned and well thought out.

Feeling the hush descending, we focus our thoughts for this drama is not only entertaining, but prophetic. Some of the things depicted can happen to us personally. Almost all will take place during the lifetime of this terminal generation now living on the edge of destruction of civilization as we know it. Afterward, it will take the return of Christ to bring true peace and to restore the world and make it habitable again, as he did in Genesis.

We are privileged to be told what lies ahead of us just before it begins to take place in reality. There are very few times in this life that we can be sure of what events are on the track ahead. This is one of those rare times. The mathematics are given to measure time during the Tribulation.

This could be our last shot at trying to understand the coming end-time events. The Rapture is very near, when Christ will come, meet his Bride in the air, and take the believers who are spiritually clad in white wedding garments to be with him where he is--in Heaven.

We need the information contained in this play to be able to make wise choices, for we are living in "the time of the end." Expect great things, for we live at the very time when "knowledge shall be increased," as was revealed to the prophet Daniel.

This knowledge is not only of secular and scientific things, but includes knowledge of the deeper meaning of Scripture. Understanding of Bible prophecy is to be increased, as we will find out in this elaborate production that Jesus has planned for our entertainment and edification.

In this play, there are actors, dialogue, costume changes, scene changes, and graphic symbols with striking imaginative power. At various times, inanimate things, such as thunder or the altar, are personified and given voices of intelligible speech. It is all very dramatic, interesting, informative.

The title of the play is inviting, The Revelation of Jesus Christ. It draws you with its hint of wonderful secrets waiting to be revealed, both of Jesus Christ and of prophecy, and it fulfills the promise, exceeding all expectations.

THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST

The title is a key to the whole play. Jesus Christ will actually be revealed when he is seen and heard at the Rapture. The word translated Revelation, Apocalypse in Greek, means appearing or coming. First Corinthians 1:7 makes this clear. Paul mentioned "waiting for the coming (apokalupsin) of our Lord Jesus Christ." This is the appearing or coming of Jesus Christ, and he will first appear when he comes to get his Bride at the Rapture.

John recorded "The Revelation of Jesus Christ" in 96 A.D., when the church was 66 years old. At that time, he was given a preview of the Rapture first and then told later what will follow it. This has an application to us today. We can now preview the Rapture just before it happens and know what will follow it. We can already see the event-strewn pathway that leads right into the terrible Tribulation. There should be no doubt that the Rapture is near.

All is to be revealed ahead of time. Amos 3:7 says,
the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
The apostle Peter was talking about the Rapture, when Christ comes for the church, when he said,
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
The script of this play is our Lord Jesus Christ's last written word to us. From the day that John recorded the final Amen, God's written word has been forever finished.

This is the Lord's grand finale, the most magnificent scenario of the whole show. It is perfect. Nothing can be added or subtracted. We can only interpret what is already there. Near the end of the last chapter, Jesus warns,
If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Revelation was penned in 96 A.D., before the turn of the century in 101. In 1996. I thought, "We too are near the turn of the century, and 'things happened unto them (Israel) for examples, and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come.'" I knew that the Rapture would soon be "at hand."

Jesus told Peter, "If I will that he (John, the beloved apostle) tarry till I come (i.e., at the Rapture), what is that to thee? follow thou me." John lived until Jesus came to him in this vision--when the Rapture is "at hand." When John recorded what the Lord gave him in this play, he was the last apostle alive. John represented the church when she is white haired, but still living. When he was caught up to Heaven, it represented the Rapture of the beloved Bride of Christ.

Ever since John wrote this in 96 A.D., we have had the rest of the scriptures to help us understand what the Lord was saying to us, yet The Revelation contained more mysteries to be solved than had ever been recognized in the past. As we listen to John, we will learn marvelous new things.

The story line grabs our interest because we know it will come true, most of it in our days. The import of the portrayed events is stupendous. They will change the world as we know it. Like clay under the seal, the face of the planet will be altered. The lineup of nations will be modified. The chain of command will be different.

Revelation is masterfully multi-faceted. Not only a drama, it is Scripture's master key that unlocks the meaning of many obscure Old Testament prophecies.

It is an outline of the end times intended to be fleshed out with details gleaned from the Old and New Testaments. This outline helps us arrange those obscure "here a little, and there a little" prophecies in the correct chronological order. As we assemble the clues, new pictures will flash out at us.

All clues necessary for interpretation are contained in Scripture. In Mark 13:23, Jesus emphatically said,
But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.
The prophetic picture is fragmented and contains many symbols, but it is complete when the puzzle is pieced together. As we listen to the script of this play, the Lord helps us put the scattered pieces into the greater picture in our minds so that a new wave of understanding can sweep over us. For me, goose bumps accompany each wave.

The Lord teaches us many things by examples, types, or similitudes. Hosea 12:10 in the literal Concordant Version is so easy to understand, I prefer using it. The word "likenesses" is so descriptive. The Lord says,
I will speak by the prophets, And I will increase the vision, And by the hand of the prophets I will use likenesses.
Right away, in the very first book of Scripture ever committed to writing, the Lord told us, in Job 11:6, that
the secrets of wisdom...are double (duplicate copies) to that which is.
Some future events are almost carbon copies of past events. By the master's design, this history does repeat itself. The history of Israel dramatized many things to come. When we finally grasp this, we can understand why certain things were included in the scripture record. All the clues to put the prophetic puzzle together are in the Bible.

A thumbnail sketch

First in the order of major coming events is the Rapture of the church saints, the Bride of Christ. Our Lord will descend from his heavenly home and hover over the face of the Earth as the Holy Spirit hovered over the face of the waters in Genesis 1:2. Just as the breath of God in that day caused many molecules of water to be transformed into clouds of mist that floated upward into the air, Jesus Christ will draw clouds of transformed Spirit-filled believers to himself. If they are filled with the breath of God, they will float up to meet him in the clouds like helium-filled balloons.

If you are in this special group, you will be transported to Heaven, a real place which will be revealed to us as we listen to the play, so you won't have to go through the terrible times ahead on this planet. You will assemble on the heavenly Mount Zion and in they holy New Jerusalem.

In John 14:2-4 (New King James) Jesus said,
In my Father's house (oikia, inhabited edifice, i.e., in Heaven ) are many mansions (monai, residences)...I go to prepare a place for you...I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And where I go ye know, and the way you know.
Compare the last part of this with the Phillips translation:
I am coming again to welcome you into my own home, so that you may be where I am. You know where I am going and you know the road I am going to take.
"You know where I am going" is an astonishing statement. Heaven is Christ's home, and we already "know" where it is. Its name and appearance from Earth are familiar to us. Glowing with inner light, it is the prettiest thing in our solar system. It is a well-known site that was recognized by man at least as far back as the Babylonian Empire. Visible to the Babylonians without a telescope, it is certainly not out of the realm of our understanding in these days since our Voyager I and II space probes photographed it. The script of this play contains clues that point to Heaven's exact location.

After the Rapture, there seems to be a hiatus of exactly four years, according to Jewish inclusive reckoning, before the seven-year Tribulation will begin. We would count them as three years because we do not count the first year as number one as the Jews do. I think the four years will start and end on Pentecost, also called the Feast of Weeks. Jesus mentioned these four years in the parable of the barren fig tree. Luke 13:6-9 says,
He spake also this parable: A certain man (Jesus) had a fig tree (Israel) planted in his vineyard; and he came (at the Rapture) and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years (the year of the Rapture plus two years after the Rapture) I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also (the fourth year), till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.
The cutting down is the Tribulation, also called the Seventieth Week of Daniel because it is the last week of years of the 490-year prophecy recorded in Daniel 9:24-27.

Revelation is built around the number seven. We find seven letters, seven churches, seven stars, seven angels, seven candlesticks, seven spirits, seven lamps, seven eyes, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven vials, seven heads, seven horns, seven thunders, seven mountains, seven kings, and seven groups that are called blessed.

During this time of the terrible sevens, Satan will bring such escalating evil on the world that judgment must fall. On the 2,300th day, the Tribulation must suddenly be cut short or no flesh would be saved. Mankind would be wiped out in exactly the same way that dinosaurs, saber-toothed tigers, and mammoths were exterminated in ancient times. On that 2,300th day, events will be dealt out fast, both in Heaven and on Earth. No other day is like it--ever.

As Lot was taken by the hand in the morning, led out of Sodom, and told to escape to the mountain before the fire fell, Christ will draw the cloud of Tribulation saints out of here in Rapture II just before the fire falls at noon. Truly, they will be saved so as by fire that day, which is the Feast of Trumpets. In that day the scripture will be proved true, that "THERE is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus."

The 1,000-year Day of the Lord called the Millennium, will begin the day the shortened Tribulation ends in a catastrophic blinding flash that knocks this planet upside down. Isaiah 24:1 says that
the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down.
A binary asteroid will split apart and collide with Earth. The two main impact blasts will cause firestorms and out-of-control seas to sweep over the land. People will scramble for the hills. As in the days of Lot, this fire fall is an Act of God, a natural catastrophe of such severity that it will be a vexation just to understand the report of the consequences that follow. Isaiah 28:15-19 in the NIV says,
You boast, 'We have entered into a covenant with death (the False Prophet), with the grave (Hell, i.e., Satan) we have made an agreement. When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by, it cannot touch us, for we have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding place.' So this is what the Sovereign LORD says...hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie, and water will overflow your hiding place. Your covenant with death will be annulled; your agreement with the grave (Satan) will not stand. When the overwhelming scourge (tsunami) sweeps by, you (who did not escape in either Rapture) will be beaten down by it. As often as it comes it will carry you away; morning after morning, by day and by night, it will sweep through. The understanding of this message will bring sheer terror.
Satan is behind the lie that the overwhelming scourge cannot touch us, just as he was when the serpent said unto Eve, "Ye shall not surely die." Eve died, and the unregenerate will die by this scourge after this age ends.

Right after its termination, the terror will be so great that men will appear as though they are about to give birth. Jeremiah 30:6 says,
wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! (woe) for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it (in Rapture II and in the birth of the remnant that will live on into the Millennium).
Hearts will fail from fear. We don't want to be on Earth at that time. We MUST leave here in the Raptures. The alternative is just too terrible to consider.

After Earth sustains oblique hits by a binary asteroid that breaks "asunder," Israel must bury the dead to cleanse the land, then Christ will return in the Millennium as King of kings and Lord of lords to heal and restore. In those days, they will say, "This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the...ruined cities...are inhabited."

After the complete seven-year period ends, the Judgment of the Nations will take place, followed by Armageddon, the last battle ever fought. When it is over, Satan will be chained and lasting world peace will blossom.

The real scene is already set. Rapture I, the next event on the prophetic calendar, is almost upon us. At that time, Christ will come escort his Bride to his home.

Some of us will barely be able to listen to the entire play before the Rapture whisks us away to a high balcony seat in the third heaven for a second viewing of the end of the age in real time. Then, we will see the actual events taking place on Earth from a safe distance, from Paradise, "the secret place (cether, hiding place) of the most High."

It will remind us of hits Jupiter took when a string of 21 pieces of the Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 began to strike it on July 16, 1994. The Orange County Register ran an article on the 18th, "Comet puts on a show." It said,
Only 18 hours after the first pieces of rock and ice struck, astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore were trying to understand why they had seen such an impressive show.
The Bible can show them why. A similar event is going to take place on Earth when this age ends and the Millennium begins. It helps us understand that such a collision is possible and the terrific energy it would release. God teaches by similitudes or likenesses. He gave us a sign.

When Jesus spoke of the heavenly Paradise, he also revealed what we have to do to get there: believe in him. Please believe in him, what have you got to lose? You have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Jesus said,
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever (put your name here) believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

LET not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
The Psalms show that we will be in Heaven when the catastrophe takes place at the end of the shortened Tribulation. Psalm 91:1,8 says, "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty," and then reassuringly adds,
Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
The pace of the play we are about to listen to is quick. It starts with astonishingly rapid action, and events sweep on toward "the consummation" spoken of by Daniel. From the Rapture of the church saints to the Second Coming of Christ is only about ten years. The last seven of those years are the Tribulation.

On Nisan 1, the first day of the Jewish Regnal Year, the long awaited kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ will become a reality on Earth. True peace will soon soothe the remnant left on this tortured planet as they struggle to recover from a blow big enough to knock the nonsense out of the few survivors left.

In the theater of our minds

We imagine the magnificent scenery of the six-by-ten-mile barren rocky island of Patmos, where John is in exile about fifty miles from Ephesus. The cliff where John is forced to chip off granite and carry it to the dock is seen. The granite is used to build foundations and pave roads in Domitian's Roman Empire.

The white craggy shore line and the azure waters of that portion of the Aegean known as the Icarian Sea can be seen. Behind Patmos is a sky-blue curtain with some wispy white clouds slowly undulating in a whisper-soft breeze. Several sea birds wheel in a never ending search for food.

Our set reminds me of Isaiah 40:22 in the Concordant Version: "Who is stretching out as a thin gauze the heavens, And bagging them out as a tent to dwell in?"

Before the opening curtain is drawn aside, the wrinkled, sun-tanned, silver-haired John, the last apostle alive, takes his stand in Patmos. His hands and feet are callused from his hard, exhausting work in the quarry. About 90 years old, he represents the church when it is old and white-haired--in our days.

Since white represents the righteousness of saints, and nothing that defiles can enter heaven, The apostle is wearing a white robe. I imagine him with a sheepskin scroll in his hand, similar to a Dead-Sea Scroll found in the Qumran cave, and an ink horn, in which pens and ink are stored, strapped to his side. An expectant hush falls as the curtain in front parts. John turns toward us and this elaborate production begins.

Avon Books pub date is January 1, 1998. Books should be in bookstores mid December.


  Revelations 2000, Chapter 1, Part 2

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Updated 4-26-08
© 1997 Marilyn J. Agee