by Alan Yusko

We are definitely living in the days just before the return of the Lord Jesus to rapture His Church to heaven. I have noticed that there are some people who are greatly confused as to what is going on. Some even think we have progressed to the opening of the 4th seal judgment. Other confused people think the 7 year tribulation has already started. This is not so. This article will follow the book of Revelation to show where we are now and what is coming in the days ahead.

Let me start by saying the book of Revelation shows the past, present, and future events. We are currently living in the days of Revelation chapter 2 and 3. These chapters describe the Church age. Then in Revelation chapter 4 we have the rapture of the Church.

Rev 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

At this point the Church has experienced the rapture and we have met the Lord in the air. This will happen very fast. In less than 1 second the dead in Christ will be raised and get their resurrection bodies. Next we, the living, will be caught up into the air and we too will receive our resurrection body as well.

Something else happens as a result of the rapture. The Holy Spirit no longer restrains evil in the world. Right now the Holy Spirit restrains evil in and through the Church. When the Church is removed at the rapture, the restraint is also removed. The Holy Spirit is still present but He is no longer restraining evil. At this point the antichrist is revealed and takes his place in human history.

Here is a description of the rapture which could happen at any time.

1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

As you can see all Christians will meet the Lord in the air. After this we will be taken and go through the Bema judgment seat. This is not a judgment of sin as the Lord took care of our sins by His shed blood on the cross. Instead, the Bema judgment deals with rewards. At this judgment Christians will be given crowns of glory.

We continue in Revelation chapter 4

Rev 4:2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
Rev 4:3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

After the Bema judgment the Church will be around the throne of God. It will be a very glorious sight to behold. Notice who is around the throne:

Rev 4:4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

There are 24 seats and this is representative of the Church which has just gone through the Bema judgment. Notice that there are crowns on their heads. Right now no one has a crown on their head. Angels do not get crowns. The crowns are on the saved in the Church which has just gone through the Bema judgment. The Church will fall before the Lord in worship and cast their thrones before Him.

Rev 4:10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
Rev 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Lets do a quick review. The church has been raptured, the Bema judgment has occurred, and the Church worships the Lord and throws down their crowns before Him.

Next we continue in Revelation chapter 5:

Rev 5:1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
Rev 5:2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

A book is described in heaven and it has 7 seals. This is why the people today are greatly confused and wrong that the first 4 seals have already been opened. The 7 seals will be opened during the 7 year tribulation period and after the rapture. Next, a problem is described and the answer is given. Who is able or worthy to open the book that has 7 seals?

Rev 5:3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
Rev 5:4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
Rev 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

Only the Lord Jesus is worthy to open this book.

Rev 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
Rev 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Next the Lord Jesus takes the book and in Revelation chapter 6 he begins to open the seals.

Rev 6:1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
Rev 6:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

Sometime after the rapture the antichrist will sign the 7 year peace treaty with Israel. The first day of this treaty is the first day of the 7 year tribulation period. Before the antichrist can conquer the world the first seal must be opened. The first seal has a white horse being ridden by the antichrist. He has a bow but no arrows. He will conquer the world by deception and peace.

The Lord Jesus will continue to open the seals. At the 7th seal there are 7 trumpet judgments. At the 7th trumpet there are 7 bowl judgments. All this occurs over the 7 year tribulation period.

Like I previously mentioned the book of Revelation shows the past, present, and the future. We are currently living in the Church age in Revelation chapter 2 and 3. The rapture occurs in Revelation chapter 4. There is the Bema seat awards judgment and the Church gathers around the throne of God. Next, a book with 7 seals is described and the only one worthy to open it is the Lord Jesus. In Revelation chapters 6-18 the 7 year tribulation period is described. In Revelation chapter 19 and 20 the Lord Jesus returns to judge and take possession of the world which is rightly His. When the Lord Jesus returns the Church will also return behind Him riding on white horses. Revelation chapters 21 and 22 give a brief glimpse of heaven.

In this article a description of what is coming in the near future is given. Right now we are living in the Church age which is described in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. The day is quickly coming when we will be raptured in Revelation chapter 4. The most important thing a person can do is to receive the Lord Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Do it today as you don't know when your time will run out.

This article is totally free. It may not be changed but can freely be used. Make copies, print, or post on websites. Translate to other languages if you wish.

Finally in light of all this if you are not yet a Christian, it is now time to receive the Lord Jesus as your Saviour. Salvation is totally free and can be received by a repentant heart. If you want to be saved and be with the Lord Jesus say the following and mean it with all your heart.

Lord Jesus,
I admit that I am a sinner. I realize that sin has a penalty of separation from God and an eternity in the lake of fire. Right now I turn from my sins and receive the Lord Jesus as my only Saviour. Lord Jesus come into my heart and life and save me. I trust in you alone for salvation and to be my Lord and my Saviour. Amen

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
John 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.