Revelation 17-18 The Destruction Of Babylon


I. Opening Video Data.


John Ankerberg Show. From Our Series “Through the Book of Revelation with Dr. Jimmy DeYoung (M. Div., Ph. D.) (1940 – 2021).


II. Introduction.


Dr. John F. Walvoord  (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002), Every Prophecy Of The Bible, 1990, 1999, p 603. 


The Book of Revelation was written in order in which the truth was revealed to John, but the events described are not necessarily in chronological order. This is especially true of Rev 17, which probably occurred during the first half of the last seven years. Chapter 17 is the destruction of ecclesiastical Babylon, or Babylon as a religion. Chap 18 is the destruction of Babylon, as a city, and as an empire.


III. Scripture Text. Revelation 17-18. New American Standard Bible (NASB 1995). Pasted from Bible Gateway.

The Doom of Babylon

17. 1.Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of sexual immorality, and those who live on the earth became drunk with the wine of her sexual immorality.” And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls, holding in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her sexual immorality, and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery: “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly. And the angel said to me, “Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.

“The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who live on the earth, whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was, and is not, and will come. Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains upon which the woman sits, 10 and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while. 11 The beast which was, and is not, is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction. 12 The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. 13 These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast.

Victory for the Lamb

14 These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.”

15 And he *said to me, “The waters which you saw where the prostitute sits are peoples and multitudes, and nations and languages. 16 And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the prostitute and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire. 17 For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God will be fulfilled. 18 The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.”

Babylon Is Fallen

18 1. After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated from his glory. And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. For all the nations have fallen because of the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich from the excessive wealth of her luxury.”

I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive any of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her offenses. Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her. To the extent that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, to the same extent give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as a queen and I am not a widow, and will never see mourning.’ For this reason in one day her plagues will come, plague and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong.

Grief over Babylon

“And the kings of the earth, who committed acts of sexual immorality and lived luxuriously with her, will weep and mourn over her when they see the smoke of her burning, 10 standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’

11 “And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargo any more— 12 cargo of gold, silver, precious stones, and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk, and scarlet; every kind of citron wood, every article of ivory, and every article made from very valuable wood, bronze, iron, and marble; 13 cinnamon, spice, incense, perfume, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle, sheep, and cargo of horses, carriages, slaves, and human lives. 14 The fruit you long for has left you, and all things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you and people will no longer find them. 15 The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand at a distance because of the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning, 16 saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls; 17 for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!’ And every shipmaster and every passenger and sailor, and all who make their living by the sea, stood at a distance, 18 and were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What city is like the great city?’ 19 And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich from her prosperity, for in one hour she has been laid waste!’ 20 Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her.”

21 Then a strong angel picked up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “So will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will never be found again. 22 And the sound of harpists, musicians, flute players, and trumpeters will never be heard in you again; and no craftsman of any craft will ever be found in you again; and the sound of a mill will never be heard in you again; 23 and the light of a lamp will never shine in you again; and the voice of the groom and bride will never be heard in you again; for your merchants were the powerful people of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your witchcraft. 24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slaughtered on the earth.”

IV. Revelation 17-18 Text Examination.


Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016). Ryrie Study Bible, 1986, 1995.


A. 17:1. Babylon is represented as a “whore” whose unfaithfulness affects many people and nations (the “waters.” as explained in v 15).

B. 17:3. “a scarlet beast.” A reference to Antichrist and his allies on whom Babylon sits (controls).

C. 17:5. In Chap. 17 Babylon represents the false religious system during the Tribulation. In Chap. 18 Babylon represents more the political and commercial aspect of the revived Roman Empire headed by Antichrist. Thus, the term stands both for a city and a system (religious and commercial). “MOTHER OF HARLOTS.” The family of false religions is unfaithful to the Lord and thus is described as a harlot (vv. 1, 15-16).

D. 17:8. This would place the events of this chapter in the first half of the Tribulation period before Antichrist comes out of the “abyss” at its midpoint (11:7; 13:11).

E. 17:10. In addition, the seven heads in verse 9 are seven kings, probably a selective list either of Roman emperors or world empires.

F. 17 :12. The 10-nation federation that will form in the West and will be headed by Antichrist. (See 13:1 and Dan 7:24). “one hour.” I.e., for one purpose (as in Luke 22:53).

G. 17:15. The apostate church will be ecumenical, or worldwide.

H. 17:16. “these will hate the harlot.” The political power headed by Antichrist will overthrow the false church organization (probably at the mid-point of the Tribulation).

I. 18:2. “fallen.” A different event from 17:16, where the political power destroys religious Babylon in the middle of the Tribulation. 

J. 18:8. “in one day.” The judgment will be consummated in a single day.

K. 18:20. “God has pronounced judgment for you against her.” I.e., God has judged her for her treatment of you. Heaven and the martyrs may now rejoice.

L. 18:21. Babylon will sink into the sea like a rock.

M. 18:22-23. No happiness will be found in Babylon anymore.


V. Revelation 17-18 Text Examination Reinforcement. 


A.  Dr. Robert H. Mounce (Th. M., Ph. D., December 30, 1921 – January 24, 2019). The Book Of Revelation, The New International Commentary On The New Testament, 1977, p 306.

Chapters 17 and 18 portray the judgment of God upon the great harlot, that citadel of pagan opposition to the cause of Christ.


B. Dr. C.I. Scofield (D.D., 1843-1921). Scofield Study Bible. 1909, 1917, 1937, 1945, 1984, 1998, 2002, 2006 (Editor, C.I. Scofield, D.D., 1843-1921. Editorial Revision 1967 Committee Members: Charles L. Feinberg, Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D.; John. F. Walvoord, Th. B., Th., M., Th. D.).


The name “Babylon,” in prophecy, is sometimes used in a larger sense than mere reference to the ancient city or nation. There are two forms which Babylon is to have in the end-time: political Babylon and ecclesiastical Babylon. Political Babylon is the beast’s confederate empire, the last form of Gentile world dominion. Ecclesiastical Babylon is all apostate Christendom. It may very well be that this union will embrace all the religions of the world. Ecclesiastical Babylon is the “great prostitute,” and is to be destroyed by political Babylon, so that the beast may alone be the object of worship. The power of political Babylon will be destroyed by the return of the Lord in Glory (see Rev 19:7).


C. Dr. John Phillips (D. Min; 1927-2010) John Phillips Revelation Commentary (p 165, 169, 170). 

Chapters 17 – 18 deal with the whole question of Babylon. In Chap 17, we have “the Babylonish system” to consider, in Chap 18, we have the “Babylonish city.” Thus, there are two Babylons, and the one grows out of the other. The Beast controls the first, and creates the second. The Babylonish system is both religious and political. The religious system paves the way for the political system. In the beginning, the religious system supports the political system, but in the end the political system supplants the political system. The religious system is symbolized in Rev 17 as the Babylonian mother; the political system is symbolized as the Babylonian monster.


D. Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost (Th. B., Th. D.; 1915-2014) Things To Come, 1958, p 364.


Rev 17 outlines the judgment on the great harlot, the apostate religious system, that exists in the tribulation period. The unbelieving professing church went into the tribulation period (Rev 2:22; 3:10), and a great religious system, under the domination of the great harlot, arose. In the campaign of Armageddon it has been seen how God judges the Gentile world powers and brings about their downfall. The northern confederacy was judged by God upon the mountains of Israel in the middle of the tribulation period. The kings of the East and their forces and the armies of the Beast were seen to be destroyed at the second advent of Christ to the earth. A fuller description of this judgment upon the Beast and his citadel is given in Rev 18. There, the political empire is seen to have been so closely united with the false religious empire that both are called by the same name. The destruction of the seat of the Beast’s power is accomplished by a divine visitation of judgment by fire (Rev 18:8). 


E. Dr. Daniel Green. (Th. M., D. Min.) The Moody Bible Commentary, 2014.


“17:1-18:24.” This part of John’s vision described the end for the city of Babylon on the Euphrates and the world of people that followed her ways. It highlighted the truth of the apostle’s earlier warning (1 Jn 2:15-17). All who loved the power, idolatry, and riches of the world so exemplified by the city would see their dreams destroyed before their eyes. This section does not describe more judgments beyond the seals, trumpets, and bowls, but highlights certain aspects of them. “17:5-6.” The word “mystery” describes the city. It is not “mysterious,” suggesting a symbolic interpretation, but rather is something that was not known previously. “MOTHER OF HARLOTS” indicates that restored Babylon would be the worst of all unfaithful cities in history.


F. Dr. Robert L. Thomas (Th. M., Th. D.; 1928-2017) Revelation Commentary, 1992.


The “seven hills” can, and probably does, have a nonliteral meaning as the end of v. 9 shows. The woman sits upon seven kings or kingdoms, as subsequent discussion will explain. The other alleged evidence for a Roman reference (to Babylon) is too general to be decisive. The references to “many waters” in v.1, and to the “wilderness” or “desert” in v. 3 are inapplicable to Rome, but fit quite well with Babylon on the Euphrates.


VI. My note. Revelation 17:5 Examination.


A. Translation Comparisons. “MYSTERY, BABYLON,” vs “a mystery, Babylon.”


1. KJV. “And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth.”  


2. NKJV. “And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”


3. CSV. “On her forehead was written a name, a mystery: Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and of the Detestable Things of the Earth.”


4. ESV. And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.”


5. NASB. “and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”

6. NET. “On her forehead was written a name, a mystery: “Babylon the Great, the Mother of prostitutes and of the detestable things of the earth.”


7. NLT. “A mysterious name was written on her forehead: “Babylon the Great, Mother of All Prostitutes and Obscenities in the World.”


B. Dr. William D. Mounce (B.A., M. A., Ph. D.). Mounce Reverse Interlinear New Testament (Pasted from Bible Gateway).

5 And on her forehead was written a name, a mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth.”

https://reverseinterlinear.com/

https://www.billmounce.com/

https://www.biblicaltraining.org/biblical-greek/william-mounce

https://www.biblicaltraining.org/library/52-major-stories-of-the-bible/william-mounce


1. Rev 17:5 tells of a mystery, which is about Babylon, and does not tell about, “MYSTERY BABYLON,” (per KJV and NKJV).


2. The KJV and NKJV translations of “Mystery, Babylon,” are confusing and wrong.


3. Babylon means Babylon, and does not mean Rome (See above comments of Green and Thomas, and the closing video of Woods).

VII. Closing Video. This video has a duration of 29:31. It is a must for instruction, and is a keeper.

Closing Video Data. 

Andrew M. Woods (Th.M., J.D., Ph.D.)

Revelation (Crash Course) Part IX: Chapter 17-19. Oct 11, 2019. 29:31.
Unravelations. Dr. Andy Woods teaches 10 sessions of 30 minutes covering the entire Book of Revelation. These presentations were featured on the College of Biblical Studies’ TV program entitled “Up With the Son.

“VIII.  My Bucket List shows the references, of people and documents, that I use when I write my articles.


https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/bucket-list/embed/


IX. My Websites To Follow.

https://untotheleastofthese.home.blog/ Equipping The Saints Web Site

https://thechurchoftheopendoor.wordpress.com/ Israel Web Site

https://success2693.wordpress.com/ Israel, History And Prophecy

https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/ Eternityhttps://youtu.be/6RMwirEfPNE

Revelation 16 – The Bowl Judgments

I. Video Data.


What is the first bowl judgment? John Ankerberg Show. From the series “Revelation:” The Last Words of Jesus” featuring very special guests Dr. Ron Rhodes, Dr. Ed Hindson, and Dr. Mark Hitchcock.


II. Introduction.


Dr. John F. Walvoord  (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002) Revelation Commentary, 1974.

Chronologically, this chapter is close to the time of the second coming of Christ, and the judgments described fall in rapid succession. There can be no doubt here, not only that the series reaches on to the time of the end, but that the whole of it is to be placed close to the same time. Daniel indicated that these closing days of the Tribulation will be a time of world war (Dan 11:36-45). World events are now pictured by John as coming to their climax. Chapter 19 of Revelation follows immediately after chapter 16 in the chronological development.


III. Scripture Text. Revelation 16. New American Standard Bible (NASB 1995). Pasted from Bible Gateway.

Six Bowls of Wrath

1 Then I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.”

So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth; and it became a loathsome and malignant sore on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image.

The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died.

Then the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters saying, “Righteous are You, who are and who were, O Holy One, because You judged these things; for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it.” And I heard the altar saying, “Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.”

The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given to it to scorch men with fire. Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory.

10 Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues because of pain, 11 and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds.

12 The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east.

Armageddon

13 And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; 14 for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. 15 (“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.”) 16 And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon.

Seventh Bowl of Wrath

17 Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, “It is done.” 18 And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty. 19 The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. 20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe.


IV. Examination. 


Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016). Ryrie Study Bible, 1986, 1995.


A. 16:1. Though there are similarities between the bowl judgments and some of the trumpet judgments in chaps. 8-9 there are differences as well, the bowl judgments being more intensive and extensive. Thus, it is best not to see the bowls as repeating the trumpets but as a distinct series of judgments following the trumpets.


B. 16:2. “a loathsome and malignant sore.” LIt., foul and evil sore. Probably, a plague of ulcers. The brief descriptions of these last seven judgments (vv 2-12, 17-21) may suggest that they occur in rapid succession upon a world already battered and bloodied.


C. 16:3. “every living thing in the sea died.” (see 8:9). Imagine the stench and disease that will accompany this event.


D. 16:4. Though drinking bloody salt water would be toxic, drinking bloody fresh water, though disgusting, would not be. 


E. 16:6. “They deserve it .” I.e., they deserve to drink blood because they shed the blood of saints and prophets.


F. 16:8. Side effects of this scorching heat will drastically affect the climate, possibly including excessive evaporation and melting of the great ice areas of the world.


G. 16:9. “they did not repent.” See verse 11 and 9:21. 


H. 16:11. “their sores.” I.e., those referred to in verse 2.


I. 16:12. “the kings from the east.” Lit., the kings from the rising of the sun. The armies of the nations of the Orient will be raided in their march toward Armageddon by the supernatural drying up of the Euphrates River.


J. 16:3. “the dragon.” Satan. the” beast.” Antichrist (13:1-10). “the false prophet.” the lieutenant (13:11-18).


K. 16:14. “the war of the great day of God, the Almighty.” The war will consist of several battles, beginning with Antichrist’s campaign into Egypt (Dan. 11:40-45) and including a siege of Jerusalem (Zech. 14:2) as well as the final battle at Armageddon (v. 16). 


L. 16:15. A call to surviving believers to watch and be alert. The “clothes” of a guard caught asleep on duty were taken from him, leaving him “naked” and disgraced.


M. 16:16. “Har-Mageddon,” or Armageddon. Lit., Mount of Megiddo, near the city of Megiddo at the head of the plain of Esdraelon. This area was the scene of many OT battles, notably those of Barak with the Canaanites (Judg. 4) and of Gideon with the Midianites (Judg. 7).


N. 16:19. “The great city.” Either Jerusalem (11:8; cf. Zech. 14:4) or Babylon (18:2).


O. 16:20-21. The topography of the earth will be drastically changed, and unbelieving survivors of the hailstorm will curse God instead of turning to Him.


V. Reinforcement.


A. Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost (Th. B., Th. D.; 1915-2014) Things To Come, 1958, p 363.


The third series of judgments, which complete the outpouring of divine wrath, are the vials (Rev. 16:1-21). Although four of these vials are poured out on the same areas as the trumpets, they do not seem to be the same judgments. The trumpets begin in the middle of the tribulation and depict events during the entire second half of the week (Daniel’s 70th week). The vials seem to cover a very brief period at the end of the tribulation, just prior to the second advent of Christ. These bowls seem to have particular reference to unbelievers, as they undergo the special wrath of God (16:9, 11), and have special reference to the beast and his followers (16:2).


B. My note concerning Dr. Pentecost’s above comment about unbelievers, as they undergo the special wrath of God. The words, “those who dwell on the earth,” relate to a group of unbelievers in the Tribulation who will refuse to repent, in spite of God’s judgments that continue to fall on them. Consider the following verses (NASB).


1. Rev 6:10. “and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”


2. Rev 8:13. Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth”

3. Rev 11:10. “And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.” 

4. Rev 13:8. “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb.” 

5. Rev 13:14. “And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast.” 

6. Rev 17:8. The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.”


VI. Ryrie cross references for Rev 16 verses that have no examination.

A. 16:3. Ex. 7:17-21; Rev 8:8f; 11:6.

B. 16:5. John 17:25; Rev 11:17; 15:4; 6:10.

C. 16:7. Rev 6:9; 14:8; 1:8; 15:3; 19:2.

D. 16:10. Rev 13:2; Ex 10:21f; Isa 8:22;  Rev 8:12, 9:2.  

E. 16:17. Eph 2:2; Rev 11:15; 14:15; 10:6; 21:6.

F. 16:18. Rev 4:5; 6:12; Dan 12:1; Matt 24:21.


VII.  My Bucket List shows the references, of people and documents, that I use when I write my articles.


https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/bucket-list/embed/


VIII. My Websites To Follow.

https://untotheleastofthese.home.blog/ Equipping The Saints Web Site

https://thechurchoftheopendoor.wordpress.com/ Israel Web Site

https://success2693.wordpress.com/ Israel, History And Prophecy

https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/ Eternityhttps://youtu.be/6RMwirEfPNE

Revelation 15 – Prelude To The Bowl Judgments


I. Video Data.

What happens to the earth as a result of the vial judgments? This clip is from our series entitled, “Step by Step through the Book of Revelations.” John Ankerberg Show. Dr. Jimmy DeYoung (M. Div., Ph. D.) (1940 – 2021) is the video speaker.


II. Introduction.


Dr. John F. Walvoord  (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002) Revelation Commentary, 1974.


Chapters 15 and 16 of Revelation bring to consummation the chronologically ordered events leading up to the second coming of Christ described in chapter 19. These are introduced in this chapter as “the seven last plagues” which are the divine judgments preceding the second coming of Christ. As previously indicated, the chronological order of events in Revelation is presented basically in the seven seals (6:1-17; 8:1). The seventh seal includes all of the seven trumpets (8:1-9:21; 11:15-19). The seven vials or bowls of divine judgment are included in the seventh trumpet. From this it can be seen that the order of events is one of dramatic crescendo, the seventh seal being all-inclusive of the end-time events including the seven trumpets, and the seventh trumpet including the events described in the seven vials. The second coming of Christ follows this order of events immediately after the seventh vial. The intervening sections such as 10:1-11:14; 13-14; 17-19 do not advance the narrative chronologically. Chapter 19 of Revelation follows immediately after chapter 16 in the chronological development.


III. Scripture Text. Revelation 14. New American Standard Bible (NASB 1995). Pasted from Bible Gateway.

A Scene of Heaven

1 Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished.

And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God. And they *sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,

“Great and marvelous are Your works,
O Lord God, the Almighty;
Righteous and true are Your ways,
King of the nations!
“Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy;
For all the nations will come and worship before You,
For Your righteous acts have been revealed.”

After these things I looked, and the temple of the tabernacle of testimony in heaven was opened, and the seven angels who had the seven plagues came out of the temple, clothed in linen, clean and bright, and girded around their chests with golden sashes. Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power; and no one was able to enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished.

IV. Examination. 


Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016). Ryrie Study Bible, 1986, 1995,


A. 15:2-3. The martyrs sing “the song of Moses,” praising God for His faithfulness and deliverance (Ex 15 and Deu 32) and magnifying God’s holiness and righteousness

B. 15:5. “the temple of the tabernacle.” I.e., the Holy of Holies.”


V. Reinforcement.  


A. Dr. David Hocking. Bachelor of Arts in Bible, Greek and Ancient History; Master of Divinity in Biblical Studies & Systematic Theology; Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Studies and Languages; Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Studies.

1. The Seven Last Plagues: The scroll with seven seals is now opened. The 7th seal was opened in Rev 8:1, at which time we were introduced to seven angels, with seven trumpets. The seventh trumpet message is the longest, and began with the announcement of Rev 11:15. Within that 7th message are several signs and visions. 

2. Signs Of The Seventh Trumpet: a. The woman. b. The dragon. c. The seven last plagues.

3. Visions Of The Seventh Trumpet: a. The beast with seven heads. b. The beast with two horns. c. The 144,000 Jews. d. The gospel and judgments. e. The final harvest. f. The heavenly temple and the seven last plagues.


B.  Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost (Th. B., Th. D.; 1915-2014) Things To Come, 1958. 

1. Page 235. The nature or character of this period is that of: “wrath, judgment, indignation, trial, trouble, destruction, darkness, desolation, overturning, punishment.” No passage can be found to alleviate, to any degree, whatsoever, the severity of this time that shall come upon the earth. 

2. Page 217. 

a. 1 Thes 5:9-10. 9 “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.”

b. Paul clearly teaches in this passage that our expectation and appointment is not to wrath and darkness, but rather to salvation, and verse 10 indicates the method that salvation, namely, “to live together with him.” Paul clearly indicates that our expectation is not of wrath, but of the revelation of “His Son from heaven.” This could not be unless the Son were revealed before the wrath of the 70th week falls on the earth.

c. Page 195. Our blessed Lord bore for us the wrath of God and His judgment; therefore, we who are in Him, “shall not come into judgment.” There can be no question that this period will see the wrath of God poured out upon the whole earth. Rev 3:10; Isa 24:1, 4-5, 16-17, 18-21, and many other passages make this very clear. And yet, while the whole earth is in view, this period is particularly in relation to Israel. Jeremiah 30:7, which calls this period, “the time of Jacob’s trouble,” makes this certain. The events of the 70th week (of Daniel) are events of the “Day of the Lord.” This use of the name of deity emphasizes God’s peculiar relationship to that nation. When this period is being anticipated in Daniel 9, God says to the prophet, “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city (v 24). This whole period then has special reference to Daniel’s people, Israel, and Daniel’s holy city, Jerusalem.


VI. Ryrie cross references for verses that have no examination.

A.  15:1. Rev 12:1, 3; 15:6-8; 16:1; 17:1; 21:9; Lev 26:21; Rev 9:20. 

B. 15:4. Jer 10:7; Rev 14:7; Ps 86:9; Isa 66:23; Rev 19:8.

C. 15:6. Rev 1:13.

D. 15:7. Rev 4:6; 15:1; 5:8; 14:10; 15:1; 4:9.

E. 15:8. Ex 19:18; 40:34; Lev 16:2; 1 Kin 8:10; 2 Chr 5:13; Isa 6:4.


VII.  My Bucket List shows the references, of people and documents, that I use when I write my articles.


https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/bucket-list/embed/


VIII. My Websites To Follow.

https://untotheleastofthese.home.blog/ Equipping The Saints Web Site

https://thechurchoftheopendoor.wordpress.com/ Israel Web Site

https://success2693.wordpress.com/ Israel, History And Prophecy

https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/ Eternity

Revelation 14 – The Song Of The 144,000 – The Angels’ Messages

I. Video Data. 

Who are the 144,000, and what power has God given to them?John Ankerberg Show. From the series, “Revelation: The Last Words of Jesus,” featuring Drs. Ron Rhodes, Ed Hindson, and Mark Hitchcock.


II. Introduction.


Dr. John F. Walvoord  (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002). Revelation Commentary, 1974.

Chapter 14 brings to a conclusion the material found in the section of chapters 12 through 14. Chapter 12 deals with the important characters of the period, chapter 13 with the wicked rulers of the period, and chapter 14 with the ultimate triumph of Christ. All of this material is not chronological but prepares the way for the climax which begins in chapter 15. Chapter 14 consists of a series of pronouncements and visions assuring the reader of the ultimate triumph of Christ and the judgment of the wicked. Much of the chapter is prophetic of events that have not yet taken place, but which are now impending. The chapter begins with the assurance that the Lamb will ultimately stand in triumph on Mount Zion with his followers, and it concludes with a series of pronouncements of judgments upon the wicked.


III. Scripture Text.

Revelation 14. New American Standard Bible (NASB 1995). Pasted from Bible Gateway.


IV. Examination.  


Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D.; 1925-2016). Ryrie Study Bible, 1986, 1995.


A. 14:1. “the Lamb.” I.e., Christ. “one hundred and forty-four thousand.” Evidently, the same group introduced in 7:4, though now their work on earth is finished and they are in heaven.

B. 14:4. “not … defiled with women.” This may simply mean that the 144,000 were unmarried, or it may indicate their state of separation unto God (cf. 2 Cor 11:2). “first fruits.” The salvation of the 144,000 will precede the salvation of a larger group of Israelites, who will turn to the Lord at the end of the Tribulation (cf. Isa 2:3; Rom 11:15).

C. 14:6. “an eternal gospel to preach.” God’s last call of grace before the return of Christ in judgment.

D. 14:8. “fallen is Babylon.” This fall is described in detail in chaps 17-18. For “Babylon,” see 17:5. (My note, “a mystery, BABYLON,” NASB. vs “MYSTERY BABYLON,” KJV.) 

E. 14:10-13. The wicked will be tormented in the lake of fire forever, with no hope or annihilation or restoration. In contrast, the righteous will have rest forever.

F. 14:12. Saints will be able to endure, knowing that God will punish their enemies (vv 9-11). 

G. 14:20. Apparently, a reference to Armageddon (16:16, cf, 19:17-19), when the blood from the slaughter will flow 180 miles (290 km), to the depth of about 4.5  ft (1.3 m). The blood of horses added to that of the large armies of human soldiers could easily cause such an enormous river of blood.


V. Reinforcement. 

A. Dr. Robert H. Mounce (Th. M., Ph. D., December 30, 1921 – January 24, 2019). The Book Of Revelation, The New International Commentary On The New Testament, 1977.


In order to keep before his readers the ultimate reward of their endurance, the author of Revelation intersperses glimpses of final blessedness among his presentations of judgment. The detailed description of the beast and the false prophet in the preceding chapter was a somber reminder of what lay in the immediate future. A note of encouragement is in order. John moves quickly beyond the storm about to break to the bright morning of eternity when the Lamb and his followers stand in the heavenly Zion with the anthem of redemption everywhere sounding like the roar of a mighty waterfall and the echo of thunder.


B. Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost (Th. B., Th. D.; 1915-2014) Things To Come, 1958, pp 301.


“They are seen before the throne” (Rev 14;3). The destiny of this remnant is the kingdom over which Christ will rule from the “throne of David.” These promises are not heavenly,  but earthly, and will be fulfilled in the millennium.

C. Scofield Study Bible. 1909, 1917, 1937, 1945, 1984, 1998, 2002, 2006 (Editor, C.I. Scofield, D.D., 1843-1921. Editorial Revision 1967 Committee Members: Charles L. Feinberg, Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D.; John. F. Walvoord, Th. B., Th., M., Th. D.).


Concerning Revelation 14:6, “eternal gospel.”

1. The Gospel of the kingdom. This is the good news that God purposes to set up on the earth, in fulfilment of the Davidic Covenant 2 Samuel 7:16, a kingdom, political, spiritual, Israelitish, universal, over which God’s Son, David’s heir, shall be King, and which shall be, for one thousand years, the manifestation of the righteousness of God in human affairs..

2.. Two preachings of this Gospel are mentioned, one past, beginning with the ministry of John the Baptist, continued by our Lord and His disciples, and ending with the Jewish rejection of the King. The other is yet future Matthew 24:14 during the great tribulation, and immediately preceding the coming of the King in glory.

VI. Ryrie cross references for verses that have no examination.


A. 14:2. Rev 1:15; 6:1; 5:8.

B. 14:3. Rev 5:9; 4:6; 4:4; 2:17; 7:4; 14:1.

C. 14:5. Ps 32:2; Zeph 3:13; Mal 2:6; John 1:47; 1 Pet 2:22; Heb 9:14; 1 Pet 1:19; Jude 24.

D. 14:7. Rev 15:4; 11:13; 4:11; 8:10.

E. 14:9. Rev 13:12; 14:11; 13:14; 13:16.

F. 14:14. Matt 17:5; Dan 7:13; Rev 1:13; Ps 21:3; Rev 6:2.

G. 14:15. Rev 11:19; 14:17; 15:6; 16:17; Joel 3:13; Mark 4:29; Rev 14:18; Jer 51:33; Matt 13:39-41.

H. 14:16. N/A

I. 14:17. Rev 11:19; 14:15; 15:6; 16:17.

J. 14:18. Rev 16:8; 6:9; 8:3; Joel 3:13; Mark 4:29; Rev 14:15.

K. 14:19. Isa 63:21; Rev 19:15.


VII.  My Bucket List shows the references, of people and documents, that I use when I write my articles.


https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/bucket-list/embed/


VIII. My Websites To Follow.

https://untotheleastofthese.home.blog/ Equipping The Saints Web Site

https://thechurchoftheopendoor.wordpress.com/ Israel Web Site

https://success2693.wordpress.com/ Israel, History And Prophecy

https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/ Eternity

Revelation 13 – The Beast From The Sea – The Beast From The Earth

I. Video Data.

What does the false prophet do to honor the Antichrist?  John Ankerberg Show. “Through the Book of Revelation,” with Dr. Jimmy DeYoung.

II. Introduction.  Dr. Orville J. Nave (D.D., LL.D.;1841-1917) Nave’s Study Bible.


In this thirteenth chapter of Revelation, we will consider the following flow of details: (1) A beast arises out of the sea with seven heads and ten horns, to whom the dragon gives his power. (11) Another beast comes up out of the earth, and causes men to worship the first beast, (16) and to receive his mark.

III. Outline. Dr. Harold L. Wilmington (D. MIn.;1932-2018) The Outline Bible, 1999. 

John sees two beasts, one from the sea and one from the earth, symbolizing the Antichrist and his false prophet.


I. The Beast Out Of The Sea (13:1-10): This is the Antichrist.

A. His appearance (13:1-2).

1. He has ten horns (each with a crown) and seven heads (each with a blasphemous name) (13:1).

2. He looks like a leopard, with feet like a bear and a mouth like a lion (13:2a).

B. His authority (13:2b): It comes from Satan himself.

C. His assassination (13:3a): Some believe he will be killed and then rise from the dead.

D. His adulation (13:3b-4, 8): Following this, the entire world is astonished and worships him.

E. His arrogance (13:5-6): For a period of forty-two months, he blasphemes God.

F. His activities (13:7, 9-10).

1. In regard to God’s people (13:7a, 9-10).

a. The cruelty (13:7a, 9-10a): He persecutes and conquers them.

b. The challenge (13:10b): They are exhorted to display endurance and faithfulness.

2. In regard to all people (13:7b): He rules over them.


II. The Beast Out Of The Earth (13:11:-18): This is the false prophet.

A. His mission (13:11-12): With the appearance of a lamb, but the voice of a dragon, he forces the world to worship the Antichrist.

B. His miracles (13:13, 15): He performs great miracles.

1. He calls down fire from heaven (13:13).

2. He gives life to a statue (13:14-15): This statue bears the image of the Antichrist.

C. His mark (13:16-18).

1. What it is (13:18): It is the number 666.

2. Where it is applied (13:16): Either on the right hand or the forehead.

3. Why it is applied (13:17): No one is able to buy, sell, etc., without it.


IV. Scripture Text. Revelation 13. New American Standard Bible (NASB 1995). Pasted from Bible Gateway.

The Beast from the Sea

A1 And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore.

Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.

It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.

The Beast from the Earth

11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. 12 He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who *had the wound of the sword and has come to life. 15 And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.


V. Examination.  Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D.; 1925-2016) Ryrie Study Bible, 1986. 


A. 13:1. “a beast.” The Antichrist. See 11:7. Many emperors of Rome deified themselves, but Antichrist will far outstrip all his predecessors in his blasphemous ways. “ten horns.” The 10 kings that will give their power and authority to the Antichrist (17:12-13). 

B. 13:2. “the dragon gives his power.” Satan gives Antichrist his power.

C. 13:3. “had been slain.”  The same word is used in 5:6 of Christ’s actual death, though here it may indicate a wound that normally would be fatal. “his fatal wound was healed.” Apparently, Satan will miraculously restore Antichrist to life in imitation of the resurrection of Christ. No wonder the world will acclaim Antichrist.

D. 13:5. “forty-two months.” Apparently, the last 3 1/2 years of the tribulation period during which Antichrist’s power is practically unrestrained.

E. 13:6. “His tabernacle.” God’s dwelling place in heaven. 

F. 13:7-8. Antichrist’s rule will extend to all, except believers whose names have been written in the “book of life.” The phrase “from the foundation of the world” relates to the writing of the names, not to the crucifixion (cf. 17:8).

G.13:10. Assurance that God will punish evildoers sustains the faith of those who are persecuted during these days. 

H. 13:11. “another beast.” This man is Antichrist’s lieutenant, who will enforce the worship of Antichrist by performing miracles (v 13), by making and animating an image of Antichrist (vv 14-15), by sentencing to death those who disobey (v 15), and by requiring a mark on the hand or forehead in order that men may buy and sell (vv 16-17). Satan, the Antichrist, and his second beast form an evil trinity.

I. 13:18. “his number is 666.” Somehow unknown to us, this number will play an important part in the identification of the Antichrist in a future day.


VI. Reinforcement. 


A. Dr. John F. Walvoord  (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002) Revelation Commentary, 1974


In the first ten verses of chapter 13, a character is introduced of central importance to the events of the great tribulation. This passage is first of all a revelation of the revived Roman Empire in its period of worldwide dominion, but more especially this paragraph directs attention to the evil character who exercises satanic power as the world dictator.

B. Dr. John Phillips (D. Min; 1927-2010) John Phillips Revelation Commentary (p 165, 169, 170). 


The Beast of Revelation 13 is both an emperor and an empire. The first part of the chapter deals with the coming of Satan’s false prince; the remainder of the chapter has to do with the second mysterious person conjured up by Satan to act as the propaganda chief for the Beast. This person is called the false prophet. The first beast is possibly a Gentile, or at least partly a Gentile, since he comes up from the sea. The second beast, the lamblike beast, is probably a Jew. He comes up out of the earth (a Bible symbol for the Hebrew nation for God’s earthly people). The great function of the second beast is to glorify the first beast. Thus Satan, the Beas, and the false prophet form a satanic trinity.


C. Scofield Study Bible, 1909 (Editor, C.I. Scofield, D.D., 1843-1921, Editorial Revision 1967 Committee Member, John. F. Walvoord, Th. B., Th, M., Th. D.).


1. Revelation Chapter 13 unveils the conditions on the earth at the end of the age when the following factors will be manifest:

a. the world ruler is satanically energized (vv 2, 4).

b. he and his image are worshipped (vv 4, 8, 12, 15).

c. he is acknowledged as possessing supreme military power (v 4).

d. he exercises a universal authority (v 7).

e. he persecutes believers in Christ (vv 6-7).

2. The second beast of Revelation Chapter 13 :

a. is a deceiver (vv 13-14).

b. exercises economic dictatorship (vv 16-17).


VII. Additional Examination.

Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost (Th. B., Th. D.; 1915-2014) Things To Come, 1958, pp  286, 231.


1. The dragon is seen to have seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns , which are the same as the beast possesses in chapters thirteen and seventeen. It is most plainly  stated in 13:2 that this individual derives his authority from Satan. This shows us that Satan is seeking a governmental authority over the woman’s remnant (12:7), which authority rightly belongs to Christ Himself.

2. The events of the Day of the Lord will include the prophesied events of the tribulation period, such as:

a. the rise of the political ruler, of the federation of states of a Roman Empire (Dan 2 and 7), who makes a covenant with Israel (Dan 9:27 ; Rev 13:1-10).

b. the formulation of a false religious system under the false prophet (Rev 13:11-18).

c. the pouring out of the judgments under the seals (Rev 6).

d. the separation of the 144,000 witnesses (Rev 7).

e. the trumpet judgments (Rev 8-11).

f. the rise of God’s witnesses (Rev 11).

g. the persecution of Israel (Rev 12).

h. the pouring out of the bowl judgments (Rev 16).

i. the overthrow of the false professing church (Rev 17-18).

j. the events of the campaign of Armageddon (Ezek 38-39; Rev 16:16; 19:27-21).

k. the proclamation of the gospel “of the kingdom” (Matt 24:14).

3. The events of the Day of the Lord will also include the prophesied events connected with the second advent, such as:

a. the return of Christ (Matt 24:29-30).

b. the resurrection of the Old Testament and tribulation saints (John 6:39-40; Rev 20:4).

c. the destruction of the Beast and all his armies and the False Prophet and his followers in the Beast worship (Rev 19:11-21).

d. the judgment of the nations (Matt 25:31-46).

e. the regathering of Israel (Ezek 37:1-14).

f. the judgment on living Israel (Ezek 20:33-38).

g. the restoration of Israel to the land (Amos 9:15).

h. the binding of Satan (Rev 20:2-3).

4. The events of the Day of the Lord will also include all the events of the millennial age, with:

a. the final revolt of Satan (Rev 20:7-10).

b. the great white throne judgment (Rev 20:11-15).

c. the purging of earth (2 Pet 3:10-13). 


VIII.  My Bucket List shows the references, of people and documents, that I use when I write my articles.
https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/bucket-list/embed/

IX. My Websites To Follow.

https://untotheleastofthese.home.blog/ Equipping The Saints Web Site

https://thechurchoftheopendoor.wordpress.com/ Israel Web Site

https://success2693.wordpress.com/ Israel, History And Prophecy

https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/ Eternity


Revelation 12 – The Woman, Israel – The Red Dragon, Satan – The Male Child, Christ – The Angel, Michael

I. Video Data.


Who is the child mentioned in Revelation 12?John Ankerberg Show From the series “Revelation: The Last Words of Jesus” featuring very special guests Dr. Ron Rhodes, Dr. Ed Hindson, and Dr. Mark Hitchcock.


II. Introduction. Dr. Orville J. Nave (D.D., LL.D.;1841-1917) Nave’s Study Bible.


In this twelfth chapter of Revelation, we will consider the following flow of details:  (1)  A woman clothed with sun travails. (3)  A great dragon stands ready to devour her child. (5)  Being delivered, and the child caught up to God, the woman flees into the wilderness. (7)  Michael and his angels overcome the dragon. (13) The dragon, cast down into the earth, persecutes the woman.


III. Outline. Dr. Harold L. Wilmington (D. MIn.;1932-2018) The Outline Bible, 1999. 

John sees an interplay between a woman and a dragon, symbolizing the nation of Israel and Satan.


I. Satan’s Former Hatred For God And His People (12:1-5).


A. Satan’s persecution of God’s nation (12:1-2).
B. Satan’s persecution of God’s Son (12:4b, 5b).
a. The birth of Jesus (12:4a. 5a).
b. The ascension of Jesus (12:5c).


II. Satan’s Future Hatred For God And His People (12:6-18).


A. The woman in the wilderness (12:6, 13-18): The woman here is the nation of Israel.
1. Israel will be persecuted by Satan during the Great Tribulation (12:13, 15, 17-18).
2. Israel will be protected by God during the Great Tribulation (12:6, 14, 16). 
B. The war in the heavens (12:7-12): Some believe this will occur in the middle of the Great Tribulation.
1. The results (12:7-9).
a, The defeat of Satan (12:7-8): Michael the archangel will defeat him.
b. The dismissal of Satan (12:9): He will be cast down to the earth.
2. The reaction (12:10-12).
a. Satan will be filled with wrath (12:10b, 12c).
b. Saints will be filled with joy (12:10a, 11-12a).
c. Sinners will be filled with fear (12:12b).


IV. Scripture Text. Revelation 12. New American Standard Bible (NASB 1995). Pasted from Bible Gateway.

The Woman, Israel

1 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.

The Red Dragon, Satan

Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.

The Male Child, Christ

And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

The Angel, Michael

And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,

“Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. 12 For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”

13 And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child14 But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth. 17 So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.


V. Examination.


Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D.; 1925-2016) Ryrie Study Bible, 1986.


1. 12:1. “a woman.” She represents Israel, who gave Christ to the world (v 5) and who will be persecuted during the Tribulation (v 13).
2. 12:3. “a great red dragon.” Satan (v 9).
3. 12:4. “a third of the stars of heaven.” This may refer to Satan’s past rebellion against God (Ezek 28:13); if so it suggests that a third of the angels joined Satan and were cast out of heaven with him. Or, the reference may be to a meteor shower judgment on the earth.
4. 12:5. The earthly life and death of Christ are not mentioned, only His birth and ascension.
5. 12:6. “one thousand two hundred and sixty days.” The last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation will see intense persecution of Israel. Details are given in verse 13-17. No mention is made of the many hundreds of years between the Ascension (v 5) and the future Tribulation (v 6). See Daniel 9:27; Matt 24:14, 21; 1 Thes 4:17.
6. 12:7. “Michael …. the dragon.” This likely will occur at the midpoint of the Tribulation. Michael is the only angel designated an archangel in the Bible (Jude 9).
7. 12:9-11. Notice two of Satan’s activities in these verses: to deceive the world and to accuse the brethren. The believer’s defense against Satan is: (1) to bank on the merits of Christ: (2) to be active in witnessing, and: (3) to be willing to make any sacrifice, including death (v 11).
8. 12:9. Several judgments have, and will be passed on Satan: (1) his removal from guarding the throne of God (Ezek 28:14, 16 ); (2) the prophecy in the garden of Eden (Gen 3:15); (3) his defeat at the Cross (John 12:31); (4) his being barred from heaven (here in v 9); (5) his confinement in the abyss (20:3); and (6) his torment in the lake of fire forever (20:10). 
9. 12:14. Persecuted Israel will flee quickly as if on “wings” to an unspecified place in the “wilderness” where she will have protection and care.
10. 12:15-16 . In an attempt to dislodge the Jews, Satan will bring a flood. God then will cause the earth to open and swallow the water.
11. 12:17. Satan will then attack those who did not flee to the place of asylum. 


VI. Reinforcement.


A. Dr. John F. Walvoord (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D.; 1910-2002) Revelation Commentary, 1974

1. 12:1. The woman symbolized Israel, as indicated by Genesis 37:9-11, where the sun and moon referred to Jacob and Rachel, Joseph’s parents. The stars in the woman’s crown clearly related to the 12 sons of Jacob, and identified the woman as Israel, fulfilling the Abrahamic Covenant. J.B. Smith cites Isaiah 60:1-3, 20, as proof that the sun relates to Israel’s future glory (A Revelation of Jesus Christ, p 182).
2. 12:4. The casting down of a third of the stars out of the sky seemed to imply the satanic power which extended to the heavens and the earth. Satan was seen here to extend his power over those who opposed him spiritually or politically. 


B. Dr. Robert L. Thomas (Th. M., Th. D.; 1928-2017) Revelation Commentary, 1992.

1. 12:2. This is the figure of Israel as a travailing woman, as occurs so often in the OT (Isa 13:8, 21:3, 26:17-18, and others). Just as a woman feels the pains of childbirth, so did the nation in preparation for the coming of Christ. The cause of these pains, at least in part, is the persecution of the nation inspired by Satan in an attempt to stop the birth and destroy this people of God. Israel was in travail at the time of Christ’s first coming.
2. 12:3. Establishing the identity of the dragon as Satan is not difficult because of explicit statements of who he is in 12:9 and 20:2. 


C. Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost (Th. M., Th. D.; 1915-2014) Things To Come, 1958, pp 215, 296.


12:5. This verse can only refer to Christ, the one whose right it is to rule. The Psalmist confirms this interpretation in Psalm 2:9, which is admittedly Messianic. The one from whom Christ came can only be Israel. 
12:7-17. The dragon is seen to have seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads (Rev 12:3), which are the same as the beast possesses in chapters thirteen through seventeen. It is plainly stated in 13:2 that this individual derives his authority from Satan. This shows us that Satan is seeking a governmental authority over the woman’s “remnant” (12:7), which authority rightly belongs to Christ Himself.


VII. Additional Examination. Revelation 12:4. Remember the importance of “context.” Consider, also, the above 12:4 comments of Drs. Walvoord and Ryrie.


A. Robert H. Mounce, (Th. M., Ph. D., December 30, 1921 – January 24, 2019), The Book Of Revelation, The New International Commentary On The New Testament, 1977. “The cataclysmic action emphasizes the tremendous size and awesome power of the dragon. That he casts down a third part of the stars indicates no more than a great number. John is not teaching a theology of fallen angels, but reporting a great pageant enacted in the heavens. 


B. Kendell H. Easley (M. Div., Ph. D., (1949 – ) Holman New Testament Commentary – Revelation, 1998. “The seven heads suggest complete wisdom; the seven crowns point to blasphemous kingly claims; the ten horns mean power. (Daniel had a vision of a powerful single-headed, ten-horned beast (Dan 7:7, 20). Who is this sky-dragon? He, too, exists throughout the ages of time. Verse 9 will identify him as the devil. As God sees him throughout the ages, he is a vile dragon. In verse 4, John sees an illustration of his power: with a single mighty swish his tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky. “


C. Charles L. Feinberg (Th. B., Th. M., Th., D., Ph. D., 1909-1995). Liberty Commentary Bible, 1994. “The tail symbolizes delusive power (cf. Isa 9:15), which Satan uses to accomplish the moral ruin of those in the highest position. But, he is not successful with all, only a third. Upon whom was the venom of Satan poured out? The answer is clear; the woman’s child, as soon as it was born (cf. Mt 2 with Gen 3:15). Herod was merely a tool of Satan’s power, but he was nevertheless responsible. 


VIII.  My Bucket List shows the references, of people and documents, that I use when I write my articles.
https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/bucket-list/embed/

IX. My Websites To Follow.

https://untotheleastofthese.home.blog/ Equipping The Saints Web Site

https://thechurchoftheopendoor.wordpress.com/ Israel Web Site

https://success2693.wordpress.com/ Israel, History And Prophecy

https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/ Eternity

Revelation 11 – The Two Witnesses – The Seventh Trumpet (Christ’s Reign Foreseen)

I. Video Data:

The Seven Trumpets of Revelation 8-11. Revelation One Three Publishing.

II. Introduction. Dr. Orville J. Nave (D.D., LL.D.;1841-1917) Nave’s Study Bible.


In this eleventh chapter of the book of Revelation, we will consider the following items of scripture:  (1) John is directed to measure the temple. (3) The two witnesses, (6) and their power. (7) The beast shall kill them. (8) Their bodies unburied, (11) after three days and a half, are raised to life. (14) The second woe is past. (15) The seventh angel sounds and there is rejoicing in heaven.


III. Outline. Dr. Harold L. Wilmington (D. MIn.;1932-2018) The Outline Bible, 1999. 


John sees the two witnesses of God carrying out their 1,260 day ministry before being murdered by the Antichrist. The seventh trumpet is blown.


I. The Temple of God (11:1-2). 


A. The Command (11:1a): John is told to measure the Tribulation Temple.

B. The count (11:1b): He is to number the worshipers.

C. The court (11:2a): He is to exclude the outer court, which has been given to the Gentiles.

D. The contempt (11:2b): The Gentiles will trample the Holy City for forty-two months.


II. The two witnesses of God (11:3-14).


A. The ministry of these two witnesses (11:3-6).

1. The duration of their ministry (11:3): They will prophesy for 1260 days.

2. The dedication of their ministry (11:4): They function as God’s two olive trees and lampstands.

3. The devastation caused by their ministry (11:5-6):

a. They devour their enemies by supernatural fire (11:5).

b. They cause a 3 1/2 year drought (11:6a).

c. They turn the waters into blood (11:6b).d. They strike the earth with plagues (11:6c).


B. The martyrdom of the two witnesses (11:7-10). 

1. The corrupt one causing their deaths (11:7-9).

a. Who he is (11:7a): He is the Antichrist himself.

b. Where he comes from: (11:7b): The bottomless pit.

c. What he does (11:9b): He refuses to permit anyone to bury the bodies of the witnesses.

d. Where he does it (11:8): They lie in the streets of Jerusalem.

e. Why he does it (11:9a): To show his utter contempt for the two witnesses.

2. The celebration following their deaths (11:10): The entire world rejoices over their deaths.


C. The metamorphosis of the two witnesses (11:11-14).

1. Resurrection (11:11-12): They are raptured up to heaven.

2. Destruction (11:13-14): An earthquake destroys 1/10 of Jerusalem, leaving 7,000 dead.


III. The trumpet of God (11:15-19). 


A. The testimony of heaven (11:15-18): All heaven praises and worships God at the sounding of the seventh trumpet:

1. For His universal reign (11:15-16).

2. Thanking Him for His great power (11:17).

3. For His righteous judgments (11:18):

a. In rewarding the saints (11:18b).

b. In punishing sinners (11:18a, c).


B. The Temple in heaven (11:19): John sees the Temple and the Ark of the covenant.


IV. Scripture Text. Revelation Chapter 11 (NASB 1995). Pasted from Bible Gateway.

The Two Witnesses

1 Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, “Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months. And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.

When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. 10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.

11 But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. 12 And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them. 13 And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

14 The second woe is past; behold, the third woe is coming quickly.

The Seventh Trumpet—Christ’s Reign Foreseen

15 Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying,

“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” 16 And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying,

“We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. 18 And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”

19 And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.


V. Examination.


A. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D.; 1925-2016) Ryrie Study Bible, 1986.

1. 11:1. “the temple of God.” Apparently the temple that will be built during the Tribulation, in which Jewish worship will be carried on during the first part of that seven-year period and in which, at the midpoint, the man of sin will exalt himself to be worshipped (2 Thes 2:4).

2. 11:2. “forty-two months.” This equals 3 1/2 years and probably refers to the last of the tribulation period during which Jerusalem will be under some sort of Gentile (the nations) control. Thus, “the times of the Gentiles” (see Luke 21:24) will not conclude until the end of the Tribulation.

3. 11:3. “1260 days.” This also equals 3 1/2 years and refers to the period of the ministry of the two witnesses. Whether the two witnesses will prophesy during the first half or the last half of the Tribulation is not stated, though the first half seems more likely, since their termination by Antichrist (v 7) fits better at the midpoint of the Tribulation than at the end.

4. 11:4. “two olive trees.” For the symbolism, see Zechariah 4:12 and 14. “two lampstands” that give out a witness (v 3). 

5. 11:5-6. The miraculous powers of the two unnamed witnesses are reminiscent of those of Elijah and Moses (cf. Ex 7:20; 8:1-12:29; 1 Kings 17:1; 18:41-45; 2 Kings 1:10-12).

6. 11:7. “the beast.” The Antichrist, also called “the man of lawlessness”  (2 Thes 2:3). The same person is mentioned in 6:2; 13:1; 14:9, 11; 15:2; 16:2; 17:3, 13; 19:20; 20:10. He can not kill these two witnesses until God allows him to.

7. 11:8. “the great city.” I.e., Jerusalem, which in these coming days will be like “Sodom” (filled with perverted sex) and “Egypt” (persecuting God’s people).

8. 11:9-10. So corrupt are peoples’ hearts that they will refuse burial and have a 3 1/2 day celebration of Antichrist’s victory over the two witnesses.

9. 11:11. “and they stood on their feet.” Imagine the effect the resurrection of these two men will have on those who, only the moment before, were viewing their corpses in the street or were watching TV news!

10. 11:13. “the rest.” Those who were not killed by the earthquake. “gave glory to the God of heaven” momentarily, for soon they would again curse the God of heaven (16: 11).

11. 11:15. The end is near enough now that the announcement of it can be made.

12. 16-19.The announcement evokes praise from the “elders” (vv 16-17) and anger from the “nations;” and soon will come judgment on the “dead” and the rewarding of the “saints.” 


B. Dr. John F. Walvoord (Th. M., Th. D; 1910-2002) Revelation Commentary, 1974.

11:1-2. John was instructed to measure the temple and the altar, but not the outer court, meaning he was to measure the holy place and the holy of holies. While others could come into the outer court, only priests could enter into two temple rooms. The explanation was given that this would be under the control of the Gentiles, who would trample on the holy city for 42 months. The times of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24) will not end until the second coming of Christ to the earth to set up His Kingdom. Though Jews may possess Jerusalem temporarily, as they have in this century, they will lose possession in the Great Tribulation.11:13-14. At the same moment of  the rapture of the two witnesses (11:11-12), an earthquake occurred in Jerusalem, with 1/10 of the city collapsing and 7,000 people being killed. The survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. So ended the second woe, leaving only the seventh trumpet, the final and third woe, to come.11:15, Though the full results from the sounding of the seventh trumpet are only introduced here, and not brought to finality (as they will be in chap 16), the introduction of the seventh trumpet is dramatic. As the trumpet sounded, voices were heard in heaven: “the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever. (Cf. predictions of the earthly kingdom of Christ in Ezek 21:26-27; Dan 2:35, 44; 4:3; 6:26; 7:14, 26 -27; Zech 14:9). The fact that this will be fulfilled at the Second Coming makes it clear that the period of the seventh trumpet chronologically reaches to Christ’s return. Therefore, the seventh trumpet introduces and includes the seven bowl judgments of the wrath of God revealed in chapter 16. In contrast with previous trumpets where a single voice was heard, here a mighty chorus from heaven joined in the proclamation.
C. Dr. Robert L. Thomas (Th. M., Th. D.; 1928-2017) Revelation Commentary, 1992.11:1. The temple as the dwelling place of God is not in view here, It is the Jewish temple in Jerusalem which is hardly a suitable picture of the church which is largely Gentile. The outer court and the entire city experience trampling by the Gentiles (11:2), signifying that the temple and the court stand for something that best contrasts with the Gentiles, i.e., something Jewish. The mention of the sanctuary, the altar, the court of the Gentiles, and the holy city shows unmistakably that the discussion at this point is on Jewish ground. But most obvious of all is the logical fallacy that if the sanctuary represents the church of the Messianic community, who are the worshipers that are measured along with the sanctuary and the altar? This is a literal temple that will exist in actuality during the future period just before Christ returns. The false Messiah will desecrate it and turn it into a place for people to worship him (cf. Dan 9:27; 12:11; 2 Thes 2:4; Rev 13:14-15). This allows for a distinction between the temple and the worshipers in it, Jesus’ anticipation of the future abomination of desolation (Matt 24:15) and Paul’s prophecy regarding the future temple (2 Thes 2:4) require a literal temple in the future. 


D. Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost (Th. D., Th. D.; 1915-2014) Things To Come, 1958, pp 295, 215.

1. 11:1. When the nation of Israel is brought back to her land after the rapture by the covenant enacted by the head of the the Revised Roman Empire (Dan 9:27), Israel is still in unbelief. God, however, is very definitely dealing with that nation to bring it to salvation. The whole 70th week of Daniel is a period of preparation for the coming of the King. The gospel of “the kingdom” (Mt 24:15), which requires repentance, will be preached. There will be the ministry of the 144,000 sealed of Israel (Rev 7) and the ministry of the two witnesses (Rev 11), all with the intent of bringing the nation (Israel) to repentance and salvation. The outpouring of the wrath of God is seen for the purpose of bringing men to repentance (Rev 16:9-10). While the majority will not repent, some may be turned to God by these signs.

2. 11:15. Chronologically, in the Book of Revelation, Chapters 1-3 present the development of the church in this present age. Chapters 4-11 cover the events of the entire 70th week of Daniel and conclude with the return of Christ to the earth to reign in 11:15-18. Thus, the seals are the events of the first 3 1/2 years, and the trumpets are events of the last 3 1/2 years. According to the instructions given in John 10:11, chapters 12-19 survey the 70th week a second time, this time with a view to revealing the actors on the stage of the drama. 


VI. A Parting Thought.

The opening video shows a time in which the tribulation judgments of God will fall on the earth, with the purpose of bringing to belief in Christ, those who will be left behind from the rapture. Those of us who have been born again, have spirits which are as spiritually pure as the Spirit of Christ (2 Cor 5:17, 21); nothing in the time of the Tribulation can make any “born again believer in Christ,” any more righteous than they are after they have been declared righteous by God. The Church is the bride of Christ (Eph 5:24-27; 2 Cor 11:2; Rev 19:7-9). Jesus is the Bridegroom “of all bridegrooms;” there is nothing within His nature to cause Him to force His bride to be subjected to the judgments of the Tribulation, of which He and His angels release the judgments on those who will be the targets of those judgments (Rev 6:1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12; 8:1, etc.). 


VII.  My Bucket List shows the references, of people and documents, that I use when I write my articles.


https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/bucket-list/embed/

VIII. My Websites To Follow.

https://untotheleastofthese.home.blog/ Equipping The Saints Web Site

https://thechurchoftheopendoor.wordpress.com/ Israel Web Site

https://success2693.wordpress.com/ Israel, History And Prophecy

https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/ Eternity

Revelation 10- The Mighty Angel – The Little Book

I. Video Data: 


From the series “Revelation: The Last Words of Jesus” featuring very special guests Dr. Ron Rhodes, Dr. Ed Hindson, and, Dr. Mark Hitchcock.

II. Introduction.

Dr. Robert L. Thomas (Th.M., Th. D.;1928-2017).) Revelation Commentary.


With the completion of the sixth trumpet, also called the second woe, the seventh trumpet does not come immediately, but awaits the setting of the stage for its sounding. Two preliminary elements must prepare the way for this last in the trumpet series: the announcement of the end of delay (10:1-11) and the measurement of the temple and its worshippers (11:1-14).


III. Outline.

Dr. Harold L. Wilmington (D. Min.; 1932-2018) The Outline Bible.


A. John is given a small scroll and is told to eat it. He does, and as predicted, it tastes sweet in his mouth but makes his stomach sour.


B. The messages given by the angel of God (10:1-7).


1. The appearance of this angel (10:1).


a. He is robed in a cloud with a rainbow over his head (10:1a).

b. His face is as the sun, and his legs as fiery pillows (10:1b).


2. The actions of this angel (10:2-7).


a. What he holds (10:2a): He holds an open scroll in his hand.

b. What he does (10:2b): He stands on the land and sea.

c. What he says (10:3-7).


(1) First message (10:3-4): John hears what is said, but is forbidden to write it down. 

(2) Second message (10:5-7): The angel says God’s message will be revealed at the sound of the seventh trumpet.


C. The mission given to the Apostle of God (10:8-11). 


1. To partake (10:8-9a): He is to eat the scroll  held by the angel:


a. It will taste like honey in his mouth (10:9b, 10:a).

b. It will turn sour in his stomach (10:9c, 10b). 


2. To prophesy (10:11): He is to write concerning nations, tribes, and kings.

IV. Scripture Text.

Revelation Chapter 10 (NASB 1995). Pasted from Bible Hub.

1 I saw another strong angel coming down out of heaven, clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head, and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire; and he had in his hand a little book which was open. He placed his right foot on the sea and his left on the land; and he cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars; and when he had cried out, the seven peals of thunder uttered their voices. When the seven peals of thunder had spoken, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken and do not write them.” Then the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted up his right hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things in it, and the earth and the things in it, and the sea and the things in it, that there will be delay no longer, but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets.

Then the voice which I heard from heaven, I heard again speaking with me, and saying, “Go, take the book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land.” So I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. And he said to me, “Take it and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” 10 I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and in my mouth it was sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter. 11 And they said to me, “You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.”

V. Examination. 

A. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph., D.; 1925-2016) Ryrie Study Bible. 

1. 10:6. “there will be no longer.” I.e., when the seventh angel sounds his trumpet (11:15), the bowl judgments will be poured out. 

2. 10:7. “the mystery of God.” Truth concerning God, Himself, which will not be revealed until His kingdom is established on earth.

3. 10:9-10. The eating of the “little book” (scroll) was to remind John that, although these truths from God may be pleasant to his taste, they were bitter when digested because they spoke judgment. The revelation of God’s judgment, on careful reflection, should always bring heaviness of heart to the child of God. Compare Ezek 2:8-3:3. 

B.  Dr. John F. Walvoord (Th. M.. Th. D.; 1910-2002) Revelation Commentary.

1. 10:1. Revelation 10:1-11:14 gives additional information as a background to the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments. Another angel is introduced, but apparently was not one of the seven angels sounding the trumpets. There is no evidence other than his being a mighty angel, (cf. Rev 5:2), perhaps, Michael the Archangel. In contrast with the seven-sealed scroll held by the Lamb (5:1), this angel held a small scroll, also used in 10:9-10. This scroll apparently contained the angel’s written order for the mission he was about to fulfill.

2. 10:5-7. The angel declared, “there will be delay no longer.” Announcement was made that the “seventh trumpet” would bring about the accomplishment of the mystery of God. This mystery had been previously announced to God’s prophets. The reference, therefore, is not to hidden truth, but to the fulfillment of many Old Testament passages which refer to the glorious return of the Son of God and the establishment of His Kingdom of righteousness and peace on the earth.  Here again is evidence that the seventh trumpet introduces the seven bowl judgments of God’s wrath in Revelation 16.

3. 10:9-10. “The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than pure gold, than pure gold; they are sweeter than honey from the comb” (Ps 19:9-10). Though the Word is sweet to believers, it will be bitter to unbelievers when it brings divine judgment to them.

C.  Dr. Robert L. Thomas (Th. M., Th. D.; 1928-2017) Revelation Commentary.

1. 10:1a. John sees the angel in the process of his descent from heaven, as he does the angel in 20:1. This confirms that John has moved from heaven, where he has been since 8:2, to the earth. Being “clothed in a cloud” enhanced the glory of the angel’s appearance.  Clouds are often the vehicles on which heavenly beings ascend or descend, usually in an eschatologial setting (Ps 104:3; Dan 7:13; Isa 19:1; Acts 1:9; Rev 1:7). 

2. 10:1b. The angel’s function is shown in relation to the trumpet judgments, past and future. This association adds reinforcement to the theme of judgment suggested by the fire, tempered by mercy already seen in the rainbow.

3. 10:7. The period of the seventh trumpet includes the seven bowls (16 :1 ff.), which culminate in the destruction of Babylon and consummation of all things.

D. Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost (Th. M., Th. D.; 1915-2014) Things To Come, pp 187-190.

1. 10:7. (1) The trumpet of 1 Cor 15:52, sounds before the wrath of God descends, while, the chronology of Revelation indicates that the trumpet in Rev 11:15 sounds at the end of the time of wrath, just prior to the second advent. (2) The trumpet that summons the church is called “the trump of God,” while the seventh trump is an angel’s trumpet. (3) The trumpet for the church is singular. No trumpets have preceded it so that it can not be said to be the last of a series. The trumpet that closes the tribulation period is clearly the last of a series of seven. (4) In 1 Thes 4:16-17, the voice associated with the sounding of the trumpet summons the dead and the living, and consequently is heard before the resurrection. In the Revelation, while a resurrection is mentioned (11:12), the trumpet does not sound until after the resurrection, showing that two different events must be in view. (5) The trumpet in 1 Thessalonians issues in blessing, in life, in glory, while the trumpet in Revelation issues in judgment upon the enemies of God. (6) In the Thessalonian passage the trumpet sounds “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.” In Rev 10:7, the indication is that the seventh trumpet shall sound over a continued period of time, probably for the duration of the judgments that fall under it, for John speaks of the angel that shall “begin to sound.”  The duration gives the evidence of the distinction in these two. (7). The trumpet in 1 Thes is distinctly for the church. Since God is dealing with Israel in particular, and Gentiles in general, in the tribulation, this seventh trumpet, which falls in the period of the tribulation, could not have reference to the church without losing the distinctions between the church and Israel. (8) The passage in Revelation depicts a great earthquake in which thousands are slain, and the believing remnant that worships God is stricken with fear. In the Thes passage there is no earthquake mentioned. There will be no believing remnant left behind at the rapture to experience the fear of Rev 11:13. (9) While the church will be rewarded at the time of the rapture, yet the reward given to “thy servants the prophets, and to the saints” can not be that event. The rewarding mentioned in Rev 11:18 is seen to take place on the earth after the second advent of Christ, following the judgment on His enemies. Since the church is rewarded in the air, following the rapture, these must be two distinct events. 

2. 10:11. John has outlined the events of the first half of the tribulation under the seals (4:1-7:17), the last half of the tribulation under the trumpets (8:1-11:14), and  closes the period with the return of the Lord to reign (11:15-18). Between the sixth and seventh trumpets, John is told (10:11) that “it is necessary for you to prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.” Concerning the word “again”, “it denotes renewal or repetition of the action.” This would seem to be a divine notice that, since John has taken us through the entire period once, it is God’s intention to have him retrace his way through the period again. Therefore, beginning in Chapter 12, John surveys the period a second time, placing emphasis on the individuals who play so important a part in the events of the 70th week. The bowls (Rev 16:1-17) evidently come at the close at the period and occupy only a brief period of time and can not be spread over the last 3 1/2 years of the period. This second survey, like the first, terminates the period by the return of Christ, and the consequent judgment of His enemies (Rev 19). 

VI. My Bucket List shows the references, of people and documents, that I use when I write my articles.

VII. My Websites To Follow.

https://untotheleastofthese.home.blog/ Equipping The Saints Web Site

https://thechurchoftheopendoor.wordpress.com/ Israel Web Site

https://success2693.wordpress.com/ Israel, History And Prophecy

https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/ Eternity

Revelation 8 – The 7th Seal Opened – Trumpet Judgments 1-4

I. Introduction.

The intercalation on “The Servants Of God” having ended, the numerical sequence of the seals picks up from the end of chapter 6 as the Lamb opens the seventh and last seal.

II. Scripture Text And Examination.

A. The seventh seal 0pened (Rev 8:1-6).

1. Scripture.

1 When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.

Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them.

2. Examination

a. 8:1. “broke the seventh seal.” With the breaking of the 7th seal comes the second series of judgments – the seven trumpets. Apparently the judgments announced by the trumpets follow chronologically those of the other seals.

b. 8.4. The “prayers” likely petition God to judge evil and to inaugurate His kingdom quickly. A token judgment follows (v 5).

B. First Trumpet: the earth smitten (Rev 8:7).

1. Scripture.

The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.

2. Examination.

Though the implications are staggering, there is no reason not to understand this and the other judgments plainly.

C. Second Trumpet: the sea smitten (Rev 8:8-9).

1. Scripture.

The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.

2. Examination.

8:8-9. The impact of this judgment on the world economy is beyond imagination.

D. Third trumpet: the waters smitten (Rev 8:10-11).

1. Scripture.

10 The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters. 11 The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.

2. Examination.

8:11. “Wormwood.” Many species of wormwood (a woody herb) grow in the land of Israel, and all have a strong, bitter (but not poisonous) taste, which causes the plant to be used as a symbol of bitterness, sorrow, and calamity. This plague will make a third part of the fresh water supply of the earth unfit for human contamination.

E. Fourth trumpet. the heavens smitten (Rev 8:12-13).

1. Scripture.

12 The fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them would be darkened and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way.

13 Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”

2. Examination.

8:12. This could mean that the 24-hour cycle day and night will be shortened to sixteen hours, or that the power of the sun, moon, and stars will be reduced by one-third.

III. Personal Commentary.

A. Revelation 8:1. Notice that this seventh seal is broken by “The Lamb,” who is none other than “the ascended Christ, Jesus.” The judgments of the tribulation come on the earth, and all who dwell on the earth, through Christ and angels, and not through any actions of Satan, or “mother nature.” The anti-Christ is used through the tribulation as a tool of God’s judgment on earth.

B. Revelation 8:4. Notice that the Kingdom has not yet been established, but will be established upon the return of Christ, with His angels and raptured saints, at the end of the tribulation (Zech 14:5; Matt 24:29-31; Rev 19:11-14; Rev 19:15-20:4).

C. Revelation 8:11. The term “wormwood” has taken on many unfounded and unscriptural prophetic meanings. The following article provides a scriptural analysis of “wormwood.” It will show that the judgments of Revelation will not take place until after the rapture of the church takes place, and after the tribulation begins, neither of which has happened yet. See the following discussion.

IV. Wormwood Discussion.

What is the meaning of wormwood in Revelation?

“Wormwood” is the name of a star in Rev 8:10-11: “The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water—the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.” This is the third of the “trumpet judgments” described in Revelation. The seven trumpets are the judgments of the seventh seal (Rev 8:1-5). The first trumpet causes hail and fire that destroy much of the plant life in the world (Rev 8:7). The second trumpet brings about what seems to be a meteor, comet, or other heavenly body hitting the oceans and causing the death of one-third of the world’s sea life (Rev 8:8-9). The third trumpet is similar to the second, except it affects the world’s lakes and rivers instead of the oceans (Rev 8:10-11). It will cause a third part of all fresh water on earth to turn bitter and many people will die from drinking it.

The word “wormwood” is mentioned only here in the New Testament, but it appears eight times in the Old Testament, each time associated with bitterness, poison and death. The Revelation passage may not be saying that the star falling to the earth will actually be called Wormwood by the inhabitants of the earth. Rather, wormwood was a well-known bitter herb in the Bible times, so by naming the star Wormwood, we are told that its effect will be to embitter the waters of the earth, so much so that the water is undrinkable. It won’t be a matter of simply a bitter taste to the water; it will literally be poisonous. If drinking water is unavailable to one third of the earth’s population, it’s easy to see how chaos and terror will result. Humans can only survive a couple of days without water, and the inhabitants of the affected areas will be so desperate as to actually drink the poisoned water, causing the death of thousands, if not millions of people.

This is a prophecy that is yet to come in the last seven years of this age, also known as the 70th week of Daniel. This is only one of the natural disasters in the seven trumpets that will usher in the rise of the Antichrist to world power very quickly (see Revelation, chapter 13). Since one-third of the earth is destroyed by these trumpet judgments, this is only a partial judgment from God. His full wrath is yet to be unleashed.

V. Article References.

A. Paragraph I. Robert L. Thomas, Th. D., Ph. D., Revelation Commentary, 1992, Moody Publishers.

B. Paragraph II. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D., Ryrie Study Bible, 1986,1995, Moody Publishers.

C. Paragraph III. Comments are those of this writer.

D. Paragraph IV. Got Questions. https://www.gotquestions.org/wormwood.html

E. Scriptures come from New American Standard Bible 1995, as is provided by Bible Gateway https://www.biblegateway.com/

VI. Bucket List.

A. Study Tools. I have found great value in the following products, and encourage any serious student of God’s Word to purchase them.

1. Ryrie Study Bible.

2. Scofield Study Bible.

3. Things To Come, J. Dwight Pentecost.

4. The Coming Kingdom, Andrew M. Woods.

5. Revelation Commentary, Two Volume Set, Robert L. Thomas.

6. Commentaries, John F. Walvoord: Daniel, Matthew, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Revelation, Every Prophecy Of The Bible.

7. The Moody Bible Commentary.

8. The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Two Volume Set.

9. Thompson Chain-Reference Bible.

10. Merrill F. Unger’s Commentary On The Gospels, and Unger’s Bible Dictionary.

11. Key Word Study Bible, Hebrew-Greek.

12. Basic Theology, Charles C. Ryrie.

13. Systematic Theology, Norman L. Geisler.

B. Bible Translators and Translations. I have spent many hours watching videos of translators who have discussed the processes of putting the words of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek into the many languages of the world. I am amazed at the expertise and sincerity of the translators, as they have explained their attempt to make each Bible translation understandable, and true to the manuscripts from which they have been given such a task. I have learned of the value of the following Bibles translations, which come from the oldest and most reliable manuscripts. I have a good report for each of the translation teams of: 1. Christian Standard Bible. 2. English Standard Version. 3. Holman Christian Standard Bible. 4. New American Standard Bible. 5. New English Translation. 6. New Living Translation. 7. New International Version. 8. Updated American Standard Version.

C. My Favorite Translators, all Ph. D.: Kenneth L. Barker, Kenneth Boa, Darrell Bock, Charles L. Feinberg, Gene A. Getz, Harold Hoehner, Walter C. Kaiser, Michael Kruger, Eugene H. Merrill, William Mounce, Charles Ryrie, Robert L. Thomas, Michael V. Vanlaningham, Daniel Wallace, Donald Wilkins. There are other translators, Th. D., and Th. M., for whom I also have great respect.

VII. Other References.

VIII. My Websites to follow.

https://untotheleastofthese.home.blog/ Equipping The Saints Web Site

https://success2693.wordpress.com/ Israel, History And Prophecy

https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/ Eternity

Revelation Chapter 7 – Jews And Gentiles Saved During The Tribulation.

I. Introduction.

The assertion that no one will survive the crescendo of God’s wrath, as implied in the question of panic-stricken humanity (Rev 6:17), is corrected by two new visions injected after the conclusion of the sixth seal. The first pictures angelic actions of restraint and sealing (Rev 7: 1-8). The second picture injected as a contrast to the panic of earth’s inhabitants under the sixth seal (Rev 6:17) has its setting in heaven (Rev 7:9-17).

II. Scripture Text.

A. The 144,000 of Israel Sealed

1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind could blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having a seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the slaves of our God on their foreheads.”

And I heard the number of the ones who were sealed, one hundred forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:

Out of the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand sealed, out of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, out of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand, out of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, out of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, out of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand, out of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, out of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, out of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand, out of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, out of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, out of the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed.

B.The Multitude from Every Nation

After this I saw, and look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes and with palm branches in their hands. 10 and they cry with a great voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” 11 All the angels were standing around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell facedown before the throne and worshipped God, 12 saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God for the ages of the ages! Amen.”

13 And one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are dressed in the white robes, who are they and where did they come from? 14 And I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

 15 Therefore they are they before the throne of God, and they serve him day and night in his temple: and the one seated on the throne will spread his tent over them. 16 They will hunger no more nor thirst anymore, neither will the sun beat down on them nor any scorching heat, 17 for the Lamb, who is in the midst of the throne, will shepherd them and will guide them to springs of the water of life. And God will wipe out every tear from their eyes.”

III. Verse Examination. Rev 7:1-8.

A. Rev 7: 3. The judgments are delayed until these 144,000 Jewish people can be “sealed;” i.e., protected supernaturally.

B. Rev 7:4. “one hundred and forty-four thousand.” These are Jews from the 12 tribes (12,000 each) who are protected in order to perform some service for God during these days. Perhaps they are evangelists. The omission of the tribe of Dan may be because Dan was guilty of idolatry on many occasions (Lev 24:11; Judg 18; 1 Kings 12:28, 29).

IV. Verse Examination. Rev 7:9-17.

A. Rev 7:9. “a great multitude.” This multitude is composed of many racial and geographic groups who will be redeemed during the Tribulation (v 14). In these difficult days, many will find Christ as Savior.

B. Rev 7: 15-17. Having died, or been martyred, during the Tribulation, this great multitude are seen in heaven enjoying its blessings.

V. Revelation 7 Summary.

Chapter 7 of the book of Revelation serves as a review of the situation described in the previous chapters and emphasizes two important facts. First, God is going to judge Israel in the period of great trial, and 12,000 from each tribe, totaling 144,000, will be protected and sealed from the judgments which will fall upon the world in general. Second, a great multitude of Gentiles will also be saved, but many of these will be martyred, and a multitude of the martyred dead are found in heaven rejoicing in the presence of the Lamb and representing every tongue and nation. It is an indication that even in the tragic closing hours prior to the second coming of Christ to the earth, countless souls will find Christ as Savior and be saved by His grace.

VI. References.

A. Paragraph I. Comment comes from the Revelation Commentary of Robert L. Thomas, Th. M., Th. D.

B. Paragraph II. Verses come from the Updated American Standard Version of the Bible.

C. Paragraphs III, IV. Notes come from the Ryrie Study Bible, Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph., D.

D. Paragraph V. Note comes from the Revelation Commentary of John F. Walvoord, Th. D.

The Seal Judgments – Revelation 6:1-17

I. Introduction.

A. The opening of chapter 6 of the book of Revelation marks an important milestone in the progressive revelation of the end of the age. In chapter 5 John is introduced to the seven-sealed book in the hand of Christ. In chapter 6 the first six seals are opened with the resultant tremendous events occurring in the earth. The interpretation of these events depends upon the understanding of other portions of the prophetic Word. If the events portrayed are taken in any literal sense, it should be clear that they describe an event yet future, in the words of Christ “the things which shall be hereafter” (1:19). Van Ryn expresses the common pretribulational position:

B. The opening of the seals ushers in the terrible judgments to fall upon this earth after the Church has been caught up to glory, as we saw in chap. 4:1. (August Van Ryn, Notes on the Book of Revelation, p. 87.) (Walvoord Commentary).

II. Scripture Text And Commentary.

The First Seal: Conqueror on a White Horse
1 Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come!” 2 I looked, and behold, a white horse, and the one who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

Note. 6:1. Here begins the first of three series of judgments in the book (seals, chap 6; trumpets, chap 8-9; bowls, chap 16).

Note. 6:2. “he who sat on it.” Evidently a reference to Antichrist. His method of conquest at first does not seem to include open warfare, since peace is not removed from the earth until the second seal is opened (v 3). This corresponds to the description of delusion (1 Thes 5:3).

The Second Seal: War
3 When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come!” 4 And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that people would kill one another; and a large sword was given to him.

Note. 6:3-4. Everything about the second seal judgment indicates bloodshed (e.g., “red horse”, “take peace from,” “sword”).

The Third Seal: Famine
5 When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come!” I looked, and behold, a black horse, and the one who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.”

Note. 6:6. “a denarius.” A Roman silver coin that had a normal purchasing power of 10 qt (9.5 lit) of wheat was the daily ration for a soldier. Thus a daily wage will buy for food for only one person, who will have to share with his family.

The Fourth Seal: Death
7 When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come!” 8 I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and the one who sat on it had the name Death, and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, and famine, and plague, and by the wild animals of the earth.

Note. 6:8. “ashen=a sickly, yellowish-green. Probably representing the inevitable result of disease that accompanies war and famine. “Death” claims the bodies, and “Hades,” the souls and spirits of one-fourth of the world’s population in this single judgment (cf 9:18).

The Fifth Seal: Martyrs
9 When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been killed because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; 10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who live on the earth?” 11 And a white robe was given to each of them; and they were told that they were to rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers and sisters who were to be killed even as they had been, was completed also.

Note. 6:9. “the souls of those who had been slain.” Evidently the martyrs of the first months of the tribulation period.

Note 6:10. Notice that these martyrs are alive and conversing with the Lord in His presence.

Note 6:11. “rest for a little while longer.” I.e., wait a little while. It is difficult for these martyrs to understand why God would allow their murderers to live; yet, God asks these saints to trust Him.

The Sixth Seal: Terror
12 And I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became as black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. 14 The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. 15 Then the kings of the earth and the eminent people, and the commanders and the wealthy and the strong, and every slave and free person hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; 16 and they *said to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the sight of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17 for the great day of Their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

Note. 6:12. These cosmic disturbances are predicted elsewhere in Scripture (Isa 34:4; Joel 2:30-31; Matt 24:29).

Note 6:16. When the Tribulation comes, men will act as if they believe the end of the world is at hand, not simply talk as if it were.

III. Additional Examination.

A. It is important to understand that the Seal judgments, as well as the Trumpet and Bowl judgments, are released upon the earth as God’s judgments, through Christ and angels, as they broke each seal.

6:1. “the Lamb broke one of the seven seals”

6:3. “when He (the Lamb) broke the second seal”

6:5. “When He (the Lamb) broke the third seal”

6:7. “When the Lamb broke the fourth seal”

6:8. “When the Lamb broke the fifth seal”

6:12. “I looked when He (the Lamb) broke the sixth seal”

6:16. ” and they said, hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the lamb.”

6:17. “the great day of their wrath has come”

B. All of the Tribulation judgments are God’s wrath, beginning with Rev 6:1. In 6:15-17, those whom will have been left behind from the rapture have come to recognize that “wrath has come” (has already come), as opposed to, “will come” in the future, (beyond this account of God’s seal judgments). These verse accounts show that the wrath is of God, and not of mankind, Antichrist or of “mother nature,”

C. God’s wrath is not confined to the Book of Revelation. The Noahic flood was of God’s wrath (Gen 6:13, 2448 B.C.). The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was of God’s wrath (Gen 19:24, 2056 B.C.). The overthrow of Jerusalem and the Temple by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C. was of God’ wrath (2 Chron 36:14-21).

IV. References.

A. Paragraph I. Revelation Commentary, John F. Walvoord, Th. D.

B. Paragraph II. New American Standard Bible Text was cut and pasted from Bible Gateway. Comments come from Ryrie Study Bible, Charles C Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D.

C. Paragraph III. Comments are mine, using data and notes from Scofield Study Bible and Ryrie Study Bible.

Revelation 5:1-14 – The Book in Heaven – 96 A.D.

I. Introduction.

A. There are two key verses of Scripture in which great emphasis must be placed.

1. Verse 9. “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals”

2. Verse 12. “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”

B. Only Christ will be found to be worthy to break the seals of the tribulation judgments which will come on the whole world, on those which will be left behind from the rapture (Rev 3:10), which will begin in Rev 6:1, and continue until the second coming of Christ at the Battle of Armageddon (Rev 19:11-21). God, through Christ and His angels, will bring the judgments of the tribulation, “upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” Every bit of the tribulation will be God’s wrath, and not the wrath of Satan, Anti-Christ, mankind, or of “mother nature.”

C. Only Christ is worthy to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing (vs 12), all of which come from, “every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them,” per Philippians 2:9-11…..For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

II. Scripture Text.

The Book with Seven Seals

1 I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it; and one of the elders *said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.”

And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they *sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

10 “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”

Angels Exalt the Lamb

11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice,

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”

13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying,

“To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”

14 And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.

III. Verse Examination.

A. Ryrie Study Bible.

1. Rev 5:1. “a book.” Lit. a scroll. This may be called the “Book of Redemption,” as it contains the story of man’s fall through sin, and rise through Christ (Heb 2:5-9).

2.Rev 5:5. “the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah.” The noblest and victorious of the kingly tribe (cf. Gen 49:9). “the root of David.” The one who fulfills the covenant with David (cf. Isa 11:1, 10). The Messiah, John is assured, is competent and worthy to break the seven seals and open the scroll to release the plagues.

3. Rev 5:6. “as if slain.” Christ, the Lamb, bears the mark of His death (See Luke 24:40; John 20:20, 27) even in His glorified state. “horns” are a symbol of strength (cf. 1 Kings 22:11; Zech 1:18).

4. Rev 5:8. “bowls,” like saucers.

5. Rev 5:9-10. The Lamb is worthy because He died in the past to pay the ransom price for the sins of the world; positioned us in the present as a kingdom and priests before God, and gave us a promise of reigning on the earth in the future. A few mss. read “us” and “we” in verse 10 instead of “them” and “they.” In either case, the elders could be singing of their own redemption in either the first or third person.

6. Rev 5:13. All creation joins in praise to God and the Lamb.

7. Rev 5:14. The heavenly scene of chapters 4 and 5 gives heaven’s perspective on the need for the awful judgments to follow, for Christ’s right to reign must be realized and sin must be punished.

B. Holman Christian Standard Bible.

1. Rev 5:1. A scroll …sealed with seven seals cannot be read until all the seals have been opened. The scroll apparently contains the judgments and redemption seen in later chapters. It may also be the scroll that was sealed in Dan 12:4. There appears to be an allusion to the scroll the Lord handed Ezekiel in Ezek 2:9-10.2.

2. Rev 5:2-4. No creature in all of creation was found worthy to open the seals on the scroll in God’s hand (v. 1).

3. Rev 5:5-6. Here we see the consummation of God’s twofold purpose in history: to reclaim His kingdom and to redeem His people. This twofold victory over Satan is first predicted in Gen 3:15 and then covenanted to Abraham in the promise of a land and a Seed (see Gen 12:1-3; Deu 30:1-5; 2 Sam 7:12-16).

4. Rev 5:7. The reception of the scroll from the Father demonstrates that judgment and authority over the earth is committed to the Son (see Dan 7:13-14). The scroll is likely the same one sealed by Daniel (see Dan 12:9-10).

5. Rev 5:8. The prayers of the saints (believers) play an important role in the Lamb’s opening of the scroll and the ensuing judgment.

5. Rev 5:9. The new song celebrates the redemptive work of the Son as the basis of His right to judge. Divine rule has its basis in creation (ch. 4) and redemption.

6. Rev 5:13-14. Blessing and honor and glory and power: From the vantage point of heaven, these verses look forward to the climactic point when “every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil 2:11)

IV. Additional Examination.

THE SCROLL AND THE LAMB

This chapter is part of the vision that begins at 4:1 and continues through the opening of the seven seals (6:1-8:1; cf. comment on 4:1-8:1). Its center of gravity lies in the three hymns (vv 9, 12, 13) addressed to the Lamb. They beautifully combine the worship of the Lamb (hymns 1 and 2) with the worship of the one who sits on the throne (hymn 3, addressed to both God and the Lamb). The movement of the whole scene focuses on the slain Lamb as he takes the scroll from the hand of the one on the throne. The actions of all other participants are described in terms of worship directed to the Lamb and the one on the throne. The culminating emphasis is on the worthiness of the Lamb to receive worship because of his death.

V. References.

A. Paragraph I. Holman New Testament Commentary.

B. Paragraph II. The NASB 95 verses were cut and pasted from Bible Hub

C. Paragraph III. References for Paragraph II are stated in the paragraph.

D. Paragraph IV. Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Abridged Edition): New Testament. Comments were cut and posted from Bible Hub.

Revelation 4:1-11 – Our Worship of God in Heaven.

I. Introduction.

A. Consider what it will be like for us to be in the Presence of God.

B. Have you ever wondered what you will do in Heaven? Of course, many people have no idea of the details of Heaven, e.g., where it will be, when it will be, and who will be there. Chapters 4 and 5 of the Book of Revelation, especially discuss who will be in Heaven. An understanding of Heaven, and those who will occupy it, will help us to understand who will be in Heaven during the time of Revelation, Chapters 6 through 19. As we learn more about Heaven, we will learn more about who will occupy “the eternal state of the new Heaven, new Earth, and new Jerusalem, of Revelation, Chapters 21 and 22, as the eternal state is introduced in Revelation 21:1-2.

C. In this article we will discuss the events that are recorded in Revelation 4:1-11, as to timing, events, and participants. Through this study of the Throne Room of God, we should gain an increased desire to be in constant worship of God. We should also come to understand that the primary purpose of mankind is not to lead souls to saving faith in Christ, but to glorify God, whether, inside or outside of a Church sanctuary. If we do not glorify God, soul winning can become an academic exercise, based on “how many people” may have led “how many other people” to Christ. However, whenever a soul is saved, God is glorified.

B. Overview. Revelation Chapters 4-5.

1. Chapters 4 and 5 of the Book of Revelation show the events in Heaven, preceding and during the Godly judgments of the Tribulation (Seal, Trumpet, Bowl), which will be released on earth, “by God,” through the Lamb (the Risen and Glorified Christ) and the angels of God.

(a) Rev 6:1 “Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals.”

(b) Rev 8:6-7. “6 And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them. 7 The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.”

(c) Rev 16:1, “Then I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.”…

2. We will go into greater detail of the judgments of God (Seal, Trumpet, Bowl), that will be poured out on the earth, which will affect all whom will be left behind from the “catching up” of the born again believers in Christ (Rev 3:10,”…the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” Born again believers in Christ have no need to be tested; “we” have passed the test by knowing Christ as our Lord and Savior.) The catching up of the believers in Christ is known as the rapture (English), harpazo (Greek), rapio (Latin); (John 14:2-6, 1 Corinthians 15:50-54, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

C. Scripture Disussion.

1. Rev 4:1 shows John at the “door standing open in Heaven.” John could only have had access to Heaven by having been born again (John 3:3, “you must be born again”). We, also, will be caught up to Heaven (after also having been born again). This view of Heaven is the same one that is described in John 14:1-6. Consider the following verses that relate to Heaven, and to a special place “in My Father’s house” in heaven, where Christ will be taking “His” bride (the born again believers in Christ), at the time of the rapture. Think! Christ will take His bride to a place in His Father’s house that will be specially made for His redeemed of the Old and New Testament times. Let me add this thought. On the way to that specially built place in the Father’s house, the Bride will not be “brow beat” at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and will not be subjected to the Godly judgments of the Tribulation. Additionally, Scripture has no such promise for anyone, other than the redeemed in Christ, to being taken to “a specially prepared place” in “My Father’s house.” The promise is not made to the Tribulation saints; the promise is made only to those whom will be caught up in the resurrection and rapture of believers in Christ (John 14:2-6; 1 Cor 15:50-54; 1 Thes 4:13-18). The Old Testament redeemed will have already been taken to Heaven, per Ephesians 4:8.

2. John 14:2 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” (Christ told the disciples that He was going to prepare a place in Heaven.)

3. John 14:3 “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (Christ will prepare such a place in Heaven where He will His take born again believers.)

4. John 14:6 Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. (This verse is often related to faith in Christ as being the only way to heaven, which is true. But, the words in the verse show this to be an event of action, where Christ will take His born again believers to Heaven, and that He is the only one who can take His believers to Heaven.)

5 The Heaven that Christ describes in John 14:2-6, is the place where all raptured saints will be taken after they have been caught up by Christ. On the way to Heaven (John 14:2-3), these born again saints will be taken to the Judgment Seat of Christ where they will receive spiritual rewards (2 Cor 5:10). I like the wording of the HCSB, which also capitalizes pronouns that refer to God. This is also the place where the Old Testament saints have been taken by Christ (Ephesians 4:8).

a. 2 Corinthians 5:10 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
10 For we must all appear before the tribunal of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or worthless.

b. From the Judgment Seat of Christ, we are on our way to an eternity with our Lord. On our way to Heaven (as is described in John 14:2,3), as we are taken by Christ (John 14:6), we and Christ are present at the Marriage of the Lamb.

(1) Revelation 19:7-8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Marriage of the Lamb
7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” 8 It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

(2) The born again believers in Christ are the Bride of Christ, and are clothed in righteousness (no need to go through the Tribulation).

(3) 2 Corinthians 11:2 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
2 For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.

c. While the righteous Bride of Christ is present in Heaven with Christ, the following events will take place.

Revelation, Chapters 4-5 will precede the Tribulation. The “One” sitting on the throne (Rev 4:2) is God, the Father. The twenty-four elders (Rev 4:4) are the redeemed of the New Testament and Old Testament times. Tribulation Jews will not be redeemed until they call on Christ to save them at the end of the Tribulation (Psalm 118:26/Matt 23:39/Zech 12:10). The seven Spirits of God (Rev 4:5) represent the fullness of God (John 4:24, “God is Spirit;” not, “God is a spirit,” which would make Him “one of many spirits.”). The four living creatures (Rev 4:6) are angels, probably Cherubim (Ezek 10:15-20). The redeemed saints (body of Christ) will worship God (the Father), and cast “their” crowns at the feet of God (the Father), in Rev 4:9-11.

d. We will now discuss the crowns that we will “throw, or cast” at the feet of God.

(1) Will we throw “our” crowns at the feet of God, and “leave them there” or, will we pick them up, and cast them at the feet of God again? Will we have only one occurrence of such worship (Rev 4:9-11) during the seven years of tribulation, when we are in heaven, when we will “fall down before God” (vs 10), and “cast our crowns before God,” (vs 10), and say, ““Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created” (vs 11)? I think not.

(2) Let’s consider the crowns.

(a) 2 Cor 5:10 a, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body”

1. The Imperishable Crown – (1 Corinthians 9:24-25)
2. The Crown of Rejoicing – (1 Thessalonians 2:19)
3. The Crown of Righteousness – (2 Timothy 4:8)
4. The Crown of Glory – (1 Peter 5:4)
5. The Crown of Life – (Revelation 2:10)

(b) The crowns that we cast at the feet of God are “our crowns.” I believe that we will continue in our worship of God in Heaven throughout the entire seven year period of time of the Tribulation, and that we will repeatedly cast our crowns at the feet of God. Scripture shows that the crowns are our crowns, as follows.

(c) Rev 2:10, “I will give you the crown of life.”

(d) Rev 3:11, “hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.” (Salvation can not be lost, but a crown can be (lost), 2 John 8, “Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.”

e. The events of Revelation, Chapters 4 and 5, take place after the rapture of the church and before the time of the Tribulation.

f. The events, that follow Revelation Chapter 5, take place during Revelation Chapters 6 through 19, which are the Tribulation’s seven years.

(1) In Matt 24:3, “the disciples came to Christ “privately,” saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Notice that the conversation is only among Christ and His disciples; no Gentiles are present.)

(2) The events of Matthew, Chapters, 24:3-25:46, take place during Revelation, Chapters 6-19. The Ryrie Study Bible states that Matt 24:29-31 speaks of the sign of “Christ’s coming.” (second coming, mine) 25:4-28 speaks of the sign of the end of the age. Verses 4-14 list characteristics of the first half of the Tribulation period, whereas verses 15-28 deal with the second half (of the Tribulation, mine). This passage is called the Olivet discourse, which was given by Christ (a Jew), to His disciples (also Jews), about Jews in the Tribulation. For example, are we concerned about, “fleeing Judea to the mountains, and if our flight will happen on a Sabbath?” (Matt 24:16-18). Such things will be of significance to the Jews that will have been left behind from the rapture, and who will be experiencing the persecutions and judgments that will be taking place during the Tribulation.

(3) During Rev 6-19, the redeemed of the Old Testament and New Testament times will be in Heaven worshiping God. At the call of Israel to Christ to save them, (at the end of the Tribulation, Zech 12:10), Christ, His redeemed and angels, will descend to earth for the Battle of Armageddon (Rev 19:11-21), where He will stand on the Mount of Olives, and defeat the forces of the world that are attacking Israel (Zech 14:1-15) (Consider China in Rev 16:12.) The battle victory will come quickly (Rev 19:15).

(4) Christ and His believers of all times will rule and reign for 1,000 years (Rev 20:4, Tribulation resurrected martyrs); (Dan 12:1-3 and Matt 19:28, Old Testament resurrected saints); (1 Cor 6:2, Church age saints).

(5) At the end of the 1,000 years (millennium/Kingdom Age), those whom have not been born again, from all of the ages, will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev 20:15). The born again believers of all ages will enter the Eternal State of the New Heaven, New Earth and New Jerusalem (Rev 21:1-2). At this time the New Jerusalem, which has been hovering above the earth, will begin its descent to our present earth, which will have been destroyed by God.

g. A New Heaven And Earth.

2 Peter 3:10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

h. Considering Heaven.

(1) Three heavens are described in 1 Cor 15:40: the first heaven, “terrestrial,” is where the birds fly; the second heaven, “celestial,” is where the astronauts fly; and the third heaven, being the Presence of God, is where God “doesn’t need to fly.”

(2) The Apostle Paul described his trip to the Presence of God. In the following passage; Paul is the man.

i. Paul’s Vision Of Heaven

2 Corinthians 12:1-4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

1 Boasting is necessary, though it is not profitable; but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know how such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows— 4 was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.

j. We must not forget the place, in “my Father’s house,” that Christ promised to His bride, His born again believers.

(a) John 14:2-3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)


2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

(b) As stated above, it is in “The Father’s House” that Christ has been preparing a place for His Bride, whom are the born again believers in Christ. No such promise has been made to any other group of people in all of history. A bride is the joy of every bride groom. No loving bride groom is going to subject his bride to the persecution and judgments, as those which will take place during the Tribulation. Neither will a bride groom “stop off on the way to the wedding alter” to treat his bride with great disrespect, such as has been the teaching of many about the Judgment Seat of Christ.

k. The New Heaven will exist in the eternal state of the New Heaven, New Earth, and New Jerusalem (Rev 21:1-2).

D. Encouragement for Believers In Christ.

1. Church! We are “the Bride!” We are special! Don’t let anybody tell you anything less about your place in Christ! If we are not raptured, we can not be taken to the Marriage of the Lamb in Heaven. If we are not “raptured and taken to Heaven,” we can not return with Christ from Heaven for the Battle of Armageddon. If the church is not raptured, we will be left on earth to go through the tribulation.

2. There are many people who are saying that we are in the Tribulation, because of COVID-19. I must add this thought. During 1918-1920, an estimated 500 million people from the South Seas to the North Pole fell victim to Spanish Flu. The deaths that we are experiencing now, are minuscule, in relation to the number of deaths that occurred during the Spanish Flu.
https://www.livescience.com/worst-epidemics-and-pandemics-in-history.html

3. The Tribulation can come only after a peace treaty is made between the anti-Christ and Israel.

(a) Jeremiah 30:7, “Jacob’s distress.” The coming days of Tribulation that will come upon all Israel (Jacob) [Ryrie Study Bible].

(b) Daniel 9:24:27, vs 27, “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.” “he”. the anti-Christ, will make a pact with many (of the Jewish people) at the beginning of the Tribulation period. But “in the middle of the week” (i.e., 3 1/2 years later) anti-Christ will break his covenant and desecrate the Temple by demanding worship of himself in it. At Christ’s second coming, anti-Christ and his false prophet will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev 19:20). [Ryrie Study Bible]. {mine. No such pact has been made. No such temple exists.}

II. Conclusion.

A. The events of Revelation, Chapters 4 and 5, will occur after the rapture of the church occurs (Jn 14:2-6, 1 Cor 15:50-54, 1 Thes 4:13-18). The raptured church will not be on earth while the tribulation is taking place, but will be in Heaven worshiping God. We are not in the tribulation now. The anti-Christ has not made a peace treaty with Israel, which will mark the beginning of the Tribulation. Israel is not now living in peace.

B. What is necessary for a person to be present during the worship of God, as explained in Revelation, Chapter 4?

1. We must be born again. John 3:3, “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

2. We must have an intimate relationship with God the Father, through God the Son, being empowered by God the Holy Spirit. John 17:3,

“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

Revelation 4:1-4 – The Vision Of The Heavenly Throne.

I. Scripture Text.

Revelation 4:1-4New English Translation

The Amazing Scene in Heaven

1 After these things I looked, and there was a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet said: “Come up here so that I can show you what must happen after these things.” Immediately I was in the Spirit, and a throne was standing in heaven with someone seated on it! And the one seated on it was like jasper and carnelian in appearance, and a rainbow looking like it was made of emerald encircled the throne. In a circle around the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on those thrones were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white clothing and had golden crowns on their heads.

II. Discussion. The Bible Knowledge Commentary.

A. Revelation 4:1.

1. The Invitation.

a. John saw the vision of the heavenly throne after he heard the revelation of the messages to the churches. The time sequence is indicated by the expression “after this (meta tauta, in the NASB, “after these things”).

b. John saw “a door…open in heaven” and heard a voice inviting him, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” The words, “what must take place after this,” are similar to those in 1:19, “what will take place later.” Whereas 1:19 indicates that the events will take place later, in 4:1b the Greek word “dei” is used, which means that the events “must” occur. This points not only to the future but also the sovereign purpose of God. The similarity of the two expresssions confirms the threefold chronological outline given in 1:19. Both the revelation and its fulfillment are chronologically subsequent to chapters 1-3.

B. Revelation 4:2-3.

The Heavenly Throne.

John stated that immediately “he was in the Spirit” (or “in [my] spirit”; cf. 1:10; 17:3) meaning that experientially he was taken up to heaven though his body was actually still on the island of Patmos. “In Heaven” he saw a gret “throne” with One “sitting on it” who “had the appearance of jasper and carnelian.” This jasper (cf. 21:18) is a clear stone in contrast to the opaque jasper stones known today; it may have resembled a diamond. The carnelian, also known as ruby (the NIV trans. it “ruby” in the OT), and sardius, were a ruby-red color. The jasper and the carnelian were the first and last of the 12 gemstones worn on the high priest’s breast (cf. Ex 28:17-21). Jasper and sardius were used in relation to the king of Tyre (Ezek. 28:13) and will be the foundation of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:19-20). The throne’s overall appearance was one of great beauty and color, enhanced by “a rainbow, resembling an emerald,” which “encircled the throne.” The green color of the emerald added further beauty to the scene.

C. Revelation 4:4.

The 24 Elders.

1. Around the principal “throne” were “24” lesser “thrones” on which were “seated … 24 elders.” “They were dressed in white” and were wearing “crowns of gold on their heads.” The crowns were similar to those given victors in Greek games (“stephanos”), in contrast with the crown of a sovereign ruler (diadema,”diadem”). The crowns seem to indicate that the elders had been judged and rewarded.

2. There has been much speculation on the identify of the elders. The two major views are (1) that they represent the church raptured prior to this time and rewarded in heaven, or (2) that they are angels who have been given large responsibilities. The number 24 is the number of representation, illustrated by in the fact that in the Law of Moses there were 24 orders of the priesthood. (For further discussion of the identity of the 24 elders, see the comments on 5:8-10, as follows: While scholars differ on this point, it would seem that since the elders are on thrones and are crowned as victors, they represent the church and Old Testament saints (Eph 48) rather than angels. Angels have not been judged and rewarded at this point in the program of God. But, angels soon join the creatures and the elders in praising the Lamb (5:11-12)).

III. Added Comments.

A. Ryrie Study Bible.

4:4. “twenty-four elders.” Some understand these to be angelic beings, though it is likely that the 24 elders represent redeemed people who are glorified, crowned, and enthroned. Angels are never said to be given crowns, though believers are (2 Tim 4:8; James 1:12; 1 Peter 5:4; Rev 2:10).

B. Scofield Study Bible.

4:4. The appearance of these elders, already glorified, crowned, and enthroned before the opening of the sealed book of judgment (ch.5) and before the end-time judgments are loosed upon the world (chs. 6-18), reaffirms that the Church is not to be subjected to the judicial wrath and judgments of that time (compare Jn. 5:24; Rom 5:9; 1 Thes 1:10; 5:1-11; Rv 3:10).

Revelation 2:1-3:22 – Letters To The Churches

I. Introduction.

A. Translation considerations. Text and Comments. The New American Standard Bible (NASB) translation was chosen for this article, and has been pasted from Bible Gateway. Comments will be chosen from sources that will be identified when they are used.

B. Terms. Repetition will be used.

II. Verse Examinations.

A. Chapter 1 selected verses.

1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, 2 who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.

a. 1:1 The revelation. [ MacArthur Study Bible] The Gr. word from which the Eng. word “apocalypse” comes lit. means “to uncover, or to reveal.”

(1) {Mine} The whole Book of Revelation is “a revelation” (singular) of Christ, and “not a book of revelations,” (plural). [ MacArthur Study Bible. “apocalypse” relates to an “uncovering or revelation,” as opposed to “a happening,”].

(2) {Mine} The path of the revelation is from “God the Father,” to “God the Son,” via “Angel,” to “John the apostle, to seven churches.”

b. 1:3 The blessing. [ MacArthur Study Bible. This is the only biblical book that comes with a blessing for the one who listens to it being read and explained and then responds in obedience. {Mine} It is clear that many people who claim to be believers in Christ are ignorant of the facts of the Book of Revelation.]

c. 1:3. The reality of imminency. “for the time is near.” [Walvord Commentary note. “For the time is near.” The Greek word for “time” here is “kairos,” which means a season of time in contrast to the term “hour,” which means time on a calendar or clock. The next great event on God’s prophetic calendar, the imminent return of Christ to rapture His church, is near from the standpoint of prophetic revelation and could occur at any moment.] {Mine. It is important to remember the term, “imminency,” when we consider the seven churches of Revelation 2-3.}

d. 1:4. The distribution. “John to the seven churches that are in Asia.”

(1) 1:11. Instructions to John. “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” [Mine. Notice the names of the recipient churches that are included in this verse. Notice that the church at Rome is not named, even as being an “info-addressee.”] { MacArthur Study Bible. “book” is a Gr. word that refers to a scroll made of parchment formed from papyrus.}

(2) 1:19. The order of things to be written. “Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things.” [ MacArthur Study Bible. This verse provides a simple outline for the entire book: “the things which you have seen” refers to the vision John has just seen (chap. 1); “the things which are” denotes the letters to the churches (chaps. 2, 3); and “the things which will take place after this” refers to the revelation of future history (chaps. 4–22).]

B. Looking back. [Mine. The instruction from Christ to the churches was for the churches to study “the revelation.” However, that instruction has largely fallen on deaf ears. Consider the reasons that pastors have given for not teaching the book of Revelation, or the other books of prophecy that give scriptural support for a Revelation teaching. If anyone finds it difficult to understand the Book of Revelation, please allow me to recommend the following resoruces: The Ryrie Study Bible, Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D.; “Things To Come,” J.Dwight Pentecost, Th. D.;” “The Coming Kingdom,” Andrew M. Woods, J.D., Th.M., Ph.D.; The books of John. F. Walvoord, Th. D., in the commentaries of Daniel, Matthew, 1&2 Thessalonians, and Revelation.]

C. Looking forward. [Mine. Revelation, Chapters 2 and 3, point to situations that have existed within churches, from the time that the revelation was given to the Apostle John, until today. Such church conditions will continue until the day that Christ comes to catch up His born again believers and takes them to Heaven with Him. Following the rapture (1 Thes 4:16-17), the anti-Christ will make his presence known to the world; his motives will be revealed when he signs a peace treaty with Israel, at which time the Tribulation begins. Mid-way through the seven-year tribulation, the anti-Christ will break his treaty with the Jews, then, the Great Tribulation begins. Revelation Chapter 6 shows the seal judgments which Christ will send to earth; those judgments will include the anti-Christ and his deceptive influence, and persecution upon those on the earth. Christ will use the force of seal, trumpet and bowl judgments to draw unsaved Jews and Gentiles, who were left behind from the rapture, to saving faith in Christ. The judgments of The Tribulation will be severe, becoming much more severe as the judgments follow, one after the other. Israel will see their demise as being imminent, meaning that it can happen at any moment. It will be when Jews call upon Christ to save them from utter destruction and annihilation, that Christ and his raptured believers will return from heaven to earth, at the end of the Tribulation, at the Campaign of Armageddon (also known as the Battle of Armageddon (Rev 19:11-21; Zech 14:1-5; Matt 24:29-31). After Christ is victorious in this battle (Armageddon), the Great Tribulation will end, and the 1000 year millennial reign of Christ will begin (We will continue this timeline in following articles). After Revelation Chapter 3, the church is mentioned no more. The church will have served her purpose. With the church having been removed from the earth, God will then begin to deal with Israel, through the judgments that He will force upon the earth. God’s judgments will be experienced by everyone on the earth, from Revelation Chapter 6 until Revelation Chapter 20. It is important to know that it is God whom is in total control of the events of the Tribulation, and the Great Tribulation. It is the purpose of God that, by using His judgments of the seven-year Tribulation, Jews whom will be left behind from the rapture, may call on Christ to save them. It is also important to remember that the judgments of the tribulation period are God’s judgments that He forces on the earth, and on all who are on the earth, and “are not” judgments of accident, or are judgments that are under the control of Satan and/or the anti-Christ, mankind, or nature.

D. All that is written in the above paragraph, D., is the reason that the Book of Revelation, “must be read, and everyone must heed the things which are written in it,” (Rev 1:3). Because the letters of the Revelation were sent to churches, it is incumbent upon church pastors to ensure that the words of Revelation are made known to the members of each church (Rev 1:4).

E. The events of the Tribulation “will happen!” Many pastors are telling their congregations that “it is all an allegory.” Yet, the Book of Revelation is very clear as to its teaching having a literal meaning. Many pastors are also telling their congregations that Christians will have to go through the Tribulation, or some parts of it. Everyone needs to understand the love that exists between “Christ and His bride, the Church:” Eph 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” No loving husband would put his bride in the midst of such judgments as those that will come upon the earth during The Tribulation.

F. Here is a word to remember: “imminency.” The Tribulation “will happen.” The “imminency” of The Tribulation can not be shoved aside. For something to be “imminent” means that its happening can occur “at any moment.” Imminency is the meaning of Rev 1:3, “for the time is near.”

III. Article Background.

A. This article is a discussion about the Revelation of Jesus Christ, that He gave to the Apostle John, to be written by the Apostle to the seven churches in Asia. It is important to know that the Book of Revelation is “a revelation,” in singular form, and not “the Book of Revelations,” in plural form.

B. Imminency is a term that must be understood in the discussion of the churches that are shown in the Book of Revelation, Chapters 2 and 3.

C. The churches of Rev 2-3 are common in behavior among many congregations that have come into existence ever since the first church was established in Jerusalem, in A.D. 33. Because of the teaching of imminency (Rev 1:3), Christ could have returned to earth for the rapture, to take His born again saints to Heaven with Him, at any time after he ascended to Heaven. No one knows when Christ will return to catch up His bride, the church, but “the fullness of the Gentiles,” as is discuscussed in Romans 11:25, must be considered, with such fullness being determined by God.

IV. Recipient Churches.

A. The following is a brief description of the churches of Rev 2-3.

Ephesus. Rev 2:1-7. Loveless… Smyrna. Rev 2:8-11. Persecuted… Pergamum. Rev 2:12-17. Compromised… Thyatira. Rev 2:18-29. Compromised… Sardis. Rev 3:1-6 Dead… Philadelphia. Rev 3:7-13. Missionary… Laodecia. Rev 3:14-22. Man-centered.

B. Lesson verses. Revelation 2:1-3:22.

C. Key verse. Revelation 3:10 (NASB)

1. Verse. Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

2. My note. The verse was written to the Church in Philadelphia. However, the promise to that church is a promise to believers of all times. The promise relates to the pre-tribulation rapture of all born again believers in Christ (John 14:2,3,6; 1 Cor 15:50-54; 1 Thes 4:13-18).

3. The following commentary note comes from the MacArthur Study Bible.

3:10 keep you from the hour of trial. Christ’s description—an event still future that for a short time severely tests the whole world—must refer to the time of tribulation, the 7-year period before Christ’s earthly kingdom is consummated, featuring the unleashing of divine wrath in judgments expressed as seals, trumpets, and bowls. This period is described in detail throughout chaps. 6–19. The latter half is called “the Great Tribulation” (7:14; Matt. 24:21) and is identified as to time in 11:2, 3; 12:6, 14; 13:5. The verb “to keep” is followed by a preposition whose normal meaning is “from” or “out of”—this phrase, “keep . . . from” supports the pre-tribulational rapture of the church (see notes on John 14:1–3; 1 Cor. 15:51, 52; 1 Thess. 4:13–17). This period is the same as Daniel’s 70th week (see notes on Dan. 9:24–27) and “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (see notes on Jer. 30:7).

V. Tribulation Occupants’ Differences.

A. Earth dwellers.

1. Rev 3:10, “to test those who dwell on the earth.”

2. Revelation 6:10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”

3. Revelation 8:13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
13 Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in mid-heaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”

4. Revelation 11:10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.

5. Revelation 13:8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.

6. Revelation 13:14 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who *had the wound of the sword and has come to life.

7. Revelation 17:8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
8 “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.

B. Earth dwellers versus believers in Christ.

1. Earth dwellers are those whom will be left behind from the rapture of the Church; they chose earth over heaven, by refusing to believe in Christ as their Lord and Savior. During the Tribulation, earth dwellers will continue to defy God; they will have the opportunity to come to saving faith in Christ, but most will remain in their states of unbelief. Consider the account of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16:19-31. The rich man, whom is in Hades (the place of the unsaved dead, prior to the lake of fire), makes a request concerning his family whom is still alive, but are surely also headed for Hades upon their deaths: “v. 30. if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!” v.31. But, the response to the rich man is: “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.” The earth dwellers whom continue to defy God during the Tribulation will have much of the mindset of the family of the rich man in Luke 16, even as the conditions of the Tribulation become increasingly more severe.

2. All born again believers in Christ have a heavenly citizenship that exists from the time of their new-birth.

Philippians 3:20-21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

3. Nothing stands between us and the time that Christ will come in the air (rapture) to take His born again believers to Heaven with Him, both Jew and Gentile (John 14:2,3,6); “it can happen at any time.” After the rapture takes place, those whom will be left behind from the rapture, Jew and Gentile, will face the deception and persecution of the anti-Christ, as well as the the other judgments of God during the seven-year tribulation. God will bring the anti-Christ into power, and will bring about all of the other judgments of the Tribulation, in order that unbelieving Israel may be brought to saving faith in Christ (Matt 23:39; Zech 12:10).

Revelation 1:1-20

Part I. Introduction.

A. At this time in our world’s situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19), it has become my strong belief that I should veer from my intended course of writing, and explain the prophetic events of the end times. There are voices in the Christian world that have attempted to place the things that are affecting our world in the “yet future tribulation.” The events of Matthew 24 and Revelation 6 are said “to be happening now,” without making any mention of Israel, or of Christ. Israel is key throughout the tribulation. God will cause the tribulation events to occur, which will include the persecutions of the antichrist. So, what can we say about the things of COVID-19? Is God aware of the world’s situation? Is God a distanced bystander?

B. The recent article that I wrote, “God’s Purposes,” it addresses our world from Genesis to Revelation, prior and beyond. Psalm 103:19 explains God’s power over the entire world: “The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all.” The strength of Psalm 103:19 is that it is God, “who keeps Jupiter from bumping into Mars;” you can take that train of thought further. As we look closer to earth, Psalm 147:8 explains the governing hand of God: “Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who provides rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains.” Again, you can carry that thought further. In this study, we will also introduce and discuss “The Office of Theocratic Administrator.”

C. This study of Revelation will answer many questions about the current world situation as they relate to the end times, and will conclude that we are not presently in any part of the tribulation. The articles in this end times study will show the purposes of the tribulation, which do not relate to anything that is happening in our world today. These articles will also conclude that nothing that occurs during the tribulation will be outside of God’s purposes, and His plan for the salvation of Israel. There will not be an “end of the world, ” which will be caused by global warming, or by “Mother Nature.” God is in charge of global warming, and “there is no “Mother Nature!” I will tip my hand and go “way forward” into this series of articles, and let Scripture speak concerning the subject of world destruction.

(1) 2 Peter 3:7 (NASB) “But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”

(2) Revelation 21:1 (NASB) “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.”

D. That which has been tainted by sin will be replaced by that which is Holy, and will be based on God’s sovereign purposes. No other factor, outside of God’s plan for the ages, has any place in the affect of the end times, which is known as eschatology.

E. Translation. The text is from the New American Standard Bible. Comments will come from the MacArthur Study Bible, unless otherwise noted.

F. Sources of information. Everyone reads articles and books that have been written by other people. Whenever I choose an author, a speaker, or any other type of teacher for source material for the articles that I write, I try to find out as much as is possible about each potential source of information. I want to know about a person’s reputation among their peers; I also want to know how their writings, or discussions, relate to my understanding of the subject that I will be discussing. A potential source’s length of service, in their field of expertise, is an extremely important factor in my search. Such is the background of the many sources of information whose expertise in Scripture I have entrusted to my writings

Part II. Revelation Chapter 1 Study.

A. The Revelation of Jesus Christ (vv 1-3).

1. Verses. 1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, 2 who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.

2. Comments.

a. 1:1. The Revelation. The Gr. word from which the Eng. word “apocalypse” comes lit. means “to uncover, or to reveal.” When it refers to a person, it means that person becomes clearly visible. [My note. Notice that Revelation, “singular,” is used. The entire book of Revelation is “one revelation,” and is not a book of revelations.]

b. 1:1. Jesus Christ. The gospels unveil Christ at His first coming in humiliation; Revelation reveals Him in His exaltation: (1) in blazing glory (vv. 7–20); (2) over His church, as its Lord (chaps. 2, 3); (3) in His second coming, as He takes back the earth from the usurper, Satan, and establishes His kingdom (chaps. 4–20); and (4) as He lights up the eternal state (chaps. 21, 22). The NT writers eagerly anticipate this unveiling (1 Cor. 1:7; 2 Thess. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:7).

c. 1:1. God gave Him. As a reward for Christ’s perfect submission and atonement, the Father now presented to Him the great record of His future glory (cf. Phil. 2:5–11). Readers eavesdrop on the gift of this book, from the Father to His Son.

d. 1:1. shortly. The primary meaning of this word (lit. “soon”; cf. 2:5, 16; 3:11; 11:14; 22:12; 2 Tim. 4:9) underscores the imminence of Christ’s return. [Walvoord Commentary note. That which Daniel declared would occur “in the latter days” is here described as “shortly” (Gr., en tachei), that is, “quickly or suddenly coming to pass,” indicating rapidity of execution after the beginning takes place. The idea is not that the event may occur soon but, that when it does, it will be sudden (cf. Luke 18:8; Acts 12:7; 22:18; 25:4; Rom. 16:20). A similar word, tachys, is translated “quickly” seven times in Revelation (2:5, 16; 3:11; 11:14; 22:7, 12, 20).

e. 1:3, Blessed. This is the only biblical book that comes with a blessing for the one who listens to it being read and explained and then responds in obedience. This is the first of 7 beatitudes in the book (v. 3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14). [ My note. The importance of churches studying the Book of Revelation can not be understated.]

f. 1:3. time is near. “Time” refers to epochs, eras, or seasons. The next great epoch of God’s redemptive history is imminent. But although Christ’s coming is the next event, it may be delayed so long that people begin to question whether He will ever come (cf. Matt. 24:36–39; 2 Pet. 3:3, 4). [Walvord Commentary note. “For the time is near.” The Greek word for “time” here is “kairos,” which means a season of time in contrast to the term “hour,” which means time on a calendar of clock. The next great event on God’s prophetic calendar, the prophetic calendar, the imminent return of Christ to rapture His church, is near from the standpoint of prophetic revelation and could occur at any moment.]

B. Message to the Seven Churches (vv 4-7).

1. Verses. 4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood— 6 and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen. 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

2. Comments.

a. 1:4 seven churches which are in Asia. Asia Minor, equivalent to modern Turkey, was composed of 7 postal districts. At the center of those districts were 7 key cities which served as central points for the dissemination of information. It is to the churches in those cities that John writes. [My note. Notice that John did not address the Church at Rome.]

b. 1:4. who is and who was and who is to come. God’s eternal presence is not limited by time. He has always been present and will come in the future. [Walvoord Commentary note. The “who” relates to “God” the Father.]

c. 1:4. the seven Spirits. There are two possible meanings: (1) a reference to Isaiah’s prophecy concerning the 7-fold ministry of the Holy Spirit (Is. 11:2); or (2) more likely, it is a reference to the lampstand with 7 lamps (a menorah) in Zechariah—also a description of the Holy Spirit (see notes on 4:5; 5:6; Zech. 4:1–10). In either case, 7 is the number of completeness, so John is identifying the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

d. 1:5. firstborn. Of all who have been or will be raised from the dead, He is the preeminent one, the only one who is the rightful heir (cf. 3:14; Ps. 89:27; Col. 1:15). [Walvoord Commentary note. Referring to Christ’s resurrection.]

e. 1:6. kings and priests. More accurately, “a kingdom and priests.” All who believe live in the sphere of God’s rule, a kingdom entered by faith in Jesus Christ. And as priests, believers have the right to enter God’s presence. [Ryrie Study Bible note. “A kingdom, priests.” Description of both Israel {Ex 19:6} and the church. See note on 1 Peter 2:9-10, indicating that we shall minister to Him forever.]

f. 1:7 coming with clouds. This echoes the promise of Daniel: The Son of Man will come with the clouds of heaven (Dan. 7:13)—not ordinary clouds but clouds of glory. In the OT, God often manifested Himself in an energized, blazing light, called the Shekinah or glory cloud. No one could see it fully and live (Ex. 33:20), so it had to be veiled. But when Christ returns, the glory will be completely visible. Cf. Matt. 24:29, 30; 25:31; see notes on 6:12–17. [My note. Not every eye will see Christ when He comes in the air at the rapture to take His born again believers to Heaven {John 14:2,3,6; 1 Thes 4:16-17; 1 Cor 15:50-54}. At the 1:7 coming with clouds, every eye, of those whom were left behind from the rapture, will see Christ when He returns to earth from Heaven with His previously raptured born again believers {Zech 12:10; Matt 24:29-30}].

g. 1:7. they who pierced. Not a reference to the 4 Roman soldiers usually involved in crucifixion, but to the Jews who were actually responsible for Christ’s death (Acts 2:22, 23; 3:14, 15). Zechariah identified the ones who pierced Him as “the house of David” and “the inhabitants of Jerusalem,” and prophesied that they will weep tears of genuine repentance because of what they did to their Messiah (Zech. 12:10). [See my note in 1:7, above.]

h. 1:7. all the tribes…will mourn. The mourning of the rest of the earth’s inhabitants is not that which accompanies genuine repentance (cf. 9:21). It is the result of guilt for sin and fear of punishment (6:16; cf. Gen. 3:8–10). [My note. Tribes more directly relate to Jews, as they were the tribes of Israel; see Gen 49:16.]

i. 1:8 Alpha and the Omega. These are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. An alphabet is an ingenious way to store and communicate knowledge. The 26 letters in the English alphabet, arranged in almost endless combinations, can hold and convey all knowledge. Christ is the supreme, sovereign, alphabet; there is nothing outside of His knowledge, so as there are no unknown factors that can sabotage His second coming (cf. Col. 2:3).

j. 1:8. the Almighty. “Almighty God” occurs 8 times in Revelation, underscoring that God’s power is supreme over all the cataclysmic events it records (see also 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7, 14; 19:15; 21:22). He exercises sovereign control over every person, object, and event, and not one molecule in the universe is outside that dominion. [My note. See Introduction I.B., above.]

C. The Patmos Vision (vv 9-20).

1. Verses. 9 I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet, 11 saying, “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” 12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; 13 and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. 14 His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. 15 His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. 16 In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, 18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades. 19 Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things. 20 As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

2. Comments.

a. 1:9–18. This vision of Christ is equaled in grandeur only by the vision of His final return as King of kings and Lord of lords (19:11–16).

b. 1:9 tribulation and kingdom and patience. Four characteristics that John and his believing readers share: (1) persecution for their faith; (2) membership in the redeemed community over which Christ serves as Lord and King; (3) eager anticipation of the glory of His coming millennial reign on earth; and (4) endurance and perseverance in spite of difficult times.

c. 1:9. island . . . called Patmos. Located in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Asia Minor (modern Turkey) and part of a group of about 50 islands, Patmos is a barren, rocky, crescent-shaped island that is about 10 mi. long and less than 6 mi. at its widest point. Barren in John’s day, it served as a Roman penal colony. According to early Christian historian Eusebius, the emperor Nerva (A.D. 96–98) released John from Patmos.

d. 1:10. in the Spirit. This was not a dream. John was supernaturally transported out of the material world awake—not sleeping—to an experience beyond the normal senses. The Holy Spirit empowered his senses to perceive revelation from God (cf. Acts 10:11).

d. 1:10. “Lord’s Day.” [Ryrie Study Bible note. Likely not a reference to Sunday (which is called the first day of the week) in the NT) but a “Lordian day,” or an “imperial day” (the same adjective is used elsewhere only in 1 Cor 11:20), referring to the contents of the vision that reveal the future time when Christ will judge and rule]. {My note. See Isaiah 2:4a, “And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples.}

e. 1:10. loud voice. Throughout Revelation, a loud sound or voice indicates the solemnity of what God is about to reveal.

f. 1:11 book. The Gr. word refers to a scroll made of parchment formed from papyrus, a reed that grows plentifully along the Nile.

g. 1:12. lampstands. These were portable gold lampstands that held small oil lamps. Each lampstand represented a church (v. 20), from which the light of life shone. Throughout Scripture, 7 is the number of completeness, so these 7 lampstands are representative of all the churches. [Ryrie Study Bible note. “lampstands.” These represent the seven churches mentioned in verse 11 (see also v. 20).]

h. 1:13. Son of Man. According to the Gospels, this is the title Christ used most often for Himself during His earthly ministry (81 times in the Gospels). Taken from the heavenly vision in Dan. 7:13, it is an implied claim to deity. “garment.” Most occurrences of this word in the Septuagint, the Gr. OT, refer to the garment of the High-Priest. The golden sash across His chest completes the picture of Christ serving in His priestly role (cf. Lev. 16:1–4; Heb. 2:17).

h. 1:13.(1). garment. Most occurrences of this word in the Septuagint, the Gr. OT, refer to the garment of the High-Priest. The golden sash across His chest completes the picture of Christ serving in His priestly role (cf. Lev. 16:1–4; Heb. 2:17).

i. 1:14. white like wool. “White” does not refer to a flat white color but a blazing, glowing, white light (cf. Dan. 7:9). Like the glory cloud (or Shekinah), it is a picture of His holiness.

j. 1:14. eyes . . . flame of fire. Like two lasers, the eyes of the exalted Lord look with penetrating gaze into the depths of His church (2:18; 19:12; Heb. 4:13).

k. 1:15 feet . . . fine brass. The altar of burnt offering was covered with brass and its utensils were made of the same material (cf. Ex. 38:1–7). Glowing hot, brass feet are a clear reference to divine judgment. Jesus Christ with feet of judgment is moving through His church to exercise His chastening authority upon sin.

l. 1:15. voice . . . sound of many waters. No longer was His voice like the crystal clear note of a trumpet (v. 10), but John likened it to the crashing of the surf against the rocks of the island (cf. Ezek. 43:2). It was the voice of authority.

m. 1:16. seven stars. These are the messengers who represent the 7 churches (see note on v. 20). Christ holds them in His hand, which means that He controls the church and its leaders. [ Walvoord Commentary note. The seven stars Christ holds in His hand are identified in verse 20 as “the angels of the seven churches.” Since the word “angel” means “messenger, one who is sent,” it is best to understand these angels not as divine beings, but as the leaders in these churches who are responsible for their spiritual welfare. These messengers representing the churches are in Christ’s right hand, indicating possession, protection, and sovereign control.]

n. 1:16. a sharp two-edged sword. A large, two-edged broad sword. It signifies judgment (cf. 2:16; 19:15) on those who attack His people and destroy His church.

o. 1:17. fell at His feet. A common response to seeing the awesome glory of the Lord (Gen. 17:3; Num. 16:22; Is. 6:1–8; Ezek. 1:28; Acts 9:4).

p. 1:17. First and the Last. Jesus Christ applies this OT name for Yahweh (22:13; Is. 41:4; 44:6; 48:12) to Himself, clearly claiming to be God. Idols will come and go. He was before them, and He will remain after them.

q. 1:18. keys of Hades and of Death. See note on Luke 16:23. Death and Hades are essentially synonyms, but death is the condition and Hades, equivalent to the OT Sheol, the place of the dead (see note on 20:13). Christ decides who lives, who dies, and when.

r. 1:19. This verse provides a simple outline for the entire book: “the things which you have seen” refers to the vision John has just seen (chap. 1); “the things which are” denotes the letters to the churches (chaps. 2, 3); and “the things which will take place after this” refers to the revelation of future history (chaps. 4–22). [My comment. Chapters 2-3 relate to the church age, of which time we are a part today. So, we can look at Chapter 1, as being our past, and Chapters 2-3 being our present time, and Chapters 4-22 being our future. The church is never mentioned in the book of Revelation after the end of Chapter 3. After the rapture of the church occurs, the purpose of the church will have been fulfilled, and the church will be non-existent. Rev 21:1-3 describes those whom will inhabit the eternal state, of what many people refer to as heaven. The Bible says that God will create “a new heaven and a new earth,” and the New Jerusalem will descend from God to the new earth (Rev 21:1-2). In this new creation, “the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God” (Rev 21:3). The word,”men,” relates to all whom are born again believers in Christ, as opposed to “unbelievers,” whom are identified in Rev 21:8. At present time, all Jewish and Gentile born again believers in Christ can take pride in knowing that “we are one in Christ” (Gal 3:28).]

s. 1:20. the angels. The word lit. means “messenger.” Although it can mean angel—and does throughout the book—it cannot refer to angels here because angels are never leaders in the church. Most likely, these messengers are the 7 key elders representing each of those churches (see note on v. 16). [Walvoord Commentary note. As earlier noted, the mystery of the seven stars is revealed to represent the messengers to the churches, and the seven golden lampstands are the churches themselves.]