REVELATION STUDY

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oldhermit

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Jul 28, 2012
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#61
II. To the Church at Philadelphia, 7-13. The one Church of whom the Lord could say, “I’m proud of you. Keep up the good work.”

A. “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this:” What are the keys of David?

1. Isaiah 22:22, “Then I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder. When he opens no one will shut. When he shuts no one will open.”

“On his shoulder” means that on him rests the burden of government. This is not something that will be fulfilled in some future millennium. Jesus establishes the fulfilment of this prophet's words in himself as already possessing the key of David. He does not say, “I will have the keys....” He says “I have the keys.” The language expresses authority, control, and possession. Jesus now possesses that which once belonged to David. Just as David represented the king of Israel, so also, Christ occupies the same throne possessing even greater regal authority.

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:6-7

2. “He opens, and no man shuts.”
He has free and unrestrained access to the house. He has the power of admittance and the power of exclusion. He is the one who decides who is welcomed as his people and who is not. He can invite whom he chooses. He can exclude those whom he judges unworthy to be admitted. In his kingdom, he has absolute control.

“No man shuts” expresses the power of the House of David / the Church / the kingdom. No one can overturn the power of the one who sits on the throne. The kingdom will stand and endure, and all of the power that worldly governments will bring against her through persecution and the wholesale slaughter of Christians will not shut her doors.

B. “I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut.”
The open door would seem to be that of opportunity. The door of admittance is opened before them. Jesus is promising them productivity in the spread of the gospel. There is great expectation for results. Not only this, but the door of opportunity will remain open until Jesus decides to close it. All the power of Rome would not be able to close this door of admittance.

C. “You have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name.”

1. “You have a little power.”
Jesus always nourishes even the smallest presence of faith as long as one's fidelity remains intact.

2. “You have kept My word.”
They had not broken their covenant with God as Sardis had. They continued to honor the terms and conditions of the covenant agreement.

3. “You have not denied My name.”
This would certainly suggest the presence of persecution at Philadelphia. Pressure had apparently been put upon them to deny the name of Jesus, yet they had endured.

D. “Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie.”
What was the claim of the Jew? “We are sons of Abraham.” “We are the chosen people of God.” Jesus calls them liars. Just as with the Church at Smyrna, the Jews of Philadelphia represented a source of persecution for the Christians, and Jesus called them the “synagogue of Satan.” This is not the first time Jesus describes the Jews in such inflammatory language. In John 8:44 Jesus says to the Jews, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

This certainly gives rise to a new definition of what God regards as a Jew. “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh,” Romans 2:28. In other words, the covenant people of God are not those who designate themselves as such though the keeping of the Law of Moses. Fleshly circumcision was a condition imposed upon the flesh as a symbol of covenant relationship. The Jew who is a Jew according to the flesh is now no more the covenant people of God than fleshly circumcision is the symbol of the New Covenant. The Jew is now one who is circumcised of heart and mind, and Jesus says that those of the “synagogue of Satan” will ultimately be called upon to recognize this fact. They would be forced to acknowledge that the church constitutes the true people of God.

The background for verse nine comes out of Isaiah 60:14 “The sons of those who afflicted you will come bowing to you, and all those who despised you will bow themselves at the soles of your feet; And they will call you the city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” These Jews whom Jesus now acknowledges as the “synagogue of Satan” would experience a complete reversal of this. Now Jesus says of them, “I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and know that I have loved you.” This is a denunciation of unbelieving Israel as the people of God.

E. “Because you have kept the word of My perseverance (kept covenant), 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.”

This is the only Church whom Jesus promised to protect from the effects of the persecution and disasters that are about to be pronounced in this book. “I am coming quickly.” His judgment is immanent, but always with judgement comes the redemption of the people of God, so judgment is also redemptive.
 

oldhermit

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Jul 28, 2012
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#62
F. “Hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.”
Faithfulness requires diligence, and he cautions them not to let this happen. The crown possessed by the Christians at Philadelphia is the same as that promised to the Church at Smyrna who was the other faithful Church in 2:10. That crown is LIFE. The retention of this crown of life was predicated on their holding fast to what they had.

G. “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore.”

1. “A pillar in the temple of God.”
This is suggestive of their character as ones who are solid, immovable. It represents their value and importance in the mind of God in relation to the Church. Christians are reckoned as the supporting structure of the Church, the temple of God. The faithful of the body are a valued commodity. They are as important to the body as pillars are to any temple. Because of their faithfulness, the Church at Philadelphia was immensely important to the Body of Christ.

2. “He will not go out from it anymore.”
What an encouraging thought from the Lord. They have no fear of being separated form the house of God. This security is based on the law of reciprocity. This promise belongs to the one who “holds fast” and for “He who overcomes.”

H. “And I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

1. Why is it called the “New” Jerusalem? Because the old Jerusalem, as an object of typology, is gone. “The first things have passed away... Behold, I am making all things new,” 21:4-5.

The New Jerusalem is the Church, the people of God whose origin is from heaven. “Comes down out of heaven” is not talking about actual dissension from heaven to earth. He is defining her place of origin. The Church is not a human or social construct. We are the product of the mind and the wisdom of God. The New Jerusalem will be depicted in chapter 21 as the “bride adorned for her husband.” We will look more closely when we get to chapter 21.

2. What is “the name”?
The context of the “the name of My God” is from Exodus 20:7. There, Israel was being joined to the Lord as the Lord's bride. If they were to wear / possess / take the name of the Lord, they must be true to the name they now bear. Everything about Israel revolved around the name of Jehovah. “O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Your own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name,” Daniel 9:19.

a. They were the people who bore his name. “If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land,” 2 Chronicles 7:14.

b. They dwelt in the city that bore his name. “Now therefore gather the rest of the people together, and encamp against the city, and take it; lest I take the city, and it be called after my name,” 2 Samuel 12:28.

c. They worshiped in the house that bore his name. “Although recently you had turned and done what is right in My sight, each man proclaiming release to his neighbor, and you had made a covenant before Me in the house which is called by My name,” Jeremiah 34:15.

Consequently, “You shall not take the name of the Lord for nothing.” It is the name that give value to the people who bear that name.
d. Later, the Gentiles would also be a people who would bear his name alongside the Jew.

“In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David, and wall up its breaches; I will also raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old; that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by My name, declares the Lord who does this,” Amos 9:11-12.

“After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the rest of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, says the Lord, who does all these things.” Acts 15:16-17.

3. God was promising the Church at Philadelphia that he would write on them the name of My God, the city of My God (which is the new Jerusalem), and My new name. This is a designation of unity represented in the marriage relationship. The Church belongs to her husband.

III. To the Church at Laodicea, 14-22

A. “The Amen”
This is divine title and actually comes out of Deuteronomy 7:9 where God represents himself to Israel as the הַֽנֶּאֱמָ֔ן – han·ne·’ĕ·mān – the Amen, which is translated in the NAS as “the faithful God.” Jesus represents himself to the Church in the same way. He is the “Amen, the faithful and true Witness.” He is the same “Amen” who spoke those words in Deuteronomy 7:9.

B. He is “The Beginning of the creation of God.”
Ἀρχή – beginning, origin – properly represents active cause or source. Jesus is the causative agent of all creation. He is the source, the originator, not the first being created. There is a large following of people who attempt to assign this meaning to the verse.

Used in the regal sense, ἀρχή refers to one who rules. “The Beginning of the creation of God,” is simply another way of saying, “The Alpha and the Omega,” “The First and the Last,” or the “beginning and the end.” He is the beginning just as he is the end. If ἀρχή means that he is the first in the order of created beings, then by the same rule of exegesis, τέλος would mean that he is the last one in the created order. If he is the first in the created order and the last in the created order then nothing beside him was created. This is where this logic would necessarily lead.

C. “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.”

The condemnation is immediate, decisive, and unfavorable. This is the only Church to whom Jesus has absolutely nothing good to say. This Church is the exact opposite of the Church at Philadelphia. There is not even any mention of a faithful remnant among them. At least at Sardis, there were still a few who had not soiled their garments. Not so at Laodicea. For this Church, Jesus reserves his harshest criticism.

D. Lukewarmness represents a condition of the heart. Fervency is a necessary condition to fidelity, a condition that was apparently lacking in Laodicea. Paul says in Romans 12:11 that we are to be “fervent in spirit serving the Lord.” Ζέοντες means to be hot, to boil, to be fervid, or earnest. This means developing an attitude of fanaticism in our service to the Lord. Now, I know we do not generally regard fanaticism as a good thing, but the truth of the matter is, if one desires to be exceptional in any given area, one had better learn to be fanatical in that endeavor. If one is going to learn to be “fervent” in serving the Lord, one had better learn to become fanatical toward that end. This cannot be done from a platform of lukewarmness. Lukewarmness defines a condition of complacency and indifference. This kind of lackadaisical attitude about the Lord is depicted as something that is completely distasteful, unpalatable, and intolerable. It is a condition that the Lord simply will not accept. His response to this type of attitude from his people is separation. “I will spit you out of my mouth.”
 

oldhermit

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Jul 28, 2012
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#63
E. “Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing, and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.”

He calls them wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked, but he does not call them dead as he does the Church at Sardis. Perhaps this suggests there is yet hope for them if they will repent.

1. What was the background of Laodicea?
Laodicea was one of the three Phrygian cities which had been destroyed by earthquake in AD 60. Unlike the others, Laodicea was a very rich city and the only one of the three to be rebuilt. Because Laodicea was such a rich city, they even refused any financial assistance from Rome to help them rebuild the city.

2. It is out of this state of affluence that this attitude of self-sufficiency marked a defining characteristic of the Church at Laodicea. “I am rich” relates to things not of a spiritual nature but of a material nature. This is a case of self-delusion that is the result of a complete misrepresentation of their place and role in the natural world. Their metric for determining wealth was wrong. This betrays a completely dyadic mode of reasoning.

Dyadic reasoning is a belief structure that attempts to refine and conceptualize the question of cause and effect based upon observable conditions. Because they had this sense of self-sufficiency, they felt they had no need for dependency on the Lord, “I have need of nothing.” Why? Because “we can provide it for ourselves.”

When we separate ourselves from God as the causative agent, even in relation to things we possess and how these things are obtained, we place the role of causation within ourselves. Jesus will not tolerate this type of reasoning from his own people. This is how the world reasons. Christians are not peemitted to reason after this fashion.

3. Because of this type of reasoning from Laodicea, Jesus says, “you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.”

The sad part of this was their naïveté. They did not even realize the effect of this type of reasoning on their spirituality. Dyadic reasoning renderd them as:

a. “Wretched” – ταλαίπωρος
Thayer derives this word from ταλαω meaning “to bear, undergo” and πωρος, meaning a callous. This describes one who is wretched, beaten-down from continued strain, leaving a person literally full of callouses and deep misery. This describes a person with severe side-effects from great ongoing strain (significant hardships).

b. “Miserable” – ἐλεεινὸς meaning to be pitied or pitiful.

c. “Poor” – πτωχὸς meaning beggarly, of one who crouches and cowers.

d. “Blind” – τυφλὸς meaning blind whether literally or metaphorically. They were blind of heart and mind.

e. “Naked” – γυμνός
They were spiritually unclothed. This is more properly descriptive of one who is very poorly clothed or barely clothed. This places a contrast between them and those of the Church at Sardis who are described as wearing unsoiled robes.

F. “Naked” all recommendations

1. “I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich.”

Jesus offers them the solution to their poverty. This solution is not to be found in material pursuits or comforts. Jesus is the source of that which would make them truly wealthy.

Refined gold, which is gold in its purest form, was the most precious material of their time and is used as the comparative for the true wealth stressing the quality of the wealth that Jesus was able to provide. Fire is the element for purification. This is also a symbolism for trials, persecution, or suffering. How were they to be refined? Through suffering. The Hebrew writers defines suffering as the perfecting agent for Christians, Hebrews 2:10. There was no suffering connected with this body of Christians. This seems to be reflected in their attitude and their self-assessment – “I have need of nothing.”

2. “And white garments so that you may clothe yourself, that the shame of your nakedness (a synonym for sin) will not be revealed.”

To be clothed with white is to be pure. This is reflected in our behavior as seen in the faithful remnant in the Church at Sardis. Where one's conduct is pure, there is no cause for shame before the Lord. The standard of purity is of course the Word of God, Psalms 119:5-6.

3. “And eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.”
Since the blindness is of a spiritual nature, what is the salve that is the cure for such blindness? It has to be the word of God. If you do not want to be spiritually wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked, you must learn to submit your mind and your conduct to the Word of God. The mind must allow itself to be entrained by the Word of God.

In Ephesians 1:16-18, Paul urges the Christians in Ephesus, “(I) Do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”

G. “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore, be zealous and repent.”
Jesus has not changed in his affection for them, but that affection will not turn away the discipline of the Lord. Indeed, it is because this affection is present that the exercise of discipline is pronounced. Jesus threatens them with disciplinary action if they do not repent. If he did not love them, he simply would not bother with them. He would just allow them to die.

H. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”

Jesus will not force himself upon anyone. His fellowship with us is by invitation only. The benefit of the invitation is fellowship with the Master that is reflected in the eating together.

I. “He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

This is a picture of the elevated status that belongs to the Christian. Faithfulness is rewarded with the throne of heaven itself. The throne is simply a symbolism that represent our regal status in our relationship with the Lord. The throne represents the power, authority, and the dignity that belongs to those who occupy it. This also reflects our ultimate superiority to the angles. Angels never occupy the throne. They minister to the one who sits upon the throne. They fly above the throne and around the throne, but they are NEVER seated upon the throne. This is our rightful place by invitation from the Lord whose throne it is.
 

TheDivineWatermark

Well-known member
Aug 3, 2018
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#64
Revelation 5:6-10, “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. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”
d. How is this power to be exercised? Through the preaching of the gospel and the petitions of prayer.
Regarding verse 9 [Rev5:9] (which I've bolded above ^ ), I've made posts in the past which show the following:

[quoting excerpt from past post]

[...] the "24 elders" themselves saying (from their position up in Heaven, BEFORE the first Seal is opened [which Seals are the START of the "future, specific, LIMITED time-period" 1:1 / 1:19c /4:1 spoke of]), "hast redeemed US [G2248 - hemas] to God by thy blood out of [ek] every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation"

Here's the Greek (for Rev5:9) showing at BlueLetterBible - https://www.blueletterbible.org/kjv/rev/5/9/ss1/s_1172009 showing them saying "us [G2248 - hemas]"... "hast redeemed US...".


In past posts, I provided the link to the following info on that verse (boiled down here):

--of the 24 [total] manuscripts available (of the Greek) of Revelation chpt 5, 23 of them have it as "US [G2248 - hemas]" and only ONE manuscript (the only other one) leaves it blank [/untranslated]. (That ONE manuscript [of 24 total manuscripts (Rev5)] that leaves it blank/untranslated is the "Codex Alexandrinus".)

[end quoting post excerpt]


____________

For those interested in considering this further, I re-post the quote below, and 9-min vid [approx], by Dr David Hocking (making this same point ^ ... ignore where he flubs up his words a bit, somewhere in the middle, be assured he's making this same point):


[quoting]


Dr David Hocking showed Marv Rosenthal (I believe it was) about the manuscript evidence (re: Rev5:9-10; with v.9 saying "US" ['hast redeemed US']) had to acknowledge "agreement" [that David Hocking was right and Scripture does say that, per the manuscript evidence Hocking pointed out], but then Rosenthal proceeded to publish his already-written "pre-wrath book" anyway, despite being informed of these facts:

[see @ this vid (approx 9-min vid total):


--note also in this video that he mentions something Geo E. Ladd [...] had said about this passage/esp verse 9]


[end quoting old posts]
 

oldhermit

Senior Member
Jul 28, 2012
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#65
Regarding verse 9 [Rev5:9] (which I've bolded above ^ ), I've made posts in the past which show the following:

[quoting excerpt from past post]

[...] the "24 elders" themselves saying (from their position up in Heaven, BEFORE the first Seal is opened [which Seals are the START of the "future, specific, LIMITED time-period" 1:1 / 1:19c /4:1 spoke of]), "hast redeemed US [G2248 - hemas] to God by thy blood out of [ek] every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation"

Here's the Greek (for Rev5:9) showing at BlueLetterBible - https://www.blueletterbible.org/kjv/rev/5/9/ss1/s_1172009 showing them saying "us [G2248 - hemas]"... "hast redeemed US...".


In past posts, I provided the link to the following info on that verse (boiled down here):

--of the 24 [total] manuscripts available (of the Greek) of Revelation chpt 5, 23 of them have it as "US [G2248 - hemas]" and only ONE manuscript (the only other one) leaves it blank [/untranslated]. (That ONE manuscript [of 24 total manuscripts (Rev5)] that leaves it blank/untranslated is the "Codex Alexandrinus".)

[end quoting post excerpt]


____________

For those interested in considering this further, I re-post the quote below, and 9-min vid [approx], by Dr David Hocking (making this same point ^ ... ignore where he flubs up his words a bit, somewhere in the middle, be assured he's making this same point):


[quoting]


Dr David Hocking showed Marv Rosenthal (I believe it was) about the manuscript evidence (re: Rev5:9-10; with v.9 saying "US" ['hast redeemed US']) had to acknowledge "agreement" [that David Hocking was right and Scripture does say that, per the manuscript evidence Hocking pointed out], but then Rosenthal proceeded to publish his already-written "pre-wrath book" anyway, despite being informed of these facts:

[see @ this vid (approx 9-min vid total):


--note also in this video that he mentions something Geo E. Ladd [...] had said about this passage/esp verse 9]


[end quoting old posts]
Interesting.
 

Truth7t7

Well-known member
May 19, 2020
6,245
2,271
113
#66
Regarding verse 9 [Rev5:9] (which I've bolded above ^ ), I've made posts in the past which show the following:

[quoting excerpt from past post]

[...] the "24 elders" themselves saying (from their position up in Heaven, BEFORE the first Seal is opened [which Seals are the START of the "future, specific, LIMITED time-period" 1:1 / 1:19c /4:1 spoke of]), "hast redeemed US [G2248 - hemas] to God by thy blood out of [ek] every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation"

Here's the Greek (for Rev5:9) showing at BlueLetterBible - https://www.blueletterbible.org/kjv/rev/5/9/ss1/s_1172009 showing them saying "us [G2248 - hemas]"... "hast redeemed US...".


In past posts, I provided the link to the following info on that verse (boiled down here):

--of the 24 [total] manuscripts available (of the Greek) of Revelation chpt 5, 23 of them have it as "US [G2248 - hemas]" and only ONE manuscript (the only other one) leaves it blank [/untranslated]. (That ONE manuscript [of 24 total manuscripts (Rev5)] that leaves it blank/untranslated is the "Codex Alexandrinus".)

[end quoting post excerpt]


____________

For those interested in considering this further, I re-post the quote below, and 9-min vid [approx], by Dr David Hocking (making this same point ^ ... ignore where he flubs up his words a bit, somewhere in the middle, be assured he's making this same point):


[quoting]


Dr David Hocking showed Marv Rosenthal (I believe it was) about the manuscript evidence (re: Rev5:9-10; with v.9 saying "US" ['hast redeemed US']) had to acknowledge "agreement" [that David Hocking was right and Scripture does say that, per the manuscript evidence Hocking pointed out], but then Rosenthal proceeded to publish his already-written "pre-wrath book" anyway, despite being informed of these facts:

[see @ this vid (approx 9-min vid total):


--note also in this video that he mentions something Geo E. Ladd [...] had said about this passage/esp verse 9]


[end quoting old posts]
Santa Ana’s Rev. Hocking Quits Pulpit After Affair : Scandal: Renowned minister acknowledges ‘sexual sin’ with married woman in congregation of his Calvary Church.
 

oldhermit

Senior Member
Jul 28, 2012
9,000
506
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66
Texas
#67
Chapter Four

I. The First Vision, 1-4,
This is the same vision given to Ezekiel in 1:1-14 and 10:1-22.

A. This scene is designed to do one thing and that is to impress upon our minds the glory of God and the majesty and grandeur of the throne room. There is no way to stand before such a scene and not be stricken with a sense of awe. Why is this vision focused on the throne room? Because judgment is about to be administered. The Judge is on the throne and wrath is about to be poured out.

B. “In the spirit”
This describes the nature of the revelation. The scene is in heaven which is the source of all revelation and John cannot view this scene in the flesh.

C. The use of symbolic language
All John is allowed to see are pictures of things that cannot be described through the medium of human language. The descriptions are mere representations of things that are not otherwise seen.
1. Open door
This is not suggesting there is a literal door in heaven that allows or bars access to the throne room. All this signifies is that the veil of inaccessibility between the two worlds has been lifted, and John is permitted to look into that world. The access is however, limited. He was only allowed to see those things which God intended to show him concerning things that were about to happen. His access into that world was limited to a need to know basis.

2. Trumpet
Descriptive of the voice of God whether it is of the Father or of Jesus. His is always the one whose voice is like a trumpet, 1:10.

3. Twenty-four elders appear to be representative the faithful of both covenants.

4. Throne/thrones
These should not be thought of as literal seats that are occupied by either God or the 24 elders. This language represents power, honor, dignity, and authority. The placement of these “thrones” is around THE throne. In other words, their honor and authority are derived from the one who sits on the throne.

5. Lightening and peals of thunder – Like Sinai

6. The seven lamps of fire, seven spirits of God – These are the seven Churches of Asia.

7. The descriptions of the four living creatures are descriptions of angels, possibly Arc angels, Ezekiel 10.

a. “And in the center and around the throne, four living creatures.”
This language dispels any sense of time and space. In the natural world, two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Their placement is simply to stress the nature of their function. These are the attendants of the one who occupies the throne.

b. “Six wings full of eyes in front and behind.”
The cherubim here have six wings like the seraphim in Isaiah 6:2; but the cherubim in Ezekiel 1:6 were each seen having four wings and are also called “living creatures.” In Ezekiel 1:6, each living creature has all four faces. Here, each “creature” is represented as each having one face.

c. “The first creature was like a lion.” – suggestive of power,

d. “The second creature like a calf.” (more properly, “young bull.”) representing strength, power.

e. “The third creature had a face like that of a man.” – Representing wisdom and intelligence.

f. “The fourth creature was like a flying eagle.” – Representing the swiftness in which he carries out the will of the one who sits upon the throne.

g. “Each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within;”
This suggests all seeing, ceaseless vigilance. Nine times in the Old Testament, the Hebrew word 'ayin, “eye,” is used to represent the idea of color or brilliance (Ezekiel 1:4, 7, 16, 22, 27; 8:2; 10:9, Daniel 10:6, and Proverbs 23:31;). This may suggest that “full of eyes,” refers to their appearance as being one of shining brilliance.

h. “Day and night, they do not cease to say, holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come” This is the same Jesus of 1:8. This seems to be their primary function.

8. Precious stones
These are used to create a picture in the mind of the reader of beauty and splendor. As with all symbols, these precious stones are used to convey a degree of beauty and splendor that cannot be communicated through the medium of simple human language. These simple linguistic expressions cannot come close to describing the actual grandeur of the reality; they are merely things we can relate to that give us just a sense of the beauty and splendor that accompanies the presence of God.

9. The rainbow represents covenant.

10. The twenty-four elders represent the faithful overseers of the people of God of both covenants who were the good and faithful shepherds.

11. White garments represent holiness, purity, and righteousness. These are the garments of the overcomes who are in the presence of God.

12. Golden crowns – Eternal life, authority that belongs to the overcomers.

13. The sea of glass represents the aggravate of humanity in a tranquil state of peace. This symbolism will be seen again in later chapters.

D. Jesus is the God who occupies the throne in this scene. He is fulfilling the function of the second position within the Triadic Unity. Jesus is always the channel of communication between the two worlds, and He is the one who is communicating this revelation of John. Verse 11 illustrates the exercise of divine prerogative just as in Hebrews 1:10-12.
 

oldhermit

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Chapter Five

Daniel 12
1. “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. 2. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. 3. Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”

4. “But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase. 5. Then I, Daniel, looked and behold, two others were standing, one on this bank of the river and the other on that bank of the river. 6. And one said to the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, ‘How long will it be until the end of these wonders?’ 7. I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed. 8. As for me, I heard but could not understand; so, I said, ‘My lord, what will be the outcome of these events?’ 9. He said, ‘Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time. 10. Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand.’”

11 “From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. 12. How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days! 13. But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age.”

I. The Book of Seven Seals, 1-10

A. “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.”
Actually, a scroll of parchment with writing on both sides of the parchment and sealed with seven seals.

1. The importance of the seals
Wax seals were originally used to assure that a letter had not been read in transit. A broken seal would imply that the contents had been compromised.

2. Only the one for whom the letter was intended had the authority to break the seal and view the contents of the document.

3. This is the sealed book of Daniel 12:4.
Daniel was commanded to seal up the book because the time of the described events in Daniel's vision had not yet reached their time of fulfillment. These seals being opened in chapter six because the time is now fulfilled.

4. There are seven different scenes within this vision, each one represented by the opening of its respective seal beginning in chapter six.

B. “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;”

1. The “strong angel” possibly represents Michael, the great prince who stood before Daniel with this very same vision.

2. “On the earth or under the earth” may offer two possibilities.
It could refer to both the living and the dead or, it could be understood symbolically with the earth representing the ruling powers of men while “under the earth” represents those who were in subjection to those ruling powers. Regardless of which way this is intended to be understood, the answer to this rhetorical question will be the same.

3. “To look upon” means to reveal the meaning of the things written in the scroll.

4. “Who is worthy” is of course a rhetorical question for there is no one worthy among men. This represents a generalized statement that no such worthiness was found among all humanity. This is privileged information and no one was found worthy to even break the seals, much less reveal what the scroll contained.

A sealed scroll can only be opened by the one who has the authority to break the seals. John laments over the unworthiness and hopelessness of man to be privy to such revelation. The only way man can learn of its contents is if the one who sits on the throne reveals it to him and with the opening of each individual seal, a new revelation will given.

C. “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.” John uses two Old Testament passages that stress the legitimacy of Jesus' royal linage.

1. There is one out of man who is worthy, who has the power and the authority.

a. He is the one who occupies the throne. This demonstrates divine status.

b. He is of the tribe of Judah from Genesis 49:9-10.

He is the rightful owner of the scepter. “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.” All of this points to Judah as the type and Jesus as the Anti-type. The 'UNTIL' represents the change of status that will mark the transfer of position.
 “Will not depart from Judah...”

This has to relate to more than just Judah's preeminent position among the tribes. Judah had that from the beginning. When did the scepter come into the possession of the tribe of Judah?

• This could not apply to their time in the wilderness because during that time, Moses held the scepter of judgment. After the death of Moses, this was then passed to Joshua. Neither of these men were from the tribe of Judah. Moses was a Levite, Exodus 2:1 and Joshua was an Ephraimite, Numbers 13:8.

• It could also not have been during the period of the judges. It was the tribe of Ephraim who exercised a type of rule over all Israel during much of the time of the judges. This is where Shiloh was located. This was where God told Israel to set up the tabernacle. Shiloh served as the center of worship. This was where both Joshua and Deborah ruled the people. This lasted until David removed the ark of the covenant from Kiriath-Jearim, where it had been returned by the Philistines.

• The scepter had to have come with the inauguration of David. He is the first of Judah to possess the scepter. It would not depart from Judah....

 “Until Shiloh comes” or “Until he comes to whom it belongs.”
Judah held the scepter in trust until the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the true King should come, Isaiah 6:1-5.

c. The Root of Jesse
“Then in that day the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, who will stand as a signal for the peoples; and His resting place will be glorious,” Isaiah 11:10.

He is of the kingly line of David. He is the legal heir to the throne of David. In other words, he is the one who is taken out of man who is worthy to open the scrolls and reveal their contents.

2. Jesus’ worthiness to open the seals and reveal the contents is based in three things;

a. His position on the throne of heaven

b. His position within the kingly line

c. The fact that he (unlike those in the earth and under the earth) has overcome. This reflects upon two things.

 His victory over sin. He never succumbed to temptation. He retained his crown of glory and honor, Hebrews 2:9.

 His resurrection form the dead.
 

oldhermit

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D. “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.”

1. Between – μέσῳ – in the midst, in the middle, or among

2. The four living creatures, the elders, the Lamb, and the seven spirits of God are seen in the midst of the throne.

3. A slain Lamb standing
This portrays a sacrifice that survived the sacrificial process. He is the resurrected slain Lamb of whom Isaac was the type. The word resurrection is ἀνάστασιν, a conjunction of ἀνά meaning again and στασιν meaning to stand. In the midst of the throne is his rightful place, 7:17.
4. Seven horns and Seven eyes

Horns represent authority and power. The seven spirits is the Church. Thus, the Church carries the authority and the power of heaven. The function of the seven spirits, or the Church of God is redemptive. What are the seven horns of God doing as they are sent out into all the earth? They are saving men out of “every tribe and tongue and people and nation.”

E. “And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.”
The Father appears to be the one who is represented as occupying the throne in this scene. This suggests a positional relationship. Jesus is said to be at the right hand of the Father, Hebrews 1:3. It is more likely that this is to be understood relationally Rather than positionally. He takes the book that is extended by the right hand of the one upon the throne.

F. “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.”

1. Imagery of the golden altar of incense made of acacia wood in Exodus 30:1-10.
“Moreover, you shall make an altar as a place for burning incense; you shall make it of acacia wood. Its length shall be a cubit, and its width a cubit, it shall be square, and its height shall be two cubits; its horns shall be of one piece with it. You shall overlay it with pure gold, its top and its sides all around, and its horns; and you shall make a gold molding all around for it.”

2. The incense represented the prayers of the saints that were to go up continually before the Lord. These smell good to him as it were.
“You shall put this altar in front of the veil that is near the ark of the testimony, in front of the mercy seat that is over the ark of the testimony, where I will meet with you. Aaron shall burn fragrant incense on it; he shall burn it every morning when he trims the lamps. When Aaron trims the lamps at twilight, he shall burn incense. There shall be perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations.”

G. “And they sang a new song, saying, worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals.”

1. Why is this called a new song?
The theme of the song is one of redemption. Before the slaying of the Lamb, the song of redemption is not sung except in type. The song of Moses was a song of redemptive type.

2. This song stresses the scope of the redemption. “For You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”

Reign must be understood in the context of the conflict. The Church would reign as victorious conquers who had overcome. Though many individuals within the Church would die physically in this conflict, the Church would continue to reign.

II. Honoring the King, 11-14
“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, saying with a loud voice, (In other words, the entire host of heaven and earth are represented here) worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing. 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. (This is an acknowledgement of the Lambs worthiness and divine character). And the four living creatures kept saying, Amen. And the elders (These represent the faithful of both covenants) fell down and worshiped.”
 

oldhermit

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Chapter Six
It must be remembered that Revelation does NOT reveal a series of sequential events stretching from chapter two to chapter twenty-two. The seven seals, the seven trumpets, and the seven bowls reveal different aspects of the same series of events. Do not try to get all wrapped up in the symbolism. It is the scene that is important. We are not given explanations for all of the symbols that appear. Instead, try to view the scene as a whole. The scene of chapter six is one of deteriorating social climate and a struggle with persecuting powers? Chapter six is a condensed reflection of Jesus' pronouncement of judgment in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21.

I. The First Four Seals and the Four Horsemen, 1-8.
The color of each individual horse represents the mission of its rider. Much speculation has been offered for the identity of these riders, especially the ride of the white horse, but notice, the only identification chapter six gives us of these riders in each case is a state of being. These riders could be the four living creature themselves or they may be nothing more than the personifications of certain conditions of social climate of the time – peace, war, distress, and death.

This scene comes out of Zechariah 1:8-17. “I saw at night, and behold, a man was riding on a red horse, and he was standing among the myrtle trees which were in the ravine, with red, sorrel (speckled), and white horses behind him. Then I said, ‘My lord, what are these?’ And the angel who was speaking with me said to me, ‘I will show you what these are.’ And the man who was standing among the myrtle trees answered and said, ‘These are those whom the Lord has sent to patrol the earth.’ So, they answered the angel of the Lord who was standing among the myrtle trees and said, ‘We have patrolled the earth, and behold, all the earth is peaceful and quiet.”

“Then the angel of the Lord said, ‘O Lord of hosts, how long will You have no compassion for Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with which You have been indignant these seventy years?’ The Lord answered the angel who was speaking with me with gracious words, comforting words. So, the angel who was speaking with me said to me, ‘Proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I am exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and Zion. But I am very angry with the nations who are at ease; for while I was only a little angry, they furthered the disaster. Therefore,’ thus says the Lord, ‘I will return to Jerusalem with compassion; My house will be built in it,’ declares the Lord of hosts, and a measuring line will be stretched over Jerusalem. Again, proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “My cities will again overflow with prosperity, and the Lord will again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem.”

A. The first seal – The rider on the white horse, 1-2
“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.’ I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.” The condition of the earth in the opening of the first seal is one of peace. The conquest of the rider is one of victory.

1. The rider is not Jesus. He, like the other riders is sent out by the Lamb. Their function is revealed in Zechariah 1, “to patrol the earth.”

2. The white horse is characteristic of the victorious conqueror. Peace is the result of conquest.

3. The rider is presented in battle array – a bow. He is a strong conqueror.

4. The victors crown – στέφανός
According to Strong's, this could represent a badge of royalty, a symbol of honor, or prize in the public games, but a crown that was more elaborate than just the simple head band or laurel wreath.

5. The power of the rider. “He went out conquering and to conquer.”
This depicts a continuous and progressive conquest. The nature of the conquest is redemption. The only conquest that is of interest to the Lamb is the saving of souls out of every tribe, tongue, people, and nation. It is the spreading of the gospel throughout the world during a time of favorable conditions. It is a conquest of the souls of men.

B. The second seal – The ride on the red horse, 3-4
“When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, ‘Come.’ 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 men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.” The condition of the earth in the opening of the second seal is war or unrest.

1. The mission of this rider was to “take peace from the earth.”
If you will remember from our study of symbols found in Revelation, the term 'earth' often represents the powers of the nations. These are destined to “kill one another.” This is the beginning of the wars and rumors of wars spoken of by the Lord in Matthew 24:6 and Mark 13:7.

2. The instrument of power is the GREAT sword.
This is the close and bloody instrument of war. The use of the sword as a symbol of war and judgment was used in Leviticus 26:24-25. “I will also bring upon you a sword which will execute vengeance for the covenant.” Also, in Romans 13:4, Paul talks about governmental powers as those who bear the sword as a minister of God for wrath. Here, in Revelation 6:4, it is the symbol of war among the nations of the earth.

3. The issue in the opening of the second seal is perhaps not that of persecution of the saints as was suggested by Foy Wallace Jr. in his work on Revelation. It may simply refer to the beginning of sorrows/woes that are naturally represented by wars and rumors of war, Matthew 24:6-8.

C. The Third Seal – The rider on the black horse, 5-6,
“When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, ‘Come.’ I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 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.’”

The condition of the earth in the opening of the third seal is now one of famine, but not of absolute famine. This is a natural result of war.

1. The mission of this rider was to bring famine to the land.
Black is the color of distress and woe as is found in Joel 2:6, Nahum 2:10, Jeremiah 8:21, and Jude 13. In Revelation 6:5-6, it is used to depict the grimness of famine. Famine is reflected in the inflated prices and the rationing of grain, even of the less desirable grain of barley that was generally used by the poorer classes.

a. The scales represent the measuring of the grain as a rationed commodity.

b. The denarius was the standard daily wage of the soldier and the common man which suggests the level of severity of the famine because he is having to pay out a full day’s wage for only a quart of wheat, or for three quarts of barley. Thus, for the common man, his entire income is having to be paid out each day just to feed his family for that day. One quart of wheat would perhaps be sufficient to feed one person but hardly enough to feed a family. This then would dictate that he buy the cheaper course barley so that he could feed his family. This is the same imagery used in Leviticus 26:25-26 – “When I break your staff of bread, ten women will bake your bread in one oven, and they will bring back your bread in rationed amounts, so that you will eat and not be satisfied.”

2. As bad as the famine is, it is limited, “and do not damage the oil and the wine.” While grain is in short supply, the availability of the oil and wine are not limited. At least the oil and the wine are not rationed.

3. Again, this famine as foretold by Jesus in Matthew 24:7 in conjunction with the wars and rumors of wars that were part of the beginning of sorrows.
 

oldhermit

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D. The Fourth Seal – The rider on the pale horse, 7-8.
Χλωρός is the word used and signifies a color that is greenish-white. It is the color of one stricken with disease, pestilence, or death.

“When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, ‘Come.’ I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he 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 with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.”

The condition of the earth in the opening of the fourth seal is the aftermath of war represented by massive human loss. This is an escalation of the conditions surrounding the black horse.

1. “The fourth part of the earth” is not to be understood as a literal expression of limited geography. It merely points to the limited nature of the judgment.

2. The mission of this rider is death, and hades is his companion rider.
The instruments of this destruction were sword, famine, pestilence, and beasts of the earth (this brings to mind also the coliseum slaughters). This will also include the martyring of the saints as we will see in the opening of the fifth seal.

3. This again is what Jesus said would come in Matthew 24:7-8, Mark 13:7-8 and Luke 21:11. This is the tribulation of those days.

a. Matthew 24:9, “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.”

b. Mark 13:8-9, “For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them.”

c. Luke 21:11, “But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. So, make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death.”

4. This also depicts of the devastation of Jerusalem as Rome declared war on the Jews.

a. This is the same type of language given in Leviticus 26:25 to describe the judgment of God upon the nation of Israel in the land of Canaan, “And when you gather together into your cities... I will send pestilence among you, so that you shall be delivered into enemy hands.”

All of the imagery we find in Revelation has its roots in the Old Testament. None of this imagery is new or exclusive to John. He is given this imagery because this is language with which the early Church, especially those who were of Jewish background, could readily identify, understand, and make immediate application.

b. This is the type of destruction pronounced by Jesus upon Jerusalem in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 that would mark the last days of the Jewish economy.

II. The Fifth Seal – The Martyred Saints, 9-1
“When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; 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?” And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.” Persecution of the saints is now in full vigor.

A. The position of these martyrs is interesting as they are seen as “underneath the altar.” They are presented as sacrifices that have already been consumed upon the altar.

B. These are those who are victimized because of the Word of God and the testimony to which they held even in death, and their cry is for vengeance against their persecutors.

C. White robes
The white robes are their reward for services rendered. Their service is complete; all they have to do now is rest and wait because the time of dying is not yet over, and they can expect to be joined by other faithful ones.

D. There is a determined time of completion of the number of those who would be killed in this time of persecution. The Lord would not allow this to go on indefinitely. God always tempers judgment with mercy for the sake of the remnant. Matthew 24:22, “Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.”

III. The Sixth Seal – Judgment on the Persecuting Powers, 12-17
It is very important to understand this imagery. This imagery is presented in many places in scripture as judgment figures. This is not depicting the collapse of the celestial universe or the geographic displacement of islands and mountains. This is language that is chosen to simply say that God is about to bring an end to someone's world. This imagery was always used when God had decided to destroy a nation because of their wickedness. Isaiah used this imagery three times in depicting God's judgment of three different nations.

A. Against Babylon, Isaiah 13:1-13
“The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw... Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, cruel, with fury and burning anger, to make the land a desolation; and He will exterminate its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not flash forth their light; The sun will be dark when it rises and the moon will not shed its light. Thus, I will punish the world for its evil and the wicked for their iniquity; I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud and abase the haughtiness of the ruthless. I will make mortal man scarcer than pure gold and mankind than the gold of Ophir. Therefore, I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken from its place at the fury of the Lord of hosts in the day of His burning anger.”

B. Against Tyre, Isaiah 23:1 and 24 – “The oracle concerning Tyre....” 24:18-23,
“Then it will be that he who flees the report of disaster will fall into the pit, and he who climbs out of the pit will be caught in the snare; For the windows above are opened, and the foundations of the earth shake. The earth is broken asunder, the earth is split through, the earth is shaken violently. The earth reels to and fro like a drunkard and it totters like a shack, for its transgression is heavy upon it, and it will fall, never to rise again. So, it will happen in that day, that the Lord will punish the host of heaven on high, and the kings of the earth on earth. They will be gathered together like prisoners in the dungeon, and will be confined in prison; And after many days they will be punished. Then the moon will be abashed and the sun ashamed, for the Lord of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and His glory will be before His elders.”
 

oldhermit

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C. Against Edom, Isaiah 34:4-6
“And all the host of heaven will wear away, and the sky will be rolled up like a scroll; All their hosts will also wither away. As a leaf withers from the vine, or as one withers from the fig tree. For My sword is satiated in heaven, behold it shall descend for judgment upon Edom and upon the people whom I have devoted to destruction. The sword of the Lord is filled with blood, it is sated with fat, with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams. For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah and a great slaughter in the land of Edom.”

D. Against Egypt, Ezekiel 32:7-8
“And when I extinguish you, I will cover the heavens and darken their stars; I will cover the sun with a cloud and the moon will not give its light. All the shining lights in the heavens. I will darken over you and will set darkness on your land, declares the Lord God.”

E. Against Judah, Haggai 2:6-7 and 21
“For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. Verse 21. “Speak to Zerubbabel governor of Judah, saying, ‘I am going to shake the heavens and the earth.’”

F. Against Judah and Jerusalem
Joel 2 is also filled with these same symbols of cosmic chaos depicting God's judgment against the nation.

G. Against Jerusalem Matthew 24:29-31
“But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.”

H. Again, against Israel, Acts 2:19-21 (which Peter quotes from Joel 2)
“And I will grant wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come. And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

I. Against the persecuting powers, Revelation 6:12-17
“I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;’ for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” Luke 23:28-31 - Jerusalem.

It is important to remember that every time God issued these judgment figures against a nation, this judgment always came to pass soon thereafter in the time of those nations.
 

oldhermit

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Chapter Seven

I. The Sealing of the 144,000
Contrary to the opinion of many commentators, chapter seven is NOT an interlude between chapter six and chapter eight. This is still the opening of the sixth seal. In 6:10, the martyred saints are questioning “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” The answer from the Lord is, “Until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.” The number of those appointed to martyrdom was apparently a fixed number determined by the Lord. The impending judgment pronounced in chapter six waits for the completion of that number and the sealing of the redeemed, 1-3.

“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 would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out 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 bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.’”

A. The four angels seem to be the four horsemen of chapter six. They are those “to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea.” However, it is possible that these ἀγγέλους may also represent the earthly rulers who are being restrained for the time being in their execution of destruction on Jerusalem. Personally, I believe ἀγγέλους here refers to heavenly beings.

They are holding back the winds of judgment. Judgment is withheld which allows persecution to claim its victims. Of course, not all the redeemed would perish in the persecution. The number of those who would perish was limited by the discretion of the Lord. “Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short,” Matthew 24:22. Those days would be cut short when the Lord released the four angels to “harm the earth and the sea.” Judgment of the persecuting powers would preserve the Church from being completely wiped out.

B. The angel having the “seal of the living God” which was to seal the “bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.”

1. What is the seal of the redeemed?
The seal of the redeemed is the Holy Spirit of God, 2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13; 4:30. The sealing of the bond-servants of God was not intended to protect them from the horrors of the persecution; In fact, Jesus warn the Church in Smyrna in 2:10-11, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.”

2. The background of the symbolism of the sealing of the hand and the forehead is from Exodus 13:9, “It shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the Lord’s law may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand the Lord has brought you out of Egypt.”

C. The 144,000 redeemed of Israel
“And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel: from the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand, from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, from the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand, from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand, from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, from the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed.”

The number is symbolic representing all the redeemed out of all the tribes of Israel. “For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, ‘the Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. This is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.’” Romans 11:25-27.

Who of Israel was to be saved? “Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved; for the Lord will execute his word on the earth, thoroughly and quickly.”

The nation of Israel is the object of this wrath. Yet, all Israel is saved. It needs to be pointed out that this number of the redeemed of Israel that is represented by the symbolic 144,000 is limited to a specified period of time. It does not imply that 144,000 are the only ones of Israel who will ever be saved.

II. The Great Multitude of Redeemed, 9-17
“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;”

A. This “great multitude” represents an innumerable multitude of the redeemed. This multitude is represented by those out of…

1. “Every nation”
As we mentioned in our study in chapter one, the term ‘nations’ is used in contrast to tribes. 'Nations' represents the Gentile nations while 'tribes' is typically used to designate the nations of Israel – the 12 tribes.

2. “And all tribes;”
This is an exclusive reference to the Jewish tribes. Scripture never seems to refer to Gentile nations a “the tribes,” they are always referred to as nations. It is important that we understand this because we will see this again from time to time in our study of Revelation. So, this great multitude includes those who are the redeemed of Israel who are represented as the 144,000.

3. “And peoples and tongues,”
This great multitude who is represented by every description of humanity is depicted in Hebrews 12:22-24 as the great assembly of the Church.

“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.”

B. These are the victims of the time of persecution. “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation.” (The judgment of Israel).

1. They are before the throne. Their purpose or designation is service to God.

2. God has spread his tabernacle over them.
In Exodus 33:7-11, the tabernacle had to be moved outside the camp because Israel had defiled themselves with idolatry. This reflected a severed relationship that was the result of a broken covenant. Now, in Revelation 7, God is spreading his tabernacle over them. God is no longer separated from his people. This suggests the intimacy of the relationship between God and his Church. There is also in this picture of the “spreading of the tabernacle over them,” the marriage between God and his Church.

3. Their robes are washed white in the blood of the Lamb. The garment of he bride.

4. There is no more suffering, labor, or even discomfort. These will no longer be afflicted by war, famine, pestilence, or drought. “They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat;”

5. Blessing and comfort are now their lot because they have overcome.
 

oldhermit

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Chapters Eight
The Seventh Seal and The Seven Trumpets

I. The Background of the Seven Trumpets, 1-6
It is important to remember that what is revealed in chapters seven, eight, and nine are all part of the same scene of chapter 6 in the opening of the seals. The opening of the seals in chapter six is a pronouncement of judgment. The object of that judgment is Jerusalem and the Jewish state. They are the persecuting powers at that time, and the sounding of the seven trumpets signaled the end of Jerusalem, the temple, and the Jewish state. God is about to destroy their world.

The scene of the seven trumpets would have great significance to the Jewish Christians because they knew the story of Joshua and the destruction of Jericho in Joshua 6. As Israel prepared to march on Jericho, Joshua instructed them to, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord,” Joshua 6:6.

Just as the seven priests with the sounding of the seven trumpets brought destruction on the city of Jericho, so too, this sounding of the seven angels with the seven trumpets would herald the destruction of Jerusalem. Jerusalem represented the “faithful city” who had become the great harlot of chapters 17-19. She is “the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified,” 11:8,13. It is this once “faithful city” who was responsible for the martyred saints who are underneath the altar in chapter six and who are appealing to God for vengeance upon their enemies. Now, the seven angels with the seven trumpets stand ready as that vengeance is about to be poured out upon their persecutors. “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.”

A. The prayers of the saints, 3-4.
“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.”

These prayers are the petitions of the saints on behalf of those who are under persecution. We know this because of the response
given by the Lord.

1. This is a worship scene as we find the angel standing at the altar.

2. The silence of “about half an hour.”
The silence emphasizes the solemnity of the scene. This silence is in response to the prayers of the saints that are going up before the Lord.

3. Adding of the “much incense” to the prayers of the saints.
Could this “much incense” represent the intercession of the Holy Spirit that Paul says is connected to the groanings of the saints? “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;” Romans 8:26.

B. The censer is thrown to the earth, 5. Judgment is being poured out from heaven.
“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.”

1. The fire from the altar in heaven
Fire from heaven is a typical judgment figure of which Jewish Christians were familiar. There are many instances of this. Here are four examples.

a. Leviticus 10:2, Nadab and Abihu, “And fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.”

b. 2 Kings 1:10, “Elijah replied to the captain of fifty, ‘If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.’ Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.”

c. 2 Kings 1:14, “Behold fire came down from heaven and consumed the first two captains of fifty with their fifties; but now let my life be precious in your sight."

d. Luke 9:45, “When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”

2. “Thunder, lightning, and earthquake.” The powers of the nation are about to be shaken.

3. These figures served as a precursor for the sounding of the seven trumpets.

II. The First Trumpet, 7 – The smiting of the earth

A. The use of one third occurs no less than 14 times in the book of Revelation and always represents simply a fraction of the whole. In other words, a limited portion. It is important to note that most of the judgments are limited in scope as is represented by the designation of a third. The armies of Rome will be the instrument of destruction for which hail, fire, and blood are symbols.
 

oldhermit

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B. Hail, fire, and blood.
These are the same types of judgments that were thrown down upon Egypt who oppressed the people of God in Exodus. “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.”

The effects of this judgment on Jerusalem would be the same as that suffered by Egypt, except this destruction would come from the invading Roman armies. The destruction of their ecology which would certainly devastate their agricultural economy and would also be accompanied by much bloodshed. The term “burned up” was a common expression linked to a locust plague. Such a plague was described as a “burning of the land.”

This would fulfill the words of Isaiah regarding the nation of Israel that Paul quotes in Romans 9:27-29, “Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, ‘though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, It is the remnant that will be saved; for the Lord will execute His word on the earth, thoroughly and quickly and just as Isaiah foretold, unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left to us a posterity, we would have become like Sodom, and would have resembled Gomorrah.’”

No survivors! It must be remembered that the scope of 'earth' is designated by the limitations supplied by the text. Here, the earth that as the focus of God's judgment is the nation of Israel. This also is the fulfilment of Joel 2:28-3:3 where Joel applies these same symbols of judgment against the nation of Israel. (Also see Isaiah 28:2 in the use of hale as a judgment figure).

III. The Second Trumpet, 8-9 – The smiting of the sea – Rome
“The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea;” The symbols of mountain and sea are two nations. The earth or the “great mountain” represents the nation of Israel while the “sea” represents the nation of Rome.

A. The “great mountain”
The imagery of a mountain is used often as a symbol of a nation, generally one that exorcises power whether for good or evil. In this case, they are the persecuting power against the Church. God has used this symbolism before describing the nation of Israel. “Burning with fire” indicates a nation under judgment.

1. Amos 4:1, “Hear this word, you cows of Bashan who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy...”

2. Ezekiel 6:3, “You, mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God! Thus says the Lord God to the mountains and the hills, to the ravines and the valleys: Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places.”

3. Ezekiel 36:1-4, “And you, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel and say, ‘O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord. ‘Thus says the Lord God, ‘Because the enemy has spoken against you, ‘Aha!’ and, ‘The everlasting heights have become our possession,’ therefore, prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, ‘For good reason they have made you desolate and crushed you from every side, that you would become a possession of the rest of the nations and you have been taken up in the talk and the whispering of the people.’” Therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God.”

B. The “great mountain” is cast into the sea.
This is the consuming or the devouring of the nation of Israel by the armies of Rome. In chapter 13:1, Rome is the beast with ten horns and seven heads who rises up out of the sea. “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.” The nation of Israel is still the object of judgment, and Rome was to be the instrument of that destruction. In Revelation 6:14-15, “The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains.” The downfall of these nations (mountains) results in their appeal to other nations (mountains) for safety against the wrath of the Lord.

C. Judgment is now also pronounced upon the nation of Rome.
They too, were persecuting powers against the Church. “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.” The “smiting of the sea” is the destruction of the sea beast seen as a partial destruction in the use again of the “one third.” The destruction is represented as limited in scope. With the judgment of God against both of these persecuting powers, the powers of persecution are broken for a time.

IV. The Third Trumpet – The Smiting of the Rivers. 10-11
“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. 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.”

A. The star called Wormwood.

1. Throughout scripture, the downfall of national powers, or those in power, is depicted as falling stars, rulers whose power has been taken away.

a. Isaiah 13:1-13, “... the stars of heaven and their constellations will not flash forth their light;”

b. Ezekiel 32:7-8, “And when I extinguish you, I will cover the heavens and darken their stars; I will cover the sun with a cloud and the moon will not give its light, all the shining lights in the heavens. I will darken over you and will set darkness on your land.”

c. Daniel 8:9-10, “Out of one of them came forth a rather small horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Beautiful Land. It grew up to the host of heaven and caused some of the host and some of the stars to fall to the earth, and it trampled them down.”

 Horns represent kings.

 The beautiful land is Judah.

 The hosts of heaven and the stars represent rulers of the Beautiful Land.

 The trampling of the hosts and stars is the subjugation of the rulers of the Beautiful Land by the small horn.

2. The smiting of the rivers and fountains of water is descriptive of the powers of the rulers being dried up at the source. This language is used in the Old Testament of God as the source of life and blessing. Jeremiah 2:13

"For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters...” Also, 17:13, “O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake You will be put to shame. Those who turn away on earth will be written down, because they have forsaken the fountain of living water, even the Lord.”

Both John and Jesus used the fountains or springs of water to represent the source of eternal life.
a. Revelation 7:17, “for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

b. Revelation 21:6, “Then He said to me, It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.”

c. John 7:38, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.”

In Revelation 8:10, it is used as the source of the powers of these evil rulers.
3. Wormwood – Bitterness
Here, wormwood used as a depiction of calamity. Wormwood represents the terminal content of the source of power. The source of power is dispensing bitterness.

V. The Fourth Trumpet 12-13 – The first woe
“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. Then, I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in mid-heaven, (or in the mist of 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!’”

A. Here again, is the use of the eagle that we saw in chapter four that described the swiftness of the angels who carry out the will of the one who sits on the throne. His assignment here is the pronouncement of woes.

B. The darkening of the sun, moon, and stars suggests the darkness of those evil days.
This is a picture of gloom, distress, tribulation, sorrow, and suffering inflicted upon those nations by the wrath of the Lord that was being poured out upon them. Everything is in chaos and calamity. There is no light among those nations. As bad as the situation was during those days, the worse was yet to come. There are still two more woes to follow.

C. “To those who dwell on the earth.”
Remember, this judgment is not a global phenomenon. It is still the fate of the nation of Israel who was the center of this scene. Israel is the one for whom these woes were intended.
 

oldhermit

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Chapter Nine

I. The Fifth Trumpet—the Fallen Star and the Bottomless Pit, 1-12.

A. The fallen star and the key
“Then the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him.”

1. “Given to him” modifies the star that had fallen to the earth, not the angel who sounded the trumpet.

2. “From heaven” represents the source of his power and authority. As with all earthly rulers, the authority of this fallen star comes from the Most-High. This same language is used by the Lord in Luke 10:18 when he says “I beheld Satan fall as lightning from heaven.” This is not intended as literal language. It simply demonstrated that Satan's power was going to be crushed.

3. “Fallen to the earth” is the removal of this ruler from power. This is the same language Isaiah used against the king of Babylon in Isaiah 14:12 to show that God was about to take his throne from him. “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations!”
The symbolism of the key represents authority given to the fallen star – a fallen ruler.

He exercised this authority by opening the bottomless pit. Whatever authority is seen in any of these scenes was authority or power that was granted by God; it is never authority that is simply assumed.

B. Opening of the bottomless pit is a metaphor for releasing evil upon the land.

1. Τῆς ἀβύσσου – reveals the nature of the authority that was about to be exercised. The bottomless pit or abyss refers to the unseen dominion of Satan which is the source of the evil that was to be released. This is the place of demons as is recorded on Luke 8:31, “They were imploring Him not to command them to go away into the abyss.”

The opening of the pit demonstrated the abuse of power by this ruler to execute harm and to commit evil. As this power is granted him from God, it is clear that God will use this ruler's abuse of power to commit evil against those who are the focus of the three woes – Jerusalem. So, this ruling power was Rome and the power given him was the power to bring destruction upon the Jewish nation.

2. What was released from the pit?

a. “And smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit,” 2

The obscuring of the sun represents the darkening of those days. This is a picture of a land in distress. This is not a taking about the light from the sun as before. This is the obscuring of the sun, but not just the sun, the air as well. In our presentations on the use of symbols earlier, 'air' refers to the sphere of life and political or idolatrous influence as in “Prince of the power of the air” which Paul used in Ephesians 2:1. This darkening of the air is the pollution of the political system and includes the corrupting influence of paganism.

b. The declaration of the restriction of power. “Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads,” 3

The use of locust as a judgment figure can be seen in Joel one as a symbol of scourge and pestilence on the land of Israel that was personified in the Assyrian armies that swept through the land like a plague. This symbol of judgment is now being issued against Jerusalem, and this time, the locust will be the armies of Rome. In Joel 2, Joel said this would happen to them again. John is here invoking that symbolism from Joel against Israel. Jerusalem was about to be gone, thus fulfilling the words of Joel.

They were given the power of scorpions of the earth. This is a limitation of destructive power. These scorpions had the power to harm, but not kill. Just as with all other judgments against Israel, God never wipes them out completely.

The object of their power to hurt was those who do not belong to the Lord. They were not allowed to harm those who possessed the seal of God, nor were they permitted to harm the grass, earth, or the trees. In other words, this stage of destruction would be of a limited nature.

This is not a picture of death but of tormenting conditions. “And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man. And in those days men will seek death (this demonstrates the level of torment inflicted) and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.” This would certainly have been descriptive of the Jerusalem siege.

“Five months”
Historically speaking, this was precisely the length of time expected for a locust plague. John seems to use it here to simply designate the fact that this time of torment would continue until its intended effects were accomplished. This would not be a half-measure of woe. The allusiveness of death was to rob the victim of any sense of relief from the horror of the first woe.

c. The appearance of the locusts is presented as actuality. This army of locust was the besieging Roman cavalry and chariots.
“Like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle. They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months.” This is a description of an invading army armored for battle.

d. “They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek, he has the name Apollyon.” The figure of verse 11 is described in three different terms.

He is a king. This ruler is the fallen star of verse one.

He is the angel of the abyss. He is not literally a demon from the unseen dominion. He is simply described as one who has been given access to the evils of that dominion.

He is described in two languages, “Abaddon” – from the Hebrew, and “Apollyon” from the Greek. Both names mean the same thing – destroyer. This was certainly a fitting name for both Vespasian and Titus who brought this destruction upon Jerusalem.

e. “The first woe is past; behold, two woes are still coming after these things.”
As bad as things are during the first woe, they have not seen anything yet as misery will follow misery.
 

oldhermit

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II. The Sixth Trumpet – The releasing of the four angels, 13-21
The imagery of this military assembly is a parallel to the vision of Joel who portrayed the armies of the Assyrians as a plague of locust descending upon Israel in Joel chapter one. Now, John borrows this same imagery to describe the destruction that was to descend upon Jerusalem by the armies of Rome.

A. “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates. And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they would kill a third of mankind.”
What was being restrained in chapter seven is now being released to inflict its horrors upon the nation. The Euphrates formed the eastern boundary of the lands of Israel according to Deuteronomy 1:7, which David later designated as the border of his kingdom in 1 Chronicles 18:3.

1. The “four angels”
It is possible that these four ἀγγέλους may represent the earthly rulers who had been restrained for the time being in their execution of destruction on Jerusalem. I know Foy Wallace Jr. makes this argument in his work on Revelation, and the argument is certainly not without merit. He makes this argument based on the fact that these “had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year.”

Personally, I believe the four ἀγγέλους here refers to the heavenly beings in chapter seven who were themselves “holding back the four winds,” In other words, they had the power themselves to restrain the evil. Of course, if these four angels represent the commanders of the invading armies, the same could be said of them as well. In any case, they are now being sent out to dispatch the judgments of God.

2. “The great river Euphrates” is used to signify the fact that judgment had being restrained at the borders of the land. Destruction could not enter until the four ἀγγέλους had been released beyond the point of restraint.

3. “They would kill a third of mankind.”

B. What was being dispatched was military forces from Rome in the form of armies, horses, and cavalry represented by an overwhelming number of troops.

1. The number, two hundred million, is not to be taken literally. It is simply to convey the overwhelming and inescapable forces that were descending on Jerusalem. The description of these riders and their horses are represented in the color of their uniforms which were red, dark velvet, and yellow.

a. “Breastplates the color of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone.”
b.. “And the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone.”

2. The type of punishment being inflicted by this army is not one of combat, but of plague which suggests siege.
“A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which proceeded out of their mouths. For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents and have heads, and with them they do harm.”
In other words, destruction lies before them and desolation lies in their wake. This is similar to the language used in Joel 2:3 as he foresaw the destruction of Israel by the Chaldeans. "A fire consumes before them and behind them a flame burns. The land is like the garden of Eden before them but a desolate wilderness behind them, and nothing at all escapes them.”

3, The stubbornness of the nation.
“The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk.”

“The rest of mankind” are those who survived the second woe. This is the same charge God brought against Israel in the days of Isaiah in response to the same type of punishment saying, “Yet the people do not turn back to Him who struck them, nor do they seek the Lord of hosts,” Isaiah 9:13. In spite of all the evil that God brought upon them, they still refused to repent and return to the Lord. For this, further evils would be visited upon them. In spite of the horrors of the first woe in Revelation nine, that generation still did not repent. The purpose of the woes was to bring them to repentance and cause them to again seek the Lord. They were supposed to connect the tragedy of these events to the hand of the Lord which should have then caused them to examine themselves. Just like the Jews of old, they refused to recognize these events as cause-to-effect. Since they refused to repent in the wake of these disasters, there would yet be another woe to be spoken against them.

Their sins are mentioned in two basic categories that measure the depths of their decline. Since Judah's return from captivity, with the exception of the idolatry of some of the Jews in the time of Antiochus IV, Judah never seemed to have had any further periods of idolatry. Historically, we know that in the times of the writing of Revelation, there were no such practices of idol worship among the Jews. Worshiping “demons and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood” along with a deteriorating social climate, were the sins of Israel in the days of the prophets. John likens the sins of his generation to Israel of the past. Their rejection of the Messiah and the murder of Christians were no less evil than those of their fathers who had bowed themselves down to various images.

All of this portrays a society in decline that began with their departure from the word of God. This echoes the state of the nation in both Isaiah one and Romans one. A departure from the word of God will always bring out the worst in a society. What follows this departure is a deteriorating moral climate and a corrupt social structure. These conditions are always self-destructive. It is clear from such texts as this that God not only responds to faith, but to wickedness as well.
 

Absolutely

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2018
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#78
Your claim of a manufactured eschatology is (False)

Can you show me where the word (Trinity) is used in the holy bible, but we know well it is a manufactured (Phrase) representing the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, as being one

As I clearly showed, (The Antichrist) is a manufactured phrase, to represent a common (Future) human man.

The word (The Antichrist) is a catch all phrase, for the future human man that is identified several different places in the bible, just as the word (Trinity) is a catch all phrase for the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, being one.

Your use of 1 & 2 John is a "distraction", to the catch all phrase (The Antichrist), that you are well acquainted with, and know well it represents Daniel, Paul, And John in their human man described, as you desperately try to breathe life into your (Preterist) claims in (Historicism), that this figure has come and gone.

Examples: (The Antichrist) Same Future Human Man Below

(Future) Daniel's (Little Horn) Daniel 7:8-11

(Future) Paul's (Man Of Sin, Son Of Perdition) 2 Thessalonians 2:3

(Future) John's (The Beast) Revelation 13:4
Ok, i am pretty much with you on this.

I saw what he was doing in belaboring the term ac.

I knew he was getting at something, but you seemed to nail it.
 

Truth7t7

Well-known member
May 19, 2020
6,245
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#79
Ok, i am pretty much with you on this.

I saw what he was doing in belaboring the term ac.

I knew he was getting at something, but you seemed to nail it.
Yes he teaches reformed (Historicist) eschatology, they try to remove a time when there will be a future man (The Antichrist) with the name game on (Antichrist) using 1& 2 John

We know well Daniel's (The Little Horn) Paul's (The Man Of Sin) and John's (The Beast) are the same "Future" human man, and the catch all phrase is (The Antichrist)
 

oldhermit

Senior Member
Jul 28, 2012
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#80
Chapter Ten

I. The Vision of the Little Book, 1-6

A. The appearance of the strong angel, 1-2
The description of this angel's appearance only serves to emphasize his authority and position. This is the kind of picture one sees in the description of the priestly garments, particularly those associated with the high priest.

1. He is a “strong angel.”
The expression “strong” may signify an arc angel, an angel of the highest rank. It could also signify the Lord himself as the spokesman of deity. This would seem to be the more likely identity since he is the one who still holds the open book in his hand.

2. “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.”

Similar imagery is also depicted in 12:1 in the appearance of the woman who is “clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”

Such descriptions are intended to emphasize the glory that belongs to the one so clothed. The fact that this angel is crowned with a rainbow would seem to indicate the function of this “strong angel.” His message is not that of sorrow, destruction, and woe as those who preceded him. His message is one of blessing and hope in the continued preaching of the gospel, “You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.” This follows a clear pattern of how God has dealt with Israel throughout their history. Every time God pronounced judgments on Israel, he almost always followed this pronouncement with one of hope and good news; For example, In Joel 2:1-17, God pronounces judgment, a day of darkness, gloom, and destruction at the hands of an invading army. Following this, God promised a time of deliverance in verses 18-27. The reason for all of this is stated in verse 27, so that “you will know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and there is no other; and My people will never be put to shame.”

3. “And he had in his hand a little book which was open.”
This strong angel is holding the opened book and He has broken seals and has opened the book. Only the Lamb was found worthy to break the seals and look into the book in chapter five so, this “strong angel” would certainly seem to be Jesus. Although, in chapter five, it is a “strong angel” who presents the sealed scroll to the Lamb. It needs to be understood here that the word ἄγγελον simply means “messenger.” This certainly defines Jesus in his positional function within the Godhead as the Spokesman of deity. He is the Word of God.

4. “He placed his right foot on the sea and his left on the land.”
The sea and the land represent the two persecuting powers of Rome and Judaism respectively. We will see in chapter 13 the rise of these two beasts of the land and the sea who make war on the saints. The sea beast was given power over the land beast. The strong angel who stands with one foot on the land and the other on the sea demonstrates his power over both beasts. The symbolism is that of placing the foot on the neck of the enemy, crushing him beneath his feet. We will examine this further when we get to chapter thirteen.

B. The sealing up of the things from the seven peals of thunder are things which John saw and heard, but was not permitted to record or reveal, 3-4.

1. “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.”
Peals of thunder is often, but not always, used in scripture to describe the voice of God, Job 40:9, “Or do you have an arm like God, And can you thunder with a voice like His?” 1 Samuel 2:10, “Those who contend with the Lord will be shattered; Against them He will thunder in the heavens, The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; and He will give strength to His king, and will exalt the horn of His anointed.”

2. “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.’”

a. Clearly that which was spoke by the seven peals of thunder related to the things spoken by the Lord himself.

b. John was about to write the things which he had heard because these were the instructions that he had received from the Lord in 1:11, “Write in a book what you see….” Now, John is commanded not to write down the things which he had just been permitted to hear from the seven peals of thunder and to seal up this information. I find it interesting that there is not a time element associated with the sealing of this revelation as there was when God commanded Daniel to “... keep the vision secret, for it pertains to many days in the future,” 8:6 and “shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end,” 12:4.

There was to be a time in which the information given to Daniel would be revealed at the proper moment in human history. The information received by John does not seem to be of this type. This shows us that there is a sphere of knowledge related to human events and history that is not meant for man to discern or to recognize when it occurs. This is restricted knowledge that offers no latitude for speculation. Since this knowledge was divinely restricted, it should not even be presumed upon by man to entertain speculations about what these things may represent. Just as Moses declared in Deuteronomy 29:29, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.”

That which God has revealed belongs to us for our learning. Those things which God has chosen not to reveal belong to God alone. There are things that man was simply not permitted to know and should not seek to know. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:3-4, “And I know how such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows— was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.” Could Paul have been talking about John? It is interesting to speculate, but it is quite unlikely since 2 Corinthians was probably written thirteen of fourteen years before John received this vision. At any rate, what Paul is conveying is that there were things which God had chosen to reveal to certain individuals that were not permitted to be spoken of beyond that point.

c. This is a concealing of information.

• “Seal up” is for the purpose of concealing the meaning of the revelation from the minds of men.

• “Do not write.”
This information was not permitted to be preserved for any far future time because “There is no more delay.” Whatever John heard was about to come to pass had no far-future application.

• Whatever John heard was connected to the sounding of the seventh trumpet in chapter 11.

• When these things happened, they would be the completion of the mystery of God that was seen by the prophets concerning Israel and Jerusalem.