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Revelation 14:14-20 “The Reaping Of The Earth”

SIH STSTA ICON

 

THE TEXT:

 

 

Rev 14:14-20 KJV

(14)  And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
(15)  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
(16)  And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
(17)  And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
(18)  And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
(19)  And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
(20)  And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

After looking at Satan and his earthly kingdoms and their opposition to Christ and His spiritual kingdom (Rev 12: & 13:), we now begin a new vision.  Our review of Satan’s kingdoms on earth has been brought to completion now we look at the very next event that will take place in time… the second coming of Christ.

In this look at His second coming, we will see Christ being praised for the redemption of His people; the protection of His people; and His wrath that will destroy the kingdoms of Satan…

  1. The Redeemed of God singing a song of praise to their Redeemer, the Lamb (14:1-5)
  2. The Warnings Of The Three Angels (14:6-13)
  3. The Two Reapings Of The Earth (14:14-20)

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Please note that in our text, two  will be taking place:

  1. Revelation 14:14-16 – The “harvest of the earth” which symbolized the Lord taking His people, from the fallen world, to be with Him just prior to the sending of His wrath upon the lost.
  1. Revelation 14:17-20 – The “gathering of the vine of the earth” which symbolizes the Lord sending His wrath upon lost mankind which remains on the earth.

Please pay special attention to the terminology used in these two events.  To “harvest” means to gather and bring to oneself… to “gather” simply means to bring together it does not imply bringing to oneself.

 

Rev 14:14-20 KJV

 

  1. The harvest of the earth…

 

(14)  And I looked,

John now begins to see another related, but separate vision.  This is a vision of two great reapings of the earth.

 

and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man,

A white cloud appears.   The color white throughout the Bible represents purity (Isa 1:18) and wisdom of elders (Provs 16:31).  Many times a cloud is seen in relation to the Lord, His presence and His glory (Deut 31:15).   This symbolism makes perfect sense when we understand that Christ is the One that is seen on this cloud…  Christ is sinless and wise, God Himself and the perfect revelation of God’s glory.

This vision is taken from Daniel 7:13-14, where Daniel sees Christ as the coming King of Kings.

Why is Christ described as One “like unto” the Son of man?  He is similar to all humans, but not in every way a human … He is God Himself come in the flesh.  He was sinless. He was virgin born.  In these ways, although He was truly human, He was “like unto” the descendent of man.

 

having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

Christ continues to be described as:

  1. wearing a crown of gold, picturing His great authority as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. When Christ came to the earth the first time, He came as a humble servant.   When His second coming takes place He will be coming as the Sovereign over all that perfectly protects His people from harm and perfectly judges lost mankind for this sinfulness.
  1. possessing a sharp sickle, describing the work He is about to undertake. Christ is pictured as a farmer who is prepared to reap the crop He has sown and gather it to Himself. 

 

(15)  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud,.

John now sees “another angel”.  Just as in other portions of Revelation, this angel is carrying a message from the Father to Christ.

 

Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe

His message is the “go ahead” from God the Father that Christ should begin to reap “the harvest of the earth”.

His instructions include:

  1. thrust in thy sickle – Christ was to actively intervene in the earth, personally performing this reaping.
  2. reap – Christ was to take His people to Himself, much like a farmer reaps the crops and gathers them to himself.

These principles are clearly seen in Paul’s account of Christ’s second coming…

1Th 4:13-17 KJV  – “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.   For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

 

Two reasons why He was to do this:

  1. the time is come – The time for Christ to return, which was appointed by God the Father in eternity past, has finally come (Matthew 24:36-37).
  1. the harvest of the earth is ripe – In other words, the elect of God have now come to Christ by faith. All whom are chosen to salvation have now been saved… the crop is now ready to be reaped… it is time for Christ to take them home.

Keep in mind, once Christ comes there is no other chance for individuals to be saved.   That is why in the counsels of God, the time of Christ coming takes place after all His people have been saved.

The harvest that takes place at Christ’s second coming is the second of two harvest of believers…  the first harvest affecting believers is described in John 4:35-36…

“Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.  And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.”

 

In this harvest, we have:

  1. whitened fields – lost mankind ready to receive the gospel message and come to faith in Christ.
  2. he that reapeth – Christians taking the gospel to the whitened fields (lost mankind prepared to receive the gospel)
  3. the harvest – Men accepting Christ by faith.  This then separates them from the lost world and to Christ as they are made a new member of His family and His kingdom.

This first harvest of men, the lost being saved and spiritually united with Christ, will result in the second harvest (at His second coming) when they will be physically brought into the presence of Christ for an eternity.

 

(16)  And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

We now see Christ, at His second coming, reaping the earth by bringing those who are saved into His presence.  In doing so, He is separating the saved from the lost, by taking the saved and leaving the lost behind on the fallen earth.  In a sense, this is the firstfruits of the harvest, in other words, the portion of the harvest that is reserved for Him and His glory.

This takes place immediately prior to the remaining portion of the harvest, His wrath being sent to the earth, falling upon lost mankind.  This is the second harvest we will be looking at in detail in the following verses…

 

  1. The gathering of the vine of the earth… 

 

(17)  And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

John now sees another of the same type of angel (a representative of Almighty God) holding a sharp sickle.

This part of the vision is taken from Joel 3:12-14 and Isa 63:3.

Perhaps, this angel could symbolize Christ Himself, the One who ultimately sends wrath upon lost mankind.  However, because “another” is the Greek word meaning “another of the same type”, it seems to be saying this angel is the same type of angel as previously seen by John in Rev 14:15.   That would tell us that it is a representative of God being used to send the wrath of the Lord upon lost mankind on earth.

This fits perfectly with other accounts of Christ’s wrath being accompanied by angels…

2 Th 1:7-8 KJV –  “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,  In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:”

 

(18)  And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire;

John sees another of the same type of angel (a representative of God) coming out from the altar.

The word translated altar is the Greek word “sacrifice” which helps us to understand it is the brazen altar being talked about.  This is the altar where animals were slain and their blood was shed.  Their blood pictures the shed blood of Christ, the ultimate sacrifice, that was shed on the cross.

This angel is said to control the fire from this altar.    Keep in mind, one element of the wrath of God that falls upon the lost will be “fire” (2 Thess 1:7-8, 2 Pet 3:10-12 etc)  We will see in the following verses, this angel will be initiating God’s wrath upon lost mankind.

 

and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

The angel at the altar now cries out to the angel with the sickle.  He commands him to begin the initial phases of God’s wrath to fall upon the lost:

  1. Thrust in thy sharp sickle – This is a picture of cutting the clusters of ripened grapes (lost mankind) from their vine.
  2. gather the clusters of the vine of the earth – This is a picture of, once they are removed from the vine, the grapes are taken and gathered together.

 

Why now?

  1. her grapes are fully ripe –

All the necessary prerequisites to God’s wrath falling have taken place.  All the elect of God have been saved.  And the saved have been taken safely home to be with the Lord.   Nothing else stands in the way of God’s wrath falling upon man.

Why are grapes used to describe lost mankind?  Grapes emphasize the sinful condition of lost mankind.  In Deut 32:32 grapes represent sinful acts while in Isa 5:2 they represent a rebellious, wicked attitude. 

 

(19)  And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

The angel with the sickle fulfills the will of God which was delivered by the angel of the altar. He brings the initial stages of God’s wrath coming upon lost mankind.  Following the cutting off of the grapes from the vine and gathering the grapes together, casting them into a “great winepress” is the final stage before the wrath is meted out upon them.

Please note, these “initial stages of God’s wrath” do not picture all of His wrath but simply the first, less intense parts to it.  Many believe it is possible that these initial stages may represent the wrath revealed in trumpets 1-4, with the treading of the winepress (see vs 20 below) picturing trumpets 5-7 (the three woes) which includes all 7 vials of Rev 16:. I believe this is possible but not probable.

I believe that the initial stages more likely refer to everything leading up to the Battle Of Armageddon.  The Battle of Armageddon is the final phase of His wrath and brings the period of God’s wrath upon the lost to a close.  If this is the case, then the initial stages His wrath would include trumpets 1-7 and vials 1-6.  These we have seen symbolized in the previous few verses (vs 17-19)  The final stage of His wrath, the Battle of Armageddon (vial 7) is symbolized by the actual treading of the winepress in the following verse (vs 20).    

 

(20)  And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs. 

The city where this takes place is New Jerusalem, where God dwells and is worshipped by His people eternally. To have His wrath fall outside the city is teaching us that His wrath is falling against those who are restricted from entering His presence, His place of worship, and His holy eternal dwelling place.  It is saying these have been cast out of my presence and are now facing my wrath, in comparison to His people who have been taken home to be with Him for an eternity and are protected from His wrath.

This is the final stage of God’s wrath falling upon mankind.   It is described as the Battle of Armageddon and is revealed to us in vial 7 and later in chapter 19 of Revelation (Rev 16:17-21, 19:11-21).  Please note in Rev 19:15 the Battle of Armageddon is linked to Him treading a winepress of wrath.  This fits perfectly with our vision here.  Also, throughout the Bible God’s wrath at Armageddon is described as treading of His winepress (Isa 63:2-3, Joel 3:13, Lam 1:15, Rev 19:15)

We can see from the symbolism that a trodden winepress seems to be describing a much more intense type of judgment than the cutting and gathering of the clusters of grapes into the winepress.  This would make perfect sense, because Armageddon involves Christ PERSONALLY warring against Satan, the beasts, and the lost defeating them and consigning them to the Lake of Fire.  Prior to this the Lord’s wrath (fire etc) is sent from heaven, however Christ will not be personally present as the lost are judged.

The enormity of the destruction and harm to the lost is symbolized by the blood of the grapes flowing out of the winepress as high as the horses’ bridals (approx. 4’ deep) covering a space of 1600 furlongs (140-200 miles).   Please keep in mind that the number 1600 is 4x4x1000.  Four is the number of the earth and 1000 is the number of completeness or totality.  This last harvest is the completion, totality, ending of God’s wrath falling upon the earth.    

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In these two harvests, we saw Christ portrayed as both the Savior and Judge of mankind.  He can only do both of these because He is perfectly sinless.

As Savior, it took the sinless One to pay the price for the sins of His people. He was the sinless substitute for those He has chosen to save.

2Co 5:21 KJV – “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

 

As Judge, He must be sinless to be a perfectly just and fair judge.  Being sinless, He is the only One who can render a perfectly unbiased and selfless judgment.

Rom 2:5-11 KJV – “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;  Who will render to every man according to his deeds:  To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:  But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,  Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;  But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:  For there is no respect of persons with God.”

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY) 

May we all find great comfort in the fact that our Lord is a perfectly sinless Lord.  As such, He is absolutely trustworthy, keeping every promise He makes to us.  Both the promises concerning our salvation and His upcoming judgment of the world will take place.  May we all praise Him and serve Him out of appreciation, knowing that He is the perfectly sinless One.

 

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Revelation 14:6-13 “The Warnings Of The Three Angels”

SIH STSTA ICON

 

THE TEXT:

 

 

Rev 14:6-13 KJV

(6)  And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
(7)  Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
(8)  And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
(9)  And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
(10)  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
(11)  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
(12)  Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
(13)  And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

After looking at Satan and his earthly kingdoms and their opposition to Christ and His spiritual kingdom (Rev 12: & 13:), we now begin a new vision.  Our review of Satan’s kingdoms on earth has been brought to completion now we look at the very next event that will take place in time… the second coming of Christ.

In this look at His second coming, we will see Christ being praised for the redemption of His people; the protection of His people; and His wrath that will destroy the kingdoms of Satan…

  1. The Redeemed of God singing a song of praise to their Redeemer, the Lamb (14:1-5)
  2. The Warnings Of The Three Angels (14:6-13)
  3. The Two Reapings Of The Earth (14:14-20)

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Please note in the following passage the messages of the three angels are related and should be taken as one unit.  We can see this when verse 9 says “the third angel”.  This points us to the fact that these three angels present a series of three warnings that refer to the same basic event…. The wrath that falls during the second coming of Christ.

Also, please remember these warnings of coming judgment are being proclaimed prior to the second coming of Christ.

When these warnings are delivered, both lost and saved still dwell on the earth.  It will be in the immediate future that Christ appears, takes His children to be with Him, and begins to release His wrath upon fallen mankind that remains upon the earth…

 

Rev 14:6-13 KJV

 

I…  Warning Of God’s Wrath That Is Ready To Fall Upon All Mankind

 

(6)  And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven,

John says that he sees another similar angel flying in heaven.  “Another” implies that there was a previous angel that John has seen.  Which angel is he referring to?  The last angel that delivered a message was the angel written about in Revelation 11:15, the angel that announced the final stages of wrath that would bring God’s punishment upon mankind to a conclusion.

The angel we are reading about in this verse is a similar type of angel.  He, too, is delivering a message of the impending wrath of God that is ready to fall upon lost mankind.

 

having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

This angel possesses the everlasting gospel message (death, burial, resurrection) of Christ that he will be proclaiming to the entire world giving the lost one last chance to repent before the judgment falls upon them.

This angel and his message is symbolic of the gospel being proclaimed throughout all the world during the last days prior to Christ’s coming.  Christ said that this would take place….  Mat 24:14 KJV – “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”

The gospel, in actuality would be proclaimed by the Lord using nature, His people and, especially, His local churches.  This is shown to us by the symbol of the “angel” (the gospel proclaimed by a “messenger” of God).

 

(7)  Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

The angel, in the context of the gospel message, proclaims mankind’s need to “Fear God and give glory to Him”.  This is describing mankind as coming to salvation and honoring and worshipping their Lord.   Why should they act immediately? “for the hour of judgment is come”.

The angel also reminds mankind that the God they are to worship is their Creator… the One that holds the ultimate authority over them (Roms 9:19-26).

 

 

II…  Warning Of Certainty Of God’s Wrath

(8)  And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

The second angel now explains that God’s wrath has already been accomplished in the eternal counsels of God.  it is as good as done.  That is why he makes the statement “Babylon IS fallen, IS fallen”.  This fall is prophesied in Isaiah 21:7-10 and Jeremiah 51:6-10.

Please note: “Babylon” is a term that is being used to describe Satan’s kingdom(s).  This would include the religious and political aspects to that kingdom.  We will see this in much greater detail in Rev chapters 17-18.

Why does “Babylon” to refer to his kingdom?  Babylon finds it beginning with the tower of Babel event of the Old Testament (Gen 11:1-9).  The tower of Babel was mankind’s first attempt at organized rebellion against the Lord.   It is mankind wanting to pridefully “make us make a name (for ourselves) and seek to always remain united in their rebellion “lest we be scattered abroad”.   This is the epitome of Satan’s kingdom.  Both the political and religious aspects of his kingdom seek to rebel against the Lord, relying entirely upon themselves (their knowledge, strength, and abilities) instead of humbly recognizing their need of God and submit to His worship and service.

Babylon’s fall comes upon her because she has corrupted lost mankind to commit acts of uncleanness (fornication) with her.  Therefore she must partake of the fitting results of her sins and corrupting of the lost.  She entirely deserves the wrath that is about to fall upon her.  Her certain fall brings a just end to her sinful ways.

 

III…  Warning Of God’s Wrath That Is Ready To Fall Upon Satan’s Kingdoms

(9)  And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

The third angel now delivers his warning to those who are members of Satan’s kingdom.

He describes these members of Satan’s kingdom as those who “worship the beast”, “worship the beasts image”, and “receive his mark in his forehead or his hand”. These descriptions mirror the description of lost mankind found in Rev 13:11-18.  Those who follow the political, religious kingdoms of Satan show themselves to be:

  1. worship the beast – those who honor and submit to Satan and his kingdoms
  2. worship his image – those who worship themselves, their abilities, their works, their knowledge etc
  3. receive the mark in his forehead or in his hand – bear fruits of sinfulness in their thoughts, desires, and outward works

 

(10)  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God,

Anyone with these above marks will face God’s wrath at Christ’s second coming…

 

which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation;

God’s wrath pictured as being undiluted and based upon God’s “indignation” (violent passionate anger).  Sin angers God, especially when that sin is propagated through methods of deceit and enticement of the lusts of the flesh….

Rom 1:18-19 KJV – “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;   Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.”

 

and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:  (11)  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night,

The wrath of God being poured out involves being “tormented” (tossed and pained) with fire and brimstone. This symbolism comes for the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 19:23-28, 2 Pet 2:4-6)

This torment begins at Christ’s second coming when His wrath falls upon sinful mankind on the earth (2 Peter 3:10-12, Luke 17:29-20, Psalm 11:4-6, 2 Thess 1:6-9) and then continues for an eternity in the Lake of Fire immediately following their time of judgment before God (Matt 25:41, Mark 9:43-48).

When both of these punishments take place, at the second coming and the final judgment of the lost, the Lamb and the angels of God will be present (Mrk 8:38, Lk 12:9).

 

Verses that teach the existence of an eternal punishment:

Isa 33:14 KJV – “The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?”

Isa 66:23-24 KJV – “And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.   And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.”

Dan 12:2 KJV – “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

Mat 5:29-30 KJV – “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.   And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”

Mat 7:23 KJV – “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

Mat 10:28 KJV – “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Mat 25:41 KJV – “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”

Mar 9:43-48 KJV – “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.   And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.  And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”

Luk 8:30-32 KJV – “And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.  And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.  And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.”

Luk 16:19-31 KJV – “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:  And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,  And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.  But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.  And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.  Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:  For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.  Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.  And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.  And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

2Th 1:6-9 KJV – “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;  And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,  In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”

Heb 6:1-2 KJV – “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”

1 Pe 3:19 KJV – “By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;”

 

Based upon these verses, we can see the teaching of eternal punishment is found in both Old and New Testaments, in a multiplicity of verses and texts.

 

who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Who are the recipients of God’s wrath?  Those who are followers of Satan and members of his political and religious kingdom.

 

 

IV…  Summary Of Above Warnings

 

(12)  Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Knowledge of the coming judgment of the Lord against the abusers of His people is a source of great patience for His people.  There are the people whose lives are characterized by an obedience to the commands of the Lord and continuing proclamation that hands down to others the truths of God’s Word.

 

(13)  And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

After seeing the horrible end of the wicked, John is now prompted to emphasize the great blessings of the saved who are kept secure in Christ and pardoned from sin’s penalty.

What a drastic difference between the lost and saved!  The lost are destroyed at His coming, and sentenced to an eternal punishment. While the saved, on the other hand, enter into a Godly rest from their earthly labors (Hebs 4:8-9. Isa 57:1-2) and gain rewards for their obedient works (2 Cor 5:10, 1 Tim 5;24-25).

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this text, we find a four-fold revealing of Christ…

  1. In the message of the first angel, we can see the GRACE & GREATNESS of Christ revealed as He consistently presents the gospel message to the lost up to His second coming. This gives lost mankind every possible opportunity to repent and come to faith.   In this message He is also revealed as the True God and Creator of all mankind illustrating His greatness in comparison to fallen mankind.
  2. In the message of the second angel, we can see the SOVERIEGNTY and VICTORY that He has won over Satan and His kingdoms. His victory is an absolute certainty, being won at the cross and manifest at His second coming.
  3. In the message of the third angel, we can see His WRATH and His JUSTICE on display as He clearly displays His victory over the powers of darkness.
  4. In the angels’ instructions to John, we can see the FAITHFULNESS of Christ, as He remains faithful in keeping the promises of future blessings for His people to enjoy.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

Servants of the Lord, may we all find encouragement to continue to take the gospel into the lost and dying world around us.

We have learned of the great need of the lost to come to Christ before they face their eternal punishment, the blessings awaiting each one of us, and the Lord’s promise of future victory and retribution in Him.

May we allow these truths to burden our hearts and motivate us to greater service to Christ!

 

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Revelation 14:1-5 “The Song Of The 144,000”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

Rev 14:1-5 KJV

(1)  And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.

(2)  And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

(3)  And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

(4)  These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

(5)  And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

After looking at Satan and his earthly kingdoms and their opposition to Christ and His spiritual kingdom (Rev 12: & 13:), we now begin a new vision.  Our review of Satan’s kingdoms on earth has been brought to completion now we look at the very next event that will take place in time… the second coming of Christ.

In this look at His second coming, we will see Christ being praised for the redemption of His people; the protection of His people; and His wrath that will destroy the kingdoms of Satan…

  1. The Redeemed of God singing a song of praise to their Redeemer, the Lamb (14:1-5)
  2. The Messages Of The Three Angels (14:6-13)
  3. The Two Reapings Of The Earth (14:14-20)

 

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY: 

Rev 14:1-5 KJV 

(1)  And I looked, and, lo,

Following a review of Satan’s kingdoms on earth, John now begins to see a new vision.   This vision shows us events that take place at the final hours of Satan’s kingdoms on earth.  The first part of this vision takes place immediately prior to Christ’s second coming…

 

a Lamb stood on the mount Sion,

John sees Christ standing on “Mount Sion”.  This Mount Sion is located in heaven, the dwelling place of God and the angels (Hebs 12:22).

The symbolism for this part of John’s vision comes from Psa 48:1-3, Joel 2:32.  In these passages Mt Sion is presented as the dwelling place of God and the place of refuge for His people.  Likewise, Mt Sion (heaven) in this vision is the dwelling place of God and the refuge of God’s people for an eternity.

Here, Christ is seen standing in heaven (symbolized by Mt Sion) waiting to descend and deliver His people at His second coming.

 

and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.

John sees the 144,000 symbolizing the people of God who have died prior to His second coming, whose spirits are now in heaven.  Their presence in heaven is the mark of their ownership by God and their membership in the eternal kingdom of God.  Their sin’s punishment has been paid by Christ’s shed blood and they are eternally secure in Him.  They are His redeemed whose spirits are in heaven, eagerly awaiting the resurrection of their body and living an eternity with Him beginning with His second coming.

What a comparison to the “The mark of the beast” from chapter 13 is the identifying mark of the people of Satan and his kingdom. What a contrast we see in these two marks.  “The mark of the beast” is the mark of Satanic ownership and influence, membership in the kingdoms of Satan and the coming judgment that awaits them.

 

(2)  And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: 

The 144,000 (saints of God from both OT and NT) now sing with one voice signifying their absolute unity in Christ.  Without their sin natures to now hinder them they are perfectly unified in motive, goal, and love for their Lord and Redeemer.  Their voice I loud, attracting all the attention of John.  Their voice is much like great waters flowing over a falls or the great pealing of thunder announcing a coming storm. 

 

and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

He also hears harps being played in honor of their Lord.  These harps symbolize: joyous celebration, praise, worship of their Lord.

Why this great time of worship?  He is about to being His second coming to the earth.  In doing so, He will be resurrecting their dead bodies and untiing them with it, He will be judging the lost and fully defeating the Satan and his kingdoms.  This will all be done in preparation for their living with Him eternally. 

 

(3)  And they sung as it were a new song

The redeemed of the Lord are now heard singing a “new song” of praise to the Lamb.   Just like the song sung by the 4 beasts and elders in 5:9, this song is a song that the 144,000 is not accustomed to singing.  Why?  Because this song will only be sung immediately prior to the Lord’s second coming.

The two songs are related in 5:9 the Lord is being praised for the salvation of His people based upon His work on the cross.  Here, the song is being done immediately prior to the taking of His people at His second coming… this is the physical salvation of His people from His wrath that is about to fall.

Both Psalm 98:1-9 and Psalm 144:9-10 speak of a new song that was sung by God’s people in the Old Testament.  It is interesting to note the similarities between these songs and the Revelation “new songs”…

Psalm 98:1-9 is very similar to the “new song” spoken of in Rev 5:9, both speak of God’s redemptive for His people.

On the other hand, Psalm 144:9-10 is more similar to the “new song” found in Rev 14:3, in both of these songs, we can see God’s physical rescuing of His people in view. 

 

before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders:

This new song sung by the 144,000 is sung in the presence of God (throne) and His people (the four beasts, the elders, the 144,000).

Keep in mind, the people of God are symbolized in three ways in the book of Revelation:

  1. the beasts represent God’s people as the recipients of spiritual life
  2. the elders represent God’s people as the recipients of divine authority to judge and rule in eternity
  3. the 144,000 represent God’s people formed into His mighty nation by His sovereign intervention in their lives

Literally, the song is sung by the redeemed in the presence of God alone.  The sing being sung by the 144,000 and not the elders nor the beasts helps to remind us that the subject of this song (His deliverance from wrath at His second coming) is a sovereign act of God that will manifest His spiritual kingdom by separating them from the fallen world and uniting them with Him throughout eternity. 

 

and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

Only those who are sovereignly delivered from the wrath of God could learn and sing this new song immediately prior to His second coming.  The angels could not learn this song nor could any other created being.  Those who had already been redeemed and separated from this fallen earth could learn this song (from their personal experiences).

 

(4)  These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins.   These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.   These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.   (5)  And in their mouth was found no guile:  for they are without fault before the throne of God. 

God’s people who are in heaven are described as:

  1. “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins.”

They are not dirtied with illicit unions of unfaithfulness (Hebs 13:4).  They are totally devoted to the Lord and spiritually pure.  (James 4:4, 2 Cor 11:2)

 

  1. “These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.”

They are in union with and followers of the Lamb wherever He leads His people.  Dedicated obedience to Christ is shown (John 10:26-27, John 8:47, 1 John 4:5-6).

 

  1. “These were redeemed from among men,”

They were bought with a price… the shed blood of Christ on the cross (1 Peter 1:18-19)

 

  1. “being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.”

They were separated from other of mankind for God’s use (James 1:18).  This is much like the OT first fruits that were separated from the remaining portion of the crops and then given for God’s use (Deut 18:4-5, Lev 23:17).

 

  1. “And in their mouth was found no guile:”

They speak honest, sincere words that are not touched by deceit.  Here we see their sincerity in service to Him (Mat 6:1-6, John 4:23-24).

 

  1. “for they are without fault before the throne of God.”

In God’s eyes they are looked upon as sinless based upon Christ’s work (Heb 9:14, Jude 24, 1 Thess 5:23, Phil 3:10-14)

 

The above description of God’s people can be also seen in Zephaniah 3:9-13. 

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

Christ, in this section of Scripture, is shown to us as the ultimate Savior of His people.

Not only does He redeem us through His death on the cross (Col 1:14) but, as a result, He saves us our spirit from the grave at our death (2 Cor 5:8) and later delivers our body at our resurrection (1 Cor 15:52).  As His redeemed people we are welcomed into His presence and forever with Him (1 Thess 4:17).

He truly is the ULTIMATE Saviour of His people, saving them from the penalty, bondage and presence of their sins, and the final wrath to come at His second coming!       

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

As we experience the Lord at work in our lives, we learn new things about His person and workings among us.  We see His grace, mercy, and sovereignty on display in our lives as He intervenes in the affairs of our life, actively bringing about His will.   Based upon these new experiences in our walk with Christ, may we all sing “new songs” of praise as we tell others of His wondrous works.

 

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SYMBOLS EMPLOYED IN THIS TEXT:

  1. a Lamb
  2. the mount Sion,
  3. an hundred forty and four thousand
  4. having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.
  5. a voice from heaven
  6. the voice of many waters
  7. the voice of a great thunder
  8. the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
  9. a new song
  10. the throne
  11. the four beasts
  12. the elders
  13. not defiled with women; for they are virgins.
  14. the firstfruits

 

THE RELATED SCRIPTURES:

 

SUPPLEMENTAL STUDIES/NOTES:

Revelation 13:11-15 “The Beast From The Earth”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

 

Rev 13:11-15 KJV

(11)  And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
(12)  And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
(13)  And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
(14)  And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
(15)  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

In chapter 12, we saw a defeated Satan’s continuing opposition against the Lord and His people.  Throughout the ages, Satan has used the political kingdoms of this fallen world as tools in an attempt to abuse, persecute and even martyr the people of God.

We have looked at the POLITICAL powers of the world and how Satan has used them throughout history to afflict the people of God.  We saw this aspect of Satan’s kingdom in vs 1-10.

In the middle portion of chapter 13 (vs 11-15), we will learn more about the SPIRITUAL kingdoms of this world as they afflict the people of God.  Then, in the following portion of chapter 13, we will be introduced the “mark” (major characteristic) of those who join the beast in its stand against the people of God.

  1. The Beast of the Sea – The Political Kingdoms of This World (13:1-10)
  2. The Beast of the Earth – The False Religious Kingdoms of This World (13:11-15)
  3. The Mark of the Beast – The Number of Humanism (13:16-18)

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Rev 13:11-15 KJV 

(11)  And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

After John sees the beast of the sea (the political kingdoms of the world being used by Satan to afflict the people of God), his attention is turned to another beast.   This beast will be symbolic of the RELIGIOUS kingdoms of this world, ie the false religions of this world, that are used by Satan to oppose God, His truths, and His people.  He is called “the false prophet” in Revelation 16:13, 19:20, 20:10.

John gives us a very detailed description of this beast.  First of all it is described as “another” beast.  This word means “another of the same type” of beast.  In other words, it is another wild, dangerous, enemy of God and His people.

 

John continues with a description of the physical appearance of the beast…

 

Description References Symbolism
Comes Up Out Of The Earth Daniel 7:17 This beast finds its origin in the sinful fallen earth. False religions appeal to the carnal nature in men, who desire to fulfill the spiritual viod in their life, but refuse to submit to the true God.  In response, they create false gods and willingly submit to them.
2 Horns Like A Lamb Daniel 7:8, Matt 7:15 This beast appears as a lamb, counterfeiting Christ.  All false religions attempt to replace the True Lamb of God as the source of life, salvation and blessings.   Horns are pictures of power and weapons.  The false promises and teachings given by false religions are the source of their strength and weapons of warfare against the Lord and His people.
Speaks Like A Dragon John 8:44,2 Cor 11:3,2 Cor 11:13-15,2 Thess 2:9-11,Matt 24:24 This beast speaks as Satan speaks… with great lies. This beast’s ministry centers on lying to his followers, just as Satan is the Father of lies.  Satan uses the false religions of this world (their teachings and miracles) to lie, mislead and deceive the world.  In doing so, he is stealing away the worship that Christ alone deserves.

 

(Please notice that, just as the previous beast, this beast finds its origins in Daniel 7)

 

The first beast which represented the POLITICAL powers of the world is described as a horrifying beast.  This refers to the kingdoms of the world’s great military might, and powerful vicious leaders.

In comparison, the second beast, the RELIGIOUS powers of the world, is pictured as a gentle, kind lamb-like beast. It deceitfully shows itself to be harmless, but in reality, is incredibly harmful, misleading others to an eternity in the Lake of Fire.

 

(12)  And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

This beast possesses the same (power) authority as the first beast…

  1. The political powers of the world were said to possess the authority to speak blasphemies against the Lord… so too, the false religions of this world.
  2. The political powers were said to have the authority to rule over every area of the world. Likewise, the false religions of the world appear in every nation, language and families found in this world.

The state religions of the world have been used throughout time to lead men to submission to the political powers of this world.  Throughout the history of the world, false religions have caused many wars to take place between political powers.  In an attempt to force men to worship a specified religion, the political powers of the world have forcibly dominated nations and opposing religious groups alike.  In every case, the end result was forced worship and submission to the invading political government and its state religion.

(Perhaps the greatest example of the political powers and religious powers of the world working in harmony against the cause of Christ can be seen at the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Christ.  In that case, we have the Jewish religious leaders worked in harmony with the Gentile Roman government to put Christ to death. (John 18:1-40 etc)) 

 

(13)  And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,  (14)  And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast;

One of the greatest tools used by false religions to mislead mankind are “great wonders”, many various unexplainable feats.  These great wonders will be a consistent tool used by false religions until their ultimate defeat at the coming of Christ to the earth.

2Th 2:8-10 KJV – “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” 

 

The one “marvel” used to represent all the wonders that the false religions performed is that of calling fire down from heaven.  Throughout the OT times and also during the early NT times fire falling from heaven was consistently used as a sign of the true worship of Jehovah:

  1. 2 Kings 1:10-14 – Elijah 2.  Lev 10:2 – Jehovah               3.  Nums 11:1 – Jehovah
  2. Num 16:35 – Jehovah 5.  Judges 6:21 – Jehovah           6.  1 King 18:38 – Jehovah
  3. Exo 9:13-on – Jehovah 8.  Acts 2:7 – Local Church

(This helps us to understand that all the miracles that are performed by the false religions are counterfeits of the true miracles of God.  They are used to deceitfully misled men into believing the false religion is approved and authorized by God.)

 

These false wonders are done in the eyes of men in an effort to mislead them, but also done in the sight of the beast being approved, authorized, and used by the political powers of the world.

Keep in mind, despite of all these “great wonders”, they are still false religions that will face the judgment of God in the future…

Mat 7:22-23 KJV – “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?   And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

 

 

saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

Following the deception of their followers, the false religions then instruct them to create idols of false worship and present them to the powers that be.  This is a very important point that should not be overlooked:

  1. It proves they are now accepting of false worship – The creation of idols and images are always associated with false worship and relying on the works of man to please God. Images were very commonly employed in false religious worship (Ex 20:4, 2 Kings 3:2, Isa 40:19, Dan 3, Jud 17:3, Isa 40:19, Jer 10: 14 etc etc)  This is blasphemy at its worst.
  1. It proves they have readily accepted humanism (man is the supreme authority) as the ultimate truth – God is the only One who is capable of creating an image of Himself. He did that for us when He created man (Gen 1:26-27).  To create any other supposed image of God is an act of blatant humanism.  It is believing that man, with the works of his own hands, can create an image of Almighty God; or, it is saying that mankind has the ability to create their own gods and to worship it as they see fit.  In either case, it is false worship and humanism at its worst.

 

Note: This is saying that their acts of idolatry and humanism were created to be presented to the beast of the sea.  This was to prove that the beast of the earth has accomplished its task…

It is saying to the political powers, I have successfully misled your citizens to no longer worship the true God.  They are now worshipping their own creation.  They now are reliant upon themselves and their own abilities to develop and worship as they please.  Now they are yours for the taking.  Their knowledge of God and possibility of coming to the worship of the true God is no longer standing in your way.  You can now be the ultimate authority in their life to do as you please.

 

(15)  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

Please remember:

  1. The image of the beast represents the ACTS of false worship of mankind and the humanistic PRACTICES followed by mankind.
  2. The giving of life to the image is speaking of continued deceit being used to mislead those watching to partake of this false worship and humanism.

Keeping this in mind, “giving life unto the image” is speaking of Satan’s continuing attempts to make false worship and humanism appealing to mankind.  Basically, it is speaking of the continuous changing of false worship and humanism so that it appeals to the masses:

  1. One example of this is the ancient religions of the far-east now being repackaged as “the New Age” religions. Nothing in the New Age movement is new, it is simply presented in a new way to lost mankind.
  2. Another example would be repackaging of humanism as “the power of positive thinking” and “situational ethics” etc etc.
  3. Another example would be the practices and festivals of heathen worship incorporated into the “holy days” of the Catholic Church.

 

When our text says “that the image of the beast should both speak”, it is describing two basic principles…

  1. These acts of false worship, gradually, over time have gained a voice of their own, becoming a source of enlistment to these false religions. Many acts of false worship can be used to entice others to join the false religions from which they originate.  It no longer matters what the doctrinal stand of a false religion might be, now simply seeing their practices and wonders, many people ignorantly choose to follow them. There are many lost who believe that the acts of worship (many times the wonders that are performed) prove that a false religion is of God.  Based upon this, they will participate in this false worship without ever comparing their teachings with God’s Word.
  1. Also, these acts of worship speak for themselves by becoming “proofs” of a person’s participation in a given religion. Judgment is now made based upon their participation in these acts of worship… “Do you observe the holy days?”  “Do you speak in tongues?”  “Do you speak to the dead?” etc etc.  All of this is done in an effort to judge true from false worshippers and is used by Satan to bring persecution upon those who do not participate in the false and humanistic worship that he strives to promote.

It is in these two senses that the acts of worship now speak as clearly as the false religions that they represent. The existence of the “experience” (or act of worship) attracts and justifies the participants of that religion.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

When we look at the “ministry” of the false religions of the world, we can clearly see their results worked among men.  They seal a man’s spiritual death, leading them down the path of destruction through deceit.

In comparison, our Lord describes Himself as “The way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).   What a blessing it is to know the Lord that we serve is the way that gives us access to His Heavenly Father.    He supplies to us the absolute truth of the very Word of God.  He is the One that is the source of eternal life to those who trust in Him.

Joh 14:5-7 KJV

“Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?   Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.   If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.”

 

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

When we see the deceitful workings of the false religions of the world, and the power behind those religions (Satan), we come to understand their great danger to mankind.   May we all come away from this teaching with two determined attitudes.

First of all, may we all learn to diligently guard ourselves against doctrinal impurity and participation in the ungodly practices of these false religions.

Secondly, may we also learn to appreciate our Lord, “the way, the truth and the life”, who has so graciously delivered from error, supplied to us the truths of His Word, and continues to lead us in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  What a wonderful Lord we serve and how much He deserves our entire commitment to Him and His will for our lives.

 

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Revelation 13:1-10 “The Beast From The Sea”

SIH STSTA ICON

THE TEXT:

Rev 13:1-10 KJV

(1)  And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
(2)  And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
(3)  And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
(4)  And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
(5)  And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
(6)  And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
(7)  And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
(8)  And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
(9)  If any man have an ear, let him hear.
(10)  He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

THE INTRODUCTION:

In chapter 12, we saw a defeated Satan’s continuing opposition against the Lord and His people.  Throughout the ages, Satan has used the political kingdoms of this fallen world as tools in an attempt to abuse, persecute and even martyr the people of God.

In the beginning portion of chapter 13, we will learn more about the POLITICAL kingdoms of this world as they afflict the people of God.  Then, in the following portions of chapter 13, we will be introduced to another tool that is used by Satan to oppress God’s people… the RELIGIOUS kingdoms of this world.  Finally, we will see the “mark” (major characteristic) of those who join the beast in its stand against the people of God.

  1. The Beast of the Sea – The Political Kingdoms of This World (13:1-10)
  2. The Beast of the Earth – The False Religious Kingdoms of This World (13:11-15)
  3. The Mark of the Beast – The Number of Humanism (13:16-18)

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Please note:  the following verses describe the “beast from the sea”.  This part of John’s vision is taken from Daniel 7:1-12

 

Rev 13:1-10 KJV

(1)  And I stood upon the sand of the sea,

John, as he stands on the seashore looks out at the sea.

 

and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.    (2)  And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

As John looks out over the sea, he sees a “beast” rise up out of the sea.  The word translated “beast” means a “wild, dangerous creature”.

This descriptions of this wild dangerous beast goes hand in hand with the prophecy found in Daniel 7:1-12:

Description Rev. Ref Daniel Ref Symbolism Other References Interpretation
Out of Sea Rev 13:1 Dan 7:2-3 Fallen Humanity Isa 57:20, Jer 6:23, Rev 17:15 This beast comes out of the ever-changing masses of fallen humanity
Has Seven Heads Rev 13:1 N/A Seven World Political Empires (1) Rev 17:9-11 This beast is symbolic of the seven world emires that have opposed the cause of Christ throughout the centuries.
Has Ten Horns w Crowns (on last head) Rev 13:1 Dan 7:7-8 The Many Ruling Countries Following the Roman Empire (2) Rev 17:9-12 This beast includes the many governments of the world that have taken positions of power since the fall of Rome.  However, in each of these cases, they have never been able to dominate the known world as did the previous World Empires.  Therefore they are looked upon as one attempt by Satan, using many combined nations, to effectively retain rule over all the world.
The Name of Blasphemy Rev 13:1 N/A Each is Given the Title “Blasphemy” Rev 13:3-7 Each world kingdom follows its leader Satan, in opposing the people of God and blaspheming His name.
Body Like A Leopard Rev 13:2 Dan 7:6 Leopard very swift, powerful beast (3) Greek Empire very powerful, quickly overtook its enemies and spread throughout known world
Feet Like A Bear Rev 13:2 Dan 7:5 Bear one side higher then other (3) Medo/Persia empire… two sides represent two nations working in unity as one empire.
Mouth Like A Lion Rev 13:2 Dan 7:4 Lion highly glorified,  honored, powerful (3) Babylon empire… with Nebuchadnezzar glorified as God, very wealthy empire
Strength from Satan Rev 13:2 N/A Military Might and Wealth 2 Cor 4:4 All the different manifestations of Satan’s kingdoms were empowered by Satan himself.
Exalted Position From Satan Rev 13:2 N/A Military Conquests, New Areas Of Rule 2 Cor 4:4 All the different manifestations of Satan’s kingdoms were given victories and conquests through Satanic intervention.
Authority From Satan Rev 13:2 N/A Rulership, Exalted Position 2 Cor 4:4 All the different manifestations of Satan’s kingdoms received ruling power and authority from Satan himself.

Notes to above chart:

(1) Seven world political empires throughout history: 1. Egypt, 2. Assyria, 3. Babylon, 4. Medo/Persia, 5. Greece, 6. Rome, 7. Diverse Kingdoms Appearing after the Roman Empire.
(2) A Sampling of the many ruling countries that came after the Roman empire: France, Germany, USA, Britain, Japan, China, Russia etc etc.
(3) All three animals, the Leopard, Bear, and Lion are mentioned as judgments from God upon men that do not recognize nor appreciate His mercies and blessings. (Hosea 13:5-8)

When put all together, we can see the kingdoms of this world, under Satan’s power and control, make up a very powerful, terrible “machine” that will seeks to totally wipe out the Lord and His people.  We see this take place throughout history where the nations of the world persecute God’s people, reject His Word, and speak against the very Lord that has blessed them and allowed them to exist.

Paul and John speak of many of the leaders of these governments and the spirit that motivates them as “the spirit of antichrist”.  In other words, they possess a desire to both oppose and replace Christ by receiving the worship that is due to Him.  This attitude can be seen throughout history in the lives of the Pharoahs of Egypt, the Roman Emperors, Nebuchadnezzar, and many many others including more recent leaders such as Hitler, Stalin, Kim Jong-il, etc etc. 

These leaders use the power of their political kingdom to further their desires for self-exaltation among the people of the world….

1Jn 4:3-4 KJV
“And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 

2Th 2:3-5 KJV
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?”

Please note that another type of the “antichrists” of this world are the false religious leaders who work in harmony with the political powers of the world to wreak havoc among the people of God.  These false religions and their leaders will be looked at in great detail in the next section of chapter 13…

 

1Jn 2:18-22 KJV
“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.”

  

(3)  And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.  

John now sees one of the heads that received a deadly wound.  This wound that would eventually result in the death of this beast was Christ’s death on the cross (Col 2:14-15).  The head that received this wound was the sixth head, the Roman empire, the kingdom in existence at the time of the crucifixion.

Although the wound was deadly (would eventually cause the death of the political powers of the world).  This eventual death would be made plain for all to see at the second coming of Christ (Rev 19:17-21).   However, in between the crucifixion and the second coming we have the beast not outwardly affected by this wound.  In that sense, he was “healed” of the wound he had received.  To this day, the great power and wealth of the world kingdoms is coveted by the fallen world, and will only be shown for what they truly are when they are defeated by Christ at His second coming.

 

(4)  And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

In this fallen, humanistic world that is ruled by selfish lusts (1 Pet 2:11) enflamed by the enticements of Satan, we see a willingness to sacrifice all to pursue worldly power, riches and fame.   In doing so, they place their God, families and morals behind to receive this temporal, unsatisfying offerings of the world.

This is the root cause of the lost world’s submission and worship to the kingdoms of this world and their leader, Satan.

(5)  And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.   (6)  And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

The kingdoms of this world receive a mouth given to them by Satan.  It is with this mouth that the kingdoms can speak impressive, tremendous things which speak harmful things against Jehovah God.  Remember, this is the great work of the worldly kingdoms to mislead men and force men to join in the blasphemy of God Himself.

This is why “blasphemy” was written upon each and every one of its heads (world empires that make up all the political kingdoms throughout time Rev 13:1).  His role of Blasphemy would continue throughout all the time of opposition and abuse to God’s people.  This time period is described as “42 months”, “a time times and half a time”, and “1260 days”

The kingdoms of this world speak out against:

  1. his name – Who God is and what He has done for us.
  2. his tabernacle – The worship and meeting place of God on earth with man (tabernacle, temple, local church)
  3. them that dwell in heaven – God’s people, both alive and dead, who are citizens of heaven

All three of these are misrepresented, opposed, and spoken against by the governments of this world (Acts 17:32).

 

(7)  And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them:

The governments were not only given words but the ability to actively work in a blasphemous way against the Lord.  They were empowered by Satan, under the Lord’s allowance, to actively war against the people of God.  This would include judging, imprisoning, and even martyring them.

As the governments abuse the people of God, they may be physically overcoming them, but in actuality are spiritually bringing defeat upon themselves.

and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.  

These governments are given the authority to rule over all men.  This includes men of every family, language and citizenship.  This will culminate with a merging of all nations as they stand against Christ at His second coming. This will result in the final defeat of all the world’s kingdoms (Rev 19:18-20)

 

(8)  And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

All of lost mankind (those who are not written in the Lamb’s book of life), during their lifetime on earth will worship the world’s kingdoms.  All lost mankind follows the doctrine of this, humanistic, world kingdoms.  As a result, they all work for the satisfaction of their fleshly desires and personal gain of worldly wealth, power and fame (Luke 16:8, Psa 17:14, Isa 55:2, Prov 27:20)

Book of life mentioned many times in Revelation:

  1. Rev 3:5 – overcomer’s names, eternally secure ones
  2. Rev 13:8 – no lost men in it, LJC work places men in the book.
  3. Rev 17:8 – names placed in it from foundation of the world
  4. Rev 20:12-15 – at final judgment used to determine destiny of men.
  5. Rev 21:27 – allows entrance into God’s presence in New Jerusalem
  6. Rev 22:19 – “his part” taken from book not “his name”. Other words, anyone who denies God’s Word by changing it is clearly lost and cannot be saved until he accepts God’s Word as the absolute truth without any change.

The Lamb’s book of life is a listing of all whom God has chosen to salvation, all for whom Christ has died, and all who were given the gift of faith in Christ as their Lord and Savior, in other words, it is all those who have received eternal life.

 

(9)  If any man have an ear, let him hear.

A call is now sent out.  Those who have been given spiritual ears to hear these warnings, need to pay close attention to them.  It is very important that we all understand the role of the kingdoms of this world and Satan’s leadership of them.  This should result in the Christian’s need to seek those things which are above, ignoring the treasures these kingdoms have to offer to us.

“By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:  For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”  (Heb 11:9-10 KJV)

“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;  Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;”  (Heb 11:24-25 KJV)

 

(10)  He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword.

This is the basic principle of divine retribution.  This is a Biblical principle that says that a just punishment for a certain sin is that sin returned upon the sinner (Rev 11:5, Gen 9:6, Isa 33:1, Jer 15:2, Jer 43:11, Matt 26:52)  This is what the kingdoms of this world have awaiting them.  Their abuse of God’s people will be returned upon their heads at His second coming. (Rev 19:11-21)

Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

This belief that the Lord will return the sins of the kingdoms back upon them is a source of the great patience and faith that is shown by believers who have been abused, tormented, afflicted and martyred by them.

“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.  For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.”  (Heb 10:36-37 KJV)

CHRIST REVEALED:

As we saw the beast (kingdoms of this world) stand in opposition to Christ and His people, our Lord’s victory over this beast comes into full view.  Stop and think about it, if it were not for Christ’s victory over the beast, this terrible, ferocious beast would have total dominance over us and bring us to utter defeat.  But, based upon His victory won on the cross, He promises to us victory over the beast as well….

Joh 16:33 KJV – “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
1Jn 4:4 KJV – “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

May we all take the time to honor and praise our Lord for His work on the cross as He overcame Satan and the powers of this world, so that we might be victorious in Him.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

Mistreatment, persecution and opposition are to be expected as we live our lives in this fallen world.  This is because of our association with Christ.    But, although we face opposition, it is very important for us to realize that the victory has already been won by our Lord on the cross.   Although it may seem as if the powers of darkness are gaining the victory, by faith we understand that we have the ultimate victory in Christ.

May we all serve Him with renewed vigor knowing that the war has been won, and we are serving in the winning army of Christ.

Rev 19:11-21 KJV
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. “

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

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Revelation 12: Summary

SIH STSTA ICONSUMMARY OF THE CHAPTER: 

In Revelation chapter 12, we will be looking at another of John’s visions that reveals the history of God’s kingdom (the woman) and the first coming of Christ (the child) to the earth.  It will emphasize the attempts made throughout history to stop Christ from accomplishing His work and destroy His people from whom He came.  A short outline of this chapter is as follows:

 

The Woman With Child & The War In Heaven 12:1-17

  1. The Woman and the Child 1-6
  2. Michael’s Defeat of the Dragon 7-12
  3. The Persecution and Flight Of The Woman 13-17 

 

SUMMARY OF EACH DIVISION OF CHAPTER:

 

  1. Revelation 12:1-6 – The Woman and the Child

John sees a woman appear in the sky. This woman symbolizes those who are saved in both Old Testament and New Testament times.  This woman is seen about to give birth to a child (Jesus Christ being born into the world).

John then sees a great red dragon appear in heaven (Satan).  He is symbolically represented as the one that controls the worldly empires of this fallen world.  He is seen opposing the birth that is about to take place.  He is preparing to destroy the child at the moment he is born.

This helps us to understand that Satan opposed the first coming of Christ.  He did all he could to stop Christ from coming and attempted to hinder Christ during His life on earth.  Satan did all of this in an attempt to stop Christ from going to the cross which would completely defeat Satan and the powers of darkness.

We see that Satan could not stop Christ, as He won the victory over Satan at the cross.  This victory was clearly displayed at the resurrection, ascension and exaltation of Christ to the right hand of God.

Following the victorious ascension of Christ, the Christians who are alive upon the earth are pictured as living in a spiritual wilderness (this fallen world) who is given a place of refuge (in the presence of Christ) for protection from the many attacks of Satan.

 

 

  1. Revelation 12:7-12 – Michael’s Defeat of the Dragon

The vision now “flashes back” to the original fall of Satan to the earth, which took place prior to the fall of man.  Satan’s fall is pictured as a war that took place in heaven.  This war was made up of two warring parties Michael the archangel (probably symbolic of Christ) and the elect angels of God versus Satan and the angels that fell with him.

The casting out of Satan to the earth was proof that Christ would ultimately defeat Satan on the cross which took place 4000 years after Satan’s fall.  This is why God’s people praise the Lord for the fall of Satan and his upcoming defeat on the cross.

Once Satan arrives on earth, out of anger and desperation, he acts as an accuser of the brethren, finding fault with God’s people and seeking to gain their rejection by God.

 

 

  1. Revelation 12: 13-17– The Persecution and Flight of the Woman

As the dragon (Satan) opposes the woman (God’s people on earth), she is given a place of refuge in the presence of the Lord.  She is given two wings (God’s strength and enabling grace) which enable her to flee the dragon’s attacks and dwell safely in the presence of the Lord.

As a last resort, Satan sends forth false teaching as a flood in to the world.  This is an attempt to hinder the works of God’s people.  This false teaching is readily accepted by the lost world (the earth swallowing the flood) while being rejected by the people of God.  This results in a clear distinction between those who are truly saved (rejecters of Satan’s error) and those who are lost (those who are accepting of these false teachings).

This war that takes place between Satan and the people of God continues to this day, and will continue, until the second coming of Christ.

 

WHAT’S COMING NEXT IN THIS SERIES?:

In Revelation chapter 13, we will begin to learn more about the workings of Satan as he opposes God’s people on the earth.  We will be seeing two main figures, and their workings, that are used by Satan to oppose the people of God…

  1. The Beast of the Sea – The Political Kingdoms of This World (13:1-10)
  2. The Beast of the Earth – The False Religions of This World (13:11-15)
  3. The Mark of the Beast – The Number of Man (13:16-18)

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

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Revelation 12:13-17 “The Persecution and Flight Of The Woman”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

Rev 12:13-17 KJV

(13)  And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
(14)  And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
(15)  And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
(16)  And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
(17)  And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

Following the sounding of trumpet seven, in preparation for the completion of God’s wrath upon lost mankind and the kingdoms of the world, John’s attention is now turned to another amazing symbolic vision.

To help us better understand the contents of the seventh trumpet, the Lord gives to John a vision that will explain, in great detail, the history of the world’s kingdoms.  This will keep the wrath of trumpet seven in the context of world history and the great wrongs that have been committed by the world’s kingdoms, and the judgment that they face because of those wrongs.

A short outline of chapter 12 includes:

  1. The Woman and The Child (12:1-6)
  2. Michael’s Defeat Of The Dragon (12:7-12)
  3. The Persecution and Flight Of The Woman (12:13-17)

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Please keep in mind, in the previous verse we saw the saints of God in heaven praising the Lord for gaining the victory over Satan on the cross..

“Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”

 

This thought continues in our text for this morning….

Rev 12:13-17 KJV

(13)  And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

When Satan “saw that he was cast out on the earth”… in other words, when Satan saw that, in the future, he would be defeated by Christ…  Please keep in mind that his casting out heaven was proof that, in the unchangeable counsels of God, he would be defeated by Christ on the cross.  At his casting out he recognized he was a defeated foe.

Based upon his defeat he, angrily, began to seek out God’s people (the woman) seeking to hunt down, oppose, abuse, and martyr God’s people (Rev 12:12).

 

(14)  And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place,

The woman (symbolic of the believers on earth) is said to be given two wings.  These wings picture for us God’s protection (Exo 19:4) and strength (Isa 40:30-31) being given to them as they continue to serve Him on earth.  These wings will allow the people of God to keep close to Him where they will find healing and comfort in the midst of Satanic opposition (Mal 4:2, Psa 55:6, 1 K 6:24-27, etc).

This is a vivid picture for us of the wonderful promise that the Lord has given to us, who remain on the earth (John 14:16-27)…

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

 

where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

During the time of Satanic opposition against the people of God, God’s people will be nourished (cherished, needs supplied).   Note this care of the Lord’s people will be given in a place of refuge from Satan.   Although Satan can attack God’s people from the outside, inwardly God’s people can have peace, security, strength and rest in Christ as they walk in close communion with Him.

Keep in mind, the phrase “time, times and half a time” refers to the time period between Babylon’s defeat of Judah and Christ’s second coming.  It is symbolic of the times on earth when the worship of God is publically opposed by the world’s kingdoms under the leadership of Satan.   The time period we are looking at here, (from the ascension of Christ to His second coming), takes place DURING this “time, times and half a time” era.

 

(15)  And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

Just as the gospel message is described as “living waters”, so too, false teaching from Satan is pictured as a harmful flood.

One of the greatest ways that Satan opposes the worship of God is through false teaching that contradicts the Word of God.  He uses false teaching in an effort to make ineffective, and ultimately destroy, the ministry of God’s people while on earth.

In addition through false teaching, Satan attempts to accomplish two important goals: lead astray the lost (2 Thess 2:9-12) and confuse the saved (Matt 24:24).  However, if a person is truly saved and mature in the faith, they will be able to recognize false teaching and stand against it (John 16:13, John 10:27, John 14:26).

 

(16)  And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

As the flood of false teaching spreads over the earth, lost mankind blindly accepts these false teachings as the truth.  Because of this, they continue on with their sinful lifestyles and teachings, never being made a new creature in Christ, living holy lives for Him.

How does the lost’s acceptance of false teaching help the people of God? It makes it much easier to recognize those truly saved and those who are lost.   If all lost men intellectually accepted the truths of God Word, they could be more easily mistaken as those who are saved.  However, with their beliefs based on false doctrine, it becomes very easy to discern those who need Christ around us.

One of the most common proofs of a person’s spiritual condition can be seen by asking the simple question… “What do you believe about Christ”?   Their answer, although not perfect proof of their spiritual condition, does go a long way to helping us discern if they are saved or lost.

Also, when the world sees the godless lifestyles of the lost…. it is the lost’s beliefs that help the world understand they are not Christians, and their lifestyles should not be looked upon as a Christian lifestyle.  Sadly, however, there are many professing Christians who also live ungodly lifestyles in the world around us.  It is those professing Christians that are hurting the cause of Christ and the service of those Christians who are seeking to please the Lord with their lives.

 

(17)  And the dragon was wroth with the woman,

The dragon (Satan) is enraged at the woman, seeing that she is protected by Almighty God and his false teaching has been turned on its head and used of God to further the ministry of the woman (Psa 76:10).

 

and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Satan’s anger drives him to continue to conflict with the succeeding generations of God’s people.  As each generation comes and goes, the genuine Christians hand down God’s truths and continue in their faithful lifestyle.  Everything Satan has “thrown at them” has come to nought. This enrages him that much more and continues the fight.

Why are the descendants of the woman described as a “remnant”?   “Remnant” means “the remaining ones”.  Keep in mind, as each Christian generation comes and goes they are only a small part of the entire family of God (spiritual Israel).  Most of God’s people (in OT and NT) have already gone home to be with the Lord, the ones that live, and will live, on earth are few in comparison to the whole.  They are the ones that will “remain” and serve the Lord following the example of those who have gone before them.

 

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

We can see Christ revealed to us as the great protector of His people.  Throughout God’s Word, the Lord is described as a refuge in the time of storm for His people…

Psa 9:9-10 KJV – “The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.   And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.”

2Sa 22:3 KJV – “The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.”

Psa 37:39-40 KJV – “But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.   And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.”

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

When we are confronted and opposed by those who hold to false teachings, we need to remember their great need of Christ.  They are blinded to His truths and following the path that was laid by the god of this world (Satan).

As easy as it is to become angry towards them and desire to retaliate, one of the greatest testimonies we can have is to love our enemies in the midst of their opposition.  This love for them can be displayed by kindly, humbly sharing the Word with them, followed by consistent prayer, while attempting to meet their physical needs will go far as we seek to minister to them.  This is pleasing to the Lord, displaying His mercy and grace to the lost that are around us…

Luk 6:27-35 KJV – “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,  Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.  Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.  And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.  And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.”

 

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

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Revelation 12:7-12 “Michael’s Defeat Of The Dragon”

SIH STSTA ICON

THE TEXT:

Rev 12:7-12 KJV

(7)  And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
(8)  And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
(9)  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
(10)  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
(11)  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
(12)  Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

THE INTRODUCTION:

Following the sounding of trumpet seven, in preparation for the completion of God’s wrath upon lost mankind and the kingdoms of the world, John’s attention is now turned to another amazing symbolic vision.

To help us better understand the contents of the seventh trumpet, the Lord gives to John a vision that will explain, in great detail, the history of the world’s kingdoms.  This will keep the wrath of trumpet seven in the context of world history and the great wrongs that have been committed by the world’s kingdoms, and the judgment that they face because of those wrongs.

A short outline of chapter 12 includes:

  1. The Woman and The Child (12:1-6)
  2. Michael’s Defeat Of The Dragon (12:7-12)
  3. The Persecution and Flight Of The Woman (12:13-17)

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Rev 12:7-12 KJV

(7)  And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

John now sees a war that is taking place in the abode of God.  Please notice in this context “heaven” clearly is describing
God’s abode, it was from this “heaven” that Satan was cast out at his fall (vs 8-9).

This war consists of two warring parties, Michael and his angels versus the dragon and his angels.  As we saw previously in this vision, the “dragon” is symbolic of Satan with “his angels” referring to the fallen angels (demons) that were cast from heaven with him.

But who is Michael?  The archangel, Michael, is mentioned in the Bible several times…

  1. Daniel 10:13-21 – Michael revealed truth to Daniel
  2. Daniel 12:1 – Michael is said to send God’s wrath upon earth in latter days
  3. I Thess 4:16 – Christ’s second coming is accompanied by Michael’s voice
  4. Jude 9 – Many people believe that this is speaking of Michael opposing Satan concerning the disposal of Moses’ body (God buried Moses’ body which reflects the victory Michael had over Satan through intervention of God Deut 34:6) It appears that Satan wanted possession of Moses’ body (for an unknown reason) but Michael opposed him and won the victory. This is what allowed God then to bury Moses’ body.

However, it is important to remember that “Moses body” could be referring to Israel (the body of God’s people that were physically led by Moses).   Satan was constantly at work trying to overcome Jerusalem (the capital of Israel) with deceit and the powers of Gentile nations around them (Zech 3:1-2).  This was an effort to stop the first coming of Christ by destroying His ancestry prior to His birth.  I believe this is a better, more clear understanding of this verse.

Please note that Michael pictures the work of Christ and, perhaps, is actually Christ in each of these activities.  Michael reveals truth to man, he sends wrath upon sinful man, and his voice is heard at Christ’s second coming.  Christ is victorious over Satan by relying upon His Father and His Word.

All of this helps us to see that throughout the Bible Michael is a picture of Christ (or perhaps Christ Himself).  Keep in mind the name “Michael” means “who is like God” and the title “archangel” means “rule or rank above angels”.  Both of these can easily refer to Christ Himself.

If Michael is a picture of Christ, what then is this war that is taking place?

This war was Satan’s attempts to stop Christ before He could be crucified and complete His ministry…
“Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” (Joh 12:31 KJV)

Why did He say this when Satan had been cast out of heaven prior to the fall on man 4000 years prior?   He said this in reference to His crucifixion which would be the basis of Satan’s defeat and His authority over Satan (Hebs 2:14-15, 1 Peter 3:18-22).     In that sense, the judgment of this world was accomplished and Satan was cast out of heaven at His crucifixion.

At His crucifixion, Christ (Michael in this vision) was victorious over Satan (this dragon).  He had overcome all of Satan’s attempts to stop Him and He had won the final victory over Satan and the powers of sin and death.  (Heb 2:9-18)

 

(8)  And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.  

Satan and the other fallen angels were unable to overcome Michael and his followers (Luke 19:38, Col 1:20).  This was the basis of Satan’s and the fallen angel’s banishment from heaven and the presence of God.  it is as if this is now a “flashback” to Satan’s fall showing John what had taken place because Christ had defeated Satan on the cross.

Note: In God’s mind, even before the world began, the crucifixion of Christ was as good as done.  Christ had been promised to come in the future and be the Defender and Savior of His People.  God cannot lie, He is faithful to His promises.  Although this took place prior to the coming of Christ… it was an absolute certainty…Christ would come and defend and deliver His people and defeat Satan, Death and Sin.  Because of this, Satan could be cast out based upon Christ’s death that had not yet taken place.   Likewise, the salvation of the OT saints was fully accomplished during the times of the Old Testament, even though Christ’s death had yet to have taken place.

(9)  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

At the casting out of Satan (following his sin, at the beginning of the world), he then is found upon earth with the other fallen angels (demons) (Isa 14:12, Ezek 28:17, John 8:44, 1 John 3:8) .  Satan and his demons, because of their sinful condition is now actively working on the earth, seeking to hinder the work of Christ by opposing the people of God (1 Peter 5:8-9, Job 1:8, 2:1).

Note the names of Satan in this passage:

  1. old serpent – sly, cunning, harmful – He uses deceit and cunning to lead us from God’s will.
  2. Devil – accuser, slanderer – He is an accuser of the brethren
  3. Satan – adversary – he opposes Christ and His people seeking to stop them from their appointed ministries
  4. great dragon – enthrall, captivate, mesmerize – A part of his deceitfulness is making sin look beautiful and desirous.

In general, we can say that deception is the prime weapon that Satan uses against us.  He is able to deceive the whole world (men of every race, nation, family, language, etc) (2 Copr 4:3-4).  However, through the gracious intervention of the Lord in our lives He can open the eyes of the blinded and deceived and show them the truths of His Word (Acts 26:18, Eph 1:18, 2 Cor 4:6).

(10)  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

Now John hears the voice of God’s people which are in heaven.  Why just one “voice” instead of “voices”?  Perhaps this shows one purpose and motive behind this saying.  Those in heaven are perfectly united to honor and glorify Christ, their Savior.

They are praising the Lord for the victory He has gained over Satan as He was crucified and arose again, and its results.  One of which was clearly seen in the casting out of Satan.  Now they begin praising Him for other results as well…

  1. salvation – the deliverance of His people from sin, death, and Satan’s grasp
  2. strength – the strength given to His people enabling them to overcome Satan and the forces of darkness.
  3. kingdom of God – the rule of the Lord in the hearts of His people removing them from sin and Satan’s bondage.
  4. power of Christ – the authority Christ given to His people to be overcomers (victors) in the face of Satanic opposition.

Satan is described as “the accuser of the brethren” in this passage.  The key to understanding this title is found in Zech 3:1-2…

“And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.  And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? “

Satan accuses the people of God if their faults, sins, and times of failure in their service to Christ.  Following their salvation, he is attempting to gain their rejection by the Lord for their sinful deeds.  In this case, he was trying to find fault with Jerusalem, for whom Joshua the priest was making intercession.  The Lord’s response, Jerusalem had been chosen by God, therefore there is nothing Satan could do to bring separation between the two.  Satan was to be rebuked for his deceitful criticisms of Jerusalem.

Rom 8:33-34 KJV –

“Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.   Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”

(11)  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Satan’s accusations of God’s people, were to no avail.  All of their sins had been paid for (past, present and future) by Christ on the cross, although they still committed sin all had been paid for by Christ, covered in His blood.  Believer’s sins were no longer an issue.  (Romans 8:33-39)

They had overcome all of Satan’s accusations by the blood of Christ (blood of the Lamb), their speech (word of their testimony) and their actions (loved not their lives unto death) which proved they were genuinely saved.

(12)  Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

Based upon Satan’s inability to separate God’s people from the Lord, all in heaven are to rejoice.  Those who have already died, at the time of Christ’s death, are with the Lord in heaven and have nothing about which to be concerned.

However, God’s people who are yet living on earth and in the sea, are facing tremendous harm at the hands of Satan.  They are to greatly beware of his workings in their lives.  He burns with anger at the people of God because he has been defeated by Christ at the cross and now he wants vengeance.  He knows his time is short and he must work quickly to hinder as many of God’s people as is possible.

CHRIST REVEALED:

IN this part of the vision Christ is seen as the One who is victorious over Satan and his spiritual kingdom.  It is through the victory that Christ has won on the cross that Satan was cast from heaven and eternally defeated and Christ’s people are safe in Him.   It was at the cross that Christ’s blood was shed gaining the ultimate victory over Satan, his demons and the worldly kingdoms that oppose the will of God.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

We can learn two different truths from our text.  First of all, we can learn that Christ has won the ultimate victory over Satan and his demons.  Because of this victory, in the midst of Satan’s many accusations concerning us, we need not fear that he can separate us from the Lord and the forgiveness that He has given to us…

 

Rom 8:33-39 KJV

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We should be honoring Christ every day for this great victory, and the accompanying eternal security we have been given.

However, we also need to realize that because Satan’s defeat included his ejection from heaven, we now face a very powerful foe here on earth.  Although he has been defeated, he still is very active and angrily seeking to hinder our every act of obedience to Christ.

Based upon this, we are to always be on guard against the workings of Satan realizing he in our midst seeking to frustrate our service to Christ.

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

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Revelation 12:1-6 “The Woman And The Child”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

 

 

 

Rev 12:1-6 KJV

(1)  And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
(2)  And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
(3)  And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
(4)  And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
(5)  And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
(6)  And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

 

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

Following the sounding of trumpet seven, in preparation for the completion of God’s wrath upon lost mankind and the kingdoms of the world, John’s attention is now turned to another amazing symbolic vision.

To help us better understand the contents of the seventh trumpet, the Lord gives to John a vision that will explain, in great detail, the history of the world’s kingdoms.  This will keep the wrath of trumpet seven in the context of world history and the great wrongs that have been committed by the world’s kingdoms.

 

A short outline of chapter 12 includes:

1.  The Woman and The Child (12:1-6)
2.  Michael’s Defeat Of The Dragon (12:7-12)
3.  The Persecution and Flight Of The Woman (12:13-17)

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

 

Rev 12:1-6 KJV

(1)  And there appeared a great wonder in heaven;

John now sees a “great wonder” in the sky (not the heaven of God… note Satan seen in heaven also (vs 3).

In other words, he sees a very “important symbol or sign”.   Just as prior sections of Revelation, what John is about to see will be a series of symbols that will reveal many truths to us about the kingdoms of this world and their opposition to Christ, defeat, and abuse of Christ’s people throughout history.

 

a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

John sees:

  1. a woman – symbolizes submission, life giver, intimate union (wife), nourisher (mother), beauty
  2. clothed in the sun – symbolizes shining with reflection of God’s glory, truth, wisdom
  3. moon under her feet – symbolizes blessings given to people of God (Isa 30:26)
  4. upon her head a crown– position of honor, reward,
  5. twelve stars – God’s people in OT/NT (tribes of Israel, apostles), honored position, smaller lights (compared to sun)

The Bible uses women to represent the following:

  1. National Israel – Jer 3:6-10
  2. Spiritual Israel (All believers) – Isa 54:1, Roms 7:1-4
  3. Local Churches – Eph 5:23

 

Who does this woman represent?  Probably, she represents SPIRITUAL Israel.  IN other words, the line of believers through which Christ came to the earth. She includes believers from both OT/NT times (Isa 50:1, 54:1, 66:7-9; Hos 2:1).  She is glorifying to the Lord and united intimately with Him.  She is the recipient of many of the blessings of God.  She is pictured as the mother of our Lord and all believers…  Gal 4:26 KJV – “But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.”

It is possible she presents PHYSICAL ISRAEL but this is unlikely based upon what is said about her in later verses of this chapter. (see v 2, 5-6).  There will see that the teaching includes truths concerning believers before the establishment of physical Israel as well as believers during NT times.  This would seem to clearly represent SPIRITUAL not physical Israel.

 

(2)  And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

The woman has in her womb the Christ child. Christ came through a line of men of faith, who trusted in the Lord as the people of God.  She is in great pain anticipating the coming of her Messiah to the earth.  She is actually suffering birth pains that increase in intensity and frequency as the birth of the Messiah draws near.

This is describing the saints that lived prior to the coming Messiah (From Adam through the OT prophets) that, by faith, eagerly and painfully waited for the Messiah to be born.  Her birth pains describe the affliction, opposition from the wicked and chastening from the Lord, which grew worse over time, until they suffered 400 years of silence from God immediately prior to His birth.

 

(3)  And there appeared another wonder in heaven;

Along with the woman being seen, John also sees another of the same type of symbol in the sky.  Please note however, the symbol for God’s people was described as “great”, placing it above this new sign John is seeing.

 

and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. (4)  And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth:

John saw:

  1. a great (exceeding large) red (fire-colored) dragon – snake in garden of Eden, dangerous, deceptive, destructive
  2. seven heads – 7 world kingdoms (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, MedoPersia, Greece, Rome, Divided Roman Empire)
  3. ten horns (on seventh head) – Divided Roman empire, following NT times varied nations in control (Germany Russia USA England France China Japan etc etc etc)
  4. seven crowns (1 on each head) – 7 kingdoms of world
  5. tail drew 1/3 part of stars of heaven cast them to earth – Satan bringing other fallen angels with him when he was cast out of heaven. (Dan 8:10, Job 38:7, 2 Pet 2:4, Jude 6)

 

This serpent represents Satan using the world’s kingdoms to oppose Christ and His workings among men (Job 7:12,

Psa 74:14, 89:10, Ezek 32:2).  Please note the many similarities between Satan and the Beast of the Sea seen in Rev 13:1…

“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.” 

We will see this beast represents the 7 world empires that have existed, and will continue to exist, throughout the history of the world until Christ’s second coming.  On the other hand. Satan is pictured very similarly because he is the ruler of the kingdoms of this world (2 Cor 4:4).

 

and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

John now sees the serpent stand in the presence of the woman during her time of labor.  He wanted to consume the child as it was born.  This symbolizes Satan great opposition to Christ and his continual attempts to stop Christ from perfectly glorifying His Father and saving His people from their sins.

This same principle can also be seen with Caesar’s attempt to kill the true Messiah at His birth (Matt 2:16).

Throughout history Satan uses the kingdoms of the world to oppose Christ and His people (John 15:20).  He attempts to stop them from glorifying the Father and completing the work He has given to them.

This is the same enmity and active opposition that exists throughout history between Satan & his seed (unbelievers and world kingdoms) versus the seed of the woman (Christ) & believers throughout the ages (her seed).  This enmity was prophesied in Gen 3:15, as God places a curse upon Satan…

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

 

(5)  And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron:

Christ is born into the world through the line of people of faith (Gals 4:26-27, Isa 9:6-7, 66:5-14, Isa 54:1; Micah 5:2-3).  This line includes both Jew and Gentiles in the Old Testament and the first few years of the New Testament including Mary, His physical mother (Gals 3:16-18).

That child was given the authority to rule (lead as a shepherd) all nations with a rod of iron (authority that cannot be broken nor weakened).  Christ is said to rule with a rod of iron in Psa 2:9, Rev 19:15.  Likewise He is described as a shepherd (1 Ptr 2:25, 5:4; Heb 13:20).

 

and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

Satan could not defeat Christ.  On the contrary, Christ glorified His Father with His life, and accomplished His work on the   cross.  He then was resurrected from the tomb and ascended to the Father’s right hand (Acts 1:6-9, 7:55).  Christ’s ascension to the Father’s right hand is proof that His work was completed and His Father rewarded Him for His faithfulness (Eph 1:19-23, Phil 2:5-11).

By telling us the child was caught up to the throne of God is a short-cut way of saying that He successfully completed His work, Satan failed in his desires to stop Him, and He rules over all (including Satan Himself) at the Father’s right hand.

Also notice that Christ’s birth and ascension were the first and last events that took place during His first coming.  These are given as a summary of His entire life on earth.

 

(6)  And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God,

Following Christ’s ascension, spiritual Israel (Jewish and Gentile believers) are not defeated by Satan, but “flee” (escape) his opposition as they are protected by God.  Where does spiritual Israel go for protection? A special place prepared for her by God in the wilderness.

Throughout Revelation a “wilderness” pictures a place of opposition for the Christian (Rev 12:6, 14; 17:3).  This is the world in which we live following Christ’s ascension.  It is a place of testing, temptation, and conflict (Mat 4:1, Heb 3:8).

But within the wilderness of this world, the Lord gives believers a special place of rest, peace and security.  It is described as “the secret place of the Most High”… “under the shadow of His wings”…  We can flee to Christ as “our refuge and fortress” in the midst of the wilderness in which we live (Psa 91:1-16).

This is where the people of God dwell safely as we continue on our journey through the wilderness on our way to a “better place” (Hebs 11:13-16).

 

that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

During the times of the world kingdoms actively opposing the worship of God (2260 days), the Lord will feed us in His “secret place”.   It is when we approach Him in a spirit of humility and repentance, that He will give us grace.  It is when we are the closest to Him, that we learn more about Him.  It is when we have our eyes upon Him, that we find strength and wisdom to continue on our journey.

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.   Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.    Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.    Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.    Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”  (Jas 4:6-10)

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In our text, we find many truths of Christ displayed for us.  He is seen as the One that came physically into this world and successfully fulfilled His Father’s will which included the salvation of His people.  In doing so, He successfully overcame the opposition of Satan and brought him to permanent defeat.

However, we also see Him as the Shepherd of His people.  Throughout the history of the world, He has led, fed and protected His people from Satan and the world’s kingdoms.  It is though His people that He works upon the earth, giving them the truths of His Word, and using them to honor and glorify Himself.

Finally, we also see Him as the One that sits upon the throne of the Most High God ruling over the world as the “King of Kings” and “Lord of Lords”.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

As we can see from our lesson, the history of God’s spiritual nation is filled with God’s grace and divine supplies.  From before the coming of the Messiah, through the days in which we are living, we can see how the Lord has sustained and protected His people.

One of the most important ways we are blessed, is by Him giving to us a special place of protection and enabling while serving Him with our lives.  The key to enjoying this grace, is to understand our need to humbly, with repentant hearts, always remain close to our Lord, under the shadow of His wings.  This grace can be enjoyed by dealing with sin that enters our life, keeping us in close communion with Him.  This communion will allow us to learn from His Word, keep our eyes upon Him and remember the wonderful eternity that awaits us.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

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Revelation 11: Summary

SIH STSTA ICONSUMMARY OF THE CHAPTER:

Chapter 10:1-11:14 gives us a break from our look at the seven trumpet judgments. (We have already looked at trumpets 1-6 in Revelation 8:-9:; and we will see the contents of Trumpet 7 beginning in 11:15.)  In chapter 11:, we will be given the answer to the question “Why does God send His wrath upon lost mankind at His second coming?”

 

The answer to this question is two-fold. God sends His wrath upon lost mankind because…

  1. Rev 11:1-2 – Lost Mankind Rejects His Worship
  2. Rev 11:3-13 – Lost Mankind Rejects His Witness

Then in Revelation 11:14-19 we find preparation for the final segment of God’s wrath that falls at His second coming. Other ways Revelation describes this portion of God’s wrath is “the 3rd woe”, “”the seventh trumpet”, or “vials one through seven”.  Symbolic detailed descriptions of this wrath will be found in Revelation 15:-16:.

 

SUMMARY OF EACH DIVISION OF CHAPTER:

 

  1. Revelation 11:1-2 – Rejection Of The Worship of God

In this text, we can see a clear division between those who are the true worshippers of God (shown by Jews who are worshipping in the inner court of the temple) and those who oppose God’s worship and are restricted from it (symbolized by Gentiles who inhabit the outer court of the temple.

The worship in the temple, the use of the altar and the Jews who worshipped therein comes from the Old Testament accounts of genuine worship of Jehovah.  In the Old Testament most Gentiles were restricted from  temple worship shown by their presence in the outer court only.

John is told by the angel to measure the temple, altar and count up the worshippers that are within the temple confines.  The measuring/counting of these is a symbolic representation of the worship of God’s people throughout the ages is accepted, approved and possessed by God.

On the other hand, John’s restriction from measuring the outer court and counting up the Gentiles in the outer court clearly teaches us that the lost of this world are restricted from engaging in true worship and entering His presence, even though they participate in worldly worship of false Gods.

 

 

  1. Revelation 11:3-13 – Rejection Of The Witness of God

In this portion of John’s vision, he sees the Lord give authority and strength to two witnesses (symbolic of all the witnesses of God throughout time, to actively witness of Christ and His truth until His second coming.  These two witnesses are likened to the lampstand and olive trees of Zech 4:, teaching us that their ministry of enlightening the world is only done through the enabling of the indwelling Holy Spirit in their lives.

Their ministry involves teaching the truths of God’s Word which will act as a fire purifying those who heed the warnings found in the Word, or increasing the responsibility and final judgment of those who eject their message of truth.

These witnesses are also likened to Elijah and Moses and the NT witnesses of Christ prior to the completion of the Word who performed many accrediting miracles to prove their witness was of God.  What does this teach us about all the witnesses of Christ throughout the ages?  They are all witnesses of the true Messiah Jesus Christ and they are accredited by God possessing His authority, message and empowerment to take the gospel to the world.

These two witnesses are slain by the beast from the bottomless pit, describing the great martyrdom of God’s people that have taken place throughout history at the hands of the powers of darkness of this world (pictured by the governments of Sodom, Egypt, Jerusalem, and Rome).   Please note all of these governments are directly related to the direct opposition to the Lord and His people throughout  history.

But that is not the end of the story.  In the midst of the lost world’s rejoicing over the death of God’s witnesses, we see Christ bringing the body of the witnesses back to life (at His second coming) and taking them to be in His presence while He avenges the mistreatment of His people (pictured by a great earthquake that takes the lives of many of the lost on earth).

 

 

  1. Revelation 11:14-19 – Preparation Of The Conclusion Of God’s Wrath (Trumpet Seven)

In this final section of John’s vision, we see the Lord being praised by the heavenly host of angels and redeemed men for the completion of His wrath that is about to come to pass.  With the completion of Trumpet seven judgment the sinful kingdoms of the world (who we have just seen martyring God’s people) will now be brought to an end, which will result in the Lord’s eternal Kingdom being established on the New Earth.

Along with praise for His ultimate, final victory over those who abused His people, He is also praised for initiating a time of judgment of both saved (rewarding them for their faithfulness) and lost (sentencing them to eternal judgment in the Lake of Fire).

John also sees the symbolic temple of God opened in heaven, revealing the Lord in His greatness and glory.  There John sees the ark of the testament revealing Christ as God; Sinless Man; Sacrifice For His People; Miracle Worker; Faithful, Protector, Comforter Of His People; King of Kings; Supreme Judge; Gracious, Merciful, and Forgiving; Ultimate Enabler and Caregiver  of His People.

Along with the ark of the covenant being seen, there also appears “lightnings, voices, thunderings, an earthquake and great hail”.   All of which audibly and visibly reveals the Lord’s greatness and glory as He prepares to complete His work of vengeance, and reformation as Trumpet seven is now ready to be revealed.

 

WHAT’S COMING NEXT IN THIS SERIES?:

In Revelation chapter 12, we will be looking at another of John’s visions that reveals the history of God’s kingdom (the woman) and the first coming of Christ (the child) to the earth.  It will emphasize the attempts made throughout history to stop Christ from accomplishing His work and destroy His people from whom He came.  A short outline of this chapter is as follows:

Woman w Child & War In Heaven 12:1-17

  1. The Child’s Birth and Opposition To The Child 1-6
  2. The War In Heaven and Its Results 7-12
  3. The Divine Protection of The Woman 13-17

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

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Revelation 11:14-19 “Preparation For The Conclusion Of God’s Wrath (Trumpet 7)”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

Rev 11:14-19 KJV

(14)  The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.
(15)  And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
(16)  And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,
(17)  Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.
(18)  And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
(19)  And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

Previously, in Revelation chapter 10, we saw John received a small book from Christ and then John was given a three-fold responsibility concerning that book: to receive the message of the little book; become familiar and understanding of it; and then to share it with his readers by recording it as a part of the Book of Revelation.

Here, in chapter 11:1-14, we find the contents of that little book.  In these verses, we will have shown to us why God’s wrath will fall against mankind:

  1. Revelation 11:1-2 – Rejection of the Worship of God
  2. Revelation 11:3-14 – Rejection of the Witness of God
  3. Revelation 11:15 – Preparation for the Conclusion Of God’s Wrath

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

The sixth trumpet, also described as  the second woe, was seen in Revelation 9:13-21.  Following the end of this trumpet, Revelation describes why these trumpets of wrath are being brought against sinful mankind in Rev 10:1-11:13. In our text for this study, Revelation now picks up where it left off in 9:21 by preparing the seventh trumpet of God’s wrath (the third woe) to sound.

 

Rev 11:14-19 KJV

(14)  The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.

We can clearly see that this verse resumes the look at the wrath of God that falls upon mankind.  We previously saw the second woe (trumpet 6) came to completion in 9:21 and, now, we pick up the narrative as the third woe (trumpet 7) prepares to sound.

 

(15)  And the seventh angel sounded;

The sounding of the 7th trumpet marks the beginning of the third woe.  The contents of this trumpet will be looked at in detail in Rev 15: & 16:.

 

and there were great voices in heaven, saying,

Who are these great voices? Probably these voices are the multitude in heaven that includes the saints (4 beasts and 24 elders) and elect angels.  They will be honoring Christ by describing His position as King of Kings and Lord of Lords…

 

The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Trumpet seven will bring to completion God’s wrath that is falling against lost mankind.  In the process, the kingdoms of this world will fall and the visible reign of Christ will begin as eternity on the remade heavens and earth is ushered in at His second coming.  His reign is eternal and is described as “ages of the ages”.

Dan 2:44 KJV – “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”

1Co 15:24-28 KJV – “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.  For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.  For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.  And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”

 

The never ending nature of eternity is described as “ages of the ages”.  In other words, it extends throughout all ages (divisions of existence, generations), the last of which is the eternal age that has no ending, as in Psalm 146:10…  “The LORD shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.”

 

(16)  And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,

Following the praises of the Lord being proclaimed by the saved and angels, the 24 elders bow in humility and submission and begin to worship their Almighty Eternal King.

 

(17)  Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come;

They begin to verbally praise the Lord by emphasizing His authority (“Lord God”), power (“Almighty”) and His eternal nature (“which art, and wast, and art to come”).  They are giving thanks to their great Lord, but why are they thanking Him?

 

because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

They are thanking Him because He has avenged their mistreatment and defeated His foes. He is now clearly seen to reign over them.  Please keep in mind the Lord has reigned in eternity past, and continues reigning throughout all time…

Psa 93:2 KJV – “Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.”

Lam 5:19 KJV – “Thou, O LORD, remainest for ever; thy throne from generation to generation.”

 

However, at His second coming His reign becomes clear for all to see as He publically sends His wrath, defeats His foes,  and sets up His eternal reign with His people, and judges all mankind.  It is this public manifestation of His reign for which the saints of God are praising Him…

Dan 7:13-18 KJV – “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.  And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.  I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. 

These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.

But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.”

 

 

Outward proofs of His eternal rule…

 

(18)  And the nations were angry,

At Christ’s second coming the nations of this world will be angry at His great wrath that is poured out upon them.

 

and thy wrath is come,

In spite of the world’s anger and opposition to the Lord’s judgments, His vengeance falls upon them bringing them to utter defeat.

 

Proof #1: Although the Lost hate His wrath and oppose it, He still successfully sends His wrath against them, defeating them.

 

and the time of the dead, that they should be judged,

Following Christ’s defeat of His enemies, the time comes for the judgment of all men.

Proof #2:  The Lord’s judgment all of mankind, both lost and saved..

 

 

This judgment takes place in two phases….

and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great;

The first phase involves giving rewards to the saints for their faithfulness in the opportunities for service that were opened to them during their lifetime.  This takes place during the 1000 year reign and results in the receipt of rewards…

Rev 20:4 KJV – “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”

 

and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

The second phase of God’s judgment of mankind involves the judgment of the lost.  This is a judgment based upon two criteria, their names are missing in the Lamb’s book of life and the sinful acts they have committed on earth. This results in their final eternal disposition in the Lake of Fire…

Rev 20:12-15 KJV – “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

 

(19)  And the temple of God was opened in heaven,

The tabernacle and then temple was God’s dwelling place on earth during the times of the Old Testament.  This heavenly temple is the source of the great wrath that falls upon lost mankind (Rev 14:15 etc). This temple found in heaven is symbolic of the center of God’s presence.  The opening of the heavenly temple symbolizes that God, as His wrath comes to a close and eternity begins, is now clearly revealing Himself as the One who is behind the wrath that falls upon lost mankind.

1Jn 3:2 KJV – “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

 

and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament:

As the temple is opened, John sees the ark of his testament: a gold-covered wooden box that contained three objects: Moses’ rod, the table of Ten Commandments and a jar of manna (Hebrews 9:3-4).  This entire ark was found in the Most Holy Place where God Himself met with man.  It symbolized God Himself and His glorious attributes…

  1. The Gold of the ark – reminds us of His Deity and Kingship
  2. The Wood of the ark – reminds us of His Humanity, suffering and death
  3. Moses’ rod – reminds us of His miracle working ability and His faithfulness to His people as they live lives of service to Him.
  4. The table of commandments – reminds us of His authority to rule (King of Kings), and judge (Supreme Judge)
  5. The jar of manna – reminds us of His grace and endless divine supplies.

This is our Great Lord.  He is the One that will send His wrath bringing defeat upon lost mankind.

 

and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

Keep in mind the “lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail“ all picture His greatness and is preparatory for His wrath to fall (Rev 4:5, 8:5, 16:19 etc).  With this great display of His greatness and might, the wrath of God is about to proceed.  This wrath will be described in great detail in Revelation 15: & 16:

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this text, we see Christ revealed as the Almighty, Eternally Reigning Lord that will defeat His enemies and graciously bless His people throughout eternity.  In this great display of His wrath and revelation of Himself, we can see Him as God; Sinless Man; Sacrifice For His People; Miracle Worker; Faithful, Protector, Comforter Of His People; King of Kings; Supreme Judge; Gracious, Merciful, and Forgiving; Ultimate Enabler and Caregiver  of His People.

And because of who He is, He deserves all the praise and glory from all mankind.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

May we all see Christ in His greatness and have a renewed sense of need to praise and honor Christ for His person and His attributes and His workings among men (especially His Rulership and Ultimate, Total Victory gained over the powers of darkness).

Although, we cannot see Him clearly in today’s time, in the latter days we will see His glory clearly, as it will be displayed as His wrath falls upon lost mankind and throughout our eternity with Him…

1Co 13:12 KJV – “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

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Revelation 11:3-13 “The Ministry Of The Two Witnesses”

SIH STSTA ICON

THE TEXT: 

Rev 11:3-13 KJV

(3)  And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
(4)  These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
(5)  And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
(6)  These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
(7)  And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
(8)  And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
(9)  And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
(10)  And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
(11)  And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
(12)  And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
(13)  And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

Previously, in Revelation chapter 10, we saw John received a small book from Christ and then John was given a three-fold responsibility concerning that book: to receive the message of the little book; become familiar and understanding of it; and then to share it with his readers by recording it as a part of the Book of Revelation.

Here, in chapter 11:1-14, we find the contents of that little book.  In these verses, we will have shown to us why God’s wrath will fall against mankind:

  1. Revelation 11:1-2 – Rejection of the Worship of God
  2. Revelation 11:3-14 – Rejection of the Witness of God
  3. Revelation 11:15 – Preparation for the Conclusion Of God’s Wrath

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Rev 11:3-13 KJV

 (3)  And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

John’s attention is now turned to two witnesses who are authorized and empowered by Christ to verbally proclaim Christ to others.

Please note these two witnesses are implied as already present in John’s vision.  John does not introduce two new characters to his vision by saying “and then I saw two witnesses”.  Christ implies that He is simply empowering those whom John has already seen.

How can this be?  We need to remember that John had previously seen true worshippers of the Lord gathered in His temple in the beginning of this vision (11:1-2).  These two witnesses are simply another symbolic representation of these true worshippers of God.   John already saw them as people accepted by God and worshipping in His temple, now John sees the same group symbolized as two witnesses sent by God into the world to proclaim Christ to the lost world around them.  The WORSHIP of Christ and the WITNESS of Christ are two of the greatest responsibilities that God has given to those He has redeemed.

Two throughout the Bible is a number that is related to Godly witnesses (Luke 10:1 and Deut 19:15 etc)

Clothed in sackcloth helps us to understand these witnesses were sorrowful due to their message of sin, judgment and the need to repent.  Sackcloth was commonly worn during times of great mourning.  Apparently they are mourning the sinful condition of those around them.

 

(4)  These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

These two witnesses are mentioned previously in Zechariah 4:1-14. In that text, Zechariah saw a lampstand with two olive trees standing alongside them.  The lampstand combined with the olive trees represent witnesses for Christ.

The lampstand fueled by olive oil is a picture of Godly witnesses giving forth the light of the truth empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit.    The olive trees are representative of Godly empowering of the witnesses.  God is the supplier of the Holy Spirit (olive trees) to these witnesses (lampstand).

Why are there two olive trees? They represent the two Anointed Ones (Christ and the HS) who are active in the empowering of the witnesses. Christ is the One that has sent the Spirit into believer’s hearts enabling them to serve Him.  (John 15:26)

 

(5)  And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.

God’s Word, as it proceeds out of the witnesses mouths would be like fire purifying some (those who accept their message by faith) while adding condemnation to others (those who reject their message) (Jere 23:29).

The Lord promises vengeance upon those who abuse and martyr His people (Rev 13:10)

 

(6)  These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

These witnesses are linked to Old Testament witnesses for Jehovah.  Elijah (Luke 4:25) and Moses (Exo 7:-12:).

Why are these two witnesses that John saw linked to these 2 Old Testament witnesses?

  1. They are all witnesses of the same One… the Lord Jesus Christ, who was prophesied in the OT and revealed in the NT.
  1. They are all accredited by God through miracles… Moses used by God to accredit the LAW Moses had been given. Elijah accredited the PROPHETS and their message of the coming Messiah, the NT saints (prior to the completion of the Word) that accredited the writings of the New Testament which clearly reveals the identity and work of the Messiah.
  1. Both Moses and Elijah were seen on the Mount of Transfiguration along with Christ Himself. They picture OT witnesses of God.  Christ is the perfect witness of the Father wile on earth.  He stand in the place of the earthly witnesses for God that are left behind after His ascension.

 

(7)  And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 

Following the completion of the witnesses’ testimony for Christ, the beast from the pit fights and kills them.

This beast is representative of the worldly kingdoms of man that are under Satan’s control.  We will be looking at the identity of this beast in detail in Rev 13: where we are given much more information about him.

This same beast is mentioned in:

11:7 – Beast of bottomless pit;                                            13:1-18 – Beast from the sea;

14:9-11, 15:2, 16:2 – Beast with image and mark;           16:10-13 – Beast’s Seat and Kingdoms;

17:3-17 – Scarlet Beast;                                                         19:19-20 – Beast with armies, image, mark;

20:4,10 – Beast with image, mark                                       This beast is also mentioned in Dan 7:1-14.

Throughout history the kingdoms of the world, under Satan’s influence, have persecuted the people of God.  Beginning with the first world Kingdom of Egypt who enslaved God’s people, to this day we see martyrdom and abuse being levied against those who hold fast to the truth about Christ.  This is the basic symbolism of this beast and its activity against the witnesses of God. Who are only allowed to be overcome following their completion of the work God has given them to do.

Martyrdom is a constant threat to the people of God (Matt 10:21-28, Matt 16:24-25, Matt 24:9, John 16:2 etc)

 

(8)  And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

Dead bodies lying in the streets were a sign of great disrespect and dishonor to the one that was slain. This is another way to express the enmity that is held by the worldly governments against God’s people.

The witnesses’ bodies are said to be lying in the streets of “the great city”.  This speaks of worldly habitations influenced by Satan.  Its spiritual names of “Sodom” and “Egypt” helps us to see it could be any city that is characterized by rebellion against God and persecution of His people.  Both of rebellion and persecution were outstanding characteristics of these cities.

There are some that say this could be symbolic of Jerusalem. If so, it simply backs up the rebellious aspects of the cities of the world.  Jerusalem is the epitome of rebellion against the truths of God.  Israel, who possessed the truths of God throughout the OT knowingly, purposefully rejected the Word when Christ was revealed as the Messiah.  Sadly, the majority of Jewish people remain in a state of unbelief to this day.

There are others who say this could be referring to Babylon or Rome, whose histories are filled with the origination of all false religions and the abuse and martyrdom of Jehovah’s people.  Once again this supports the basic principles of “Sodom” and “Egypt”.   Basically, all of these cities (Jerusalem, Babylon, Rome, Sodom, Egypt) held and continue to hold a hatred for Christ in common.

In actuality, this prophecy does not need to be speaking of any particular city.  It likely is speaking about all the cities and governments of this world.  Without exception to a varying degree, they all abuse and mistreat the people of God.  A study of their histories will reveal, in every case, opposition to the message and ministers of God.  Individually, they are described as “that great city” speaking of the great power and seductive aspects of all the kingdoms of the world and their hatred of Christ (shown at His crucifixion).

As these cities oppose the people of God, it is only proof that the inhabitants of the cities hate Christ and desire to kill Him.  (Matthew 10:22, John 15:18)

 

(9)  And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.  (10)  And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.

The lost people of the world look upon them with great joy illustrating the lost world’s unified opposition to the truths of God and those who present those truths.

They are joyous and celebrate because there are now less sources of truth and the guilt that comes when God’s Word is presented to lost mankind.  They now can more easily sin without feeling the pangs of guilt or being reminded that their actions displease the Most High Lord.  This is the “torment” that is inflicted by true messengers of the Lord upon lost mankind.

 

(11)  And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.  (12)  And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

This abuse and disrespect of God’s people will last during “the times of the Gentiles”, symbolized by the 3 ½ days (kingdoms worth of time). See Revelation 11:2 for a full explanation.  Following that time period, Christ at His second coming will resurrect the bodies of the saints and take them to be with Him throughout eternity.

This symbolism is taken from Ezek 37:1-14, where the restoration of the nation of Israel is seen as unburied corpses that are restored to life following their abuse and death at the hands of the Babylonians during their captivity.

The great fear that falls upon the world in the initial stages of His second coming in Rev 6:12-17, Luke 21:25-28 & Matt 24:29-31)  Also we see the Lord commanding His people to come forth at His second coming in 1 Thess 4:16-18.

 

(13)  And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

At Christ’s second coming a great earthquake is said to take place causing great fear.  This earthquake is the beginning indications of God’s wrath that is beginning to fall at His second coming.  As soon as His people are taken, His wrath begins to fall upon lost mankind.  His wrath now begins to bring an end to these wicked political powers that have abused His people for so long.

The seven thousand men slain speaks of the completeness, thoroughness of His wrath that will fall.  7 represents perfection while 1000 represents completion.  By the time His wrath is finished it will perfectly, completely destroy lost mankind and bring a permanent end to the abuse of His people.

Although His wrath is not complete as of yet, those who remain will attempt to escape His wrath, knowing that their destruction is near.  They give glory to God, simply recognizing Who is doing the judging.  They are not looking to Him in faith, nor are they repentant of their sins.  This is not a salvation experience but simply a recognition of what is taking place around them.  We saw the same type of reaction to His wrath in Rev 6:16-17.

Not only do earthquakes symbolize God’s great power and destruction that results at the second coming, there is also a literal earthquake linked to His coming.  This earthquake is spoken of in Ezekiel 38:19-20 and Zech 14:15.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this section of John’s vision, we see the Lord pictured as the One that sends (vs 3), empowers (vs 3), accompanies (vs 3), avenges (vs 5) and gives the final victory to His servants (vs 11-12).  Certainly, our Lord is faithful to His promises and will bring to completion that which He begins in our lives (Phil 1:6-7).  He will bring us to completion, use us for His glory, and take us home to live eternally with Him.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

Folks, we should not despair as we face opposition in our service for Christ.  He has called us to the task at and and will bring it to completion by His grace and mercy.  Even when it appears as if we are going nowhere and helpless to fight the foe, He will always give us the ultimate victory as we stand before Him in eternity!  May we all thank the Lord for the promised victory He gives to us and the knowledge that we have truly overcome the powers of the world in Christ…

1Jn 4:4 KJV – Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

May we all be encouraged to serve Him in greater ways knowing that He will win the victory for us.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

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Revelation 11:1-2 “Measuring The Temple”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

Rev 11:1-2 KJV

(1)  And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
(2)  But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

Previously, in Revelation chapter 10, we saw John received a small book from Christ and then John was given a three-fold responsibility concerning that book: to receive the message of the little book; become familiar and understanding of it; and then to share it with his readers by recording it as a part of the Book of Revelation.

Here, in chapter 11:1-14, we find the contents of that little book.  In these verses, we will have shown to us why God’s wrath will fall against mankind:

  1. Revelation 11:1-2 – Rejection of the Worship of God
  2. Revelation 11:3-14 – Rejection of the Witness of God
  3. Revelation 11:15 – Preparation for the Conclusion Of God’s Wrath

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

 

Rev 11:1-2 KJV

 

(1)  And there was given me a reed like unto a rod:

As the contents of the small book are revealed to John, he is given a reed that resembled a scepter. This was a common tool used to take measurements or to count livestock (Lev 27:32)

 

and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. 

John then is instructed to measure:

  1. the temple of God – the place of worship for OT saints
  2. the altar – either incense or burnt offering altar. In either case, they were used in temple worship of God.
  3. them that worship therein – the people there who were true worshippers of God.

By John measuring and counting these, it is a sign of God’s ownership, acceptance and authorizing them.  This is much like a King measuring his temple or a shepherd counting up his sheep.  Here, the Lord is picturing the worship that is pleasing to Him.  It is acceptable worship that is wrought by His eternal possessions (the saints).

It is interesting to note that God looks upon His people as His temple (1 Cor 3:16-17, Eph 2:20-22, 1 Pet 2:4-10, 1 Pet 4:14-17)

This reflects the vision of the measuring of the temple in Ezekiel 40:-43:

 

 

(2)  But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles:

John was not to measure the Gentiles who were restricted from His OT worship place.  Why?  The Gentiles pictures those who were separated from Him.  They were not a part of the people of God.  Therefore, John was not “leave them out” of his measuring and counting.

This is symbolic of the stark difference between the acceptance and participation of God’s people in His true worship and the rejection and refraining of those who are lost from worshipping God.  The lost are clearly looked upon as holding a different standing before God and display that difference in their actions by refraining from worshipping and honoring the Lord.

 

 

and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

The lost people’s distain and rejection of His worship is clearly seen by the treading down of the place of worship.  Throughout God’s Word, treading down is a picture of rejection, distain, and mockery.

The number 42 is related to punishment and wickedness in several texts (2 King 2:24, 2 King 10:14, 2 Chron 22:2) This helps us to understand that this 42 month time period is a time period of sinfulness and the heaping up of the coming wrath of God upon mankind.

It is said that the temple of God (true worship) would be tread down (abused, mistreated, hated) by the Gentiles (the lost) for a period of 42 months…

Luk 21:24 KJV

“And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”

The Roman government in 70 AD, under Titus, continued the course of the previous world empires by treading down the true worship of God in the temple and abusing God’s people. This abuse of God’s people began in the midst of the Babylon Kingdom and would continue through the Medo/Persia, Greek and Roman Empires until His second coming.

 

What is the significance of this time period, commonly referred to as the time of the Gentiles?

Throughout the Bible this time period is referred to by several differing terms:

  1. 42 months
  2. 1260 days (42 months x 30 days/month – 1260 days)
  3. 3 ½ years (42 months / 12 months per year = 3 ½ years)
  4. Time, Times, and Half a Time (42 months = 1 Year [time] + 2 Years [times] + ½ Year [time])
  5. Time, Times and a Division of Time (42 months = 1 Year [time] + 2 Years [times] + ½ Year [division of time])

The key to understanding this time frame is based upon the OT prophet Daniel….

Dan 7:25 KJV
(25)  And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

 

Dan 12:7 KJV
(7)  And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

 

In both of these passages, we have the rejection of the worship of God being described as starting with the Babylon captivity of Judah (during their rule as world empire) to the Second Coming of Christ.  This time period involves the 3 ½ periods of rule by World Empires.  This is the same time frame covered symbolically by the 42 months and the similar phrases…

 

Midst Of Babylon Kingdom Medo/Persia Kingdom Greek Kingdom Roman Kingdom Total Timeframe Described
6 Months 12 Months 12 Months 12 Months 42 Months
180 Days 360 Days 360 Days 360 Days 1260 Days
½ Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 3 ½ Year
½ Time      Times Time Time, Times, Half A Time
Division Of Time      Times Time Time, Times, Division Of Time

 

From the time of Daniel’s vision, which referred to events during the Babylon Kingdom, until the second coming of Christ, is the time period in which the Lord’s worship was, and will continue to be, rejected by lost mankind.  Please note that even when the second temple was built in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, that the true worship of God was still not renewed among the people.  God’s presence was not manifest in the same way as before.  This would only take place in eternity when His presence would be clearly manifest throughout eternity…

 

Hag 2:3-9 KJV
(3)  Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?
(4)  Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts:
(5)  According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not.
(6)  For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;
(7)  And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.
(8)  The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.
(9)  The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this text, we can see the grace and merciful patience of the Lord being shown to a lost world that consistently rejects His worship, refuses to recognize His existence and greatness, and abuses those He calls His own.  What great grace and patience in the midst of an a revelation of His wrath to come!….

 

Exo 34:5-7 KJV
And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.
And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

May we all come to an understanding of the motive behind His great wrath.  He sends His wrath upon those who have

willfully rejected glorifying and honoring Him.  They do not recognize His existence, or His individuality, or His greatness.  They oppose those who seek to gather and worship Him in a way that is pleasing to Him, desiring to place Him on an even level with the God’s of this world.

May we all recognize our need to recognize His greatness and worship Him in spirit and in truth.  After all, He is a jealous Lord who deserves and demands to be placed first above all…

 

Deu 6:13-15 KJV
Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.
Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you;
(For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

Revelation 10: Summary

SIH STSTA ICON

 

SUMMARY OF THE CHAPTER:

 

 

Chapter 10:1-11:14 gives us a break from our look at the seven trumpet judgments. (We have already looked at trumpets 1-6 in Revelation 8:-9:; and we will see the contents of Trumpet 7 beginning in 11:15.)  In chapter 10:1-11:15, we will be given the answer to the question “Why does God send His wrath upon lost mankind at His second coming?”

SUMMARY OF EACH DIVISION OF CHAPTER:

  1. Revelation 10:1-11 – The Mighty Angel and the Little Book

In this vision, John sees a mighty angel descending from heaven.  A description of this mighty angel is symbolic of Christ, His deity, faithfulness, and justice.  Christ’s feet are planted firmly on the sea and earth, symbolizing His sovereign ownership and control over all creation.

Later in this chapter, we see Christ swearing by the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, which is a clear description of Himself.  Why would He swear by Himself?  It is because there is no one greater than Himself… He is God!  He is swearing that time will be no longer, referring to His coming eternal kingdom that will no longer be limited by time as we know it.

This same Christ is seen holding a “little book”, showing to us that He is ultimately in control of its contents.  The contents of this book will be revealed in Revelation 11:1-14, it will give many reasons why God’s wrath will fall during His second coming.  This little book is “open”, helping us to see that its message is ready to be received by John and revealed to his readers.  This is in stark contrast to the seven sealed scroll whose contents will not be revealed to John until all seven seals are opened.

John hears the voices of seven thunders, which are the announcements of the coming 7 vial judgments which make up trumpet judgment 7.  John is told to wait to receive and reveal these judgments because the proper time has not arrived.  He is to reveal the contents of this little book instead.

John is given a three-fold responsibility: to receive the message of the little book; digest it, being thoroughly familiar and understanding of it.  Finally, he was to share it with his readers by recording it as a part of the Book of Revelation.  This would lead to the entire world over many generations that would receive his testimony.

John is told that once he received this message it would make his “belly bitter” although it would be “sweet as honey” in his mouth.  This speaks of the two basic types of content found in the message of this little book.  On one hand, the little book contains a message that includes God’s grace, mercy, love, salvation and blessings, all of which are pleasing to those who read it.  But the message of the little book goes further, it also includes sin, wrath, spiritual darkness, and the abuse of God’s people, all of which are bitter in the stomach of those who serve Christ.

 

WHAT’S COMING NEXT IN THIS SERIES?:

Next we will begin to look at Revelation chapter 11, which will reveal the contents of this little book.  Chapter 11 can be divided into several parts:

  1. 11:1-2 – Measuring The Temple – Rejection of the worship of God
  2. 11:3-13 – The Ministering Of The Three Witnesses – Rejection of the messengers of God
  3. 11:14 – Preparation For Trumpet 7 (The Third Woe) – 2 Woes down…. One to go!
  4. 11:15-19 – The Seventh Trumpet – The completion of God’s wrath at His second coming (detailed in Rev 16:)

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

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Revelation 10:1-11 “Angel With The Little Book”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

 

Rev 10:1-11 KJV

(1)  And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:
(2)  And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,
(3)  And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.
(4)  And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.
(5)  And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
(6)  And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:
(7)  But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
(8)  And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.
(9)  And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
(10)  And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
(11)  And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.

THE INTRODUCTION:

In our study of God’s wrath that will fall during His second coming we just finished looking at 6th trumpet judgment in 9:13-21.  The next trumpet judgment, the 7th trumpet is found in Rev 11:14-19 and detailed in Rev 16:.  From Rev 10:1-11:14, we find an interruption from the series of trumpets.  In this interruption, we will learn about John’s commission from the Lord Rev 10:1-11, and the reason why God’s wrath must fall at His second coming Rev 11:1-13.

  1. 6th Trumpet Judgment – Rev 9:13-21
  2. John’s Commission – Rev 10:1-11
  3. The Reason For God’s Wrath To Fall – Rev 11:1-13
  4. 7th Trumpet Sounds Rev 11:14-19

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

In this text, we will be looking at John’s commission given to him by the Lord.

Rev 10:1-11 KJV

1)  And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:

Based upon this angel’s description, this is probably speaking of Christ Himself.  He is calling John to a specific ministry. Note the description of the angel:

  1. mighty angel – strong, forcible messenger – Acts 10:38, Mal 3:1
  2. come down from heaven, – descended from heaven – John 1:1,14
  3. clothed with a cloud: – God’s presence – Ex 16:10; Coming and Ascension of Jesus – Mat 26:64, Rev 1:7, Acts 1:9
  4. a rainbow was upon his head, – Faithfulness – Rev 4:3, 2 Thess 3:3
  5. his face was as it were the sun – Rev 1:16; Wisdom – Luke 2:40; Glory – 2 Cor 4:6; Truth – John 8:12
  6. his feet as pillars of fire: – Rev 1:15; Purity – 2 Cor 5:21; Judgment – 2 Tim 4:1

(Note: The OT “Angel of the Lord (Jehovah)” is another example where the title “angel” is describing Christ – Gen 16:7-14, 22:11-18, 31:11-13 etc)

 

(2)  And he had in his hand a little book open:

Christ has in His hand a little “book” or scroll.  This is a different scroll from the seven sealed scroll.  This book has no seals and its contents can be immediately revealed.  This scroll’s contents will be revealed in Revelation 11:.  (Please note: here in chapter 10 and 11, is the only time this little book is described in Revelation.)

Christ, having this book in His hand, teaches us that He is in control of the contents of this book, just like He controlled the contents of the 7-sealed scroll.

 

and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,

Christ now declares Himself as the authority holder over all.  Planting His feet on the earth and sea is claiming ownership of them.  It is saying… these are mine and I control them.  This principle is seen in Ruth 4:7… where a shoe planted on soil represented ownership, when this shoe was given to Boaz, it was a sign of transfer of ownership of the property.

In Ephesians 1:20-22, we are clearly told that all things are “under His feet”… in other words, he is sovereign controller over all.

(3)  And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth:

Christ, authoritatively cries aloud, much like the supremacy declared by the roar of a lion.

 

and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.

In response to Jesus’ cry, seven thunders sounded aloud.  Back in Rev 4:5 these thunders represented God’s presence, strength, authority and judgment.

Seven in number of completeness, revealing that Christ, as God, possesses complete strength and authority over all which will be seen by the complete overthrow of His enemies at His second coming.  Probably, these seven thunders were in anticipation of the seven vials of judgment that are yet to be revealed.

 

(4)  And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write:

John now prepares to write the message of the seven thunders. In other words, he is prepared to receive the vision of the seven vial judgments and complete his revealing of the great strength, authority and judgment of the Lord at His second coming.   In other words, John was thinking that he would be continuing to the narrative that was ended in Revelation 9:21.

 

and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.

God intervenes and stops John from revealing the seven vials (They will be revealed as a part of the seventh seal on the sealed scroll… the seventh trumpet that will be seen in Revelation 16:).  For now, John is to reveal the message found in the little book.

 

(5)  And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,

Christ, as sovereign over all creation, now raises His hand to swear by God (Himself)…  For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, (Heb 6:13 KJV)

 

(6)  And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein,

God is described as:

  1. liveth forever and ever – The eternally existing One (Rev 4:9-11, Col 1:17)
  2. created heaven and the things that therein are… created earth and the things that therein are… created the sea and the things that therein are (Gen 1:1-31, Col 1:15-16)

 

that there should be time no longer: (7)  But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

Christ now swears that time will no longer exist (ie eternity will begin).  This includes the complete renovation of this sinful heaven and earth, the end of the powers of darkness and the kingdoms of this world, the completion of God’s wrath and the second coming of Christ to the earth.

When will time come to an end?  It will end when the seventh angel blows his trumpet which will bring to an end the wrath of God as He arrives on the earth.  At the same time “the mystery of God” is accomplished.  This mystery is the establishment of God’s eternal kingdom with His people on a renovated Heavens and Earth….

“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”  (Rev 11:15 KJV) (see also Eph 1:9-10, Eph 3:4-6)

Teachings concerning the coming eternal kingdom were given to the OT and NT prophets (Daniel 2:29-45, Eph 3:4-6 etc).

(8)  And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said,

The Lord then speaks to John once again.

 

Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.

John was to take the little book from Christ.  Notice the book is now open, meaning John is able to read the contents and share it with us immediately. These things are taking place now… not like the sealed scroll whose contents has not taken place as of yet but will in the future.

 

(9)  And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book

John obeys the command of God and approaches Christ, asking Him to be given the little book.

And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.

Jesus now explains what John is to do with the message of the little book:

  1. Take it – receive it from Christ – Christ would reveal to John the contents of the book.
  2. Eat it up – consume it, understand it and make it a part of yourself  (The symbolic language of eating a scroll is found in Ezek 2:8-3:3, 14)

The 2 results of John’s actions would be:

  1. It shall make thy belly bitter – it will be an irritation to you – the message includes trials, sin, martyrdom, judgment, wrath
  2. It shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey – it will be a joy and pleasure for you to eat. – ultimate victory, salvation, blessings

What is the message of this book?  This book answers the question… “Why does God’s wrath fall at His second coming?“.

It will be a message that includes many sins of the world, the abuse of God’s people and the role of political and spiritual world systems (these would irritate John).  But also it would include a message of deliverance, victory, and eternal blessings (these would bring pleasure and satisfaction to John.

(10)  And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.

John obeys the commission given to him.  It is just as Christ had said.  As he consumes the contents of the book, it irritates him and pleases him as well.

(11)  And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.

Christ now gives John another commission, to share the contents of the book with others.  John reveals to us the contents of the book in Revelation 11:, thus fulfilling the last of the responsibilities given to him concerning this book.  As a part of God’s Word, the message of the little book has been received by many, many people. They come from every family, political kingdom, and language.  Even the Rulers of nations would John’s message and come to understand why God’s wrath will fall upon men at His second coming.

CHRIST REVEALED:

Here, we see Christ as not only the Sovereign Lord who will judge lost mankind in the last day, but we see Him as the gracious and kind Lord that warns mankind of the reason for His wrath many years before it falls.  The message of this little book was received by John directly from the Lord’s hand.  Jesus wanted to leave with mankind a clear warning of the causes of His great wrath.  As Kings and paupers, young and old, rich and poor, masters and slaves read Revelation 11:, they will all be forewarned of the cause of God’s wrath and the need to submit to the will of God for their lives (including repentance and belief)

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

As we see John willingly submitting to the call of God for his life, we can see the great need for us to obey the calling of God for our lives. Keep in mind, if John had not been willing to obey God’s calling for his life, from a human standpoint, we would not have the record of Revelation 11: which explains the great sins that bring God’s wrath upon lost mankind and the need for lost mankind to consider their ways and submit to Christ’s will for their lives.

Folks, this same principle can apply to each and every Christian.  If we do not submit to God’s call to be witnesses of His grace in our lives, there will be one less warning of sin and its results entering the ears of the lost.  How very sad to think that, because of our neglectful attitude, fewer lost men will hear of their great spiritual need from us.

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

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Revelation 9: Summary

SIH STSTA ICONSUMMARY OF THE CHAPTER:

Beginning in chapter 8, and continuingin chapter 9, we will see the second coming of Christ and, especially, His wrath that will fall against lost mankind.  These truths about the wrath of God are presented in the fashion of seven trumpets that are sounded by angels.  They are divided into two types of trumpets.  In chapter 8, we saw Trumpets 1-4 affect nature directly and mankind indirectly.  Here in chapter, 9 we will look at Trumpets 5-6 affect lost mankind directly.   Later in our study chapter 11 and 16, we will look at Trumpet 7.  These three trumpets (5-7) all affect mankind directly, this is why they are given the title “the three woes”

 

SUMMARY OF EACH DIVISION OF CHAPTER:

  1. Revelation 9:1-12 – The Sounding Of Trumpet 5

In this section of Scripture, John hears the fifth trumpet sounding.  He sees a star falling from heaven.  This star symbolizes a person (Christ) who is given the ultimate authority over the bottomless pit.  This came true in a literal fashion when Christ came to the earth at His first coming and was exalted to the right hand of the Father following Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.

This star is then seen opening the pit and releasing smoke and an army of locusts, who are sent to torment lost mankind.

The smoke arising from the pit reminds us that the bottomless pit is speaking of the Lake of Fire, the place reserved for the punishment of Satan, other fallen angels and lost mankind.  The army of locusts is symbolic of demonic forces that are at work during the last days.  The activities of the locusts are limited by the sovereign hand of God, and are used to partially deliver God’s wrath against lost mankind.

The description of the locusts remind us of many dangerous, vicious and painful aspects of their work.  They act as an army united to cause great suffering and pain upon lost men.  This great suffering results in men wanting to die, but unable to kill themselves or each other by the sovereign hand of Almighty God.

These locusts are said to have a King over them, which refers back to the star that fell from heaven.  Christ, as their controlling sovereignty is their Lord.  Many of the titles that fit Christ’s workings during the judgment of the last day is the title of Destroyer, the translation of the Hebrew Abaddon and the Greek Apollyon.

 

For a much more detailed look at this section of Scripture:

http://wp.me/pU88A-40b

 

 

  1. Revelation 9:13-21 – The Sounding Of Trumpet 6

As John’s vision continues, he hears Trumpet 6 sounding…

Then he hears the prayers of God’s people for justice calling for the loosing of God’s wrath upon the lost.  In this trumpet the wrath of God being sent upon lost mankind is represented by four angels that are released at the appointed time from the Euphrates.

These angels help us to understand that God’s wrath is a world-wide wrath, touching the four corners of the earth.  Their coming from the Euphrates at a specifc point in time shows us that God’s wrath was not a “spur of the moment thing”.  It was a well-planned event that was a part of the eternal counsel of God.

Following their release, these four angels are now seen by John as an army of 200 million angelic beings.  In the previous trumpet, we saw the Lord using demonic powers to bring about His will.  In this trumpet we see the angelic forces of God (elect angels) being used as well to bring about the complete, total victory of Satan and His demonic forces.

Much of the description of this army points us to the justice and judging hand of God being controlled by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  This battle was actually won at the cross and Christ’s resurrection that followed, however, it will be brought to completion at the second coming of Christ.

 

For a much more detailed look at this section of Scripture:

http://wp.me/pU88A-40Q

 

 

WHAT’S COMING NEXT IN THIS SERIES?:

In the next lesson in our series, we will be looking at Revelation 10:.  This will give us a break from the trumpet judgments and will introduce us to a mighty angel with a little book in his hand.  The contents of this little book will be revealed in Revelation 11 and will answer the question “Why does God’s wrath fall against lost mankind”.

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

Revelation 9:13-21 “Trumpet Judgment 6”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

 

Now, trumpet judgment 6, the second woe, is revealed…

 

Rev 9:13-21 KJV

(13)  And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
(14)  Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
(15)  And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.
(16)  And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.
(17)  And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.
(18)  By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
(19)  For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.
20)  And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:
(21)  Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

 

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

Please remember that the final judgment of God is described in many Scriptures as consisting of literal fire that falls from heaven. (2 Thess 1:7-10, 2 Peter 3:3-13, Psa 102:26, Isa 51:6, Zeph 3:8).  This is what will literally take place during the final wrath of God.  At Christ’s second coming, fire will precede Him punishing the lost and renovating the world for His arrival.

Keeping in mind that the final wrath of God only consists of fire falling from heaven, we can see that trumpet and the vial judgments are describing this wrath in purely symbolic terms.  In other words, the events that take place in the trumpets and vials are not literal events that will take place, but are symbolic descriptions of the final wrath of God that manifests itself by fire falling from heaven.

In chapter 8 and 9, John sees the opening of seal 7, which will symbolizes the beginning of God’s wrath coming upon the fallen earth and sinful mankind.  His wrath affecting the earth is emphasized in trumpets 1-4. Trumpets 5-6 (the first two woes) are judgments that directly affect lost mankind.

Trumpet 7 (the 3rd woe) is the completion of God’s wrath falling upon the earth and mankind.  This last trumpet brings to completion what was begun in trumpets 1-6.  Trumpet 7 is made up of the seven vials.  Each vial corresponds to a specific trumpet. Each vial simply expands, intensifies and brings to completion the wrath that was begun in its corresponding trumpet.

 

Trumpet Vial Area Of Earth Affected By Trumpets (Area of Earth Affected By Vials) Areas Of Mankind Affected By Trumpets (Areas of Mankind Affected By Vials)
1 1 1/3 Trees. Green Grass(All the Earth)
2 2 1/3 Sea(All the Sea)
3 3 1/3 Rivers, Springs(All the Rivers, Springs)
4 4 1/3 Sun, Moon, Stars(Entire Sun)
5 (Woe 1) 5 Men Not Sealed By God(Entire Kingdom and All Worshippers Of Beast)
6 (Woe 2) 6 1/3 Mankind(Whole World)
7 (Woe 3) 7 God’s Wrath Intensified and Completed Against Earth and Mankind Described By The 7 Vials(The Final Destruction Of Babylon and Lost Mankind {The Battle Of Armageddon})
 

 

As we continue our study all of the above will, hopefully, become more clear.

For now, let us just understand that the falling of God’s wrath during the second coming appears to be progressive; growing in intensity, severity and devastation as He descends and His presence draws nearer to the earth.  This is much like the tribulation in today’s time (first six seals) that will gradually increase in intensity and frequency as His coming draws near.

As we have said seal seven is divided into seven parts, symbolized by trumpets that are blown.  Here is a short outline of the upcoming lessons on seal 7 …

  1. Sounding Of First Four Trumpets – 8:7-8:13
    1. 1st Trumpet – vs 7
      1. Judgment – Hail, fire, blood
      2. Affected – Trees, grass
    2. 2nd Trumpet – vs 8
      1. Judgment – Great burning mountain, sea to blood
      2. Affected – Sea, sea creatures, ships
    3. 3rd Trumpet – vs 9-11
      1. Judgment – Burning Star (Wormwood)
      2. Affected – rivers, springs, men
    4. 4th Trumpet – vs 12
      1. Judgment – Striking
      2. Affected – Sun, moon, stars
    5. 3 Woes Announced – vs 13
  2. Sounding Of Trumpets 4 & 5 – 9:1-21
    1. 5th Trumpet (1st Woe) – 9:1-12
      1. Falling Star given Key To Bottomless Pit
      2. Locusts From Pit with King Of Locusts – Abaddon, Apollyon
  • One Woe Past
  1. 6th Trumpet (2nd Woe) – 9:13-21
    1. Release of The 4 Angels & 200,000,000 Army From Euphrates killing Mankind
    2. Mankind does not repent
  2. Please note 7th Trumpet will be revealed in Rev 11:15 & Rev 16: which will reveal the completion of God’s wrath aginst the earth and sinful mankind.

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

In this text we find trumpet 6 revealed.  This is the second of three “woes” (judgments that directly fall upon mankind).

 

Rev 9:13-21 KJV

(13)  And the sixth angel sounded,

John now hears trumpet 6 sounding.  This is announcing the new symbolic description of God’s wrath that is falling against lost mankind at His second coming.

 

 

and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, (14) Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet,

John now hears voices coming from the incense altar that stands before God.  Keep in mind, the incense altar represents the prayers of God’s people and arising to God as sweet smelling incense.  The voices that John hears are the prayers of the saints.  Remember these prayers of the saints are their requests for justice.  They previously requested God to punish those who have mistreated and abused them (Rev 6:9-10; Rev 8:3-5).

Now their prayers are being answered. God is sending His wrath. God’s wrath is being shown on behalf of saints who have waited so long for divine justice.  This is why the prayers of His people are said to initiate this sixth trumpet wrath.

 

 

Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.  (15)  And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.

God’s reaction to the prayers of the saints results in angels being loosed.  Keep in mind, that throughout the Bible angels are beings that deliver the message of God or do the bidding of God.  This helps us to understand that the judgment of God that is falling at His second coming is His work.  God is the One with the ultimate authority over the wrath that is falling.  It is His work.  He promised mankind He would punish wrongdoing and now He is keeping His promise.

It is interesting to note Psa 78:40-55, as the 10 plagues of Egypt are being described, we are told that these plagues came about “by sending angels of destruction among them”.  In other words, angels of wrath played a role in delivering the ten plagues upon the people of Egypt.  This sixth trumpet harkens back to this account of the 10 plagues.

These angels were bound in the Euphrates river.  The Euphrates is associated with the beginnings for many different things… Beginning of Mankind – Gen 2:14; Beginning of Israel – Gen 15:18; Beginning of search for the Promised Land – Deut 1:7;  Beginning of responsibility to keep Law – Deut 11:24; Beginning of Joshua as Leader Of Israel – Josh 1:4;   Beginning of David’s conquest of nations – 2 Sam 8:3;  Beginning of Judah’s downfall – 2 Kings 23:29;  and the Beginning of Babylon’s Reign – 1 Chron 5:9.

Euphrates in Revelation is used as the place of preparation and beginning point for the judgment to come (Rev 16:12).  This helps us to understand that God’s wrath did not take place “on the spur of the moment” without planning or expectation.  Not at all.  The wrath of God was a well-planned event that was a part of the eternal counsels of the Almighty.  This is clearly shown by the bound angels that were placed in the Euphrates for a very specific time and mission.

There are four angels being loosed.  This is a very similar symbol to the four winds that blow in Rev 7:1.  In both these pictures, we see God’s wrath affecting all areas of the globe… North, South, East and West.  God’s wrath in the last days is a worldwide wrath.  Symbolically, there are four angels bringing about God’s wrath which will cover every point on the globe.

These angels are bound waiting to be loosed at a selected time with a selected purpose. This helps us to understand that God has selected a very specific point in time and purpose for His wrath to fall.  Just as in the previous trumpet judgments, notice that only a portion of mankind will be affected.  In this case, 1/3 of lost mankind will be killed.

 

In this section of John’s vision, we learn that the wrath of God that falls at His second coming is under His absolute control and prior planning, is world-wide in nature, and is set for an appointed time with specific results. (Eccl 13:1-8)

 

 

(16)  And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.

The symbolism now abruptly switches to that of an army of horsemen 200 million strong.  The four angels which emphasized the wrath of God being under His work and under His perfect control, is now changed into these warring horseman, which emphasizes God being at war against the rebelliously sinful mankind. This same wrath is pictured as a war between God and the powers of darkness in Rev 19:11-19.

In Psa 68:17, where we are told “the chariots of God are 20,000 even thousands of thousands”. If by “thousands of thousands” ten thousand is meant, then we would have 200,000,000 being the total of angelic chariots being described which is the same number of horsemen in this vision.  (see also 2 Kings 6:17)

Why are there 200 million horsemen? Symbolically the numbers 2 and 1000 are significant.  The number two many times represents unity, for example the witnesses for Christ were sent out two by two to minister (Mark 6:7).  The number 1000 is the number of fullness or totality.  The Lord owns all the cattle on 1000 hills, in other words He owns all the cattle everywhere (Psalm 50:10)

 

This helps us to see that the wrath of God is much like the completion of a war waged by God, His elect angels, and elect men against the powers of darkness. When God’s wrath falls in the last day, it will be a harmonious, unified effort to bring a complete, total end to sin and the powers of wickedness in this world.  This war has been taking place throughout the ages since the fall, but will be brought to a full completion at His second coming.

 

 

(17)  And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.  (18)  By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.

This army is now described in great detail:

  1. they were men riding on horses – a typical army is in view
  2. the riders had breastplates of fire, jacinth, and brimstone – God’s judgment against sin
  3. fire – judgment, purification (God’s judgment against sin and purification of sinful world
  4. jacinth – stone of blue, yellow, red color (colors of flame)
  5. brimstone – sulfur, flammable, (punishment of sin – Sodom/Gomorrah-Gen 19:24)
  6. the horses had lion heads – They are doing the work of the King of Kings, they are courageous, destructive, victorious
  7. out of the horses mouths were fire and brimstone – Instruments of God’s wrath against sin (Lake of Fire-Rev 20:10)

Again, we see limited “damage” as the result… 1/3 of the men dying as they are punished for their sins.

Here we see the symbolic description of this “army” clearly reveals that the wrath of God is the completion of a long battle between God and the powers of darkness which was won at the cross and brought to completion at His second coming.  This includes God’s judgment against sin and purification of the world.

 

 

(19)  For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.

The description of these is horses continues with their tails in view.  They had tails with serpent’s heads making them able to bite and harm men (poisonous, deadly, painful)

An interesting note about serpents.  In the Bible a serpent is used to picture:

1.  Satan in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:) (bringing pain and death upon mankind)

  1. Christ during the Jews wanderings in the wilderness (Num 21:8-9) (bringing the remedy for pain and death to man)
  2. Here in Revelation, the serpent heads on the horse tails pictures the final defeat of the serpent (Satan) through the work of the serpent (Christ on the cross) at the second coming.

 

This entire trumpet judgment symbolizes for us the war between God and Satan will come to a complete end at the second coming in response to the prayers of His people.  This will take place at God’s appointed time, under God’s total control and planning.  The completion of this war will be a unified effort that will bring a complete, total end to sin and the powers of wickedness in this world.  The falling of the final wrath of God is the completion of a long battle between God and the powers of darkness which was won at the cross and brought to completion at His second coming as He renovates the world for a sinless eternity with Him.

 

 

(20)  And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:  (21)  Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

During the beginning stages of God’s wrath there will be many men who will not die.  Yet, because of the blindness of their eyes and the hardness of their heart, they will refuse to submit to the Lord in repentance and belief.  NO ONE will be saved during this time of great wrath and punishment from God.  This helps us to see the great need to be witnesses to the lost NOW while there is yet time.  Clearly, when God returns to take His people to be with Him and His wrath begins to fall on lost mankind there will no longer be an opportunity for salvation.

Joh 4:34-36 KJV – “Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.  Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.  And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.”

 

The five basic sins of mankind are listed:

  1. idolatry – false worship (worship of idols, false religions, false prophets, mysticism, works salvation etc)
  2. murders – taking of life (anger, hatred, violence, abortions etc)
  3. sorceries – occult related drug and potion use (drug and alcohol abuse, astrology, prognostication etc)
  4. fornication – sexual immorality (adultery, homosexuality, beastiality, premarital sex, lying etc)
  5. theft – taking from others (covetousness, stealing possessions, stealing reputation, stealing promotions, lying, deception etc)

In a very general and broad sense these five sins (and sins related to them) cover all the sins that are committed against God and man.  It is these very sins of which men refuse to repent, even in the midst of divine punishment.  How true it is that mankind apart from the intervening grace of God will not come to Christ for salvation!

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this trumpet judgment, we see Christ as the Commander-In-Chief leading His army to certain victory while perfectly controlling all the events that take place during this battle.  This very same time period is symbolized in Rev 19:11-21…

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;  That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.  And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”

 

What a wonderful Lord we serve. He is our Leader and our Commander… leading us to certain victory at His second coming!  In this one event we can see Him as Holy Lord and Victorious Warrior for Perfect Justice.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

Folks, as we face many struggles in our lives and it seems as if Satan is winning, just keep in mind… Satan is already defeated.  Christ’s work on the cross has won the victory over Satan, the powers of darkness, sin and death.  It is only a matter of time before His victory will be publically declared and manifest at His second coming.

Col 2:13-15 KJV – “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;  Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;  And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. “

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

 

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Revelation 8:13-9:12 “Trumpet Judgment 5”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT: 

Now, trumpet judgment 5, the first woe, is revealed…

 

 

Rev 8:13-9:12 KJV

(13)  And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!
(1)  And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
(2)  And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
(3)  And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
(4)  And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
(5)  And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.
(6)  And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
(7)  And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.
(8)  And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.
(9)  And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.
(10)  And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.
(11)  And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.
(12)  One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

 

 

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

Please remember that the final judgment of God is described in many Scriptures as consisting of literal fire that falls from heaven. (2 Thess 1:7-10, 2 Peter 3:3-13, Psa 102:26, Isa 51:6, Zeph 3:8).  This is what will literally take place during the final wrath of God.  At Christ’s second coming, fire will precede Him punishing the lost and renovating the world for His arrival.

Keeping in mind that the final wrath of God consists of fire falling from heaven, we can see that trumpet and the vial judgments are describing this wrath in purely symbolic terms.  In other words, the events that take place in the trumpets and vials are not literal events that will take place, but are symbolic descriptions of the final wrath of God that manifests itself by fire falling from heaven.

In chapter 8 and 9, John sees the opening of seal 7, which will symbolizes the beginning of God’s wrath coming upon the fallen earth and sinful mankind.  His wrath affecting the earth is emphasized in trumpets 1-4. Trumpets 5-6 (the first two woes) are judgments that directly affect lost mankind.

Trumpet 7 (the 3rd woe) is the completion of God’s wrath falling upon the earth and mankind.  This last trumpet brings to completion what was begun in trumpets 1-6.  Trumpet 7 is made up of the seven vials.  Each vial corresponds to a specific trumpet. Each vial simply expands, intensifies and brings to completion the wrath that was begun in its corresponding trumpet.

 

 

Trumpet Vial Area Of Earth Affected By Trumpets (Area of Earth Affected By Vials) Areas Of Mankind Affected By Trumpets (Areas of Mankind Affected By Vials)
1 1 1/3 Trees. Green Grass(All the Earth)
2 2 1/3 Sea(All the Sea)
3 3 1/3 Rivers, Springs(All the Rivers, Springs)
4 4 1/3 Sun, Moon, Stars(Entire Sun)
5 (Woe 1) 5 Men Not Sealed By God(Entire Kingdom and All Worshippers Of Beast)
6 (Woe 2) 6 1/3 Mankind(Whole World)
7 (Woe 3) 7 God’s Wrath Intensified and Completed Against Earth and Mankind Described By The 7 Vials(The Final Destruction Of Babylon and Lost Mankind {The Battle Of Armageddon})
 

 

As we continue our study all of the above will, hopefully, become more clear.

For now, let us just understand that the falling of God’s wrath during the second coming appears to be progressive; growing in intensity, severity and devastation as He descends and His presence draws nearer to the earth.  This is much like the tribulation in today’s time (first six seals) that will gradually increase in intensity and frequency as His coming draws near.

As we have said seal seven is divided into seven parts, symbolized by trumpets that are blown.  Here is a short outline of the upcoming lessons on seal 7 …

  1. Sounding Of First Four Trumpets – 8:7-8:13
    1. 1st Trumpet – vs 7
      1. Judgment – Hail, fire, blood
      2. Affected – Trees, grass
    2. 2nd Trumpet – vs 8
      1. Judgment – Great burning mountain, sea to blood
      2. Affected – Sea, sea creatures, ships
    3. 3rd Trumpet – vs 9-11
      1. Judgment – Burning Star (Wormwood)
      2. Affected – rivers, springs, men
    4. 4th Trumpet – vs 12
      1. Judgment – Striking
      2. Affected – Sun, moon, stars
    5. 3 Woes Announced – vs 13
  2. Sounding Of Trumpets 4 & 5 – 9:1-21
    1. 5th Trumpet (1st Woe) – 9:1-12
      1. Falling Star given Key To Bottomless Pit
      2. Locusts From Pit with King Of Locusts – Abaddon, Apollyon
  • One Woe Past
  1. 6th Trumpet (2nd Woe) – 9:13-21
    1. Release of The 4 Angels & 200,000,000 Army From Euphrates killing Mankind
    2. Mankind does not repent
  2. Please note 7th Trumpet will be revealed in Rev 11:15 & Rev 16: which will reveal the completion of God’s wrath aginst the earth and sinful mankind.

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

In this text we find trumpet 5 revealed.  This is the first of three “woes” (judgments that directly fall upon mankind).

Also please note: Many, if not all, of these trumpet judgments are variations of the plagues of God sent against Egypt (during the enslavement of the Jews) and the unbelieving Jews (during the wilderness wanderings).  This helps us to understand that all of these trumpet judgments are being sent against the willfully rebellious who have abused God’s people.

 

Rev 8:13-9:12 KJV

(13)  And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice,

John now sees an angel, announcing the coming trumpet judgments.

 

Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

The angels message holds a triple warning of coming judgment upon men (woe, woe, woe).  The angel is warning the lost men dwelling upon the earth that 3 more trumpet judgments are yet to fall. This time the judgments will now be falling directly upon mankind (the prior four trumpet judgments had fallen directly upon different parts of nature, and affected mankind in an indirect way.

 

The first woe (trumpet 5) now takes place….

(1)  And the fifth angel sounded,

The fifth trumpet sounds announcing the beginning of the next judgment…

 

and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. 

John now sees a star fall from heaven and land upon earth, possessing authority to open and secure the bottomless pit.

Although many say that this star symbolizes Satan, it is more likely a symbolic representation of Christ Himself (or an elect angel commissioned by Christ to bring about this plague).

To understand Christ as the the identity of this star, we need to see the contextual description of this star:

  1. vs 1 – A star is the foundational symbol for this being… Christ is described as a Bright and Morning Star (2 Pet 1:19, Rev 2:28, 22:16)
  2. vs 1 – It is said to “fall” (to descend from higher to lower place; related to Grk word for “flying”) from heaven to earth… This pictures Christ’s FIRST coming to the earth. It was at the successful completion of His work at the first coming that Christ was exalted and received authority over all things (Phils 2:5-11; 1 Cor 15:21-28)
  3. vs 1 – It is said to possess the key of the bottomless pit (authority over the entrance and exit of the pit)… Christ is the One that is given the authority over the Lake of Fire (2 Ptr 2:4, Jude 1:6, Rev 20:1)
  4. vs 2 – It is said to open the bottomless pit releasing its demons (initiate this judgment of God upon the lost mankind).. Christ is the One that possesses the ultimate authority over demons, releasing and imprisoning them (Matt 8:28-34, Matt 25:41, Rev 20:1-3)

If verse 11 is speaking of this star…

  1. vs 11 – It is King over the demons (possessing authority, control over them)… Christ possesses authority over demons (see 4 above)
  2. vs 11 – Described as angel of the bottomless pit (owning, controlling the bottomless pit)… Christ possesses authority over the Lake of Fire (see 3 above)
  3. vs 11 – Its name is “Abaddon” and “Apollyon” (destroyer).. no where in the Bible is Satan given the these titles. Not one time. However these Greek and Hebrew words are used many times of God, in the person of Christ, describing and picturing Him as the ultimate Destroyer and Victor over the powers of darkness and the rebellious lost. For more information see verse 11.

The Lord is so great, He even uses the work of Satan and demons as a basis of punishment upon the lost world.

(please note: why does this falling star represent Christ whereas in trumpet judgment 3 another falling star represented Satan?  Context is the “great identifier” for both.  In trumpet three, the descriptions of the star led us to understand that Satan was in view.  The title “Wormwood” along with the the working of perverting and poisoning the gospel message causing great death is the work of Satan based upon many other passages in the Bible.

In trumpet 5 the titles for Christ “star”, “Abaddon” and “Apollyon” are reserved for Christ alone in the Bible, along with the great authority granted to Christ as King of Kings, including authority over the bottomless pit. Helps us to understand this is probably speaking of Christ or one commissioned by Him.

Even if we would believe that Satan is pictured by this falling star, we have to see that Satan is only working under the allowance of God, who had given Satan the temporary authority to open the bottomless pit. Also, we can clearly see in this text the clear limits to Satan and the demons work,  again proving the Lord is the One in control of the forces of evil,  its appearance at His second coming and its affliction upon lost mankind.)

A part of the judgment that Christ will bring to the earth during His second coming is the result of the work of demons in the lives of the lost who live upon the earth.  This will result in increased suffering of mankind on the earth. If Satan and the demons had not blinded the eyes of the lost and opposed the work of Christ, these judgments from God would be unnecessary.  If Satan had not been present in the Garden of Eden, there would be no fall and no sin in the world, and therefore, no wrath of God falling upon sinful mankind.

 

(2)  And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

Here, we see Christ opening up the bottomless pit (aka Lake of Fire, place of eternal torment) to allow demonic departure from it. The smoke that arises and covers the earth is symbolic of the vast area that their work among men would affect.  This event would affect all remaining mankind, regardless of their physical location on and under the earth and the seas.  Because all mankind fell,  all lost mankind must face the wrath  of God

 

(3)  And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

Here, we can see the demonic powers exiting the Lake of Fire and coming upon the earth.  They are allowed by God to do certain things and restrained form doing others.  Remember Christ is the One with the authority (keys) and is their King.  They can only do what He allows and they CANNOT cross the limits He has set for their activity. We can see this clearly as the Lord interacts with Satan concerning the affliction of Job (Job 1:12 & 2:6).

Locusts were very commonly linked to divine judgment against those who are rebellious (Deut 28:38-42, I King 8:37, Psa 78:46, 2 Chron 6:28, 7:13, Psa 105:34, Isa 33:4).  Just as in the other trumpet judgments, locusts were a part of the judgment faced by the Egyptians during the enslavement of the Israelites (Exodus 10:4-19).  Again, we can see many many reminders of God’s judgment falling against those who rebel against God and oppose and mistreat His people under the leadership of Satan and demons.

Scorpions are linked to the fall of Satan in Luke 10:17-19.  It is brought out that the Lord had authority over the fall of Satan and his work following his fall.  This is illustrated by the apostle’s authority given to them over scorpions and serpents. In this context, the demonic plagues are likened to scorpion stings helping us to understand they are working under the confines of the Lord’s authority and purposes.

(Please note: A vicious, literal, locust invasion during the days of Joel (Joel 2:1-11) is used to picture the great wrath of God that will fall during His second coming.  This fits perfectly with this trumpet judgment. The following description of these demonic forces seem to be very similar to Joel 1: & 2:. ) 

 

(4)  And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.  (5)  And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.

The limits placed upon these demons was in three parts:

  1. They were allowed to harm unsealed, lost men (those not taken by Christ at His appearance) but no other part of creation.
  2. They were allowed to torment (pain, torture) the lost but not to kill them.
  3. They are allowed to torment them for five months, the usual length of time for locust activity in the fields. Why five months? This is not speaking of a literal five months.  Five months (150 days) is the period of time that God allowed the water to continue on the world during the flood of Noah’s day (Gen 7:24).  Symbolically these locusts and their work of misleading mankind results in  5 months of worldwide destruction of a wicked world due to sin, the flood (2 Peter 3:1-7).  

The attacks of the demons are described as being like a scorpions sting, in other words, God’s wrath, the result of the workings of these Satanic creatures causes great pain and suffering resulting in great fear (2 Chron 10:11, Deut 8:15, Ezek 2:6, Luke 10:19, 11:12)  In that sense, the powers of darkness are more responsible for the falling of God’s wrath than the Lord Himself.  Without their workings on the earth, there would be no wrath of Go falling among men. 

 

(6)  And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

God’s sovereign rule will not allow men to commit suicide, nor kill one another.  They will be facing all of these torments and not be given relief from them. Note here they totally lack understanding of the eternal doom they are facing if they physically die.   Although God’s wrath is a horrible affliction, it is nothing compared to an eternity in the Lake of Fire.  Due to their continuing blindness, they cannot begin to comprehend what awaits them following their death. (1 Corinthians 2:14) 

 

(7)  And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.  (8)  And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.  (9)  And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.  (10)  And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails:

These demonic beings are symbolically described as:

  1. like unto horses prepared unto battle; – they do the bidding of another, they are swift, strong, used to fight battles
  2. and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, – they hold delegated authority, they do the bidding of their King
  3. and their faces were as the faces of men. – Like men these demons (fallen angels) are created to glorify God but chose to rebel. This links them with mankind, reminding us that the judgment they bring upon man is deserved by man for their rebellion.
  4. And they had hair as the hair of women, – They act in submission to Satan, under the allowance of God. They do not act on their own.
  5. and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. – They are vicious, ferocious, and killers (much like Satan – 1 Ptr 5:8).
  6. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; – They are strong, unstoppable, men cannot withstand them.
  7. and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. – great in number, power and influence upon the earth. Work together like army in battle
  8. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: – they bring great pain and harm to mankind.

 

Compare this description to Joel…

Joe 1:1-7 KJV

The word of the LORD that came to Joel the son of Pethuel.   Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers?  Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.  That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpiller eaten.  Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.  For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion.

Joe 2:1-11 KJV

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;  A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.  A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.  The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run.

Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array.  Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness.  They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks:  Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.  They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief.  The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:   And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?

 

and their power was to hurt men five months.

They were given the authority to harm mankind in the same time period as the flood waters continued on the earth during Noah’s flood (Gen 7:24).  Again, reminding us that they are causing this judgment against rebellious, lost mankind and an action that will be used to renovate the fallen earth preparing it for eternity. 

 

(11)  And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

This is referring to the same angel that possessed the keys to the bottomless pit, these titles must apply to Christ, and they do.

These Greek and Hebrew words are used of Christ, as God, describing and picturing Him as the ultimate Destroyer and Victor over the powers of darkness and the rebellious lost. [Prov 15:11 (“destruction”); Jere 10:10-11 (“perish”); Daniel 7:9-11 (“destroyed”); Matt 10:28 (“destroy”); 22:7 (“destroyed”); Luke 17:27-29 (“destroyed”); 1 Cor 10:10 (“destroyed”); James 4:12 (“destroy”); Jude 5 (“destroyed”) 

 

(12)  One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

This concludes trumpet 5, which is the first of the trumpets that are pictured as directly falling upon mankind (trumpets 5,6, and 7).

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this text, we can see Jesus Christ revealed as the Holy Lord who, through His will of allowance controls the demonic forces of the world for His purposes.   Although the demons follow their own sinful desires and Satanic influence, the results of their actions result in God’s judgment falling upon lost mankind and His ultimate will being done.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

In spite of all the wickedness that we see taking place in the world today, we need to always remember that our Lord is in control and His will is still being performed on the earth.  Normally, in the case of His people and His elect angels, His will is being accomplished through their willful submission to His will and ways.   However, in the case of the rebellious lost and dark forces of this world, although they do not willfully submit to His authority, He still sovereignly, turns their rebellious acts into acts that ultimately fulfill His will on the earth.

May we always be thankful for His perfect control over all and His promise that all things will work together for His glory and our good.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

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Revelation 8: Summary

SIH STSTA ICONSUMMARY OF THE CHAPTER:

 

In chapter 7, we saw the events that will take place AFTER the events of today (chap 6) and immediately PRIOR TO His second coming.

Beginning here in chapter 8, and continuing in chapter 9, we will see the second coming of Christ and, especially, His wrath that will fall against lost mankind.  These truths about the wrath of God are presented in the fashion of seven trumpets that are sounded by angels.  They are divided into two types of trumpets.  Trumpets 1-4 affect nature directly and mankind indirectly.  Trumpets 5-7 affect lost mankind directly because of this, they are given the title “the three woes” 

SUMMARY OF EACH DIVISION OF CHAPTER: 

  1. Revelation 8:1-6 – The Opening Of The Seventh Seal

In this section of Scripture, John sees the opening of seal seven which is followed by a period of silence.  This silence emphasizes the gravity of what is about to take place.  God’s wrath is ready to fall and Christ is ready to return to the earth at His second coming.  These are two of the greatest events that will ever take place throughout the history of all mankind.

Following this silence, seven angels receive the seven trumpets whose sounding will initiate the falling wrath of God.  The trumpets symbolically present a warning of the coming wrath and an announcement of the soon arrival of the coming King of Kings.

Another angel is seen receiving a golden bowl that contains incense offered with the prayers of the saints of God.  This symbolizes God’s pleasure with. and receipt of, the prayers of the saints asking for vengeance to fall upon their enemies.  God will answer these prayers shortly as His wrath begins to fall.

Later, the same bowl is used to initiate the falling of God’s wrath, pouring fire from the incense altar onto the earth.

 

For a much more detailed look at this section of Scripture:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3YY

 

  1. Revelation 8:7-12 – The Sounding Of Trumpets 1-4

As John’s vision continues, he sees the opening of seals 1-4:

Seal 1 affects the Trees and Grass which symbolizes proud, rebellious and self-reliant, lost mankind.  This seal send hail, fire, and blood upon the lost, this symbolizes God’s presence and the physical suffering and death that will take place.

Seal 2 involves a burning mountain which affects the sea and all in the sea.  This symbolizes God’s wrath falling upon the spiritual kingdoms (false religions) of this world.

Seal 3 uses the symbols of the star Wormwood falling upon the drinkable waters of the earth, poisoning them.  This results in many deaths.  This is a symbol of God’s wrath falling against Satan and false teachers who pervert the true life-giving gospel message.  We also see that those who follow his teachings will be destroyed as well.

Seal 4 reveals a “smiting” of the sun, moon, and stars, which symbolizes the political powers of the world. These powers will be destroyed and hammered into submission making way for the eternal Kingdom of the Lord in the New Heavens and the Earth.

 

For a much more detailed look at this section of Scripture:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Z1

 

WHAT’S COMING NEXT IN THIS SERIES?:

In the next lesson in our series, we will be looking at Revelation 9: which will look at the sounding of trumpets  5 and 6.  These trumpets are described as the first two of three “woes” that will fall upon mankind.  They will involve God’s wrath falling directly upon lost mankind and the wicked spiritual, political, and dark kingdoms of this world.

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

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Revelation 8:7-12 “Trumpet Judgments 1-4”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:                            

 

Now, trumpet judgments 1-4 are revealed…

 

Rev 8:7-13 KJV

(7)  The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
(8)  And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;
(9)  And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
(10)  And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;
(11)  And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
(12)  And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

Please remember that the final judgment of God is described in many Scriptures as consisting of literal fire that falls from heaven. (2 Thess 1:7-10, 2 Peter 3:3-13, Psa 102:26, Isa 51:6, Zeph 3:8).  This is what will literally take place during the final wrath of God.  At Christ’s second coming, fire will precede Him punishing the lost and renovating the world for His arrival.

Keeping in mind that the final wrath of God only consists of fire falling from heaven, we can see that trumpet and the vial judgments are describing this wrath in purely symbolic terms.  In other words, the events that take place in the trumpets and vials are not literal events that will take place, but are symbolic descriptions of the final wrath of God that manifests itself by fire falling from heaven.

In chapter 8 and 9, John sees the opening of seal 7, which will symbolizes the beginning of God’s wrath coming upon the fallen earth and sinful mankind.  His wrath affecting the earth is emphasized in trumpets 1-4. Trumpets 5-6 (the first two woes) are judgments that directly affect lost mankind.

Trumpet 7 (the 3rd woe) is the completion of God’s wrath falling upon the earth and mankind.  This last trumpet brings to completion what was begun in trumpets 1-6.  Trumpet 7 is made up of the seven vials.  Each vial corresponds to a specific trumpet. Each vial simply expands, intensifies and brings to completion the wrath that was begun in its corresponding trumpet.

 

Trumpet Vial Area Of Earth Affected By Trumpets (Area of Earth Affected By Vials) Areas Of Mankind Affected By Trumpets (Areas of Mankind Affected By Vials)
1 1 1/3 Trees. Green Grass(All the Earth)
2 2 1/3 Sea(All the Sea)
3 3 1/3 Rivers, Springs(All the Rivers, Springs)
4 4 1/3 Sun, Moon, Stars(Entire Sun)
5 (Woe 1) 5 Men Not Sealed By God(Entire Kingdom and All Worshippers Of Beast)
6 (Woe 2) 6 1/3 Mankind(Whole World)
7 (Woe 3) 7 God’s Wrath Intensified and Completed Against Earth and Mankind Described By The 7 Vials(The Final Destruction Of Babylon and Lost Mankind {The Battle Of Armageddon})
 

 

As we continue our study all of the above will, hopefully, become more clear.

For now, let us just understand that the falling of God’s wrath during the second coming appears to be progressive; growing in intensity, severity and devastation as He descends and His presence draws nearer to the earth.  This is much like the tribulation in today’s time (first six seals) that will gradually increase in intensity and frequency as His coming draws near.

As we have said seal seven is divided into seven parts, symbolized by trumpets that are blown.  Here is a short outline of the upcoming lessons on seal 7 …

  1. Sounding Of First Four Trumpets – 8:7-8:13
    1. 1st Trumpet – vs 7
      1. Judgment – Hail, fire, blood
      2. Affected – Trees, grass
    2. 2nd Trumpet – vs 8
      1. Judgment – Great burning mountain, sea to blood
      2. Affected – Sea, sea creatures, ships
    3. 3rd Trumpet – vs 9-11
      1. Judgment – Burning Star (Wormwood)
      2. Affected – rivers, springs, men
    4. 4th Trumpet – vs 12
      1. Judgment – Striking
      2. Affected – Sun, moon, stars
    5. 3 Woes Announced – vs 13
  2. Sounding Of Trumpets 5 & 6 – 9:1-21
    1. 5th Trumpet (1st Woe) – 9:1-12
      1. Falling Star given Key To Bottomless Pit
      2. Locusts From Pit with King Of Locusts – Abaddon, Apollyon
    2. 6th Trumpet (2nd Woe) – 9:13-21
      1. Release of The 4 Angels & 200,000,000 Army From Euphrates killing Mankind
      2. Mankind does not repent
  1. Please note 7th Trumpet will be revealed in Rev 11:15 & Rev 16: which will reveal the completion of God’s wrath against the earth and sinful mankind.

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

In this text we find trumpets 1-4 revealed.  All four of these trumpets affect nature directly and only affect mankind indirectly.

Also please note: Many, if not all, of these trumpet judgments are variations of the plagues of God sent against Egypt (during the enslavement of the Jews) and the unbelieving Jews (during the wilderness wanderings).  This helps us to understand that all of these trumpet judgments are being sent against the willfully rebellious who have abused God’s people.

 

Rev 8:7-12 KJV

(7)  The first angel sounded,

The first angel sounds his trumpet revealing the first truth concerning God’s final judgment of fire upon the fallen earth and lost mankind.

 

and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth:

John sees hail, fire and blood cast upon the earth.  All of these are used throughout the Old Testament as tools of judgment against sin and rebellion throughout the Old Testament.

Especially, we see these active in the 10 plagues that the Lord sent against Egypt…

  1. Hail and Fire (Exo 9:23-26) – These emphasize God’s presence in this time of judgment (Psa 18:12-13)
  2. Blood (Exo 7:17-21) – This emphasizes loss of life during this time of judgment (Gen 4:10)

 

and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

Trees and grass are very important symbols in this trumpet.  They are describing those who will feel the wrath of God upon them:

  1. Trees – represent the proud, physically mighty, and rebellious (Isaiah 2:10-22, Zech 11:1-2)
  2. Grass – represents those who are evildoers and enemies against the Lord (Psa 37:1-2, 92:7, Psa 129:4-7)

Note on “the third part” : The first six trumpet judgments are said to affect a portion, but not all the earth and men upon the earth.  This helps to emphasize that God’s wrath will be progressive and gradually increasing as time passes.  This time of God’s wrath is symbolized as becoming complete with the seven bowls of wrath (Revelation 16:). These bowls of wrath is symbolize the completion of this fallen world and lost mankind in it.

Summary:  In this first trumpet judgment we learn that the final wrath of God against mankind will involve Him, personally, sending His wrath against His enemies.  They consist of the sinfully proud ones who are reliant upon their physical abilities, status, and works to secure their salvation.  Their lifestyle is characterized by a willful attitude of rebellion against the Lord.

 

(8)  And the second angel sounded,

John now hears the second angel sound his trumpet which reveals the second trumpet judgment that continues to symbolize the wrath of fire that falls at Christ’s second coming.

 

and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea:

The great mountain burning is used to describe the defeat of the wicked spiritual Kingdom of Babylon including the worship of false Gods, organized rebellion against God, and the many false religions of this world. (Jeremiah 51:25-26).

 

 and the third part of the sea became blood;

This is very similar to the first plague against Egypt, turning the water to blood. (Exo 7:12-24)  This emphasizes the abuse and mistreatment of the children of God by the false religious systems of this world.

 

(9)  And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.

The result of this judgment is death and destruction of both nature and mankind.

Summary of this trumpet: In this second trumpet judgment, we learn that God’s wrath will not only be directed against individual sinners, but especially the spiritual sinful kingdoms of this world.  In a special way, God’s wrath will judge the false religions for their organized efforts to abuse and martyr the people of God.

 

 

(10)  And the third angel sounded,

As John hears the third trumpet, he sees great heavenly wonders take place…

 

and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;

A huge star falling to the earth.  John sees it put off a bright light, much like the light of a lamp.  This star affects the sources of drinkable water.

In God’s Word a star can represent Satan (Rev 9:1-11. 2 Cor 11:13-15). A star is a dimly shining sun.  This provides the perfect picture of Satan, the one who was cast out of heaven onto the earth trying to masquerade as the One True Light, Christ.  The drinkable water sources give life to men on earth.  They are a picture for us of life-giving gospel message that is proclaimed by the Lord and His followers but defiled through the deceptive work of Satan and His false prophets. 

 

(11)  And the name of the star is called Wormwood:

The name of this star is “Wormwood”.  This word simply means “to place a curse”, “to make bitter”, or “to cause a calamity”.  Satan has done all  of these.  He has brought the curse of sin upon the earth; through his perverting lies he has made bitter the true life-giving gospel message; and through his work, he has brought great calamity and confusion upon this world.

 

and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

When this star falls from heaven and strikes the drinkable water, it makes a portion of the waters “bitter” (undrinkable and poisonous).  In other words, the entrance of Satan in this world perverted the truths of God.  This false teaching then became the water of death for those who are deceived.   This symbolism points back to the OT event at Marah that embittered waters were healed by God teaching the Jews the great importance of following the teachings and leaders that God has set before them. (Exo 15:23-27).  In Jeremiah 23:15, we read that this is a judgment that will fall upon false prophets and false teachers of the Word.

In summary: This trumpet reminds us that it will only be when God’s wrath falls in the last days that the true harmfulness of Satan’s teachings will be understood in its entirety by those who are misled followers of Satan’s message.  God’s wrath will display that they were following the wrong teachers and teachings and now, although deceived, will face God’s wrath for their sinful condition and rebellion against the truth of God. 

 

(12)  And the fourth angel sounded,

John now hears the fourth trumpet sound.

 

and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars;

Once again, he sees great heavenly events.  He sees the sun, moon, and stars “smitten”.  The word for “smitten” means to flatten out by pounding.  This word expresses the use of great force to work great changes.  This seems to refer to the plague of darkness in Exo 10:21-23.

In the Bible, the sun, moon and stars can all represent positions of political and social authority (Psalm 138:8-9).

 

so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

This pounding by the Lord causes them to give off less light to the earth.  In other words, their influence will be gradually taken away as His wrath continues to fall.

In summary: This trumpet reminds us that, as God’s wrath falls, one by one the political kingdoms of the world will fall to defeat which will lead to all the kingdoms will be under the Lord’s manifest authority and rule.  No political power will be able to standup against the Lord and His falling wrath. 

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this text, we have seen that the Lord’s wrath will touch the four main areas of rebellion found in our world today:

  1. Trumpet 1 – judgment of the willfully rebellious individuals
  2. Trumpet 2 – judgment of the spiritual kingdoms of this world
  3. Trumpet 3 – judgment of Satan and the followers of His teaching
  4. Trumpet 4 – judgment of the rebellious political kingdoms of the world

Christ as the Just Judge that punishes the appropriate people, governments and false religions that stand in opposition to Himself and His people.   None will escape His hand of judgment, nor will anyone gain the victory over Him.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

May we all remember the great wrath that will fall against rebellious individuals, spiritual kingdoms, political kingdoms and those who are followers of Satan and his false teachings.  May we allow this remembrance to be constant reminder of the need be on guard against each of these, making sure we do not become followers of their wicked teachings or sinful lifestyles.. 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

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