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“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him to show His servants what soon must take place”. Thus starts the book of Revelation, which the disciple John, in his eighties, penned on the island of Patmos, as he experiences several visions. We want to take a truncated examination of these visions from three viewpoints; a revelation from Jesus, a revelation about Jesus, and a revelation that is the process of recreating His people, His revelation on earth. We shall break it down in those three categories, and will continue to incorporate all three; from, about and revealing Himself in His people.
In doing so, we shall find a lesser known fact about this book; Jesus shares everything He has with His own. He was divinity and became man, and with man Peter says He shares His divinity. (2 Pet 1:3-4) Have you considered how Jesus is making you His revelation? John 17:2, 6, 9; 'those You have given me'; Eph 3:1-10, Col 1:26, 27; through His church Jesus will be made known, and more, Christ in you---the hope of glory! (refer to Gal 1:16; 2:20, reveal Christ in me, Christ lives in me) We will dig further into this amazing truth later. Just pause and think of all the things; was, is and has and what He has said He will share with us. You are no longer His servant, but His friend. He is the light, and He said we are the light of the world. There is so much more! Selah!
When addressing John and this book, we cannot overlook the fact that John was a Hebrew, who knew the OT Scripture incredibly well, who was 'suffering and patiently enduring', who had experienced all of his friends killed 'in the word', and who was writing to the Greek speaking churches. (1) Jesus told him to 'write a scroll', not to be 'afraid', and to write what he 'has seen', what he 'sees'. Have you ever put yourself in John's place? Can you imagine the range of emotions? Then Jesus places His 'right hand' on John, and from that point on John quotes Jesus through the messages to the local churches. John does not search for symbolic language gleaned from Scripture here, (here your text will be in red letters, quoting Jesus) but from now on he will, and any Bible student can find a reference application in every thought used for the nation Israel now aimed at the church age. (2) In human life, the church finds a parallel to the lifestyle of human traits to the nation Israel. You remember in John 2: 24, 25, John states that Jesus did not trust man, for He knew 'what was inside man'. That reminds us of 1 Cor 2;14, the description of a natural man, one who, lacking the Holy Spirit, is totally lacking in all of God's attributes. (see the chart on Isaiah 11:2, below)
Isaiah 41:21-24---”Present your case, says the Lord. Set forth your arguments. Bring in your idols to tell us what is going to happen. Tell us what the former things were, so that we may consider them and know their final outcome. Or declare to us the things to come, tell us what the future holds, so that we may know you are gods. Do something, whether good or bad, so that we will be dismayed or filled with fear. But you are less than nothing, and your works are utterly worthless.”
So what is Revelation all about? And who can say? The answer can be found in the question; what is Scripture all about? It is about God. It is about light. It is about people. And these people choose to follow God, His light, and it is about God's self-chosen enemy, Satan. In the beginning, light displaced darkness. Since that time, people have chosen the Light or the darkness. Light destroys the darkness, and darkness oppresses light. This is exactly what the principal of the Bible is all about, and this is explicitly the essence of Revelation. God had to become Man and die for him to make it possible for man to be reborn, recreated, and to love, worship and live with God throughout eternity in this light . And, of course, this Scripture gives us admonitions. (3)
We cannot forget worship, a central theme of Revelation, as to whom and by whom. It is almost comical that in our study we found the word 'worship' following the word 'world'. In Paul's presentation to the Athenians found in Acts 17:21ff he points out to them the 'unknown God'. The Modern Concordance has themed this worship; “Worship -service; worship-religion; devotion, service; duty; being devout; paying homage; and, To make a god of—to venerate. (4) Lest there be any notion to the contrary, we certify and endorse the main central theme of Revelation is in the Person of Jesus Christ, The Lamb of this book.
John upholds this charge brilliantly. And he incorporates all of history and its writings to do so. Anyone can study hundreds of commentaries about history and eschatological documents, and still can be left with doubts and uncertainties of what was declared. Many commentaries stress Apocryphal books, and some even use them almost exclusively to interpret Revelation. (5) There are many modern books written on this subject, but we want to concentrate our understanding with the 'canon'. We will concede that there are several references in Revelation that can be explained from passages from the books of Enoch, Baruch, Esdras, Maccabees, Tobit, Judith, Sirach, and Ezra. Some commentators rely on Pseudepigrapha literature, a body of Jewish literature dating from the centuries immediately preceding and following the beginning of the Christian Era. We, here, will omit most of these contributions.
“Two major councils in North Africa, in Hippo (Augustine's bishopric) in 393 and in Carthage in 397, established the canons of the Old and New Testament, and the Apocrypha. Since then there have been changes, and the Apocrypha was dropped from the Protestant Bible at the Council of Trent (1545-1563), but the New Testament has been unchanged for nearly 1600 years.” (6) Some sources list the formation as early as 157 AD by the Waldenses in Italy.
John's use of canonized Scripture is more than sufficient enough for us. He used Moses' books, the prophets and Hebrew historical records. He patterned after Ezekiel, after the sanctuary, and the feasts, and after the teachings of Jesus, especially eschatological passages, such as Matt 23-25. Without Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Zechariah, our understanding would be rubble. Without Daniel, we have scrambled words. Certainly Revelation is an unsealing of Daniel's book and a continuation, a telescoping of the Olivet Discourse (Matt 23-25; Mark 13; Luke 23).
“The Apocalypse borrows its symbols, images and terms mostly from the Old Testament. These cannot be understood therefore in isolation from their Hebrew roots. To read the Apocalypse within its wider biblical content requires that we acquaint ourselves with the Hebrew Scriptures, with their way of speaking and with their prophetic language. In addition, the interpretation of prophecy by the rabbis of Late Judaism is also helpful. This background reveals the surprising newness of the gospel message, as presented by Jesus and the writers of the New Testament”. (7)
“The Apocalypse is, therefore, more Hebrew than any other book of the New Testament. It contains more than 2000 allusions to the Hebrew Scriptures, including 400 explicit references and 90 literal citations of the Pentateuch and the Prophets. With regard to textual citations, , the Apocalypse is more faithful to the original Hebrew than its Greek translation, the Septuagint.” (8) We could point out many more references, but feel this is sufficient to show meaningful application to using the OT to subscribe to the 'unveiling' that Revelation promises.
“There are many interpretations to Revelation. And every one has its difficulties. Whatever interpretation is accepted, some details leave straining to fit.” (9) With this road sign, we now enter the specific thoughts that 'strain' to paint us the picture John is painting, revealing in panoramic fashion. We find it intriguing that at the very beginning John 'testifies' of everything he saw. John 17:20; “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word.” That is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. This sets the tone for the atmosphere a follower of Christ will incorporate into his life; Rev 12:17 and 14:12; here they are, those that keep, obey, the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus, and who remain faithful to Jesus, those who have patient endurance and who are called saints. This gives us insight into those who can stand at the end of time, the question asked at the closing of Rev 6.
This early in Revelation we can learn how to know and understand (refer to Dan 9:20-23) some passages that may seem to be obscure. Vs 1:7; “all the peoples of the earth will mourn” (wail). (see Jer 25:34-38; Zech 12:10-14*; Ezek 30:2ff) The first text in the Bible that uses the word earth; Gen 1:2; the 'earth' was dark and void (NIV formless and empty). Let me suggest to you that from now on when Revelation refers to the people of the earth, John is talking about people who do not know God. They are full of darkness; there is 'no light in them'. You will soon see that all of the literal environmental terms in this book represent a form of people: grass, green grass, trees, sun, moon, stars, or an indication of their loyalties. Our text of 1:7 is telling us that all those on earth will wail, will mourn at the sight of Jesus descending in 'clouds'. Many have professed Christ, and yet have not yielded to His will, His way of thinking, His way of life.
This brings us to the Lords Day. What a tussle this has been throughout the centuries. Like a huge long rope, with two groups tugging their war, to sway the other to their mind set. Here we could fill this missive with references of well-intended commentators who back the conclusion of Ignatius of Antioch, (10) who said some forty years after John wrote his visions; “our life sprang up through Him and His death”; (Didache 14: Ignatius to the Magnesians 9) which focus on 'Easter' as a new day of worship for the Christian community. I sit here in Akron, Ohio, and look around this study room and see seemingly countless commentaries and references to the beginning of a 'new Sabbath day'. I can testify that is not Scriptural. For four millennium man has worshiped his way, on his terms, on his day; ignoring the creation of a Sabbath day by our Creator.
In the Josephus writings one can find a constant denial of the “Lord's day”, and reminders of all of the punishments by God for Israel's 'fornication'. “The second instance is that in the ninth year of wicked Zedekiah, anno 590 before the Christian era; in whose reign we have no marks of any intention to observe the Sabbath, or the year”. (11) Not only the Sabbath day, but the year, the years and the feast days were displaced. Captivities were sighted as giving the 'land its Sabbath', and giving the land 'its rest'. (refer to Lev 25:2-7; Isa 56:1-8; Isa 17:7-11; Jer 2:7; Ezek 12:12-22; and hundreds more texts describing the destruction of the “land” because of Israel's harlotry. Jesus said that He was the Lord of the Sabbath, His special day (Mark 2: 23-28). That is the Lord's day of the Bible. We shall go further into the details of Scripture verses tradition with another passage, later. Hebrews 4 discusses the 'rest' of the 'Sabbath' that all of God's 'some' who are 'the people of God.' Myriads of these commentaries herald Christ as their 'Bible Sabbath;' and again, I beg anyone to concrete this with Scripture, especially since the Sabbath is a testimonial to the Creator. (Rev 14:6)
Now we see a description of Jesus as John beheld Him. Let us select a couple of categories:
Rev. 1:5, 6
||1. Head, hair white as snow, wool (leprosy of people)
|2. Faithful witness
||2. Eyes of flame of fire
|3. First born of the dead
||3. Feet as burnished brass (refined in a furnace)
|4. Ruler of kings of earth
||4. Voice of many waters
|5. Loves us (love for His people)
||5. Right hand holds seven stars
|6. Looses us from sin by blood
||6. Mouth, a two-edged sword - GOSPEL
|7. Made us to be a kingdom of Priests to the Father
||7. Face shines as the sun
Revelation 1:17 - 20: Man's appropriate response and understanding. . . . .
1. Saw Him (He is seen) behold the Man Acts 9:5, Who are you, Lord?
2. Fell at His feet as though dead - posture of a man to God (always).
3. Laid right hand on me - provided comfort and encouragement - holds stars (HE).
4. Fear not attitude, confidence in the Lord, Trust, He is faithful.
5. He is first and last - Jesus' position (our #1).
6. Living one - Christ is life - His state of being.
7. Dead, now alive forever more - Resurrection after His second death, for mankind.
8. Has keys to death and grave - He is central to all, cf John 17:2.
9. Write what you see, hear servant's response, stewardship.
10. Know the Mystery - study, fast, pray - mystery of Revelation . . . (one body in Christ). (12)
Here we can identify some structures of the composition of the Book. Jon Paulien has a whole chapter on Revelation structures. (13) Maxwell has done an extensive work with complete diagrams and applications on the chiasm throughout his Revelation commentary. Prophets used poetry; John will use some also, especially in the songs. There are motifs in the numbers used, and one can find the number seven used frequently, and some may be not so obvious. Threes, fours and twelves also play an artistic role in the structure. Revelation is constructed in a chiasm (detailed work by Kenneth A. Strand, Interpreting the Book of Revelation, Ann Arbor Pub; 1970) which is a double list of related items (occurrences) in which the order of the second list is opposite to the order of the first list. Revelation is divided in halves, the first being 1-14; the second being 15-22. (14) My observation is that although Rev 12-14 is the center of the book, the entire book revolves around Rev 4-5. Contrary to some commentator's conclusion on the duration of the church age, it definitely runs through the first half, and we shall entertain more discussion later.
Although John wrote to seven literal churches in Asia, the context of the letters is for every church during the entire church age. And what should be more important to each and every one of us, it is our personal message and that includes every action and thought of every minute of every day. If anyone cannot make the personal connection, it is a waste of his/hers' time. This will become much more evident when we discuss the seals and the trumpets.
In the application of chronological order and times applicable to given settings of Revelation, there has been contention. In about 1202, Priest Joachim Floris determined that prophetic time was arranged in a day for a year interpretation. Later, reformers Luther, Calvin and Wycliff accepted that prognosis. Around 1580 Jesuit Francicus Ribeira entertained a futurist method of interpretation, which put Rev 4 and onward into a future date beyond the church age. By contrast, Jesuit Alcasar, in about 1614, introduced a preterist method, which put most of the book into the past and present, thus pointing to political rulers as antichrists in their day, making the book less prophetic and more historical. You will find most commentators aligning themselves with one or the other of these prognosticators. Some fairly familiar names jump out; Ladd, Bruce, Minear, Beasely-Murry, Ford, Walvoord, Metzger, Braaten, Hoskier, Morris, Mounce, Sherpherd, Farrer, (whose book is more difficult to understand than Revelation, itself) Beckwith, Vernard, Tenney, Elliot, Alford, Caird, Milligan, Sweet, Swete, and many others. I wanted to take the time and space to mention some of these scholars, because we may have a tendency to dismiss those of whom we disagree with a flip of a thought. After reading some of these, I marvel at how much time they spent in their studies, and countless hours of prayer, and research, and more prayer. Each and every one of these individuals had a life, much in study, yes; but much in getting to that point, in sacrifice, in hard labor, in commitment.
Occasionally I listen to a 'Christian radio station' where some of the 'old guys', long since departed, are still heard on the airways. Guys like Lester Rollof, of Corpus Christi, and Robert Cook of the Kings College, and Green of So. Carolina, who was a living Scoffield Bible, and one of my favorites- who can forget J Vernon McGee, of Through the Bible? You listen to these guys, some of which you may or may not agree with, but you get to know them, appreciate them, and hope you see them in eternity. You can be sincere and wrong; do you want to be their judge?
Here is an example from Foster's Mystery: (12)
THEME #4 Voice of many waters
This brings us into the church age of the book. And here we can see all 'three Revelations' surface. This is from Jesus, about Jesus, and the building of Jesus' church. Please notice how He shares His attributes, His character, His love, and yes, His whole life with His own purchased possession. For every problem of every church, for every individual, He offers Himself as the solution. His character He imparts to His church. In Ephesus, to those who have fallen from their heights of His love; He walks with them, holds them in His hand, and He knows all their deeds. (all their thoughts) He introduces us to one of the opposing characters, Nicolaitans, and this will be followed by Balaam, and then by Jezebel. In Revelation, all proper names represent character. (15) Here, Jesus saves us from the enemy, as He does all our enemies; and especially the enemy of self, with all its worldly charm and pretty packages. There is much detail we shall skip here on the churches; and pray that you understand we are stressing here the attributes of Christ that He shares with us. What an incredible concept. What an incredible Savior. What an incredible Lord. What an incredible Love.
Please re-examine all of the things Jesus shares with us through the churches. He shares His love, His caring, the right to eat from the tree of life in heaven; a crown a life; a white stone with a new name; (a purged, cleansed soul, with a new mind set, like Jesus, and a place in the New Jerusalem, a niche in the wall of the new sanctuary where God shall dwell, forever) Jesus shares His throne; (authority, and the ability to overcome through and in Christ) and He gives The Morning Star; (who is your Morning Star?) and we can walk with Him, clothed in white; (His Righteousness) a permanent residence in the book of life; a name Jesus gives you, (i e Simon, you shall be Peter) the Name of God and the Name of Jesus and a 'new name' for each one of us, eternally inscribed on you; (in your mind, a permanent mark) again, the right to sit with Jesus on His Throne, and to eat with Him.
Oh, to behold that incredible banquet table. Can you imagine sitting at that table made of silver, miles long, and watching Jesus making His way towards you, saint by saint? And then He finally gets to you*********Jesus and you, face to face, eye to eye. And He is the only reason you are there. I trust you can get the meaning of what Jesus shares with you. Make it personal, every day!
Another example of the chiasm which helps us to understand John's message to us
This brings us to a new vision, this one from heaven. Here in chapter 4 the main characters come into view, the Father and His Son, The Lamb, which is the reason for this book. John sees through 'a door' open in heaven, not a bodily transfer. If you look in your concordance, you will see that the word 'come' is used some 25 times, depending upon your Bible translation. Surprisingly, you will find about 10 different Greek words were used by John. You might ask why, but I'm gonna work on that. John says that he was in the 'Spirit' in this coming, meaning that he was not there physically, but spiritually.
And the 'after this' (Gr meta tauta) is after the first vision, not after the church age. (16) At this point one's decision on the chronological time directs the rest of the interpretation of the book. “Chapters 4-5 form one vision of two parts; the throne of chapter 4 and the Lamb and the scroll of chapter 5. In actuality, the breaking of all seven seals (6-8:1) together with the throne vision (4-5) form a single , continuous vision and should not be separated. Indeed, the throne pictures should be viewed as dominating the entire seven-view vision (4:1-8:1) --- It is significant that the visions continue to the end of the book, there references to the throne, the book, the crowns, the four living creatures, the twenty-four elders, and the victory of the Lamb. In all this, the center of focus appears to be the five hymns of praise that begin in 4:8 and continue through chapter five.” (17)
As you might perceive, we could spend a lot of time and space on different opinions on time and meanings of Rev 4-5, but we will suffice to say that this is a vision in 96 AD for that time period, in both occurrence and future happenings. As we further discuss the seals and trumpets, our interpretation puts the churches, the seals and the trumpets all in church age at the same time. The mistaken notion of a secret rapture “had its origin about 1830 in a 'vision' of Margaret McDonald and was incorporated in the strange theology of Edward Irving before it was adopted by J N Darby and later the Scofield Bible.” (18)
Mathew Henry recognizes that 'all must be washed that are admitted into the gracious presence of God'. (19) Leslie Hardinge recognizes the 'laver' as the 'sea of glass', where the laver is called the sea, which was made from the mirrors of Israel. (20)
Edwin R Thiele recognizes the 24 elders as resurrected saints taken to heaven as the first fruits (wave sheafs) and assuming the duties of the priests of 1 Cron 24:1-18; Heb 8:2, 5; 9:23, 24. (Involved in worship and presenting the prayers of the saints) (21) If your Bible identifies the four living beings as 'beasts' as the KJV does, that is unfortunate, since the best translation would probably be 'ones'. (Gr zoon; is best as creature, which should exclude them as resurrected human) One commentator equates them as 'four multitudes surrounding the throne as Israel of old, camped about the sanctuary.” (22) I take the stand that the Living Beings are described in combination from Ezek 1 and Isa 6, the cherubim and seraphim. “No doubt this imagery is drawn from Ezekiel's vision where the prophet saw the four living beings each having four faces; that of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle (Ezek 1:6-10; 10:14)--- Isaiah's visions of seraphim (Isa 6:2, 3). The proximity of the four living creatures to the throne in both Rev 4 and Ezek 1; 10 reminds us of the cherubim associated with the ark of the covenant; --- (Ex 25:18-21; 1 Kings 6:23-28) --- they are exalted angels of God who serve Him and are the guardians of the throne; leading the heavenly hosts in ceaseless worship and praise.” (23)
Their faces are represented by the flags of the leaders of the 12 tribes of Israel, as they camped, as they marched. By contrast, there were also empires with these emblems on their flags, as well as mythological characters, some of which were given names in the stars of heaven, and in constellations. “Their being might suggest that they are the 'noblest, strongest, wisest, and swiftest.” (24) In Ezekiel's vision, these cherubim react instantly to any command from the throne.
At this point a scroll, a book, is introduced, wrapped with seven seals. We shall not elongate text here, but merely claim this to be a book of deeds, of future events, which very well could include the book of life, inasmuch as those that 'are sealed' are included herein. The bone of contention here is rather any part of the scroll is read upon the opening of each seal, or if it is revealed upon the opening of all its seals. Let us allow the interpretation to reveal that as it unfolds. The content of the book includes the mystery of all things revealed in the rest of the book. This mystery only Christ can reveal (Dan 12:9; Rev 10:4) as the kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and His Christ, so it also contains Christ's inheritance, His people. In this scroll is the end of all things, and the events of all future things. Thus, it is God's will and testament. Only the Testator or His Executor could open this will. As such, this was also a 'title deed', and by His redeeming death Christ was the only Authority to reclaim the earth and its occupants. (Refer to Jer 32:8-16; 36:2ff)
When one reads the songs in Rev 4-5, do it in solitude, in a quiet place. One will hear the Hallelujah chorus; listen, do you hear it? Worthy is the Lamb**************** God's people always sing (Nehemiah 9)
Here is where those that adhere to a strict about Jesus interpretation depart from those who believe Revelation is also about Christ's people, His revelation. Somewhere about this time in the book there should be a sign, 'some assembly required'; or it may say, 'some spiritual discernment required'! When I am in my home church I have occasion to teach Bible study. A few weeks ago I was equating Matt 18:21, 22 where Jesus was telling Peter to forgive seventy times seven, with Dan 9:24 where Gabriel told Daniel that there would be seventy weeks to finish transgression and put an end to sin. My question was how much did Jesus say we are to forgive. Finally, they came up with that we are to forgive as much as Jesus did on the cross. A lady in the back of the room raised her hand and asked, what does that have to do with our lesson? Another made the comment that I was concentrating too much on the cross. I hope my sigh of 'Oh My' was muffled. Sharing. Remember sharing? Here we again see Jesus' attributes, those that He freely shares with His own.
SEVENFOLD SPIRITS OF THE GODHEAD
Available to Their sealed people
Rom. 12 1
1 Cor. 12
Spirit of the Lord
Fear of the Lord
It is amazing, but obvious Jesus wants us to have his character, and not just in the future life, but now, right now. It is called restoration, and we will see how Jesus imparts this through the seals and tests of the trumpets.
“Further analysis of Rev 4 & 5 confirms that a coronation event is intended.” (26) In Acts 2, fifty days after Christ's resurrection and ten days after His ascension, Peter addresses the crowd by quoting Joel 2:28-32; and then Psalm 16:8-11 and then Psalm 110:1; to illustrate Jesus to them. The Pentecost that took place on earth was the result of what had just taken place in heaven. (refer to Lev 23:15-22; Deut 16:9-12 for OT app)
“Make thine enemy thy footstool---This expression, that the conquest of Christ's enemies shall be but as the moving of a stool into its place, noteth unto us two things: first, the easiness of God's victory over the enemies of Christ. They are before Him as nothing, the drop of a bucket, the dust of a balance, a very little thing...Secondly, as this putting of Christ's enemies like a stool under the feet noteth easiness, so it also noteth order or beauty too. When Christ's enemies shall be under His foot, there shall be a right order of things; then it shall appear that God is a God of order, and therefore the day wherein that shall be done, is called, 'the time of restitution of all things,' Acts 3:21. The putting of Christ's enemies under His feet is an act of justice; and of all others, justice is the most orderly virtue, that which keepeth beauty upon the face of a people, as consisting itself in symmetry and proportion.” (27)
“Because Pentecost was tied to no historical event when instituted by the Lord, it continued to be a source of confused meaning for the Jews for many centuries. Interestingly, this confusion had reached a peak during the first century. It was at this time the true meaning and intent was revealed by God. All past celebrations were a rehearsal for the day of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the church. (Acts 2:1-4) Christ spoke of the intimacy that would be experienced with the coming of the Counselor. This Counselor, the Holy Spirit, would dwell with them. (see Luke 17:20, 21; John 14:16, 17) Paul explained to the Ephesians that this Holy Spirit marked or sealed believers as in Christ, sharing unity with the Father. (see John 17:23) Glorious as this intimacy is, Paul explains it is only a deposit on a full inheritance yet to come. (Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession; to the praise of His glory; Eph 1:13, 14.) Pentecost was the concluding day of the Spring Feast; prophetic of Jesus' first coming and appropriately, the Holy Spirit was poured out at the conclusion of Jesus' earthly ministry. God's instructions regarding this feast day reveal to us His further intent; two lambs and two loaves offered uniquely with leaven, revealing the arrival of the kingdom of heaven For Christ said, ' The kingdom of heaven is near;' Matt 10:7; 'and the kingdom of heaven is like leaven,' Matt 13:3. In Romans 11 Paul speaks of two loaves relating that they represent the Jew and the Gentile.”(28)
“The Intention of John's throne vision is to disclose the beginning of Christ's heavenly ministry and reign because of His enthronement as the risen Lord, the initiation of a new era of salvation, the Messianic age.” (29)
The separation widens between students of this text, and two paths emerge; one takes the route of judgment, and the other of the gospel, which I wholeheartedly endorse. You must decide for yourself, is Rev 4 & 5 a judgment scene, or the coronation of Christ in heaven? “The evidence clearly supports the view that Rev 4-5 describes the enthronement of the resurrected Christ at the right hand of the Father (cf Dan 7:13, 14; Phil 2:6-11), the event which occurred at Pentecost (Acts 2:32-36), as the most satisfactory interpretation. We would expect, then, that the material following Rev 5 covers history throughout the Christian era from the first century until the second coming.” (30)
We cannot leave the throne room without more mention of our Lamb, the One that says He wants to be our Friend.(John 15:13,14) This gives me cause to reflect more on my mind in Christ all the day long. We find our Lamb in Isa 53:7, “like a Lamb that is led to the slaughter." Try as we might, we can hardly imagine what our Lord went through. “Here we see the Suffering Servant of Isaiah (42-53) and links sacrificial death with the Messiah of the OT and the Passover Lamb.” (Ex12:5f; Isa 53:7; John 1:29; Acts 8:32;
1 Pet 1:19) (31)
I reminisce: "No pity, Lord, could change the heart From red with wrong to white as wool; The rod must heal the sin: but Lord, Be merciful to me, a fool! T is not by guilt the onward sweep Of truth and right, O Lord, we stay; T is by our follies that so long We hold the earth from heaven away. These clumsy feet, still in the mire, Go crushing blossoms without end; These hard, well-meaning hands we thrust Among the heart-strings of a friend. The ill-timed truth we might have kept-- Who knows how sharp it pierced and stung? The word we had not sense to say-- Who knows how grandly it had rung! Our faults no tenderness should ask. The chastening stripes must cleanse them all; But for our blunders -- oh, in shame Before the eyes of heaven we fall. Earth bears no balsam for mistakes; Men crown the knave, and scourge the tool That did his will; but Thou, O Lord, Be merciful to me, a fool.” (32)
How often do I strum the heartstrings of a friend, and of my Lord. May our Lamb give us the seven-fold spirit that he offers so freely, that we may exhibit His attributes and character. Sharing!
And so, we leave Revelation 4 & 5. But take heart, we do not leave Jesus. We never leave Jesus. I remember that Hudson Taylor said at the turn of the 20th century; “We should be never be conscious of one moment being outside of the will of Jesus Christ”. And we have the Word of Jesus, “I will never leave nor forsake you!” By this time we have all made a decision, a choice. Rev 4-5 is either a judgment scene or an enthronement, it is either the wrath of the Lamb or Pentecost. Your choice determines pretty much what you think of the rest of the book, your interpretation. And this is the reason that I am writing this; and not just quoting everyone else's incredible labors.
Lord Jesus, please give us an open mind, help us to box up our preconceived notions; give us the Holy Spirit, let us have Your Gold, Your eye salve, Your will, Your Mind; amen.
When your mind enters into the realm of the seals and the trumpets, it conjures up visions. On the front of Graham's book, and in the center of Maxwell's book there is a picture of the four horseman that any good Crusader would covet. (33) Some put the seals and trumpets at some other time outside the church age, and some put them throughout the entire Bible. (34) A few years ago I was at a Bible conference and the Rev seals were brought up, and before the sentence was completed, the college Bible professor sitting across from me had opened his Bible to Psalm 46, and exclaimed, here it is, this is the war of the Rev seals! “Come and see the works of the Lord, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to be the ends of the earth, he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire.” I can find some war texts on my own; Zech 10:4; “From Judah will come the cornerstone, from him the tent peg, from him the battle bow----they will fight and overthrow the horsemen.” Zech 12:4, “On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness, declares the Lord.” There are horses and wars in Joel, in Isaiah, in Jeremiah, in Ezekiel, and in almost every OT book. How much peace did Israel have? Not much!
I suppose this part of Revelation could be a war.
Come now, let us reason together---------and that is a beautiful text to open the seals. A question for you; what is the Christian warfare? What are its weapons? In contrast to the OT, the NT war is done with the sword, the one found in the 2nd seal, the one that Peter used at Pentecost, the one Jesus has in Rev 1. I often tell inquisitors that the best commentary on Revelation is found in John's own writings. The gospel of John is the commentary on Revelation, and the epistles the commentary on both. What do all the books of the NT reverberate? The gospel! Justification and sanctification! Justification by Faith! Why should Revelation be any different, and especially since it is the last message from Christ to His people. If we want to kill something, it should be self.
2 Cor 5:15; “And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.” 17; “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ Jesus, he is a new creation; the old is gone, the new has come!” Actually, the seals and trumpets are a form of justification and sanctification, or at least, the result of them in the life of the believer. In capsule form, we see the seals and trumpets in Rev 14:6-9. The angel, (messenger) flying in midair, to proclaim the eternal (everlasting) gospel. What is the gospel? It is not some reading in church. It is the facts of Jesus. It is His birth, life, death and resurrection. I add one more thing-----it is also about His present ministry. Now rather you buy that or not, it is all about Jesus, and anyone living without Jesus is already dead; he is a spiritual zombie. This is true with the billions of people who do not profess Jesus as Savior and Lord, but it is intrinsically true of those who profess and do not confess.
It is those that live in Romans 1:32; those that live private lives in their own closets, who have mush for brains, or at least an ant's nest, who get lost in the world and all its pleasures. They have not surrendered to the will of Jesus, and find little or no time for Him. Jesus describes this mind set in His discourse where He described life just before the flood; time for everything, but no time for God; just keep plugging alone, mind occupied by everything except God and His eternity. God's people are living for the next life, not this one; and light paths for others to follow that lead to heaven.
Did Peter follow the formula of Rev 14:6ff? Lets see; he certainly told them about Christ, and warn them he did; Acts 2:38; “Repent! And be baptized!” Hey guys, die to self, be raised up in Christ, and declare that you will live your life for Him. Vs 40- “with many other words he warned them!” Yes, Peter followed the formula. How about the rest of the NT? Have you found where the disciples donned their battle gear and slew the enemy? Do you remember Paul's chapter on warfare and how it was done? (Eph 6:10-20; notice vs 19, WORDS) So, let us peer into the SEALS. In order for you to follow along, you must acquaint yourself with Ezekiel one and ten, and Zechariah one and six. It is important that you see how heaven works on our behalf. The Father and/or the Son have a thought, which is implemented spontaneously by the covering cherubim/seraphim, and a horse is delegated to carry out the assignment. Later, one will see that the messenger can either be heavenly or earthly, angel or man, that completes God's bidding. It is important that you understand the purpose and mission of these horses; to go forth, to proclaim, to break the peace, to bear God's Word.
We must be cognizant that the sword is the word of God. Heb 4:12; “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul an d spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Eph 6:17; Luke 2:35; a sword will pierce your own heart. Isa 11; after presenting our Lord, in vs 4 the rod (sword) of His mouth will strike the earth. What about the bow? Let us look at 'come' first. Whose calling whom? How did we miss this one? The angel is calling the horse. John is just an onlooker. Remember we had discussed the number of times come is used (25) and the different meanings? “The Greek word Erchou can mean 'go forth' rather than 'come,' thus clearly showing that the horseman rather than John is being addressed. In 16:1, however, John uses a different word, hypagete for 'go forth.' The term 'come and see' is used in some rabbinic texts, however, MS supports go forth. When John himself is addressed, another word is used, deuro, come, 17:1 & 21:9.” (35)
One more hurdle to scale. The word 'bow' is 'toxon,' and can be a bow that shoots arrows or a ribbon to tie that 'crown' he is given. The text favors that it is a ribbon to tie a wreath of victory that he is given. And he goes out to conquer. Thus, the verse reads; the cherubim tells the messenger to go forth and he delivers the word of God (gospel), victorious in his effort, he receives a wreath of peace. Kinda sounds like what happened at Pentecost. Sounds like the 'eternal gospel' 'going forth!' Notice that the reward for the Smyrna church is the same crown as in the 1st seal. Eerdman's says that “the horseman are patrolling the world on God's behalf, like the mounted patrols that policed the Persian Empire.” (36) One commentator calls it being 'bowed' by the Word of God. “We may therefore interpret the white horse of the first seal as the gospel horse that offers to all men the perfect righteousness of Christ” And so, “The red horse represents the spirit of opposition to the gospel rider, or war against the people of Christ.” (37)
Let's go on a little missionary trip together. Let's 'go forth' and share the gospel. Remember sharing? Since Jesus shares everything He has with us, so naturally, His people share 'everything' with everybody else, anybody else; right? So, let us go out of your driveway and around your neighborhood. You can tell people that Jesus loves them, that He was born, lived His life on earth, died for them so they could be restored to the state of Adam and Eve, was resurrected, and now is their High Priest in heaven, where He wants them to join Him shortly, and will live with Him for eternity. Not too hard, and what a great experience, except for that Mr So-n-So who chased us away. Now we shall go down town and stand on a street corner, and we shall do the same thing. A lot more snobbery and resistance. Now let's go to Bangkok and tell it to our Buddhist friends. More resistance. Now, let's go to Saudi Arabia. We could very quickly end up a headless horseman. Now, let's go to the neighborhood bar and drink for the afternoon, and then attempt to give the message. Afterward, we will hold a knife to a Moslem's throat in Indo-China, and tell them all about Jesus.
This is an exaggerated picture of the Revelation seals. Resistance becomes greater, but the 'horse' may become more worldly, more into other things, more into the Babylonian culture. Both the presenter and receiver could die, and both literally and spiritually. Never forget, that in this portion of Revelation, we must consider the literal and spiritual, as presented in a symbolic way. We know that saints die, because we read the 5th seal, as well as there is the hardening of hearts of the rejecters; what the OT calls 'stiff necked.' (see Dan 7-12, i e 7:22) And millions died over the two millennium. The 6th seal pictures the results of the 3rd and 4th, where there is a scarcity, and famine of the word, mostly because of the religious-political persecution, dominated by a false church. The Lord is sounding His warning in this seal, OT revelation; Ex19:16-19.
The tribes listed in Rev 7 are representative of the conditions of man who overcomes with the mind set of cooperating with Jesus in His sharing of His character and attributes noted in the seven churches. It would seem that Dan is omitted because of his great sin of idolatry; Judges 18:30; Ex 17:8; and in Jer 1. When one puts the meaning of the names together, it spells out a message of deliverance and salvation. “Praise, A Son, A Company, Happy, Wrestling, Forgetting, Hearing, Joined, Servants, Dwelling, Added, Son of My Right Hand.” (38) Chapter 7 answers the question, 'who shall be able to stand' and they offer praise and adoration to their God and Savior. “The Lamb is the center of the throne, will guide them to water of life” 7:17
This brings us to the 7th seal and the trumpets. Remember, Christ gives justification and sanctification with both hands, and now He gives His sealing and the trumpet warnings with both hands. Also remember, God's warnings, trials and tribulations separate the 'sheep from the goats.' Those that reject Christ's sacrifice, and thus His salvation, harden their hearts and are removed from any consideration from the 'book of life.' Those that are His precious possession are purged, cleansed and purified by these events. “by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:5 Over the years, I have had a copy of Titus 2:11-3:8 and put it, sent it and given it, everywhere I went. Vs 2:14; “who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous to do good deeds.” That is my definition of the trumpets for God's people. 'Have you seen my servant Job?'
Silence! Most people cannot stand silence. I think that God's people love silence. Just a walk in the woods with their God. Earth's history started with ½ hour of silence. Their was ½ hour of silence before the flood. God always pauses before He performs an unnatural act of destruction. He paused ½ hour before Jericho. It appears that all of heaven awaits with bated breathe for the end of the earth as we know it. And the angel casts down the prayers of the saints, the answer to the 5th seal. (refer to Malachi 3:1-5 for some great insight) How long , Oh Lord, how long. We, here today, can ask that of our Lord. When Lord? How Long? As I watch some older saints, fall over the edge, to rest awhile; those who just knew that the Lord would return in their life-time; hey, I'm pushing 70, the time David laid out for me. The angel signals that the time is now. Remember that John had proclaimed, now is the time of the end! All the disciples claimed they lived in the last days. Who knew those days would last more than 2000 days, um, years. According to Peter, 2 days. And so, we visit the trumpets. What a ball commentators have had with these little jewels. Isa 58:1; “Cry loudly, do not hold back, raise your voice like a trumpet, and declare to My people their transgression and to house of Jacob (now spiritual Israel) their sins.” Watchman --Isa 62:6, 7; Ezek 3 & 33; Jer 6:17---”And I set a watchman over you, saying, Listen to the sound of the trumpet! But they said, we will not listen.” In Ezekiel's historical setting, the casting of burning coals from God's throne to the earth did not symbolize the final judgment, but a punitive judgment on Israel, intended to lead them to repentance (Ezek 11:18-20) The partial judgments of the first six trumpets are preliminary warning judgments. (39)
The first usage of the word silence in the concordance is found in Judges 3:19. Here the king commands 'keep silence.' Ehud took the 'sword' and struck a death blow to King Eglon, the enemy of God's people. The land then had peace for 80 years. Once again, silence before judgment. The throwing down to earth of the censer represented the coming of the end through God's judgments. In Ezek 10:2, the hurling hot coals anticipated the doom that would befall Jerusalem, and in this case, the earth, which was an answer to prayer. (see Ps 141:1, 2; Rev 6:9, 10) Judgment on those who destroy the earth. This is expressly the result of those who reject the gospel, those who profess but deny Jesus, and those who persecute God's prized possession. There is one other point to make here, and that would be to indicate a Sabbath rest, which the earth has been denied.
A challenge for commentators is the prolepsis structure of Revelation, in which the end of the age is listed at least 6 times: 1:7; 6:12-17; 11:15-19; 14:14-20; 19:11-21; and 20:11-15. This discourages a word progression in chronological order, but makes one succumb to John's end-time perspectives, from both heaven and on earth, which ends in victory for God and saints. We win! The casting down to earth reveals the coming of the end of Christ's ministry of intercession in heaven, and reveals His propitiation for sins. Because the trumpets are within the confines of the seventh seal, this would indicate that they are included in the seals time period. Sealing is still in effect in the 5th trumpet, and the 6th trumpet still is before the throne, (9:13) which is still in the church age. The trumpets still allow conversion, and the frog's water is getting hotter, and will turn to boiling. Get out! This is where your concordance search reaps benefits, knowledge. Hail and fire mixed with blood, thrown to the earth, 1/3 of earth burned up, 1/3 of trees burned up, all of green grass burned up. In Ezek 38 the mixture of hail, fire and blood fights and punishes God's enemies. Trees and grass represent God's people, in Psalms, Isa, Jer, Ezek, as well as in Matt 3:10, 7:17-19 and Luke 23:31. Here we see judgment on those that refuse the 'sword', the word of God, and the gospel. Remember, Jesus is the Word. (John 1)
The great mountain cast into the sea, is the word of God, and the sea (people) that reject His word become blood, spiritually die, and those that confess Christ are purged, purified. There is an economic impact, ships were destroyed. Jer 51 has great insight for us about the symbols of Revelation, and there the destroying mountain is against Babylon, a false religious-political power. This also brings to mind that Rome and Israel were enemies of God in the early church age. We see here the result of the messengers (horses) of heaven going forth, and they are meeting much resistance, and some of the messengers on earth are becoming apostate, stunned in their condition. 1 Cor 3:10-4:5 can be referred directly to this trumpet, and must be applied to it directly. In this passage you will find the purging and the judging, and the eternal results. For texts on the one thirds, see Ezek 5:1-12; 7:14, 15; Zech 13:7-9; 2/3 die, 1/3 gold, tried; my people. The sword separates, it determines eternal destiny.
When dealing with the great star of Rev 8:10, one could point out the fall of Lucifer (Luke 10:18) or one could point to Christ, who became our sin, our wormwood. Since it fell on people, rivers, springs, and became bitter, it would be Satan, who deceived not only myriads of people, but also 1/3 of the angels.
Dan 12:10--- “Many will be purged, purified and refined; but the wicked will act wickedly, and none of the wicked will understand, but those that insight will understand.” There are some Bible chapters that raise up in our search for descriptive narration of the trumpets. Jeremiah 50 & 51 are required reading, as well as Ezekiel 16, Malachi 2, and Joel 3, when you apply them to Spiritual Israel. Ezek 20:33ff – purge from idols. What are our idols, my idols, your idols. Purging may not be comfortable! The trumpets are evident in Hosea 4:1-3; 8:1. Actually, once one sees the application of the judgments of the OT, one can apply a lot more texts to the NT end time scenario.
The 4th seal has another third, this one dealing with the sun, moon and stars. Consider creation. This is a breaking down of creation, but in measure. In the plagues, there is no mercy nor percentage, but a complete breakdown, breakup, one could say. Spiritually, we will see in Rev 12 that these are symbols for light for God's people, and Satan's purpose is to darken all light. Then we have the warning, woe, woe, woe.
OK, friends, let's take a little break. Take a deep breathe. Relax. Jesus is in control. Remember, He is the one that is opening the seals, one at a time, meticulously, intentionally; because He wants every soul on earth to have the opportunity to share in His kingdom, His glory, His love. (He prayed to the Father that His love may be in each one of us, incredibly so) He gives each one of us an opportunity to reaffirm our grasp on Him, on the Vine. Isa 40: 6ff states that all men are like grass, they wither, but the Word of God stands forever. The message here is to grasp hold of the Word, hang on, as did Jacob; prioritize your time, your life. Have you missed the passage in Ezek 15 that talks about the useless vine? Remember, John is our best commentator on Revelation. Thus, we compare all this with John 15. Our Vine. Hang on for dear life, for that it is. If any vegetation separates from its roots, it withers, it dies, and Scripture tells us, it gets burned up. We must control ourselves; God told Cain that he must control his sin. (Gen 4:7) Intentional sin is a conscious decision. We all make choices! Cain invited Abel into the field, where he killed him. We can make it easy for the enemy by going into his field. Our love will let us go. Stay connected to the Vine, every minute, every day.
Micah 7:7-9 -- “But as for me, I watch in the hope for the Lord, I wait for God my savior; my God will hear me. Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light. Because I have sinned against him, I will bear the Lord's wrath, until he pleads my case and establishes my right. He will bring me out into the light, I will see his justice.”
We can find 4 'woes' in Scripture, but the common woes are 3. Sword, famine, beasts, and pestilence. The 3 omit the beasts. Sword, famine and pestilence. (Jer 32:36) See any of that today? This morning's newspaper should be enough to drive any thinking person to his knees. Again, we see the 'star' from heaven; (Isa 14:12) this time given a key, from Jesus (you remember, the One that holds, that has the keys, (Matt 16:19; Rev 1:18; 3:7) and Satan uses the freedom to release havoc on the earth. I call it chaotic normalcy!
No matter what happens, how bad it gets, it is normal for that time, that culture. Unleashed is all kinds of doctrine, of falsehoods, of selfish desires, of immorality, of man's intolerance for each other, of any motif and motive outside of God's prescribed way of life, of living. Where I live, just drive the speed limit on any street, and they will run you off the road, especially those 'riders on their horses.' (SUVs) If you live in an Arab country, you can get blown up by a school boy or girl. History cries out for help, for justice, for God's life in the human heart. The history of our world is a constant cry of culture bereavement:
The Man With a Hoe
Bowed by the weight of centuries he leans
Upon his hoe and gazes on the ground,
The emptiness of ages in his face,
And on his back, the burden of the world.
Who made him dead to rapture and despair,
A thing that grieves not and that never hopes,
Stolid and stunned, a brother to the ox?
Who loosened and let down this brutal jaw?
Whose was the hand that slanted back this brow?
Whose breath blew out the light within this brain?
Is this the Thing the Lord God made and gave
To have dominion over sea and land;
To trace the stars and search the heavens for power;
To feel the passion of Eternity?
Is this the dream He dreamed who shaped the suns
And marked their ways upon the ancient deep?
Down all the caverns of Hell to their last gulf
There is no shape more terrible than this--
More tongued with cries against the world's blind greed--
More filled with signs and portents for the soul--
More packed with danger to the universe.
What gulfs between him and the seraphim!
Slave of the wheel of labor, what to him
Are Plato and the swing of the Pleiades?
What the long reaches of the peaks of song,
The rift of dawn, the reddening of the rose?
Through this dread shape the suffering ages look;
Time's tragedy is in that aching stoop;
Through this dread shape humanity betrayed,
Plundered, profaned and disinherited,
Cries protest to the Powers that made the world,
A protest that is also prophecy.
O masters, lords and rulers in all lands,
Is this the handiwork you give to God,
This monstrous thing distorted and soul-quenched?
How will you ever straighten up this shape;
Touch it again with immortality;
Give back the upward looking and the light;
Rebuild in it the music and the dream;
Make right the immemorial infamies,
Perfidious wrongs, immedicable woes?
O masters, lords and rulers in all lands,
How will the future reckon with this Man?
How answer his brute question in that hour
When whirlwinds of rebellion shake all shores?
How will it be with kingdoms and with kings--
With those who shaped him to the thing he is--
When this dumb Terror shall rise to judge the world,
After the silence of the centuries? (40)
Certainly we can find the prophet Joel's writings here, applied to the church age. But there are many others as well. Locusts, scorpions and horses reside here. Certainly not up to any good. In fact, I would like to suggest to you that these horses are false messengers, the counterfeit seal horses, propagating Satan's gospel. We see false doctrines, false teachings, and tyrannical political leaders, banding together against God and His people. Sounds quite a lot like what happened to Jesus, and as He told us; they hated Me, they will hate you. If you have inherited some of Jesus' light, you will not be a pleasing sight to the world. Here is an attempt to cover all light with darkness. Jesus talked of darkness, and in John 3:19 he pointed out that people choose the darkness because they love it. When we graduate to the 6th trumpet, we see an intensity of effort for sin to control the earth, and the setting for the last plagues. We want Jesus to return, but first, the rough stuff.
There are four angels that hold back the winds of strife, and here in 9:14 we have 4 who would kill the third of mankind. And these riders and horses seem up to no good. We had scorpions, now we have serpents. Look at those they attack, they do not repent of their idols, nor of their sorceries or their immorality. Sounds like a unacceptable spiritual condition to me. We can go to most of the prophets and find the imagery for these symbols. As we look at the churches, the seals, and now the trumpets, it appears John is emphasizing over and over again the condition of the mind of mankind, those who do not know God, don't want to and don't care. They repented not, over and over. Now John receives another vision, of a strong angel with an open book in his hand. Is this Christ? No. Is this the book of Daniel open? Partially. John never calls Christ an angel, and this covers more territory than Dan 12. This and the following texts suggest that the contents is what is yet to be revealed, where the Rev 5 scroll was all that was to be revealed. John has prophesied, but now heaven tells him there is more. The thunder is the sound of the voice of God, (Ps 29:3-9) 7 times, meaning the completion of the message from heaven for this earth. Have you ever wondered where the expression swallowing a bitter pill can from? Jer 15:16-18; (refer Prov 27:7) John's chapter 10 can best be understood from Isaiah 29. It is specific and plain. Gabriel had the same appearance to Daniel, and other angels to other prophets.
Have this measuring rod and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. There are 2 witnesses for 1260 days and they are killed. They aren't buried, just dead. They are called up to heaven. In the churches through the church age they witnessed. In the OT they witnessed. We will see that in Rev 12. It got real rough. To have Scripture one had to hide it in their clothes, in their bread flour, in their horses harnesses, under the trees in a marked place, anywhere where the 'church' could not find it, or in the 1st century, the emperor's men. Satan has sought to destroy the Word of God at every chance, every opportunity, for every season. Then came the reformation, and the Word was again, finally, heralded from the mountain top, from every hill and valley, and from the heart of God's true people. The stories of the Waldenses, and the Huguenots and others throughout the dark ages are riveting. The stories of keeping alive the Word of God will ring throughout heaven. And again we see the result of the gospel, those killed literally and spiritually.
And now we come to Rev 12. Finally. Please know this is only a brief and not a full commentary, purposed by detailing my insights on some historically very warped and even perverted definitions. I can recall sharing my views at a conference a few years back, and the lady Bible college professor chided that a few texts does not a doctrine make, turned and skeedataled. In the 7 churches we had the story of the church age, in the 7 seals we had the story of the church age, in the 7 trumpets we had the story of the church age, in Rev 11 we had the story of the church age, in Rev 12-14 we have the story of the church age, and in Rev 13, 17 and 18 we will have the story of the enemy of the church age, a religious-political system that imitates the goal of Satan, to become like the Most High. The woman, the people of God, stands on the moon, reflecting the SON, with a stephanos of 12 stars. No mystery here; the nation Israel who had God's Word, finally gives birth to the Messiah, and that Son creates His church, who is chased off into the wilderness by Satan and 1/3 of heaven's population who now have chosen to give their allegiance to Lucifer rather than their Creator. Here we have the changing of the guard, as it were. When Jesus stood over Jerusalem and declared Israel 'a house desolated' it was the end of Israel as a 'favored nation.' Now the church became 'spiritual Israel', which was His church, a group of individuals, not a denomination, nor a culture, nor a geographical spot, but world wide.
Revelation makes that clear by repeating, every nation, kindred and tongue. Satan and his followers were cast out of heaven, eternally, by the cross. Please remember to locate the cross in Revelation; here it is in 12:11. Again one finds the 5th seal in 12:11, 12. So what happens to this woman? Some stay true to God, those who keep the commandments and the testimony, (14:12, faith of) Jesus. The rest go on to something else, which is not a good thing, for they follow the wrong god. As my 4 year old grand daughter would say; what happened? Why is the next time the woman is mentioned she is riding on a beast?
All of the priests that were captive in Babylon were not as faithful as Daniel and his friends. Some digested the Babylonian religion, and incorporated it into their own, the result being a mishmash. Kinda like eating hash with unknown ingredients. We can see an example of that with Paul's address to the Corinthian church. The Jews ended up with Kabbalah, the Christians ended up with tradition mixed with Scripture. When the early missionaries went on their sojourns, they were surprised to see a madonna and a child with pagan names in every culture, in every location around the world. Satan had thousands of years to imitate the real mother and Child. And so, in India, in Egypt, in Arabia, wherever, there was the false. And it was so in every aspect, mixed with truth, and enforced by the local power. This 'power,' this beast, is religious, out of the sea, the people, but not truth, an imitation, a false system. The 'little horn' of Dan 7:25 is the same as Rev 13:5. 6. Words of blasphemy. Arrogant words – I am like the Most High! It was assumed that they could call God at their beckon call and turn Him into a wafer. (41) As one reads through the Two Babylons, by Alexander Hislop, he will find the first half of the book revealing this mother-child in all ancient cultures. Another example would be some churches places of worship --- “Our Lady of Kevelaer; Our Lady of Lujan; Our Lady of Montserrat; Our Lady of Czenstochowa; Our Lady of Maroazell; Our Lady of Fourvieres; Our Lady of Loretto; Our Lady of Youghal. “ (42)
When the Protestant Reformation took hold in Europe in the 15 &16th centuries, the historicist view of interpreting Bible prophecy continued to prevail. Wycliffe, Huss, Luther, Melancthon, Zwingli, Cranmer, Knox, and a host of other Reformers all identified the little-horn power with the anti-christ. It is important to remember that most of the Reformers were Catholics themselves. Many of them had no desire to leave their childhood church unless and until its behavior clearly identified it as anti-christ. The little horn of Dan 7:25 would then become the great anti-Christian persecutor of the 'woman' that rose out of the 'sea', people, which came out of the Roman empire, and would prevail throughout those 1260 days, from the time prior to the Council of Trent until the 18th century. And from the earth, those who do not know Christ, would rise a political power that would enforce the bidding of the religious power. Soon, the beast's head will be healed, and the atrocities of the middle ages against God's people will be enacted again; “until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed.” This is a replay of the Thyatira church. Remember how Jezebel killed her opponents, and decreed a death penalty against Elijah? John's wormwood, bitter pill materializes. 666 is the number of man. His religion is always false. The Lamb is never far away. He looks after His people. Those that He has to share His death with He feels about deeply, like the Father felt when He was crucified. Jesus shares His experience of the cross with His own, and they get a special place with Him, and they know it. Not only those who martyred, but those who came through the 'great tribulation.' First those from the emperor's insanity, and those from the Jewish misplaced loyalties, and then those from the false church, which united with the political realm. Mount Zion is the place where God meets His people. The concordance study of Zion is one of great interest and reward. I did a conference on that a few years ago---what a way to glorify God. See, the concordance shares with you!
We must remember that John always keeps in mind the sanctuary and feast days of Israel in all of his writings. In his gospel he refers to weddings several times and adultery several more times. We see this in several instances in the NT where Jesus gives mercy to women, and even after the normal time of mercy following feast days. Since Scripture starts with a wedding and ends with a wedding, we would expect the Bridegroom to focus on groom-bride relationships, as we have found the woman becomes an adulteress in the picture of the church. Since Jesus is the Bridegroom and the church (and the new sanctuary, new Jerusalem) is His bride, we can assume that He, also in the role of the High Priest, administers the tests of bitter herbs (Num 5:11-24) to His bride. That is why in the churches we saw the Nicolaitans, Balaam and Jezebel as test objects. Thus, we see "wormwood" in the trumpets, and "bitter" tastes from the second 'little scroll,' indicating that this is the type of test that Job and Jonah experienced in their growth of obedience and sanctification. Just as Jesus described the bride qualifications in His Olivet Discourse, He shares with His church, throughout the 3 1/2 time period that existed between the spring and fall festivals. (Between His 1st & 2nd Advents) Jesus gives all people ample time to "repent" before 'the last Day of Trumpets, which includes the final and dreadful day of Atonement.
Here is that messenger again. (Rev 14) Again he has the eternal gospel, and a warning. A seal and a trumpet. For all of those that will give up the world and self shall be saved. The OT prophets have a lot to say about judgment on Babylon. Isaiah leads the way. Which chapter do you want? Jeremiah pleads for his people and has a lot to say about Babylon. Here again we see reference to the Lord's day, mentioned in 1:10. Where is that you may ask? In the first angel's message, it uses the same words as Ex 20: 11; “for in six days the the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but He rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath and made it holy.” In the angel's message, (14:7) “Worship Him who made the heavens, the earth , the sea and the springs of water.” Jesus told us repeatedly, 'if you love me, keep my commandments.' Many restrict that to the commandment of love, but later in this text (14:12) the faithful are 'commandment keepers.' Do you realize the Hebrews picked their manna every day for 40 years, except on the Sabbath? The called the manna, “what is it?” Today, most pick the 'what is its' off the earth on Saturday, and worship on sun worshipers day; tradition, you know. Scripture condemns this, and when one investigates the 4 uses of supposedly Sunday worship, they are acting like the boatman on the River Styx. You remember him; he was blind, death and dumb, and when one's time came to be transported to Hades, all one's carrying on went unnoticed. So they become a harlot of Rev 17, one who follows Mother Whore, and all her traditions; maybe not all, but enough to be a harlot in God's eyes. Again, we all make choices. Choose wisely!
Remember in John 16:33 and 1 John 2:15-17 Jesus has overcome the world, and all its Babylons, in every form. First, the warning of the coming plagues, and then the 7 last plagues. Just an extension of the trumpets, more far reaching and without mercy. The unsaved, who did not get in the Ark, are devastated in every imaginable way. Havoc is normal. In Rev 16:15, a last word for those in Christ's robe of righteousness; stay awake, keep praying, keep My love, be motivated by My Love. Rev 16:17 and Dan 12:1 gives one the same confidence, courage, assurance; Jesus is still in charge; he will stand up; He will end it; He will come for His own. They are the ones in Rev 18:1-4 that light up the whole world, with that glow that Stephen had, similar to what Adam used to have, similar to what Moses wore a veil for; Jesus shares; 'you are the light of the world.' And then the complete destruction of the earth begins, rumble by crumble.
Rev 17 is an enlargement of Rev 13. Lest anyone misses the point, a simple concordance study reveals the apostate woman riding the apostate government. The church/state, the false religion with the money hungry politicians. Mystery Babylon is no longer a mystery. Millions have succumbed to her charms. They have chased false prophets, false hopes, false gods. They have worshiped the Mother of Heaven in every culture, in every age, in every home. They have bowed to man, to any idol, for man was created to worship, but only One, and most choose someone, something else. They have been seemingly victorious over the Lamb and His followers, but now the Mystery is over, they are destined for eternal destruction. What a scene. The woman and the beast turn on each other, have war with each other, and the woman is destroyed. Now the 3 woes are concentrated on one goal, her. Bye! And economic earthquakes destroy value, there is nothing valuable left. Those that compromised God's life for self are going insane. There is no one to help them, to save them. Bye!
Now the promise from eternity past appears; He rides a white horse, He wears The Crown, He comes for His own; with a shout; no one more excited nor happier than He, our own Jesus, The Christ. Sometimes I think when He finally reaches me at His silver table He will lean down to me and say, “I was worried about you!” For I know I can only be because He covers me, all that underneath----He covers me, even me! Why do we need a lot of comment on the last of Revelation. It is pretty specific and not a lot of mystery. Some think Jesus will spend a millennium on earth. Some have all kinds of scenarios about strange things happening. I really don't understand. They must have missed Paul and Peter's writings. So clear. There was no reason for John to write what they had already made so clear. Not even in symbols. This is way it is to be! 2 Thes 2:1-12; 2 Pet 2:1-14; 2 John 2:18-27; 1 John 5:11-13; 2 Tim 3:1-9; Col 3; 1-17. There is more, but you should get the point. Do you need more concordance words to complete this study — maybe a little.
Know that the description of the holy city is metaphorically a picture of God's people. Remember that white stone with your name on it. It is part of the walls of the city. The 12 tribal names are there. The 12 disciples names are there. Gates and foundations. And 12 stones are there. Six are old and six are new, from the vest, from the supper. They are from Israel and the church. The sea of glass is there. Cleansed from the laver. It is the laver; all those mirrors, mirroring God. Pure. Cleansed. Purified. Everything is so pure and clean one can see right through it. So, you are a stone, in the wall of the city of your God. A new Zion! Your name is written there. On a stone, in the wall. Did you ever buy a brick for a new construction site? Got your name on it? I am much more excited about Jesus. He is there. He even knows my name. Incredible. You think seeing Him will ever get old; you know, after 10 million years? Nope. We will be just as excited; there He Is! Wow! So, in parting, we need again to ask ourselves; what can get between Him and us? How can we let that happen?
The conclusion of the whole thing; God reveals His Son, given by Jesus, about Jesus, and about the re-creation, the re-for-mation of His church, His people. In the 1st seal we find a sealed saint from Ephesus; (from every church age) with the mind of Christ, a wreath, and in his hand is doing Christ's will, going forth to teach the gospel as Jesus has asked him to do as He was ascending to His coronation. John's bitter pill is to teach about the opposition, the false mark on the head and hand, (what one thinks and does) the false trinity, (dragon, beast and false prophet) the false Lord's day, the false church, and even a false gospel. Everything of God, Satan has made a counterfeit. John teaches their victories. But then he teaches their defeat by the Lamb!
We have been reading about a lot of opinions about what John has said in his Revelation; now let us concentrate on what John, himself says about these last days. This unveiling of prophecy is not like folding a $20 bill and looking at the two towers in NY burning. This is the real, serious deal. Let us put some of his ‘sevens’ together and use the chiastic structure as a tool, and not just a form of poetry. All these texts are in Revelation.
1:5—ruler of the kings of the earth;
1:15—voice of many waters; (notice that 2 & 6 are eyes of flame of fire, sharp 2 edge sword)
2:18—eyes of blazing fire
6:7—pale horse, death and Hades, ¼ of earth to kill with sword, famine, plague, beasts
8:12—1/3 sun, moon, stars, 1/3 turned dark, without light
16:7—bowl poured on sun, moon, stars; scorch with fire; God in control, no repentance
We list these because the 4’s in the chiasm are the THEME of their group. Follow John’s theme; ruler of kings of earth, voice of many waters, eyes of fire, death horse, sun darkened, sun scorches. Remember, things and names in Revelation represent people and/or their condition. The horses color represent their condition, and the forth horse tells us that God’s word, the gospel, has been polluted. It kills. (You shall surely die) The earth knows not God. The waters, people, have been polluted. The rivers and flowing waters, the word of the church has been polluted. How did this happen? My grand-daughter throws up her hands, and cries, what happened? Let look again at Rev 12.
Remember the changing of the guard? Israel gave way to the church, who now carries the torch of truth. In 12:6, the woman fled into the wilderness. The dragon chases, and from its mouth comes a river, a current of false doctrine, and false gospel, but the “earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river;” all those falsehoods. What does it mean the earth swallowed? Much of the church has become like the earth, a professed church, embracing false teachings. But there is a remnant, “the rest of her offspring,” those who obey and testify. And out of this polluted woman (sea) comes a beast with the same characteristics of
Dan 7:25. The same little horn beast that came out of Rome. Men worship (false church) 13:4; who blasphemes with mouth, by the “sword,” again the false gospel, false against Christ, 1:16 & 19:15. Again we have another beast who deceives those that dwell on the earth. This forms a religious/political union. Again, God has His people; 12:17 & 14:12, and John keeps reminding us of this.
How does John use the term, ‘earth’ in Revelation? In Revelation he uses it 79 times in the NASB, 6 times in the gospel of John, and not at all in his epistles. When John uses the word, ‘world’ he uses it 6 times in Revelation and 78 times in John, and once in 2 John. Our concordance #3611, oikeo; #3624, oikos; and #3625, oikoumene; for the word ‘earth’ means the inhabited earth, or ‘A DWELLING PLACE.’ In Revelation in can mean a geographical place, or a ‘spiritual condition,’ a dwelling place not inhabited by God. In other words, the mind set of a person. Concordance #1093 is the common use, meaning land or ‘earthly.’
Concordance #2889, the common word for world, is the Kosmos, meaning a geographic location, or a state of order. We have discovered that all of John’s usage of the word earth in Revelation entails a spiritual condition, and may also refer to this planet. We can further see this by his use of ‘seimos’ for earthquake, #4578 which he uses 7 times in Revelation. We can see how John uses the words, earth and world to convey different meanings, that of spiritual condition and geography. In Rev 3:10 & 12:9 he uses #3625 for location, the world, and although 11:19, 13:8, 16:14, & 17:8 represent this planet, they also represent man’s spiritual condition.
(i.e. 1 John 2:15—do not love the ‘world’)
As we study this carefully, we see that John’s meaning of the word ‘earth,’ represent a voided spiritual condition, even though it also may represent this planet. When we see that the ‘earth helped the woman,’ it has to represent more than a sparsely populated geographic area for the ‘woman’ to hide in, for the dragon’s mouth expulsing the ‘river’ must be a mind set. One could say that the ‘earth’ adopted ‘gods’ and all sorts of pagan rituals, but that certainly did not ‘help the woman.’ We point out here again, the woman, so pure in Rev 12:1 now swims in the dragon’s river, and wallows in his lies.
As we follow the themes of the 7’s, we can see this progression of the church following in the footsteps of Israel, who turned on God, abandoned God, and finally crucified God. No wonder John’s word was ‘wormwood,” oh, so bitter. We can follow the sword, the mouth, the sun, moon, stars, and the trail of perverted gospel and those of the woman becoming the earth. How do we know this for sure? Remember when Jesus gave up Israel as a favored nation? (Matt 23:38) Now we shall see that same decree unto the church . (Dan 11:31; and Rev 17:16; as in Mark 14:14-26 with application to both Israel and the woman; desolated, desolate) (And, again, we must apply Dan 9:27 to both Israel and the church of the last time) The One with the eyes of flaming, blazing fire sees this, and He again shares, shares with His people. (buy eye salve, 3:18) All the waters, rivers, streams, seas, have become polluted (like the blood of a dead man) by the dragon and his false teachings, like frogs, everywhere, and by the beast and false prophet, false trinity." This time, when the 'rider' appears on the horse, it is Christ Himself, and not just His church, His Word, His Gospel; Rev 19:11-16; and Christ and His 'armies' fight and win the final battle against this false trinity. (19:17-21)
As we continue to follow this, we remember that all of these things represent people and their conditions. How sad that Israel and the church of Christ loose so many to pride, lust, false doctrine and false worship. Some say worship practices do not matter, and studying this section of Scripture details the fact; worship not only matters, it is critical. In our last '7', the 'sun' scorches, Christ's light enflames the whole earth. (Rev 18:1-4) Remember, earth is also 'world' in John's writings. The Sword of Christ overcomes, wins and He claims those who would not be subject to anything else, but only to their Lord, Creator, and Savior. Don't forget, Rev 17:5 trumpets out the Name; on/in the forehead and in the hand, our justification illuminated by our works, on the hand. A concordance study of the word 'walk' in the OT verifies the 'head and hand' scenario, over and over again. God's people share His character.
But remember, we, as the reflection of the Son, as His light, His representative, His ambassador, should and must be the most caring, the most compassionate, the most loving, the most praying, the most Bible studious, the most humble, the most meek, the most generous, the most helpful, the most careful in worship and practice, (worship venues were laid out centuries ago in the sanctuary, and should not be performed by man's ideas and pleasure) John includes most patient and most enduring, and the most trustworthy with the most integrity.
May our Lord bless you and keep you, and give you peace, and the love of the Father in you. Come. Lord Jesus!
New American Standard Bible, Ryrie Study Bible, Expanded Edition, 1995, The Lockman Foundation, Moody Press
Thompson Chain-Reference Bible, New International Version, B B Kirkbride Bible Co, Inc, Zondervan Pub, 1983
For a full commentary study on Revelation, I recommend Ranko Stefanovic, Revelation, Andrews University, emeritus;
Roy C Naden, The Lamb Among the Beasts, 1996, R & H Pub.; Alan F Johnson, Revelation, Wheaton College, emeritus; Hans K LaRodelle, End-Time Prophecies, Andrew University, emeritus. I use the computer search engine dogpile.com to find the names, addresses and book availability. Amazon also has used book lists, and one can buy these quite inexpensive. Also, I have a PC Study Bible, Bible Soft, Version 2, Reference Library Plus, which has an almost unlimited supply of Bible helps and every translation, every concordance and many study Bible commentaries
(1)For those who study the NT without a good knowledge of Greek, there are several good interlinears. I recommend the NIV English-Greek NT, a reverse interlinear, by Wm Mounce, by Zondervan, 2000. Another tool for the beginner is a starter Greek book; Greek for the Rest of Us, 2003.
(2)There are several great studies on this use of OT texts to explain NT applications. William Liversidge , Creative growth Ministries, has taught for years an 'inductive study method', using the first concordance word as a primary explanation. Leslie Hardinge, The Lamb, God's Greatest Gift, Meditations on the Book of Revelation, American Cassette Ministries Book Division, 2005, stresses over and over again that the only way to decipher the symbols in Revelation is to resource the concordance to understand John's intent of passage. He also points to the value of first usage. Swete claims that of the 404 verses in Revelation, 278 contain references to Jewish Scripture. Unger's Bible Commentary's Greek NT (2nd edition) cities over 500 OT passages in connection with Revelation. Louis A Vos has an incredible study on the subject in Synoptic Traditions, “The Apocalyptist's Manner of Using Pre-Existent Material as Illustrated from His Employment of the Old Testament” 1960's
(3)1 Cor 10:6-13---”Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play'. (Ex 32:6, 19) Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and 23 thousand fell in one day. (Num 25:9) Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. (Num 21:5) Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
(Num 16:41, 49; Ex 12:23) Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.(Rom 4:23; 13:11) Therefore let him who thinks (Rom 11:20; 2 Pet 3:17) he stands take heed that he does not fall. No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able , but with temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
(1 Cor 1:9; 2 Pet 2:9) Ryrie Study Bible, New American Standard Bible, 1995 Update; The Lockman Foundation.
(4) Modern Concordance to the New Testament; French Concordance de la Bible, Nouveau Testament; English translation by Michael Darton; 1976; Darton Longman, Todd Ltd; Doubleday. Page 685ff
(5)My copy of “:The Interpreters Bible”, Vol 12, Abingdon Press, 1957, in the section The Revelation of St John the Divine, Introduction and Exegesis by Martin Rist, Exposition by Harold Hough, primarily uses Apocalyptic Books and “Jewish writings” to interpret Revelation. The setting is all explained in the early centuries AD and the culprits are all emperors of Rome. In fact, their treatise is highlight to the “evil empire”.
By comparison, The Interpreter's One-Volume Commentary On the Bible, 1971, Albingdon Press, The Revelation to John, S. MacLean Gilmore, relies more on OT text for exposition. Later in the book, there is a section on “The Apocalyptic Literature” by Morton S. Enslin, that goes into greater detail on these 'Jewish Writings'.
(6)“The Lost Books of the Bible, Bell Publishing , 1979, reprint of World Publishing, 1926, form Wm Hone's work of 1820, from Canterbury, Wittian Wake, 1657, page 9
(7)Hans K LaRondelle; How to Understand the End-Time Prophecies of the Bible; First Impressions, 1997; pg vii General Introduction.
(8)Secrets of Revelation; The Apocalypse Through Hebrew Eyes; Jacques B. Doukhan, 2002; Review And Herald Publishing.
(9) Halley's Bible Handbook, An Abbreviated Bible Commentary, by Henry H Halley; Zondervon, 1927; 24th edition, 1965, page 694
(10)The Encyclopedia of Religion, Vergilius Fern, Philosophical Library, Popular Books, 1965; pg 357
(11)Josephus, The Complete Works; translated by Wm Whiston, Kregel Pub. 1960
(12)Copy from The Mystery of Christ in You; website, Gus Foster, 1996
(13)Jon Paulien, The Deep Things of God; Review and Herald Pub., 2004; chapter 6, pg 112ff
(14)God Cares; Vol 2; The Message of Revelation for You and Your Family, C. Mervyn Maxwell; Pacific Press; 1985
(15)Leslie Hardinge, The Lamb, “I submit that in every part of the Book of Revelation when God is unfolding the future, the proper names are symbolic. ---these names are typical of their characteristics.” pg 132
(16)hadei genesthai meta tauta--- 'what must take place after this' is found in the LXX of Dan 2:29, 45, what has the sense of 'next' in historical sequence from the vision, the time of the writer. After this does not mean at some future time, but refers to what is after that which is at present. See 1 Q1sa on Isa 6:2; compare with MT and LXX. Rev 4:1 & 8:1 is all one vision. L Paul Trudinger, “Some Observations Concerning the Text of the Old Testament in the Book of Revelation,” Journal of Theological Studies 17, 1966, 88
(17)The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Frank E Gaebelein, Ed; Regency, 1981; Vol 12, Revelation, Alan F Johnson
(18)Desmond Ford, Crisis, Vol 2, A Commentary on the Book of Revelation, Publications, 1982
(19)Mathew Henry's Commentary, Zondervan; Marshall, Morgan & Scott, Ltd, 1960, page 1974
(20)Leslie Hardinge, The Lamb, page 82 *For the best commentary on the sanctuary I have found I recommend 'With Jesus in His Sanctuary', A Walk Though the Tabernacle Along His Way, Leslie Hardinge, American Cassette Ministries, Pub, 1991. Especially, the Nature of Christ, His Fallen Human Nature, pages 76-85, 88
(21)Edwin R Thiele, Outline Studies in Revelation, Emmanuel Missionary College, 1949, page 85
(22)Desmond Ford, Crisis, page 342
(23)Ranko Stefanovic, Revelation of Jesus Christ, Andrews University Press, 2002, page 186
(24)Henry B Swete, The Apocalypse of St John, NY Macmillan Company ,1906; Reprint, Eerdmans, 1951
(26)Stefanovic, Revelation, page 162
(27)C H Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, Expositions of the Psalms, Thomas Nelson, Pub; Vol 2, pg 467 on Psalm 110:1
(28)Ginger Carlton & Marilyn Mineer; Unlocking the Mysteries of Revelation, Using the Keys of the Feasts of the Lord; Carlton & Mineer. Pub, 1999, page 61, 62
(29)LaRondelle, End-Time, page 117
(30)Stefanovic, Revelation, page 166
(31)Alan F Johnson, The Expositor's Bible Commentary; Revelation, Zondervan, 1996, page 72
(32)Edward Rowland Sill; “The Fool's Prayer”, 1870, is reprinted from The Little Book of American Poets:
1787-1900. Ed. Jessie B. Rittenhouse, Cambridge, Riverside Press, 1915
(33)Billy Graham, Approaching Hoofbeats, The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, World Books Pub, 1983. On page 132 Billy quotes Mark 7:21, 22---What comes out of a man is what makes him unclean. From within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts---All these evils come from inside an make a man unclean. And ----- Maxwell, God Cares, page 174
(34)Verlene Dewitt Youngberg, The Revelation of Jesus Christ to His People, Southwestern Color Graphics, 1977. She puts the seals and trumpets starting at the time of the Exodus, and runs through history,
(35)Alan F Johnson, Revelation, page 80/1
(36)Eerdman's Handbook to the Bible, David and Patricia Alexander, Lion Pub, 1973, Page 456
(37)Larondelle, End-Time, page 125
(38)Ford, Crisis, page 391
(39)LaRondelle, End-Time, page 164
(40)Charles Edward Anson Markham, 1899, (1852-1940) inspired by the 'L'homme Coia houe 1863 painting, by Jean-Francois Millet.
(41)The Holy Bible, With the Confraternity Text, Walter A Coggin, Good Counsel Pub, 1966 “The Bible is God's revealed word consigned to writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. But it is not from the Bible alone that the church draws it certainty about everything that has been revealed. Tradition, which hands on to the successors of the apostles God's word in its full piety, is closely connected with the written word of Scripture, and so both Scripture and tradition furnish God's revelation to mankind, which is entrusted exclusively to the living teaching of the Church.” This was established by the Council of Trent in the 6th century.
(42)Our Faith and the Facts, Our Story, What Catholics Believe and Practice, Rev C F Donovan, Patrick L Blaine, 1922
Chapter on “Stories of Our Lady's Feasts, page 501-518 (some of the feasts listed)
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