The book of Revelation is the ultimate hypertext, linked to all of Scripture. While chock full of information about the end times, the story of Revelation is simple: As we Praise God, Pray to God, and Proclaim God’s Word; God reveals Himself, and great judgments fall!!!
Week 1:Rev 1:1-3
1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
– Revelation 1:1-3 (KJV)
The book of Revelation reveals its title in the first verse. It is revelation that God gave to His servants through Jesus Christ concerning events that were to start in John’s near future.
There is a correctly presumed blessing that is bestowed upon everyone who reads any passage of Scripture in good faith. Revelation, but Revelation is the only book of Scripture that explicitly pronounces a blessing upon those who read the book. Why is there an explicitly pronounced special blessing? It is because the message relates to things to things about to happen. Revelation is about the communication of the next phase of God’s program.
Joel 2:28-32 prophesies of a future revival upon God’s people. The Holy Spirit would be poured out upon all kinds of people. The prophetic ministry would abound. This prophecy was fulfilled and referenced in Acts 2:17-21
Something interesting happens in this passage. Acts 2:17-21 quotes Joel 2:28-32. The prophecy in its entirety was not fulfilled in the first century revival. The supernatural spiritual gift were fulfilled in the first century, but there were no blood moons and dark sun signs or other cosmic signs during the first century. Furthermore, the prophecy in Joel continues through chapter 3:3. Joel 3:1-3, which is not in the reference in Acts 2, is a reference to the battle of Armageddon, indicating that the end of the fulfillment of this prophecy is in the end time just before the Lord Jesus Christ return to this earth.
Acts 2:17And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19
And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Joel 3:1 For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.3 And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink.
– Acts 2:17-21; also Joel 2:28-3:3
I have colored maroon the parts of the passage that were fulfilled in the first century and in green the parts that will be fulfilled just before Christ’s return. The timing of the fulfillments indicates a two part fulfillment. One days Jesus read Isaiah 61 in the synagogue. Christ stopped after the first verse. Jesus stopped where it prophesied that He was “To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” and says of the passage “today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Why did Christ stop at this part of Isaiah when the text continues to the end of the chapter? If you understand that there are two spiritual rainy seasons, then you know why Christ did not read about proclaiming the day of God’s vengeance. It is because that day was not yet at hand. If Christ fulfilled part of it in one day, then a second day will come where Christ will indeed proclaim the year of God’s vengeance. It is the topic of this second day that the book of Revelation was written to prepare us.
Below are two tables to illustrate the twofold nature of the prophecy in Isaiah 61. The normal font weight text is the portion of the prophecy that was fulfilled in Christ’s first coming. The bold text is the portion that will be fulfilled in the future.
|Isaiah 61||Luke 4:16-21|
|61 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
|16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
|Isaiah 61:2-11||Luke 4:19|
|2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. 5 And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
6 But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves. 7 For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.
8 For I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. 9 And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed. 10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
|19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Hosea contains a prophecy that anticipates a two phase process of revival that would occur in two distinct seasons. The beginning season would occur in close proximity to Christ’s first coming and end in close proximity to His second coming
14 For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him. 15 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early. 6:1 Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.4 O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away.
– Hosea 6:1-4 KJV
Hosea is describing how, when Christ came the first time he took a remnant away from Israel. This remnant was the first Jewish believers who started the church. The Lord left Judah until ” they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face in their affliction they will seek me early.” These words echo the words of Jesus when He said ” 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Jesus quotes from Psalm 118, which is about Israel finally seeking God in the endtimes, when she is surrounded by the armies of all of the nations of the world.
Hosea is describing a process that begins in the days of the first coming of Christ and ends during the days of His second coming. In verse 3, we see the key to understanding the times and seasons of God’s plan for the church. If we seek God, we shall know that the Lord’s “ his going forth is prepared as the morning .” This phrase simply means that there are times and seasons to God’s activities. Just as the morning arrives in precise timing due to the rotation of the earth, God’s action are precise. The second half of verse three tells us that the Lord “shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” This rain is not the earthly rain of water; it is the presence of God. The Lord comes to us as this rain. This is speaking of two phases of revival. The former rain occurs at the beginning of a planting season, and the latter rain occur near the end of the planting season just before harvest. Hosea 10:12 tells to prepare the soil of our hearts until the Lord “rains righteousness.”
12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.
– Hosea 10:12 KJV
We are to prepare the soil of our hearts to seek God. Both Hosea 5:14-6:4 and 10:12 admonish us to prepare to seek God, so that God’s reviving work can yield maximum benefit. This is why Revelation was written, so that God’s people can prepare for the latter rain
Week2: Rev 1:4-8
John begins his delivery of the Revelation of Jesus Christ by communicating to seven specific churches in Asia Minor. As I will show in a later lesson, these churches are prototypes for all churches. The message, then is for the entire body of Christ.
In verses 4-5, John identifies the source of. The one “which is, and which was, and which is to come” is a reference to the Self-Existent One, the Great I AM (Ex 3:14). The seven spirits before the throne is a symbolic reference to the Holy Spirit, who reveals the mysteries of God to humanity (John 16; 1 Cor 2:11-16). Jesus Christ is identified by name. He is the faithful witness to the things of God, who is the first to come back from the dead. He is identified as “the prince of the kings of the earth.” Jesus Christ is the ruler of the planet.
“4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth…”
Jesus Christ is here identified as the ruler of the planet, and as such is about to reveal His plan for government. When Christ came the first time, He came to offer grace; the former rain was to start an age of grace – a period of amnesty where the enemies of God could be reconciled to Him. We were all once enemies, but Christ shed His blood to redeems us (Romans 3-6).
Those of us who were washed by His blood received much more than the forgiveness of sins. We were made “ kings and priests unto God and his Father (verse 6).” We were made kings and priests because we a a kingly and priestly role to fulfill in God’s plan.
5 … Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
We were made kings and priests the moment we came into Christ. We were recreated in Christ and seated in heavenly places with Him. According to Ephesians 2:4-9, God has already seated us on a throne with Christ. This does not mean we cease to live upon the earth, but it does mean that we have priestly and royal access to God’s throne. We were given this access for two reasons. God wants to bless us and He has work for us to do that requires this empowerment.
“ 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. ”
– Ephesians 2:4-9
We were put in royal and priestly positions so that we could rule as kings and priests. We are not to use the tools of the flesh that people conceive as belonging to kings and priests. Gods has not sent us to wage holy war to conquer the earth by military force. He has not sent us to subvert the global politics to conquer. There are many who think of dominion in these terms and promote various dominionist theologies along these lines. We are to conquer through spiritual weapons.
“ 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
– 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
The book of Revelation is an outline for precisely this type of conquest. Just as soldiers are prepared through training, God’s people are also prepared. As I will show, conquest is done through praise, prayer, and proclamation. As God’s people do these things, God reveals Himself with power and great signs and wonders.
Christ began to Reveal the Revelation to John. He instructed him to write this Revelation in the form of a book that was originally to go to the seven churches in Asia Minor: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. Christ reveals Himself here as the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. This emphasizes the eternal and universal nature of Christ. Christ is the “same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).” God may manifest Himself in various ways during various seasons, but the fundamental nature of God and the message of the gospel are always the same. It is Christ, both as the living word and the revealed written Word, which is the reference frame. God will not be put in a cultural box that is created by a particular mode of doing things in a particular season.
“ I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, 11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
“13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. 17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: 18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. 19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
– Revelation 1:9-19
Jesus Christ then introduces the symbolism of the candlesticks. These candlesticks or lamp stands are the lamp stands that were located in the Holy Place of the Jewish Temple. Christ was holding seven starts in His hand and was in the middle of seven golden candlesticks. Christ identifies the candlesticks as the seven churches.
“ 20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. “
– Revelation 1:20
Zech 4 gives us some additional insight into the purpose of the candlesticks. These candlesticks are connected to two olive tree through pipes that transport oil. These olive trees are the anointed ones who “stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” Oil is used symbolically for anointing. The flow of oil is the Presence of the Spirit of God in the candlesticks.
” And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep. 2 And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof…
“…10 For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth.11 Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?12 And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?13 And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.14 Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.”
– Zechariah 4:1-2;10-14″
The seven lamps of the candlesticks are also called the ” eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth.” In 2 Chronicles 16:7-9, Asa was rebuked for relying upon foreign kings instead of the Lord. In verse 9, the text reads that “the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.“ This means that God is seeking out those who trust in him so that He may demonstrate His power. The candlestick not only gives light that creates faith, but supplies the power to back that faith up.
In Revelation 5:6, the “seven eyes of the Lord” are described as the eyes of the Lamb who was slain and the “seven spirits of God.” Christ himself sends the Holy Spirit to be light and power for the church. When Christ identifies the seven candlesticks as the seven churches in Rev 1:20 – and he does identify the churches themselves as the candlesticks, He is not saying that the organizational forms are special but that the presence of the Holy Spirit in the churches empowers these churches to shine as light and demonstrate God’s power.
Exodus 40 describes the arrangement of the article in the Temple. In the Most Holy was the Ark of the presence, where special presence of the Spirit of God dwelt. In this area, God’s glory was the light and it was concealed by a veil. Just outside this area was the Holy Place. There was placed the table for the showbread and the seven candled lamp stand. The lamp stand provided light for the Holy Place and allowed the High Priest to see the entrance to the Most Holy Place.
The seven fold-nature of the lamps symbolizes the seven feasts God gave to Israel. these feasts represent different works of God upon the earth:
- Passover– legal protection from God’s judgment. For the ancient Israelites, putting the blood of the lamb on the doorpost provided legal protection from the angel of death. In the New Testament, the blood of Jesus the Lamb of God protects us from God’s judgment by taking away the guilt of our sins. Christ was crucified on Passover
- Unleavened Bread– leaven symbolized the corrupting influence of sin. Christ destroyed sin in his body upon the cross. He is the unleavened sent by God. Christ lay in the grave during the feast of Unleavened Bread
- Firstfruits – absolute first offering of the season to God. Christ rose from the dead on Firstfruits and was the first to enter God’s glory. Christ, being equal to God, always had standing with God as God. After the resurrection, He also had standing as a Holy man – the first man to do so.
- Pentecost– beginning of the harvest. The church was born on Pentecost, marking the beginning of the harvest of God’s people into the kingdom.
The first four feasts were all fulfilled in the first century during the former rain revival. The last three will be fulfilled during the latter rain revival.
- Trumpets– alarm of impending judgment. On the Feast of Trumpets, trumpets were blown to warn of impending judgment against sin of the Day of Atonement.
- Atonement– cleansing of the land and people. In the OT, this cleansed the temple and the nation of evil. In the New Testament, it is the cleansing of the Earth of all evil.
- Tabernacles– God dwelling with man. In the OT, booths were built in remembrance of God presence with the Israelites in the Wilderness. In the New Testament, it celebrates Jesus returning to Earth so that God may live with man.
The Lamp stands symbolize the Light God gives to the church that allows her and her members to have access to God’s presence. The next installment covers the messages to the seven church that are sent to prepare the churches to enter into God’s presence as overcomers.
Rev 2-3 are the words that Jesus Christ dictated to John what he was to write to the seven Churches. These are seven letters embedded within the letter of Revelation follow a well defined structure
In Revelation 1:21, church means spiritual organization and its attributes, as defined by the meaning of the symbolism of the candlestick. The word church, as used in chapters 2-3, is a reference not to the spiritual organization but to the physical organization and its attributes. In the letter to the church in Ephesus, Christ threatened to “come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent (Rev 2:5).” If the lamp-stand of Ephesus is the church of Ephesus, how can the church be removed from the church. This only makes logical sense if it is understood that the word “church” (GR Ekklesia) is used in two distinct senses.
The word ekkesia was used in Greco-Roman times as a legal term used to refer to legally constituted assemblies. Today, entities like legislatures and boards of directors could also be thought of as ekkesias. The legal authority of the ekklesia that is the church is spiritual and connected to our seat in heaven with Christ (See last chapter, pg 10-11 & Eph 2:4-7). Christ is telling the church in Ephesus that she is in danger of losing her legal privilege before God and access to His light. No physical organization is guaranteed access to privilege simply because it was founded by an apostle or has a succession of leaders started by an apostle. If any physical organization is established under God’s command and with His blessing, it will continue to be blessed only upon continued faithfulness to the divine mandate, faithlessness forfeits the blessing.
When Christ built the church, His promises were made to a spiritual organization constituted under the authority of Jesus Christ. This spiritual organization is instantiated in various physical organization. these physical organization carry legal authority only as long as they are faithful to the spiritual mandate. The history of the church is largely a failure of physical organizations, including but not limited to the Roman Catholic and eastern Orthodox churches, to remain faithful to the divine mandate.
Christ does not assume that these physical organizations will be faithful. The letters to the seven churches, which are letters to physical organizations, reveal a mixed record of faithlessness and faithfulness. These letters also reveal that both membership and leadership are a mixture of saved and unsaved people. These letters are both a diagnostic and primer for distilling out of these churches a pure bride of saved over-comers who can take their place in God’s Holy court for the coming battle. It is this group who will overcome the enemy through prayer, praise, and proclamation of the Word of God.
Each letter begins with the words “To the angel of the church of…” Angel here likely mean messenger. These were the evangelists who, in the early church, often served as lines of communication between the Apostles and the churches. These letters were intended to address real-world issues in a particular church.
After these words, Christ would introduce Himself to each of the seven churches using a relevant attribute needed to address the situation that the particular church was facing. Ephesus, for example, was in danger of losing her light, so Christ identified himself as one ” who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands (2:1).” Smyrna was suffering intense persecution, so Christ identified himself as one ” First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life (2:8).” They needed to know that Christ not only conquered death, but is in charge of the bigger picture. Pergamos has a mixture of godly and ungodly, so Christ identified himself as one ” who has the sharp two-edged sword (2:12).”
After the introduction, Christ would give praise for the good things that the church was doing. Because of his great love, He gives good commendations first to set a positive tone so that the coming rebuke, if needed, would have constructive outcome. Sadly, He had nothing good to say about the churches of Sardis and Laodicea. After the commendations, Christ would then issue his rebukes. Philadelphia and Smyrna did not receive any rebukes.
After Christ would give his diagnostic of the Church, He would issue appropriate warnings of judgment or promises of blessing. He threatened to remove Ephesus’s light but promise the church in Philadelphia to “open a door that no man can shut.” Judgments, when executed, were designed to discipline the true saints (Hebrews 12:1-12) and weed out of the churches those who refuse repentance. god’s program for the churches does not ultimately depend on the churches getting in position to play their role, rather Christ works in people to will and do His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). The story of the overcoming church in Revelation is the story of Christ overcoming by preparing her and then deploying her in battle alongside Him rather than the story of the church.
Christ would give a promise to those who overcome. Jesus Christ gave promises that positioned the over-comers in God’s presence. This is important because it is the over-comers who will be given the ability to make use of their royal seat in heaven to access God’s great power for the purpose of propelling God’s judgment to bring this age to its close.
|Church||Promise||Position in God’s
|Ephesus||To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God||In God’s Paradise|
|Smyrna||He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death||Full Participant in Christ’ Resurrection|
|Pergamos||To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it||The guest of honor at Greco-Roman parties received a white stone. Stone and new name signify special access to God|
|Thyatira||And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—
27 ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron;
|Implies Ruling with Christ from a throne beside His|
|Church||Promise||Position in God’s
|Philadelphia||12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.||Permanent presence in God’s Temple|
|Sardis||5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
|Received clothes for eternal dwelling and guaranteed a spot there|
|Laodicea||. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.||Seated with Christ|
Christ opened the door for general application when He said “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” These churches are prototypes for all churches. These letters are to be read today as a diagnostic for church problems and primer for the solutions. The next week will be an analysis of these problems and solutions
Jesus Christ chose seven churches in Asia Minor as prototypes for all of the churches. In these letters, Christ documents problems and answers for the purpose of training God’s people to avoid those things that could keep them from being over-comers and pursue the things which will speed up the process of becoming an over-comer. Christ also prescribes some promises and judgments that are designed to cleanse the churches of those things that hinder the process of becoming an over-comer. I have placed below a table of the various problems facing the seven churches, along with the remedies to those problems.
|Answer||How to Overcome|
|Ephesus||God removes lamp stand to start pruning process if no repentance||Return to devotion to Christ|
|Doctrine of Balaam:
|Pergamos, Thyatira||God will fight those who love money and fleece the flock||Abandon the love of money and the merchandising of the ministry|
|Thyatira||God executes judgment on the church to rid the church of Jezebel and those she influences
|Because of Jezebel’s manipulative nature, leadership is hijacked. Thrust her away or go away.
Because of her Satanic nature, spiritual warfare is necessary
|Answer||How to Overcome|
|Doctrine of the Nicolaitans||Pergamos, Thyatira; probably Sardis and Laodicea||God will fight against them with the “Sword of my mouth.”
God proclaims the Word of Judgment
|Proclaim the word of Judgment in confessions.
Seek organic spiritual life.
See book on Ephesians:Primer for thr Church
|Cultic Sectarianism||Sardis, Laodicea||God will evict that type of church from his presence.||If the church doesn’t repent, then flee the church.|
|Persecution||Smyrna, Philadelphia||God sets boundaries on persecution, then executes judgment on the persecutors||Faithfulness to God whatever may come.
Smyrna was at the beginning of this process and Philadelphia at the end.
I have put more detailed descriptions of church problems and answers below:
Problem: Lack of Christ centered devotion
Church Types Affected: Ephesus, and presumably Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, and Laodicea
Description of Problem: Ephesus was doing all of the right things in terms of particular, external actions. She had right doctrine, right charity, and right focus on holiness; but she shifted away from a Christ-centered devotion to man-centered, organization-centered devotion.
God’s Answer: If the Ephesians did not repent, God removes lamp stand to start pruning process. External righteousness can never achieve the Kingdom of God, but only a cheap counterfeit. Removing the lampstand will result in the organization behaving more as it really is – a man centered organization.
What prospective overcomers must do: Return to devotion to Christ. It is only through such devotion that a Christ-centered faith can truly function in a way that pleases God.
Problems: Doctrine of Balaam
Church Types Affected: Pergamos, and presumably Thyatira, Sardis and Laodicea.Thyatira
Description of Problem: The Doctrine of Balaam is derived from the account of Balaam in Numbers 22-24. When Balak, the king of Moab, offered him money to curse Israel, Balaam wanted to do it because he loved the money. God, however, told him not to do it. God originally told him not to even go to Balak but because Balaam hounded Him to let him go because of the prospect of money, God let him go to Balak, but forbade him to curse Israel.
On the surface it would appear that Balaam’s mission failed. Balak told him that he would not pay because he did not curse Israel but blessed Israel. There is a much different back-story to Balaam. In Numbers 25, we read that Moabite women were seducing Israelite men into sexual immorality, unlawful marriages, and idolatry with no explanation for why the sudden seduction.
Jesus Christ gives John the back-story that explains these events. Balaam knew how to parse the Words of God for maximum profit. He wanted to be a profitable prophet, so he made another deal with Balak. He “taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality (Rev 2:14).” Balaam taught Balak that God’s Covenant with Israel had curses for disobedience built into the covenant: All Balak had to do was successfully tempt Israel to commit idolatry and sexual immorality, and the covenant would do the cursing.
The doctrine of Balaam is to merchandise the things of God for personal profit. The other two passages in the New Testament that speak of Balaam, 2 Peter 2:14-16, Jude 1:10-12, speak of the doctrine of Balaam in terms of greed – the love of money dominates the ministry. Once this love of money dominates a ministry, a whole host of other sins become prevalent. The love of money in ministry leads to pastor who fleece the flock, feeding on the flock rather than feeding the flock. The doctrine of Balaam leads people to parse the Word of God (or engaging in strifes of words, see 1 Timothy 6:3-5), twisting Bible interpretation to suit one’s personal desires, rather than faithfully proclaiming the full knowledge of God. This often reflected in an undue emphasis on prosperity teaching and other teachings that appeal to personal advancement as the central focus of spiritual life.
God’s Answer: God will fight those who love money and fleece the flock . Ezekiel 34 is a strong word of judgment against Bad Shepherds who exploit their flock rather than care for them. In the last days, God is going to remove the many predatory preachers that abound. He will simply take them out of the ministry by force.
What prospective overcomers must do: Abandon the love of money and the merchandising of the ministry. There is so much trying to peddle – selling “Christian Products.” We need to stop fixation on how the gospel can satisfy our material wants and focus on Christ, his great love for us, and the great mission he has for us. We are to “take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.(Matthew 6:31-33)”
Problems: Jezebel Spirit: counterfeit leadership, sexual Immorality and Occultism
Church Types Affected: Thyatira
Description of Problem: Jezebel is a spiritual stronghold that conforms to the historic Jezebel, wife of Ahab and daughter of the king of Tyre, as a prototype. She was extremely manipulative who sought to displace the worship of Yahweh God with her Pagan system of sexual immorality and idolatry. She ruled Israel by manipulating Ahab, who was the king of Israel.
Like the historic Jezebel, Jezebels are enabled by those who wield power and authority over others. Eradicating a Jezebel problem generally involves the additional elimination of the leadership that enables her. In other words, one must get rid of the house of Ahab to eliminate Jezebel.
God’s Answer: God executes judgment on the church to rid the church of Jezebel and those she influences. He rids the church of both her and those who have committed adultery, both figuratively and sexually, with her. He engages in this thorough so that both Jezebel and her enablers are gone from the leadership of the church.
What prospective overcomers must do: Because of Jezebel’s manipulative nature, leadership is hijacked. It will usually be necessary to remove from leadership of a church all leaders who enable her. If this is not possible, it may be prudent to leave that church and seek another fellowship to give and receive godly edification.
Because of her Satanic nature, spiritual warfare will be necessary to eliminate spiritual stronghold that can develop within an organization.
Problem: Trust in self rather than Christ
Church Types Affected: Sardis, Laodicea
Description of Problem: Trust in self rather than Christ develops whenever an organization begins to think that it is superior to other organizations, and begins to relate to everyone from a position of superiority. Sardis had a “name [reputation] for being alive, but are dead. (Rev 3:1)” and Laodicea boasted needing nothing when in fact she was ” wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. (Rev 3:17).” The point is that the churches that boast of being the most from coast to coast are actually toast. These churches trust in themselves rather than Christ.
The difference between Sardis and Laodicea is a difference of degree. Sardis still had a few people in her who were actually walking with God (Rev 3:4). It is these who are keeping her comatose body alive. Christ is warning Sardis that she is almost dead. She is warned ” Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die (Rev 3:2).” She must repent and strengthen what little is left that is alive; she must strengthen those among her who still have spiritual life or she will die. Laodicea, however, is already past this comatose stage. Christ “stand[s] at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me (Rev 3:20).” Christ is standing outside of the church of Laodicea because all of the saved folk are gone. They either died, left, are fell away into the madness of the about to be apostate church. Sardis and Laodicea are i two different stages of apostasy.
God’s Answer: God will evict that type of church from his presence. As Sardis and Laodicea are in two different stages of apostasy, the end result is that God will evict them from His presence if there is no repentance. Christ will vomit them out of his mouth (Rev 3:16).
What prospective overcomers must do: If the church doesn’t repent, then flee this type of church and seek to receive and give godly edification elsewhere. We are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
“14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
– 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
Church Types Affected: Smyrna, Philadelphia
Description of Problem: Persecution is different problem from the other problems Jesus deals with in these letters to the seven churches in that it is not the result of the church incurring guilt. Smyrna is at the beginning of a wave of persecution. Christ encourages them by promising a crown for faithfulness (Rev 2:10) Philadelphia is at the end of the persecution, having already received a crown (Rev 3:11).
God’s Answer: God sets boundaries on persecution, then executes judgment on the persecutors. Smyrna was told she would have persecution for “ten days” (Rev 2:). We do not know whether the ten days is literal is symbolic, but in either case it represents God placing a limit on the time duration of the persecution. At the end of the persecution, God turns the tables on behalf of the persecuted congregation. Christ is saying “8 I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it(Rev 3:8).” Jesus Christ is identified to the church of Philadelphia as “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens(Rev 3:7).” The Key of David symbolizes the royal authority of the Messiah as the heir to the throne of David (2 Samuel 7; Isaiah 9:6-7). Christ uses His kingly power to open a door for these faithful believers that no one can shut. Successful endurance of persecution reveal great power from God to those who endure to the end.
What prospective overcomers must do: Faithfulness to God whatever may come. Smyrna was at the beginning of this process and Philadelphia at the end. First Peter reveals that supernatural power is unleashed in persecution. Power is first unleashed, via the spirit of glory and of God, to endure during persecution, and overwhelming power is unleashed when the season of persecution ends – when this glory is revealed. Power that can open a door that no one can shut.
“12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.”
– 1 Peter 4:12-14
A final point on persecution releasing divine power. While we can add nothing to the finished work of Christ upon the cross, our sufferings for Christ are a participation in thr finished work. To use quantum mechanical language, our suffering for Christ puts us in quantum entanglement with the Cross; the persecuting world puts themselves in quantuim entanglement with Satan. More on this in ch 4 of The Conceptual God. For now, I can give a brief description.
At the cross, Satan entered into quantum entanglement with the body of Christ, surrendering his claims to earth to Jesus Christ’s property rights over His body. Just as Satan’s murder of Christ essentially affected full surrender of his claim to the earth, so the world will surrender its claims to the earth to Christ by persecuting and murdering those who are united with Christ. The Final Great Persecution will be global and will put the whole earth into the Cross, making it Christ’s; it will be worldwide and involve every individual on the planet playing some role in this process. Just as Christ’s suffering preceded His glory, so shall ours also be as we become glorified with Christ.
Problem: Doctrine of the Nicolaitans
Church Types Affected: Pergamos, presumably Thyatira, Sardis, and Laodicea
Perhaps the most debated church problem in the letters relates to the identity of the Nicolaitans. There are two major views on this. One view was that they were followers of the deacon Nicolas who became apostate. This would be highly irregular interpretation in a passage that has a tight, highly developed ornate* structure. There are six problems mentioned in the letters to the seven churches. Three of them are generic and three are specifically named. Of the three that are specifically named two of them are named after their leader- prototype. If the Nicolaitans were meant to refer to the followers of Nicolas, then why is Nicholas not mentioned by name?
A better way to understand the naming of the Nicolaitans is to understand that descriptive naming was often employed in Hebrew and other Ancient near eastern cultures. The name ‘Yahweh’, for example is derived from a Hebrew word meaning ‘eternal or self-existent one,’ ‘Adam’ means ‘man,’ and so on. Most Hebrew names were descriptive of some attribute of the object being named. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham when He promises that he would be a father of nations. Abraham means ‘father of a multitude.’
With this in mind, the word ‘Nicolaitan’ is compound Greek word that means conqueror of the people. Nicolaitans were those who believed that an ecclesiastical elite should dominate the people. Furthermore, Christ gives us a clue in this passage that confirm interpreting ‘Nicolaitans’ as a descriptive name. He refers to this doctrine in (Rev 2:6,15) as ‘which thing I hate.’ Jesus Christ, as the Holy One, hates all sin, but the doctrine and deeds of the Nicolaitanes is singled out among all sins as the worst sin possible.
Jesus Christ presents a most scathing rebuke of the use of religion as a tool of oppression by the Pharisees and Sadducees. These first-century Jewish religious leaders were very skilled at using religion to oppress the people and exploit them for their own personal gain. These men loved their power, position, and privilege; but Jesus condemned even the use of title such as ‘Rabbi’, ‘father’, and ‘master. (Matthew 23:8-10)’ Jesus condemned these practices because they put mortal men between humanity and God. Christ is the only mediator between God and man (1 Tim 2:5). Throughout the chapter, Christ indicts the religious leaders of murder, extortion, creatively parsing the law, and other methods of gaming the system to their personal and political advantage.
Christ views this matter so seriously that he says of them that for these things “ 35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. (Matthew 23:35-36).” Christ considered the use of religion as a prop for totalitarian tyranny a cardinal sin* that warrants apocalyptic judgment. Christ uses similar language used to describe the judgment of Babylon the Great (Revelation 18:24).
One of the implications of the doctrine of the Nicolaitans is the idea that ministry is the property of the elite rather than all believers. In the Apostolic age of the church, all believers were considered ministers. There was only a soft line between those with authority and the larger church – analogous to that of older brothers to younger children. The hard line was between the authority of Christ – as head of the church – and the brotherhood of believers. The triumph of Nicolaitanism resulted in the rise of a sharp clergy-laity distinction that did not exist in the days of the apostles.
Even ministries that understand that Revelation is the story of the overcoming church conquering through worship have succumbed to Nicolaitanism, believing that only an elite in the church will be the overcomers, not realizing that if our faith is the victory that overcomes the world (1 John 5:4-5), then all believers are overcomers.
God will fight against them with the “Sword of my mouth.” This means God proclaims the Word of Judgment.As such, He is exercising the confession of His own words with faith in His own infinite power. This is faith in God, not faith in faith. for more information on how Confession works, go here.
What prospective overcomers must do: Exercising the confession of God’s own words with faith in God’s infinite power.This is faith in God, not faith in faith.Additionally, pprospective overcomers should seek organic spiritual life in an Ephesian type church. For more on this, see my book See my book Ephesians:Primer for the Church. For now I will share three distinctives of an Ephesians type church.
In an Ephesians type church, everyone is a minister
In an Ephesians type church, authority is rationally based on spiritual empowerment
In an Ephesians type church, leaders equip all of the saints to occupy their royal, priestly position before God’s Throne
Jesus Christ’s commendations in these letters yield to us positive things that we should be doing as a church. These would include
- Devotion to Christ first (Rev 2:4)
- Testing would-be leaders(Rev 2:2)
- Sound doctrine(Rev 2:2;3:8)
- Enforcing the standard of righteousness(Rev 2-3:2;3:8)
- love(Rev 2:19)
- Perseverance/ patience/ not denying Christ
- Outreach(Rev 2:2-3,19)
Do these, and the problem areas disappear. These letters were meant as a diagnostic tool for the local church. Do the positives and avoid the negatives, and the local congregation will become a congregation of overcomers. In the next installment, I shall write of the worship service in heaven that we are privileged to partake in – the worship services that results in the judgment of God that culminates in the return of Christ.
Rev 4 introduces us to the sanctuary in Heaven. There is the throne of God, the lamp-stands symbolizing God’s presence, and the worship team consisting of 24 elders and four living creatures.
” After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. 2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. 3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. 4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
– Revelation 4:1-5
6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. 7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. 8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, 10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
– Revelation 4:6-11
It is apparent from Revelation 4:9-10 that the four beasts are portrayed as worship leaders of the 24 elders; this fulfills the prototype for Davidic worship. David organized the worship team of the temple into 24 divisions. First Chronicles 25:1-6 records that there were four worship leaders. David, who was assisted by Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun. The crowns, however, were given to the elders rather than the worship leaders; Christ intended for the whole church, and not just an elite group within the church, to realize her royal position.
Introducing the Heavenly worship team
The 24 elders and the four living creatures are presented as the worship team. Who are these people? Rev 5:8-10 gives us a clue.
“ 8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”
– Revelation 5:8-10
There are 24 ancient Greek manuscripts that have Revelation 5:9. 23 of them have ‘hemas’ (sometimes transliterated ‘hmas’ or ‘hmaV’), which is translated ‘us’ which has been found in the majority of manuscripts and is the KJV and NKJV translations. Only one manuscript that contains Rev 5:9, Codex Alexandrinus, lacked ‘hemas,’ and as a result most modern translations omit ‘us’ and replace it with ‘men’.
There are several good reasons to believe the KJV is rendering the original text in this case. First, all of other Greek manuscripts that contains Rev 5:9 have ‘ hemas,’ including Sinaiticus. Sinaiticus, which is of equal antiquity to Alexandrinus, has ‘ hemas (ημαϲ) ‘ Jerome’s Vulgate, which is contemporary to Codex Alexandrinus, contains the Latin equivalent to ‘ hemas.’ Rev 1:5-6 contain almost identical language to Rev 5:9, yet it has ‘hemas’ in all the same manuscripts, including the Codex Alexandrinus. As one proceeds in the study of Revelation, it becomes apparent that the four living creatures and the 24 elders are acting in the capacity as kings and priests to God. As these elders and creature render prayers, praise, and proclamation of the Word of God, the judgments of God fall upon the earth. There is no provision in God’s program for angels to fill this role. This is God’s program for redeemed humanity. Eph 2:4-7 tells us (verse 6) that God has already “raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:6 NIV).” First Peter 2:9 (NIV) says “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” The passage in 1 Peter even foreshadows the ministry of exercising spiritual authority through praise, prayer, and proclamation that is seen throughout the book of Revelation in the worship service in Heaven. The 24 elders and the four living creature fulfill the role that Scripture teaches we have as co-rulers with Christ. The story of these elders is therefore the story of the overcoming church.
Neither death nor rapture necessary – all you need is a crown.
According to Eph 2:4-7, we are already seated with Christ in heavenly places. We are already appointed as kings and priests, appointed as kings and priests so that we can “shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light (1 Peter 2:9; also Rev 1:6).”
Since we are already appointed kings and priests, we need to be training to effectively operate in this capacity. We were re-generated to be priests and king for the glory of God, not for our own glory. The purpose of the letters to the seven churches is to free us from those issues that prevent us from operating as the kings and priests God has called us to be.
Two of the seven churches received no rebuke from the Lord Jesus Christ: Smyrna and Philadelphia. These two had one more thing in common: crowns. Christ promised to the church in Smyrna a crown if she remains faithful through the persecution that is about to befall her (Rev 2:10). The church in Philadelphia, however, was already in possession of a crown. Christ warned them to “ Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.(Revelation 3:11).” Because of the faithfulness of the Philadelphia church, Christ is using His royal authority, symbolized by the Key of David, to open the door to access to God’s throneroom. “These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it (Revelation 3:7-8).” It is this door that opens up to heaven for John in Revelation 4:1.
The Key of David is the symbol of Christ’s royal authority, and the crowns are the symbols of the right of access granted through Christ’s use of the Key of David. The Twenty-Four Elders all have crowns. While it is apparent from the description of the first act of worship that the four beasts – living creatures – lead the worship, it is the elders that have the crowns. This means that this kingship is not given to an elite within the church, but the whole body of Christ.
The Power of Prayer, Praise, and Proclamation
The Scriptures teach in multiple places that supernatural power from God is manifested during praise, prayer, and proclamation. These acts of worship primarily grow us in our relationship to God, but also have the added effect of releasing God’s power on our behalf.
The power of praise was first demonstrated in human history during the Battle of Jericho. God sent the musicians in the lead the battle charge. They marched around seven days, and on the seventh day, when the musicians blew the trumpets, the walls collapsed.
Early on, God had plans to reveal Himself supernaturally through prayer, praise, and proclamation. God led King David to organize worship for the House of the Lord (1 Chronicles 25). He supervised the worship with the help of three assistants: Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthan. These four supervised 288 musicians who were organized into 24 divisions. They were to use the music to prophesy. Prophecy is proclamation, and proclamation set to music is lifted up as prayer and praises to God
“Moreover David and the captains of the host separated to the service of the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals”
– 1 Chronicles 25:1
This is similar to the 24 elders and four living creatures in Rev 4. The four living creatures are worship leaders, and the elders worship God. Through the book of Revelation, acts of worship by these unleash judgments of God upon the earth.
God would soon put to good use the worship structure created by David at His command. When Solomon dedicated the temple, supernatural power from God was manifested on at least two instances. The first instance was in the leading worship.
“5:11 And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place: (for all the priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait by course: 12 Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:)
13 It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord; 14 So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.
6:1 Then said Solomon, The Lord hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.”
– 2 Chronicles 5:11-6:1
When the worship team began to offer united praise to the Lord, God came in as a thick cloud. The ministers of God “fell under the power.” They could “not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.(2 Chronicles 5:14).”
After the God Presence came in a mighty way, the mightiest manifestation since the days of Moses, Solomon began to proclaim God’s Word, which has been recorded through the remainder of chapter 6. Second Chronicles 6:40-7:1 record the prayer Solomon utters after his proclamation. When Solomon finished praying, the fire of God entered the sanctuary, consuming the burnt offering rendering the ministers of the Lord unable to enter the temple
“ Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house. 2 And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house. 3 And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.”
– 2 Chronicles 7:1-3
We also see this in the New Testament. In Acts 16, we read that Paul and Silas were imprisoned. At about midnight they began to praise the Lord. God responded with His powerful Presence and did two miraculous works: loosening everyone’s chains and preventing immediate escape by drawing people closer to the Presence of God.
“24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. 25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. 26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. 27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.”
– Acts 16:24-28
The Scriptures present as doctrine the principle that praise, prayer, and proclamation of God’s Word unleashes supernatural power.
The power of praise is affirmed in several passages. Jesus, in response to those who criticized the praise that was lavished on him during His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, said that ” Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise (Matthew 21:16).” He paraphrased Psalm 8:2. He substituted “ perfected praise ” for ” ordained strength.” In Psalm strength was ordained “out of the mouth.”
“Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
– Psalm 8:2
And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?
– Matthew 21:16″
Jesus swapped these words to teach that through praise there is strength from the Lord. This idea is echoed in Psalm 22, when David writes:
“3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. 4 Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.”
The Lord “inhabits” the praises of his people. This mean that praise is a vehicle to enter into the Presence of God. By bringing us into the special presence of God, praise gives us access to His Strength. In three places in Scripture; song, strength, and salvation are interconnected: As We praise the Lord until it is true that “the Lord is my strength and song,” He becomes for us – “is become” – our salvation.
” The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
– Exodus 15:2
“The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.
– Psalm 118:14
“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
– Isaiah 12:2″
God makes himself available to answer prayer. In the Old Testament, He put special emphasis on prayers uttered in the temple. God gives a promise of restoration for those who seek Him.
“12 And the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. 13 If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; 14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 15 Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.”
– 2 Chronicles 7:12-14
In the New Testament, The Temple of God is not focused on any particular building. God indwells people who have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus (Rom 6:1-13;Eph 2:20). Jesus Christ promises to make Himself present whenever two or more are gathered in His name. Whenever we gather in His name, meaning under His authority, He is present.
“19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
– Matthew 18:8-20
There is also power in proclamation of the Word of God. In Romans 10:10 it is written that “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” confession is a vehicle to transmit the power present in faith. confession is to faith as a bow is to the arrow.
“8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
– Romans 10:8-10
The power of faith is in that it points to that which God has already decreed in His Word. Faith has no power of its own; It is powered by God’s Word, and the power of God’s Word is rooted in who He is. Faith is the “evidence of things unseen, the substance of things hoped for (Hebrews 11:6).” Faith substantiates, or in modern jargon, instantiates that which God has decreed in His Word.
Because faith transforms realities that exist in seed form in God’s Word to visible manifestations in the visible world, our faith and confessions must be based on God’s Word and reflect His Kingdom priorities. We are not free to confess whatever we want and expect God to honor that; neither are we free to suborn particular passages to pursue our wants. Our blessing is found in seeking first the “Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:31-33).” The next chapter lays out Kingdom priorities for the Final Great Awakening or latter rain.
There is many in the church who have failed to properly understand the royal mission of the saints. There are some who believe that we are to advance the Kingdom of God through carnal means. For some here is undue emphasis on political action and waging cultural warfare. Other build huge church programs, relying on the latest marketing techniques to build the church. While there is a proper place for political and cultural engagement, these are ultimately NOT effective in advancing God’s royal mandate. Our weapons are spiritual, not carnal (2 Corinthians 10:4-6). Others see this mandate through self-centered eyes rather than the eyes of Christ. We are not called to be kings and priests so that we can accumulate wealth and fame.
We are appointed Kings and priests so that we can advance the Kingdom of God through praise, prayer, and proclamation. We are to seek Christ’s priorities and not our own. Revelation 5 reveals God’s priorities.
John soon discovers a very important document on the right ” in the right hand of him that sat on the throne (Rev 5:1).” This document has seven seals on it. These seals both authenticate the document and regulate access. Only authorized persons had the legal right to open the seals and access the document.
There was a problem. Nobody could be found who could legally open it. John wept bitterly. Why was this? This document is the heavenly decree containing God’s judgment against evil on earth. If no one can open this document, it’s decree cannot be enforced. The result would be that evil and injustice become permanent conditions on planet earth.
“5:1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? 3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. 4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.”
– Revelation 5:1-4
The story does not end here. There is One Person in the entire universe who is authorized to open these seals. The description given in verses 5-7 is describing the Lord Jesus Christ. He is double qualified. He is first described as being “Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David (vs 5).” Christ is heir to the throne of David, which will inherit the entire earth. God has appointed Christ as the Supreme Judge of the world. Christ is also described as being “a Lamb as it had been slain (vs 6).” Christ made covenant between God and man. He shed His blood to take away sins. Christ offers to us salvation through the shedding of His blood on the cross. It is written in Philippians that because “became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)”
Christ, in His exalted position, is the only mediator between God and man. He is responsible for delivering from death and hell as many as possible. As the administrator of God’s grace and the age of grace, it is also His responsibility to determine when the full number of people has come into salvation and integrate the ministry of redemption into God’s larger plan. We are now living in a grace period – a time when people can be reconciled to God. In order for justice to be executed, there must be a termination to this time period. Christ must determine when the age of grace ends and when judgment begins. Christ is therefore qualified to open seals of God’s judgment decree.
“5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. 6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. 7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. ”
– Revelation 5:5-7
Christ is also described as having seven horns and seven eyes that roam the earth (Rev 5:6). In Second Chronicles 16:9, “the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” Christ seeks to make Himself strong on behalf of those who have faith towards Him. Rev 5:6 gives us an additional piece of information. These eyes are the seven Spirits of God. This is an ornate reference to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit makes God’s power to the end-time church to perform the ministry of judgment to achieve total victory.
Jesus Christ opens up the worship service in Heaven by taking the scroll from God the Father. When Christ takes the scroll, the four worship leaders (beasts) begin worship. Each of these are armed with harps and bowls of incense, which represent the prayers of the saints. They sing a song where they confess the power of the blood of Jesus (Revelation 12:7-11). The blood of Jesus protects us from destroying ourselves through the ministry of judgment. Without the protection of the blood of Jesus, we would find ourselves destroyed by these judgments that are about to fall.
As representatives of the universal church, they proclaim that Christ “hast made us unto our God kings and priests (Revelation 5:10).” They are expressing faith that God will give the true believers strength for the ministry of delivering God’s judgment to the earth.
“8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
– Revelation 5:8-10
After the four beasts and twenty-four elders render worship, an assembly of angels chimes in to worship. Angels are mentioned distinctly from the four beasts and 24 elders and play a secondary role in the worship service
11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; 12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
– Revelation 5:11-12
Verses 13-14 record John himself personally participating in the worship. This personal story puts an emphasis on participation by each of us in this worship. The result of this first scene of worship is that Christ opens the first seal, beginning the process of judgment.
13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. 14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever. 6 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals”
– Revelation 5:13-6:1a
The next installment will reveal the mystery of the seven seals; what they are, and what they mean. We are given a Great Invitation to engage in a great convocation of worship of God.
The book of Revelation follows what is called a chiastic poetical structure. This involves a complex repetitive structure. The Judgment of God is organized into seven sections with sevens repeating. The seals and trumpets follow a specific structure: six sections where the work of judgment is done followed by an interlude followed by a seventh phase that simply declares that the day of God’s wrath is about to begin.
The bowls of wrath are nested inside of trumpet judgments,trumpet judgment are nesteed inside of the seals. Specifically, each set of judgments is nested inside the seventh instance of the category of judgments that contain them. The trumpet judgments are contained inside the seventh seal, and the bowls of wrath are contained inside the seventh trumpet. The nestings are constructed such that each category of judgment ends at the same time. The seventh seal, the seventh trumpet, and the seventh bowl end simultaneously.
- Rev 6 | 123456
- Rev 7 | Interlude
- Rev 8: 1-5 | 7DC – prayers completed atonement cover
- Rev 7 | Interlude
- Rev 8:6:-9:21 | 123456 –
- Rev 10:1-11:14 | Interlude
- Rev 11:15-19 | 7DC – God’s wrath is about to begin 15:18
- Rev 10:1-11:14 | Interlude
- Rev 12-15 | Great Interlude
- Rev 16:1-21 | 123456 & 7DC – vials : nations headed to Armageddon
- Rev 17-18 | Interlude – judgment on Mystery Babylon
- Rev 19 | Return of Christ
- Rev 20 | Millennium and Final Judgment
Rev 21 | The Revelation of the City of God
Rev 22 | Come Quickly, Lord Jesus!!!
The end-times judgment does not begin until the sixth chapter of Revelation. Chapters 6-19 document judgments and include several interludes. There are three stages of judgments in the book: seals, trumpets, and vials.
Seals began to be opened many years before the Great Tribulation. These judgments operate over an extended time period. Seals were used to authenticate a document. In the New Testament, it is recorded that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. As the Holy Spirit is represented in the book of Revelation as “the seven Spirits of God (),” the seven seals should not be thought as an actual enumeration of the number of seals; the seven seals exist as a collective singular unit that authenticates the integrity of the document containing the decree of God’s judgment of the earth.
If the seals are a collective singular, then the events triggered by the opening of the seals are not necessarily occur in a strict chronological sequence. There may be considerable, if not total overlap.
The first four seals are represented by horsemen. The opening of these seals results in these horsemen riding. The judgments are manifested by the journeys of the horsemen. Similar imagery is used in the book of Zechariah.
Zechariah 6:1-8 described four chariots of horses: red, white, black, bay and grisled/dappled. This corresponds to the color of the four horses in Revelation 6: white, red, black, pale-green.
“And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass. In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses; And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses. Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord? And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth. The black horses which are therein go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country. And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth. Then cried he upon me, and spake unto me, saying, Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country. “
– Zechariah 6:1-8
As these chariots are identified as ” the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth,” they have been marching since the beginning. There is a discrepancy between the order of the horsemen in Zechariah and that of Revelation because Zechariah describes Zechariah’s contemporary time frame, whereas Revelation is describing the end time.
In Zechariah 1:7-16, red horses are described as “they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.”These red horses, Zechariah’s time were checking out the earth to see whether there is peace.
“Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying, I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white. Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be. And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth. And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.
Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years? And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words. So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction. Therefore thus saith the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem. “
– Zechariah 1:7-16
The question was asked:” O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years? ” Jeremiah’s seventy-years had passed; while Israelites were starting to return, they were still under foreign occupation and control. Was God ever going to fully restore Judah and Jerusalem?
God’s answer was that he was going to send “four carpenters” to “cast out the horns of the Gentiles.(Zechariah 1:7-16).” These four horns are likely the four cradles of civilization that, for three thousand years, were the geo-political poles of the civilized world known to the biblical writers: Western (Egypt), Babylon, India, and China. The Western pole shifted from Egypt to Greece and Rome. The actions of these “carpenters” would forcibly remove the Gentiles from control – taking peace from the earth.
“Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem. Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns. And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What be these? And he answered me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem. And the LORD shewed me four carpenters. Then said I, What come these to do? And he spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.
– Zec 1:17-21
This prophecy of liberation of the Promised Land from Gentile control was given to the rider of the red horse, hinting at the future role of this horse: to take peace from the earth. This cessation of relative peace was done on behalf of Israel. This war is required to be done so that there would be a divinely appointed state to receive Christ as King of the world. Israel was cast away for a season so that Christ the King could offer amnesty to Gentiles until the full number of the Gentiles comes in; then God will reconcile the natural children of Jacob to Christ and unite them with Gentile followers of Christ (Ephesians 2:12-20; Romans 11).
If the actions of the red horse in Rev 6 are centered around the restoration of Israel, then by implication the other seals pertain to events preceding and accompanying the restoration of Israel.
These seals were to be opened in John’s very near future. The four are horses that ride multiple circuits (think cycles) until the earth is ready for God to commence His plan to restore Israel and reconcile her with Himself and Gentile believers in Christ.
The first seal involves releasing the white horse. This horse enters the “north country (Zech 6:1-8),” meaning that it will afflict nations to Israel’s north. As the white horse is a conqueror, these nations would begin to conquer.
And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
– Revelation 6:1-2
These conquests would do one of two things that would trigger the red horsemen: It would stir up opposing forces that resulted in the disturbance of the peace or stir up increased violence on the part of the conquerors to destroy opposition.
And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
– Revelation 6:3-4
The third horsemen brings forth the consequences of the first two: economic calamity
And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
– Revelation 6:5-6
The fourth horseman brings death from a variety of causes generally labeled as pandemic and holocaust. There have been many holocausts throughout history
And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
– Revelation 6:7-8
The journeys of these horsemen have produced patterns that have emerged throughout history. These patterns have manipulated world events until the scene is set for the final confrontation between Christ and the Anti-Christ system. While these four ride, the fifth seal is opened, and the persecution of God’s people goes on.
And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
– Revelation 6:9-11
Jesus Christ said that Christians would be hated of all nations (). Persecution of God’s people would grow until it went global. This generation is witnessing the emergence of global persecution of God’s people. When events have fully set the scene for the final confrontation, the sixth seal is opened – transitioning us into the final confrontation.
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
– Revelation 6:12-17
The sixth seal introduces cosmic events that usher the world into the final confrontation with God. Because of the chiastic structure of Revelation, the sixth seal judgments are likely the same as the seven trumpets. Verse 17 concludes the sixth seal with this fearful warning uttered by the people of the earth: ” For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?.” The end of the sixth seal concludes moments before the Day of the Lord’s Wrath.
Cycle 1: 100-700 AD
Conquest: At about the time of John’s vision there was war in the far east. The Xiongnu, ancestors of modern Mongolians, were at war with China. About AD 89, the Xiongnu state was destroyed, with many of their military being driven to the northwest*. As they fled northwest, they mingled with ancestors of modern Europeans, who were living in central Asia at the time of Christ. From this mingling, the Turkic people – and a number of Turkish nations – arose. The four-pole balance of power that has existed for three millennia is about to be destroyed. In addition to the Western, Babylonian, Hindi, and Chinese horns, a Turkish horn was about to emerge. These nations would push Causasian tribes, the ancestors of modern Europeans, westward.
During this time, the early church, without an army and without violence, began making inroads into Romans society. In spite of the persecutions, the church began to grow. By AD 313 Christianity became legal, and eventually displaced Paganism in the empire.
War: It was only a matter of time before these tribes would push into Western Europe. First the Huns and then Germanic tribes began raiding Roman territory.
While the Turkish nations were growing, Jews continued on the warpath they had embarked, persecuting the early church and resisting Roman occupation. After AD 135, when Jews were expelled from Judea after Kochba’s rebellion; the histories of Judaism and Christianity separate.
Economic Calamity: Eventually, the western part of the Roman Empire fell. This opened the door for two conquering forces that would play a prominent role: The Roman Catholic Church and the Byzantine Empire.
Pandemic-holocaust-lawlessness: The Pandemic of Justinian occurred soon after the Roman Empire fell. The most important event connected to the pale horseman was the fate of the Jews fought both Rome and early Christians. In AD 135, Rome attempted genocide of Jews, expelling them from Judea. They expelled Messianic believers from their communities, resulting in the church taking on a more Gentile character. When Rome became officially Christian, the Jews were perceived as being a double black eye in the empire. Anti-semitism, as both deep prejudice and official policy, emerged. This anti-semitism would run for centuries and culminate in the Nazi genocide of Jews in WW2.
|Conquest||100-500 AD||Rise of Turkic People and nations
Growth of early church – conquering Rome
|war||Pre 100-500||Germanic invasions of Roman|
Jewish wars against Rome and Christianity
|economic calamity||450-700 AD||Roman empire collapses|
|pandemic holocaust||550-700 AD||Pandemic of Justinian
Roman genocide of Jews
Rise of anti-semitism
Cycle 2: 300-1300 AD
Conquest: The fall of the Roman Empire created a power vacuum that was filled by two elements. The Byzantine Empire, formerly the east half of the Roman Empire, began resurgence by re-conquering lands formerly belonging to the West Roman Empire, notably most of North Africa. For a brief time the Byzantines held the Italian peninsula. The west half of the Roman Empire was not replaced by a unified empire. The Roman Catholic Church filled the vacuum, holding together what civilization was left as western Europe broke up into smaller kingdoms.
War: The resurgence of the Byzantine Empire would eventually bring into conflict with the empire functioning as the contemporary heir of the Persian-Babylonian horn of civilization – the Sassanian Empire – from 602-622 AD. While the Byzantines were flexing their muscles, the Roman Catholic Church was becoming corrupted. On Christmas Day, 800 AD, the Pope crowns Charlemagne emperor of “The Holy Roman Empire.” This entanglement in politics exacted a heavy cost on the church. Italian political factions took over the church, and from about 850-920 or so was called the age of pornocracy. Two women ruled the church by spreading their legs before the Popes of the period, using these sexual relationships to manipulate events in the Papal court.
Economic calamity: The corruption of government was not limited to the Papal court. The Holy Roman Empire did not last as a unified empire. Land in Western Europe soon split into many fragments. Feudalism emerged as a system of land distribution and security. A servant called a vassal was given land by a landlord in exchange for service to the landlord, particularly military combat and agriculture. a vassal with a large grant could lease parcels of it out to other vassals. The result was that most Europeans became slaves to a piece of land.
While Western Europeans were wearing their bodies out and wrecking their health, the Byzantine and Sassanian Empires were wearing out their economies. The Sassanian Empire became vulnerable to conquest by the next cycle of conquerors: Islamists.
Pandemic: Feudalism made life hard for most western Europeans, and life spans began to decrease to an average of about 35-40 years.
|Conquest||300-550AD||The Fall of the Roman Empire|
|opened door for Byzantine Resurgence|
|Political entanglement of Roman Catholicism|
The Corruption of Roman Catholicism
|economic calamity||600-1300||economic exhaustion;
Sasanian empire falls opening the door for Islamic conquests
|pandemic holocaust||850 -1450AD||Lowered lifespan due to feudalism – age 35-40|
Cycle 3: 622-1517 AD
In 622 AD, Muhammad made a historic trip between Medina and Mecca. This trip is called the Hegira. The Hegira marks the beginning of Islamist conquests and the rise of the sixth horn. These conquests included the Sassanian empire and areas usually dominated by Babylonian civilization. The Babylonian horn was consumed and suborned into the Islamist horn. Islamist forces also conquered north Africa and Spain.
The subversion (conquest) of Roman Catholicism by Italian aristocracy left the church in disrepute. In the 11th century, Pope Gregory (Hildebrand) began “reforms” of the Papacy. His idea of reform was transforming the Papacy into a godlike office. Tghis idea is called Papo-caesarism. Hildebrand proclaimed the Pope “the Vicar of Christ.” To Hildebrand, the Pope was co-regent with Christ, possessing absolute spiritual and secular power of all planet earth.
War: Repeated attempts by Islamists to invade Europe resulted in European counter-attacks. Spaniards initiated re-conquista, pushing Islamists back. The newly ascendant Papal power was put to use organizing crusades to counter Islamists, seeking in particular to reclaim the Promised Land.
While Popes were organizing crusades against Islamists, opposition was mounting to the blasphemous claims made by Popes. From the time of Hildebrand to the days of Wycliffe, the opposition was predominantly political. Wycliffe, by pushing for reformation, transformed opposition to Papo-caesarism into a theological battle. Wycliffe started the Reformation, which achieved critical mass when Martin Luther nail Ninety-Five Thesis to the door at the church in Wittenberg.
Economic Calamity: The plundering of the Crusades weakened the Byzantine more than the Islamists, opening the door to Ottoman takeover. The crusaders were themselves plundered by Papists, who squandered it on riotous lifestyle. By 1500, the Vatican had a debt crisis. Their answer, selling the forgiveness of sins to the highest bidder, would trigger a dramatic shift in the balance of power in Europe.
Pandemic: Between 1300-1480, Black death claimed almost half of Europe’s population. When people weren’t dropping off like flies from the plague, Papists kept busy murdering anyone who opposed equating the Pope with Christ.
|Conquest||650-1200||Islamic conquests begin|
|Corruption of Roman Catholicism|
|door for Papal Supremacism|
|economic calamity||1300-1517||Byzantine empire , plundered, then crusaders
Vatican debt crisis
|pandemic holocaust||1300-1480||Black death|
|Persecution of non-Papists|
Cycle 4: 600 – 1500
Conquest: By AD 600, Turkish nations would start asserting themselves as imperial powers. Groups like the Gokturks, Kipchaks, Seljuks, Krgyz, Bulgyars, Ulgyars, Khazars, and Ottomans would make their mark on history. Their wars would be with nations all around and with each other.
War: In the 1200’s, Genghis Khan, would unite the Mongols and wage fierce war. For a brief time, their empire would occupy the largest land area of any empire in history.
The Mongols drove the Ottoman Turks southeast. They would re-settle in Asia Minor, putting them in conflict with the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantine Empire would fall in 1453.
|Conquest||600-1200||Turk empires begin conquests|
|Ottoman Turks conquer Byzantine|
|economic calamity||1200-1300||Mongolian genocide lowered|
|carbon footprint of all humanity
Fall of Byzantine Empire results
in influx of knowledge to Western Europe
|pandemic holocaust||1200-1480||Mongolian Genocide|
Cycle 5: 1350-1945
Conquest: When the Byzantine Empire fell, dozens of scholars left Byzantine lands to flee Islamist domination. Many headed to Italy, bringing with them numerous documents containing Greek scholarship. This scholarship would ignite an intellectual awakening that would dramatically alter the balance of power on the planet. This intellectual awakening is called the renaissance. The renaissance laid the technical background necessary to future advancements in civilization.
The Reformation, which had already begun centuries earlier with Wycliffe, would reach critical mass with Martin Luther. The Reformation, in addition to providing greater freedom to present the gospel in its fullness, would also lay moral and legal groundwork to support advancement in civilization, particularly the growth of freedom. The development of freedom would both destroy the shackles restraining innovation. It would also create an optimum environment for the creative enterprise needed to develop the innovation that would power the technological revolutions that would lead to European dominance.
The re-emergence of classical Greco-Roman thought during the Renaissance would lead to technological revolution; it first stirred up intellectuals to pursue science. Reformation destroyed the restraints that shackled to empirical inquiry and innovation. Nearly all of the founders of modern science were devout believers that God created the human mind with categories that corresponded roughly to categories of the external world and created man this way because He wanted man to discover how the world worked. With this mindset, they started the scientific revolution.
The scientific revolution provided knowledge needed to develop the technology that would empower the industrial revolution. The Reformation provided two tools, one moral and one legal, that would be needed to ensure success of the scientific and industrial revolutions.
The first was the principle of the rule of law. Absolute monarchy is not conducive to creativity and innovation because the king’s mind can change quickly or the king is succeeded by his son who has a more hostile view. Reformation thought held that even kings and Pope were subject to God and God was a logically consistent law giver and Promise keeper; therefore even Popes and kings were subject to law – the law was above the king. The dominance of the rule of law meant calculable law; people could anticipate the legal consequences of their actions, making capital ventures less risky. This encouraged people to invest labor and capital into their creativity to make their dreams come true.
As the emphasis on freedom of conscience lead to the increased development of freedom, there was increased perception of the dignity of the individual and increased encouragement for individuals to pursue their own dreams. This resulted in more dreams to pursue, which lead to more projects – businesses – to be developed.
Once these were in place, European powers would soon have an overwhelming technological advantage over all of the other nations on the planet. They began to colonize other nations, subjecting them to European hegemony. During the age of Colonialism, Christianity went global, sending missionaries wherever European powers became dominant. European powers controlled up to 85% of the world land area when Colonialism was at its peak.
War: Colonialism bred much conflict – conflict on a scale the world has not previously seen. Colonial occupation, while it brought the blessing of western civilization globally also brought numerous problem to occupied areas.
Colonial powers fought amongst themselves in wars that culminated in WW1. Opposition to Colonialism arose from within the colonial powers. Many saw the colonial occupations as morally problematic; it involved excesses that violated both Biblical morality and the natural moral notions that God gave to man. During this time various socialistic ideologies emerged as opposition to colonial occupation. These ideologies would seek to conquer and wage war of their own. During this period, the ottoman Empire fell and the British conquered the land that is now Jordan and Israel. This would set the stage for the re-birth of Israel.
Economic Calamity: Colonial occupation impoverished occupied peoples to enrich European governments and big business. This impoverishment has made many of these areas financially insolvent. This caused people in Africa, South America, and India to be poorer than their ancestors.
One of the features of Colonialism is the creation of artificial entities for transacting business. The accumulation of wealth by these entities resulted in alienating a person from his labor. John Locke argued brilliantly in his Second Treatise of Government that the fruit of a person’s labor was his own property, and that labor performed processing a resource appropriated that resource out of the state of nature and made the finished good his property. The methods of wealth production that created wealth on a scale never before seen disconnected this relation: the fruits of a person’s labor were no longer his own property, but that of his employer. This would create a permanent poverty class subsisting on the lowest wage the market would bear while corporate managers and owners became unbelievably rich.
Pandemic – holocaust: Occupied peoples suffered pandemics from diseases of which the occupiers had immunity. Millions more died from atrocities committed by the conquerors.
|Conquest||1350-1830||Influx of knowledge into west helps|
|war||1500-1918||Wars amongst colonial powers,|
|culminating in WW1|
|Socialist ideologies opposing|
|Colonialism began to emerge|
|Fall of Ottoman Empire|
|economic calamity||1550-1945||Impoverishment of occupied peoples|
|Middle East de-stabilized|
|Pandemic Poverty to present day|
|pandemic holocaust||1550-1919||Pandemics amongst occupied peoples|
|Spanish flue 1919|
Cycle 6: 1830 -present
Conquest: Socialist movements have emerged as opposition to Colonialism. Socialists often conflated Colonialism with capitalism and thought the state can save them from big corporation. They failed to realize that Colonialism itself was statist. Socialism did not empower individuals and individual nations who had become helpless in the face of Colonial power and Big Business. It was replacing one form of domination with another. Big Government dominated individuals now, and powerful socialist nations dominated other nation in their sphere of influence. the Soviet domination of eastern Europe during the Cold War was a prime example of this. The ascendancy of Socialism resulted in the creation of ideologically driven empires becoming commonplace: Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, world-wide Communism, Neo-Conservatism, and so-called “Democratic” Socialism, and the emerging Islamist threat.
While socialism gained ground in the nineteenth century, in the twentieth century it took over many governments: Communism took over Russia, Eastern Europe, and a huge chunk of southeast Asia. Nationalistic forms of socialism took over Germany and Italy in the 1930’s. “Democratic” Socialism took over Europe after WW2 and threatens America.
War: The rise of ideologically driven empires resulted in ideological wars. WW2, the Cold War, and the beginning of the War on Terror were ideological wars whose primary focus was to spread one version or another of socialist paradise by force on both their own people and other nations. Among the most ruthless examples of this was the Genocide of Jews by the Nazis
Colonial power began to decline after WW1. After WW2, Colonial power was broken. Many countries sought independence, and numerous states came into existence. Because of the systematic persecution of Jews through the centuries, culminating in Nazi Genocide, there was a movement to establishment a Jewish homeland. In 1948, Israel was reborn.
Because of the severity of WW2, particularly the advent of weapons of mass destruction, the United Nations was formed in the hopes of preventing another world war. Powerful nations were given permanent seats on the Security Council. The idea is that the United Nations would give legal cover for the aggression of powerful nations and manage conflict between superpowers so that causalities can be limited. The necessity of limiting war and the availability of manipulating tools of peace to advance the national interests of superpowers would create a “Cold” War from 1946-1987. The USA and the Soviet Union would both manipulate the United Nations and use proxy nations to wage war that was won when America bankrupted the Soviet Union.
Something very unusual happenned during the Post-Colonial period. Contrary to the conventional wisdom that said that the religion brought by the conquerors would decline as the Colonial power declined, Christianity grew – began spreading like wildfire. The Pentecostal fires of revival, started in such movements as the Welsh revival and the Asuza Street Revival, had spread all over the world. God began to restore the church into an organism more closely resembling the New Testament Church. Pentecostal Christianity is by far the fastest growing religious movement in the world today!!!
Economic Calamity: The rise of big business allowed for larger scale of consequences when market become imbalanced. Panics, bubbles, and recessions became more intense. In 1929, the Great Depression started. The Great Depression started as a consequence of Colonial policies but became aggravated as a result of socialism. Government attempts to manipulate the economy made it worse and prolonged its duration. Eighty years of programs to manipulate the money supply and set up a “safety net” have burdened economies of the West with fatal levels of debt. Germany was hit particularly hard in the Great Depression, suffering hyper-inflation that would create a perfect environment to develop Nazism.
Pandemic – Holocaust: The Nazis exploited both the suffering of the German people and deep anti-Semitism and made the Jews the scapegoat for Germany’s problems. They attempted genocide upon the Jewish people, killing between 10-15 million Jews. Unfortunately, the Nazi holocaust was not unique in the 20th century. The nature of ideological, socialist regimes involving murdering those who oppose the ideology. The Soviet Union murdered 50 million and the Chinese murdered over 100 million. The emerging Islamist Empire is just beginning its murderous stride.
|Conquest||1830-1990||Socialism emerged as opposition|
|war||1930-1990||WW2 and Cold War|
|United Nations Established to avoid|
|WW3, opening door to rise of the|
|New World Order
Revival in occupied lands
|economic calamity||1910-present||Great Depression
Massive sovereign Debt crippling West
|economic collapse of Eastern Europe|
|Pandemic Poverty to present day|
|Jewish genocide, followed by Israel’s rebirth|
|Modern democides and holocausts|
Cycle 7: 1945 – present
Conquest: The New World Order began to emerge with the founding of the United Nations in 1945. During the Cold War, organizations and legal precedent were established, and a substantial amount of indoctrination of the academic, business, and political worlds was executed. When the Cold War ended, the New World Order would be in position to assert itself.
Because the New World Order relies on UN instruments to rule by manipulation, the dichotomy between business and politics is reduced. The development of the New World Order has resulted in the marriage of Big Business and Big Government on a growing list of issues. This was inevitable: once business realized they could manipulate the system and socialists realized how much money they could make by putting the government for sale as a prostitute, the adulterous affair would soon be on at everyone else’s expense. This marriage is also called Fascism.
War: After the Fall of the Soviet Union, the New World Order. On September 11, 1990, President George H.W. Bush proclaimed that the world at the beginning of a New World Order. The United Nations, touted as a tool of peace, was soon to be used as a weapon of war. The United Nations would provide legal cover for wars: Two wars in Iraq and a war in Serbia. When the United States was attacked on September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush declared a “War on Terror.” which is described as permanent war. The War on Terror has resulted in substantial erosion of civil liberties in nations of the West.
Since the re-birth of the State of Israel, the Middle East is in a constant state of war.
Economic Calamity: Eighty-plus years of social programs and over a trillion dollars spent in the War on Terror led to a collapse in September 15, 2007. Because of the adulterous relationship between Big Government and Big Business, nearly all of the gains made by the “recovery” were gobbled up by large corporations. Because global fascism is emerging, we are now living in a world where the ‘one percent’ gobble up every resource on the planet, while the other ’99 percent’ struggle to avoid complete destitution.
Pandemic- Holocaust: The artificial boundaries drawn on world maps set the stage for all kinds of wars. ethnic group are separated or forced to live in the same state with their archenemies. for example, there is really no such nationality as an Iraqi or Sudanese. Iraq and Sudan are artificial states with no logical unifying commonality, each containing rival group who have never lived together in peace but are being forced to live in the same state. This has caused countless wars.
A modern holocaust is coming that will make Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Genghis Khan look like a bunch of saintly choir boys. Because civil liberties are eroding fast as a consequence of the War on Terror, the relationship of police forces to the civilian populations is changing. Police forces are becoming increasingly hostile to the interests of citizens and becoming more violent, even criminal, in their responses. Robbery, rape, sodomy, and murder are becoming increasingly common activities amongst police officers.
|Conquest||1945-present||New World Order begins to Emerge|
|war||1948-present||War on Terror|
|economic calamity||2008-present||Massive sovereign Debt crippling West;|
|economic collapse of West due to debt|
|Emerging Global Fascism results in an|
|economy where the ‘1%’ gobble up|
|pandemic holocaust||Ongoing||Artifical boundaries among occupied
nations resulting in chaos and conflicts
|Perpetual risk of terrorism pretext for|
|pushing populations of “free world”|
|towards police state domination|
Cycle 8: Impending Judgment
Conquest: The global police state has arrived (Rev 13, 17-18). It will be likely that the world will exist in a scenario similar to that portrayed in the Hunger Games Trilogy where most of the world’s populations are locked up in districts or camps while the elite play wherever they want. In the past, governments required a critical mass of support from within the society in order to exist. Advanced technology can eliminate the need for a government to require the support of a critical mass of people in a society; Such technology would truly allow an elite to dominate the masses without their consent or even acquiescence. With technologies like drones, robots, and data-mining, a dictator can enforce the power of the government even if the human political support base rebels.
This dictatorship will be hostile to the Sovereignty of God and the royal claim of the Lord Jesus Christ to the planet. The global police state will persecute Israel because she has been selected to be God’s nation and the place where the throne of David sits. This persecution will result in an international coalition threatening to invade Israel (Ezekiel 38-39). The global police state will persecute the church because it is believers in Christ and only believers in Christ that are the people of God.
War: When Israel is first surrounded by armies and God’s people are threatened world-wide, the call goes out for the people of God to seek Him in sacred assembly. God responds supernaturally with judgment upon the persecutors (see Joel 2-3; Psalm 118;Matt 23:39).
Economic Calamity: trumpet judgments rape much of the earth, rendering it useless for economic activity.
Pandemic-Holocaust: Bowls of God’s wrath followed by Armageddon will result in the slaughter of many who have rebelled against God. God’s people will receive resurrection bodies, Jewish and Gentile saints reconciled to God and each other, and Israel fully restored. Jesus Christ will be ruling the earth from Jerusalem and suffering will be banished from the earth.
|Conquest||Impending||Emergence of Global Police State;|
|Global persecution of nation of Israel|
|and Christian believers world-wide|
|economic calamity||Impending||Trumpet judgments|
|pandemic holocaust||Impending||Bowls of God’s wrath followed by Armageddon|
Trumpets have three-fold purpose in Scripture: they are used for both performing music, sounding an alarm warning of battle or judgment (Num 10:1-10), and to signify the coming of God’s supernatural Presence.
Trumpets are used to sound alarm of impending judgment. Joel 2 begins by saying “sound the alarm on My Holy Mountain.” Verses 2-11 document the impending danger. Verses 12-15 explain the reason that the alarm was sounded: seeking reconciliation with God.
Trumpets warn of impending invasion of God’s presence. Seven Trumpets were used to Joshua 6:13 to tear down the walls of Jericho ( see Joshua 6). The trumpeters led the charge. They circled Jericho once a day for six days. On the seventh day, they circled seven times and then blew the trumpets and the people shouted, God answered the trumpets and the shout by collapsing the wall of Jericho.
Not long after the Israelites crossed the Red Sea to begin their journey to the Promised Land, God commanded Moses to prepare Israel for a day of consecration. The coming of the presence of God was timed in connection with trumpets.
“There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount. And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.
And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice. And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.
– Exo 19:13-20
The TrumpetsSeals -Ez 9-10
There are three things of significance that are associated with the trumpets: The offering up of prayers as incense, the placing of a seal of protection to the faithful remnant, and the dispensation of hot coals of judgment.
The placing of a seal of protection to the faithful remnant is described in Rev 7. The 144,000 are sealed with God’s mark of protection. The fact that it is 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes* indicates that faithful Israel – true Israel – is the subject of this protection. There are various interpretations as to the significance of the 144,000. Some would say this is literally 144,000 Jewish males. Other would say that the number is a figurative representation of the people of God. In either case, God is protecting the faithful so that the judgments do not come near them rather than physically removing them in order for the3 judgment to proceed.
Ezekiel 9 describes a similar marking scenario. There are seven angels. One of them had a “writers’ ink-horn.” He was tasked with putting a mark of protection upon the faithful remnant. God commanded him to “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof (vs 4).” The other six were warriors who were commanded to execute judgment upon the wicked. “And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him [that is, the “man with the writer’s ink-horn”] through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary (v5-6).” The sealing was to protect the faithful in the midst of judgment that must begin in the house of God.
The sealing of the faithful remnant is also accompanied by the offering up of prayers with incense as a wall of protection. The offering up of prayers as incense has its precedent in Leviticus. During the Day of Atonement, the very first act of the High Priest upon approaching the Holy Place and just before entering the Most Holy Place was to offer incense. This incense went up to provide a hedge of protection from suffering the wrath from the pure, un-defiled glory of God.
And he shall take a censer full of burning coal of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the vail: And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not:
– Leviticus 16:12-13
The offering of this incense inaugurated the work of atonement. As the Day of atonement was about cleansing the people and the land of Israel during the force of the Mosaic Covenant, the trumpet judgments are about cleansing of the people and the land of earth. As the incense protected High Priest from God’s wrath during the Day of Atonement work, the offering of prayers of the saints by the High Priest in Heaven perform a similar function in Revelation 8. It is written that these prayers are offered up with incense.
And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. – Revelation 8:3-4
The offering up of prayers of the saints with incense is performed as a hedge of protection against end-times judgments that will begin with the trumpets. While the text describes the offerer as an angel, this was no ordinary angel. He was performing the office of High Priest and He is interceding for us. This is attributed to Christ, who lives forever as High Priest of the New Covenant(Romans 8:26;Hebrews 7:22-28) and intercedes for us continually.
Our great intercessor completes his mission of offering up of prayers of the saints to intercede for them. He will then proceed to fully answer them. These judgments, called the trumpets, will begin in earnest as the ultimate answers to prayers that have been offered throughout all of the ages of humanity since the fall of Adam. Prayers that yearn for justice to prevail in the earth – prayers by the righteous who grieve at the colossal amount of injustice in the earth – prayers by those who are victims of injustice who have lost out on their life or their childhood through injustice – prayers by those who have property, dignity, and liberty and gained no justice from the corrupt systems of man. In answer to these prayers offered by the congregation of the saints before the throne, God answers with a dispensation of of judgment in the form of hot coals.
These hot coals that are flung upon the earth represent the inauguration of judgment. God is about to put stop to injustice.
And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. – Revelation 8:5-6
Hot coals of judgment are also seen in Ezekiel 10:2. God commands the angel to scatter hot coals over the city. Hot coals are used of judgments that are cleansing in nature. In Isaiah 6, Isaiah has an encounter with the Lord. He knows he’s ruined because he is a sinful man who has seen the pure, un-defiled glory of God. God instruct an angels to take a coal from off this same altar to cleanse Isaiah.
In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
– Isaiah 6:1-7
The trumpet judgments, then, represent God’s last attempt to reclaim people to Him. In the generation that will see Christ’s return and during the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy (Dan 9:25-27), cataclysmic events will take place that will have a polarizing effect. It will force people off the fence; some will draw near to God, and others will pull far, far away from God. It is because of this that the faithful people of God are sealed with a mark of protection instead of being removed. The removal of the people of God would defeat the purpose of the trumpets. The next installment will examine the specific events that take place as these trumpets are blown.
The first trumpet signals an an event marked by hail and fire mixed with blood. This is likely a comet that crashes on earth. The impact will be on land according to the pprophecy. It will burn up all grass and third of trees. This is comnsistent with current scientific knowledge concerning the consequences of impacts of comets and asteroids.
*[[Rev 8:7]] KJV* 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.
The second trumpet signals an event marked by a “great mountain of fire” that crashes into the sea. This results in the destruction of a third of shipping and the death of a third of sea life.
*[[Rev 8:8-9]] KJV* %v 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; %v 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 third trumpet signals another collision of an asteriod or meteorite. This object, unlike the first two, does not crash into earth as one piece. Ir breaks up upon entry into the earth’ls atmosphere. Numerous smaller pieces hit the earth in a distribution pattern that contaminates a third of the river systems. This object is likely made up of either a radioactive or perhaps another type of toxic substance. Many die from drinking the waters that are contaminated. It is noteworthy that ‘Wormwood’ in Russian is rendered ‘Chernobyl.’
*[[Rev 8:10-11]] KJV* %v 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; %v 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.
The fourth trumpet does not appear to signal a separate consequences of events of third trumpet, but that of a further explanation of the first three trumpets. The cumulative effects of the first three trumpets would effectively create the appearance that the sun and moon are darkened a third of the time.
*[[Rev 8:12-13]] KJV* %v 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. %v 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!
The fifth trumpet signals yet another object falling to earth. This object is different from the previous in three ways. The previous objects deeply affected only a portion of the earth.
First, the effects of this impact of this object are global. The sun and moon are darkened over the entire earth “by reason of the smoke of the pit.” The text describes the opening up of a hole in the earth as producing smoke that darkens the whole earth. This closely resembles a description of an eruption of a super-volcano like the one that exists at Yellowstone.
The second difference is that the passage ascribes consciousness or sentience to this object.This object is given a key to the bottomless pit, from which comes some rather strange creatures. This object is called a ‘star.’ In the Old Testament, the word translated ‘star’ was a reference to angels in its figurative application. This could refer to both the obedient angels and the rebellious angels. The narrative suggests that a particular angel was given a key to unlock these creatures. As we shall see from further description, this angel is the one once known as Lucifer, but is now called Satan.
The third difference is that the effects of this are not merely physical as the previous ones were. The opening of the bottomless pit did more than put a hole in the earth. This passage should not be construed to mean that demons are literally trapped in the mantle of the earth, but that the opening up of this hole corresponded to opening up of a portal to a spiritual dimension where hordes of demons are now trapped. The book of Jude refers to the existence of demons so vile that they were locked up in a spiritual prison (Jude 1: 6; also 2 Peter 2:4).
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. 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. 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. – Revelation 9:1-3
In the midst of these judgments, God’s people are protected. They cannot be harmed by these attacks. It is granted for these creatures to torment people for five months. The torments do not kill, and in some mysterious way they prevent people from taking their own lives.
*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. 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. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. – Revelation 9:4-6
The description of these creatures matches that of devils. These creatures have king over them who is described as “the angel of the bottomless pit.” This angel is called by the names of Abaddon and Apollyon, which mean destroyer. This is the angel who fell from heaven and was then given a key to the bottomless pit. This is consistent with the description of the permanent eviction of Satan from access to Heaven which is described in Rev 12:7-11. Satan is evicted through joint action of opposition by obedient angels and followers of Jesus Christ acting in spiritual warfare.
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. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. 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. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. 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.
– Revelation 9:7-11
The sixth trumpet is a second loosing of evil angels. This second loosing involves only four angels These four have a description very similar to the tormenting angels that were loosed out of the bottomless pit. These four kill a third of mankind.
And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. 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. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. 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…
…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. 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…
…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: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts. – Revelation 9:13-21
The effect of the fifth and sixth trumpets is to herd the world through “shock and awe” into following in final beast system. Satan is allowed to unleash these demons upon the world sometime after the beginning of the 70th week but before the middle of the week. The study of Revelation 13 will show that Satan will subsequently back the final global dictator who is commonly called the Antichrist. But not before he unleashes a show of force to the world. Even in the midst of this he cannot directly harm the child of God. He will set up a global police state that will use the wrath of man to accomplish this.
By the sixth trumpet Satan will have set up the final beast system whose rule will be interrupted by the seventh trumpet. Revelation devotes all of chapter 10 and much of chapter 11 to an analysis of the significance of the seventh trumpet.
Revelation 10 begins with imagery of an angel spanning Heaven and earth. As the angel proclaims the Word God, seven thunders “uttered their voices.” John was about to write down what they said. He was told to keep it secret. What was the secret about?
This angel proclaims that “in the days when the seventh angel begins to blow the trumpet, that time should be no more and that the mystery of God should be finished. What is this mystery? This mystery is the church. It is written in Ephesians 3:1-9 that…
For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: – Ephesians 3:1-9
If the church is the great mystery of God, then the finishing of this mystery means that God completes the work that He has ordained to do through the the church. The implication here is that the church is finally ready to be raptured. This is set to happen at the beginning of the blowing of the trumpet. The text implies that the trumpet will be blown over a period of time. In 1 Corinthians 15, we are instructed that the rapture of those who are alive in Christ and the resurrection of the dead in Christ would occur “at the last trump.” The seventh trumpet is the “last trump.”
The Beginning of the Seventh Trumpet
The beginning of the seventh trumpet is the rapture of the church. The first sounding of the trumpet would precede the bowls of God’s wrath. This is because we have been saved from God’s wrath. Seals and trumpets are both judgments from God, but executed indirectly by means of natural causes or intelligent, free will agents. Many times, the actions of non-divine free will agents were either agnostic or hostile God, in the manner of a master strategist, would turn these things into ways to accomplish His purposes. In these judgments, God is ultimately in control of these events; the events themselves have as immediate causes other agencies. The bowls, however, are actions that came directly from God who directly ordained the substance of the bowls and commanded the angels to pour them out at the appointed time. The scripture teaches that we are spared from the wrath of God if we have a relationship with Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:1-10). The rapture that happens at the seventh trumpet must occur during the early part of the blowing and before these bowls. As I wrote previously, the rapture is on the seventh trumpet. In fact every passage in scripture that proclaims the reality of the rapture and the resurrection of the saints asserts that this occurs in connection with a trumpet blast (Matthew 24:31; 1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16).
The seventh trumpet signals the end of the age of man and the start of God’s New World Order.
The seventh trumpet marks the end of one age and the beginning of a new age. It is the end of the age where humanistic tyranny rules – ending mans New World Order – and inaugurates a new age where God lives with and rules humanity. He does this as the God-Man – The One who is both Almighty God and the perfect Man
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. – Revelation 11:15-18
Four issues are driving the blowing of the seventh trumpet and the subsequent actions of God relieving the earth of the control of incurably evil governments.They are:
- God deserves to reign(11:16-17).
Because God is self-existent, He has the right to rule. The attribute of self-existence implies that God is absolute truth; this means all of God’s ways – His moral notions are true and right in whatever scope He defines them. The attribute of God being the Creator means that the history of the earth is His story; He has the right to do whatever He wants in the story. He gave humanity free will so that we could embrace a love relationship with Him. GOD DELAYEED His judgment because He does not want anyone to perish. When the optimum number of people from all nations embrace reconciliation with God through Christ, God will take this world in judgment.
- The incurable madness of the human governments that will be extant in this time(11:18).
Isaiah 59 describes the condition of the world at the end time. People are mostly self-centered monsters who have no use for truth, but live by spinning and scheming. Governments from the highest level on down are built on schemes, spin, and lies. Truth, reason, and justice have no meaning for such a group of people who cannot be reasoned or wooed into righteousness or reconciliation with God. There is only one way to deal with people who increasingly devote every breath to opposing God, truth, and genuine reason* – judgment.
- It is time for the dead to be judged and The faithful to be rewarded(11:18).
The rapture and resurrection of the saints precedes the judgments that give reward. This is yet another context clue that the rapture and resurrection of the saints occurs at the beginning of the blowing of the seventh trumpet.
- It is time for God to destroy those who destroy the earth(11:18).
This issue anticipates the scale of the influence of modern man upon the environment. Ancient people could not have anticipated the reach of modern technology and its global, ecological consequences on the environment. God in His wisdom foresaw the present time.
(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. – Revelation 11:16-18
The End of the Seventh Trumpet
The final event of the seventh trumpet is the opening up of the temple in heaven that resulted in great hail falling. This hail coincides with the hail of the seventh bowl. The seventh vial or bowl also results in hail from heaven. The seventh ends just before Christ comes in the clouds
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. – Revelation 11:19
And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. – Revelation 16:1
The seventh trumpet completes the preparations for Christ’s coming in the clouds. At the beginning of the blowing of the trumpet the resurrection and rapture of the saints occurs, and by the end of the blowing of the seventh trumpet the bowls have transpired.
During the end time events, God is preparing instruments through He is going to do mighty works through. While many negative things are happening, there are also great exploits that God will do through His people (Daniel 11:32).
Revelation 11 opens up with instructions for an angel to measure the temple. He is the measure the temple but not the outer court. The reason behind the distinction is based on which areas was to be given to the people of God. The act of measurement dedicated that area for divine use.
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. 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. – Revelation 11:1-2
God plans for the end-time involve more than just dedicating building. God seeks to devote people for His use during this time. Verses 3-12 document the story of two witnesses who would minister with great power during the 70th week of Daniel. They would minister for 42 months and would have power to call down from heaven great judgments that would torment the wicked inhabitants of the earth.
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. 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. 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.
– Revelation 11:3-6
Who are these witnesses? Are they two special people who happen to be living in the end times? Are they Moses and Elijah? Are they Enoch and Elijah? Are they representative of the anointed of God?
The text gives us a reference to the Old Testament that sheds some light on who they are. They are described as olive trees and candlesticks that “stand before the Lord of the earth(Revelation 11:4).”
Zechariah 4 is parable about these olive trees that are the anointed ones who stand before the Lord of the earth. These anointed ones are represented as olive trees that stand before “the lord of the earth.” These trees produce oil that feeds the candlesticks or lampstands. This oil is representative of the Holy Spirit, and the lamp-stands are representative of the light of God in the church (See week 1 for introduction to the significance of lampstands). As the Holy Spirit operates and flows through those anointed by God, the church operates in power. This power not only gives light to see but also represents the pursuit of God to show Himself strong on behalf of those who trust in Him. For these lamp-stands are also represented as the eyes of the Lord (Zechariah 4:10). ”For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.(2 Chronicles 16:9, read also Revelation 5:6).
And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.
So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven [that is, the lampstands]; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.
Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.
– Zechariah 4:1-14
The best interpretation of the two witnesses is that they are a collective representation of those who are anointed by God during this time. Revelation is referring to the description in Zechariah 4, and the description in Zechariah 4 applies to every Spirit-filled believer in Christ and not just two particular individuals. While there may be two standout individuals, this prophecy is bigger than just two particular people.
The representation as two witnesses has legal significance. It is written in the law that a matter was established by the testimony of at least two witnesses(
Although Satan is no longer able to live in heaven, he is currently able to visit heaven. During these visits, he accuses God’s people of every sin they commit and demands that God pour out His wrath upon His own people. The book of Job begins with the story of one of Satan’s visits to Heaven. God was convening court, and when holy angels made an appearance in court Satan was found among them.
“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ So Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.’ Then the LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?’
“So Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!’ And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.’ So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. “ – Job 1:6-12
Satan’s visit to God where he accused Job of following God only for selfish gain was not the only time Satan or his minions visited Heaven: In the days of Ahab, a demon, specifically a lying spirit, volunteered for a mission to deceive Ahab’s false prophets. Just as in Job, when God’s court convened, evil spirits accompanied the holy angels in attendance at court.
“ Then Micaiah said, ‘Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by, on His right hand and on His left. And the LORD said, “Who will persuade Ahab to go up, that he may fall at Ramoth Gilead?”So one spoke in this manner, and another spoke in that manner. Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, and said, “I will persuade him.” The LORD said to him, “In what way?” So he said, “I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.” And the LORD said, “You shall persuade him, and also prevail. Go out and do so.” Therefore look! The LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the LORD has declared disaster against you.’ ”
– 1 Kings 22:19-23
While Satan currently makes visits into the Divine courtroom, the good news is that Satan will not be able to visit heaven indefinitely. The day will come when he is cast permanently.
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 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. 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. 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. 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.
Good news! Revelation 12 gives us critical information that can be used in our warfare against Satan. The word ‘they’ in verse 11 refers to believers in Christ. We fight together with the holy angels of God to cast Satan out of heaven and we hold the balance of power. There are four critical pieces of info that will help us.
How Satan Attacks
Satan comes in like a prosecuting attorney. He is called the accuser of the brothers and sisters. Satan seeks to use God’s law as a weapon to oppress His people. This doesn’t mean that Satan cares about God’s law. Satan hates God’s law and loves lawlessness. He only cares about how he can use God’s law to gain an advantage and cares ONLY about the parts that he can use. Satan is a master on how to use the law to promote lawlessness. Satan is the Father of corrupt prosecutors. Satan will first seduce you, then accuse you of lust or hate or whatever sin has overtaken you; he will ask God to execute judgment against you and act as your adversary. There are several passages that say plainly that God sometimes, even in the New Testament will deliver chastisement to His people.
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. – Hebrews12:5-11
“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, howthat all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
“Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” – 1 Corinthians10:1-12
“For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should notbe condemned with the world.” – 1Corinthians11:26-32
But Satan is defeated…
By the Blood of the Lamb
It is the blood of Jesus that destroys Satan’s power and works of Satan. We read in Colossians 2:11-15 how Christ overcame Satan at the cross.
“In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith ofthe operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 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.” – Colossians 2:11-15
The phrase handwriting of ordinances that was against us is another of referring to criminal charges. Christ dismissed all charges against us by means of His blood This passage could just as easily read ‘And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; dismissing any and all CRIMINAL CHARGES and CIVIL SUITS that have been filed against us and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;‘ The blood of Christ Jesus took away all of Satan’s accusations as well as the sin nature and sins.
Principalities and powers is referring to Satan and his kingdom (see Ephesians 6:10-18). Satan has been defeated by the blood of Jesus Christ. Christ through the shedding of His blood on the cross takes away Satan’s position and right to prosecute.
By the Word of Their Testimony
Our testimony is the means by which the blood of Jesus is applied in the ministry of destroying Satan’s kingdom on earth and Satan’s access to the Throne of Heaven. Our testimony is our confession of the blood of Jesus. This confession has great power. We are to use our covenant rights to testify that the blood of Jesus destroys the power and guilt of or sins. It not only destroys sin, but Satan’s legal standing to appear in God’s courts. But we must make our own appearance and use our covenant rights to testify to the finished work done by the shedding of the blood of Jesus accomplished through the cross.
In addition to the legal force of confession, there is power in using confession to activate faith in God’s Word. God has given a measure of faith to lead people to enter into Covenant and an increased measure of faith so that his people can exercise covenant rights. We can use confession of the Word of God to apply the Word of God with power:
But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thoushalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. – Romans10:6-10
This text says that with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. The confession becomes the salvation. God uses our confession of his Word to apply His Word to our lives. In the war against Satan we are to confess what the blood of Jesus has done and does. Our confession should be done both individually and in groups and should include the following:
The blood of Jesus takes away Satan’s accusations
The blood of Jesus takes away sinful desires (be specific to your case)
The blood of Jesus has destroyed Satan’s authority.
The blood of Jesus destroys Satan’s power
The blood of Jesus destroys the sin nature
The blood of Jesus draws me near to God
The blood of Jesus has redeemed me from the world system
The blood of Jesus takes away Satan’s access to God.
Repeated confession of the power of the blood meditation of Scriptures concerning the power of the blood, and singing and listening to songs about the blood unleashes the power of the blood. My personal favorite is the song by Carman This Blood.
They Loved not their lives unto death.
We must be prepared to fight to the death. God does not want willy nilly warfare. The reason our (America’s ) so-called war on terror is a mess is that we are fighting a willy nilly war rather than to win. Overkill on non-essential tasks and shrinking back from essentials will not win this war.
Spiritual war is the same way We must be focused on doing those things that will put an end to Satan’s assault.
1 Kings 22:19-23
1 Corinthians 10:1-12; 11:26-32
Week 15 Questions
- How does Satan use his access to Heaven to attack us?
- Is God’s judgment alive and Well in the New Testament?
- How is Satan defeated?
Who is the beast?
We read a description of the beast is in verses 1-2. This beast has seven heads and ten horns and ten horns. It has the body of a leopard, the mouth of a lion, and the feet of a bear.
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. 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. – Revelation 13:1-2
What is the significance of this description? It is apparent from the text that this “creature” is a composite creature. The beast system is a composite ruling entity that is formed as a coalition of three other entities that are represented here as a lion, bear, and leopard. In order to discover what the lion, the bear, and the leopard mean; a cross reference to Daniel 7 will shed some light. Daniel 7 describes a prophecy, given in the form of a dream, of four major powers that will rules in the end-times. Many commentators incorrectly believe that these are Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome/Antichrist. The designation of these as four powers that “shall arise out of the earth (7:17)” suggests that these are future to Daniel. Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome were all in existence at the time Daniel had this dream, with Babylon nearing the end of its reign as a world-power.
The text describes the destruction of the fourth in a way that suggests that these are contemporary. The text instructs us that, at the time of the destruction of the fourth beast, that “concerning the rest of the beasts [the first three], they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time (Daniel 7:12).“
Revelation 13 description is similar to Daniel, similar enough to suggest that it is a cross reference. The description in Revelation has one important difference. The lion, the leopard, and the bear are merged into one composite beast.
The beast Mystery Babylon manipulates is a strange creature indeed. It has seven heads which stands for seven kingdoms. These stand for seven empires that Mystery Babylon controlled. This passage speaks of an eighth kingdom. This is the final form of the beast system. This kingdom is described as “was, and is not,” meaning that it was a form that existed prior to John’s time. In other words, it was a kingdom that pre-dates the Roman Empire.
“Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.” Rev 17:9-11
Who is this beast? There are three clues. It is a composite beast, being “of the seven.” It is distinct, being uniquely described as “going to perdition.” The third clue is found comparing Gen 11 to Rev 13. It is the original Babylon because Babylon was the only head that truly ruled the entire human race.
A comparison of Rev 13 to Dan 7 presents to us a picture of the modern world. Many commentators interpret Dan 7 as a repeat of Dan 2 prophecy. Dan 2 was a prophecy of dominant ancient powers: Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. Verse 17 rules out the possibility that the prophecy applies to these nations. It says, “These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.”(KJV) All four nations, represented by beasts Daniel saw, are kingdoms future to Daniel’s perspective at the time he received the vision. Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome were all in existence at the time the vision was revealed to Daniel, so these are not the nations in the vision. This vision is of four modern nations.
“In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head while on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream, telling the main facts.Daniel spoke, saying, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other. The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. Dan 7:1-4
The Lion has long been a symbol of England-Great Britain164. The eagle’s wings represent the United States. Their plucking represents the American Revolutionary War. The Lion represents Britain, and by extension, the English-speaking world. During the nineteenth, Great Britain, known as the empire in which the sun never sets, became the dominant power of earth. During the 20th century, Britain became eclipsed by the United States, who took her mother’s place as the dominant power on earth.
And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: ‘Arise, devour much flesh!’ Dan 7:5
The Bear has been long recognized as a symbol of Russia-Soviet Union165. The command to the bear to devour much flesh means to conquer much territory. The Russian Empire was one of the largest empires ever. Even today, Russia is the largest nation in the world in terms of land area. Russia also brought upon the world the evil legacy of Communism. Russia, and by extension the Communist world is represented by the bear.
After this I looked, and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it. Dan 7:6
The identification of the leopard is the least certain among the four beasts. Some have identified the Leopard with Germany. This author believes that the basis for the identification is in the primary military weapon used. The primary assault vehicle used in land invasion modern warfare is the tank. The most popular tank in the world is called the Leopard Tank. These were first produced in Germany, but have been adopted all over Europe. The Leopard 2 is the primary tank used in NATO operations166. The leopard represents Europe.
The four wings of the leopard represent the four primary cultural groups in continental Europe. They are the Germans, French, Spanish, and Italian.
The English-speaking world, Europe, and the Communist world are the first three beasts. These powers have shaped the modern world into the condition it is today. They redrew the map of much of the world. They came together after World War 2 to create a monster that was both different from any of them individually and a composite of all of them. A comparison of Revelation 13 and Dan 7 further identifies the beast. Dan 7 shows prophetic images of future kingdoms. Both are prophecies of a ten horned beast that would be the final beast to reign before the Lord sets up His physical kingdom on earth.
After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. Dan 7:7-8
“Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. 2 Now the beast which I saw was like a Leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.” Rev 13:1-2
The United Nations is the only organization that fits these criteria. It was formed in 1945 and supported with the help of Europe, the English-speaking world, and the Communist world. The United Nations is a composite of the major powers and also different from these powers. The United Nations is a Satanic organization.
Revelation 14 could be described as a tale of two judgments. This chapter is composed of three acts. It begins with the fate of the 144,000, followed by angelic pronouncements of judgment, and concluded by a brief allegorical account of the harvest of the earth. These declarations of judgments cover everybody who is alive on the planet at this time. The 144,000 represent the righteous, while everyone else is defiled by either the harlot or the beast system.
Much has been written about who the 144, 000 are. Some commentators interpret them symbolically of the church, while others regard them as literal Jews 12, 000 from each tribe. There are several noteworthy facts concerning these people:
They are marked with the Father’s name on their foreheads as belonging to God. We have such precedent of God marking his people in Ezekiel 9. This passage is exposited in more detail in Week 11, where I show that such marking was done to protect the faithful remnant from judgment. The 144,000 were not to be targets of the wrath that is about to be poured out upon the earth.
They are also granted secret knowledge useful in rendering effectual worship to God. They are enabled to learn a song that the rest of creation is incapable of learning As worship has been revealed through Revelation as a weapon powerful in bringing forth judgments from God, this song stands to be particularly potent in instantiating the Kingdom of God on earth in physical form.
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. 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: 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. 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. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
As worship is effectual in allowing God’s people to experience his presence, this sing allow those who are able to learn it and sing it to experience His Presence in a way not yet seen before in the life of the Church. These believers succeed in attaining the full stature of the fullness of Christ that is written about in Ephesians 4:11-16. These attain perfection and maturity in Christ while upon the earth in the mortal bodies. As such they truly will follow Christ wherever He goes and are truly without fault before the Throne of God.
The condition of maturity among the 144,000 positions them to be the firstfruit unto God. To understand what is meant by firstfruits, one must study the feasts of Israel(Leviticus 23.) After passover on the feast called firstfruits, a sheaf was presented before the Lord (Lev 23:10). Jesus Christ Himself is this firstfruit. He died on the Cross, giving his Body to be broken to redeem humanity and bring forth the Church. Just as a kernel of what will die to bring forth much fruit, so Christ died and then came back to life, giving life to His Church. At Pentecost a variety of offerings were to be made to the Lord (Lev 23:17-21.) The remainder of the firstfruit were to be baked into loaves of bread to be offered. This bread was to be offered with a variety of bloody animal sacrifices to be offered to the Lord. The bread of the firstfruits was the only sacrifice that did not involve the shedding of blood. The 144,000 are the firstfruits in that their sacrifice did not involve shedding their blood, the rest of God’s harvest is represented as the bloody animal sacrifices. The 144,000 escape the shedding of their blood because they do not die, but are raptured into His presence. All other believers pass through death of the mortal body to attain the resurrection body and are thus represented as bloody sacrifices. The 144,000 represent all those who partake in the rapture as the alive in Christ, whether they be only 144,000 or whether the 144,000 are representative of a much larger number. These believers are those whom Christ finds on the earth at His Return who have fulfilled the mandate of Ephesians 4:11-16/
The Judgment of the wicked declared.
Verses 6-13 catalogues the judgments on the wicked. Firstly, the entire creation is commanded to worship God. The age of human decision is coming to a close. Philippians 2:10 promises us that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. The wicked will bow. When will they bow? At the judgment. When is that judgement? From the perspective in this text, that time is now!!!
Immediately following the command to worship God is the declaration of judgments. There are two areas of judgment as there are two theaters of operation of the organized rebellion against God. One is the judgment of the false religious system of Mystery Babylon the harlot, and the other is the judgment of the political system of Babylon the beast. Concerning those who took the mark of the beast, the judgment that declared is the most explicit reference to eternal suffering in the Lake of Fire in the Bible.
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, 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. 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. 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 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: 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. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. 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.
This second section on the judgment of the wicked ends with words of comfort for the saints. The tone of the text abruptly changes from the dire declarations of doom to delicate directives of comfort, saying “Here is the patience of the saints.” What is the patience of the saints? This patience is found in the certainty that God’s judgment against evil and toward reward for righteousness is coming. Our fate does not depend upon our relationship to leaders such as Pharaoh or Trump or Balsonaro, or any other politician. Our fate depends on our relationship with Jesus Christ. He is faithful to keep His promises, whether it is to give us rewards brought by grace or to mete our judgment against all that which is evil.
The first two section of Revelation 14 deal separately with the judgment of the righteous and the wicked. The final section covers both of these event together. We see a description of two harvests. The first harvest is a harvest (probably of grain) that was gathered with a sickle. This is the harvest of the righteous. There is also a harvest of grapes done by a different harvester. These grapes represent the wicked as they are trampled in the wine press of God’s wrath.
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. 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. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 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. 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. 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 commonality underlying both harvests is the commonality underlying every successful harvest: the maturation of the fruit being harvested. Both God’s people and those given to Satan have reached maximum possible maturity possible in their mortal bodies. As the followers of Christ have reached a mature man in Christ according to Ephesian 4:11-16, so the people of the world have matured in every manner of wickedness and abomination. There is one caveat which posews onmly a minor difference between the two. The final act of maturation of God’s people requires a resurrection body as flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Cor 15:50). Maturing in the ways of sin and Satan has no such requirement. This is reflected in the use of different Greek words that are translated as ‘ripe‘ and ‘fully ripe.’ The ripeness of the righteous crop is described as ξηραίνω (xeraino), meaning dried or not green. The ripeness of the wicked is described as ἀκμάζω(akmazō) – meaning mature or fully ripe. God is waiting for both sin and saintliness to reach their logical conclusions and has timed these precisely for the end times harvest.
Last week I exposited on the declarations of judgments in Rev 14. This week I will exposit what immediately happens in the narrative after this. Chapter 15 begins with a vision of the seven angels who will pour out the vials of God’s wrath. We see in this scene the two part refrain seen throughout the book. An act of worship that triggers supernatural manifestation of God’s power.
And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.
We are informed here in this text that they sang “the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb.” This is a reference to the song Moses composed at the command and inspiration of God as his life on earth neared his end. This song is recorded in Deuteronomy 32. The background to this song can be found in the surrounding text of chapters 31-34. Deuteronomy 31 begins with Moses convening an assembly – the final assembly in which he will preside. In verse 2 he says ” I am an hundred and twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in: also the LORD hath said unto me, Thou shalt not go over this Jordan. ” Moses was going to die on his 120th birthday. This was the last day he was going to wake up. The next time he would fall asleep, he would pass on to be with the Lord.
Moses was going to die in the saddle. He had a busy day of ministry. There were three major thing he did that day.He finished final composition of the Law and gave it to the elders with instructions. He then commissioned Joshua to be the new leader with warnings of what would happen if Israel fell away from following God’s commandments. He then premiered his song. After premiering his song, God instructed him to go to the mount where he was to die.
Moses wrote six stanzas. These would prophetically capture the history of the people of God from the days of Joshua to the second Coming of the Messiah Yeshua – Jesus Christ.
The first stanza established that God is an infallible Rock whose ways are truth and righteousness. Christ is that Rock, that if we are built on Him, we can withstand the storm
The second stanza establishes that the people of God quickly corrupted themselves and admonishes them to remember that God is their Father who adopted them as sons and daughters, looking both to a personal relationship with God the Father and also to the history handed down to them by their elders as witnesses to what God has done to establish us. This applies even today as we can look to both the Word revealed in the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit to show us the ways of God.
The third stanza establishes that Israel was the centerpiece of God’s plan. He even seeded the diversity of nations according to the number of the children of Israel* He gloriously led Israel to greatness. God has instructed us, nourished us, and perform mighty miracles to establish His people. He has done this both in the case of Israel and the Church.
The fourth stanza revealed that God’s people rebelled once they attained greatness and prosperity and turned toward the abominations of the surrounding nations.Because of them God promises to mete out judgment. These judgments would reduce God’s people and bring them back into bondage to foreign and worldly taskmasters.
The fifth stanza revealed that God would have wiped out his people if it were not for the enemies of God becoming inflamed with mockery and pride, claiming that it was their power and not God that gave them the victory over God’s people and using such claims to make a mockery of God. God cannot be mocked(Gal 6:7). This issue came to the forefront earlier in Moses’ ministry. God threatened to wipe out the Israelites and offer to create a new people our of Moses. Moses appealed to God’s glory and promises as a defense for the Israelites, arguing that God’s enemies would mock Him and denigrate His power and goodness (Ex 32:9-14). God relented then and He does now. If He did not, we would have been totally destroyed. The Israelites had Moses; we have Jesus Christ who lives to make intercession (Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:25).
The sixth stanza revealed that God will once again shine upon his people. He would shine upon us once He saw that human machination and power were totally broken. It is when we can no longer go to the Pharaohs, the Assyrians or the Romans to play the harlot, He will intervene on our behalf. When we no longer prostrate our selves in the sexual position (figurative or otherwise) before the Republicans, the Democrats, or any other political party and realize only He can save us, He will come. Isaiah 59 also foresees the day when God would no longer find anyone who was both able and willing to intercede for justice in this world. God Himself intervenes using weapons that anticipate spiritual warfare in actions that cross reference with Ephesian 6:10-18. When we seek Him to enter the battlefield using spiritual weapons and spiritual power, He will come (see also Psalm 118).
This song as written by Moses, however, was incomplete. He wrote the six stanzas to completion. It would appear that a melody has not yet been written as he “spake” the song to Israel rather than sing. The chorus is also missing. Jesus Christ Himself wrote the chorus, which appears in the text in Revelation 15. Th incompleteness of Moses ministry is also evidenced by the fact that he could not enter the Promised Land. He was faithful as a servant in God’s house but fell short because he was a servant. He fell short through his sin at the waters of Meribah(). God anticipated Moses shortcomings and transformed Moses incompleteness into a well designed pattern for completeness. Moses ministry was to be completed by Yeshua. The name ‘Yeshua’ tied together both the immediate fulfillment of Moses and the cosmic, typological fulfillment over the ages. He was given a vision of the physical Promised Land that was to be conquered by a Yeshua whose name comes down to us as Joshua and whose exploits are recorded by a book of the same name. This Yeshua did not fully occupy Moses office. There was another Yeshua would is the Prophet like unto Moses. He would complete Moses ministry on a cosmic scale. Moses was also given a vision of the fulfillment of God’s plan of the ages that would be fulfilled by a Yeshua known to us as Jesus Christ. He is the the Lamb who wrote the chorus. A chorus whose full premier heralds the coming of the wrath of God to take back physical possession the earth from the Satanically inspired globalist dictators.
Below is an English translation of what the complete song of Moses and of the Lamb might look like. Don’t know what the music would sound like, but a melody becomes attached to this before the Day of the Lord wrath as the singing of this song heralds that awesome and terrifying sequence of events.
The Song of Moses and of the Lamb
Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
…Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
…They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation. Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee? Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.
Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
…When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him. He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock; Butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape.
…But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee. And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters. And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith. They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains. I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them. They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust. The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs.
…I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men: Were it not that I feared the wrath of the enemy, lest their adversaries should behave themselves strangely, and lest they should say, Our hand is high, and the LORD hath not done all this. For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them. O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end! How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up? For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges. For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter: Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.
…Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures? To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste. For the LORD shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left. And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted, Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection. See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever. If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me. I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy. Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.
The sixteenth chapter commences with the pouring out of the wrath of God upon the earth. There are no longer any saints upon the earth in their fragile mortal bodies at this time as this immediately follows the rapture event and resurrection of those who are in Christ. Christ does not immediately return, but He first sends air strikes that cripple not only any armed resistance but also cripple the ability of the earth to support economic activity. These judgments cripple her to the point, that if Christ does not return to bring restoration to the earth, that life will not long survive. These are supernatural attacks upon the earth that are inexplicable in terms of natural processes
And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.
And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.
And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.
And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.
And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.
And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.
At the conclusion of the fifth vial, wicked mankind refuses to repent. The sixth vial sets the stage for the great battle of Armageddon. The Euphrates is dried up to prepare the way for the Kings of the East to meet at the Valley of Megiddo. The Kingdom of the Antichrist has been crippled by these plagues so these demons communicate directly to the various kings to round them up for one final battle to oppose Jesus Christ.
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Once these armies were gathered together, the seventh vial crippled them in place. God’s wrath was declared done, which was followed by an earthquake so powerful that it leveled every mountain on earth and destroyed every island. such an earthquake would be in excess of 10.0 magnitude, a level of shaking that is not possible via any known tectonic process. This is a supernatural shaking that will level any thing that can be shaken (Heb 12:27). This would completely cripple any military capability by any human military technology that would be in use in the foreseeable future.
And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
After the armed forces assembled at Megiddo are completely paralyzed by the global supernaturally inflicted 10.0+ megaquake, The Lord Jesus Christ returns with his armies to enter the battle. The text, however, takes an interlude that covers chapter 17-18 and the first part of 19. Next week will be a study of the judgment of the Great Harlot Mystery Babylon.
What is Mystery Babylon? I wrote an entire book about this. I will not repeat that book here, but you can rad it here. This week I will cover chapters 17-18. There are four main thing you need to know about this system of evil: She is a false religious system that is the root of all false religions and abominations of the earth. She rides the dragonous beast and bring him into power. She wields her power by seducing the powerful, intoxicating the masses, and persecuting the saints. And her power base is economic. All of these are fleshed out in greater detail in Mystery Babylo9n Rising in an analysis involving both an exposition of Scripture and plugging in relevant extra-biblical material. Here I will confine my self to the actual texts of Scripture.
She is a false religious system that is the root of all false religions and abominations of the earth.
Religions are typically represented as a women in Scripture. Examples of these include the Church is represented as the bride of Christ and the true religion. In Ezekiel 16 Israel is represented as God’s bride in a chapter that documents her departure from God to pursue her spiritual adulteries – which are her idolatries with false gods. Here she is compared to her sisters Sodom and Gomorrah as fellow idolatrous systems. We also see in Ezekiel 23 a similar representation of systems of idolatry as sexually immoral women or harlots. Here a woman is represented as the Mothers of all harlots.
So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
There are two things that follow here. One is that, as mother of all religious harlotry, she had to have ancient origins. This means that peculiarly modern constructs like the United States are not Mystery Babylon. Modern constructs are, of course entangled deeply in what is analogous to her vagina, but the roots are ancient. The second thing that follows is that exposing these roots will provide an adequate explanation of all organized evil on the planet through her entire history.
Mystery Babylon is the religious system birthed at the Tower of Babel. It is a religious system that worships the state as god on earth and nature as the mother goddess. When God confused the languages there and humanity split into various nations based on language, operatives of these systems embedded themselves into the various religions that established themselves in these countries. These operatives would package themselves as leaders in whatever religion would dominate an area. Because the original Mystery Babylon religion had a privileged relation to the state, her operatives often were able to establish privileged positions in the emerging nations. Even as nation conquered nation, it was easy for operatives in one nation to gain privileged access in the new empire. It eventually became apparent that the various national religions had the same big story. This infiltration continued into modern times and play in big role in today’s New World Order. Her operatives today have privileged access to the most powerful people in both the economic world and the political world. The heart of this system is a religious system that will promote the worship of the state as god on earth. It is this system that will lead to the beast and the antichrist will demand to be worshiped as god on earth.
She rides the dragonous beast and bring him into power.
The harlot is seen riding a beast as she comes into global power. This is an apt description of the New World Order. A network of secret religious operatives, global bankers, and elite political leaders runs things in a way in which secret networks do the real decisions. They ar promoting global governance through entities like the United Nations. In the exposition of Revelation 13 it was revealed that the United Nations is the only entity today that fits both the description of Revelation 13 and her cross reference in Daniel 7. The United Nations is at first a useful tool to the currently loosely aligned network, but will soon absorb the power of that network and incorporate it into a monolithic one world government married to a one world religion.
So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
She wields her power globally by seducing the powerful, intoxicating the masses, and persecuting the saints.
Mystery Babylon has a three pronged approach to control by manipulation: sex with the powerful, intoxication of the masses with drunkenness, and persecution of the saints.
She uses the prospect of worldly pleasure to control the powerful. They are fully aware of her game but will okay KT because it feels so good. Sexing the harlot has become the path to power and wealth today.
She makes the masses drunk. They do not know her game but are led about. The uses the “wine of her formication” as the means. This simply means that her fornication partners cooperate with her in deceiving people through propaganda. Many things that occur in our culture are rarely for the purported reason. Same-sex marriage is not really about marriage equality or allowing people to love whoever they want. It is about reducing marriage and sexuality to a construct of the state and denuding it of its metaphysical meaning. Abortion is not about empowering women but reducing the right to life to a construct of the state. In both of these cases we see hypocrisy: We see ‘Pro-choice’ people who applaud China mandatory abortions ( with Planned Parenthood’s help). We see ‘pro-LGBTQ’ activists boycott states for refusing to recognize same-sex marriage who happily do business with regimes who murder homosexuals. The real endgame is to reduce all of the important thing in life to constructs of the state that can be molded into whatever the state and its leaders want them to be. The harlot and her consorts will package these abominations as necessary for human empowerment when it is actually a segway to empower the state to intervene on a massive personal level in people lives. They will continue to market things this way until the culture is at a place where worship of the state as god on earth can be openly implemented.
Not everyone buys this. She must persecute the saints who actually see through the scam. This is the immanent goal of the current culture wars taking place. Christians are already being marginalized almost everywhere,. In a few years there will be nowhere on earth for true believers to hide.
With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
Her power base is economic.
The Great Harlot does not a have a central government with power to compel obedience through superior armed force. She is a fringe cult that controls a loosely networked group of people who control almost all of the wealth and power on the planet. What separates her from other fringe cults is that her members include the wealthiest and most powerful people on the planet. It is this wealth that is her strong city that enables her to co0ntrol the nations. This wealth is used to screen and groom new members of the elite by making them wealthy – if and only if they play her sex game. She both make wealthy and become wealthy by tribute from those she has groomed to be her consorts as they increase their wealth. The result is an organic, self-sustaining network that is resistant to attack. The early church and modern Jihadism also thriveed due to such an organic network organization. This is why she bragged that she cannot fall. This socioeconomic game that she uses to build and sustain her organic network is both the secret to her power.
For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.
…And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
Her twofold judgment.
Mystery Babylon suffers a two-fold judgment. The first judgment changes her internally, while the second judgment utterly destroys her.
The first judgment will not be perceived as a judgment from an earthly standpoint. It more likely be seen as the next stage of global social evolution. This judgment that is described in Rev 17:12-18 is an internal transformation in the structure and balance of power of the harlot. Ten nations empower a world leader who will shift the balance of power. Today the only scenario for this that would fit both the description of the beast in Daniel 7 and the description of the beast in Rev 13 would be for these ten nations to support a future Secretary-General of the United Nation who through a combination of statecraft and lying signs and wonders would give teeth to the United Nations and transform it into a strong one world government. This strong government confiscate control of her wealth and takes over the roles previously conducted by the currently, loosely networked shadow government. This is what it means to “and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.” Mystery Babylon is transformed from Babylon the harlot to Babylon the beast.
And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
This centralization of the functions of the New World Order under a strong central command will be seen as the next phase by the masses, but it is actually a judgment. The wicked nations who hate the harlot wish to change her narrative to fit their vision, but want the power and wealth she has. They believe such a coup- de-etat with in the New World Order will make them stronger. This will be true only relatively. In absolute terms it will take away the very thing that make her resistant to downfall. Tying her up into one bundle and centralizing everything under a single command make its final destruction an easier target for the final phase of judgment.
The final phase of the judgment of Mystery Babylon will be the judgment of Babylon the beast. This will be accomplished by the seventh vial. The tectonic c0onsequences of any geologic event that can level every mountain and sink every island will be of such magnitude that it will destroy all economic activity on the planet. Trillions in wealth will be instantly gone, and civilization will be completely crippled for the foreseeable future.
And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
This leaves only two events left: The defeat of the armed might of the nations who gathered to oppose the conquest of the earth by King Jesus who already hold the title to the earth, and the “mop-up” operation of locating and exterminating resistance scattered through the earth.
A tale of two women
Chapter 19 begins with the tale of two women. allegorically speaking, the history of the world has been a story of two women. One woman is the Great Harlot, which represents an evil religious system that worships nature and worships the state as the cosmic instantiation of god on earth. The other is the church, who are those called out by God and follow Jesus Christ while in this world. Each and every individual will ultimately belong to one of these two and will experience whatever destiny is appointed to each woman.
Chapter 19 begins with proclamation that there is much rejoicing in Heaven over the destruction of the Great Harlot. We see here a hint that this destruction is an eternal never-ending damnation rather than simple annihilation or mere non-existence. The smoke of her burning continues to rise forever. The Greek transliterated is ‘eis eis aion.’ .The word ‘eis’ indicate reaching a point in place or time. The word ‘aion’ is where we get the English word eon. An eon can be eternal or an extremely long but finite period of time. The double use of ‘eis’ indicate that there is not a single arrival at a point on time that would exist in any finite time period and thus indicates that ‘aion’ here means eternity
And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.
The Marriage Supper
The Marriage Supper of the Lamb is the third and final phase of the commencement of the beginning of a marriage:
A Jewish marriage procedure would begin with a signing of the contract (ketubbah) or covenant by the parents and either the parent of the bridegroom or the bridegroom himself paying the dowry. The covenant here is the New Testament and the dowry is the blood of Jesus.
The second phase (Chuppah) would happen when the party of the bridegroom would march to the house of the bride at a prearranged time known to both. While at the house the bridegroom would go into the bridal chambers and consummate the marriage, becoming one flesh with his bride through the first act of sexual intercourse.
The second phase immediately segways into the third. upon finishing the consummation sexual act in an ancient Jewish wedding, the bride would then accompany this party of the bridegroom to the place of the Wedding supper at the house of the Bridegroom. It is this ritual that is featured in the Parable of the Ten Virgins. We are not told when Christ will come for us, so we must make every preparation to be ready for the rapture at any time.
It is at the point of the rapture/ resurrection of the saints that the church consummates her relationship with Christ. At this moment she engages in the analogous of having sexual intercourse with the Lord Jesus Christ, her husband and King. It is the receiving of the resurrection body that will accomplish the one-flesh relationship. The text in 1 Corinthians 15 tells us that the resurrection body will be far greater than a resusitation of our natural. We will receive a glorified, spiritual body that is far more powerful than the bodies we currently possess. Ephesian 4 promises us that we will eventually be able to access “all of the fulness of God.” It’s fulfillment in a marriage of the church to Jesus Christ will requires bodies that can contain all that He has. This will require a resurrection body. These resurrection bodies will experience all of God’s pleasure continously for all eternity as we experience hyper-dimensional, eternal life.
But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
(1 Corinthians 15:35-49 KJV)
The experience of God’s pleasure throughout all eternity means all kinds of pleasure including sexual pleasure. At the hearing of this our flesh will get in the way of our understanding. The flesh gets in the way in three ways: It causes misunderstanding of legitimate desires, it creates bad desires that cannot be redeemed, and it focusses us on things rather than the Lord.
The flesh can cause us to completely misunderstand the nature of our future union with Christ. We should not think of the ectasy of the church in her marital blisss with Christ after the manner of a naked woman lying in her bed with her legs wide open as he sexually takes her vagina. This is aiming far too low. The mere possession of our resurrection bodies consummates that marriage. We will be in a state of sexual bliss. This sexual bliss will not be limited to a few narrow bands of physical and psychological pleasure, but will cut across every category of life. The endgame of “one-flesh” is to enjoy all of life together, something done very imperfectly in carnal marriages after the mortal flesh. Our resurrection bodies will keep us in constant communion with Jesus Christ. We will not need genatalia in the world to come. Our resurreection bodies will not have a port for sexual interface they will be a port in their entirety. It is a complimentary relationship in which Christ is male and the rest of us will be females. He will pour all of Himself into our Resurrection bodies in a manner analgous to the male organ pushing his seed into the woman.
It is impossible to understand our consummation with Christ without understanding gender complimentarity. Gender complimentarity is manifest through the physical world in ways far beyond the scope of sex in such places as electromagnetism and particle physics. The flesh can cause the existence of bad, unredemmable desires that must be destroyed. Homosexuality can destroy one’s ability to understand anything about our future consummation with Christ by blocking one’s ability to see the working of gender complimentarity. This is why Satan pushes homosexuality so hard. Homosexual desires do not bring different but complentary part together but are necessairly self-centered as those consumed by those desires can only desire that which is like themselves. This breeds both narcissism generally and also a self-centered approach to God. This approach to seek only to use God to fulfill selfish desires and can never lead to God’s ideal for marriage. The Lord will not settle for less in oder to gain pleasure. He really does not need it, but chooses to give plesaure because He loves us.
The flesh, by its nature, leads to self-centered approaches to the things of God. Romans 6-8 deals extensively with this topic. The incurable sinfulness of the mortal flesh is the elephant in the room. It is why we need a Saviour and continues to dog those who have come to Christ. As the church matures and prepares for marriage there comes a point where we must cast off this corruptied mortal flesh to be properly clothed with a body that can participate in a holy sexual union with Jesus Christ as man and wife.
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:50-58 KJV)
In ancient jewish weddings, the bride would prepare herself to be ready for the chuppa and the subsequent marriage supper. If she were a virgoin, she would be dressed in white. It is the same for the marrige of the Lamb’s Wife. She must also prepare herself.
And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
(Revelation 19:6-8 KJV)
She prepares herself to be ready for the marriage. She is wearing linen which stands for righteousness of the saints. This is provided by Christ. He is our righteousness. He has provided everything we need for godliness ( 2 Peter 1:3). his blood shed cleanes us from all sin, and His Holy Spirit has been given to lead us
Christ comes in to vanquish evil with His hosts.
Christ comes riding a white horse in glory. He first comes to destroy the military forces thaty have arrayed themselves against Him. Keep in mind trhat the earth has been broken throughly by the previous geologic events. They have no supply chain and no logistics of any sort necessary to carry out a meaningful campaign. The centralized civlization is no more, leaving the peiople with no means to resist Christ with any hope of success. He comes in on the white horse and with a single word wipes out the military forces. The Antichrist and the False Prophet are thrown alive in to the Lake of Fire
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.
The beast and false prophet are taken alive to be tried while the military forcves with them are turned into bird food. Keep in mind that the birds of the air are invited to “the supper of the great God.” This immediately follows the marriage supper of the Lamb and His Wife. A critical Kingdom aspect of the Lord’s prayer receives complete fulfilment. We are commanded to pray that Gopd’s will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. The marriage Supper of the Lamb in Heaven has a parallel fulfillment on earth as the birds of carrion feast on the flesh of the armed resitance to the advent of the Kingdom of God on earth.
What about the remnant who refused the mark alive at the Lord’s return? Wrapping loose ends?
The battle of Armageddon only involved engagement between Christ and the military forces. Around the world there will be numerous people still alive. While these nuif mbers have been decimated due to the many who have already died, the remnant of humanity will still number in the millions. if 99% of the current human population of the earth were to die, it would leave 75 million still living.
Among these survivors you would have those who took the Mark of the Beast. Jesus spoke in a parable about these. In Luke’s version of the Parable of the Ten Talents we are given some additional information that tells us what the saints will be doing when Jesus returns. Wheras Matthew’s version is concerned more with how we manage our private property rights in this world, Luke’s version provides political context concerning the eternal Kingdom of God.
And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
…And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
…Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
…And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.
(Luke 19:11-27 KJV)
There are three things happenning here in the political context:
The first is the the citizens of the land that Christ was to inherit made it clear that they did not want Him to reign over them. This was prefigured in Pslam 2 when the kings of the earth enter into conspiracy against Christ the anointed of the Lord. This found fulfillment in the beast system that has just been destroyed by Christ at His coming. Those who took the mark of the beast were rejecting Christ as king.
The second thing is that, when Christ touches down on the earth, He will give instruction to the saints that came with Him. These saints did nothing in the battle of Armageddon besides accompany Him. He will give instructions that will organize His admninistration during the Millennium. Those of us who are faithful to the end will be given authority over cities and regions. This will be our authorization to take the rest of the earth and authority to carry out his next instruction. We will then have the command to roind up the rebel for execution. We are to “bring hither, and slay them before me.” It will be our task to round up everyone who took the Mark of the Beast and bring them to Christ for sentencing to death. He will then command us to slay them before Him. It is a just and fitting senetence for those who participated in the genocide of God’s people. They will not get to participate in the benefits of the Millennium.
As for the rest, any who did not have the mark and survived the Great tribulation will be allowed to live, grow, and reproduce as mortals living under the government of Jesus Christ.
Satan’s final doom and eternal damnation in the Lake of Fire?
Satan is captured and imprisoned for a thousand years. During this Millennium, the saints who are in Christ will participate in the first resurrection and reign with Christ as priests of God.
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. 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. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
(Revelation 20:1-6 KJV)
After the thousand years Satan will be loosed. At this time we have had 1ooo years of the government of Jesus Christ upon the earth. There will have been perfect justice. The immanent Presence of God on earth will have preceiptated physical changes to the physical universe. There will be one more trial that will tie every loose end. Satan will likely appeal to the envy of the mortals. He will approach the descendants of the nations comprising the coalition that supported the Antichrist and will tell them that he can give them the glory that they lack as mortals. He will paint the reign of the Antichrist as a glorious time and promise to rebuild that glory. None of the ancestral generation that witnessed the Great Tribulation will succumb as their names are written in the Book of Life. They will remeber the horror and will not buy into Satan’s lie. Successive generation, however, will be born with a corrupt fleshly nature and will need to make a decision for Christ as Savior. Most of these will not remember first-hand the atrocities of the Antichrist. Many from these nations will join the rebellion and will try to storm the royal city in Gog vs God part 2.
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
(Revelation 20:7-10 KJV)
After the utter destruction of the enemies of God comes the Final Judgment. The rest of the dead were resurrected from the dead. The Book. of Life was opened to determine who was elegible for eternal life, and other books were consulted to judge every work that was ever done. Death and Hell are cast into the Lake of fire. The consumption of Death by the Lake of Fire means that nothing else will ever die. Then everyone who was not found written in the Book of Life is cast into the Lake of Fire. Because Death is destroyed, they cannot die. Their resurrected bodies will renew as fast as the flames and the worm destroy. They will be eternally dying in a process that will never, ever end as Death will no longer exist to terminate them.
And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 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.
(Revelation 20:11-15 KJV)
New Heavens and New Earth replace old heavens and earth, which were quantum erased.
Chapter 21 begins with the pronouncement that the first Heaven and the First earth were passed away. This passing away should not be seen as the destruction and removal of objects within time, but as an erasure of the entire space-time from all existence. The phrase “make all things new” implies that time is reset to zero rather than putting new objects into an aging space-time. Making new involves setting age to zero to things that are not currently new prior to the renewing. Both Almighty God and the eternally existing souls will retain their individual identity on both sides of the renewing, but the physical space-time will be wiped from existence and replaced with a new space-time – a new creation with everything reborn. This is how God wipes the tears from everyone’s eyes. If you are in Christ and endure to the end, every bad thing that has evber happenned to you will be wiped from all existence. In this new created space-time, these events never happenned. In this world evil does not exist and has never existed; all that people will know if God making his habitation with them and intimately fellowshipping with them
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
(Revelation 21:1-5 KJV)
Isaiah also bears witness that there is coming a new heavens and a new earth that will bring a completely new physical regime of life.
For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.
(Isaiah 65:17-25 KJV)
The unveiling of the New Jerusalem as The Lamb’s wife
Here we see the full revelation of the Church as the Lamb’s wife. she is represented as a city – The New Jerusalem. She is glorified with the glory of God.
And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
(Revelation 21:9-11 KJV)
The New Jerusalem has 12 walls and 12 foundations. The 12 walls represents the 12 tribes of Israel. The 12 foundations are said to be the foundations of the apostles. Names are put on foundation to represent who laid them. The foundation of the apostle and prophets represents the Word of God that was communicated through them. This is the foundation of the Church. These foundations are laid with the stones that are present in the preistly garment that the priests used in thr “Breastplate of Judgment” that must be worn when approaching the Lord in the Most Holy place(Ex 28:15,29,30). The Breastplate symbolizes Christ;s righteousness that protects the Church (Eph 6:10-18) and allow her access to Him. This symbolizes that by using the promises of the Word of God to attain the divine nature( 2 Peter 2:1-4), the wife of Jesus Christ has attained complete intimacy with Jesus Christ. The church in her fully mature form is in complete unity with Israel and complete unity with Jesus Christ as one flesh – man and wife.
…And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
Because the Church has total intimacy with Christ, there is no need for an institutional or physical structure to serve as an interface with God anymore than she needs a vagina to get intimate with her husband. The Lamb is the temple. He is inside her, and she feel all of His pleasure all over her body, all the time, for all eternity. The glory of God enlightens the place, and there is no need for sun or moon. This light will provide everything anyone needs. It will be free of evil as nothoing which defiles can enter her but only they which are in the Lam’s Book of Life.
…And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
(Revelation 21:23-27 KJV)
Access to the Tree of Life Restored
Unbridled access to the River of Life and the Tree of Life is now granted. The Adamic curse is been totally gone. in Genesis we read that God took this away so that humanity would not be eternally bound to their sinful condition. It had twelve manner of fruits, symbolizing that we live by the Word of God ( i.e the foundation of the apostles)(also Luke 4:4). The leaves were for healing of the nations. The throne of God is oin the midst, and we shall reign forever and ever.
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
(Revelation 22:1-5 KJV)
Admonition that Jesus Christ is Returning
Here is the final admonition that Christ is coming soon. A blessing is pronounced on those who keep the sayings of this book, and an offer is made to drink of the living water. As we have gone through thjis book, I hope that the reader becomes impressed with the idea that as we Praise God, Pray to God, and Proclaim His Word, that his power and judgments shall be unleashed. As we cling to his Promises to attain the Divine nature, we shall eventually enter into intimate communion with Christ as members of His wife.
And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
(Revelation 22:6-17 KJV)
The closing of the canon of Scripture
Here we read of curses that befall anyone who add or takes away from the worfds of this prophecy. In the immediate view this would appear to apply only to the book of Revelation. This book, however, is hyperlinked to all of the other book of the Bible. It is so much linked that any change to the canon anywhere would effect the book of Revelation. This warning, then effectively closes the canon of Scripture
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
(Revelation 22:18-21 KJV)