THE BOOK OF REVELATION
A Commentary by David J Riggs
and
John Cripps
THE THREE “C’s” OF
REVELATION – Rev 2:10
CONFLICT
COMFORT
CONQUEST
Dedication
This work is dedicated to my father in law David J Riggs, who
was a mentor, teacher and student of God’s Word. His
dedication to serving God to the fullest of his ability and the
love that he felt for the truths found in the scriptures are
readily acknowledged by everyone that knew him. Tho,
discouraged to pursue his desire to preach the plain truths of
God’s Word, it never stopped him from simply allowing the
power of God’s Word to speak to the hearts of good and honest
men. He was not an eloquent speaker, nor was he a big name
preacher but the humility that David had as he served our God
and our Father – brought glory and adoration and attention to
the written word and the power it contained to change the
hearts and minds of men. It is in David that I learned that the
Word of God can be presented in a very simple yet very deep
level that all who heard could and would understand.
David Jerome Riggs – Sept 30th 1942 / December 28th
2004
“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than
Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God
testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.” –
Hebrews 11:4
An Introduction To The
Book of Revelation
THE THREE “C’s” OF
REVELATION – Rev 2:10
CONFLICT
COMFORT
CONQUEST
NEGLECTED & ABUSED
• The book of Revelation is one of the most neglected
and yet one of the most abused books of the New
Testament today and in times past.
• This view point is expressed in various forms by many
biblical scholars.
– "It is regarded as the most difficult book of
the New Testament by most Christians. It
is the most 'turned back' book. Classes
make their way through the New
Testament, but when they get to
Revelation they 'turn back' to Matthew." --(Introducing the Book at the End of the
Bible, by Ferrell Jenkins. p. 1)
– "Neglected, misunderstood, and grossly
perverted, the Book of Revelation stands
quite alone in the New Testament." --(Revelation - "Victory in Christ", by Robert
Harkrider. p. 1)
•
•
•
The Purpose and Theme of the Book of
Revelation
Peter warns us that Satan is constantly seeking for those whom
he may devour:
– "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil
walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may
devour." 1Peter 5:8
Paul warns us that we are to be constantly aware of the evil
devices that Satan will use to entrap and snare the children of
God:
– "(13) For such {are} false apostles, deceitful workers,
transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. (14) And no
wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel
of light. (15) Therefore {it is} no great thing if his ministers
also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness,
whose end will be according to their works." 2Corinthians
11:13-15
Since the evidence is overwhelmingly clear, that Satan is in
constant conflict with the children of God, the message that is
contained in the Book of Revelation is applicable.
– Though the times have changed and the methods of Satan
have taken on a new appearance the basic underlying aim is
still the same.
– Satan wants all that is good to bow the knee unto him.
– To leave the Creator God and worship at His feet.
The Purpose and Theme of the Book of
Revelation
•
As one looks at the plight of the First Century Christians one
cannot help but wonder what their state would have been, had
such a book as Revelation not been written.
– In the minds of these Christians the overall result they
foresaw must have been that they stood to be defeated
and totally eliminated from the face of the earth by
Rome who, at this point in time, was well armed and
was recognized to be the mightiest army in the world.
•
Against this army stood a small band of Christians who believed
in a Risen Savior whose only weapon of war was the Word of
God, the sword of the Spirit, cf. Eph. 6:17.
– How hopeless their plight must have looked to them
and to others whom they were trying to persuade to
believe.
•
By the year A.D. 95 a Roman Law was proclaimed that it was a
crime to be a Christian and that such was punishable by death.
– Emperor Worship was at its pinnacle and allegiance to
the Caesar was demanded of all Roman subjects.
•
It is under these circumstances that this struggle between the
church of Jesus Christ and the evil forces of Satan is depicted in
the Book of Revelation.
The Purpose and Theme of the Book of
Revelation
• "The one proclaimed its allegiance to the Divine Christ,
and the other proclaimed its allegiance to Caesar, who
himself laid claim to divine rights. Christ versus Caesar!
Who would finally win in the fight that lay ahead?" --(The Seven Churches of Asia by James M. Tolle. Tolle
Publications, Box 13. Fullerton, California. 1968. p. 5)
• These two forces were diametrically opposed to one
another.
– Two great kingdoms went out into the world to
capture the hearts of men, women, and children.
– One empire subjected its subjects by physical force
while the Kingdom of Christ subjected its followers
with the spiritual message of God.
– The vast difference can be seen in the method of
subjection:
• Roman Empire -- Physical domination with
involuntary servitude, threats of death, and
destruction if one did not comply.
• Kingdom of God -- Spiritual domination with a
voluntary servitude, with spiritual blessings to all
those who would come.
THE COMFORT OF GOD
• "(1) I will love You, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my
deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I
will trust; My shield and the horn of my
salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the
Lord, {who is worthy} to be praised; So
shall I be saved from my enemies. The
pangs of death encompassed me, And the
floods of ungodliness made me afraid. The
sorrows of Sheol surrounded me; The snares
of death confronted me. In my distress I
called upon the Lord, And cried out to my
God; He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry came before Him, {even} to His
ears." Psalm 18:1-6
Our Application Today !!!
• The message and purpose of the book for Christians
living today is basically the same.
– Though our enemy is not the Roman Empire and
paganism, and though we are not subjected to bow
the knee to any man by force, the enemy remains the
same.
– Any object that demands that we must have absolute
allegiance to it and thus deny the Deity of Christ and
His absolute authority is in fact the same conditions
under which the book of Revelation was written.
• Though we may not have the savage persecution of the
Roman Empire, the child of God still faces persecution
in the form of:
– (1) reproach and slander
– (2) cold looks
– (3) nicknames
– (4) social ostracism ect.
• Thus the comfort given in the words of Revelation is
applicable today as it was back at the time of its
writing.
Our Application Today !!!
• "Do not fear any of those things which you are
about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw
{some} of you into prison, that you may be tested,
and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful
until death, and I will give you the crown of life."
Revelation 2:10
• "These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb
will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and
King of kings; and those {who are} with Him {are}
called, chosen, and faithful." Revelation 17:14
– The comfort of knowing that through out the
trials and tribulations of God's children, the
hardships that are endured, and the constant
attacks of Satan and His Evil forces against that
which is good, is but a small frame in the overall
picture.
• The whole picture depicts Christ and His forces
victorious over the forces of Evil and that which is
contrary to God and His will.
THE NAME - "REVELATION"
•
•
•
The child of God needs to note that the name of the book is
"Revelation" and not "Revelations".
– Although the book is made up of many revelations the
book’s name is in the singular.
– Note this is also true of the Old Testament Book Psalm.
The name Revelation comes from the Greek word apokalupsis
{ap-ok-al'-oop-sis} which Strong's defines as "disclosure: appearing, coming, lighten, manifestation, be revealed,
revelation.“
– Thayer defines this as - "an uncovering; 1. prop. a laying
bare, making naked"
• (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament
by Joseph H. Thayer. Baker book House Grand Rapids,
Michigan. 15th printing 1987 p. 62)
– Vine says of this Greek Word - "an uncovering (akin to
apokalupto)", which defined "signifies to uncover, unveil".
• (Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament
Words by W.E. Vine edited by F.F. Bruce. Fleming H.
Revell Company Old Tappan, New Jersey. 1981 p. 292)
The name Revelation {apokalupsis} classifies the type of
literature the writer has used in his effort to uncover the
message of God that was revealed unto him.
THE NAME - "REVELATION"
• "Apocalyptic literature was always relevant to the
historical situation of the day.
– Daniel and Ezekiel were written during the
Babylonian exile to comfort the chosen people in
their faithfulness and to prepare them for trails,
even down to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes and
to the Roman Empire.
– Revelation was written at a time when God's saints
were being tried in the crucible called Rome."
• (Studies in the Book of Revelation by Ferrell
Jenkins. p. 1)
• In the Old Testament there are three inspired
Apocalyptic writings ie. Ezekiel, Daniel, and Zechariah.
– Revelation is the only New Testament book that
takes on this style of literature.
– It is with little doubt that the Christians of the first
century were well acquainted with this style of
literature and therefore the message possibly did
not present to them a problem as it does to many of
us today.
Authorship of the Book of Revelation:
• Since the author of the book of Revelation does not
disclose who he is, apart from the four times he makes
reference to himself as John cf. 1:1 ; 1:4 ; 1:9 ; 22:8, it is
up to the student to speculate as to which John this
might have reference to.
– It is also safe to assert that the writer of
Revelation was a Palestinian Jew, from his
usage of the Old Testament and Targums,
who also was steeped in the rituals of the
temple and in the synagogues.
• The fact that the very title of the book includes in it the
name, John cannot be overlooked.
– This title "occurs in several MSS, including
the Codex Sinaiticus" – (Hastings Dictionary
of the Bible. Edited by James Hastings, D.D.
Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody,
Massachusetts. January 1989. p. 797).
Authorship of the Book of Revelation:
•
•
•
•
"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show
His servants - things which must shortly take place. And He
sent and signified {it} by His angel to His servant John,"
Revelation 1:1
"John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you
and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come,
and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,"
Revelation 1:4
"I, John, both your brother and companion in tribulation, and
in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island
that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony
of Jesus Christ." Revelation 1:9
"Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard
and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel
who showed me these things." Revelation 22:8
– From these passages and other passages it is safe to assert
that the writer of Revelation was:
• A servant of Christ - 1:1
• That he is a Christian, since he refers to himself as a
brother and companion in this tribulation - 1:9
• That he was a prophet - since he identifies himself as
such in 1:3 ; 10:11 ; 22:6-10, 18, 19 ; 22: 9 ,19.
• That he was exiled because of his testimony of Christ 1:9
Authorship of the Book of Revelation:
• External evidence is that evidence which is gathered
from secular writers who many times wrote according
to the voice of tradition. As one examines this
segment of history one needs to be reminded that the
further away from the first century one gets the less
reliable the voice of tradition might be.
– Justin Martyr (A.D. 110-165) in his Dialogue with
Trypho the Jew (LXXXI) says. "There was a certain
man with us, whose name was John, one of the
apostles of Christ,who prophesied by revelation,"
and then refers to the thousand years, the
resurrection and the Judgment of Revelation 20. --(The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol 1. p. 240 as quoted
by Homer Hailey in his book Revelation an
Introduction and Commentary pp. 21-22)
– Irenaeus (A.D. 120-202), who had heard Polycarp,
a disciple of John the apostle, wrote in his Against
Heresies (IV. xx. 11), "John, also the Lord's Disciple
..... says in the Apocalypse," and then quotes
profusely from that Book. Having thus identified
him as the "Lord's Disciple”.
Authorship of the Book of Revelation:
– Irenaeus says later: "In a still clearer light
has John, in the Apocalypse, reveled certain
things," which the writer proceeds to discuss
(V.xxi 1). --- Ibid., p. 491-492) Ibid., p.554)
– Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 153-217) in his
treatise, Who is the Rich man that Shall be
Saved? (XLII), writes of "the apostle John"
who "returned to Ephesus from the Isle of
Patmos" after "the tyrant's death." The
tyrant is unnamed. ---- Ibid.,Vol II, p. 603).
– Tertullian (A.D. 145-220), sometimes called
"the Father of Latin Christianity," a
voluminous writer, wrote five books Against
Marcion. In book III. xxv, Tertullian writes
of the Jerusalem let down from heaven. He
quotes Paul, who called it "our mother"
(Galatians 4:26), and he says, "the apostle
John beheld" it, referring to Revelation 21:2.
--- Ibid., Vol III, p. 342).
Authorship of the Book of Revelation:
•
GRAMMATICAL EVIDENCE:
Word
Gospel of
John
Epistles of
John
Revelation
LOGOS
"word"
John 1:1
John 1:14
I John 1:1
"Word of Life"
Revelation
19:13
"Word of God"
NIKAO *
"Overcome"
John 16:33
7 Times
17 Times
ALETHINOS *
"true"
8 Times
4 Times
10 Times
ARNION
"lamb"
John 21:15
28 Times of
Jesus
1 Time of the
Earth Beast
T H E BO O K O F R E V E LA T IO N C O M PA R E D W I T H T H E G O SP E L O F
G o s p e l o f Jo h n P re s e n t s a
C o n flic t b e t w e e n Je s u s &
Satan
In t h e B o o k o f R e v e lation
t h e c o n flic t i s b e tw e e n t h e
C h u rch o f J e su s a n d S atan
1 . I n t ro d u c t io n o f J e s u s
1 . T h e I n t ro d u ct io n t o t h e c h u rc h es ( c h s. 1 -3 ) .
2 . C o n f lic t - T h e c on f lic t is i n t en s ifie d .
2 . T h e Th ro n e o f G o d . C o n flic t is
e vid e n t. Th e C on f lic t in t e n s ifie d .
3 . C lim ax - i n t h e d ea t h o f C h ris t .
3 . C lim a x is re ac h ed . T h e c h u rc h is
p ro s t rat e .
4 . A p p a ren t d e fe at .
a lo s t ca u se .
4 . A p p a ren t d e fea t .
d y in g .
J e s u s re p re se n t s
5 . T ri u m p h ! T h e re su r rec t io n a n d
a sc en s io n . S a t an is
d e fe at ed .
C h ris t ian s a re
5 . T h e ch u rc h Tr iu m p h an t ! A t H o m e
w it h G o d . E n e m ie s d e feat e d .
I n S a t an 's a t t em pt to de fe at J e s u s, h e u se d
t h e se m e t h o d s:
I n S at a n 's at t em p t t o d e fea t t h e
C h u rc h , H e u s es :
1 . T h e W o rl d - ( l u st o f t h e fle sh , o f t h e
e yes , p rid e o f l ife ) .
1 . S e a B e as t - ( C ivil P o w e r)
2 . R e lig io u s p o w e rs - ( P h a rise es ,
C h ie f P r ies t s, C iap h a s, S a n h ed r in )
. 2 . L an d Be as t - F als e P ro p h e t ( Re l ig io u s P o w e r)
3 . C ivil P o w e rs - ( P ila t e, R o m an
G o v ern m e n t)
3 . T h e Ha rlo t - ( t h e W o rld )
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
• IMPORTANT SYMBOLICAL NUMBERS IN REVELATION
• ONE :
– Symbolizes unity or independent existence (not
actually used in Revelation, but stands behind
several others.)
• TWO :
– Symbolizes strengthening, confirmation, redoubled
courage and energy.
– Two witnesses confirm the truth of God --- Rev.
11:3-12.
– Two wild beasts supporting each other oppose the
truth --- Rev. 13:1ff.
– Note Eccl. 4:9-12 for the strength and power of
two.
– God has a twofold instrument of warfare:
• The conquering Christ and the sickle of
Judgment.
• These defeat the beasts.
• Symbolism teaches triumph of good over evil.
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
• THREE:
Man found in his primitive home the divines
things life could offer --- father love, mother love, filial
love. He found God in the interplay of love and kindness in
his home. Thus, "3" became the symbol of the Divine. For
us today it is easier to see since there are three in the God
Hood - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
– GOD --- Revelation 1:4 -- ".... Him who is and who was
and who is to come,...“
– JESUS CHRIST --- Revelation 1:5 -- "and from Jesus
Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead,
and the ruler over the kings of the earth.“
– BELIEVERS --- Revelation 1:5c-6 -- " To Him who loved
us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, (6)
and has made us kings and priests...“
– THREEFOLD DIVISION OF BOOK --- Revelation 1:19 -"Write the things which you have seen, and the things
which are, and the things which will take place after
this.“
– THREE EVENTS --- Revelation 4:1 "... and behold, a door
{standing} open in heaven. And the first voice which I
heard {was} like a trumpet speaking with me, saying,
"Come up here, and I will show you things which must
take place after this."
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
– OCCUPANT ON THE THRONE --- Revelation 4:3 -"And He who sat there was like a jasper and a
sardius stone in appearance; and {there was} a
rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an
emerald.“
– TWENTY FOUR ELDERS --- Revelation 4:4 -"Around the throne {were} twenty four thrones,
and on the thrones I saw twenty four elders
sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had
crowns of gold on their heads.“
– OUT OF THE THRONE PROCEEDED --- Revelation
4:5 -- "And from the throne proceeded lightnings,
thunderings, and voices....“
– FOUR LIVING CREATURES CHANT --- Revelation
4:6b,8,9 -- ".... and around the throne, {were}
four living creatures full of eyes in front and in
back. (8) ...saying: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God
Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!" (9)
Whenever the living creatures give glory and
honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne,
who lives forever and ever,“
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
– GOLD CROWNED ELDERS ASCRIBE HIM --Revelation 4:11 -- "You are worthy, O Lord, to
receive glory and honor and power; for You created
all things, and by Your will they exist and were
created."
– THREE WOE TRUMPETS --- Revelation 8:13 -- "And I
looked, and I heard an angel flying through the
midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, "Woe,
woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of
the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three
angels who are about to sound!"
– THREE FROG LIKE SPIRITS issue from the mouth of
: --- Revelation 16:13 -- "And I saw three unclean
spirits like frogs {coming} out of the mouth of the
dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of
the mouth of the false prophet."
– THREE PLAGUES UPON BABYLON --- Revelation
18:8 ".... death, mourning and famine...." Three
classes of men wail over Babylon's fall : KINGS (vrs
9), MERCHANTS (vrs. 11), SEAMEN (vrs. 17) --- See
Ezek. 27.
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
• FOUR : Cosmic number! The world in which men
lived, worked, died! Supposed to be the number of
creation. Usual reference made to the "four corners
of the earth.“
– FOUR LIVING CREATURES with four faces --Revelation 4:6-8 --- “four living creatures full of
eyes in front and in back. The first living creature
{was} like a lion, the second living creature like a
calf, the third living creature had a face like a man,
and the fourth living creature {was} like a flying
eagle. And {the} four living creatures, each having
six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And
they do not rest day or night, saying: "Holy, holy,
holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to
come!"
– FOUR CORNERS OF THE EARTH --- Revelation 7:1 -"After these things I saw four angels standing at
the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds
of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the
earth, on the sea, or on any tree."
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
• FOUR ANGELS at river EUPHRATES. They
watch --- Revelation 9:14-15 -- "saying to
the sixth angel who had the trumpet,
"Release the four angels who are bound at
the great river Euphrates. So the four
angels, who had been prepared for the hour
and day and month and year, were released
to kill a third of mankind."
• TRODDEN WINEPRESS --- Revelation 14:20
-- "And the winepress was trampled outside
the city, and blood came out of the
winepress, up to the horses' bridles, for one
thousand six hundred furlongs."
– a) This is the square of 4 X 100.
•
•
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
FOUR SEALS --- Revelation 6:1-8 -- "Now I saw when the Lamb
opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living
creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see." And I
looked, and behold, a white horse. And he who sat on it had a
bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering
and to conquer. When He opened the second seal, I heard the
second living creature saying, "Come and see." And another
horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat
on it to take peace from the earth, and that {people} should kill
one another; and there was given to him a great sword. When He
opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come
and see." And I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat
on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the
midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a
denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not
harm the oil and the wine." When He opened the fourth seal, I
heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come and
see. And I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him
who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power
was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword,
with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth."
– a) Four horses go forth at the call of four living creatures.
EIGHT descriptive EPITHETS touching the wicked : --- Revelation
21:8 --"But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers,
sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their
part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the
second death."
– a) 4 X 2 or 2 X 4
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
• FIVE : Number on hands and feet (five fingers and toes).
Frequently cut-off or maimed and crippled through
disease, accident or warfare!
– "A perfect, full-rounded man was one who had all his
members intact" (Ibid. p.23)
– "Five doubled to ten --- human completeness". (ie
Parents look at baby's hands and feet!)
– "Whole duty of man" --- Ten Commandments!
– "Complete authority or power in government" --beasts with ten horns.
• Dragon , chp 12 ; First beast, chp 13 ; Scarlet beast
chp 17 --- all have ten horns.
• TEN : Used in Combinations with other single numbers.
– 70 --- sacred number --- Numbers 3 added to 4 = 7
multiplied by 10
– Symbolizes God with His Creation is Completeness.
– 1000 --- this symbolizes ultimate completeness, nth
degree.
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
• SIX :
failed!
A sinister meaning!
Six fell short of seven and
– "The charge that met defeat, with success just
in its grasp" --- represented by six (Summers
p. 24) This represents doom! Just as 13 does
to many today.
• SEVEN : Combination of perfect world number and perfect
Divine number, therefore it was the most sacred number to
the Hebrews!
– "The number of completeness, of perfection,
and of dispensational fullness.“ EARTH
CROWNED WITH HEAVEN:
• Seven
• Seven
• Seven
• Seven
Churches (2-3)
Candlesticks.
seals (5-8:1)
Spirits (1:4)
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
• Seven Trumpets (8:2-11:16)
• Seven Stars (1:16)
• Seven Bowls (15:5-16)
• Seven Sections to the Book.
– Seventy members of Jewish Council. Jesus
sent out seventy Disciples.
– Fourteen songs in Revelation (7 X 2) : 4:8, 11 ;
5:9,12,12 ; 11:15,17,18 ; 12:10-12; 15:3,4 ;
19:1,2,5,6-8.
• The Lamb has Seven horns and seven eyes (5:6),
"which denote the almighty power, the supreme
intelligence, and the perfect omni-potence and
omniscience which He is endowed with"
(Moorehead, p. 32).
• Seven attributes of praise to the Lamb --- (5:12) -- to God (7:12).
• Chapter 19 --- six angels and One Like the Son of
Man.
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
• TWELVE : 4 X 3. In Hebrew religious thought 12
equals symbol of organized religion in the world.
12 Tribes, 12 Apostles, 12 Gates. 144,000 equals
12,000 X 12.
– "The number of final and eternal
perfection and duration" -(Moorehead).
– Note the Celestial City, the New
Jerusalem (21:1-22:5)
• 12 foundations.
• 12 gates.
• 12 Angel sentinels and guardians.
– The city is a majestic cube, 12,000
furlongs being the measure of its form.
– The tree of life yields 12 manners of
fruits and yields them through 12
months of a cycle.
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
• THREE and ONE HALF :
– Seven cut in half! Symbol of incompleteness.
Restless, longings unfulfilled; aspirations
unrealized ; world awaiting for something.
• Men of despair and confusion waiting for
peace and light. Rev. 6:4
• Two witnesses preached 3 and one half years
--- indefinite period. Rev 11:3.
• Court of Temple trampled by ungodly 3 and
one half years. Rev. 11:2
• Saints persecuted 42 months. Rev. 11:2
• Church in wilderness 1,260 days. Rev. 12:6
& 14.
• Sea Beast exercises his authority 42 months.
Rev. 13:5.
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
• TEN :
"the number of secular organization and
of power" --- (Moorehead, p. 32). See notes
under number five.
– "Ten joined with seven signifies the perfection
of satanic force and worldly dominion. The
Beast with seven heads and ten horns is the
embodiment of devilish energy, and of
apostate, imperial supremacy." (Ibid., p. 32) -- {Notes taken from Revelation Class Taught by
Melvin Curry at Florida College 1987)
• In understanding the imagery of John's
Revelation one must also be aware that these are
drawn from all of the realms known to man, ie.
the heavenly, the spiritual and the material
universe.
– Having looked at the symbols let us now
consider the various realms that John draws
from.
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
• DEITY
– God The Father the occupant on the throne:
• Sparkling white diamond - (jasper)
• And as a precious ruby - (sardius) --- 4:3.
– Jesus the Son of God:
• Is a lamb --- 5:6.
• The lion of the tribe of Judah --- 5:5.
• The Root of David --- 5:5.
• The bright and morning star --- 22:16.
– The Holy Spirit:
• Seven Spirits.
• Seven Lamps of Fire.
• Seven Eyes which are the Seven Spirits of
God --- 1:4; 5:6.
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
• SPIRIT REALM
– The revelations embraces heaven, hades, and
the lake of fire (hell).
• Includes a great Red Dragon.
• A Serpent (Satan).
• Angels.
• Demons.
• Unclean Spirits.
• And Souls.
– There are beasts that come from a variety of
places:
• One out of the Sea.
• One out of the Earth.
– The revelation also embraces:
• Death.
• And the Resurrection
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
• THE NATURAL WORLD
– In this aspect the symbols and imagery are
drawn from every realm of the natural world.
• Geology to Astronomy.
– Reference made to:
• The Sun.
• The Sun-Rising.
• The Moon.
• The stars.
• Day and Night.
• The Air.
• The earth, earthquakes.
• Sea and great waters, Rivers and fountains.
• Clouds, lightening, thunder.
• Great winds, hail and rainbows.
• Fire, smoke and brimstone.
• Of wilderness and an abyss.
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
• EARTHLY KINGDOMS
– Once again the imagery is drawn from every social
aspects of human life.
• Kings ,Princes and Captains.
• Bondmen and Freemen.
• Rich and Poor.
• The Great and the Servants.
– Our interests and understanding are challenged by:
• References to , Nations
• Thrones.
• Diadems and Victory Crowns.
• Keys.
• A Rod (or Scepter) of iron.
• Great Swords , two edge swords , Slaughtering
swords.
• A Bow.
• A Prison.
• And the wine press of judgment.
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
• CULTURE and SOCIETY
– There is the ever on going conflict of war present.
• Armies clash either to suffer defeat and
destruction or winning in victory.
– Chariots and armor.
– Wars and clashing forces.
– Plagues and fears.
– Suffering and Mourning.
– Also drawn into the scenes are marriage:
• The Bride and the Groom.
• The marriage and the marriage supper.
• Lamps, voices.
• A thief.
• A woman in childbirth.
– Added to these are also:
• Measuring Reeds.
• Doors of Admission.
– Doors through which we see and behold.
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
• RELIGION
– Most of these images are drawn from the Old Testament
Religious system.
• Prophets and Priests.
• Altars of sacrifice and the Golden altar.
• Lampstands.
• Sacrifice , blood and incense.
• Synagogue , sanctuary, temple pillar.
• The ark of the Covenant and trumpets.
– There are also symbols of the heathen nations which
depict the opposite of what is pleasing before God.
• Seeks to seduce the faithful.
– Idols and images.
– Sacrifices to the idols and images.
– False Prophets.
– Sorcery.
• False Teachers:
– Balaam.
– Jezebel.
– Nicolaitans.
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
• LOCALITIES
– These places which are flashed across the
screen to convey ideas:
• Egypt
• Babylon the Great.
• The Euphrates.
• Sodom.
• Mount Zion.
• Harmageddon (Mount Magedo).
– Specific Localities:
• The Great City.
• The Holy City.
• The New Jerusalem for the New Heaven and
earth.
– Some of these would survive and endure the
tests placed upon them, others would be
destroyed.
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
• PERSONS
– These are a array of people from every walk of life, each
depicting an idea or telling a story or revealing a truth.
• A radiant woman.
– Arrayed in the sources of light.
– Sun.
– The moon.
– And the Stars.
– A man child born to her.
• Virgins.
• A Wife.
• A Queen.
• A Great Harlot and her daughters.
• Those who have committed fornication with the
Harlot.
– Also listed in images are:
• Children.
• Servants.
• Balaam.
• Jezebel.
• Gog and Magog --- cf. Ezek. 38:2 -- "Gog of Magog".
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
• DRESS
– As is the case today, much can be determined by the
manner of attire a person has on.
• Kingly and Priestly garments ; White Robes.
• Fine Linen ; Sackcloth.
– Colors used to describe the garments worn:
• Purple ; Scarlet.
• PHYSICAL ANATOMY
– Much of the anatomy of man comes into play of the great
unveiling of Christ and Spiritual truth.
• The Head:
– Hair, forehead, eyes (and tears), ears.
• The Mouth:
– Tongue and teeth.
• The Heart:
– Blood, Reins (kidney or loins).
• The Belly.
• The hands and the feet.
– These may be insignificant to the vision but play a
supplementary role in the vision.
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
• VEGETATION and AGRICULTURE
– In this realm the writer introduces both the
necessities as well as the luxuries.
• Grains:
– Wheat, barley.
• Fruit:
– grapes, figs.
• Products:
– Wine, oil from olive trees, honey, spices.
– Natural elements:
• Trees , wood, palms, grass and wormwood.
– Equipment of Agriculture.
• Sickle, winepress and vintage.
• Harvest and Reaping.
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
• MINERAL KINGDOM
– Man has always had a fascination with the
gleaming beauty of various precious stone and
minerals. These precious stones find a place
in the visions of Revelation.
• Gold.
• Silver.
• Brass.
• Sea of Glass.
– Precious stones:
• White stone.
• Jasper.
• Sardius.
• Emerald.
• Pearls and others.
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
• ANIMAL KINGDOM
– In this section John uses and depicts both the greatest
and the lowest forms of animals.
• Those animals which are friendly to
mankind.
–Calf (or OX) ; Lamb
–Horses of Various Colors ; Frogs.
• Those that are unfriendly:
–Lion ; Bear.
–Leopard ; Flying Eagles.
–Vultures ; Wild Beast bristling with
Horns.
–Locusts ; Scorpions and their stings.
–Serpents ; Sea Beast and "every
created thing".
– All of these pass before in visions in some meaningful
and instructive way.
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
• TRADE and COMMERCE
– Ships:
• Shipmasters, sailors, mariners.
– Merchants:
• Tradesmen ; Craftsmen ; Millstones
– Trade:
• Coins ; Goods.
• Balances used in trade.
• LITERATURE
– John is told to write in a book:
• He writes of a book that is written within and on
the book.
• He writes of a little book.
• He writes of the Book of Life.
– John also writes of:
• Seals ; Alphabet --- (Alpha and Omega).
• And in Numbers --- Which we have already
considered.
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
• MUSIC and MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
– Music:
• Both Vocal and instrumental.
• Plays a part in the:
–Emotional ; Spiritual ; and
Physical life of the human
family.
• Trumpet blasts ; Harps ; Flutes
• And Choirs.
– Instruments:
• Minstrels ; Harps ; Flutes ; Trumpets.
SYMBOLS & NUMERALS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
• TIME and ETERNITY
– Various periods are designated:
• half an hour ; One Hour.
• 1/3 part of a day.
• Three days and a half.
• Ten Days.
• Twelve Hundred and sixty days.
• Forty-two months.
• A Thousand Years.
• A day and a Night.
– Then beyond time:
• Forever and Ever.
– {Notes Taken from Homer Hailey's Revelation an Introduction and
Commentary p. 37-41} and Melvin Curry’s
Bible Class Study at FC
THE PLACE OF WRITING
• The place of the writing takes on two distinct
questions.
– Did John Receive the Revelation one place and
write in another?
– Did John write the Revelation in the same place
that he received the Revelation.
• I believe that the answer to the first question is
an absolute No!
– The text tells us that John wrote the things as
he was seeing them cf. 1:11 ; 1:19.
– At certain times he was instructed not to write:
10:4.
– Three times after this he was instructed to
write: 14:13 ; 19:9 ; 21:5.
– The scriptures clearly show that John wrote
while still on the Island of Patmos.
THE PLACE OF WRITING
• According to some the island of Patmos is a "rocky and
uninviting island located about seventy miles southwest of
Ephesus, about forty miles from Miletus, and twenty four
miles from the shore of Asia Minor.“
• One must not confuse the Asia known today as the Asia
Minor of the Bible.
– The province of Asia was a Roman colony in the
region that is now known as Turkey.
– The Island Patmos is about ten miles long and
at its widest point about six miles across.
There is an area where the sea almost pinches
off the Island forming a natural harbor.
Tradition says that exiles were sent here to
work in the mines.
– Eusebius, relying on tradition says John, was
exiled here during the reign of Domitian.
The Writing on the Isle of Patmos
THE DATE
• Most probably it was written during the
years A. D. 91-96 during the reign of
Domitian.
• The background of the development of the
Roman attitude offers strong supporting
evidence for the later date.
• Philip Schaff, who accepts and defends the
earlier date (A.D. 64-68), has said of
John's exile to Patmos and the disputed
date,
– "External evidence points to the reign of
Domitian, A. D. 95; internal evidence to
the reign of Nero, or soon after his
death, A.D. 68."Schaff, History of the
Christian Church, Vol. I. page 427.
Outline of Revelation
•
Part One --- Conflict and Judgment Within and Without the
Church - Chapters 1-11
•
Chapter 1. Christ among the lampstands
•
Chapter 2. Letters to the Churches
•
Chapter 3. Letters to the Churches, Continued
•
Chapter 4. The Throne Scene
•
Chapter 5. The Lamb and the Book
–
–
–
–
Ephesus, vv. 1-7
Smyrna, vv. 8-11
Pergamum, vv. 12-17
Thyatira, vv. 18-29
– Sardis, vv. 1-6
– Philadelphia, vv. 7-13
– Laodicea, vv. 14-22
– The Throne of God the Almighty
Outline of Revelation
• Chapter 6. The Opening of the First Six
Seals
– The
– The
– The
– The
– The
– The
First Seal, vv. 1-2
Second Seal, vv. 3-4
Third Seal, vv. 5-6
Fourth Seal, vv. 7-8
Fifth Seal, vv. 9-11
Sixth Seal, vv. 12-17
• Chapter 7. An Interlude
– Sealing the 144,000, vv. 1-8
– The Victorious Multitude, vv. 9-17
Outline of Revelation
• Chapter 8. The Seventh Seal and the First Four Trumpets
– The Seventh Seal: Prayer and Response, vv. 1-5
– The First Four Trumpets, vv. 6-12
– The Eagle: Herald of Woes, v. 13
• Chapter 9. The Beginning of the Woes
– The First Woe, vv. 1-12
– The Second Woe, vv. 13-21
• Chapter 10. The Angel and the Little Book
• Chapter 11. The Vision Continues
– The Measured Temple and the Two Witnesses, vv. 113
– The Third Woe--The Seventh Trumpet, vv. 14-19
Outline of Revelation
• Part Two : War and Victory! Chapters 12-22
• Chapter 12. The Woman and the Dragon
– The Woman, the Dragon, the Man Child, vv. 1-6
– The Great Spiritual War, vv. 7-12
– Persecution of the Woman, vv. 13-17
• Chapter 13. The Two Wild Beasts
– The Beast Out of the Sea, vv. 1-10
– The Beast Out of the Earth, vv. 11-18
• Chapter 14. Righteous Judgment
– The Lamb and the 144,000 on Mount Zion, vv.
1-5
– Angels' Messages and a Voice of Warning from
Heaven, vv. 6-13
– Twofold Vision of Harvest and Vintage of the
earth, vv. 14-20
Outline of Revelation
• Chapter 15. The Seven Bowls of Wrath
– The Seven Angels Introduced, vv. 1-8
• Chapter 16. The Bowls of Wrath Poured
Out
– Bowls Involving Nature, vv. 1-9
– Bowls Involving the Moral and Political,
vv. 10-21
• Chapter 17. The Infamy and Fall of
Babylon
– The Babylon Harlot Identified, vv. 1-6
– Explanation of the Mystery of the
Woman and the Beast, vv. 7-14
– Further Identification of the Harlot, vv.
15-18
Outline of Revelation
• Chapter 18. The Fall of the Harlot
– Heaven's Decree: "Fallen is Babylon," vv. 1-8
– Lament of the Earthlings over Babylon, vv.
9-19
– The Voice of Rejoicing, vv. 20
– The Silence of the Tomb, vv. 21-24
• Chapter 19. Victory
– Hallelujahs of Victory, vv. 1-10
– The Warrior-King: Defeat of the Two Beasts,
vv. 11-21
• The Warrior-King Revealed, vv. 11-16
• The Angel's call to "The Great Supper of
God," vv. 17-18
• The Decisive Battle and Defeat of Evil, vv.
19-21
Outline of Revelation
• Chapter 20. The Thousand Years and the Final
Judgment
– The Thousand Years, vv. 1-10
– The Final Judgment, vv. 11-15
• Chapter 21. The Eternal Glory
– "All Things New, " vv. 1-8
– The New Jerusalem, vv. 9-27
• Exterior of the City, vv. 11-21
• Interior of the City, vv. 22-27
• Chapter 22. The New Jerusalem, continued
– Its Life, vv. 1-5
• Conclusion: The Divine Witness, vv. 6-21
INTERPRETATION OF THE BOOK
• General Methods of Interpretations
• Futurist-- This view is held by
millennial and dispensational groups
who consider that it is unfulfilled
prophecies about future history.
– They place chapters 4-19 as just before
the coming of Christ, then the
millennial reign,
– 20:1-10; judgment,
– 20:11-15; then the final state. Most
futurists are literalists in their
interpretation.
INTERPRETATION OF THE BOOK
• Continuous--Historical-- This view
presents the book as a forecast, in
symbols, of the history of the church.
This system makes the book prophesy
in detail the apostasy of the Roman
Catholic Church, then the Reformation.
• The Philosophy of History-- This
interpretation considers the events as
not necessarily occurring but as
symbolic of forces at work. It is a book
setting forth the principles on the basis
of which God deals with all men in all
ages.
INTERPRETATION OF THE BOOK
• The Preterist (Completed or Past)- This view
maintains that the book was written for the
people of John's day, fulfilled then, and now
has little or no value to us. There are two
groups who hold this view; the "right wing"
who consider Revelation as inspired and the
"left wing" who do not respect it as inspired.
• The Historical-Background -- This method of
interpretation seeks to find the meaning that
the book had in the day of its origin. As it
was written to the people of that day, it is
fulfilled in the events of the first two
centuries (some extend it longer) but in this
back-ground is seen a message for all time.
INTERPRETATION OF THE BOOK
• The reason The Historical--Background Method Seems
best.
– It met the needs of the people of that day.
– The Futurist idea is inconsistent with the time
element stated in the book; "the time is at
hand“ (Rev. 1:3; 22:10); “must shortly come
to pass” (1:1; 22:6); “I come quickly” (Rev.
22:7, 12, 20)
– The Futurist and Continuous-Historical ideas
leave Revelation altogether out of relation to
the needs of the churches to which it was
addressed. They needed spiritual
encouragement, and these events were to
come to pass shortly in order for God's
oppressed people to see His arm revealed
and His comfort given in a time of seeming
disaster.
INTERPRETATION OF THE BOOK
• It continues to meet the needs of
Christians in every age.
– We should appeal to Revelation in the
same manner as we would to the book
of 1
Corinthians. Its primary lesson
was to correct errors in the day that it
was penned, but its truths are valuable
for all ages.
– The book met a need at the time of its
writing as it dealt with a historical
situation, but its message is applicable
to all time. Its message is that of the
triumph of the Kingdom of God and of
Truth. Satan is destined to complete
destruction, and so falls his cause with
him.
RULES FOR THE INTERPRETATION OF
THE BOOK
• Rules For Study and Interpretation
– Remember that Revelation was
written by John primarily for the
encouragement and edification of
the Christians of his own time.
– Remember that Revelation is
written largely in symbolic
language, thus it cannot be taken
literally. One can ill afford to be
dogmatic in interpreting the
symbols which are not easily
understood.
RULES FOR THE INTERPRETATION OF
THE BOOK
– Remember that Revelation uses O.T.
terminology with N.T. meaning. John has
used much of the terminology of Ezekiel
Daniel, and Zechariah but has adapted them
to suit his own message. An understanding of
the O.T. prophets, and their use of symbols
would be helpful, for over 400 allusions are
to Old Testament.
– For the true meaning of Revelation, one must
seek to grasp the visions or series of visions
as a whole without pressing the details of the
symbolism.
– Understand difficult passages in the light of
clearer passages. Make all interpretations
consistent with the teaching of the whole
Bible.
RULES FOR THE INTERPRETATION OF
THE BOOK
• Hendriksen comments: "On my desk lies a
recently published commentary on the
Apocalypse. It is a very "interesting" book. It
views the Apocalypse as a kind of history
written beforehand. It discovers in this last
book of the Bible copious and detailed
references to Napoleon, wars in the Balkans,
the great European War of 1914-1918, the
German ex-emperor Wilhelm, Hitler and
Mussolini, the N.R.A., etc. -- Our verdict? Such
and kindred explanations must at once be
dismissed....Tell me, dear reader, what good
would the suffering and severely persecuted
Christians of John's day have derived from
specific and detailed predictions concerning
European conditions which prevail some two
thousand years later?" Hendriksen,
Interpretation of the Revelation, p. 14.
Caesar Worship
• "By the time of the Revelation Caesar worship
was the one religion which covered the whole
Roman Empire; and it was because of their
refusal to conform to its demands that Christians
were persecuted and killed. Its essence was that
the reigning Roman Emperor, as embodying the
spirit of Rome, was divine. Once a year everyone
in the Empire had to appear before the
magistrates to burn a pinch of incense to the godhead of Caesar and to say: "Caesar is Lord." After
he had done that, a man might go away and
worship any god or goddess he liked, so long as
that worship did not infringe decency and good
order; but he must go through this ceremony in
which he acknowledged the Emperor's
divinity...To refuse to burn the pinch of incense
and to say "Caesar is Lord", was not an act of
irreligion; it was an act of political disloyalty.
Caesar Worship
• That is why the Romans dealt with the utmost
severity with the man who would not say: "Caesar
is Lord". And no Christian could give the title Lord
to any one other than Jesus Christ.This was the
center of his creed....Caesar worship began as a
spontaneous outburst of gratitude to Rome..The
provincial under Roman sway found himself in a
position to conduct his business, provide for his
family, send his letters, and make his journeys in
security, thanks to the strong hand of Rome..There
was an inevitable development. It is human to
worship a god who can be seen rather than a spirit.
Gradually men began more and more to worship the
emperor himself than the goddess Roma..This
worship was never intended to wipe out other
religions. Rome was essentially tolerant.. A man
might worship Caesar and his own god..But more
and more it became a test of political loyalty..until it
recognized the domination of Caesar over a man's
life and soul." Barclay, Revelation, Vol. 1, pages 1518
The Book of Revelation
CHAPTER ONE
THE THREE “C’s” OF
REVELATION – Rev 2:10
CONFLICT
COMFORT
CONQUEST
Outline of Chapter One:
• Christ in the Midst of the Seven Golden Lampstands.
Chapters 1-3.
– Key Theme to be Noted ---- "Lo, I am with you
always.“
• Introduction: 1:1-3. Chain of origin and
Communication.
– God The Father
– Christ The Son of God.
– His Angel.
– His Servant, John.
– The Reader - possibly the Public Reader of the Day.
– They that hear and keep the Words.
• Salutation and Adoration --- 1:4-6.
• Announcement of Christ's Coming --- 1:7.
• Christ's Self-designation or designation of the Father -- 1:8.
• John's commission to write the Revelation --- 1:9-11.
• The vision of the Son of Man --- 1:12-16.
• Effect of this vision on John and Christ's Words of
comfort and instruction --- 1:17-20.
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
• Verse 1-3 It should be noted that these three verses
are the inspired introduction to the Book.
• There are a few vital points for us to note in this
opening introduction.
– Firstly to note is the fact that the Title of the book is
contained in the first verse ie. (The Revelation of
Jesus Christ).
– One sees that the Revelation shows Christ in two
different roles:
• It reveals Christ in His present Glory,
• and Christ as executor of Judgment.
– This revelation did not originate with Christ but
rather it was given to Him by God.
– Christ gave this revelation to His Angel who in turn
gave it to the servant John.
– Angels played a part in giving the law (Acts 7:53 ;
Gal. 3:19) and Angels also have a significant role in
the book of Revelation.
– John gave it to those who would read and hear the
words and keep the things which are written
therein.
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
• Secondly to note is the time period that the
book of revelation is dealing with.
– The expressions, "shortly come to pass" (vrs
1) and "the time is at hand" (vrs 3) along
with the verses 6 and 10 of chapter 22, show
that the things of the book would not tarry or
delay.
– Also here to be noted is the fact that the
book had a definite bearing on the present
generation that John was writing to.
• This type of language also gives the book a
sense of urgency ie. imminent possibility
that the things which are recorded are
going to take place or are already taking
place.
– What needs to be recognized is the fact that
although the revelation pertained to the
present generation of Christians, its
principles and messages apply to Christians
of all time.
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
• Thirdly to note is the fact that John tells us in the
opening address that the things which are recorded
are signified (vrs 1).
– The term signified means :"the act or process of
signifying by signs or other symbolic means"
(Webster).
– From the Greek word [SEMAINO], which Vine's
defines as; "to give a sign, indicate, to signify.
– This term is used three times in the Gospel of John
concerning the death of Jesus, cf. John 12;33,
18:32, 21:19.
• Note this rule of Biblical Study:
– Normally, a passage of scripture must be
understood in its plain and natural sense unless the
context demands that it be taken figuratively.
– The reverse is true in the Book of Revelation: the
symbols are to be taken figuratively unless the
context demands otherwise.
• The symbols and figures of Revelation should be
understood in the light of the plain passages of the
New Testament and should never be made to
contradict them.
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
• Fourthly it should be noted that John was to "bare
witness".
– As many commentaries note, this language is
characteristic of the Apostle John's writings.
– Note that John's witness is divided into three
sections:
• (1) bore witness of the Word of God --which is the gospel (cf. I Peter 1:25).
• (2) The testimony of Jesus Christ --- all
those things which Jesus both did and taught
--- (cf. Acts 1:1).
– Some believe this to be John's previous
preaching and teaching of the Gospel.
– On the other hand this statement could
refer to the fact that the revelation was
part of the Gospel of Christ.
• (3) all things that he saw --- John was
always careful to point out that he gave a
true witness of the things which he wrote
(cf. John 19:35 ; 21:24 ; I John 1:1-4).
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
• Some believe that the usage of the
term "witness" is a play on words
since the Greek term "witness" has
become our English word "martyr".
– Tenney suggests that it is possible
that the term "witness" had started
taking on the form "to suffer for
“since witnessing” for Christ
involved great suffering.
– The one who "bore witness" for
Christ would suffer since the Word of
God is Light and exposes the things
which are done in the dark.
• It must also be noted that Victory
comes after the suffering for the cause
of Christ (cf. Rev. 2:10).
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
•
•
•
Fifthly it should be noted that there is a blessing involved
in hearing and heeding the things which are here written.
– The term "blessed" in (vrs 3) carries both the idea of
being "happy" and "being praised or spoken well of.“
– This is the same term that Christ uses in Matthew 5:113 and is the first of seven "blessed's" found in
Revelation.
BLESSED ARE ---:
– 1:3 --- "that readeth .... that hear ... and Keep those
things.“
– 14:13 --- "the dead which die in the Lord“
– 16:15 --- "that Watcheth and keepeth his Garments“
– 19:9 --- "that are Called unto the marriage supper of
the Lamb“
– 20:6 --- "that hath part in the First Resurrection".
– 22:7 --- "that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy“
– 22:14 --- "that do his commandments, that they may
have the right to the tree of life“
Sixth note that there are two aspects of who is blessed
here in verse 3.
– The "he" is probably the public reader of that day as
seen in the fact that John changes to the pronoun
"they" for the listeners.
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
•
Verses 4. The Salutation.
– The book is addressed to "the seven churches which are in
Asia"; these are listed in verse 11 of chapter One.
– It must be noted that Asia had more than Seven churches as
can be gathered from a study of Paul's Missionary journeys in
the book of Acts.
– The salutation takes on both Jew and Gentile terminology.
• Grace --- (unmerited Divine favor) is the Gentile salutation
and
• Peace --- (tranquility, free from disturbance) is the Jewish
salutation.
– The greetings come from
• Him which is and was and is to come --- ie. God the Father.
– This is the same terminology that Moses was told to tell
the people in Egypt when questioned on his authority to
say and do the things which he was about to do. "I AM".
Note also Rev. 4:8);
• the seven Spirits that are before the throne --- used also in
Rev. 3:1 ; 4:5 ; 5:6.
– This either signifies that there are literally seven spirits
before the throne of God or it must be understood in the
symbolic language that the number seven represents ie.
fullness and complete.
– With this in mind it possibly could be referring to the
complete and all seeing Holy Spirit.
• Jesus Christ.
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
• Verses 5-6 The Adoration and Identity of Jesus
Christ.
– John's description of Jesus Christ gives the
scope of the Ministry of Jesus Christ.
– There are seven descriptive terms used here
of Christ. These are:
• The faithful witness --- he gave witness of
Himself cf. John 8:14 ; Heb. 1:1-3 ; John
18:36-38 ; I Tim. 6:13.
• The first Begotten of the dead --- first to
be resurrected never to die again cf. Acts
26:23 ; Col. 1:18 ; I Cor. 15:20.
• Prince of the kings of the earth --- rules
over all the kingdoms of men with a rod of
iron ---- Eph. 1:20-21 ; I Tim. 6:15 ; Rev.
17:14 ; 19:15-16 ; Psa. 2:7-12 ; 110:1-7.
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
• Him that loved us --- cf. Gal. 2:20 ; John 15:9
; John 13:34.
• Washed us from our sins --- He is the Savior
who gave His blood and offered himself that
we might be redeemed that we might be
healed from our sins --- cf. I Peter 2:24 ;
Heb. 9:14 , 25-28 ; Acts 22:16.
• Made us to be kings and priests --- Christ is
the founder of the kingdom and the
priesthood. --- cf. I Peter 2:5,9 ; Rev 5:9-10 ;
Col. 1:13.
• To Him be the glory and Dominion --- unto
Him is the praise and honor, and the rule
and sovereignty --- cf. Acts 2:36 ; Rev. 17:14
"for ever and ever" --- for unending or
unlimited duration.
– Note the fact that Angels, authorities and
powers have been made subject to Him (I
Peter 3:22) and before Him every knee
shall bow (Phil. 2:9-11).
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
•
•
Verse 7 The Coming of Christ
– Some understand verse 7 to be referring to Christ's coming
in judgment upon Jerusalem --- cf. Matthew 24:30-34 ; 26:64
; Luke 21:20-32 ; 23:27-31.
– However, by the expressions, "every eye" and "all kindreds,"
it no doubt is a description of the second coming of Christ.
– He first came as a Savior; however, He is returning as a
Judge the second time.
• For other passages on the second coming see : I Thess.
4:16-17 ; I Cor. 15:51-53 ; Phil. 3:20-21 ; Acts 1:10-11.
Note the Term --- "Cometh with the clouds" vrs 7 can be
understood in two ways.
– (1) The judgment of God on Jerusalem ---cf. Dan. 7:13 ; Isa.
19:1 or
– (2) The Second coming of Christ in Judgment --- cf. Acts 1:911.
• The clouds used here as a metaphorical expression is the
means for transporting Deity.
• This expression is largely rooted in the writings of the
Psalms.
• The term clouds is also largely connected with the sense
of Judgment to come --- cf. Zech. 3:9 ; Psa. 97:2 ; Rev.
14:14-20 ; Zech. 10 and John 19:34,37 ; Ezek. 30:3 ; 32:7.
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
•
•
Verse 8
– Christ's Self-designation or Designation of the Father
– This verse probably has reference to the Father as is seen
in 1:4.
– It must however, be noted that clearly through out the
book we see this term used of Christ Jesus Himself.
• As we compare Rev. 1:17 ; 2:8 ; 22:12-13 one can clearly
see that the similar expression is used of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ.
• These expressions refer to the "eternal existence" of the
Father and of the Lord Jesus cf. Phil. 2:6.
Verses Nine - Eleven :
– The writer identifies himself as John, a brother (it is
important to note the fact that in relation to Jesus Christ
John was a slave or a servant cf. vrs 1, but to his fellow
saints he was a brother) and a companion in tribulation.
– "The word that is used here for tribulation is a word which
pictures the grinding of wheat in the mill or the crushing of
grapes in the wine press. It is outside pressure which
appears at first sight to crush and ruin, but it proves to
make the grain (as flour) and the grapes (as wine) to be of
greater service. So it was with John and his friends; the
persecution appeared to be crushing and ruining, but in
reality it was only preparing them for more effective
service." Worthy is the Lamb by Ray Summers p.103-104
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
• From verse nine we must note that John identifies
himself as being a companion to those whom he was
writing in three distinct ways:
– He was a fellow partaker/companion in the
tribulation which was upon the Christians of that day.
• This point is important to note because the writer
here proclaims the fact that he is able to
sympathize with the saints in this tribulation.
• He is not one who was free from the suffering but
rather was a victim of his religious beliefs also.
NOTE the last part of vrs. 9.
• It must also be noted that the church was
suffering persecution from three different
avenues:
– The Jews.
– The Roman Empire/Government.
– From Paganism.
• Note these scriptures for backing of such
persecutions:
– Rev. 2:13 ; 7:14 ; 20:4 ; also see John 16:33 ;
Acts 14:21-22 ; II Tim. 3:12.
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
• John was a fellow partaker/companion in the
Kingdom of Christ.
– This one statement proves beyond a shadow of a
doubt that the JW's and the Millennialists are
wrong in their assumption that the Kingdom of
God was not in effect at this particular time.
• Compare these Verses to show that the
Kingdom was established on the day of
Pentecost.
– Mark 9:1 --- Kingdom to be present with
power.
– Acts 1:8 --- Power would come when the
Holy Spirit came.
– Acts 2:1-4 - Holy Spirit Came on Day of
Pentecost.
– If Holy Spirit Came then the power came.
If power came then the Kingdom came to.
• Note by comparison these scriptures: Col.
1:13 ; Heb. 12:28.
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
• John was a fellow partaker/companion in the
Patience of the Lord Jesus Christ.
– This is the steadfastness/ patience/
perseverance that all men should
have especially under times of trails
and tribulation.
• Christ wants all men to be strong under
such tribulation.
• Certainly Christ is our example of how to
be steadfast in time of trial and tribulation
--- cf. Matt. 4:1-11.
– Cross Reference these Scriptures:
Rom. 5:3-5 ; 12:12 ; James 1:2-4.
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
• John was banished to the isle of Patmos.
– There are three major positions that are held to on
the banishment/exile of John to Patmos.
• John was on the isle of Patmos as punishment for
the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ.
– There is evidence that banishment was a means
of punishing Christians for their belief in Christ.
– Other punishments included being slain and
beheaded, property being confiscated ect. Note.
Rev. 6:9 ; 20:4.
• John was on the isle of Patmos in order to proclaim
the Gospel.
– This position is not likely since islands such as
Patmos were usually not populated or
commercialized at all.
• John was on the isle of Patmos for the specific
purpose of receiving the Revelation.
– Of the three positions point (1) seems to be the more
correct, since the entire book of Revelation indicates
that John was able to sympathize with the suffering
saints since
he himself was also suffering for the
cause of Christ.
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
• It must finally be noted that all three of these
are to be found in Christ Jesus. The American
Standard Version's wording helps one to see
this point clearer.
– Revelation 1:9 "I John, your brother and
partaker with you in tribulation and kingdom
and patience {which are} in Jesus, was in
the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of
God and the testimony of Jesus." (ASV)
• This is understandable from the fact that those
who were not in Christ Jesus would be
spared the discomfort of suffering and
tribulation/persecution that was being placed
upon those who were in Christ.
– These would not be in the Kingdom,
however, those who are in the Kingdom
would overcome because of the power by
which they are kept.
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
• John says that he was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day.
– "I was in the Spirit", Hailey says concerning this
statement. "This does not mean that John
was
in a spirit of worship or meditation or under the
spell of a self-imposed ecstasy, but that
he was
under the power or control of the Divine Spirit.“
Revelation an Introduction and Commentary by.
Homer Hailey p. 106
• It is clear from other scriptures that this seems
to be the most logical explanation of this
expression.
– "In the Spirit" --- "A miraculous vision in which
one had contact with God. cf. (Ezek. 3:10-15 ; 8:14)“ Studying the Book of Revelation by David. J.
Riggs p.4
• The fact that visions, dreams and trances were
frequently used as mediums by which Divine
Revelation occurred cannot be denied.
• Note these Scriptures : Ezek. 1:1 ; Dan. 2:19 ;
Matt. 1:20 ; Acts 2:17 ; 10:3,10 ; 22:17-18.
• The Apostle Paul speaks of one who had a vision
--- II Cor. 12:1-4.
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
• "The Lord's Day", this particular expression is
a little more difficult to understand however,
it is made clearer by the examination of other
scriptures.
– The expressions "Lord's Day" and
"Day of the Lord" should not be
confused.
• These expressions are not equivalent in
thought.
– The Day of the Lord has reference to
the second coming of Christ in
Judgment upon all.
– Where as the expression "Lord's Day"
seems to suggest and indicate the
First Day of the Week or (Sunday).
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
• Note these important passages which seem to
suggest that the Lord's Day is the First Day of
the Week.
– Jesus was raised on the first day of the week -- Mk. 16:1-9.
– Jesus met with His disciples several times on
the first day of the week --- John 20:1, 19, 26.
– All the events of Acts chapter two took place
on the first day of the week.
• First Gospel Sermon.
• First Converts.
• Beginning and Establishment of the church
and Kingdom.
• The church assembled on the first day of the
week to partake of the Lord's Supper --Acts 20:7.
• Christians are commanded to give on the
first day of the week --- I Cor. 16:2.
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
• Not all commentators are in an agree with this
explanation.
– An extract from Foy E. Wallace concerning this
expression:
– "It is not a reference to the first day of the
week, but to the day in which the Lord
accomplished these events, as used in Isa.
13:9 in which Isaiah described the destruction
of ancient Babylon as the day of the Lord; and
in Zech. 14:1 where Zechariah referred to the
destruction of Jerusalem as the day of the
Lord. The phrase meant the day of events
connected with the judgments of the Lord..
Rev. 1:10 it means in day of the rapture into
which the Lord placed John --- that he had
been transported into the midst of the scenes
of the vision as though he was,
himself, in
the day of their happening." The Book of
Revelation by Foy E. Wallace p. 77
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
• The majority of commentaries conclude that this is a
reference to the Day on which Christians came
together to commemorate the Son of God.
– Ray Summers makes this observation concerning
this day: "Thus on the day of worship when John's
heart longed for those Christians who had
depended upon him for so long for spiritual
comfort and guidance, and while he pondered upon
his condition and theirs and the outcome of it all,
he heard a voice saying in essence, 'You cannot be
with those people but you can send them a
message ; it is a message which I will give to you'“
Worthy is the Lamb p. 104
• A study of the Greek words found in this phrase lends
myself to believe that it is the First day of the Week
(Sunday).
– Note: (kuriakei hemerai) "Lord's Day". The Greek term
{kuriakei} occurs only twice in the entire New
Testament.
• Rev. 1:10 and I Cor.11:20 (kuriakon deipnon) "Lord's
Supper.“
• The significance of this cannot be overlooked.
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
• John hears behind him a great voice as of a
trumpet.
– Just as to why the voice came from behind him
is not revealed but a parallel to this is found in
Ezek. 3:12.
• One needs to note that when ever God had
something to impart to His people in the
Old Testament dispensation, He gathered
them by means of a trumpet sound. cf.
Ex. 19:16,19 ; Lev. 25:9 ; Josh 6:5 ; Isa.
58:1.
– However, one needs to note the fact that the
voice was not a trumpet but rather “as of a
trumpet" meaning that it was loud and clear.
• Trumpet sounding has also been used to
sound men into battle as well as to
announce the triumph of victory or to call
men to attention.
• It should be noted that the Romans used the
trumpet extensively for this purpose.
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
• Secondly to note is the commission given to
John.
– He was to write in a book the things which
he would see.
– He was to send it to the seven churches of
Asia.
• If one notes the order of the listing of
these churches you will see that a rough
circle is formed which has led many to
believe that it is inclusive of all those who
are in the Kingdom of our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ.
– Though this was first sent to these seven
churches, God has persevered this message
showing that it is for all who would read and
learn from God.
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
• The question must be raised as to who gave
John this commission.
– Some contend that it is the angel of
vrs 1. that summoned John's attention
since it was by the Angel that these
things were given to John.
– Others contend that since John saw
Jesus the Son of God in the midst of
the candlesticks when he turned
about, that it must have been Christ
who spoke and commissioned John.
– The fact cannot be denied that Christ
is the speaker of verses 17-20
however, it is probable that what is
spoken in verse 11 is spoken by the
Angel of vrs. 1.
THE LETTERS TO THE SEVEN
CHURCHES OF ASIA
Revelation 1:12-17
“Then I turned to see the voice that spoke
with me. And having turned I saw seven
golden lampstands, and in the midst of the
seven lampstands One like the Son of Man,
clothed with a garment down to the feet
and girded about the chest with a golden
band. His head and hair were white like
wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a
flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass,
as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as
the sound of many waters; He had in His
right hand seven stars, out of His mouth
went a sharp two-edged sword, and His
countenance was like the sun shining in its
strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His
feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on
me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am
the First and the Last….”
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
•
Verses 12-16.
– Hearing this voice John turns to see who is speaking to
him and sees the first of many visions which are recorded
in this book.
• John first saw seven golden candlesticks/lampstands.
• These are representative of the seven churches to
which the message is addressed. cf. 1:20 ; 2:5c.
– Note John saw seven distinct candlesticks and not the Old
Jewish Candlestick which had seven branches. cf.
Tabernacle in the wilderness had one lampstand located
on the south end. Solomon's Temple multiplied this to
10 ; five on the one side and five on the other.
• Some have indicted that this showed the true
relationship of congregations to Jesus Christ as well as
to each other.
• Congregations of the Lord's church are to be
autonomous and independent of each other only joined
together by a central headship, Jesus Christ.
• The purpose of lampstands is to shed light. In this
way the churches are to fulfill their mission by
shedding spiritual light. When they cease to shed
forth this light the lampstand is removed.
• Gold was the metal used in the vessels of Divine
service.
Verse By Verse Study Of Chapter One:
• Secondly John saw one who was in the midst of the
candlesticks.
– This is no doubt a reference to Christ Jesus.
– Note: Christ is always in the midst of His churches,
since He is the Head, the High Priest and the King.
• What John saw in the midst of the candlesticks is
indeed a description of Jesus Christ in His present
Glory as triumphant King in Heaven.
– Though it is difficult for the human mind to
comprehend the great glory of this Spirit Being,
John tries to give us a glimpse of what Christ and
His Reign is like through the usage of symbols.
vrs13-16.
– This description pictures Christ as more than just a
tender, loving Savior.
• Christ is this and more than this; He is clothed
with power and Majesty, with awe and terror.
• From this we see that Christ is Living, Holy,
Pure, Majestic, authoritative, omniscient and
powerful as He stands in the Midst of His
churches.
The following chart gives only a vague picture
of what the symbols represent:
"One like unto the Son of man"
(vs. 13a)
Often used of Jesus in the N.T.
indicating His relationship to
man and signifying that He was
a man; also a Messianic term
(Dan. 7:13-14).
"Clothed with a garment down
to the foot and girt about the
paps with a golden girdle" (vs.
13b)
The clothing of those of high
rank and office; the golden
girdle is also used of the seven
angels (15:6) indicating high
ranking position.
"His head and his hairs were
white like wool as white as
snow" (vs. 14a)
White represents purity,
holiness (Rev. 3:4-5);
descriptive of God (Dan. 7:9).
"His eyes were as a flame of
fire" (vs. 14b)
Bright, penetrating vision;
omniscient, infinite awareness,
insight.
The following chart gives only a vague picture of
what the symbols represent:
"His feet like unto fine brass, as
if they burned in a furnace" (vs.
15a)
Symbolical of strength as pure,
hard, metal; He will crush His
enemies under His feet (1 Cor.
15:25; Rev. 19:15).
"His voice as the sound of many
waters" (vs. 15b)
Great moving force; omnipotent,
all powerful, almighty.
"He had in his right hand seven
stars" (vs. 16a)
The angels of the seven
churches (1:20).
"Out of his mouth went a sharp
two edged sword" (vs. 16b)
The sword of judgment as in
2:16; 19:15; 2 Thess. 2:8; also
used of the Word, Heb. 4:12;
Eph. 6:17
"His countenance was as the
sun shineth in his strength" (vs.
16c)
As the sun on a clear day at
noon, too intense for human
eyes to stare at; His majesty and
glory.
The Book of Revelation
Chapter Two
Key Theme to be Noted
"Ye Are the Light of the World"
THE THREE “C’s” OF
REVELATION – Rev 2:10
CONFLICT
COMFORT
CONQUEST
THE LETTERS TO THE SEVEN
CHURCHES OF ASIA
• As one looks at the seven letters written to the
churches one can see there are certain similarities that
can be found.
– Each of the letters has seven sections to them with
the exception of Smyrna and Philadelphia - where
there are no sections of condemnation and Laodicea
- where there is an obvious absence of
commendation.
– Another of the similarities that can be found is the
opening address to each of these churches - --"Unto the Angel of the church at ......", are identical
in format.
– Thirdly one needs to note the sobering thought that
the omniscient nature of Christ is revealed in the
phrase "I know thy works/toils". One must note
that this is absent in the letter to the Laodiceans.
– The fourth similarity to note is the promise of the
reward to "him that overcometh".
– Lastly to note in the similarities is the invitation of
the Lord to the church to "hear the things that the
Spirit has to say to them."
Rev. 2:1-7 (Church at Ephesus - Loyal
but Lacking)
• THE LORD’S INTRODUCTION.
– The angel was addressed but the church
was to hear. Rev. 2:1,7
– Christ addressed Himself as holding the
seven stars in His right hand.
• The seven stars are the seven angels of
the seven churches. Rev. 1:20
– Christ is walking among the seven golden
candlesticks.
• These are the seven churches. Rev. 1:20
• “Lampstands” well represent the
churches because they are “light bearers”
to the world.
– The verse illustrates that Christ watches
over His churches and cares for them.
THE SEVEN LAMPSTANDS
• The seven lampstands (light bearers) are
the seven churches.
– Each church is a light bearer and they
individually must hold forth the light of
the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and
dying world cf. I Tim. 3:15.
– Also to note that though the churches as
a whole are here symbolized as
Lampstands, one needs to realize and
recognize that individual Christians are
also likewise portrayed to be light
bearers of the truth, cf. Phil. 2:15-116 ;
Eph. 5:8.
– The same word "lampstand" is used in
Matt. 5:14-16 ; Mk. 4:21 ; Luke 8:16 ;
11:33.
The Letter to the church at
Ephesus 2:1-7.
• Commendation:
– Toil/Labor
– Patience
– Can't bear evil men
– Tried false prophets.
– Didn't grow weary
– Hate the work of the Nicolaitians.
• Condemnation:
• Left their first love.
Rev. 2:1-7 (Church at Ephesus - Loyal
but Lacking)
• COMMENDATION.
– There were at least three things for which the Lord
commended the church at Ephesus (vss. 2,3,6).
• Their work. There is no place for an idler in the
kingdom of God. We all are laborers in the vineyard.
Matt. 20:1
• Patience - mentioned twice.
– When work had to be done under trying
circumstances, they had endured with
steadfastness. Matt. 24:12-13; Heb. 10:36
• Defense of truth and purity. In this they were
praised for:
– Not bearing them who were evil, vs. 2.
– Testing and rejecting false apostles, vs. 2. 2 Cor.
11:13-15; 12:12
– Hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans, vs. 6.
– Jesus, in His ministry, often condemned the traditions
and doctrines of men. Mark 7:9
Rev. 2:1-7 (Church at Ephesus - Loyal
but Lacking)
• COMMENDATION.
– Christ knows their "works and their
Labor/toil".
• Christians must work --- cf. Phil. 2:12 ;
James 2:14-26.
• There is no place for the idle in the
Kingdom of Christ -- cf. Matt 20:1.
• Their efforts need to be "for His name
sake" --- cf. Matt 19:29 ; I Peter 4:14.
– Richard Trent wrote concerning the word
"toil" --- "From the Greek 'kopos': Indeed
this word, signifying as it does not merely
labor, but labor unto weariness, may suggest
some solemn reflections to everyone who at
all affects to be working for the Lord, and is
under his Great Taskmaster's eye."
Rev. 2:1-7 (Church at Ephesus - Loyal
but Lacking)
• COMMENDATION.
– Christ knows their "patience or
steadfastness".
• Acts 2:42 ; I Cor. 15:58.
• Many times this patience was an
outgrowth of trying work that had to be
done many times under perilous conditions
--- Matt 24:13 ; Heb. 10:36.
– Patience or Steadfastness comes from
the Greek word 'hupomone' which
defined by Thayer is: "steadfastness,
constancy, endurance; in the N.T. the
characteristic of a man who is
unswerved from his deliberate purpose
and his loyalty to faith and piety by
even the greatest trials and sufferings:"
Rev. 2:1-7 (Church at Ephesus - Loyal
but Lacking)
• COMMENDATION.
– Christ knows that they "cannot bear them
that are evil“
• Christians ought not to have company with
those things which are evil --- II Thess. 3:6
; Romans 16:17 ; II John 9-11 ; I Cor. 5:1-6
; I Cor 15:33.
– Tolle notes of this phrase: "Churches
today do indeed need to follow the
example of the Ephesian church, which
refused to tolerate, support, or entertain
hospitably in its midst as fellow
members of the body of Christ those
whose lives were persistently evil."
Rev. 2:1-7 (Church at Ephesus - Loyal
but Lacking)
• COMMENDATION.
– They had put to the test those who were claiming to be
Apostles ---- "tried them which say they are Apostles.”
• Securing the purity of the gospel of Christ can only
be done by putting to a test those who claim to be
speaking the oracles of God --- Gal. 1:6-9 ; II Cor.
11:13 ; Matt. 15:9.
• The defense of the truth is an essential part of the
work and existence of the church --- I Cor. 5:11 ; II
Thess 3:6 , 14-15.
• The testing of False teachers is a command of God to
all churches -- I John 4:1 ; Rom 16:17-18 ; II John
9-11.
– "and you have persevered and have patience, and have
labored for My name's sake and have not become
weary." vrs. 3.
• The Greek word 'kamon' is translated into our
english word "weary" and signifies, "become faint
from toil."
• Galatians 6:9 a Scripture that needs to be heeded by
every Christian.
•
Rev. 2:1-7 (Church at Ephesus - Loyal
but Lacking)
COMMENDATION.
– They hated the "deeds of the Nicolaitans." vrs 6.
• Firstly to note is the fact that the Ephesian brethren
did not hate the Nicolaitans, but rather the "deeds/
works" of the Nicolaitans.
– As Christians we ought to count every person as
a precious soul in the sight of God.
– It is certain that Christ died for those who are in
need.
– He is the Great Physician and it is not up to you
and I to judge who is worthy of the grace and
mercy of the Lord. For certainly every soul that
sins is in need of the Saving blood of Christ.
• There has been much speculation as to what the
deeds of the Nicolaitans is.
– The only conclusive evidence as to what this is
has reference to is found in vrs 15. whose deeds
and doctrines were condemned without being
mentioned.
– This clearly shows how Jesus' attitude is toward
false doctrines and practices.
Rev. 2:1-7 (Church at Ephesus - Loyal
but Lacking)
• COMMENDATION.
– External evidence from Irenaeus makes this
description of the Nicolaitans:
• "The Nicolaitans are the followers of Nicolaus who
was one of the seven ordained to the diaconate by
the Apostles.
– They lead lives of unrestrained indulgences.
– The character of these men is very plainly
pointed out in the Apocalypse of John as teaching
that it is a matter of indifference to practice
adultery, and to
eat things sacrificed to idols.“
• In a tract entitles "Against Heresies" Tertullian
gives essentially the same description of the
Nicolaitans as does Irenaeus.
– The fact that must be noted here is though, we cannot
positively identify who these Nicolaitans are, we are
sure of the fact that they were wicked men; and the
Lord praised the Ephesian brethren for not condoning
nor associating with their works, but rather they hated
the works as God hated thier works also.
•
Rev. 2:1-7 (Church at Ephesus - Loyal
CONDEMNATION. but Lacking)
– In spite of the praise, Jesus had something against
them.
– They had left their first love.
• “Lack of works” is a demonstration of “lack of love”
or vice-versa, “lack of love” is demonstrated by
“lack of works.”
– The Lord commands them to do their first works.
(Vs. 5).
• It is possible that Ephesus had given up their
struggle of maintaining truth.
– Many disciples drift away into the traditions and
doctrines of men, and when they do so, they
show they no longer love the Lord.
– Notice the Lord’s admonition - vs. 5.
• This shows they were lacking in the works they once
had done.
• Removing the candlestick represents removing their
identity as one of His churches.
– Verse 7 - Those who have the disposition to hear those who will hear - let them hear what the Spirit says
to the churches.
Rev. 2:1-7 (Church at Ephesus - Loyal
but Lacking)
• CONDEMNATION.
– "They have left their first love" vrs 4.
• Verse 5. indicates that the congregation had lost its
fervor for the spread of the gospel of Christ.
• They must "do the first works" --- this is a reference
to the fact that their early enthusiasm for the worship
and progress of the church has waned.
• This can be said of many congregations today.
– Some scholars also understand this "first love" to be a
reference to the loss of love for one another.
• James Moffatt renders this verse; "You have given up
loving one another as you did at first." vrs. 4.
– As many scholars have noted the rendering of "first
Love" cannot be confined to just a singular meaning for
positions of:
• Lack of love for God as they once did.
• You have lost your love for God, Christ and all
mankind.
• As noted above lack of diligent fervor to the spreading
of the Gospel of Christ.
• All have been supplied as to the meaning of this "first
love."
Rev. 2:1-7 (Church at Ephesus - Loyal
but Lacking)
• CONDEMNATION.
– The basic message of this fault in the
Ephesian church can be summed up in saying,
that though they were still doing the things
which designated them as a sound body of
Christ, the methods of doing this had become
mechanical and ritualistic.
– It was done out of a cold heart of duty rather
than the glorious privilege that it is.
• A illustration of this is the wife who no
longer loves her husband but goes through
the motions in a cold and heartless manner.
• All congregations of the body of Christ need
to be aware of the destructive power of
Satan.
• This certainly is one avenue that all
Christians ought to take note of.
Rev. 2:1-7 (Church at Ephesus - Loyal
but Lacking)
• CONDEMNATION.
– To sum up this passage I want to
quote William Mitchell,
• "Does it not often happen in the
Christian life that the soul retains
earnestness, patience, truth,
endurance, a hatred of evil, long
after it has left its first love; that its
religious service is continued,
apparently unaltered, while the
spirit that prompted that service is
changed for the worse? But though
love is altered, there may yet
remain a sense of duty."
•
Rev. 2:1-7 (Church at Ephesus - Loyal
but Lacking)
THE ADMONITION vrs 5.
– "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen.“
• Christ returns the Ephesian brethren to their first works
so that they might recognize the fact that what they now
had was a corroded and vastly deteriorated love compared
with what they had in the beginning.
• As Christians today we can understand what the Lord here
is saying. So many have lost that first love, which drew
them to the Saving Grace of God which reached out in
every way to help and touch others who were lost and
dying.
• Having after much disappointment a despair become part
of the masses who go through the motions of worship
because they have to and not because they want to.
– "Repent" --- turn aside from this behavior and return to what
you once had.
• This certainly can be considered a summons from Christ to
cast off the man they now have on them and return again
to the beginning. Much the same as to say "turn over a
new leaf" or to "start again from scratch.“
– Return "Do the first works".
• A congregation that fails to promote the gospel of Christ
looses its purpose for existing.
Rev. 2:1-7 (Church at Ephesus - Loyal
but Lacking)
• THE THREAT vrs 5.
– "I will come and remove your
candlestick/lampstand from its place.“
• A lampstand supports the light.
– The light that we hold up is the great
Love of Jesus Christ. – John17:21
– If we have lost our love how then can
we hold up the light of the Love of our
Master and draw people to His
wonderful body.
• No congregation who has lost their first
love can do this.
– This was the tragic fate of the Ephesian
Church.
• There has not been any church in Ephesus
for ages and the sight of the majestic
ancient city now lies in ruin.
Rev. 2:1-7 (Church at Ephesus - Loyal
but Lacking)
• THE COUNSEL of the LORD vrs. 7a.
– The counsel here is intended not only for these
members of the Lord's body but to all those who can
examine their lives as see the great corroding effect of
the loss of their "first love.“
– The counsel here identifies that it is the heart that is
receptive to receive what the "Spirit of the Lord says
unto them.“
• It is the heart that is receptive such as that which is
described in Matt. 13:8.
• Such a heart will bear forth fruit and hearken to the
admonition of the Lord.
• THE PROMISED REWARD vrs 7b.
– They would be granted to eat from the tree of life
which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.
• Note the "tree of life that was in the Garden of
Eden" Genesis 2:9 is now in the midst of the
"paradise of God". Rev 2:7.
• They will inherit eternal life in heaven. Rev. 22:14,14
n
Taken from Merrill C. Tenney, summarizing the
letter to the Church at Ephesus
Ch r is t 's Se lf
-D e s ign a t ion
2 :1
"Th es e th in gs
s ay s He w ho
h o ld s t h e s even
s tars in H is
rig h t h an d ,
wh o walk s in
th e m i d st of
th e s ev en
go ld en
lam p s t and s :"
C om m en d at io n
o f God
2 :2 -3
"I k n o w y o u r work s ,
y o u r lab o r, y o u r
p at ien ce, a n d t h at y ou
can n o t b ear t h os e wh o
are ev il. An d y o u h av e
t est ed th o s e wh o s ay
t h ey are ap os t les a n d
are n ot , an d h av e
fou n d th em lia rs; "an d
y o u h av e p ers ev ered
an d h av e p at ien ce, an d
h av e l ab ored fo r M y
n am e's s ak e an d h av e
n o t b eco m e wea ry ."
2 :6 "Bu t th is y o u
h av e, t h at y o u h at e th e
d eed s o f t h e
N ico lait an s , wh ich I
als o h at e."
C on d em n at io n
o f Ev il
Co u ns el:
W arn i n g &
E xh o rtat io n
P rom is e of
R ew ard To
H im Th at
O verco m eth
In v itat ion To
H ear
2 :4
"Nev erth e les s I
h av e { th is }
ag ain s t y ou ,
t h at y o u h av e
l eft y o u r first
lo v e."
2 :5
"R em em b er
t h erefore fro m
w h ere y o u h av e
fal len ; rep e n t an d
d o th e fi rst
w ork s , or els e I
w il l com e to y ou
q u ick ly an d
re m ov e y o u r
l am p st an d from
it s p lace - u n les s
y ou rep en t ."
2 :7
"To h im wh o
o v ercom es I w ill
g iv e to eat from
t h e tree of li fe,
w h ich is in th e
m id s t of th e
P arad is e o f
G od ."
2 :7
"H e wh o h as
an ear, l et
h i m h ear
w h at t h e
Sp irit s ay s to
the
ch u rch es ."
Outline of this Letter to the church
at Smyrna Rev. 2:8-11:
• This letter is one of only two letters that
does not have a section of condemnation.
– The Introduction and Address - vrs 8a.
– The commendation. vrs 9.
• Their tribulation.
• Their poverty.
• And their present situation about
being cast into prison. vrs. 10.
– The Admonition. vrs. 10.
– The invitation to hear vrs. 11a.
– The promise of reward vrs. 11b.
Letter to the church at Smyrna Rev. 2:8-11
(The Poor-Rich Church)
•
The City of Smyrna
– Smyrna was a great trade city.
• It stood on a deep gulf which reached thirty miles
inland and was about 50 miles to the north of
Ephesus.
• It had a specially rich trade market in wines.
– Smyrna was an outstandingly beautiful city.
• It claimed to be the "Glory of Asia as well as the first
city of Asia".
– It was founded about 1000 B.C. by colonists from
Lesbos.
– Shortly before 688 B.C. it was captured by the
Ionians, under whose rule it became very
powerful and rich.
– In 323-301 B.C. Lysimachus as well as Antigonus
undertook to rebuild Smyrna on its present site.
– One of the beautiful buildings that was built in
this city was in honor of Homer.
– Smyrna was one of the many places that laid claim
to the birth site of Homer the poet.
– A theater that seated 20,000 spectators was
carved out of the slope of Mt. Pagus.
Letter to the church at Smyrna Rev. 2:8-11
(The Poor-Rich Church)
•
The City of Smyrna
– The streets of Smyrna were wide and paved.
– It was widely celebrated for its schools of medicine and
science.
– Several temples to idol gods are found in this city.
• The temple of Cybele and the Acropolis, Zeus was
worshipped here, joined the palace known as the citadel.
• In 23-26 A.D. a temple was erected in honor of Tiberius
and his mother Julia.
– Smyrna was the center for the worship of Dionysis on
of the names of Bacchus, originally a nature god of
fruitfulness and vegetation but eventually became
the god of wine.
– A mock death, burial and resurrection of Dionysis was
celebrated annually.
• These circle of Temples around the summit of Mt. Pagus
is one of the reasons the city became known as the
"crown city.“
– As early as 195 B.C. it had dedicated a temple to the
goddess Roma.
Letter to the church at Smyrna Rev. 2:8-11
(The Poor-Rich Church)
•
The City of Smyrna
– Politically Smyrna was an important city.
• It had chosen the right side in all the civil wars. (For this Rome
was Grateful). It was ceded in 133 B.C. to the Romans.
• It claims to be the first in beauty.
• It claimed to be the first in Caesar worship.
• It also claims to be the birth place of Homer.
• Smyrna looked with contempt on the poor and humble
Christians and despised them as of no importance.
– Smyrna had two characteristics which made life for Christians
a constant and continued peril.
• Smyrna was one of the great centers of Caesar Worship.
• In the days of Domitian, Caesar worship became compulsory.
• Once a year the Roman citizens would burn a pinch of incense
on the altar to the godhead of Caesar.
• Having done this a certificate was given to all worshipers.
• Nowhere could life have been more dangerous for the Christian
than in Smyrna.
• For a man to become a Christian was to be considered as an
outlaw.
• To become a Christian in Smyrna was to literally take one's life
in his own hands.
• The second peril was that of the Jewish population in the city.
Letter to the church at Smyrna Rev. 2:8-11
(The Poor-Rich Church)
•
No authentic information remains as to the time and
circumstances of the establishment of the church in Smyrna.
– It is however believed that it was established from Ephesus
and sometime during the ministry of Paul on his third
missionary journey.
•
THE DESCRIPTION OF THE SPEAKER: vrs 8b.
– "The first“
• Self-existent being who is the origin of all things cf. John
1:1-3, 15 ; 8:58 ; Col. 1:15- 17 ; Heb. 13:18.
• He should be the first with all men. cf. Matt. 6:33.
– "The Last" - cf. Rev. 22:13.
• This is representative of His eternal nature.
– The eternity of Jesus Christ had a very special
significance to all the saints in Smyrna.
• Also represents His dependability.
– "Who was dead, and came to life:" - cf. Rev. 1:18.
• The Savior has been through what they were now
experiencing.
• His death, burial, and resurrection are fundamental facts
of the Gospel. -- I Cor. 15:1-4 ; Rom. 5:8 ; I Cor. 1:17.
• His death was the sacrifice for all men’s sins --- Romans
5:8.
Letter to the church at Smyrna Rev. 2:8-11
(The Poor-Rich Church)
•
THE COMMENDATION --- WHAT IS RIGHT WITH THE
CHURCH vrs. 9b.
– "Thy works" --- This is omitted in the ASV since the majority of
Ancient manuscripts omit it.
• This is a solemn reminder that we are going to be judged by
our works and according to the works which we have
accomplished in this life. -- cf. Rev. 20:12.
– "Thy tribulation" --- from Greek Thlipis meaning --- pressing,
together, pressure.
• The source of much of their tribulation are those who "say
they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of
Satan." --- Rev. 2:9.
• There will be tribulation if we live as God would have us live
--- cf. Matthew 5:11-12 ; II Tim. 3:12.
• When we suffer for His cause we have a fellowship with Him
--- cf. Phil. 3:10.
• Paul says Christians should glory in tribulation --- cf.
Romans 5:3.
• Paul gives us a description of what tribulation does --Romans 5:3-4.
• James tells us to "count it all joy when we fall into trials and
temptation" --- James 1:3-4.
• The apostle Peter tells us --- cf. I Peter 1:6-7 ; 4:16.
Letter to the church at Smyrna Rev. 2:8-11
(The Poor-Rich Church)
•
THE COMMENDATION --- WHAT IS RIGHT WITH THE
CHURCH vrs. 9b.
– "Thy poverty" --- this is physical not Spiritual.
• These had suffered physical poverty.
• The churches of Macedonia were poor
churches --- cf. II Cor. 8:1-5.
• A probable explanation of their poverty lies
in the fact that many Christians had their
"property taken for not worshipping the
Caesar." --- cf. Heb. 10:32-34 ; Mt. 16:29 ;
Lk.14:33.
• Though they were physically poor and under
hardship Christ reminds them that they are
rich --- "but thou art rich". --- cf. Lk. 12:1621 for Christ's teaching on physical riches --cf. James 2:5 ; II Cor. 6:10
– They were rich in spiritual things.
– The complete opposite was said to a
church that was rich physically -- cf. Rev.
3:17-18.
Letter to the church at Smyrna Rev. 2:8-11
(The Poor-Rich Church)
•
THE COMMENDATION --- WHAT IS RIGHT WITH THE
CHURCH vrs. 9b.
– "Blasphemy“
• It would be better to translate this word
"slander".
• The Jews had the ear of those in High places,
so they would whisper their slander against
the Christians.
– Examples of this are found in Acts 13:45, 50
; 18:5-6.
• The fleshly Jews were no longer God's people - cf. Rev. 2:9 ; Rom. 2:28-29.
• They claimed to be God's people but they were
of the Devil --- Rev. 2:9.
– Many today claim the same things but by
their actions we can see that they are not of
God but rather of the world which is
governed by their father Satan.
• The Lord suffered revile and ridicule at the
hands of the Jews also --- cf. Mt. 26:67 ; Lk.
16:14 ; 23:18-25 ; Acts 2:36
Letter to the church at Smyrna Rev. 2:8-11
(The Poor-Rich Church)
• THE ADMONITION vrs. 10.
– "Do not fear what you are about to suffer".
• Some where going to suffer imprisonment
--- cf. Acts 12:3,4 ; 16:23.
– cf. James 1:12 ; I Peter 1:6-9 --suffering is a way of sifting out the
"chaff“ from the “wheat”.
– The suffering was going to get worse. --- cf.
Mt. 10:22 ; 24:13.
• The assurance that we have is the fact
that the suffering is but for "10 days".
• Whether this is literal ten days or not
cannot be said, but the assurance is that
in comparison to eternal life the suffering
is but for a moment.
– cf. James 4:14 ; II Cor. 4:17.
Letter to the church at Smyrna Rev. 2:8-11
(The Poor-Rich Church)
• THE PROMISE OF THE REWARD vrs 10-11.
– They shall receive their "crown of life." --- cf. I
Cor. 9:25 ;II Tim. 4:8 ;James 1:12 ; I Pet. 5:4.
• Crown here is from the Greek "stephanos" --literary a victory crown --- cf. Matt. 10:39.
– In giving even their lives for Christ they gain
eternal life.
• It is said that the priests who served at the
festival of Dionysus where all given crowns.
– They shall not be hurt at the second death --- cf.
Rev. 20:14-15.
• If they were faithful "unto" death (to the point
of death; "until" death is expressed in other
passages, Matt. 10:22; 24:13), they would be
given the crown of life and not be hurt of the
second death.
• For explanation of the second death, cf Rev.
20:13-15; 21:8, and for companion verses on
the "crown," cf 1 Cor. 9:25; 2 Tim. 4:8; James
1:12; 1 Pet. 5:4.
Outline of the Letter to the church of
Pergamos Rev. 2:12-17
• The Introduction and Address. --- vrs 12
• The Description of the speaker. --- vrs
12
• Commendation: --- vrs 13
– Dwell where Satan's Throne is.
– Didn't deny the faith.
– Antipas killed among them.
• Condemnation: --- vrs 14-15
– Hold to the teachings of Balaam.
– Hold the teachings of Nicolaitans.
• Admonition. --- vrs 16
• Invitation to hear --- vrs 17
• Promise of Reward. --- vrs 17
Rev. 2:12-17 – The church at Pergamos
(The Compromising church--Balaam)
• The City of Pergamos:
– The first two letters addressed churches that
were located on the sea coast --- Pergamos is
inland.
– It is located some 30 miles Northwest of Smyrna
in the territory that is now known as eastern
Turkey.
– It lay in the Caicus valley some 15-20 miles from
the sea.
– It's acropolis rose 1000 feet between two
tributary streams some three miles north of the
river Bakyrtchai (also known as the Caicus River
in ancient times).
– Pergamos was a capital city.
• "When the empire of Alexander the Great was
broken up, following his death, Pergamum
became the capital of the powerful, wealthy,
and independent kingdom of Mysia."
Rev. 2:12-17 – The church at Pergamos
(The Compromising church--Balaam)
•
The City of Pergamos:
– It was the Capital of the Attalid Kingdom/ this names is derived
from the King Attalus I (241197 BC).
– Its king, (the last of the Attalic Dynasty, King Attalus III) not
having an heir willed the Attalic Kingdom into the possession of
the Roman Empire (133 BC), thus it had become a part of the
Roman Empire by choice and not by compulsion or by military
force.
– With the exception of Pergamum and a few Greek cities, which
were given freedom as independent administrative units exempt
from paying tribute, all of the Kingdom was placed under the
Roman Government.
– The Romans made it the capital of the province of Asia, and it
retained this honor until the year A.D. 130.
• The city itself was built in three distinct sections:
• The upper city --- was the northernmost area and was largely
the domain of the rich, royal and noble families. Military
leaders also lived in this section.
• The middle city --- further south and down the mountain
contained the part of the city that was visited by the common
people. It also included sports fields, and temples for the less
educated people.
• The third area across the Selinus River to the southwest,
contained the famous Asclepian of Pergamum, a center of the
healing arts. A lovely fountain, pool, library, and various
temples all can still be seen today amongst the ruins of this
city.
Rev. 2:12-17 – The church at Pergamos
(The Compromising church--Balaam)
•
The City of Pergamos:
– At the time of this writing the city had been the capital for
some three hundred years.
– Pergamos had one of the most famous libraries in the
ancient world - Approx. 200,000 books.
• These books were later given to Cleopatra by Mark
Anthony.
• Because of the extensive manufacture of writing
material from sheepskin in Pergamum, the name
"parchment" (pergamena) was given to this product.
– "It is interesting to note that the word "parchment"
is derived ultimately from the Latin Pergamena
Charta, literally meaning "paper of Pergamum", and
it is held by certain authorities that parchment was
invented in Pergamum for the purpose of
transcribing books for its great library."
– Pergamos was a famous center of religious worship.
• It was the center of the worship of Asclepius the god of
healing.
– The emblem of Asclepius is the serpent.
– Tame snakes were kept in the temple.
• The sufferers were allowed to spend the night in the
darkness of the temple, if a snake touched the sick this
was held to be the touch of the god himself.
Rev. 2:12-17 – The church at Pergamos
(The Compromising church--Balaam)
•
The City of Pergamos:
– Altars to Zeus, the chief of gods, also known as Jupiter ; To
Dionysus, the god of wine; of Athena, the goddess of wisdom
as well as Asclepius, the god of medicine was found on the
hill behind the city of Pergamum.
– In 29 B.C. it errected a temple to "Roma and Agustus" and
later temples were also erected in honor of "Trajan and
Severus". The title "Thrice Neokorus" which it bore, meant
that in the city three temples had been built to the Roman
Emperors, in which the emperors were worshipped as gods.
– Participation in such worship became a test of loyalty, and
therefore became a frequent ground for Christian martyrdom.
• Christians would be brought to Pergamum for trial from
any northern part of the province.
– Pergamos had always glorified in the fact that it was the last
outpost of Greek civilization.
– Pergamos was also the center of Caesar Worship.
• As to the founding of the church here in Pergamum, it is
once again speculated that Paul during his stay at Ephesus
was its possible origin. However, it must be noted that
Pergamum
is only mentioned in the book of Revelation.
The basis of such speculation and conjecture is only due to
the ideas that a place of such great importance would
have been visited by Paul.
Outline of the Letter to the church at
Thyatira
•
•
•
Address to the angel of •
the church. vrs 18a.
Introduction of the
Speaker. vrs 18b.
– The Son of God.
– Eyes like a flame of
fire.
– His feet like fine
brass.
The Commendation: vrs
19
– I know thy works.
– Their love.
– Their faith.
– Their Ministry or
service.
– Their patience and
perseverance.
•
– Their growth in
•
works.
The Condemnation: vrs 20-21
– They fellowship Jezebel (ie. Jezebel
is a symbolic name).
• This sinner suduces the people of
the Lord.
• Hardened heart is displayed by
the refusal to repent.
– This Jezebel called herself a
prophetess.
• She was a false teacher.
– The Threat. vrs 22-23
• Cast her out with those who go
along with her immorality.
• Her children will be killed with
death.
– The Admonition or Encouragement.
vrs 24-25
• The rest encouraged who did not
hold the actions of this sinner.
The plead to hear. vrs 29
The Promised reward. vrs 26-28
– Power over the nations.
– And will be given the morning star.
Thyatira (Another Compromising
Church--Jezebel)
•
•
•
It is an odd fact that the longest of the letters to the seven
churches was written to the church in the smallest and least
important area of the seven towns mentioned. The length of
the letter is probably due to the nature of the problems that
the Christian's faced in the city.
– Thyatira was a wealthy city.
– Located in the Northern part of Lydia.
• Near the border of Mysia.
• On the Lycas River.
– Approximately forty miles southeast of Pergamum.
• About mid-way between the royal cities of Pergamum
and Sardis.
– The city itself lay in a valley and as such there was no
acropolis that adorned the city.
• The city was surrounded by gentle sloping hills all
around.
The name Thyatira emerged in history in 290 B.C. as the
name of a military center.
– It had been in the hands of the Romans since 190 B.C.
– The supreme importance of Thyatira was that it was the
gateway to Pergamos, the capital city of Asia.
Thyatira was not a center of special religious importance.
Thyatira (Another Compromising
Church--Jezebel)
• Jesus addresses Himself as
– "Son of God"--indicates His relationship
to God and signified that he was God-contrast "Son of man" (1:13).
– "Eyes like unto a flame of fire"--bright,
penetrating vision; infinite awareness and
insight; omniscient.
– "Feet like as fine brass"--symbolical of
strength; His enemies will be put under
His feet (1 Cor. 15:25) and He will tread
upon them with the wrath of God (Rev.
19:15).
Thyatira (Another Compromising
Church--Jezebel)
• It was not a special center of Ceasar worship.
– The chief deity of the Thyatians was that of
Tyrimnos.
– This god was identified with the Greek god
Appollo, who was the god of the sun.
– A goddess of less importance, yet associated
with Tyrimnos, was honored in the Thystiran
pantheon.
• A Temple to Sambethe was also located at
Thyatira.
– At this temple it is said that there was a
prophetess who would utter sayings for the
deity and imparted them to its worshippers
who in turn would accept them as oracles of
the deity.
– It seems that this prophetess had her
counterpart in the form of the Jezebel at the
Thyatiran church.
Thyatira (Another Compromising
Church--Jezebel)
• Thyatira was a great commercial center.
– The roads which passed through its valley
brought the trade of half the world to its
doors.
– A great center of wool trade and of the dyeing
industry.
– It was from Thyatira that Lydia, the seller of
Purple came cf. Acts 16:14.
• She was Paul's first European convert and
was baptized in the river just outside of the
city of Philippi.
– Purple dye was very expensive.
• Scholars believe that the dye was of a
Turkish-red color.
• Made from the madder-root which
abounded in the area.
• True purple dye was made from an
expensive shell fish found in the
Meditereanean sea.
Thyatira (Another Compromising
Church--Jezebel)
• Thyarita possesed more trade guilds than any
other town of its size in Asia.
– It would seem that the danger which
threatened the church in Thyatira was the
direct result of the powerful existence of
these trade guilds.
– No merchant or trader could hope to
prosper and to make money unless he was
a member of his trade guild.
– If a trader refused to join his trade guild, he
would be in much the same position as a
working man would be in today if he
refused to join his trade union.
• In his book Ramsey lists:
– Wool workers, linen workers, makers of
outer garments, tanners, leather workers,
dyers, bakers, slave dealers and
bronzesmiths.
Thyatira (Another Compromising
Church--Jezebel)
• But, we may well ask why should a Christian of
Thyatira not join such a trade guild?
– The social activities of these trade guilds were
intimately bound up with the worship of the
heathen gods.
– These trade guilds would have had common
meals together.
– The meal would begin and end with a cup of
wine poured out as a libation and an offering
to the gods.
– Such a meal would almost certainly follow a
sacrifice.
– At these social activities drunkeness and
fornication were the accepted things.
• There was a very real problem here, that faced
the Christian of Thyatira.
– They had to decided whether to make money
or to serve Jesus Christ.
Thyatira (Another Compromising
Church--Jezebel)
•
•
Commendation.
– The church was praised for several good qualities: (1)
Works--labor and efforts which were exerted in the
spiritual realm (Eph. 2:10). (2) Charity--love, active
good will, unselfish concern that freely accepts another
in loyalty and seeks his good (Matt. 22:35-40). (3)
Service--ministry, work of benevolence, love in action
(1 John 3:17). (4) Faith--see Heb. 11:1. (5) Patience-perseverance under difficulties; the ability to endure
under pressure (Heb. 6:11-12). (6) Growth--"Thy last
works are more than the first" (ASV).
Condemnation (vss. 20-21).
– This woman's name could have been "Jezebel" or
perhaps she was called this because of her similarity to
the Jezebel of the Old Testament--1 Kings 16:31; 18:4;
19:1-2; 21:8-15, 23-25. She was probably teaching
that one could never conquer sin unless he was
thoroughly acquainted with its experiences; hence, one
must "know the depths of Satan" (vs. 24) to conquer
Satan. The word "sufferest" shows that the church was
tolerating her works and influence when she should
have been withdrawn from.
Thyatira (Another Compromising
Church--Jezebel)
•
•
Warning (vss. 22-23).
– The Lord was gracious in giving her time to repent, but
now since she had not repented, He would bring a terrible
judgment upon her and her followers. He would (1) "cast
her into a bed" (stricken with sickness) and (2) send
"great tribulation" (severe affliction) on those that
followed her teaching and wickedness. (3) Her children
(either her own physical offspring or those taught by her)
would come to a violent death (vs. 23). This is similar to
what happened to the house of Ahab (Jezebel's husband);
they all came to a sudden and violent end (1 Kings 22:34;
2 Kings 9:30-37; 10:7). From observing these three
immediate punishments, the churches would know that it
is Jesus who not only knows the overt acts, but the secret
thoughts, counsels, designs of men's hearts (1 Chron.
28:9; Jer. 11:20; 17:10; 20:12; Acts 1:24), and renders to
every man according to his works (Eph. 6:8; Col. 3:25).
Exhortation.
– Upon those who were remaining faithful, Christ would
impose no other burden--no other burden than the fight
against it and the abstinence from it. (Compare Acts
15:28-29). That which they already had as in vs. 19, they
were to hold fast until Christ came to claim the faithful.
(See also Rev. 3:11; Heb. 4:14).
Thyatira (Another Compromising
Church--Jezebel)
• Promise. Two blessings are promised to
those who overcome:
– (1) Power over the nations. They will
share in Christ's dominion over the
nations (Rev. 3:21). The picture of their
ruling with a "rod of iron" is symbolical of
the certainty of their vindication and
triumph with Christ. (See Psalm 2:8-9;
Rev. 19:15).
– (2) Morning star. Christ Himself is
mentioned as the morning star in Rev.
22:16. As the morning star rules the
heavens (one of the brightest in the
heavens) so will the faithful rule with
Christ and share in His royal spender and
dominion. The star is symbolical of
royalty being linked with the scepter
(Num. 24:17).
The Book of Revelation
Chapter Three
Key Theme to be Noted
"Ye Are the Light of the World"
THE THREE “C’s” OF
REVELATION – Rev 2:10
CONFLICT
COMFORT
CONQUEST
Outline of the Letter to the church at
Sardis
•
•
•
•
•
Address to the angel of the
church. - vrs 1a.
Introduction of the Speaker. vrs 1b.
– He who has the Seven
Spirits of God.
– And the seven stars.
The Commendation. - vrs 1c.,
4.
– "I know thy works.“
– You have a few names who
•
have not defiled their
garments.
– These shall walk with Him
in white for they are
worthy.
The Condemnation. - vrs 1d.,
2b.
– You have a name that you
are alive, but you are dead.
•
– I have not found your
works perfect before God.
The Threat and Counsel. - vrs 2-3.
– Be watchful, strengthen the
things which remain, that are
ready to die.
– Remember how you have
received and heard.
– Hold fast and repent.
– If you will not watch, I will
come upon you as a thief in the
night.
– You will not know the hour I
will come upon you.
The Admonition, Encouragement
and Promised Reward. - vrs 5
– Those who overcome shall be
clothed in white garments.
– Their names will not be blotted
out from the Book of Life.
– Christ will confess their names
before the Father and the
angels.
The plea to hear. - vrs 6.
– Those who have an ear.
– Heed the things that the Spirit
says to the churches.
Outline of the Letter to the church at
Philadelphia
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Address to the angel of the church. – vrs 7a
Introduction of the Speaker - Description - vrs 7b.
– He who is "Holy“
– He who has the Key of David.
– He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens.
The Commendation - vrs 8-10
– "I know your works“
– "Have set before you an open door“
– "You have little strength/power“
– "Have kept my Word and not defiled My name“
The exhortation - vrs 11
– "Behold I come quickly".
– "Hold Fast“
– "That no one takes your crown“
The Promise of the Reward - vrs 12
The plea to hear - vrs 13.
NOTE: As with the church in Smyrna there is no segment of
condemnation of evil in the church at Philadelphia. Instead
what we find here is a congregation of the Lord's people who are
more richly praised than any of the other seven churches in Asia.
Philadelphia (The Church of the
Open Door)
• Jesus in this epistle introduces Himself as
– (1) He that is holy--separate, set apart;
characterized by perfection and purity.
(See Heb. 7:26).
– (2) He that is true--steadfast, dependable,
genuine, real. Jesus is the "true light"
(John 1:9), "the true bread" (John 6:32),
"the true vine" (John 15:1), "the true God"
(1 John 5:20), and "the faithful and true
witness" (Rev. 3:14).
– (3) He that hath the key of David. This was
prophesied of the Messiah (Isa. 22:22).
• "Keys" bear the idea of opening and shutting;
hence, Christ alone has the supreme authority
over admission in the kingdom both on earth
and in heaven. He opens and none shuts and
shuts and none opens.
Philadelphia (The Church of the
Open Door)
• Commendation. Jesus praises this church for
– (1) A little strength ("power" ASV)--although
they were not as strong and zealous as He
wanted, He did see evidences of spiritual life.
– (2) Kept my word (vs. 8)--faithfulness and
fidelity to truth, not compromising with error.
They had "kept the word of my patience" (vs.
10)--they followed and upheld the gospel in
spite of great opposition. This was endurance
such as Christ had and patience as
manifested by Him.
– (3) Not denied my name--those of the
synagogue of Satan would often bring
Christians before the heathen magistrates
when they would not confess Caesar as lord,
but in all of this they had not renounced the
name of Christ.
Philadelphia (The Church of the
Open Door)
• Rewards. As a result of their faithfulness, Christ would
give them the following blessings:
– (1) An open door--opportunity to preach to willing
listeners (2 Cor. 2:12; Col. 4:3; Acts 14:27; 2 Thess.
3:1).
– (2) Enemies exposed and punished (vs. 9).
• He would in some way make the persecuting Jews
realize that the Christians were the ones He really
loved. (See also Isa. 49:23; 60:14).
– (3) Kept from the hour of temptation ("hour of
trial" ASV).
• He either meant that He would free them from the
period of great tribulation which would try all
Christians (Rev. 6:11; 7:14) or, from the great
judgments described in the rest of the book which
were to come upon all the world to try nonChristians (Rev. 8:13; 9:20-21).
• The latter seems to be the one to which He was
referring because it was the one that would come
upon "all the world" as shown in verse 10.
Philadelphia (The Church of the
Open Door)
• Exhortation.
– "I come quickly" either refers to His second
coming (e.g., every generation is to
consider it as near and that it could happen
in their own lifetime, James 5:7-9; 1 Pet.
4:7; Rev. 22:20)
– or, to His coming in judgment and
retribution (e.g., by the plagues in this
book).
– They were to hold fast what they had lest
someone robbed them of their reward (Col.
2:18-19; 2 Pet. 3:17-18).
– For passages referring to the "crown," see
1 Cor. 9:25; 2 Tim. 4:8; James 1:12; 1 Pet.
5:4.
Philadelphia (The Church of the
Open Door)
• Promise.
– (1) "Pillar in the temple" (a permanent
blessing) and
– (2) "he shall go out no more" (will have no
reason to go out, will not be forced out).
– (3) Will write upon him:
• (a) Name of God--signifies identity and
divine recognition;
• (b) The name of the city of God--new
Jerusalem (Rev. 21:1-2, 10);
• (c) My new name--shall wear Christ's own
new name (Rev. 19:12), shall be identified
to share in the glory of Christ (Col. 3:4; 1
John 3:2).
– Thus, these inscriptions upon the one who
overcomes identifies him as belonging to
God, to the new city, and to Christ the
Redeemer.
Outline of the Letter to the church of
Laodicea:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
It must be noted that of all the letters written to the churches of Asia,
this is the only one that does not have any commendation. The letter
is a harsh condemnation for a church that has become lukewarm in all
its actions.
Address to the Angel of the church at Laodicea. - vrs 14a.
Introduction and Description of the Speaker. - vrs 14b.
– The Amen.
– The Faithful & True Witness.
– The Beginning of the Creation of God.
The Condemnation of Evil. - vrs 15-17
– Neither cold not hot, but lukewarm.
– Wretched.
– Miserable.
– Poor.
– Blind.
– Naked.
The Counsel: vrs 18-19
– Warning.
Exhortation.
The Promise of Reward. - vrs 20-21
– Will grant to sit with me in my Throne even as I am set down with
my Father in His Throne.
The Invitation to Hear. - vrs 22
Laodicea (The Rich-Poor Church)
• The City:
– This city of Laodicea was the largest of the
three cities {Laodicea; Colosse; Hierapolis}
found in the broad valley area {Lycus
valley} on the borders of Phrygia.
• Approx. 90 miles East of Ephesus, and
between forty and fifty miles southeast of
Philadelphia.
• The city was situated approx. eleven miles
west of Colosse and six miles south of
Hierapolis. cf. Col. 4:13,16.
– The city lay at the meeting of the Lycus
Valley and the Maeander.
– The city was called Diosopolis and Rhoas
until it finally was named in honor of
Laodike\Laodice, the wife of Antiochus II
(261-246 B.C.), who rebuilt the city.
• Laodike\Laodice poisoned Antiochus II
the Seleucid King.
Laodicea (The Rich-Poor Church)
• The City:
– Destroyed in A.D. 60 by and earthquake,
but refused help in the rebuilding of itself.
• Tacitus writes that the Roman Senate at
that time gave large sums to devastated
Asian cities, but records with surprise
that Laodicea refused such aid. "It rose
again, with no help from us." This
attitude is found in the church - cf. 3:17.
• "Rebuilt by Marcus Aurelius."
– The city was completely destroyed by the
"Mohammedan invaders, and is now the
scene of utter desolation."
– City is now known by the Turk's as "Eskihissar" or "Old Castle".
Laodicea (The Rich-Poor Church)
• The City:
– In 190 B.C. Laodicea became the center of
Hellenic culture, reaching its peak at this time
when it was made a Roman Province.
– The city was famous for its great wealth and for
its banking abilities.
• "Cicero traveled that way in 51 B.C. on his way
to the provincial governorship of Cilicia, and
the fact that he cashed drafts in Laodicea
shows that the city had outgrown neighboring
Colossae and was already a place of financial
importance & wealth."
• The city was well known for its producing black
wool.
– This wool was the basis of the Textile
industry centered in both Colosse and
Laodicea.
– This trade was in existence well up into the
19th. Century.
• Various garments from Laodicea are listed in
Diocletian's price fixing edit of A.D. 300.
Laodicea (The Rich-Poor Church)
• Another important fact about Laodicea is that
of its eye ointment.
– Approx. 13 miles from the cities
boundaries, a school of medicine was
found.
• The names of the physicians appeared on
coins as early as the principate of
Augustus.
– It is stated that it was possibly the medical
school of Laodicea that developed the eye
powder known as "Phrygian". cf. 3:18
• It is guessed that this power was
probably made up from dried mud of the
Hierapolis thermal springs. Which when
mixed with water it formed a Kaolin
poultice, which was an effective remedy
for inflammation.
Laodicea (The Rich-Poor Church)
•
•
•
The City:
– The population of this city was comprised of a great
number of Jews.
• This great Jewish population is said to have its roots
in the transferring of Jewish families by Antiocus II
(223-187 B.C) to the territories of Lydia and
Phrygia.
• Two years after the earthquake the governor of Asia
refused to allow the contribution to go to the Temple
fund in Jerusalem.
– Jews were useful citizens who brought money and
trade to every city in which they settled.
A great stadium was built in A.D. 79 and dedicated to
Titus, who became emperor in that year.
– It must be noted that an inscription found reads as
follows, "Nicostratus, paid the cost out of his own
resources.“
The language of Rev. 3:16 might have shocked the
audience to whom it was addressed, however, some feel
that this has reference to the mingling of the cold streams
and the hot thermal springs which were chemicallyimpregnated causing a lukewarm mixture which was
nauseating.
Laodicea (The Rich-Poor Church)
• The City:
– From the letter written to the Colossian brethren,
it seems to indicate that their is a church in
existence already in Laodicea - approx. A.D. 60.
• Col 2:1 we are not sure whether Paul here is
saying that he had never been to Laodicea.
– However, in 4:15 it indicates that Paul knew the
brethren their personally.
– An Epistle to the Laodicians is mentioned in 4:16
however, it has long been lost or as according to
Ussher it is the same letter that was written to
the Ephesian brethren.
• The apocryphal "Epistola ad Laodicenses" is a
late and clumsy forgery.
– Once gain it is assumed from Luke's statement in
Acts 19:10 that the church had its beginnings
during the stay of Paul in Ephesus.
• Epaphras might have been the first to preach
there since he was from the nearby city of
Colosse - cf. Col 1:7; 4:12.
Laodicea (The Rich-Poor Church)
• In this last epistle Christ identifies Himself as:
– (1) The Amen--something which is established
and positive; hence, indicates the stability of
Jesus (see Heb. 13:8).
– (2) The faithful and true witness--He declares the
exact truth as seen; His testimony is absolute and
trustworthy.
– (3) The beginning of the creation of God. The
word for "beginning" as used in the New
Testament means
• (a) "primacy in regard to time" that is, the
commencement of a thing;
• (b) "primacy in regard to rank and authority"-it is often translated "principality" as a
concordance will show.
– Jesus was not the first part of God's creation
(Jehovah's Witnesses' teaching on this verse), but
was the head and prince of God's creation.
– He created all things and sustains all things (Col.
1:15-16; John 1:1-3; Heb. 1:2, 10-12).
Laodicea (The Rich-Poor Church)
• Condemnation. The condition of this church was
indifference and lukewarmness (having a knowledge
but no zeal, inactive and unconcerned).
– Christ wished that they would be one way or the
other--cold or hot.
– When individuals become cold and completely fall
away and make wrecks of their lives, they can be
reached easier than the self-conceited lukewarm.
– The lukewarm are most difficult to reach and are
a great hindrance to the cause of Christ because
they influence others to be like themselves.
– The Lord showed His attitude toward this
condition in verse 16 and His feelings toward it
are no less today.
– They said they were rich and had need of nothing
(thinking their wealthy physical condition
provided for or resulted from their spiritual
condition, Luke 12:16-21), but in reality were
wretched, poor, blind, and naked (their actual
spiritual condition in the eyes of Christ).
Laodicea (The Rich-Poor Church)
• The picture of Laodicea well describes
many churches today.
– They enjoy a comfortable building,
have a respectable social standing in
the community, and live in material
prosperity unequalled before their
time.
– Their religion requires neither
sacrifice nor effort and they feel
perfectly satisfied in their own selfsufficiency.
– It is sad that they do not realize that
their lukewarm condition is an
abomination in the sight of the Lord.
Laodicea (The Rich-Poor Church)
• Exhortation.
– They were summoned to purchase of Christ:
• (1) Gold refined by fire (tested works, 1 Cor. 3:1315; 1 Pet. 1:7) that they might be rich;
• (2) White garments (clothed with purity, not
stained with sin and indifference) to cover their
nakedness;
• (3) Eyesalve to anoint their eyes ("salve to put on
your eyes" NIV) (insight and realization) that they
might come to realize their miserable condition.
• The Lord demanded of them fervent zeal and
immediate repentance.
– His sharp rebuke to them (and to all who are
lukewarm) was a result of His love for them (vs. 19).
(Compare Heb. 12:5-11).
– Christ stands on the outside seeking entrance and all
can have His approval, comforts and blessings by
letting Him in.
– To open the door to Christ is to obey His word, and to
sup with Him is to dine with Him in spiritual
communion and fellowship.
Laodicea (The Rich-Poor Church)
• Promise.
– He that overcomes or he that is victorious
in living the Christian life will sit with Christ
as He did with His Father--will share in His
glory and dominion (Rev. 2:26-28)--shall
reign with Him for ever and ever (Rev.
22:3-5).
– He who has an open mind and receptive
heart, let him listen to what the Spirit says
to the churches.
• Through the seven short epistles we gain
clear insight regarding the conditions of the
churches existing at that time.
• In the light of these, how do we stand as a
church today?
The Book of Revelation
Chapter Four
The GREAT THRONE SCENE –
Key Theme to be Noted – “God the Father
is the central figure
THE THREE “C’s” OF
REVELATION – Rev 2:10
CONFLICT
COMFORT
CONQUEST
THE GREAT THRONE SCENE
CHAPTERS 4-5
• The main theme of chapters 1-3 was "Christ
in he midst of the seven golden lampstands."
• We were given a glimpse of the glorious reign
of Christ (ch. 1) and of the seven churches as
Christ saw them (chs. 2-3).
• Chapters 4-7 deal with the throne scene and
the loosing of the seven seals.
– In chapter 4, God the Father is the central
figure.
– He is symbolically described as the center
of all things as He rules on His magnificent
throne.
– This chapter marks the beginning of the
visions that continue in sequence through
the rest of the book.
THE GREAT THRONE SCENE –Chapter
4:1-11
• After these things (referring to what
he saw in chs. 1-3), John sees a door
standing open in heaven.
– (Compare Ezek. 1:1; Matt. 3:16).
• As he was looking, a voice as of a
trumpet spoke to him again as in Rev.
1:10.
– The voice tells him to come up and
he will be shown the things which
must come to pass hereafter, that is,
in the future after the vision
THE GREAT THRONE SCENE – 4:1-11
• Immediately, he beheld a throne set in heaven
and the one sitting on the throne looked:
– like jasper (clear as crystal, Rev. 21:11)
– and sardine (red) stones and there was an
– emerald (green) looking rainbow about His
throne; these things emphasize God's
magnificence.
• For other descriptions of His throne, see Psalm
89:14; 97:2-3.
– Isaiah and Ezekiel also had visions of the
throne (Isa. 6:1-5; Ezek. 1:26-28; 10:18-22).
– There are four things common to all:
• the throne,
• the glorious one sitting on the throne,
• the gem-like things round about the
throne,
• and the living creatures.
THE GREAT THRONE SCENE – 4:1-11
• John sees round about the throne
twenty-four thrones on which twentyfour elders sit arrayed in white garments,
wearing crowns of gold.
• These are mentioned several times
throughout the book--4:4,10;
5:5,6,8,11,14; 7:11,13; 11:16; 14:3; 19:4.
– These are probably the redeemed of
the Old and New Testaments, holy and
victorious (Rev. 3:21; 7:9, 13-14).
– The redeemed of the O.T. are
represented by the twelve patriarchs
and the redeemed of the N.T. by the
twelve apostles thus making twentyfour. (Compare Rev. 21:12-14).
THE GREAT THRONE SCENE- 4:1-11
• The lightnings, voices, and thunders
(vs. 5) remind us of God's descension
on mount Sinai (Ex. 19:16-18; Deut.
5:22-24) and probably symbolizes the
terror and severity of God which in
turn should produce reverence and
awe in man (Heb. 12:18-29).
• Regarding “the seven Spirits of God”
(vs. 5), see Rev. 1:4 and the notes on
that verse.
• The sea of glass (vs. 6) is probably
only drapery to beautify the scene;
– later, those who are victorious stand
on it (Rev. 15:2).
THE GREAT THRONE SCENE- 4:1-11
• The four beasts ("living creatures"
ASV) in vss. 6-8 are not to be confused
with the "beasts" of chapter 13.
– They resemble those revealed in
Ezekiel (Ezek. 1:4-14; 10:14-15, 2022).
– The first was like a lion (noble),
– the second like a calf or young ox
(strong),
– the third had a face as a man (wise),
– and the fourth was like an eagle
(swift); hence, they were like the
noblest, strongest, wisest, and
swiftest of earth's creatures.
THE GREAT THRONE SCENE- 4:1-11
• Each of the four living creatures had
six wings (swiftness--can move as
lightning to carry out God's will) and
were full of eyes round about and
within (watchfulness--nothing escapes
their vision).
– These are probably the cherubims
(sometimes called "seraphims," Isa.
6:1-3) which are high ranking angels
of some sort (see Gen. 3:24; Ezek.
10:20).
– In other words, so great is the
throne that even the all-glorious and
holy cherubims arrange themselves
around it in reverence and awe.
THE GREAT THRONE SCENE- 4:1-11
• All the beasts and elders which John saw
began to glorify God (vss. 9-11).
– The four living creatures vocalize (they do
it without rest, constantly, vs. 8)
– a psalm of glory, honor and thanks (vss. 89)
– and the twenty-four elders paid homage
and reverence to the One on the throne and
express adoration because of the creation
(vss. 10-11).
• As we study these signs and symbols here
and elsewhere we need to focus our attention
on the central thought and not on the
intricate details.
– As in the parables of Jesus, the details are
only drapery to enhance the central
thought of the story.
THE GREAT THRONE SCENE- 4:1-11
• Thus, the meaning of fourth chapter is
that the One who sits on the throne of
heaven with all His grandeur and
splendor is due all glory, honor and
praise from all of His creatures which
He made.
• They all are and were created for His
pleasure (vs. 11);
– they were planned in His mind and
were brought forth for His purpose,
– and they should render the praise
and thanksgiving due Him,
– and should stand in reverence and
awe before Him.
THE GREAT THRONE SCENE- Chapter
4:1-11
•
•
William Blake
The Four and Twenty Elders
Casting their Crowns before
the Divine Throne circa 18035
Pencil and watercolour on
paper, 354 x 293 mm
Presented by the executors of
W. Graham Robertson through
the National Art Collections
Fund 1949
This watercolour evokes
imagery from the Book of
Revelation, Chapters 4 and 5.
St John witnesses the glorious
vision God, surrounded by a
rainbow. Around his throne
are twenty-four elders
dressed in white and 'four
beasts full of eyes before and
behind'. The deity holds 'a
book written within and on
the backside, sealed with
seven seals'
The Book of Revelation
Chapter Five
The GREAT THRONE SCENE
Key Theme to be Noted – “Christ the
Lamb is the central figure
THE THREE “C’s” OF
REVELATION – Rev 2:10
CONFLICT
COMFORT
CONQUEST
THE GREAT THRONE SCENE- Chapter
5:1-14
• The victorious Christ is the central
figure of chapter five.
– In the Father's right hand was a book
(a sublime and awesome one)
– written within and on the backside (a
complete one, no more room for
writing)
– which was sealed with seven seals
(an obscure one, its contents
unrevealed).
• The breaking of the seals indicates the
revealing and executing of the purpose
and plan of God as it relates to man on
earth as disclosed in the chapters
which follow.
THE GREAT THRONE SCENE- Chapter
5:1-14
• The strong (mighty and powerful) angel
proclaimed with a great voice,
– "Who is worthy to open the book, and to
loose the seals thereof?"
• John weeps when he discovers that no one in
the entire universe was found worthy to open
the book or to look thereon.
– No doubt he thought that revelation was
halted and the future development
confronting the church would be unknown.
• However, one of the elders said to him,
– "Weep not: behold the Lion of the tribe of
Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to
open the book and to loose the seven seals
thereof."
THE GREAT THRONE SCENE- Chapter
5:1-14
• The Lion represents the ruling one
(Gen. 49:9-10);
• He was a descendant of Judah (Heb.
7:14),
• the Root of David (Isa. 11:1,10; Rom.
15:12; Rev. 22:16).
• He "hath prevailed"--has overcome,
conquered and achieved the victory
over sin, Satan and death (1 John 3:8;
Heb. 2:14-15) and, therefore, is worthy
to open the seals of the book.
THE GREAT THRONE SCENE- Chapter
5:1-14
• John had been told of a "Lion"
when he looks he sees a "Lamb."
– Jesus is both; He is as a lion in
majesty and might and as a lamb
in meekness and lowliness.
– The sacrificial Lamb obtained the
eternal redemption (John 1:29;
Acts 8:32-35; 1 Pet. 1:18-19).
– He was in the midst of the throne
(a central figure; He is the central
figure of redemption) and stood
as a slain lamb (on Him the
slaughter marks were visible and
though He had been slain was
now standing and living).
THE GREAT THRONE SCENE- Chapter
5:1-14
• He had seven horns (fullness of
strength and honor; horns are the chief
weapons and ornaments of the animals
which possess them; hence, they came
to signify strength and honor).
• He had seven eyes (the seven Spirits of
God sent forth into all the earth, vs. 6).
• Probably this is speaking of the
fullness of His own Spirit which is sent
forth through His Word and which
dwells in the hearts of those who
receive and retain it, John 6:63;
14:23).
THE GREAT THRONE SCENE- Chapter
5:1-14
• Jesus came and took the book out of the
Father's hand;
– He alone has the authority to reveal and
execute the plan and purpose of God.
– When He had taken the book, the four
beasts (4:6-8 - high ranking angels, the
cherubims or seraphims) and the twentyfour elders (4:4 - the redeemed
represented by the twelve patriarchs and
the twelve apostles) fell down (in worship-see vs. 14) before the Lamb.
– Each of them had harps and golden vials
(bowls) full of odors (footnote, "Or,
Incense").
• There can be no question as to what the
golden bowls full of incense represent
(vs. 8b; see also Rev. 8:3-4; Psalm
141:2)
THE GREAT THRONE SCENE- Chapter
5:1-14
• The harps (also mentioned in 14:2 and
15:2) do not justify instrumental music in
worship as some claim.
– "That which proves a lot proves too
much!"
– If this verse justifies instrumental music,
it also justifies burning incense, and 6:28 justifies riding horses in worship and
7:9 justifies wearing white robes and
carrying palms to worship.
– The harps are to be taken figuratively as
are all the other symbols in Revelation.
– Here in 5:8, being connected with the
prayers of the saints, they perhaps
represent the songs of the saints.
THE GREAT THRONE SCENE- Chapter
5:1-14
• When the book was taken by the Lamb--the one who
was slain, but prevailed--three songs of praise were
raised in adoration.
– The first (vss. 9-10) was a new song (never
before was there a song of its kind).
• It was a song of redemption and was sung by
the four living creatures and the twenty-four
elders.
• The new song was a glorification of the
victorious Christ who had brought redemption
to His people.
• He had redeemed ("didst purchase" ASV) them
to God "by his blood" (Rev. 1:5; Eph. 1:7) out of
"every kindred, and tongue, and people, and
nation" (Dan 7:13-14).
• He "madest them to be unto our God a kingdom
and priests; and they reign upon the earth"
(5:10 ASV; see also Rev. 1:6; 1 Pet. 2:5,9).
• They have the highest positions and offices
attainable on earth because of Him.
THE GREAT THRONE SCENE- Chapter
5:1-14
• The second song (vss. 11-12) was sung by an
innumerable host of angels (one hundred million,
and thousands of thousands) and was a song of
exaltation and praise to the victorious Lamb of
God.
– Angels have an important role in the book of
Revelation.
– Angels have always had intense interest in
man (Luke 15:10).
– They desired to look into God's plan of
redemption (1 Pet. 1:10-12) and through the
establishment of the church could see it (Eph.
3:9-10).
• In verse 12 they mention seven things of
which the Lamb is deserving.
• He is worthy of our thanksgiving and praise
for all that He has done and will do for us.
THE GREAT THRONE SCENE- Chapter
5:1-14
• The third and final song (vs. 13) was sung by
all creation (by every created thing; the point
here is not that the animals will literally do it,
but if they could, this is what they would do).
– (Compare Psalm 148 wherein the whole
creation is invoked to praise God).
– They said, "Blessing, and honour, and glory,
and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the
throne (the Father) and unto the Lamb
(Christ) for ever and ever."
– Thus, God and Christ were worshiped,
honored, and praised by this great anthem
that John heard in his heavenly vision of
God's throne.
– Unto God and Christ be the blessing, honor,
glory, and dominion for ever and ever for
their work in creation and redemption.
The Book of Revelation
Chapter Six
THE REVELATIONS: Part One
THE HORSEMEN
THE TRUMPETS
THE THREE “C’s” OF
REVELATION – Rev 2:10
CONFLICT
COMFORT
CONQUEST
THE BEGINNING OF THE LAMBS REVELATIONS
• In chapter six the Lamb begins to open the
seven seals of the book.
– The seals consist of the four horses, the
martyred saints under the altar, and the
great earthquake.
– The seventh seal is a transition to the seven
trumpets.
– As the seals are opened, one by one the
living creatures as with a voice of thunder (a
mighty voice) cry "Come" (as in the ASV)
and the horses and their riders come forth.
– The "thunderous call" was either to the
horsemen to come forth (as indicated by the
ASV) or to John to come and see (as
indicated by the KJV).
– Scholarship tends to point to the former as
more nearly correct.
THE REPETITION IN REVELATION
• Each seal becomes more and more severe as John
proceeds with the vision of the opening of the seven
seals.
• The seven trumpets in chapters 9-11 and the seven
last plagues in chapters 16-19 follow the same
pattern.
• The trumpets appear to be more severe than the
seals and the last plagues appear to be more severe
than the trumpets.
• I understand all of these to be the same occurrences
all of which describe a series of judgments which
God brought upon the wicked of John's day.
Rev. 6:1-2 - First Seal--Conquest
•
•
•
•
The seals consist of the four horses, the martyred saints under
the altar, and the great earthquake.
The horsemen are not named by John (except for 6:8) and we
think it best to let it go at that.
The emphasis is on the "mission" of the riders as seen by the
color of their horses and the description of their purpose.
Nearly all of the commentaries identify the first rider as Christ.
– However, Christ is pictured as the opener of the seals and it
seems strange for Him to be quickly changed and pictured
as a rider.
– Furthermore, if Christ is the first rider, who are the others?
– The first horseman seems simply to represent "conquest"
for he came forth conquering and to conquer.
– A white horse was often ridden by the ruler or general after
he had conquered.
– The bow was a military weapon of that day and the crown
was a sign of victory (also royalty).
– The first horse, therefore, symbolized one of the forces
which was to bring about the downfall of the enemies of
God's people.
– The Christians were to see in it a sign of victory.
Rev. 6:3-4 - Second seal--War (Not the Decline and
Apostasy of the Church)
• The second rider's horse is red and to him
is given "to take peace from the earth"
and cause men to kill one another.
• There was given him a great sword (the
power and means to carry out his mission)
which, added to the other details,
identifies him as "war.“
• War is the bloody means of carrying out
conquest; thus, it was only natural that
the red horse would follow the white.
• Many times in the Old Testament war was
God's means of judgment against the
wicked and so it appears to be here.
Rev. 6:5-6 - Third Seal--Famine (Not the Condition of the Church in
the Middle Ages)
• Christ opens the third seal and John hears
the third living creature say, "Come."
• John sees a black horse with its rider having
a balance (an instrument for weighing) in his
hand. "A measure of wheat for a penny"
("shilling" ASV; a common day's wages, Matt.
20:2) implies great scarcity; to eat bread by
weight refers to a condition of economic
hardship (Lev. 26:26; Ezek. 4:10, 16-17).
• The expression, "And see thou hurt not the
oil and the wine" shows either that these
first plagues were not as extensive as those
yet to come or, that some would be excluded
from the affliction (see Rev. 3:10; 7:3; 9:4).
• The black horse and its rider, therefore,
represents famine or economic hardship.
Rev. 6:7-8 - Fourth Seal--Death (Not the Persecutions of
the Apostate Church of Rome)
• The pale horse is the symbol of death; the rider's
name was "Death" and "Hell" followed with him.
• This shows that these were not actual persons, but
forces.
• The word "Hell" here is the Greek word "Hades"
which is the abode of the dead, the realm of
disembodied spirits (Luke 16:19-31; Acts 2:27-31).
• In this instance, there was power ("authority" ASV)
given to them (or "him" KJV footnote) over the
fourth part of the earth (not a complete
destruction).
• They had authority to kill with the sword, hunger
("famine" ASV), death (or "pestilence" ASV
footnote), and the wild beast of the earth.
• John's figures are very much similar to God's
judgments against the wicked in the Old Testament
(Ezek. 5:12, 16-17; 14:21).
• The next seal (6:9-11) which is different from the
rest (no rider) shows the reason for the judgments-because they were killing the children of God.
Rev. 6:9-11 - Fifth Seal--Cry for Avenging (Not those
Killed by the Apostate Church of Rome
•
•
•
•
•
•
When the fifth seal was opened, John saw the souls of the slain
(martyrs, see 2:13) underneath the altar.
The blood was poured out at the base of the altar (Lev. 4:7) and
here we have under the altar the martyrs whose blood was
poured out for Christ.
They were slain (slaughtered in sacrifice) for (because of or by
reason of) the Word of God (that which they had received and
proclaimed) and the testimony which they held (their open
profession and witness in word and life).
In 12:11, John states that they overcame "by" ("because of"
ASV) "the word of their testimony" and that "they loved not their
lives unto the death," that is, they were willing to give up their
lives rather than deny the faith.
The sacrificial souls cried, "How long (the bitter persecution had
continued for some time and they asked God how long it would
be before He counteracted), O Lord, holy and true (see 3:7) dost
thou not judge (determine and pronounce a judgment) and
avenge our blood (not revenge, but vindication of their death) on
them that dwell on the earth (the unregenerate earth-dwellers
responsible for the saints' death)."
They earnestly cried for the avenging of their blood through a
just God. This thought represents the purpose and design of the
book. The following chart are the verses (NKJV) which show
that the avenging of the martyrs is a theme which ties the book
together.
THE MARTYRS OF JESUS
•
•
•
•
•
Revelation 2:13 – I know your works, and where you dwell,
where Satan's throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did
not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My
faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
Revelation 6:9-11 – When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under
the altar the souls of those who had been 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, until You
judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to
them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the
number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be
killed as they were, was completed.
Revelation 7:13-14 – Then one of the elders answered, saying to
me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they
come from?" And I said to him, "Sir, you know." So he said to me,
"These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and
washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the
Lamb."
Revelation 12:11 – And they overcame him by the blood of the
Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love
their lives to the death.
Revelation 16:6-7 – For they have shed the blood of saints and
prophets, And You have given them blood to drink. For it is their
just due. And I heard another from the altar saying, "Even so,
Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments."
THE MARTYRS OF JESUS
• Revelation 17:6 – I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and
with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with
great amazement.
• Revelation 18:24 – "And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints,
and of all who were slain on the earth.
• Revelation 19:2 – For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has
judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He
has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.
• Revelation 20:4 – And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment
was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been
beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not
worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their
foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a
thousand years.
• The "little season" was the period of persecution and tribulation through
which the church was then passing. It is parallel to the time Satan came down
in great wrath "because he knoweth that he hath but a short time" (12:12).
The "short time" of Satan stops when he is defeated and bound for a
thousand years (20:1-3); likewise, the "little season" of the martyred saints
ended when their complete vindication came (as disclosed in the latter part of
the book).
Rev. 6:12-17 - Sixth Seal--Severe Judgment of the Wicked
of John's Day (Probably not the Second Coming of Christ)
• The opening of the sixth seal probably gives a glimpse
of the great judgment which was to come upon the
persecuting force in John's day to avenge the blood of
the martyrs of Jesus.
• Remember, the persecuting force in not identified
until the 13th chapter.
• The descriptions of the earthquake, sun, moon, and
stars add intense fear, terror, and terribleness to the
picture of the coming judgment.
• The Old Testament is filled with similar judgments
which meant the end of the world for the nations
involved. Notice the following for similar thoughts
regarding each verse:
– vs. 12----Isa. 13:9-13; 29:6; 50:3; Jer. 4:19-26;
Ezek. 32:7; 34:12
– vs. 13----Isa. 34:4b; Joel 2:10, 31; 3:12-16
– vs. 14----Isa. 34:4a; Ezek. 26:15, 18; 27:35
Rev. 6:12-17 - Sixth Seal--Severe Judgment of the Wicked
of John's Day (Probably not the Second Coming of Christ)
• All classes of men of the earth will meet this judgment
(chapter 7 reveals that the faithful will be excluded).
• Whether, king, prince, chief captain, rich, strong, bond
or free, they shall try to hide when the judgment of
Christ comes and shall say to the mountains and rocks,
"Fall on us." See also Hosea 10:8; Isa. 2:19; Luke
23:28-30 wherein similar statements are made and refer
to God's judgment upon particular cities.
• The expression shows that the wicked will be filled with
terror as their doom comes.
• Verse 17 further shows that the great day of His ("their"
ASV--God and Christ) wrath has come. (See also Isa.
13:9; Joel 2:11, 31; Zeph. 1:14-15). Nahum asked a
similar question (as in 17b) regarding God's judgment
that was about to come upon Nineveh (Nah. 1:6). The
answer implied in both is, "No one."
• Thus, the sixth seal most likely represents the judgment
which would come upon the earth in order to avenge the
blood of the saints. It gives assurance to the saints that
God would avenge their cause.
THE SERIES OF SEVENS
• The Pattern of 4 + 3
– The first 4 of each are presented as a
unified sequence of 4 – followed by a
less unified sequence of 3.
• Seals 1 – 4 = 4 Horsemen modeled
on Zech. 1:7-11; 6:1-8
• Trumpets 1 – 4 = Affect on the
earth, sea, fresh waters, heavenly
bodies.
• Bowls 1 -4 = Affect on the earth,
sea, fresh waters, heavenly bodies.
THE SERIES OF SEVENS
• The Pattern of 4 + 3
– The Intensification: in the scope of judgment
unleashed by the next two of each set:
• Seals 5-6 = ¼ of the earth
• Trumpets 5-6 = 1/3
• Bowls 5-6 = All
– Then there is the THEOPHANY: Concludes
with physical phenomena heralding both the
appearing of God, (cf Ex. 19:16-19) and the
eschatological earthquake.
• Seal 7
• Trumpet 7
• Bowl 7
• The Interludes 7:1-17; and 10:1-13; and 12:115:8.
– Special attention needs to be paid to these
interludes.
The Book of Revelation
Chapter Seven
THE REVELATIONS: Part One
THE HORSEMEN
THE TRUMPETS
THE THREE “C’s” OF
REVELATION – Rev 2:10
CONFLICT
COMFORT
CONQUEST
Rev. 7:1-8 --- The Interlude
• Between the sixth and seventh seals is
an interlude (an interruption in the
scene) that involves all of chapter
seven.
– The seventh seal will be opened in
chapter eight.
– In chapter six we saw the saints
under the altar (9-11) and a terrible
judgment coming upon the earth
which was closed with the question,
• "Who shall be able to stand?" (1217).
Rev. 7:1-8 --- The Interlude
• In view of this one might ask, "Will the
saints on earth be able to stand and what
will happen to the souls under the altar?"
• John's interlude (a vision of two parts)
answers these questions.
– The saints on earth are sealed and those
martyred are before the throne of God.
• Thus, the first part of the interlude is
to permit the sealing of the saints in
order that they will be able to endure
the afflictions set forth in chapter six.
• The judgments seem to be altered so
that they will not hurt God's children.
Rev. 7:1-8
• The four angels standing at the four corners
(used to designate the four directions) were
holding the four winds of the earth:
– (the four winds of judgment--conquest, war,
famine, and death--as in 6:1-8 and as seen
from the word "hurt" in 7:2-3). (Compare
Jer. 49:36-38; 51:1-2).
• They were given to hurt the earth and the sea,
but another angel ascending from the sun
rising (from the direction of the morning light;
suggest a message of cheer and
encouragement), having the seal of the living
God, said,
– “Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the
trees, till we shall have sealed the servants
of our God in their foreheads.”
Rev. 7:1-8
• The seal symbolizes ownership and consequent
protection. (See Ezek. 9:6; 2 Tim. 2:19; 2 Cor.
1:22; Eph. 1:13; 4:30).
– Hence, God's people will not be affected by the
forthcoming judgments as will the people of
the world. (See Rev. 9:4).
• In verses 5-8 Ephraim and Dan are not
mentioned among the listing of the twelve tribes.
– Levi (who received no land inheritance) and
Joseph (his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh,
are normally listed) are included in the list.
– Perhaps Ephraim is not listed because it
introduced calf and Baal worship (1 Kings
11:26; 12:25-33) and Dan left its habitation
and inheritance and went into idolatry (Judges
18).
• No one can be certain as to why they were
omitted.
Rev. 7:9-17
• After these things (he now reveals the
second part of the interlude scene),
John sees a great multitude which no
man could number out of every nation
and from every tribe, people and
tongue.
– Jehovah's Witnesses try to teach that
these are the saved who inherit the
earth and the 144,000 are those who
receive heaven.
– However, the 144,000 are those on
earth who are sealed and the great
multitude are those souls with God
who had come out of the great
tribulation (6:9; 7:13-14).
Rev. 7:9-17
• Furthermore, the expression, "before the throne" is
used both of the great multitude (7:9) and later in
the heavenly setting of the 144,000 (14:1-5).
– The white robes of the great multitude are
symbolical of holiness, and justification (3:4-5;
6:11; 7:14), and the palms suggest a joyful,
festive occasion (Lev. 23:40; John 12:13).
– They cried with a loud voice saying "Salvation to
our God, who sitteth on the throne and unto the
Lamb" (an expression of praise and gratitude to
both God and Christ for the salvation provided).
– They are followed by angels who fell before the
throne on their faces and worshiped God with a
sevenfold praise similar to that given to the
Lamb in 5:12.
– The angels stood around the throne,
– as well as the elders (4:4)
– and the four living creatures (4:6-8),
– which again shows that this occurred in heaven
and is not something that is to occur on earth.
Rev. 7:9-17
• One of the elders speaks asking John, "What
are these which are arrayed in white robes,
and whence came they?"
• John did not know, but he was certain that
the elder knew.
– The elder answered, "These are they which
came out of the great tribulation..."
– The "great tribulation" here is the one that
took place under the world wide
persecution (not fully identified until the
13th chapter) in John's day.
– It was "world wide" because this great
multitude with the white robes were of "all
nations, and kindreds, and people, and
tongues" (vs. 9).
Rev. 7:9-17
• They are the same ones with "white robes"
who cry for the avenging of their blood (6:911).
– They had been put to death for their faith,
had gained the victory, and are now before
the throne.
– They had washed their robes and made
them white in the blood of the Lamb.
• By Christ's blood the saint is washed
from his sins (Rev. 1:5), redeemed (Rev.
5:9-10; 1 Pet. 1:18-19), given remission
of sins (Matt. 26:28), has constant
cleansing as he continually complies
with the conditions (1 John 1:7-9), and
is able to overcome (Rev. 12:11).
Rev. 7:9-17
• Verses 15-17 describe the blessings the
victorious received.
– They are before the throne of God and
serve Him day and night in His
temple.
– God shall "dwell among them" (KJV),
"spread his tabernacle over them"
(ASV); they have His protection and
receive His blessings.
– They possess peace and joy; every
want is given and every sorrow is
healed.
– The Lamb shall feed them ("be their
shepherd" ASV) and guide them to
fountains of water of life.
Rev. 7:9-17
• Since these have just come out of the great
tribulation, we conclude that these are the
blessings the faithful receive after death in the
place of comfort (Luke 16:22-26),
– paradise (Luke 23:43),
• in the presence of Christ figuratively (Phil.
1:23; 2 Cor. 5:8).
• They here await the end of all things at which
time they will be raised (John 5:28-29; 1 Cor.
15:52-53; 1 Thess. 4:13-18)
– and at which time they will receive the new
heaven,
– and new earth, and
– the heavenly Jerusalem, or the holy city (2
Pet. 3:10-14; Rev. 21 & 22).
The Book of Revelation
Chapter Eight
THE REVELATIONS: Part One
THE HORSEMEN
THE TRUMPETS
THE THREE “C’s” OF
REVELATION – Rev 2:10
CONFLICT
COMFORT
CONQUEST
Rev. 8:1-5 - Seventh Seal (Prayer and Response)
• As the seventh seal was opened there was a great
silence in heaven.
– Silence in the Old Testament indicates prelude to
judgment and that God was about to act (Zech
2:13; Zeph. 1:7).
– This silence here in Revelation makes the vision
more impressive.
– The seven angels which stood before God were
each given a trumpet.
– They will later in sequence sound their trumpets
and great plagues will come forth.
• The "censer" (vs. 3) was a vessel that was used for
holding incense while it was being burned (Lev.
16:11-13).
– The "incense" which was to be offered "with" the
prayers of the saints no doubt stands for the
intercession with prayers (made both by the Holy
Spirit and Christ, Rom. 8:26-27, 34).
– The prayers of "all" the saints are mentioned here
as opposed to only those under the altar in 6:910.
Rev. 8:1-5 - Seventh Seal (Prayer and Response)
• The "smoke" which ascended up before God (vs.
4) indicates that the prayers were acknowledged,
heard and received at the throne (similar to the
phrase, "sweet smelling savor," Gen. 8:21; 2 Cor.
2:15; Eph. 5:2; Phil. 4:18).
• The angel filled the censer with fire from the altar
and cast it upon the earth and there followed
voices, thundering, lightning’s, and an
earthquake.
– This indicates the fierceness and terribleness
of the judgment sent from God. (Compare Rev.
6:12; 11:19; Isa. 29:6; Joel 3:14-16).
– It represents the suffering inflicted upon the
wicked because of the cry of the saints.
– The thought here, therefore, is that God hears
the fervent prayers of his struggling and
afflicted people and causes His judgments to
go forth against their enemies.
Rev. 8:6-7 - First Trumpet affects the Land (Plagues)
• Some make the distinction of the seven seals and the
seven trumpets between verses 5 and 6.
– Others say that the seven trumpets make up the
seventh seal.
– A distinction between the two verses seems to give
the book a better balance.
• The seven angels which had the seven trumpets
prepared themselves to sound.
– Trumpets were used for alarming and warning of
approaching danger (Amos 3:6; Ezek. 33:1-6).
– They are often mentioned in God's messages of
doom against the wicked (Hosea 5:8-9; Joel 2:1-2;
Zeph. 1:15-16).
– Similarly, here in Revelation the trumpets represent
partial judgments upon the wicked and serve as
warnings of greater judgments to follow.
• The first judgment affects the earth bringing plagues
on a third of the ungodly world.
– The hail and fire mingled with blood remind us of
the plagues or judgments which were brought upon
the Egyptians (Exodus chs. 7-12).
Rev. 8:6-7 - First Trumpet affects the Land (Plagues)
• The judgments both in the days of Moses and John had
the same effect on the people.
– Remember, though, that in Revelation we are
dealing with symbolical expressions ("signified it by
his angel unto his servant John," Rev. 1:1).
– In Moses' age the judgments were brought about by
miracles; in John's age they were caused by natural
forces.
• These plagues were brought on the wicked to cause
them to repent:
– (9:20--this is a key verse to the correct
interpretation of the trumpets)
– and to avenge the blood of the saints (6:9-10; 16:67; 17:6; 18:24; 19:2).
Rev. 8:8-9 - Second Trumpet affects the Sea (Natural
Calamities)
• The second angel sounded and it affects the sea.
– This judgment brings great upheavals in
society, which will aid in the destruction of the
persecuting force (compare Jer. 51:25-26, a
judgment against the Babylonian Empire and
Ezek. 38:18-23, a judgment against Gog).
– It is not to be taken literally that a third of the
sea became blood and that a burning mountain
was cast into the sea, but God is working
through natural calamities.
• This brought economy collapse and great
upheavals in their society which in turn
destroyed their power as a dominating force
which in turn brought freedom from tribulation
(martyrdom) for the saints.
– To show how these plagues could at the same
time not hurt the saints, see Psalm 46:1-3;
Isa. 54:10; 61:1-3; 2 Thess. 2:16-17.
Rev. 8:10-12 - Third Trumpet - Inland waters (Upheavals
in Society, Bitterness of Life)
• Isaiah's description of the fall of the king of
Babylon aids in an understanding of the third
trumpet.
– He said, "How are thou fallen from heaven, O
Lucifer ("O day-star" ASV), son of the morning!
how art thou cut down to the ground, which
didst weaken the nations." (Isa. 14:12; see
Isa. 14:4-23 especially vss. 4 and 12).
– Thus, Isaiah used similar language concerning
Babylon when it was destroyed.
• The fall of the star named "Wormwood" (vs. 11)
caused a third part of the waters (inland waters)
to become wormwood (a bitter plant which came
to stand for bitterness, Jer. 9:15; Lam. 3:19) and
many men died as result of the waters.
– Thus, the third trumpet symbolized calamity
and destruction which brought bitterness of
life, distress, sorrow, and death.
Rev. 8:12 - The Fourth Trumpet affects the Heavenly
Bodies (Severe Judgement)
• The things mentioned in verse 12 are identical with
those in other passages which symbolize judgment
from God (Isa. 13:10-11; Jer. 15:9; Ezek. 32:7-8;
Amos 8:9; Joel 2:1-2).
– Hence, the heavenly bodies "darkened" symbolized
judgment from God.
– The term "third part" (used in the first four and
sixth trumpets) shows that it was only a partial
judgment at this time.
• The first four trumpets can be defined as judgments
of natural calamities brought on the wicked.
– Historians tell us that natural calamities played an
important role in the decline and fall of the Roman
Empire.
– Although the Roman Empire has not been
specifically introduced as of yet, (it is not
mentioned by name in the entire book), as we
proceed farther in our study, it will become more
and more evident that the plagues in the book
were those brought against it.
Rev. 8:13
• The angel ("eagle" ASV; some ancient manuscripts
have the word "eagle") flies through the midst of
heaven (in mid heaven where it is visible to all)
and gives warning that the last three trumpets,
each represented by a "woe" (9:12; 11:14), are to
be worse than the first four trumpets.
– The angel (or eagle) flying through the midst of
heaven represents a swift message.
– The "inhabitors of the earth" represent the world
of the unregenerate--those who have not
washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb-those without the seal of God in their foreheads
(7:3; 9:4, 20-21).
– The trumpet plagues were against the
inhabitants "of the earth" (vs. 13, 9:4, 20-21)
and which demonstrates that they were world
wide and not just localized against Jerusalem or
the nation of Israel.
• The following chart again shows (NKJV) how the
book is tied together in all of its scenes.
THOSE WITHOUT "THE SEAL OF GOD" HAVING "THE
MARK OF THE BEAST"
•
•
•
•
Revelation 8:13 – Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the
earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the
three angels who are about to sound!
Revelation 9:4 – They were commanded not to harm the
grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only
those men who do not have the seal of God on their
foreheads.
Revelation 13:16-17 – And he causes all, both small and
great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on
their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may
buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the
beast, or the number of his name.
Revelation 14:9-11 – Then a third angel followed them,
saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and
his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his
hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of
God, which is poured out full strength 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
ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or
night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever
receives the mark of his name."
THOSE WITHOUT "THE SEAL OF GOD" HAVING "THE
MARK OF THE BEAST"
• Revelation 15:2 – And I saw something like a sea of
glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory
over the beast, over his image and over his mark and
over the number of his name, standing on the sea of
glass, having harps of God.
• Revelation 16:2 – So the first went and poured out his
bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore
came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and
those who worshiped his image.
• Revelation 19:20 – Then the beast was captured, and
with him the false prophet who worked signs in his
presence, by which he deceived those who received the
mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.
These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning
with brimstone.
• Revelation 20:4 – And I saw thrones, and they sat on
them, and judgment was committed to them. And I saw
the souls of those who had been beheaded for their
witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not
worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received
his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they
lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
The Book of Revelation
Chapter Nine
THE REVELATIONS: Part One
THE HORSEMEN
THE TRUMPETS
THE THREE “C’s” OF
REVELATION – Rev 2:10
CONFLICT
COMFORT
CONQUEST
Rev. 9:1-11 - Fifth Trumpet--Locust (Uneasiness, Worry,
Uncertainly)
• In this chapter we begin a study of the three
woe trumpets.
– These will be more severe than the first
four (corresponding to what was said in
8:13).
• The fifth angel sounded and John sees a star
fall from heaven to the earth.
– The star becomes personified for he
receives the key to open the bottomless pit.
– This star is probably not Satan as most
commentaries state, but is the angel which
has the "key" of the bottomless pit (see
Rev. 20:1).
– The bottomless pit ("pit of the abyss" ASV)
as seen from other verses is the abode of
the devil (Rev. 17:8; 20:1-3).
Rev. 9:1-11 - Fifth Trumpet--Locust (Uneasiness, Worry,
Uncertainly)
• When he opened the bottomless pit, a great smoke
ascended from it and out of the smoke came forth
locust and they were given power like that of
scorpions.
– From the time of Moses locusts have been
instruments of divine judgment (Ex. 10:3-6;
Deut. 28:38-42; 1 Kings 8:37; Joel 2:1-11, 25).
– Here they are commanded to hurt only those men
which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
• In the book of Revelation we have:
– Those who have the seal God on their foreheads
(7:3-8).
– Those who do not have the seal of God on their
foreheads (9:4).
– Those who have the mark of the beast (13:16-17,
14:9,11; 16:2; 19:20).
– Those who did not have the mark of the beast
(15:2; 20:4).
Rev. 9:1-11 - Fifth Trumpet--Locust (Uneasiness, Worry,
Uncertainly)
• Verse 5 shows that the locust did not have power
to kill but only to torment five months.
– The "five months" (mentioned also in vs. 10)
shows that the judgment was for a definite
period of time and that it was not a complete
judgment.
– Regarding verse 6, see Job 3:21; 7:15; Jer. 8:3
which are more examples of some wishing to
die.
– These locust, therefore, represent forces which
caused those who were not Christians to receive
intense worry, uncertainty, and uneasiness.
– An example of this would be the threat of
collapse of economy, a long line of corrupt
rulers, and invasion of outside forces.
– These things do not affect the Christians, but to
the ungodly, it brings torment.
– In this connection, see Psalm 46:1-3; Isa. 54:10.
Rev. 9:1-11 - Fifth Trumpet--Locust (Uneasiness, Worry,
Uncertainly)
• Verses 7-10 give an eight-fold description
of the locust.
– The "as it were" phrase indicates
imitation, not genuine.
– Many of the expressions are similar to
Joel's figurative description of locust
which came in his day--see Joel 2:1-11,
25.
• They were shaped like horses prepared
for battle (powerful);
• had crowns of gold on their heads
(victorious);
• faces like men (humanistic);
• hair like women (beautiful);
• teeth like lions (devouring);
Rev. 9:1-11 - Fifth Trumpet--Locust (Uneasiness, Worry,
Uncertainly)
• breastplates of iron (impregnable);
• wings that sounded like many
chariots running to battle (forceful);
• and tails like scorpions
(destructive).
• In verse 11, the Hebrew word "Abaddon"
means "destruction" and the Greek word
"Apollyon" means "destroyer."
– Again, this is not necessarily Satan,
but is probably an angel so named.
– Please see 1 Cor. 10:10 where God is
spoken of as the destroyer.
– Here it is not Satan's forces at work,
but God's against the children of
Satan.
Rev. 9:12-21 - Sixth Trumpet--Men Are Slain (War and
Invasion from Other Lands)
• The sixth angel sounded and John heard a voice from
the horns of the golden altar which is before God.
– This is where the prayers of the saints had been
presented (8:3-4) and their cry at this time was for
the avenging of their blood (6:10-11; 18:20; 19:2).
– The voice tells the sixth angel to loose the four
angels that are bound at the great river Euphrates.
– The time fixed by God for them to be loosed had
come; thus, they will now do their destructive work.
• The number of the army of the horsemen was a great
complete number.
– Notice the vivid description given concerning them.
– The horses had heads as of lions, and fire, smoke and
brimstone proceeded out of their mouths.
– The horses also had power in their tails like serpents
that could hurt men.
– By their three-fold power they killed a "third part" of
men.
– For a vivid description of the war-horse, see Job
39:19-25.
Rev. 9:12-21 - Sixth Trumpet--Men Are Slain (War and
Invasion from Other Lands)
• The sixth trumpet or second woe, therefore,
describes the unleashing of armies that bring
destruction to a third part of those without the seal
of God in the foreheads.
– These probably were the Parthians in the East-from the land of the Euphrates.
– As always, John's use of the term "Euphrates" is
figurative and not literal.
– God's forces of vengeance against the
persecutors (the theme of the book, 6:9-11;
7:13-17; 13:7-8; 16:6-7; 17:6; 18:24; 19:2;
20:4), where held in restraint at their border
until a time determined by Him.
– The destruction of the enemies of God's people
would shortly come to pass.
– The theme of the book is not "God's determined
punishment on Israel" as some try to claim.
– If that is the theme of the book, where are the
verses which indicate it?
•
•
THE REFUSAL TO REPENT
We have before us now two of the major things which
played a part in overthrowing the persecuting force:
natural calamities and external invasion.
– God used these various means not only to avenge His
people but also to bring the ungodly to repentance (vss.
20-21).
– These things help the Christians to see that their
enemies will never triumph over Christianity.
– Still after these six "plagues" (a key word to the correct
interpretation of the book--see 16:9; 18:8; 22:18), they
refused to repent, but continued in their evil: idolatry,
murders, sorcery, theft, fornication.
This again aids in understanding which persecuting force
the plagues were primarily against.
– The Roman nation at that time was idolatrous, but the
Jewish nation was not.
– Since they would not repent, the only thing left for them
is the heavier judgment of God.
– The trumpets do not refer to the end of the world as
some think.
– No one will be given opportunity to repent when the
Lord comes (2 Thess. 1:6-9).
The Book of Revelation
Chapter Ten
THE REVELATIONS: Part One
THE HORSEMEN
THE TRUMPETS
THE THREE “C’s” OF
REVELATION – Rev 2:10
CONFLICT
COMFORT
CONQUEST
Rev. 10:1-7 - The Mighty Angel and the
Seven Thunders
• At this point we have an interlude between the
sixth an seventh trumpets or the second and third
woes as there was between the sixth and seventh
seals.
• John sees another strong angel coming down out
of heaven arrayed with a cloud.
– Notice the vivid description of this angel.
– He was clothed with a cloud and a rainbow was
upon his head (clad with radiance and splendor)
and his face was as it were the sun and his feet
as pillars of fire (bright and glorious).
– He had "a little book open" in his hand (vs. 2),
unlike the one in ch. 5.
– He sat his right foot upon the sea and his left
foot on the earth (of immense size--indicating
that his message was for all people of the
world).
– This glorious vision indicates that it is one of
importance.
Rev. 10:1-7 - The Mighty Angel and the
Seven Thunders
• The angel cried with a great voice (indicating an
important message that should be heard) and
seven thunders uttered their voices (this is the
first time we are introduced to these).
• John was about to write, but was told to seal up
the things the seven thunders uttered and do not
write them.
– The seven thunders, therefore, represent the
things in the far distant future that are sealed
and unrevealed.
– God saw fit not to reveal any details about how
He would be working in the many years that lie
ahead.
– We understand that God is still working in the
affairs of men; He still hears the prayers of the
saints.
– However, it is not up to us to try to pin-point
just how God is working through His providence
today.
Rev. 10:1-7 - The Mighty Angel and the
Seven Thunders
• The mighty angel swore by the Creator
(indicating an everlasting decree) that
there should be time ("delay" ASV; NKJV)
no longer.
– The souls under the altar had cried,
"How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost
thou not judge and avenge our blood on
them that dwell on the earth?" (6:10)
– Delay would be no longer!
– The angel added, "In the days of the
voice of the seventh angel, when he shall
began to sound, the mystery of God
should be finished, as he hath declared
to his servants the prophets."
Rev. 10:1-7 - The Mighty Angel and the
Seven Thunders
• Thus, the seventh angel will finish or
complete the mystery as declared to the
prophets.
– The seventh trumpet (11:14-19)
fulfills the prophecies of the Old
Testament, the last of which reached
to the destruction of the Roman
Empire (Dan. 2:36-45; 7:1-28).
– The things which occurred in those
early years of Christianity (about 100
A.D. to 250 A.D.) as revealed in the
book of Revelation are the important
length which fills up the whole of
God's revelation.
Rev. 10:8-11 - The Little Book in the
Angel's Hand
• John again hears the voice.
– It tells him to take the book which is open
in the hand of the strong angel.
– The little book "open" suggests things
revealed or known (not "sealed" as was the
seven thunders).
– John went and told the angel to give him the
little book.
– The angel told John to take it and eat it and
his belly would be made bitter but it would
be as sweet as honey in his mouth. It
happened exactly as the angel instructed.
– The angel followed by saying to John "Thou
must prophesy again over many peoples and
nations and tongues and kings."
Rev. 10:8-11 - The Little Book in the
Angel's Hand
• It is easy to understand what took place, but
hard to comprehend what the figure
represents.
– What is the little book?
– What is the bitter and the sweet?
• The angel said that John would again
prophesy. We have learned that the Old
Testament prophecies would be fulfilled with
the seventh angel.
– Thus, the little book no doubt represents the
prophecies that John would yet utter (vs.
11) in the remainder of his book (chs. 1122) which includes things nowhere else
revealed, i.e., the loosing of Satan for a little
season.
Rev. 10:8-11 - The Little Book in the
Angel's Hand
• The sweet represents the pleasant reaction of
John as he received the Word of God.
• The bitter represents the reaction of his
preaching to his hearers--the sorrow and woe
it would bring upon them. Jeremiah and
Ezekiel had similar experiences.
– Ezekiel was shown a roll of a book and was
told to take and eat it and when he did, it
was sweet as honey in his mouth (Ezek. 2:83:3).
– Jeremiah said, "Thy words were found, and
I did eat them; and thy word was unto me
the joy and rejoicing of mine heart..." (Jer.
15:16).
– Thus, when they received the Word of God it
brought them much joy; however, as they
later taught it among the people, it brought
many bitter results (Compare Jer. 20:7-9).
The Book of Revelation
Chapter Eleven
THE REVELATIONS: Part One
THE HORSEMEN
THE TRUMPETS
THE THREE “C’s” OF
REVELATION – Rev 2:10
CONFLICT
COMFORT
CONQUEST
Rev. 11:1-2 - Measuring the Temple
• In the interlude we are introduced first
to the strong angel with the little book
in his hand.
– Next, we witness the measuring of
the temple.
• John is given a reed like a measuring
rod and is told to measure the temple,
altar, and worshipers.
– Remember, these are visions which
John saw.
– It was not the literal temple that he
was to measure, and it was not the
literal city of Jerusalem that was to
be trodden underfoot for a literal
forty-two months.
Rev. 11:1-2 - Measuring the Temple
• There are only two visions mentioned in
the Old Testament wherein something
was measured.
– There was a complete measuring of
the temple with all its holy ordinances
in Ezek. 40:1-42-20 which was
designed to cause the Israelites to
make a separation between the holy
and the common (see Ezek. 40:20;
43:10-11; 22:26).
– There was a measuring of Jerusalem
in Zech. 2:1-5 (after the captivity,
Zech. 1:1) and was designed to show
that God would preserve and protect
His suffering people.
Rev. 11:1-2 - Measuring the Temple
• Thus, the measuring of the temple in Rev.
11:1-2 was to separate and protect His people,
and is parallel to the sealing of the 144,000 in
chapter 7.
– They were sealed and measured for the
same purpose.
– The temple (sanctuary) represents the
spiritual temple, God's dwelling place or
habitation among men (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 2
Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:21; 1 Tim. 3:15).
– The temple is to be measured but the
outside court was to be left out.
– The temple (Christians or the church) would
receive divine recognition and protection,
while the outer court (the wicked or the
world) would not.
Rev. 11:1-2 - Measuring the Temple
• John added that "the holy city," later called,
"the beloved city" in Rev. 20:9 (again, the
church, Heb. 12:22; Gal. 4:26) would be
trodden under foot by those outside the court.
• In other words, the Christians or the church
would be trodden under foot or persecuted by
the world, but not touched in their relation to
God.
• THE HOLY, BELOVED CITY
– Revelation 11:2 – But leave out the court
which is outside the temple, and do not
measure it, for it has been given to the
Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city
under foot for forty two months.
– Revelation 20:9 – They went up on the
breadth of the earth and surrounded the
camp of the saints and the beloved city. And
fire came down from God out of heaven and
devoured them.
Rev. 11:1-2 - Measuring the Temple
• This period of persecution would last forty-two
months--the same length of time for the event
of 11:3; 12:6, 14, and 13:5.
• This is the same amount of time Daniel said
the fourth kingdom (the Roman) would
persecute the saints (Dan. 7:21-27).
• The literal city of Jerusalem would be "trodden
down of the Gentiles, until the times of the
Gentiles be fulfilled" (Luke 21:24) which
meant that it would have its "end" (Luke 21:9;
Matt. 24:6,14).
• John's "holy city," however, would be
trampled under foot only for a limited time.
• The following shows that the events of 11:2,3;
12:6; 13:5,7 and Dan. 7:13-15 all referring to
the same time period:
Rev. 11:1-2 - Measuring the Temple
• 42 months - The holy city trodden –
Rev. 11:2
• 1,260 days - The two witnesses
prophesy – Rev. 11:3
• 1,260 days - The woman is fed in
wilderness – Rev. 12:6
• Time and times and half a time - 3 and
½ years - The beast would
continue...was granted to make war
with the saints and over come them –
Rev. 13:5,7
• Time and times and half a time - 3 and
½ years - The fourth beast shall be a
fourth kingdom...the saints would be
given into his hand – Dan. 7:23,25
Rev. 11:3-13 - The Two Witnesses
• The third part of the interlude involves the
two witnesses.
– "Two" symbolizes strength (Eccl. 4:9-12).
The early missionary journeys were
accompanied two by two.
– We see in these verses the symbol of the
strength of the early apostles and
prophets bearing witness of the gospel.
– This same testimony continued in the
Word held and proclaimed by the saints.
• They gave a powerful witness for 1,260 days
(again, the same time as in 11:2, 12:6, 14;
Dan 7:21-26) clothed in sackcloth (a coarse
sack fabric which was worn by ancient
people in time of mourning); thus, they were
prophesying through a time of affliction or
persecution.
Rev. 11:3-13 - The Two Witnesses
• Verse 4 says, "These are the two olive
tree, and the two candlesticks standing
before the God of the earth.“
– This explanation of the two witnesses
seems to be drawn from the vision in
Zechariah 4.
– The angel that talked with Zechariah
asked him saying, "Do you not know
what these (the two olive trees) are?
(Zech. 4:13)
– The angel said, "These are the two
anointed ones, who stand beside the
Lord of the whole earth."
Rev. 11:3-13 - The Two Witnesses
• In the context of chapters 3 and 4 of
Zechariah, Joshua the high priest and
Zerubbabel the governor were God's anointed
ones.
– It was through those offices that He was
blessing Israel at that time.
– The "two witnesses" of Rev. 11 perhaps is
referring to the apostles and prophets.
– The terms "they will prophesy" (vs. 3) and
"their testimony" (vs. 7) no doubt refers to
the testimony that was borne during the
time of persecution (Rev. 6:9; 12:11,17;
19:10; 20:4).
– Here again is a chart which shows that
many of the terms in the book tie all the
scenes together.
– It will become more evident as we proceed,
that this fact is important in helping to
obtain the correct interpretation of the
book.
Rev. 11:3-13 - The Two Witnesses
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
THE TESTIMONY OR WITNESS OF JESUS
Revelation 1:2 – Who bore witness to the word of God, and to the
testimony of Jesus Christ, and to all things that he saw.
Revelation 1:9 – I, John, both your brother and companion in
tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on
the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the
testimony of Jesus Christ.
Revelation 6:9 – When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar
the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the
testimony which they held.
Revelation 11:7 – Now when they finish their testimony, the beast that
ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them,
overcome them, and kill them.
Revelation 12:11 – And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to
the death.
Revelation 12:17 – And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and
he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the
commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Revelation 19:10 – And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to
me, "See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your
brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the
testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
Revelation 20:4 – And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and
judgment was committed to them. And I saw the souls of those who
had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God,
who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received
his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and
reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
Rev. 11:3-13 - The Two Witnesses
• Through their testimony, the two
witnesses had great power and
strength (vss. 3, 5, and 6).
• They had power to devour their
enemies and to prevent rain (as did
Elijah) and power to turn water into
blood and afflict the earth with every
plague (as did Moses).
• All of this showed that the restraining
force of the civil authorities were not
able to destroy the early work of
witnessing and preaching the gospel.
Rev. 11:3-13 - The Two Witnesses
• However, the testimony must meet its
opposing strength.
– The beast that ascends out of the
bottomless pit (the beast, the
instrument that Satan used to
overcome the saints, is not here
identified; it will be identified in ch.
13 as the Roman Empire; see also
17:8) shall make war against them,
and shall overcome and kill them (see
13:7).
– Their dead bodies shall lie in the
street of the great city (called
"Babylon" and "the great whore" and
will later be identified as the city of
Rome, 14:8; 16:19; 17:5-6,18; 18:2,
10, 16, 18, 19, 21, 24; 19:2).
Rev. 11:3-13 - The Two Witnesses
– Sodom (ungodliness) and Egypt
(bondage to sin) are the things that
put the Savior to death.
– These opposing characteristics, the
same ones that put Jesus to death,
seem to overcome.
• (Note: If one makes the expression,
"where also our Lord was crucified"
literal, why doesn't he also make the
"beast," "bottomless pit," "their dead
bodies," and "they ascended to heaven"
literal?)
Rev. 11:3-13 - The Two Witnesses
• In applying the scene to the
Christians of that day, it seemed to
them that Imperial Rome would be
able to destroy Christianity.
– Indeed, the influence and spread of
Christianity was stopped by the great
persecution.
– Its believers had been slaughtered; its
voice was silenced.
– Their dead bodies were a gazing-stock
(not literally) as the wicked rejoiced
over them.
Rev. 11:3-13 - The Two Witnesses
• However, Rome had not thought of the power
of God.
– After three days and half (meaning a short
time) the breath of life from God entered
into them.
– The cause of Christianity will always
eventually triumph.
– The church is restored to its power and
influence.
– Great fear fell on the earth dwellers as the
two witnesses came alive and went up to
heaven.
– In that hour there was a great earthquake
(symbolizes a judgment from God) and a
tenth part of the city fell and seven thousand
people died.
– Those who remained in the city were
terrified and gave glory to God.
Rev. 11:3-13 - The Two Witnesses
• The witnessing or the preaching of
the gospel had great force at first,
but there soon arose a terrible
persecution and many of the
Christians were killed.
– The witnessing seemed to be stopped.
– However, the strong witness of God
will eventually triumph though
bitterly opposed.
Rev. 11:3-13 - The Two Witnesses
• The two witnesses being raised and taken into
heaven indicates the revival of the gospel cause.
John's vision compares with Isaiah's vision of
the figurative resurrection of Israel from
Babylonian exile (Isa. 26:13-19), and with
Ezekiel's vision of the valley of dry bones (Ezek.
37:1-14) in which the prophet described the
resurrection of Israel from the grave of their
captivity.
– Ezekiel's and John's visions contain several
similar expressions, but Ezekiel's referred to
the return of Israel from exile, and John's to
the victory over the heathen persecutors.
– Also, remember that the kingdom was never
to be destroyed, but was to be proven that it
is an everlasting kingdom (Dan 7:21-27; Rev.
11:15).
– The purpose of John's words was to give
comfort and encouragement to the suffering
saints of his time as well as to suffering saints
of any age.
•
•
•
•
Rev. 11:14-19 - The Seventh Trumpet
Remember that when the seventh angel sounded
the mystery of God which was declared to the
prophets would be finished (10:7).
When the seventh angel sounded, there were
great voices in heaven saying, "The kingdoms of
this world are become the kingdom of our Lord,
and his Christ." (Vs. 15).
This is precisely as Daniel the prophet declared
(Dan. 2:44-45; 7:21-27).
Thus, the seventh trumpet or the third woe
represents the last judgment against Rome which
will finish the words spoken by the prophets, will
bring victory for the saints, and will demonstrate
that the kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.
Rev. 11:14-19 - The Seventh Trumpet
• The song of thanksgiving is sung by the twenty-four elders (probably
the redeemed of both Testaments; see comments 4:4).
• They gave thanks to God because (1) "Thou hast taken to the thy great
power, and hast reigned." He has demonstrated His reigning strength
indicating that Christians have nothing to fear. (2) "Thy wrath is come"
(see Rev. 16:19 for an example of His wrath against the great city). (3)
"And the time of the dead, that they should be judged" (probably God's
judgment against the spiritually dead rather than the final judgment-as in Dan. 7:26-27). (4) "Thou shouldest give reward" (probably here
the reward of deliverance from persecution and avenging the blood of
the righteous dead). (5) "And shouldest destroy them which destroy
the earth" (the wicked at that time who were killing Christians).
• It is possible that the above is referring to the final judgment; however,
it seems far better to give the book a consistent interpretation rather
than repeatedly changing from John's day to the end of time.
• Each set of seals, trumpets, and bowls of wrath cover the same period
of time.
• Each set concerns God's judgment against the wicked from beginning to
end, and each set is more severe than the preceding one.
•
•
•
•
Rev. 11:14-19 - The Seventh Trumpet
The opening of heaven to show the ark of the
covenant shows that God keeps covenant with
His people.
Although the church is in a tremendous conflict
with the world, and it appears that the church
will loose, God will keep His covenant--the church
will be victorious.
Also, at the same time (as vs. 19b shows) God's
judgment of impending doom and disaster is
reserved for the wicked (see also Isa. 29:6).
By way of summary, we have studied regarding
the seven churches (chs. 1-3), the seven seals
(chs. 4-7) the seven trumpets (chs. 8-11), and
now, the seven figures (chs. 12-14).
In Summation:
• By way of summary, we have studied
regarding:
– The seven churches (chs. 1-3),
– the seven seals (chs. 4-7)
– the seven trumpets (chs. 8-11)
• Next we will study the seven figures (chs.
12-14
The Book of Revelation
Chapter Twelve
THE REVELATIONS: Part Two
THE WAR & VICTORY
THE THREE “C’s” OF
REVELATION – Rev 2:10
CONFLICT
COMFORT
CONQUEST
Rev. 12:1-2 - First Figure - The Glorious
Woman (The Faithful Remnant)
• In this section we have an altogether different vision,
but it deals with the same period of time that we have
already studied.
– We do not step out of that era into another.
– We get a glimpse of the actual struggle at work
between God and Satan.
– God uses His forces (Christ and His followers) and
Satan uses his (evil governments and false
religions).
• In chapters 12-14 seven majestic figures or
personages are involved in the intense conflict:
– (1) the woman,
– (2) the great dragon,
– (3) the man child,
– (4) Michael,
– (5) the sea beast,
– (6) the earth beast,
– and (7) the Lamb with the 144,000.
Rev. 12:1-2 - First Figure - The Glorious
Woman (The Faithful Remnant)
•
•
John says, "And there appeared a great wonder (footnote:
"Or, sign"; chapters 12-14 are highly symbolical) in
heaven" (as seen from heaven's viewpoint).
– First, he sees a woman of glorious appearance.
– She was clothed with the sun (glorious and exalted) and
had the moon under her feet (dominion).
– She had on her head a crown of twelve stars
(victorious).
– Also, the radiant woman being with child "cried,
travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered" (vs. 2).
This woman probably does not represent the Jewish nation
or the virgin Mary, but the spiritual remnant through which
the Messiah would come.
– This view is sustained by Micah who said, "Be in pain,
and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a
woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the
city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go
even to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there
the Lord shall redeem thee from the hand of thine
enemies." (Micah 4:10).
Rev. 12:1-2 - First Figure - The Glorious
Woman (The Faithful Remnant)
• The one brought forth by the daughter of Zion would "be ruler
in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from
everlasting." (Micah 5:2)
– Micah also added, "Therefore will he give them up, until the
time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the
remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of
Israel. And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the
Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God; and
they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of
the earth." (Micah 5:3-4)
• This woman gloriously arrayed represents more than just the
Patriarchical and Mosaical remnant.
– After bearing the man child she came to symbolize all of
those "who keep the commandments of God and have the
testimony of Jesus Christ" (vs. 17).
– Paul said, "Even so then at this present time also there is a
remnant according to the election of grace" (Rom. 11:5).
Rev. 12:3-4 - Second Figure - The Great
Red Dragon (Satan, 12:9; 20:2)
• John sees another wonder in heaven--"a great red
dragon." He is pictured as a dragon to demonstrate his
monstrous nature.
– Notice his vivid description: he had ten horns (symbol
of power) and seven crowned heads (dominion).
– The crowns ("diadems" ASV) were worn by royalty
(hence, a symbol of authority).
– The dragon's tail drew the third part of the stars of
heaven and cast them to the earth.
– He was of immense size, power, and fury. Also, he
stood before the woman to devour (to eat up greedily
or ravenously, to seize upon and destroy) her child as
soon as it was born.
– Thus, from the time in the garden of Eden (Gen. 3:15)
to this point in the conflict, the dragon has stood
ready to destroy the Seed when He would come.
– The dragon, of course, is Satan, the old serpent, the
devil (vs. 9; 20:2).
Rev. 12:5-6 - Third Figure - The Man
Child (Christ)
• The man child no doubt represents Christ.
– He is the one who was to rule the nations with a
"rod of iron" (Psalm 2:6-9; 110:1-7; Rev. 19:1116).
• He was "caught up" to God not for protection but to
establish His rule. (See 1 Pet. 3:22; Matt. 28:18;
Eph. 1:20-23 Rev. 3:21).
– Dan. 7:13-14 says, "I saw in the night visions,
and, behold, one like the Son of man came with
the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of
days, and they brought him near before him. And
there was given him dominion, and glory, and a
kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages,
should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting
dominion, which shall not pass away, and his
kingdom that which shall not be destroyed."
– One short verse (Rev. 12:5) covers the entire
time from Christ's birth to His crowning in
heaven.
Rev. 12:5-6 - Third Figure - The Man
Child (Christ)
• The woman receives divine
protection during the time of the
dragon's persecution (vs. 6, 13-14).
– Five verses describe the same period
of time--11:2, 3; 12:6, 14; 13:5.
• The faithful remnant (represented
by the woman) would not be
destroyed but would be protected
and aided by God.
Rev. 12:7-12 - Fourth Figure - Michael (The
Archangel, Jude 9; The Prince of the People of
Israel, Dan. 10:13,21; 12:1)
• John sees a war in heaven.
– He sees Michael and his angels going forth to war with
the dragon and his angels.
– The great dragon and his angels are cast out (they are
defeated).
• This represents the spiritual battle that was going on in
John's day because verse 11 says that they (the saints
who had been martyred) overcame him (Satan) by the
blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.
– "The word of their testimony" is the same "testimony"
or "witness" under consideration throughout the book
(1:2,9; 6:9; 11:7; 12:11; 12:17; 19:10; 20:4).
• The expression, "They loved not their lives unto death"
means that they were willing to give up their lives.
– They are the same "martyrs of Jesus" described
throughout the book (2:13, 6:9-11; 7:13-17; 16:6-7;
17:6; 18:24; 19:2; 20:4).
– Thus, the martyred saints in John's day had a part in
this victory over Satan
Rev. 12:7-12 - Fourth Figure - Michael (The
Archangel, Jude 9; The Prince of the People of
Israel, Dan. 10:13,21; 12:1)
• In verse 10, when Satan was defeated, John said that
he 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 (or "because") the
accuser of our brethren is cast down..."
– This does not mean that the kingdom was
established at a later date than the day of
Pentecost (Jehovah's Witnesses' teaching on this
verse), but those things (salvation, kingdom, etc.)
were completely realized when Satan's forces
were defeated.
– In other words, the victory at that time over Satan
and his forces demonstrated that the kingdom was
indeed an everlasting kingdom.
• This is the same as taught in 11:15 and the same
principle as in 10:7 (completing the prophets), and
precisely as Daniel had said in Dan. 7:21-27.
Rev. 12:7-12 - Fourth Figure - Michael (The
Archangel, Jude 9; The Prince of the People of
Israel, Dan. 10:13,21; 12:1)
• Those above in heaven were to rejoice because
Satan had been cast down, but those below on
earth were to beware because Satan had but a
short time before his forces would be completely
defeated.
– The blood of the martyrs was quickly to be
avenged but in the mean time Satan would try
to hurt and kill as many Christians as he could.
– The "short time" of Satan and the "little
season" of the martyrs are the same (see
6:11).
• In 20:1-3, Satan's short time ends which means
that the martyrs' little season ended, and also
that during the thousand years, Satan's
extensive power to put Christians to death would
be taken away.
Rev. 12:13-17
• In verse 13 Satan persecuted the woman (he
would destroy her if he could) but in verse 14
she is given divine protection.
– She was given two wings of a great eagle
that she might fly into the wilderness and
there be nourished during the time of
persecution.
– The expression "bore you on eagles wings"
was used in the O.T. as a symbol of divine aid
(Ex. 19:4; Deut. 32:11-12).
– Again, the period of time given in verse 14 is
the same as 11:2-3; 12:6; 13:5 and Dan. 7:25
("time" one year, "times" two years, and
"half a time" half a year -- 1,260 days, 42
months, or 3 ½ years).
• This represents an indefinite period of time
through which the spiritual remnant would
undergo persecution.
Rev. 12:13-17
• The serpent cast out of his mouth water as a river
after the woman.
– This stream that the devil cast out is probably a
great line of falsehood against God's people
(false charges, malicious reports, etc.) and the
earth swallowed it.
– This helped the righteous instead of destroying
them.
– As long as the faithful drink from the fountain
of divine truth and the world from the river of
Satan's lies, a separation between them will
remain.
• It is only when Christians begin to compromise
with Satan's falsehoods that tragedy results.
– The devil was furious with the woman when he
saw that he failed to sweep her away with his
flood and, thus, he turns to make war with the
remnant ("rest" ASV) of her seed who keep the
commandments of God and hold the testimony
of Jesus.
Rev. 12:13-17
– The dragon had been defeated in his
effort to devour the man child who
was caught up to God and His throne.
– He had failed to sweep away the
woman when the earth swallowed up
his river of lies.
• Made furious by these two defeats, he
now turns to persecute the woman's
other offspring (the New Testament
remnant, the saints).
• These saints are assured victory in
Christ.
– We, too, can have victory through
Christ (Rom. 8:31-39).
The Book of Revelation
Chapter Thirteen
THE REVELATIONS: Part Two
THE WAR & VICTORY
THE THREE “C’s” OF
REVELATION – Rev 2:10
CONFLICT
COMFORT
CONQUEST
Rev. 13:1-10 - Fifth Figure - The Sea
Beast (The Roman Empire)
• In chapter thirteen we are introduced to two beasts.
– One came up out of the sea (vss. 1-10) and the other
out of the earth (vss. 11-18).
– Notice the awesome description of the first.
– He has seven heads (symbolizing seven kings, 17:911).
– He has ten horns (ten kings of the ten provinces,
17:12-13) and ten crowns (not identified by John).
• Upon his heads are names of blasphemy which depicted
the evil claims and assertions connected with emperor
worship.
– He was liken unto a leopard with feet as a bear and a
mouth as a lion.
– One of his heads had a deadly wound but it was healed.
• This is probably referring to the death of Nero, the
first emperor who persecuted the church, whose
policy of persecution was revived by Domitian.
• The world rendered homage to the dragon who had
given his authority to the beast for to them this
power seemed absolute and invincible.
Rev. 13:1-10 - Fifth Figure - The Sea Beast (The
Roman Empire)
• In Daniel, chapters 2 and 7, the iron kingdom or the
fourth great beast is the fourth ruling world empire.
– This kingdom would be in rule when the church would
be established (Dan. 2:43-44).
• There are many similarities of the beasts of Daniel 7 and
Revelation 13.
– Both came up out of the sea (evil world governments
arising from society, Dan. 7:3; Rev. 13:1).
– Daniel's fourth beast was more fierce and terrible
than the rest (Dan. 7:7); John's beast had
characteristics that made up Daniel's three previous
beasts (Rev. 13:2).
– Daniel's beast spoke words against the Most High
(Dan. 7:8, 25); John's spoke blasphemies against God
(Rev. 13:1, 5-6).
– Daniel's beast devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped
the residue with its feet (Dan. 7:7, 19), and the world
thought that none was able to war against John's
beast (Rev. 13:4).
Rev. 13:1-10 - Fifth Figure - The Sea Beast (The
Roman Empire)
– Both had ten horns (Dan 7:20; Rev. 1:1)
and made war with the saints and
overcame them (Dan 7:21, 25; Rev.
13:7).
– Both had authority over the earth
dwellers (Dan. 7:25; Rev. 13:8) for an
indefinite period of time (Dan. 7:25;
Rev. 13:5).
– Daniel also strongly emphasized that in
spite of the efforts of the beast, the
saints would possess the kingdom
which would prove it to be an
everlasting kingdom (Dan. 2:44; 7:18,
25-27).
– John likewise teaches the same (Rev.
11:15; 12:10).
Rev. 13:1-10 - Fifth Figure - The Sea Beast (The
Roman Empire)
• There is no other such parallelism to John's
vision found elsewhere in the Scriptures.
– Therefore, that the beast of Daniel 7 (the
fourth world government from
Nebuchadnezzar, Dan. 7:23; also Dan. 2:3645) and Revelation 13 are the same and
they represent the Roman Empire.
• We have now positively identified the
persecuting force in the book of Revelation.
– As we have shown repeatedly by various
charts, all of the book is tied together as a
unit.
– Thus, the whole of the book reveals the
destruction the Roman Empire and the
persecuting forces against the Righteous of
God.
A WORLD WIDE DESTRUCTION OF THE PERSECUTORS
"Inhabitants of the Earth"–"Those without the seal of God"
• Revelation 8:13 – And I looked, and I heard an angel
flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud
voice, "Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth,
because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the
three angels who are about to sound!"
• Revelation 9:4 – They were commanded not to harm the
grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but
only those men who do not have the seal of God on their
foreheads.
• Revelation 11:10 – And those who dwell on the earth will
rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one
another, because these two prophets tormented those
who dwell on the earth.
• Revelation 11:18 – The nations were angry, and Your
wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they
should be judged, and that You should reward Your
servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear
Your name, small and great, and should destroy those who
destroy the earth.
A WORLD WIDE DESTRUCTION OF THE PERSECUTORS
"Inhabitants of the Earth"–"Those without the seal of God"
•
•
•
•
•
Revelation 13:8 – And all who dwell on the earth will worship
him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of
the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Revelation 13:12 – And he exercises all the authority of the first
beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell
in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
Revelation 13:14 – And he deceives those who dwell on the earth
by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the
beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to
the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.
Revelation 14:15-16 – And another angel came out of the temple,
crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, "Thrust in
Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for
the harvest of the earth is ripe." So He who sat on the cloud
thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.
Revelation 14:18-19 – And another angel came out from the
altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to
him who had the sharp sickle, saying, "Thrust in your sharp
sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her
grapes are fully ripe." So the angel thrust his sickle into the
earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the
great winepress of the wrath of God.
A WORLD WIDE DESTRUCTION OF THE PERSECUTORS
"Inhabitants of the Earth"–"Those without the seal of
God"
• Revelation 16:2 – So the first went and poured out his
bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came
upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those
who worshiped his image.
• Revelation 17:2 – With whom the kings of the earth
committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth
were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
• Revelation 17:8 – The beast that you saw was, and is not,
and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to
perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel,
whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the
foundation of the world, when they see the beast that
was, and is not, and yet is.
• Revelation 19:2 – For true and righteous are His
judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who
corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has
avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.
Rev. 13:1-10 - Fifth Figure - The Sea Beast
(The Roman Empire)
• The beast received its authority from the dragon
(Satan, Rev. 12:9; 13:2).
– The devil is using the Roman Empire represented in
the emperor to war against the saints.
– Satan and his forces will be defeated. The blood of
the saints will be avenged, and their kingdom will be
proven to be everlasting.
– This is the theme and purpose of the book.
• Concerning "the book of life" (vs. 8b), compare Phil.
4:3; Rev. 3:5; Luke 10:20, and regarding "the Lamb
slain from the foundation of the world" (vs. 8c), see
Eph. 1:4; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2; 1 Pet. 1:20.
– It was not that Christ actually died before the
foundation of the world or that individuals were
chosen then (see ASV on vs. 8), but it was God's plan
before He made the world that Christ should die and
those in Christ be chosen.
Rev. 13:11-18 - Sixth Figure - The Earth Beast
(False Religion--Later Called the False Prophet,
16:13; 19:20; 20:10)
• John sees another beast coming up out of the earth.
– The next force that the devil uses is false religion which
is paganism and emperor worship.
– False religion in that day was backed by the
government.
• The beast out of the earth had two horns like unto a lamb
(appearance harmless) and he spoke as a dragon (like the
devil himself--his lies appear as the truth).
– What could appear more harmless than a religion?
• The devil in the same manner uses his religions to
war against the saints today.
• The earth-beast exercised all the authority of the first and
caused all the earth-dwellers to worship the first.
– In other words, this beast backed by the power of the
government, insisted that all worship the state
symbolized in the emperor
Rev. 13:11-18 - Sixth Figure - The Earth Beast
(False Religion--Later Called the False Prophet,
16:13; 19:20; 20:10)
• This was emphasized under Domitian, in whom the deadly
wound was healed.
– Regarding the "deadly would healed" (vs. 12b) and "the
wound by a sword, and did live" (vs. 14b), see 13:3.
• Those of the earth followed this beast as they did the first
one (vss. 8, 14).
– They followed him because of the great wonders
("signs" ASV) which he performed.
– The true witnesses had power over fire by which to
devour their enemies (11:5); thus, the false prophet
imitates this power with pseudo-wonders and signs in
order to deceive the world.
– Verse 14 establishes that these signs were not genuine
but were deceptions.
• There is a lesson here for those of today who like to rely
on their so-called miracles (see also 2 Thess. 2:9-12; Matt.
7:22-23).
Rev. 13:11-18 - Sixth Figure - The Earth Beast
(False Religion--Later Called the False Prophet,
16:13; 19:20; 20:10)
• The earth-beast causes the people to worship
the first beast and to make an image to him
(vss. 12, 14).
– He had power to give life (footnote: "Gr.
breath") unto the image of the beast.
– Paganism which had control over it subjects
caused people to worship the image.
• Also, he caused those who would not worship
the image to be killed (he introduced
martyrdom of the saints on a large scale).
– The power of death for those who refused to
pay homage to the emperor rested in the
religious hierarchy which in turn was backed
by the power of the empire.
– Through the hierarchy Christians were put in
the position where they had to either confess
Christ or Caesar as Lord; therefore, choosing
Christ meant choosing death.
Rev. 13:11-18 - Sixth Figure - The Earth Beast
(False Religion--Later Called the False Prophet,
16:13; 19:20; 20:10)
• Also, the beast sought to cause all (no exceptions--from
the highest official to the lowest slave) to receive the
mark of the beast (again, he imitates God's action, 7:3;
9:4; 14:1).
– As God's seal placed on the foreheads of the saints was not
literal but figurative of his recognition of his own, so the
mark of the beast is symbolic of those officially belonging
to Satan.
– Later, those with the mark of the beast receive the wrath
of God (14:9-10; 16:2; 19:20).
• Those who did not receive the mark of the beast were
refused the privileges of buying and selling (vss. 16-17).
– This is a well-known fact in Roman history in the time of
Domitian.
– Images were set up to make worship of the emperor
easier and those who refused to worship the image were
refused the privileges of buying and selling in the market
places.
– Thus, those with the mark of the beast were those who
yielded to the idolatrous edicts of the Roman emperor.
In Conclusion
• John shows in verse 17 that the mark of the
beast (the first one), the name of the beast
and the number of his name are all the same.
• In verse 18, he shows that the number of the
beast (666) is the number of a man.
• In other words, he is identifying the first
beast for us; it represents a man (the
emperor of the Roman Empire).
• Thus, the forces of evil are engaged in battle
with the forces of righteousness.
• The dragon, identified as the devil, uses the
force of the Empire embodied in the emperor,
and the forces of false religion, embodied in
paganism and emperor worship.
• These appeared in that day as the
conquering power over Christianity.
The Book of Revelation
Chapter Fourteen
THE REVELATIONS: Part Two
THE WAR & VICTORY
THE THREE “C’s” OF
REVELATION – Rev 2:10
CONFLICT
COMFORT
CONQUEST
Rev. 14:1-5 - Seventh Figure - The Lamb
On Mount Zion (Christ)
• John turns from the scene of the beasts
to the Lamb (Christ, John 1:29; Rev. 5:6)
standing on mount Zion.
– We receive comfort and assurance
when we realize who will be victorious
(compare Rev. 17:14).
– Mount Zion is used in the Scriptures of
physical Jerusalem (2 Sam. 5:6-7-where it is first mentioned), the church
(Heb. 12:22-23), and here for heaven
or divine headquarters.
Rev. 14:1-5 - Seventh Figure - The
Lamb On Mount Zion (Christ)
• The hundred and forty-four thousand are the perfect
number of the redeemed with Him.
• They have a name written on their foreheads--the name of
His Father (some ancient manuscripts have, "having his
name, and the name of his Father," see ASV).
– The redeemed are singing a new song which only they
could learn (a special song that the redeemed will sing;
no others can take part in it).
– It sounded like many waters, great thunder, and harpers
harping on their harps (indicates volume and rhyme).
– These are they which were not defiled with woman
(morally pure and free from spiritual fornication-idolatry).
– They follow the Lamb wherever he goes (absolutely
faithful to Him).
– These were purchased to be the first fruits (they were
the first--indicates others will follow--all can be of that
number, James 1:18).
– In their mouth was found no guile (see 1 Pet. 3:10) for
they were without fault before the throne of God (see
Jude 24).
Rev. 14:1-5 - Seventh Figure - The
Lamb On Mount Zion (Christ)
• These no doubt are the rest of those who were to come
out of the great tribulation (6:9-11).
– They are "before the throne" as was the great
multitude who had come out of the great tribulation
(7:9, 13-17).
– The term "before the throne" is probably used
figuratively of the place of comfort or paradise in
Hades.
– These are those that live and reign with Christ (20:4).
– They were sealed with the Father's name in their
foreheads (7:3; 14:1).
– They were the holy city that had been tread under foot
(11:2).
– The beast had made war with them and overcame them
(13:7).
– They are now safe with God and thus sing a new
victory song.
• The scene of the seven figures ends with verse five rather
than at the end of the chapter.
– The rest of the chapter (vss. 6-20) prepares for the
coming bowls of wrath.
Rev. 14:6-13 - The Announcement of
the Coming Judgment
• John sees another angel (this introduces a
new scene; the last one of this sort is in
20:1) flying in mid heaven who had eternal
good tidings or eternal gospel of God's
victory.
• These good tidings call them that dwell on
the earth to worship and praise God for the
hour of His judgment is come (compare
Jer. 1:16; Mal. 3:5; Rev. 18:8-10).
– The time of avenging and punishment
has come; the forces of the devil must
fall.
• Another angel followed saying, "Babylon is
fallen, is fallen..." This is the first mention
of "Babylon" but we have already been
introduced to "that great city."
Rev. 14:6-13 - The Announcement of
the Coming Judgment
• The outcome of the battle is announced
before the battle is fought (compare Isa.
46:10; 48:3).
– Babylon, that which was evil and repulsive
to God's people, will fall.
– The fall of Babylon represents the fall of
"that great city" (11:8,13; 14:8; 16:19;
17:18; 18:10,16,19,21; 19:2) the main one
responsible for the blood of the martyrs of
Jesus (17:5-6; 19:2).
– It had made all nations drink of the wine
of the wrath of her fornication (vs. 8)
which means that it had caused the
nations to commit spiritual fornication
(see 17:2; 18:3,9) which along with her
would cause them to drink of the God's
wrath (see 14:10; 16:19).
Rev. 14:6-13 - The Announcement of
the Coming Judgment
•
•
•
•
•
• THAT GREAT CITY
Revelation 11:8 – And their dead bodies will lie in the
street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom
and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
Revelation 11:13 – In the same hour there was a great
earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake
seven thousand men were killed, and the rest were afraid
and gave glory to the God of heaven.
Revelation 14:8 – And another angel followed, saying,
"Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she
has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her
fornication."
Revelation 16:19 – Now the great city was divided into
three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great
Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup
of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.
Revelation 17:18 – And the woman whom you saw is that
great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.
Rev. 14:6-13 - The Announcement of
the Coming Judgment
• Revelation 18:10 – Standing at a distance for fear of her
torment, saying, "Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that
mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come."
• Revelation 18:16 – And saying, "Alas, alas, that great city
that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and
adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls!"
• Revelation 18:19 – And they threw dust on their heads
and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, "Alas,
alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea
became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made
desolate."
• Revelation 18:21 – Then a mighty angel took up a stone
like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying,
"Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown
down, and shall not be found anymore."
• Revelation 19:2 – For true and righteous are His
judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who
corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has
avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.
Rev. 14:6-13 - The Announcement of
the Coming Judgment
• Christians were not to give in to the force
of Rome even if it caused their death.
– The third angel (the first is in vs. 6 and
the second in vs. 8) declares that if
anyone worships the beast and his
image and receives his mark, he shall
be under the wrath of God.
• This again shows that John is still dealing
with that same age.
– The whole book is tied together in this
fashion.
– The cruel persecution may be uplifted
for a while when one submitted to the
beast, but it is far better to endure.
Rev. 14:6-13 - The Announcement of
the Coming Judgment
• The torment prepared for one who
worships the beast is much more horrible
and it is eternal.
• He will receive "the wrath of God
...without mixture" (nothing added; thus,
wrath in full force) and "fire and
brimstone ... forever and ever" (eternal
punishment, eternal death).
– Concerning "the mark of his name" (vs.
11), see 13:17-18.
• The Christians realize these things (e.g.,
the wicked persecutors will fall; eternal
fire awaits those who worship the beast)
and have patience and keep the
commandments of God and the faith of
Jesus (vs. 12; similar to 13:10).
Rev. 14:6-13 - The Announcement of
the Coming Judgment
• Those that die in the Lord have rest
(vs. 13; Heb. 4:9-11), but those
what worship the beast have no rest
(vs. 11; Mark 9:43-48).
– To die in the Lord should be the goal of
everyone on earth (see Num. 23:10b;
Psalm 116:15).
• Regarding "their works do follow
them," see 2 Cor. 5:10; Eccl. 12:14;
2 Tim. 1:12; 1 Tim. 6:19.
Rev. 14:14-20 - The Time For The Judgment
(Against the Wicked in John's Day) Has Come
• John sees a white cloud with one sitting on it
like unto the Son of man (Jesus, Rev. 1:13; Matt.
3:12; 13:36-43; Dan. 7:13).
– On His head is a golden crown (king and
ruler) in His hand was a sharp sickle (the
carrying out of divine judgment).
• God uses the victorious Christ to reap the earth.
– Another angel (the fourth) comes out of the
temple (from the presence of God; where the
throne is, 16:17) crying to Him who sat on the
cloud, "thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the
time is come for thee to reap..."
– The earth was ready for harvesting; it was
ready for the judgment.
– The harvesting was as good as done when the
announcement was made (vs. 16).
– The Son of man has the power to carry it out
(19:15).
Rev. 14:14-20 - The Time For The Judgment
(Against the Wicked in John's Day) Has Come
• The next verses (17-20) add light to the
scene as the earth is put in the winepress of
the wrath of God.
• This divine judgment is brought directly
from God.
• Another angel (the fifth) comes out from the
temple ("Or, Sanctuary" footnote, ASV; from
the same place as the one in vs. 15) having a
sharp sickle and another (the sixth) comes
out from the altar (where the prayers were
offered, 6:9; 8:3-5) and tells the one with
the sickle to gather the clusters of the vine
for they are fully ripe.
• The grapes were cast in the winepress of
God (compare Isa. 63:1-6; Lam. 1:15; Joel
3:11-16; Rev. 16:19; 19:11-21).
Rev. 14:14-20 - The Time For The Judgment
(Against the Wicked in John's Day) Has Come
• The city (vs. 20a) is probably the
holy city or spiritual Jerusalem (see
11:2) and, thus, excluding it from
the judgment.
• Ten furlongs are equal to one mile
(Smith's Bible Dict., p. 813); thus,
blood flowed for 160 miles and was
even unto the horses' bridles
(several feet deep).
• This tremendous amount of blood
symbolized a thorough, complete
judgment on the earth (the wicked
of that time).
Rev. 14:14-20 - The Time For The Judgment
(Against the Wicked in John's Day) Has Come
• Therefore, verses 14-20 reveal that God was
about to bring an end to the Roman Empire
and Roman paganism.
– This will be made even more evident in
John's remaining words through chapter
19.
• The finality of the judgment against the
beast and false prophet is described in the
words, "cast alive into a lake of fire burning
with brimstone" (19:20), thus, destroyed,
never to rise again.
– Bear in mind that though John's words
had specific application, the principles still
apply today.
– God yet rules in the kingdoms of men and
will bring His judgments against all evil
governments and wicked nations.
The Book of Revelation
Chapter Fifteen
THE REVELATIONS: Part Two
THE WAR & VICTORY
THE THREE “C’s” OF
REVELATION – Rev 2:10
CONFLICT
COMFORT
CONQUEST
Rev. 15:1-4
• Another sign in introduced--seven angels
having seven last plagues.
– These are the last judgments which God
brought upon the wicked of that day.
• First, however, we have a brief interlude as
the redeemed--those who came off victorious
from the beast--sing praise to God.
– The sea of glass was introduced in the
throne scene in 4:6.
– Those who had obtained victory over the
beast (the martyrs) are before the throne
of God (the same as in 7:9-17 and 14:1-5).
– The sea of glass "mingled with fire"
perhaps symbolized the fire of God's
judgment on the beast or the persecutions
by which the saints were purified.
Rev. 15:1-4
• Their having harps of God
symbolized their praise and
adoration to God.
– The victorious sing the song of Moses
and the song of the Lamb.
– When Israel stood on the banks of the
Red Sea and saw Pharaoh and all his
army drowned, Moses sung a song of
victory (Ex. 15).
– Likewise, the victorious saints when
standing on the sea of glass sing a
song of exaltation and praise to God
for His works, justice, and holiness.
Rev. 15:1-4
• Much of the language given in the
praise is parallel to expressions
found in the Psalms.
– (Compare Psalm 89:9; 111:2; 139:14;
145:17).
• Much comfort and joy was brought
to the suffering saints on earth
when they beheld this glorious and
triumphant scene.
Rev. 15:5-8
• After these things (after the interlude of
praise) the temple of the tabernacle of the
testimony in heaven was opened (meaning
God will now reveal His righteous works and
keep His pledge of vindication) and the seven
angels that had the seven plagues came out.
– They came out from the temple (where the
throne is, 16:17) which means they came
out from the presence of God.
– They were clothed in pure and white linen
(some ancient manuscripts have "stone;"
see ASV and its footnote) and having their
breasts girded with golden girdles (such as
was worn by the glorified Christ; see 1:13).
– Their appearance represents the fact that
they are glorious messengers of God.
Rev. 15:5-8
• One of the four living creatures
(cherubims, 4:6-9) gave unto the seven
angels seven golden vials ("bowls" ASV)
full of the wrath of God.
– The bowls are of gold; they are used in
the service of God.
• All of the instruments of the temple in
the Old Testament were of pure gold.
• They are "full of the wrath of God"
indicating God will not tolerate the
wicked any longer; the time for their
judgment has come.
• The temple was filled with the glory of
God and no one was able to enter it until
the seven plagues of the seven angels
were completed (vs. 8).
Rev. 15:5-8
• This corresponds to the times when the
tabernacle (Ex. 40:34-35) and the temple
were completed (1 Kings 8:10-11).
– The fact that none were able to enter
until the seven plagues were finished
shows that the wrath of God was
altogether full.
• There would be no room for intercession
now.
– The bowls were ready to be emptied; the
judgment has come.
– The word "plagues" (vss. 1, 6, 8) is a key
word to the correct interpretation of the
bowls of wrath of chapter 16.
The Book of Revelation
Chapter Sixteen
THE REVELATIONS: Part Two
THE WAR & VICTORY
THE THREE “C’s” OF
REVELATION – Rev 2:10
CONFLICT
COMFORT
CONQUEST
Rev. 16:1-2 - The First Bowl (Sickness)
• We have been well prepared for these
judgments, e.g., announcement of judgment
(14:6-13), the time of judgment is come
(14:14-20), the seven last plagues introduced
(15:1-8).
– The angels are sent and the judgments of the
wrath of God come upon the earth (on those
who worship and serve the beast, vs. 2; on
the persecutors, vs. 6).
– There are many similarities between these
and the trumpet plagues (8:7-9; 11:15-19).
– Like the trumpets, they represent woes upon
the wicked and, like the trumpets, a part of
their symbolism is parallel with the Egyptian
plagues.
Rev. 16:1-2 - The First Bowl (Sickness)
• However, there is marked difference between
the bowls and the trumpets.
– The trumpet judgments were calls to
repentance (9:20-21); the bowl judgments
are the final means of punishment to avenge
the blood of the saints (16:5-7).
• The first was executed and it became a
noisome and grievous sore on those that had
the mark of the beast.
– It affected the physical nature of the wicked
making them sick.
– It was not until the fifth trumpet that "men"
were directly affected, but here in the bowls
of wrath they are grievously smitten from
the first. For some literal examples of God
doing this, see Deut.28:27; Acts 12:23.
Rev. 16:3 - Second Bowl (Affliction in
Their Society)
• The second angel caused the sea to be changed into
blood and every living creature of the sea died.
– In the seals if affects a fourth part (6:8), in the
trumpets a third part (8:8-9) and here it affects all.
– This shows that the seals and trumpets are partial
in their nature and served as warnings to the
oppressors of God's people.
– In contrast, the bowls of wrath are complete and
final.
• As in the Old Testament (Isa. 57:19-20; Zech. 10:11),
the sea here probably represents restless human
society which brought afflictions on God's people.
• This second plague, therefore, probably symbolized
another great upheaval in society which brought
bitterness of life and affliction to the wicked.
Rev. 16:4-7 - Third Bowl (Natural
Calamity)
• The third bowl of wrath affected the inland waters and
they became blood.
– This happened literally in the Egyptian plagues (Ex.
7:17-21), but here it is figurative of grievous
plagues on that society.
– An angel proclaims this to be a righteous judgment
of God for they had poured out the blood of the
saints and prophets.
– Those who had the mark of the beast (vs. 2; see
also 9:4; 13:16-17; 14:9-11; 15:2; 16:2; 19:20; 20:4
– and those who shed the blood of the saints and
prophets (vs. 6; also 2:13; 6:9-11; 7:13-14; 12:11;
16:6-7; 17:6 18:24; 19:2; 20:4 - are the same
individuals and, thus, identifies the persecuting
force as the Roman Empire.
Rev. 16:4-7 - Third Bowl (Natural
Calamity)
– The Roman Empire had caused the blood of
the martyrs to be poured out and now,
figuratively speaking, they must drink blood
(they must reap the consequences of their
evil and receive a just recompense of
reward).
• One out of the altar (where the prayers were
offered, 6:9-10; 8:3-4; 9:13) declared that
God's judgments are true and righteous (vs. 7).
– He punishes the wicked in accordance with
their sins. (See also Psalm 97:2-3; 89:14).
– Verses 5-7, along with 6:6-11; 7:13-14;
12:11; 17:6; 18:24; 19:2 (chart "The Martyrs
of Jesus") are key verses in understanding
the theme and purpose of the book of
Revelation.
Rev. 16:8-9 - Fourth Bowl (Fire and
Famine)
• The next bowl was poured out upon the sun bringing
fiery heat upon the wicked scorching them.
– This perhaps represents destruction by natural fire
(see Ezek. 23:25, 47) or destruction by great famine
and drought (see Deut. 28:22-24; Joel 1:14-20).
– The wicked did not repent when scorched with great
heat; rather, they blasphemed God because of it.
– The word "blaspheme" means "to rail at or revile"
(Vine), "to speak of or address with irreverence, to
revile, to utter blasphemy" (Webster).
– Thus, even the scorching heat of God's wrath did not
melt their obstinate hearts; instead, they added two
other sins to their wicked lives.
– They blasphemed the name of God who had power
over these plagues, and they had no change of mine
or life to give God the glory due Him.
Rev. 16:10-11 - Fifth Bowl (Internal
Decay)
• The fifth poured out his bowl upon the throne of the
beast and his kingdom was darkened.
– When a great nation like the Roman Empire is about
to fall, the wicked loose all courage in despair.
– A hopeless and darkened condition in political affairs
and the threat of the complete collapse of government
brought intense worry, despair, and pain to the
wicked.
– They gnawed their tongues for pain and blasphemed
God because of it and did not repent of their works.
• Again, instead of recognizing and acknowledging their
own pride, stubbornness of heart, and rebellion against
God as the cause of their condition, they blasphemed the
God of heaven and refused to repent.
• We cannot be dogmatic as to what these calamities
actually were, but we know they represent acts of God
against the wicked in order that God's cause might be
vindicated.
Rev. 16:12-16 - Sixth Bowl (External
Invasions)
• When the sixth is poured out, there is a
picture of the preparation for war.
– Euphrates being dried up to make the
way of the kings easy gives the picture
of external invasions and wars (similar
to the 6th trumpet, 9:13-21).
– Three unclean spirits like frogs came
out of the mouth of the dragon (Satan,
12:3,9), the beast (evil government,
13:1-10), and the false prophet (false
religion, 13:11-18).
Rev. 16:12-16 - Sixth Bowl (External
Invasions)
These are spirits of devils working their
falsehood and deception (false miracles, vs. 14;
13:13-14) to prepare the kings for the battle
(vs. 14).
– These kings, different from the ones in vs.
12, are probably the kings of the provinces
as in 17:12-14.
– This war is said to be the battle of the great
day of God Almighty (vs. 14) in the place
which is called in the Hebrew, Armageddon
(vs. 16).
• Armageddon (also called "the valley of
Jezreel") is the famous Hebrew battlefield.
– Barak and Deborah, Gideon, King Saul, and
Josiah are some of those who fought there.
(See Judges 5:19; 2 Kings 23:29-30).
•
Armageddon (also called
"the valley of Jezreel")
Rev. 16:12-16 - Sixth Bowl (External
Invasions)
• Regarding the expression, "the great
day" (vs. 14), see Joel 2:11; Zeph. 1:14.
• Armageddon, therefore, to the Hebrews
is where the righteous and the wicked
engaged in battle.
– At this great battle God will intervene
and the enemies of the saints will be
destroyed.
– It seems to be a far-fetched view to
think that the battle of Armageddon
will be a literal, universal war that will
occur just before the second coming of
Christ.
Rev. 16:12-16 - Sixth Bowl (External
Invasions)
• Verse 15 contains one of the seven beatitudes
in Revelation (see also 1:3; 14:13; 19:9; 20:6;
22:7, 14).
– We should be ready, watching and waiting at
all times because Jesus will come as a thief
(not in the sense of unnoticed, but
unexpected).
– Those who do not keep their garments, being
unprepared, will stand naked before God.
– Concerning "coming as a thief" see Matt.
24:43-44; 2 Pet. 3:10; Rev. 3:3), and
regarding "keepeth his garments" see Rev.
3:4; 19:8.
– Consequently, in the midst of the scene of
the gathering army and decisive battle, verse
15 stands as a warning and exhortation to
the saints not to be deceived or led astray by
what is taking place.
Rev. 16:17-21 - Seventh Bowl (Severe
Judgment)
• The forces of evil cannot defeat the cause of
righteousness.
• The seventh is poured out and there came a
great voice out of the temple of heaven from
the throne saying, "It is done" (the series of
plagues are now completed).
– Also, there were voices, thunders, lightnings,
and great earthquake.
– In the seventh seal there were voices,
thunders, lightnings and an earthquake (8:5)
and in the seventh trumpet there were these
same four, to which was added "and great
hail" (11:19).
– The descriptions in verse 18 of the greatness
of the earthquake and of the great hail (vs.
21) shows that this was a more intense
judgment than before.
Rev. 16:17-21 - Seventh Bowl (Severe
Judgment)
• The great city (city of Rome, 11:8,13; 14:8;
16:19; 17:18; 18:10,16,19,21; 19:2 – see
slides on "That Great City") was divided
into three parts:
– (was broken up) and great Babylon came
in remembrance before God
– (God remembered to punish her for her
sins, 18:5; compare 1 Sam. 15:1-3)
• Babylon stood in the minds of God's
people of the Old Testament as a world
power against God and His people.
– The "Babylon" of God's people in John's
day was Rome.
Rev. 16:17-21 - Seventh Bowl (Severe
Judgment)
• Concerning verse 20, a similar removal of
islands was pictured in the sixth seal (6:14).
– Ezekiel likewise described the fall of Tyre by
saying, "Now the isles tremble in the day of
thy fall; yea, the isles that are in the sea
shall be troubled at thy departure." (Ezek.
26:18).
– Later, by the Holy Spirit John repeats
Ezekiel's descriptions when he describes the
fall of the great city (ch. 18).
– Great hailstones, "every one about the
weight of a talent," (about a hundred
pounds) were cast from heaven upon the
wicked and they blasphemed God because of
the plague.
Rev. 16:17-21 - Seventh Bowl (Severe
Judgment)
• God intervened in this way literally to
help His people in the Old Testament
(Joshua 10:11); however, in Revelation
we understand it to be figurative of a
great sweeping plague of destruction.
(Also see Psalm 18:6-17).
– Once again, instead of repenting, the
wicked blasphemed God because of
the plague (see also vss. 9, 11).
– God's efforts to soften their hearts
resulted in their complete hardening.
• This shows that John's vision was not
one of the final judgment because in
that day men will not have opportunity
to repent or rebel.
The following chart shows that all the
bowls of wrath were against the same
individuals:
• THE "BOWLS OF WRATH" AFFECT WHOM?
– First Bowl: Upon the men who had the mark of the
beast.
– Third Bowl: For they have shed the blood of saints and
prophets.
– Fourth Bowl: Because of these plagues they
blasphemed God.
– Fifth Bowl: On the throne of the beast. Because of
their pain and sores they blasphemed God.
– Sixth Bowl: The dragon (Satan, 12:9), the beast
(Roman Empire, 13:1-10), and the false prophet (false
religion that supported the Empire, 13:11-18)
gathered the kings of the earth to the battle of that
great day of God. The battle in the verses is against
those of the beast and the false prophet. See also
17:12-14.
– Seventh Bowl: The great city, Babylon, was
remembered before God to punish her. Because of the
plague of hail, they blasphemed God. "Therefore her
plagues will come in one day--death and morning and
famine." (18:8).
Rev. 16:17-21 - Seventh Bowl
(Severe Judgment)
• Thus, involved in the seven plagues are
things which led to the downfall of
Rome., e.g., natural calamity, internal
decay, external invasion.
• The plagues were not designed to satisfy
curiosity about the future.
– They were designed to set forth the
ultimate triumph of righteousness
over the evil forces which oppose it.
• This was the message to the Christians
of Asia Minor.
• It assured them of the certain victory of
Christianity over Rome.
Rev. 16:17-21 - Seventh Bowl
(Severe Judgment)
• Though Rome controlled the world,
though it looked supreme and indestructible, and though it appeared as
if it would conquer and destroy
Christianity, God brought it to its doom
and it received its ultimate judgment.
• In a similar manner today, the book
assures us of the certain victory of
Christ's cause over the forces of Satan,
and though Satan is using different
forces today to war against the church
(Catholicism, Denominationalism,
Evolutionism, Humanism, Materialism,
Apostate Church, etc.), the outcome will
be the same.
The Book of Revelation
Chapter Seventeen
THE REVELATIONS: Part Two
THE WAR & VICTORY
THE THREE “C’s” OF
REVELATION – Rev 2:10
CONFLICT
COMFORT
CONQUEST
Rev. 17:1-7
• The following charts shows that "Babylon the great" can
only be the city of Rome:
– She has made all nations (14:2), the inhabitants of
the earth (17:2) drink of the wine of the wrath of her
fornication.
– She receives God's wrath which is in keeping with the
theme of the book--bringing vengeance or judgment
on the persecutors (11:18; 14:5-6; 15:4; 16:5-7; 17:1;
18:8-10; 19:2).
– She sits on many waters (17:1), rules over many
peoples (17:15,18).
• Jerusalem did not rule over many peoples when
John wrote revelation.
– She had caused a world-wide corruption (14:2; 17:2;
18:3,9; 19:2).
• She had corrupted the "inhabitants of the earth"-the same ones who had the mark of the beast, the
persecutors, on whom the plagues came (6:8; 8:13;
9:4; 13:8,12,14; 14:15-16, 18-19; 16:2,14; 17:2,8;
18:3,9,11,23; 19:2,19).
Rev. 17:1-7
– She had committed fornication with the kings of
the earth (17:2; 18:3,9) and had reigned over
them.
• Jerusalem did not reign over the kings of the
earth when John wrote Revelation.
– The kings of the earth where the ones making
war with the Lamb when John wrote revelation
(17:12-14; 19:19).
• They had already been call to the battle by
Satan's forces, the beast (the Roman Empire
13:1-10) and the false prophet (false religion
that supported the Empire 13:11-18) as shown
in the sixth bowl (16:12-16).
– She was sitting on the beast (17:3) which means
she was supported by the Empire.
• The kings of the earth gave their power and
authority to the beast (17:13). They had
committed fornication and lived luxuriously
with her (18:8).
Rev. 17:1-7
– She was drunk with the blood of the saints and
martyrs of Jesus (17:6; 19:2).
• Again, this is in keeping with the purpose and
theme of the book. To bring avengement to the
martyrs of Jesus (Rev. 2:13; 6;9-11; 7:13-14;
12:11; 16;6-7 17:6; 18:24; 19:2; 20:4). These
are the martyrs at the time when John wrote.
There is no indication that Jerusalem ever
martyred Christians on such a large scale.
– There is no indication that Jerusalem had such a
great abundance of luxuries during the time of John
(18:3-24).
– The mariners, those having to do with the sea, also
bewail the city's fall.
• As shown in the book of Acts, connected with
Rome and the Roman Empire was a great fleet of
ships (some very large, Acts 27:37). Jerusalem
at the time of John's writing did not have such.
Rev. 17:1-7
• In chapter 17 one of the seven angels, more or
less, says to John, "Come over to another stage
and see in detail what you have just witnessed
in the quick fall of the city in the seventh
plague."
• Thus, in chapters 17-19 we picture the final
destruction of Rome which had already been
foreshadowed in 6:12-17; 14:8; 16:19.
• There are many key verses in chapters 17-19
which when applied to the previous chapters
give the correct interpretation of the entire
book.
• Here Rome is pictured as a great whore
("harlot" ASV; see 17:5-6; 19:2) that sits upon
many waters (rules over many peoples,
17:15,18).
Rev. 17:1-7
• The kings of the earth (rulers of the
provinces, 17:12-18) had committed
fornication with her and the earthdwellers were made drunk with the wine
of her fornication (see 14:8 and
comments).
• The rulers of the provinces had
purchased Rome's favors (pleasures and
rewards) by promoting her objectives
and yielding to her whims.
• Also, she had seduced the wicked of the
earth with the strong drink of lust,
pleasure, and power and they were
intoxicated by it and likewise submitted
to her idolatrous demands.
Rev. 17:1-7
• One of the seven angels that had the seven
bowls carried John away in the spirit into the
wilderness that he might see the judgment (the
judicial verdict of condemnation and
punishment) of the great harlot.
– He sees a woman sitting upon a scarletcolored beast (this beast is the same one
which emerged from the sea, 13:1-10) full of
names of blasphemy (names that rail or
revile against God) having seven heads and
ten horns (see vss. 7,9,12,16, and 13:1).
– She was arrayed in purple and scarlet (color
of royalty), and decked with gold and
precious stones and pearls (symbol of luxury
and splendor).
Rev. 17:1-7
• Thus, the harlot (the city of Rome, 17:18),
arrayed in splendor and royalty, was supported
by the beast (the Roman Empire).
– She dressed as would a well-favored harlot
to entice kings.
– By her dress (she thought she was a queen,
18:7), she covered up her true harlot's
character and thereby deceived and seduced
the kings and the inhabitants of the earth.
– She had in her hand a golden cup which was
full of abominations and filthiness of her
fornication ("full of abominations, even the
unclean things of her fornication" ASV).
– These are the unclean things of her idolatry-the evils that had come out of her emperor
worship and persecution.
•
Rev.
17:1-7
Upon her forehead a name was written,
"Mystery" (once hidden, but now openly
exposed), "Babylon the Great" (anti-divine;
here it symbolized Rome; see also 14:8; 16:19;
17:18), "the Mother of the Harlots and
Abominations of the Earth" (the main one
responsible for idol and emperor worship, evil
and persecutions).
– She is never called an adulteress for she was
never the bride or wife of the Lamb; thus,
she is not the apostate church of Rome.
– She was drunk (saturated) with the blood of
the saints and martyrs of Jesus--a key
thought through the book, 2:13; 6:9-11;
7:13-14; 12:11; 16:6-7; 17:6; 18:24; 19:2;
20:4 – see charts "The Martyrs of Jesus".
– She delighted in putting the saints to death.
Rev. 17:1-7
• As John looks on her, he is filled with
wonder and amazement.
– However, the angel said unto him,
"Wherefore didst thou wonder? I will
tell you the mystery of the woman,
and of the beast that carrieth her,
which hath seven heads and ten
horns." (vs. 7).
– Thus, some things in the book, e.g.,
concerning the beast, are a mystery
(hidden) up to this point, but will now
be revealed.
• Verses 8 through 18 are the angels'
explanation of the mystery of the
woman and the beast.
Rev. 17:8-18
• The beast shall ascend out of the bottomless pit (from
Satan's domain, 20:1-2) and go into perdition (into
destruction, utter ruin).
• The beast as shown by the details in 17:3,7-18 (see
also 19:19-20) is the same one in 13:1-10 and, thus,
symbolizes the Roman Empire.
– The beast "was, and is not, and yet is" (also, "his
deadly wound was healed," 13:3,12).
• The Empire had an appearance of going down
after the rule of Nero, but was built up again to
its full persecution power under Domitian.
– The heathen world wondered at the progress and
history of the Empire.
• The Christians, however, knew that it was
doomed.
• Names not written in the book of life "from the
foundation of the world" simply means that God
determined that a certain class or group would not
have their names in the book of life and He decided
this before He founded the world.
Rev. 17:8-18
• The angel again reveals some things for the wise
(vs. 9; 13:18).
– The seven heads are seven mountains on
which the woman sits and there are also seven
(a full number) kings (vs. 10a).
– The seven kings formed the basis of the
Empire.
• It is difficult to determine the exact names
of the seven emperors represented here.
• Since John did not name them, it is best to
take the number as symbolical representing
the whole series of emperors.
• Their number would remain "seven" (often
used as a complete number) no matter how
long the actual list happened to be.
• John said that five of these kings had fallen,
one ruled then, and another was going to
rule a little while (vs. 10b).
Rev. 17:8-18
• The point he emphasizes here is that the
emperor line had only a short time to
continue before the emergence of the
eight who would be destroyed.
– He said that the beast that was, and is
not (the one of vss. 7-8), even he is
the eight (thus, the beast symbolizes a
king or emperor) and is of the seven
(embodied the seven; probably
Domitian who through cruel
persecutions, the whole of the
emperor system found its completion
in him).
– Also, He would go into perdition (God
would soon destroy him and his
Empire).
Rev. 17:8-18
• The ten horns are ten kings who would receive
authority as kings one hour (for a short time)
with the beast (vs. 12).
– These were the rulers of the provinces--the
ones who committed fornication with the
harlot (14:8; 17:2;18; 18:3,9), and the ones
who had already been called to the great battle
(16:14).
– They shall war against the Lamb, but the Lamb
shall overcome them (see also 19:17-18), for
he is Lord of lords, and King of kings (vs. 14),
and they that are with Him are called (2 Thess.
2:14), chosen (2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:2), and
faithful (Eph. 1:1; Col. 1:2).
– These are those saints that overcame with the
Lamb (12:11; 14:4); they are already "with"
Him and shall live and reign with Him (20:4).
• The ten kings have one mind to give their
authority to the Roman Empire (vs. 13).
Rev. 17:8-18
• They no doubt did this in order to receive benefits and
rewards, but actually they hated Rome, and the time
would come when they would play a part in her
destruction (vs. 16). (Compare Ezek. 16:37-41).
– God had put in their hearts to fulfill His will, and to
agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until
the words of God shall be fulfilled.
– God has often used men and nations to carry out
His purpose (2 Chron. 20:23; Hab. 3:6; Ezek.
30:24-25).
• These kings would give their kingdom unto the beast
until the words of God shall be fulfilled (until the
short time spoken by John was completed (17:10;
12:12; 6:11), and until that which was spoken by the
Old Testament prophets was fulfilled (see 10:7).
• After that short time, God would fulfill His words of
judgment against the harlot and the beast.
• Verses 15 and 18 identify the woman and the waters
and aids much in the interpretation of the book (see
charts "'Babylon the Great' Which city is it?").
The Book of Revelation
Chapter Eighteen
THE REVELATIONS: Part Two
THE WAR & VICTORY
THE THREE “C’s” OF
REVELATION – Rev 2:10
CONFLICT
COMFORT
CONQUEST
Rev. 18:1-8
• Another angel which had great power
("authority" ASV) came down from
heaven and the earth was illuminated
with his glory (indicates his greatness
and the importance of his message).
– He announces with strong voice,
"Babylon the great is fallen, is
fallen..."
– As announced and foreshadowed in
earlier visions (14:8; 16:19), the final
destruction of Rome has now come.
Rev. 18:1-8
• It is now become the habitation of devils
("demons" ASV; see 9:20; 16:14)
– and the hold (a place of guarding, a
prison for detention)
– of every foul ("unclean" ASV) spirit,
– and a cage ("hold" ASV) of every
unclean and hateful bird.
• Its overthrow was like that of ancient
cities which became dwelling places for
all types of doleful creatures (Isa.
13:19-22; 34:11-15).
Rev. 18:1-8
• Concerning "the wine of wrath of her
fornication" see 14:8; 17:2 and the
comments on 14:8.
– The nations of the earth had followed
her lascivious ways,
– yielded to her seductive practices,
– and had engaged in her "wrath" (in
persecuting Christians).
• The kings of the earth had committed
fornication with her (had made
idolatrous political and economic
alliances to purchase pleasures, power
and prestige).
Rev. 18:1-8
• The merchants (first mentioned here;
their involvement is discussed in vss. 11,
15)
– had waxed rich through the
abundance of her delicacies
("wantonness" ASV; refers to her
desire to heap up riches and luxuries).
• Thus, the angel explains the
"fornication" more fully.
– It is seen all over the world today as
men seek to gain pleasure, wealth,
and power through unethical, immoral
and unscrupulous means.
Rev. 18:1-8
• The people of God were summoned to
come out of her that they would have no
fellowship with her sins and would not
receive of her plagues.
– A complete separation from her sins
was necessary to escape her plagues.
– Her sins had reached even unto
heaven (see also Jonah 1:2) and God
had remembered her iniquities (see
also 16:19).
– God was going to render to her double
(the phrase indicates a balancing of
the scales); thus, the punishment was
commensurate with the guilt.
Rev. 18:1-8
• Verse 7a adds to the thought revealed in verse
6; the judgment was to be in accord with her
sin.
– The word "deliciously" ("waxed wanton"
ASV) again refers to her desire for pleasures,
luxuries and riches.
– She had great pride even as the old Babylon
(Isa. 47:7-9) and as ancient Tyre (Ezek.
28:2).
– Therefore (because of these things) in one
day (very suddenly) shall here plagues come
upon her for strong is the Lord God who
judges her (the guarantee of her end rests
on the power of God).
– The plagues mentioned in verse 8--death,
mourning, famine, fire--shows the proper
interpretation of the bowls of wrath of
chapter 16.
Rev. 18:9-19
• Nineveh, represented as a harlot, received its
glory through conquest (Nahum 3:1-7).
• Tyre, a harlot, relied on its trade and
commercial aspects (Isa. 23; Ezek. 26-28).
• Babylon, a mistress, was a city of pleasure and
conquest (Isa. 13 and 14).
• However, the great city of Rome represented
all of these evils for she was made up of all.
– Rome represents all that is lustful, seductive
and enticing.
– Verses 19-19 give a picture of how the
destruction of the great city affected those
on earth.
– Three groups stand by to bewail and lament
her fall:
• kings (vss. 9-10),
• merchants (vss. 11-17a),
• and mariners (vss. 17b-19).
Rev. 18:9-19
• The kings of he earth (identified as the
kings of the provinces, 17:2, 12-18;
18:3) who had enjoyed pleasures,
luxuries and riches through whoring
with the great harlot, bewail and lament
her fall.
– Helplessly they stand afar off (because
they fear her torment) and bewail the
sudden destruction of the city.
– Like many of the world with selfish
sorrow and tears, these kings are
mourning because of their own loss.
Rev. 18:9-19
• The merchants also weep and mourn because their
opportunity to make riches is taken away.
– Verse 12 and 13 list 28 things of luxury in which they
traded.
– "Thyine wood" according to Smith's Bible Dictionary
was wood from a small cone bearing tree related to
the pine valued for it beauty.
– The "souls of men" probably refers to "persons of
men" as in Ezek. 27:13-14; e.g., mercenaries,
horsemen, or special hired servants for particular
services.
– In verse 14 all those things of extreme luxury would
be found no more at all when God brought His plagues
upon her.
– The merchants (as all rich men do) were weeping and
wailing because their riches were quickly taken away.
– The things in verse 16 with which the great city was
clothed are the same in which the harlot was arrayed
(17:4); thus, again confirming the identity of the two.
– All three groups say, "Alas, alas," (meaning "Woe,
woe;" an expression of bitter grief) bewailing the
destruction of "that great city" (vss. 10, 16, 19).
Rev. 18:9-19
• The mariners (those having to do with the sea;
Rome had a great fleet of ships, some very
large, Acts 27:37) also bewail her fall.
• They cast dust on their heads (a sign of great
mourning, Joshua 7:6; 1 Sam. 4:12; Job 2:12)
and weep and wail--again, because their riches
are quickly lost.
• Like the others, their grief was through
selfishness.
• They were grieving over their own loss and not
because of the destruction of Rome.
• Trade and commerce in and of itself is not evil
but good when used for the welfare of
humanity.
– However, when used for selfish luxury and
the gratifying of fleshly lusts, it becomes
wicked and embodies sins of all kinds.
Rev. 18:20-24
• The heaven, the holy apostles and prophets
(some ancient manuscripts add, "and ye
saints" are told to rejoice because God had
avenged them on her ("for God hath judged
your judgment on her" ASV).
– This is another of the key verses which
shows the theme and purpose of the book.
(See also 6:9-11; 16:6-7; 19:2).
– The great city shall be cast down as a
millstone (literally, "millstone turned by an
ass;" thus, a stone of great size used to grind
grain; it is the same word used in Matt. 18:6)
thrown into the sea and three types of sound
would be heard no more at all in her: of
music (22a), of business life or industry
(22b), and of the home (23).
– The same kind of symbolism was used in
reference to ancient Babylon's destruction
(Jer. 51:63-64; 25:10).
Rev. 18:20-24
• The sounds of amusement, business, and the
home would no more be heard in her because:
– (1) "Thy merchants were great men of the
earth" (also said of Tyre in her destruction,
Isa. 23:8-9; here it has reference of Rome's
quest for luxuries and riches; it was founded
on these and her merchants became rich
through them, 18:3).
– (2) "For by thy sorceries were all nations
deceived" (this, too, was said of Tyre, Nah. 3:4;
it has to do with her witchcraft by which she
beguiled the people into wickedness and
idolatry).
– (3) For her martyrdom of the saints and
conquering of peoples (vs. 24).
– This is another key verse to the proper
understanding of the book.
• It was the reason for her utter destruction
(19:2).
Rev. 18:20-24
• Compare these Old Testament passages with the
following verses:
– vs. 2 …………. Isa. 21:9; 13:21; Jer. 50:35; 51:37
– vs. 3 …………. Isa. 47:15
– vss. 4-5 …….. Jer. 51:9
– vs. 6 …………. Jer. 50:15, 29; 51:49
– vs. 7 …………. Ezek. 28:2-8; Isa. 47:7-8; Zeph. 2:13-15
– vs. 8a ……….. Jer. 50:13
– vs. 8b ……….. Jer. 50:34
– vss 9-10 ……. Ezek. 26:16-17
– vss. 11-17a … Ezek. 27:33-36
– vss. 17b-19 … Ezek. 27:25-32
– vs. 20 ………… Jer. 51:48
– vs. 21 ………… Jer. 51:63-64
– vss. 22-23 ….. Jer. 25:10
• We see that the same language of chapter 18 was used
against various cities of the Old Testament era and
conclude that chapter 18 is speaking of God's doom and
destruction upon the city of Rome.
The Book of Revelation
Chapter Nineteen
THE REVELATIONS: Part Two
THE WAR & VICTORY
THE THREE “C’s” OF
REVELATION – Rev 2:10
CONFLICT
COMFORT
CONQUEST
Rev. 19:1-10
• After these things John hears a great voice of
many people in heaven saying,
– (1) "Alleluia." The word "Alleluia" (praise ye
Jehovah) is found four times in this chapter
(vss. 1,3,4,6)--the only passage in the New
Testament where it is mentioned.
– (2) "Salvation, and glory, and honour, and
power unto the Lord our God." (Compare
12:10). He alone is due all honor and praise
because He saves His own and brings the
wicked persecutors to destruction.
– (3) "For (or
praise) true
judgments"
are genuine
"because;" the reason for their
and righteous are his
(see Psalm 89:14; 97:2; they
and just) and
Rev. 19:1-10
– (4) "For (second reason) he hath judged the
great whore, which did corrupt the earth
with her fornication."
• She corrupted the earth (brought moral
decay upon the whole earth) by her
deceptions and enticements.
– (5) "And (third reason) hath avenged the
blood of his servants at her hand."
– The prayer of the souls under the altar has
now been answered and their blood has been
avenged--the theme and purpose of the book
(2:13; 6:9-11; 7:13-14; 12:11; 16:6-7; 17:6;
18:24; 19:2; 20:4).
– (Compare Deut. 32:43). Her destruction is
complete and final--the same punishment all
the wicked receive (vs. 3; 14:11; 19:20).
Rev. 19:1-10
• Verse 4 is the last mention of the twenty-four elders and
the four living creatures (see 4:4-10; 5:5-8,11,14; 6:1-7;
7:11,13; 14:3; 15:7).
• The "throne" (vs. 5) is mentioned 38 times in Revelation
and keeps before us the presence of God.
– Concerning the expression, "Praise our God, all ye his
servants and ye that fear him, both small and great,"
see Psalm 134:1; 135:1.
– This is one of the many verses in the Bible which
shows that men should fear God (see also Eccl. 12:13;
Luke 1:50; 12:4-5; Acts 10:34-35; Col. 3:22; 1 Pet.
2:17).
• John heard as it were the voice of a great multitude (all
the saved sing in unison) and as many waters (a great
forceful sound such as a mighty waterfall) and as the
voice of mighty thunderings (a great loud forceful
sound) say, "Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent
reigneth."
• The word "omnipotent" means "almighty, all powerful"
and occurs only here in the KJV, but the same word in
the original Greek manuscripts occurs in 2 Cor. 6:18 and
in eight other verses in Revelation (1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 15:3;
16:7,14; 19:15; 21:22) where it is translated,
"Almighty."
Rev. 19:1-10
• The marriage of the Lamb represents the
church receiving heaven.
– The faithful of the church will make up the
heavenly city, the bride, or the Lamb's wife
(21:2, 9-10).
– The church's relationship to Christ now is
that of a wife but in the same way Mary was
betrothed to Joseph before they came
together (Matt. 1:18).
– Paul said, "...I have espoused you to one
husband, that I may present you as a chaste
virgin to Christ." (2 Cor. 11:2).
– Thus, the responsibility of the church now is
to make herself ready.
– The faithful saints in John's day had thus
prepared themselves.
Rev. 19:1-10
• In sharp contrast to the attire of the harlot
(gaudy, luxurious apparel of the world,
intending to seduce by worldly splendor), the
wife of the Lamb was to array herself in fine
linen, clean and white ("bright and pure" ASV)
which is the righteousness ("righteous acts"
ASV) of the saints.
– Those who are called to the marriage supper
(vs. 9) are the ones who accept the call of
the gospel (Luke 14:15-24; Matt. 22:1-4, 910).
– Those who reject the gospel will never taste
of that supper (Luke 14:24; Matt. 22:5-8)
and those without a wedding garment (who
did not make themselves ready by righteous
acts) will be rejected (Matt. 22:11-14).
Rev. 19:1-10
• Evidently John became so overwhelmed by the
great voices and visions that he looses control and
falls down to worship the angel that signified those
things to him and told him to write them (see also
22:8-9).
– However, the angel (assuming it was an angel in
vs. 10; we are not told here but we are in 22:8)
said to John "See thou do it not: I am thy fellow
servant, and of thy brethren that have the
testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the
testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
– He should not worship him because
• (1) He is a fellow servant (Heb. 1:13-14);
• (2) God is the one to be worshiped (Matt.
4:10);
• (3) The whole spirit (life-principle) and design
of prophecy is to give the witness and
testimony of Jesus.
– In other words, it was to glorify Him and His
work (John 16:14), not angels (Heb. 1:4) or
anyone else.
Rev. 19:11-16
• Next, we see a picture of the glorified Christ.
– He is riding a white horse (a victorious
warrior).
– He is called Faithful and True (3:7, 14) and in
righteousness He doth judge and make war
(Isa. 11:4).
– His eyes are as a flame of fire (1:14; 2:18;
penetrating vision) and on His head are
many crowns ("diadems" ASV; He is King
over all realms).
– He has a name written that no one knew but
Himself (He alone knows the full significance
of Himself and His names).
– He is arrayed in a garment dipped
("sprinkled" ASV) with blood (compare Isa.
63:3) and His name is called, "The Word of
God" (revealed only by John; see John 1:1,
14; 1 John 1:1).
Rev. 19:11-16
• The armies which are in heaven followed Him
upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white
and clean.
– These are either angels (12:7) or saints
(17:14)--probably the saints who are living
and reigning with Him (20:4).
– These are those who war against evil with
Him and are victorious with Him.
– Fine linen represents the righteous acts of
the saints (19:8).
– Out of His mouth proceeds a sharp sword
(not the Word here, but the sword of
righteous judgment--see vs. 21) that with it
He should smite the nations and He shall rule
them with the rod of iron (Psalm 2:7-12),
and He treads the winepress of the
fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God.
Rev. 19:11-16
• We picture the winepress as one stomps
the grapes with his feet, and so it is with
Christ as He brings judgment upon the
wicked. (Compare Isa. 63:1-6).
• Christ also had the names, "King of
Kings, and Lord of Lords" (see also
17:14) on His vesture and on His thigh.
• Thus, in summary, we have Christ
presented in His fullness as Warrior,
Witness, Judge, Conqueror, Savior,
Creator, Ruler, King, and Lord.
Rev. 19:17-21
• John sees an angel standing in the sun and with a
loud voice calls the fouls that fly in the midst of
heaven (here, carrion eating birds--buzzards,
vultures, condors) to come and gather themselves
together to the supper of the great God (e.g., flock
to the battlefield where God had provided you much
flesh to eat).
– This reveals that the battle was over; the
judgment of God had been completed.
– The kings of verse 18 and 19 are the same ones
of 16:13-14,16; 17:1-2, 12-18; 18:3,9 which
again shows that the "great city" and the "beast"
are the same persecuting force.
– With regard to verse 18, compare Ezek. 39:1723.
– The verse shows that no class of men involved in
the persecution of the saints would escape God's
righteous judgment.
– Following are charts on the "Kings of the Earth"
which again shows how the book is tied together
in all of its scenes.
Rev. 19:17-21
• KINGS OF THE EARTH
• Revelation 16:13-14,16 – And I saw three unclean spirits
like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of
the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false
prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing
signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the
whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great
day of God Almighty...And they gathered them together
to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.
• Revelation 17:1-2 – Then one of the seven angels who
had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to
me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great
harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of
the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of
the earth were made drunk with the wine of her
fornication."
• Revelation 17:12-14 – And the ten horns which you saw
are ten kings who have– received no kingdom as yet, but
they receive authority for one hour as kings with the
beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their
power and authority to the beast. These will make war
with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He
is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are
with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.
Rev. 19:17-21
• Revelation 17:18 – And the woman whom you saw is
that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.
• Revelation 18:3 – For all the nations have drunk of the
wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the
earth have committed fornication with her, and the
merchants of the earth have become rich through the
abundance of her luxury.
• Revelation 18:9 – And the kings of the earth who
committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will
weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of
her burning.
• Revelation 19:18-20 – That you may eat the flesh of
kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the
flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the
flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.
And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their
armies, gathered together to make war against Him who
sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast
was captured, and with him the false prophet who
worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived
those who received the mark of the beast and those who
worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the
lake of fire burning with brimstone.
Rev. 19:17-21
• The beast (the Roman Empire 13:1-10;
persecuting world government) and the
kings of the earth (the kings of he
provinces) gathered together to make
war against Him who sat on the throne
(Christ) and against His army (probably
saints, martyrs as in vs. 14), but He
conquers them (17:14) and, thus, the
beast was taken and with him the false
prophet (the earth beast--false religion,
paganism) that worked the miracles and
deceived those (13:11-15) who had
received the mark of the beast and
worshiped his image (13:16-18; 14:9,
11; 16:2).
Rev. 19:17-21
• Both of them were cast alive into a lake of fire
burning with brimstone (into the eternal place
of punishment, 20:14-15; 21:8).
– Consequently, these enemies of Christ are
eternally destroyed.
– Satan would never use these particular
instruments to war against the saints again.
In verse 19 the "remnant" (KJV) "rest"
(ASV) were slain with the sword of Christ.
– These were the rest of the enemies of Christ
in John's day who had not taken part in the
evil government or the false religion, but did
not have the seal of God in their foreheads
(compare 7:3; 9:4).
– All the fouls were filled with their flesh (this
completes the symbolism of verses 17-18);
thus, all the enemies of Christ are defeated.
The Book of Revelation
Chapter Twenty
THE REVELATIONS: Part Two
THE VICTORY
THE THREE “C’s” OF
REVELATION – Rev 2:10
CONFLICT
COMFORT
CONQUEST
Rev. 20:1-6
• This chapter mentions the "millennium" or the
"thousand years" ("millennium" is the Greek
word for "thousand").
– It is mentioned 5 times in verses 2-6 and is
mentioned nowhere else in Bible.
– It is the great proof text of the millennialist.
– We will endeavor to determine what these
verses mean as well as what they do not
mean.
• There is no need to force a change in time here
(that is, to leave the period under
consideration by John).
• False teachers want to bring in the second
coming at verse 1; however, John is still
dealing with the events which occurred in his
day.
– He is speaking of individuals who lived
during his time and not of some who live far
out in the future.
Rev. 20:1-6
• John said that he saw an angel come down
from heaven, having the key (he had
authority over it; probably the same angel as
in 9:1, 11) of the bottomless pit (where the
beast came from, 11:7; 17:8) and a great
chain in his hand, and he bound Satan for a
thousand years.
– The "thousand years" is not to be taken
literally any more than are the "key,"
"bottomless pit," and "great chain."
– A literal chain cannot bind a spirit being.
– Like the other numbers in Revelation, the
"thousand" has a symbolical meaning.
• The number suggests fullness and
completeness (compare Deut. 7:9; 1
Chron. 16:15; Psalm 50:10; 90:5);
hence, it is the full and complete
number.
Rev. 20:1-6
• In verse 3 Satan was cast into the
bottomless pit, shut up and sealed, so
that he could "deceive the nations" no
more until the thousand years were
fulfilled.
– The term "deceive the nations" is
used often of Satan and his efforts in
Revelation (12:9; 13:13-14; 18:23;
19:20; 20:3,8,10).
– He deceived the nations and among
other things caused them to kill the
saints.
Rev. 20:1-6
• After Satan is loosed again for a short time
(20:3, 7), he comes forth to deceive the
nations again (20:8).
– It is certainly true that Christ bound Satan
at His death (Luke 10:18; John 12:31-32;
Col. 2:15; Heb. 2:14-15--when Christ
provided remission of sins, Satan lost his
power over man); however, here Satan
was put down or bound when God brought
an end to the Roman Empire (the meaning
of Rom. 16:20).
– Thus, during the thousand year period
Satan would not have control over the
nations as he once had and, consequently,
will not have power to cause the saints to
be slaughtered as he once did.
Rev. 20:1-6
• In verse 4 John showed that those who had died for
their faith were living and reigning with Christ.
– It does not refer to some living and reigning far
out in the future such as in the premillennial
idea.
– Prophetic speculators are very good at leaping
over the prophecy's immediate application and
applying it far out in the future.
• John saw the souls of them that were beheaded for
the witness of Jesus (the martyrs of his day, 2:13;
6:6-9; 7:14-17; 16:6-7; 17:6; 18:24; 19:2) and they
lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
– John showed that it was the ones who "did not
worship the beast...neither received his mark"
etc., (again, those of John's day, 13:16-17; 14:910a; 15:2; 16:2; 19:20).
– Thus, these souls--the ones who had been
martyred in John's day--were the ones living and
reigning with Christ.
Rev. 20:1-6
• Premillennialist have a marvelous time with
verse 5.
– They say it teaches that there will be two
resurrections--one at the second coming in
which the saints will be raised to reign with
Christ, and a second after the thousand
years wherein the wicked will be raised.
– This contradicts plain passages--John 5:2829; Acts 24:15.
• Furthermore, it has another trump after the
"last trump" (1 Cor. 15:52), days beyond the
"last day" (John 6:44), and time beyond "the
end" (1 Cor. 15:24).
– The Premillennialist misunderstanding of
verse 5 resulted from their
misunderstanding of verse 4.
• They have verse 4 out in the future and
naturally would place verse 5 out in the
future.
Rev. 20:1-6
• However, the "rest" of verse 5 are the ones
mentioned in 19:21.
– They represent those who were slain even
though they had not taken part in the evil
government or false religion.
– Thus, they were like the good moral man.
– Although they did not accept the beast or
the false prophet, they could not partake in
reigning with Christ because they did not
have the seal of God in their foreheads.
– Good moral deeds are not enough; one
must obey the gospel and become an
active part of the New Testament church.
– Therefore, in verse 5 John is simply saying
that these, the remnant or the rest of
verse 21, did not live and reign with Christ
through the thousand year period.
Rev. 20:1-6
• The latter part of verse 5 goes
better with verse 6.
– The verses could have been divided
that way.
• What is the first resurrection?
– It is when the faithful one dies and
goes to be with Christ.
– On these the second death has no
power.
Rev. 20:1-6
• What is the second death?
– John tells us plainly in 20:14-15 and
21:8.
• What is the second resurrection?
– It is when our bodies will be raised
at the second coming of Christ.
• We must conclude, therefore, that any
who have the seal of God (have
obeyed the gospel) and have
overcome (have been faithful until
death) will have part in the first
resurrection and will reign with Christ
unto the end. (See also Rev. 7:14-17;
Phil. 1:23; 2 Cor. 5:8).
Rev. 20:1-6
• The premillennial theory from verses 4-6 is
as follows:
– "At the second coming, Christ is coming
back to the earth to reign on the throne of
David in Jerusalem with all the saints for a
thousand years.“
• It is very strange that millennialist can see
all of those things in a text which mentions
none of them!
– Old time gospel preachers often put the
premillennial theory on the black-board
and then erased the things that are not
found in the verses.
– For example, it says nothing about the
second coming (they erased it).
Rev. 20:1-6
– It says nothing about Christ coming back
to the earth (no passage anywhere in the
N.T. teaches it--they erased it).
– It says nothing about the throne of David
(erased).
– It says nothing about Jerusalem
(erased).
– It says nothing about all the saints
reigning (only that souls reigned-erased).
• The only thing left is the thousand years
and, thus, the millennialist's great proof
text does not teach their doctrine at all. It
does not touch on it nor give the slightest
hint about it.
Saints Meet
The Lord
Pre-Millenialism
Church Age
•* DAVID’S THRONE???
•* CHRIST ON EARTH ???
•* JERUSALEM ???
•* SAINTS REIGNING ON
EARTH ???
“At the Second Coming,
Christ is coming back to
earth to reign on the throne
of David in Jerusalem with
all His saints for a thousand
years- Rev 20:4-6???
Kingdom Age
THE 1000 YEARS
 “Great Tribulation”
“Battle of Armageddon”
“Jews Return to Palestine
Rev. 20:7-10
• In these verses we can’t determine the
duration (the exact length no one knows, Matt.
24:36; Mark 13:32) of the thousand year
period.
• After the thousand years Satan is loosed for a
short time (vss. 3 and 7).
– He makes war again and is immediately cast
down into he lake of fire and then comes the
judgment.
– The thousand years, therefore, precedes the
second coming of Christ in which He will
come to judge (2 Tim. 4:1; Matt. 25:31-32).
• It is not to begin at the second coming but will
end at the second coming.
– Consequently, the reign of the saints for a
thousand years began with the faithful
martyrs of John's day and remains until the
second coming of Christ.
Rev. 20: 7-10
• When Satan is loosed just before the final judgment,
he comes forth deceiving the nations as he had done
before.
– DECEIVES THE NATIONS
– Revelation 12:9 – So the great dragon was cast
out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan,
who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the
earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
– Revelation 13:13-14 – He performs great signs, so
that he even makes fire come down from heaven
on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives
those who dwell on the earth by those signs which
he was granted to do in the sight of the beast,
telling those who dwell on the earth to make an
image to the beast who was wounded by the
sword and lived.
– Revelation 18:23 – And the light of a lamp shall
not shine in you anymore. And the voice of
bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you
anymore. For your merchants were the great men
of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations
were deceived.
Rev. 20: 7-10
– Revelation 19:20 – Then the beast was captured,
and with him the false prophet who worked signs
in his presence, by which he deceived those who
received the mark of the beast and those who
worshiped his image. These two were cast alive
into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.
– Revelation 20:3 – And he cast him into the
bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on
him, so that he should deceive the nations no
more till the thousand years were finished. But
after these things he must be released for a little
while.
– Revelation 20:8 – And will go out to deceive the
nations which are in the four corners of the earth,
Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle,
whose number is as the sand of the sea.
– Revelation 20:10 – And the devil, who deceived
them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone
where the beast and the false prophet are. And
they will be tormented day and night forever and
ever.
Persecution of Christians
– The First Persecution, Under Nero, A.D. 67
The Second Persecution, Under Domitian, A.D. 81
The Third Persecution, Under Trajan, A.D. 108
The Fourth Persecution, Under Marcus Aurelius
Antoninus, A.D. 162
The Fifth Persecution, Commencing with Severus,
A.D. 192
The Sixth Persecution, Under Maximus, A.D. 235
The Seventh Persecution, Under Decius, A.D. 249
The Eighth Persecution, Under Valerian, A.D. 257
The Ninth Persecution Under Aurelian, A.D. 274
The Tenth Persecution, Under Diocletian, A.D. 303
Rev. 20:7-10
• Satan makes a world-wide gathering of an
innumerable host, Gog and Magog, to war
with the saints.
– Ezekiel's Gog (a chief prince) and Magog
(the land over which Gog ruled)
represented a wicked nation who were
the enemies of God's people (chs. 38 and
39).
• As has been often shown, many terms and
figures in Revelation have their symbolism
in the Old Testament.
• Thus, John prophesies that toward the end
of this time there will be a great host
gathered and led by Satan, and he and his
allies will make one last furious effort to
destroy the church.
Rev. 20:7-10
• This means that persecutions and
martyrdom will be revived (or will be
more intense than in John's day) in that
last great conflict.
– However, as Satan and his allies
compassed the camp of the saints, and
the beloved city (the church; see 11:2
and comments)--as they are about to
completely destroy it--fire comes down
out of heaven and devours them.
– This represents the second coming (2
Thess. 1:7-9; 2 Pet. 3:7-10) for the
scenes that follow are the judgment
(Rev. 20:10-15) and the final states
(chs. 21 and 22).
Rev. 20:7-10
• The devil that deceived the
nations is cast into the lake of fire
and brimstone; thus, his
deception is forever ended.
• He is "tormented" (in anguish
and pain) "for ever and ever"
(eternally; the length of the
torment and the duration of God's
existence are the same, 4:9) in
the place prepared for him and
his angels (Matt. 25:41).
Rev. 20:11-15
• John now sees a vision of the
final judgment--the next thing
which occurs immediately after
the second coming of Christ (see
also 2 Tim. 4:1; Matt. 25:31-33).
– John sees the great white throne
and Him who sat on it, and from His
face heaven and earth vanished
(Heb. 1:10-12).
– All the dead both small and great
stood before God to be judged.
Rev. 20:11-15
– The books were opened:
• (The books of the Bible, Rom.
2:16; James 2:12; John 12:48)
• and another book was opened (the
book of life, Phil. 4:3; Rev. 3:5;
13:8)
• and the dead were judged out of
those things written in the books
according to their works (2 Cor.
5:10; Eccl. 12:13-14).
– All the dead will be judged by the
Scriptures in accord with their
works.
Rev. 20:11-15
• The sea (probably refers to the bodies
buried in the sea) gave up the dead
that were in it,
– and death (the separation of soul
and body, James 2:26; here it
probably refers to the bodies buried
in the earth)
– and hell ("hades," the place of
disembodied spirits, Luke 16:22-26)
gave up the dead that were in them
(the spirits came out of hades to be
judged).
The Teachings of The Scriptures – Inspired by God
The Second Coming
UNDER THE NEW LAW –
DOCTINE of CHRIST
Of Christ
Church/Kingdom Age –
Matt. 16:18-19; Revelation
1:9; Col. 1:13
Heaven
Great Gulf
John 5:28-29 – all the dead raised
Pentecost
Acts 24:15 – Only one Resurrection
A.D. 33
John 6:44 – Raised in the Last day
1 Cor. 15:52-53 – Bodies Changed
Matt. 25:31-46 – Judgment will occur
2 Tim. 4:1 – Judged at His Coming
Jude 14-15 – Judgment on all
Rev. 20:12 – All Stand before His Throne
Hell
THE WORD of GOD ON WHAT HAPPENS AT THE
SECOND COMING of CHRIST
World Of
Light
On Earth –
James 1:14-15
Born Innocent
Man Is Tempted
Man Drawn Away
Lust Conceived
Brings Forth
Add To Your Faith
2 Peter 1:5-11
Added To
The CHURCH
THE WATERS of BAPTISM
SIN
Brings Forth
DEATH
(Both Physical HEAR
And
Spiritual)
CONFESS
REPENT
BELIEVE
Physical
D
E
A
T
H
Heb. 9:27
OR
THE
CHANGE
From
Mortal
To
Immortal
World Of
Darkness
1 Cor.
15:52-53
Eccl.
12:7
Psalm
90:10
Gen.
35:18-19
and
1 Kings
17:21-22
James
2:26
Those on Earth
2nd In Order
HADES – The Unseen World S
1st
In Order
SAINTS IN
PARADISE
THE GREAT GULF
UNRIGHTEOUS
& DISOBEDIENT
TORMENT
Luke 16:19-31
Those on Earth
E
C
OO
N F
DC
H
CR
O I
MS
I T
N
G
2nd In Order
The second coming marks
the end of all things on this
earth. 2 Pet. 3:10
Christ will bring the spirits
of the righteous dead with
him. 1 Thess. 4:13-14
Paul continues -- 1 Thess.
4:15-16.
(vs. 16; 1 Cor. 15:22- 23).
 The bodies of the
wicked will be raised.
 Acts 24:15 resurrection
of BOTH the just and the
unjust.
 Wicked will receive the
resurrection of damnation.
John 5:28-29 2 Thess
1:7-9 - Wicked who are
alive on this earth when
the Lord comes
PENDING WRATH of GOD
J
U
F
D
I
G
N
M
A
LE
N
T
Matt. 25:34,46; John 5:29;
John 14:2; 1 Cor. 15:5253; 2 Cor. 5:1; Col. 3:4;
Heb. 11:10; 1 Pet. 1:4;
2
Pet. 1:11; 3:13.
Rev.
20:11-15
ETERNAL
Matt. 5:22; 13:43,50;
22:13; 25:30,41,46; Mark
9:45; 16:16; 2 Thess.
2:12; John 5:29; 2 Thess.
1:9.
H
E
A
V
E
N
THE GREAT
SEPARATION
HELL
A.D. 33
The Second Coming Of Christ
The Resurrection
The Final Judgment
Church/Kingdom Age –
Matt. 16:18-19; Revelation
1:9; Col. 1:13
 In the LAST AGE NOW – 1 Cor. 10:11; Heb 9:26-28
Heaven
Great Gulf
In the KINGDOM NOW – Col. 1:13-14; Heb 12:28; Rev. 1:9
New birth puts one in the Kingdom – John 3:5
Conversion puts one in the Kingdom – Matt. 18:3
Lord’s Supper eaten in the Kingdom – Luke 22:29-30
Christ Is REIGNING NOW – Matt. 28:18; 1 Peter 3:22
Was to be given the Throne of David – Luke 1:31-33
Was raised to Sit on David’s Throne – Acts 2:30 ; Eph. 1:20-23
Would be PRIEST while on His Throne – Zech. 6:13; Heb. 8:1-5
Hell
Rev. 20:11-15
• In other words, all the dead with both body
and spirit came forth and stood (vs. 12:
Rom. 14:10-12; 2 Cor. 5:10) before the
throne to be judged (also see John 5:2829).
• Death (physical death; the last enemy to be
destroyed, 1 Cor. 15:26) and hades (the
temporary place of spirits) were cast into
the lake of fire (destroyed; they would no
longer be needed; they would no longer
have their control over man).
• The casting into the lake of fire is the
second death (see also 21:8).
• At the judgment all those not found in the
book of life (vs. 15) and all the wicked
(21:8) will be cast into the lake of fire.
The Book of Revelation
Chapter Twenty One
THE REVELATIONS: Part Two
THE VICTORY
THE THREE “C’s” OF
REVELATION – Rev 2:10
CONFLICT
COMFORT
CONQUEST
Rev. 21:1-4
• The wicked are cast into the lake of fire but the
righteous receive their glorious state.
• John sees a new heaven and new earth, which is the
new and glorious state of the righteous (compare 2
Pet. 3:10-13).
– The present earth on which we now live will pass
away. Peter says it is stored up for fire (2 Pet.
3:7, 10).
– Isaiah's new heaven and new earthy looked unto
the New Testament order (Isa. 65:17-25), but
Peter's and John's new heaven and new earth
looks unto the new order which follows the
Christian age.
• In verse two John uses many terms which refer to
heaven: "the holy city" (22:14, 19)
– "new Jerusalem" (3:13)
– "prepared as a bride adorned for her husband"
(the glorious state of the church, 21:9-11).
– This is that city which was looked for by the godly
men of old, "which hath foundations, whose
builder and maker is God." (Heb. 11:10, 13-16).
Rev. 21:1-4
• The saints in this new order will
be in fellowship with God (vs. 3).
– The verse emphasizes that God will
actually be present with them (see
also 21:22; 22:3).
– Under the Old covenant God met
with His people in the tabernacle.
– In the eternal home the entire city is
the tabernacle (dwelling place) of
God.
Rev. 21:1-4
• His presence remains with His people
forever.
– God will be their protection and
comfort (vs. 4).
– This verse emphasizes that there
will be no sorrowful things there:
"not tears, "no death" (see Luke
20:34-36), "no sorrow," "no crying,"
"no pain" (no sicknesses of any
kind) for all those things of this
world will be completely taken away.
Rev. 21:5-9
• He who sat upon the throne (God the Father,
4:2, 9) said "Behold, I make all things new."
• The first things (the things of this world
now) will pass away and all things will be
new.
• He said to John, "Write: for these words are
true and faithful" (they are sure and
dependable, right an trustworthy, certain and
reliable).
• He said, "It is done" (it is as good as
accomplished); "I am Alpha and Omega, the
beginning and the end" (denotes His eternal
existence; used here of the Father as shown
by the context; also used of Jesus, 1:17; 2:8;
22:13).
Rev. 21:5-9
• Also, He said, "I will give unto him that is
athirst of the fountain of the water of life
freely" (see Matt. 5:6; John 4:13-14; Rev.
22:17).
• He added, "he that overcometh shall inherit
all things" (see Matt. 25:34; 1 Pet. 1:4), and
"I will be his God, and he shall be my son"
(see 1 John 3:1-3; 2 Cor. 6:17-7:1).
• In contrast, the fearful, unbelieving,
abominable, murderers, fornicators,
sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, shall have
their part in the lake that burns with fire and
brimstone.
• The second death is the eternal separation
from God (Matt. 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48).
• Thus, in contrast to the saints' heavenly
inheritance, the wicked suffer the second
death in eternal torment.
Rev. 21:9-22:5
• Verses 9 through 22:5 give a beautiful
description of heaven.
– It is not a description of the church on earth
now (as some claim), but a description of the
church in its glorious state in heaven.
• One of the angels which had the seven bowls full
of the seven last plagues (15:1) said to John,
"Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the
Lamb's wife."
– This is the that great city, the church in its
glorious state in heaven (21:2, 10).
– The angel carried John away in the spirit (thus,
it will not be this way literally, but it is a vision
describing it in physical terms; it will be like
this) to a great and high mountain, and
showed him that great city (21:2; 22:14, 19),
the holy Jerusalem (3:12; 21:2) descending
out of heaven from God (this was the one that
John saw after the first heaven and earth
passed away, 21:1-4).
Rev. 21:9-22:5
• Verses 11 though 21 describe the
exterior make up of the city (looking
at it from the outside);
– verses 22-22:5 describe the interior
of the city.
• Verse 11 shows the glory of the city;
the glory of God and the Lord was the
light thereof (21:23; 22:3-5).
– The city is made glorious by the
glory of God which fills it.
• Verse 12 suggest the absolute and
perfect security of the city (as cities in
ancient times were fortified by great
high walls).
Rev. 21:9-22:5
• It had twelve gates, three on each side (vs. 1213, 21, 25) and an angel at each gate (divine
guardians or ministering spirits).
– The gates had the names of the twelve tribes
of the children of Israel written on them.
– Thus, the righteous of the Old Testament will
have part in it.
– Twelve foundations implies durableness (it has
a strong foundation).
– The names of the twelve apostles written
thereon suggests that the saved of the New
Testament will have part in it.
– This corresponds to the 24 elders (4:4) who
stand for the redeemed of both Testaments
represented by the twelve patriarchs and the
twelve apostles.
– Thus, the redeemed of the Old and New
Covenants are united in the heavenly city (see
also Heb. 9:15; 11:40).
Rev. 21:9-22:5
• In verse 15 the angel had a reed (normally a plant
stem similar to bamboo but grows in water as bullrushes, but here a golden one) to measure the city,
the gates and the wall (he will give measurements,
descriptions of it).
• Verses 16 and 17 suggests the enormity of the city
(it is of huge, immense size).
– The city lies foursquare (is as a cube) and is
12,000 furlongs (one furlong equals 660 feet;
thus, it was 1,500 miles wide, high, and long.
– The wall was 144 cubits (one cubit was
approximately 18 inches; thus, the walls were
about 216 feet thick).
– This suggests safety and protection.
– John said that these measurements were
"according to the measure of a man, that is, of the
angel" (vs. 17b).
– In other words, they were no different from that
of man and within human understanding though
given by an angel. The angel had used man's
standards of measurement, but it was to be
symbolically applied.
Rev. 21:9-22:5
• Verses 18 and 19 suggest the value of the
city (of great wealth and richness).
– W.E. Vine says of "Jasper," "A Phoenician
word, which seems to have denoted a
translucent stone of various colors,
especially that of fire, Rev. 4:3;
21:11,18,19." (p. 273).
• The city was of pure gold (e.g., its street, vs.
21) but gold unfamiliar to us for it was like
unto clear glass.
• The foundations of the wall of the city were
garnished (decorated, adorned, ornamented)
with all manner of precious stones.
– There are many uncertainties regarding
the identities and colors of the precious
stones of verses 20 and 21, but that which
they typify is not lost--the exquisite beauty
of the holy city.
Rev. 21:9-22:5
• In verse 21 John resumes his discussion of
the gates (vs. 12) describing each as made
of one huge, massive pearl.
• The street (all streets from each gate
evidently are joined together to make up one
street) of the city was pure gold and, again,
unlike any known to us for it was like
transparent glass. It transcends the beauty
of any metal known to man.
• In all these things God seeks to impress
upon us the splendor of being a part of that
glorious city.
• As mentioned above, verses 22-22:5
describe the interior of the city.
– There is no temple in the city for the
entire city is the house of worship.
Rev. 21:9-22:5
• The tabernacle of God is with men (21:3).
– The promise of 3:12 is now completely
fulfilled.
– The celestial city has no need of the sun or
moon for God and Christ are the light
thereof.
– It is illuminated by the brightness of the
glory of God (21:11); there is not night
there (21:25; 22:5).
• There is only one eternal day, for God and
the Lamb are its light.
– The nations ("peoples," 21:3; the saved
out of all nations) shall walk in the light of
it (shall share in God's glory) and the kings
(those that reign for ever and ever, 22:5)
bring their glory into it.
Rev. 21:9-22:5
• The gates of the city shall not be shut at
night (as in ancient times for fear of
invasion) because there shall be no night
there.
• They shall bring the glory and the honor
of the nations into it.
– All the glory and honor sought or
achieved by the redeemed shall be
brought into it; all the true good out of
the nations (Christians) shall be
brought into it.
– All the glory and honor that exists will
be inside the holy city; all dishonor and
shame shall be outside.
Rev. 21:9-22:5
• There shall in no wise (an emphatic
negative; "shall by no means" NKJV)
– enter into it anything that defiles
(Greek, "common" and means
"unclean, filthy, or corrupt"),
– or works abomination (doing things
that are detestable, loathed or hated),
– or makes a lie (telling lies, being
dishonest, believing or practicing false
doctrine) shall enter the city,
– but only they that are written in the
Lamb's book of life (see Luke 10:20;
Phil. 4:3; Heb. 12:23; Rev. 3:5; 13:8;
17:8; 20:12,15; 22:19).
Rev. 21:9-22:5
• In verses 22:1-5, John describes the provisions
provided in the city.
– Three basic things are necessary for
sustaining life on earth, water, food, health.
– This scene symbolizes the provisions for all
of these. Jesus promised the water of life
(John 4:14) and there we will have it in
fullness.
– The pure river of water of life is that which
sustains that new life.
– The latter part of verse one emphasizes that
eternal life comes from God and Christ, the
fountainhead of all life.
– The tree of life was forfeited and lost in the
garden of Eden (Gen. 2:9; 3:22-24), but will
be regained in that holy city (see Rev. 2:7).
– Notice that the idea is not just one single
tree for it was on either side of the river.
Rev. 21:9-22:5
– It is used collectively (as was "street" vs.
12) to represent all the trees that lined the
river.
– The tree of life bears twelve manner of
fruits ("twelve crops of fruit" ASV
footnote) and bears each month.
– This emphasizes that the needs of the
saved will be completely and absolutely
provided there.
– They will have constant and perfect
abundance.
– The leaves of the tree of life are for the
healing of the nations (for the healing of
the nations of them which are saved, see
21:24a).
– Again, another beautiful expression
showing that all needs will be completely
and perfectly provided there (see also
21:4).
Rev. 21:9-22:5
• Concerning the phrase, "There shall be
no more curse," see Gen. 3:16-19.
• The throne of God and of the Lamb
are together (Jesus sat down with His
Father in His throne, 3:21) and it shall
be thus in the heavenly city.
• His servants shall serve Him there (vs.
3); thus, the saints will serve God in
heaven.
– It won't be like their service here for
they have physical weaknesses and
handicaps here, but there they shall
serve Him with a perfect service for
all weaknesses will be removed.
Rev. 21:9-22:5
– No man has seen God at any time (John
1:18), but in the holy city they shall see
Him even as He is (see 1 John 3:2).
– The inhabitants of the city are identified as
"the saved" (21:24), "those written in the
Lamb's book of life" (21:27), "his
servants" (22:3), "those with his name in
their foreheads' (22:4).
– The phrase "name in their foreheads" was
mentioned repeatedly throughout the book
(7:3: 9:4; 13:16; 14:1,9; 17:5; 20:4) and
was a contrast of Christians (those sealed
bearing the name of God) with the earthdwellers who followed this evil world
(those of Satan bearing the mark of the
beast).
Rev. 21:9-22:5
• Regarding verse 22:5a, see 21:11, 23, 25.
– There is no night in the celestial city; there
is one eternal day, for God and the Lamb
are its light.
• The redeemed shall reign "for ever and ever"
(one of the terms used for eternity; literally,
"to the age of the ages").
– Those who had part in the first
resurrection reigned for a thousand years
(20:6), but in that great city they reign
forever and ever.
– The term shows conclusively that verses
21:1-22:5 refer to the church in its eternal
glory and not to the church in this present
age.
– Verse 5 completes the description of the
holy city.
– Consider the following summation of the
celestial city:
Rev. 21:9-22:5 (HEAVEN)
• The light of it is the glory of God and the
Lamb, 21:11,23,25; 22:5.
• It has a great high wall, 21:12, 17-18.
• It has twelve gates on which are written the
names of the twelve tribes, 21:12-13, 21, 2527.
• The wall has twelve foundations on which
are written the names of the twelve apostles,
21:14, 19-20.
• The city was made like a cube and it
measured twelve thousand furlongs (1,500
miles), 21:16.
• The walls measure 144 cubits (approximately
216 feet thick) and were made of jasper,
21:17-18.
• The city was pure gold (e.g., its street) as
transparent glass, 21:18, 21.
Rev. 21:9-22:5 (HEAVEN)
• There is no temple in the city because the
Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its
temple, 21:22.
• Glory and honor are brought into it, 21:14, 26.
• There shall be nothing unclean in it, 21:27.
• The holy city has a pure river of water of life,
22:1.
• It has the tree of life, 22:2.
• In the city is the throne of God and the Lamb,
22:1, 3.
• The inhabitants of the city are those who are
saved, His servants, those who are written in
the Lamb's book of life, and those who have
His name in their foreheads, 21:24, 27; 22:34.
• They shall see His face and reign forever and
ever, 22:4-5.
Rev. 21:9-22:5
• Therefore, we have a beautiful
figurative description of God's
redeemed dwelling with Him in eternal
bliss.
– It is a glorious picture of a spacious,
perfect, durable, valuable, beautiful,
marvelous city where the saints will
dwell with God and the Lamb
forever.
– The following charts show that 21:122:5 cannot be referring to the
church that is now on this earth.
Rev. 21:9-22:5 (NOT THE CHURCH
THAT NOW IS)
• To picture heaven fits the sequence of the book.
• Verse 4 – Uses future terms for a better world
where the painful experiences of this world will
not be.
• Verse 5 – "He who overcomes" - He who gains the
ultimate victory will have these things (see 2:7,
11, 17, 26-27; 3:5, 12, 21-22). The word
"overcome" is used in Revelation in the sense of
the ultimate victory, even as Christ "overcame"
(3:21).
• Verse 8 – A contrast is made: eternal torment
versus eternal life.
• Verses 12-13 – The righteous of the O.T. have part
in it. They were not in the church.
• Some of the details are not compatible with the
church; ex. "twelve gates" (vs. 21), "shall be no
night there" (22:4).
Rev. 21:9-22:5 (NOT THE
CHURCH THAT NOW IS)
• Verse 22:2 – The "tree of life" (that by which man
could live forever, Gen. 3:22-24) is in it. It is not
in the church.
• Verse 3 – "There shall be no more curse" All men
and women are still under the curse; i.e., "In pain
you shall bring forth children," "Cursed is the
ground for your sake" (Gen. 3:16-19).
• Verse 4 – "They shall see His face" (See 1 John
3:1-3). We see Him only through the eye of faith
now, but there faith will be reality.
• Verse 5 – "They shall reign forever and ever" (lit.
"to the age of the ages"). We are not reigning
eternally now. Thus, the verses cannot apply to
the church.
• In verses 3-5, John used the word "shall" several
times which declares by the inspiration of God that
these things are yet future.
The Book of Revelation
Chapter Twenty Two
THE REVELATIONS: Part Two
THE VICTORY
THE THREE “C’s” OF
REVELATION – Rev 2:10
CONFLICT
COMFORT
CONQUEST
Rev. 22:6 - 9
• We now have the epilogue (the conclusion and
the closing of the book).
– He (refers back to one of the angels which had
the seven bowls, 21:9) said unto John, "These
sayings are faithful and true" (dependable and
sure, reliable and certain, trustworthy and
right).
– He said that the Lord God (equivalent to the
term "Jehovah God") of the holy prophets ("of
the spirits of the prophets" ASV; He endued
the prophets with His Spirit to proclaim His
message, Deut. 18:18; 2 Pet. 1:21; Acts 1:16; 1
Pet. 1:11) sent His angel to show the things
which must shortly be done ("shortly come to
pass" ASV).
– The term "must shortly be done" and its
equivalents is used four times in Revelation
(1:1, 3; 22:6, 10) and reveals that God would
soon bring the plagues against the wicked to
avenge the blood of the saints.
Rev. 22:6 - 9
• To interpret the book so as to embrace the
unfolding of events through centuries to
follow, is to make the term meaningless.
• The expression, "Behold, I come quickly" in
view of its immediate context probably refers
to His aid to the saints then (see also 3:911), but verses 12 and 20 most likely refer to
His second coming (see also Heb. 10:36-37;
James 5:7-9; 1 Pet. 4:7).
• The sixth beatitude (seven in all in Rev.)
announces a blessing on the one who keeps
the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
• This repeats the principle set forth in the first
beatitude (1:3) and emphasizes the
importance of obedience to the commands in
Revelation.
• The same importance is attached to all the
Word of God (see James 1:25; Heb. 5:8-9).
Rev. 22:6 - 9
• The apostle John now adds his own personal
testimony.
– These are the things which he saw and heard
(they are his true record, his eye-witness
testimony, not hearsay or fictions stories).
• (Compare John 19:35; 21:24; 1 John 1:1-4).
– Again, evidently John was carried away and
fell down before the angel which showed him
these things (see also 19:10).
– He may not have done this twice, but only
repeated again what he once did.
– The angel rebukes him because:
• He is a fellow servant of John's, of the
prophets, and of them who keep the sayings
of John's Revelation (see Heb. 1:13-14).
• God is the one who is to be worshiped (Matt.
4:10); all adoration, praise, and devotion
belong to Him.
Rev. 22:10-15
• The angel said to John, "Seal not the sayings of the
prophecy of this book (do not close or hide these
things to the readers) for the time is at hand" (the
time for God's avengement is immediately near).
• He who is unjust ("unrighteous" ASV), let him be
unjust still, and he who is filthy, let him be filthy
still (vs. 11).
– In other words, let him alone (Matt. 15:14; 7:6;
Hos. 4:17) because the last warning has been
given.
– The only thing left for them is receiving their
wages and just recompense of reward.
• The Lord is coming quickly to render to each one
according as his work is (Eph. 6:8; Col. 3:25).
– The thought of the Lord coming quickly is similar
to: "The coming of the Lord draweth nigh"
(James 5:8), "The end of all things is at hand" (1
Pet. 4:7) and "For yet a little while and he that
shall come will come, and will not tarry" (Heb.
10:37).
– The time is short when compared to eternity.
Rev. 22:10-15
• The terms "alpha and "Omega" are the
first and last letters of the Greek
alphabet and correspond to our "A"
and "Z."
– It, along with the other phrases,
denotes Christ's eternity or
everlasting existence.
– It identifies Him with absolute Deity.
(Compare Heb. 1:10-12; 1 Cor.
15:24-28; John 17:5).
• Entering the city, where one is entitled
to partake of the tree of life, is
accomplished by doing God's
commandments (vs. 14).
Rev. 22:10-15
• Some ancient manuscripts have,
"Blessed are they that wash their
robes" in the place of "Blessed are
they that do his commandments.“
– Both are synonymous and necessary
to obtain the eternal blessing.
– Outside the city are those who do
not keep His commandments.
– They will not be given the right to
enter into that marvelous city.
– Notice how they are described in
verse 15; those who do not keep His
commandments fall into these
categories.
Rev. 22:16-21
• Jesus, the off spring of David (Matt. 22:42-45;
Isa. 11:1,10; Rom. 1:3-4; 15:12), the bright and
morning star (a reference to Venus, the
forerunner of light, harbinger of day, beautiful
and brilliant--see 2 Pet. 1:19) has sent His angel
to testify these things to the churches.
– The Spirit (through the gospel) and the bride
(the church) say, "Come."
– Let him who hears (the individuals) say,
"Come."
• The invitation is extended to all how will accept
its terms, "Whosoever will, let him take the water
of life freely."
• Sinners have always been invited to come (Isa.
55:1-3; Matt. 11:28-30).
• It is appropriate and praiseworthy that in the last
words of the holy Scriptures is the invitation of
salvation.
Rev. 22:16-21
• If anyone adds to the prophecies of this
book, God will add to him the plagues written
in it; e.g., famine, morning, and death (18:8)
and the lake of fire (19:20; 21:8).
• If anyone takes from it, God will take away
his part from the tree of life, and out of the
holy city, and from the things written in the
book.
– This warning was given to reveal what will
happen if one adds to or subtracts from
the book of Revelation.
– However, this is a general principle that
applies to any book of the Bible (Deut. 4:2;
12:32; Prov. 30:5-6; Gal. 1:6-9).
– One can be guilty of adding to the Word
not only by rewriting or changing it, but
also by teaching something as if it came
from the Word when it did not.
Rev. 22:16-21
• Jesus who testified these things says He will
come quickly.
– This perhaps could refer to His aid to the
saints then (1:3; 3:11; 22:7,10), but most
likely refers to His second coming (see vs.
12 and comments).
– John's answer, "Even so, come, Lord
Jesus" suggests submission and desire.
– We should strongly desire His help (Heb.
4:16) and with all submission patiently
wait for it (Rev. 13:10; 14:12) and,
likewise, we should desire His coming (2
Cor. 5:2-3) and submissively wait for it
(Matt. 24:42-47; 2 Pet. 3:10-12).
• The final benediction is: "The grace of the
Lord Jesus be with you all."
– No greater blessing could be wished or
granted to the faithful. "Amen." So be it!
In Conclusion
• The book of Revelation was designed to give
encouragement and hope to the suffering and
dying saints of John's day.
• They were assured of a glorious victory in the
midst of bitter and cruel persecution.
• Their enemies were destined to destruction.
• The blood of the righteous dead would shortly be
vindicated.
– If they would keep the faith unto the end, they
would live and reign with Christ and inherit
eternal bliss.
• Similarly, through John's words we share with
them the strength, power and help to overcome.
– We are assured of victory through the conflicts
of life, and are moved toward greater
faithfulness as we view that marvelous,
heavenly city prepared for us by God and the
Lamb.
Bibliography
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18.
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Book House Grand Rapids Michigan 15th Printing – 1987
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by FF Bruce, Fleming H Revell Company Old Tappan, New Jersey 1981
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Hastings Dictionary of the Bible, edited by James Hastings, DD Hendrickson
Publishers Peabody Massachusetts, 1989
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House, Grand Rapids Michigan 1989
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Grand Rapids Michigan 1987
The Anti Nicene Fathers – Vol 1, 2, 3, 4
Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language, Lexicon Publications inc, NY 1988
Eusebius Ecclesiastical History, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids Michigan 1991
Worthy is the Lamb, Ray Summers Broadman Press Nashville Tn 1951
Notes taken from Melvin Curry at Florida College – 1987
Hendrikson, An Interpretation of the Revelation
William Barclay, Revelation . Vol 1
The Book of Revelation, Foy E Wallace
Studying the Book of Revelation – Bible Class Notes from David J Riggs
The Interpretation of St John’s Revelation R C H Lenski; Augsburg Publishing
House, Minneapolis Minnesota 1943 & 1963
Barnes Notes on the New Testament, Albert Barnes Vol 14; Baker Book House,
Grand Rapids Michigan reprint of the 1884-1885 edition
Revelation a Message from Patmos, Weldon Warnock
Notes on Revelation, Jimmy Tuten (Originally from Donald Townsley as it
appeared in the Gospel Guardian Vol 16 1964
Commentary on revelation, Merrill C Tenney
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THE BOOK OF REVELATION