The Book of Revelation, “Rightly Divided”
The more accurate translation for this books name is, The Unveiling of Jesus Christ. What I have noticed so often throughout the years concerning this book, is how many believers will begin their Bible study or Bible reading with this last book of the Bible, the scary book of Revelation.
But then I guess it should not surprise me since most denominations feel the need to “scare” people into coming to Christ. They do this for many reasons and one which quickly jumps to my mind is the lack of faith in God and His ability to save His Creation through His love. Why would God want service with fear as its cause?
His Love and Grace inspires love and His Word tells us it is His hearts desire to reconcile His creation to Himself. God through His Love and Grace will save all. “Our Saviour, God, Who wills that all mankind be saved and come into a realization of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:4
Paul also wrote concerning the power of God’s will and asks us “for who has withstood His intention?” Romans 9:19, yet Christendom claims Satan and the puny human will can withstand their Creators will.
To the casual reader, the Book of Revelation can be a scary experience because of the traditional teaching of Hellfire which portrays God as a punishing vindictive God. This book will then seem to be filled with the wrath of an angry God. The false doctrine of Hellfire is a wrong premise to begin from. We must remember that God is Love and a Righteous God. The use of words such as anger, wrath, fury, bring to our minds the human emotions associated with those words but God does not act out in a soulish manner as those words apply to humans in their soulishness seeking to get what they want or perceive they need..
His anger is righteous indignation against evil and injustice and not against mere mortals who err. His anger is focused on the results of the evils coming from sin and death and not on the individual who is the victim of sin and death. His intention is to reconcile all. If Hellfire or even Annihilation of the wicked were true then we could agree that Gods anger was vented onto individuals.
But, this is not true because Gods Word teaches us that it is, His will and His intention to reconcile the entire Universe and to save all mankind which is the bringing of them to life in HIM, this should give us a different perspective of His righteous indignation. When a believer understands that God’s premise of all premises is not to punish, torture or to destroy eternally but instead to reconcile All, we then will correctly apply the focus of His indignation where it belongs, on sin, deception, false rule and false religion!
But, before these are removed by God, the creation needs to learn the evils of sin and death in order to understand Gods righteousness and His love and to truly appreciate and understand just what good is! Human nature takes the good for granted and complains about the evil…but evil is also an instructor as it teaches us to not take the good for granted but to learn to appreciate it.
In Chapter Seven of this Manual I have placed a list of comments made by the so called, “early church fathers” concerning the Hellfire doctrine, who stated why the doctrine of hellfire was needed even though they did not really believe it themselves. “They felt the masses needed to be scared into leading a moral life and to do so had to come into the church” This of course, the Catholic Church or those who perceived their way of belief was the only way. They believed they were helping God out by saving unbelievers and then by keeping them in line through these scare tactics and that mindset is still prevalent in our denominations today.
We are told at Romans 1:18-20 “For Gods indignation is being revealed from heaven on all the irreverence and injustice of men who are retaining the truth in injustice, because that which is known of God is apparent among them, for God manifests it to them.” To be irreverent means to not revere or to not honor God. Many will point to the Old Testament and to Gods dealings with unbelieving mankind and see Him only as an angry God.
A deeper and closer examination of the Old Testament and Gods dealings with mankind will again reveal a clearer perspective of that world and that time. God’s ultimate purpose is reconciliation of the Universe. Working towards that goal, it was necessary at times to do a cleansing of the ancient world which was filled with wickedness and false religions perpetrated upon mankind by the fallen spirit world under Satan. God’s purpose for humanity is a process, and the first thing necessary was to establish a line of men, which would lead to Jesus Christ. God needed to establish just what “righteousness” is.
The Law Covenant was given to demonstrate mans inability on his own to become righteous, this then preparing the way for Jesus Christ the only “righteous” human, untainted by sin and death. Who could and would lay down His life and become “the Saviour of the world”. John 1:14, 29 His righteousness, paid the price for all humanity’s sin, offenses and irreverence. These are different, sin, means to fall short, to miss the mark of righteousness, an offense is to deliberately sin or disobey God or a law. Irreverence is to dishonor God, an example, is to deny Him as the Creator and worthy of our honor. It is good to research each of these words. Romans 4:25 and 5:6
From Adam to Noah, the fallen spirit world deceived humanity in one way or another. In Noah’s day mankind was exceedingly wicked. Genesis 6:1-4 If this is accurately understood, it seems angelic beings came to the earth and were marrying women, the offspring of these unions were a hybrid race, called the Nephelim and described as giants, wicked and violent men, if this is the true interpretation, this hybrid race needed to be removed from the earth, as it was corrupting humanity, thus the flood of Noah..
There are differing opinions on this topic; A. E. Knoch has information against this belief in an article, “The So-Called Angel World” One argument is that God said reproduction came only through those of their own kind, also it is argued that the sons of God were the sons of Adam. I have just recently completed a supplemental article on this subject and placed in the back of Manual Two, please ask for it..
While Alexander Thompson wrote an article to support the marriage of angels and woman. One of his arguments was that, “we are of the same race or are kin of God” stated in Acts 17:29
Some angelic beings are described as men or looking like men in the scriptures, our kin? They have powers we do not understand and could either materialize a visible human form or perhaps they already have that form and have the ability to allow humanity to see them when they wish to?
Dr.Bullinger agreed with Alexander Thomson and in his argument in favor of the literal view of Genesis 6: 1-4 says the use of the word “ha-elomin in this passage refers to angels or messengers while the word “ha-adham” would have been used if the phrase had been that the women which were taken as wives were humans, the sons of Adam or man and not ha-elomin which is why it is translated, sons of God. I am working on a research paper investigating all the theories and information concerning Genesis 6 and the Nephelim. Elohim is one of the titles associated with the role of God as the Creator.
God protected and preserved one family through the flood in order to repopulate the earth, Noah’s family. The information I am looking at shows that only Noah’s family was not corrupted by the intermarriage and is the true meaning of why Noah was found flawless. This makes much more sense to me now…the need for the flood.
The man God chose later, Abram was a descendant of Noah through his son Shem. We are later shown in Genesis 12 Gods choosing of Abram and Sari and the history of their recorded dealings with Jehovah followed with their son Isaac and his son Jacob whose twelve sons ended up in Egypt through their brother Joseph and from there to the time of Moses bringing over one million Israelites through the Red Sea to the wilderness and receiving from Jehovah, His (righteous) Law covenant.
This entire history in Genesis shows God, preserving and protecting a lineage from Abram to Jesus Christ. The Old Testament account of the nations of Israel show the conflict between Jehovah’s people and the false religions in the surrounding nations, inspired by the fallen spirit world under Satan, these beings were seen and worshipped by the nations. The demonstrations of power by Jehovah were actually directed towards those false gods and false religions and the wickedness of men in opposition to His Chosen People, Israel.
Up until Christ’s work on the cross, that invisible realm wielded a lot of power and influence over mankind, both religiously and politically. The cross not only saved all humanity from death but it also took away a lot of power from that invisible realm.
We can make note that until that event 2000 plus years ago, the spirit world manifested itself visibly and invisibly in its dealings with mankind in many ways which we cannot comprehend as we have never witnessed these gods in a visible way as mankind did then. God, also visibly manifested Himself to those He chose to use and His powerful acts were very visible on behalf of His people which also showed the Pagan Nations that the Jews indeed had a most powerful God.
With many pagans, witnessing these signs, even stating that He was the True God. So, what I am trying to portray is that they had many visible occurrences with the false gods and well as visible, physical, signs and miracles, testifying to who the true God was and yet, most chose to follow their false gods and not honor the true Creator. Paul tells us this at Romans 1:18-23 “Gods invisible attributes manifested from the creation of the world being apprehended by His achievements, besides His imperceptible power and divinity, for them to be defenseless.”
When those unbelievers are raised out of the sleep of death, at the Great White Throne judgment spoken of at Revelation 20:5, 6 they will learn why they sinned and why they died and will be face to face with their Creator, Who will tell them of His love and His purpose for creating humanity, which is to become sons of God, His sons. I cannot imagine that a vast majority of people standing there would not fall to their knees in repentance for their past life and worship Him!
With these thoughts, let’s view this last book of the Bible as it should be viewed. God bringing an end, finally, to sin and death with the removal of wickedness from the earth along with all the sorrows it has brought humanity! He will remove the deceiving spirit world, all false political, philosophical and religious bondage and as Paul so aptly explains it, “For I am reckoning that the sufferings of the current era do not deserve the glory about to be revealed for us.” Romans 8:18-25. Please read this whole passage.
Throughout the scriptures we can find many examples of men and women, who felt they needed to help God out with His promises. The prime example was Abram and Sarai. God chose Abram and gave him the promise of a great nation coming through him at Genesis 12:1-3 Years later God showed Abram the land and promised it to him and his seed. Genesis 13:15,16
Abram and Sarai were still childless. Time passed, they were getting older and older and that promised seed had not come, they decided God needed some help. What follows is the story of Hagar and Ishmael at Genesis 16:1-16 and we today know of the ongoing conflict between Ishmael’s descendants and Israel. Abram was 86 when Ishmael was born. When all along, God planned to use His usual method, it seems He likes to wait until all hope is gone, that way there is no doubt as to, Who it is that brings about His promises.
When Abram was 99 years old, The Lord spoke to him again and added to His promises to Abram at Genesis 17:1-6 In Verses 4, 5 we see that God changes Abram’s name to Abraham and tells him, he shall also be the “father of many nations.” Jehovah told Abram, a great nation would come from his loins and out of that nation would come “the seed,” which was Jesus Christ, the purpose for this seed stated at Genesis 12:3; 18:18 and quoted by Peter at Acts 3:25 “all families of the earth will be blessed through your seed.”
Dr. Bullinger has an interesting note on this name change we just read about in Verse 5 “Abra h am, the ‘h’ is placed in the middle of his name Abram. This is the fifth letter in the Hebrew alphabet and 5 signifies grace. Abram means “exalted father” while Abraham means “father of a multitude” In Verses 7-14 God gives Abraham more details to this covenant and states at Verse 10 “the sign for him and his seed shall be circumcision.” And then continues with details of this sign.
At Verses 15,16 God tells Abraham “Sarai now shall be called Sarah and she will bare a son and she shall be a mother of nations.” Notice that the fifth letter of the alphabet, the ‘h’ is also added to her name. Sarai meant “princely” but Sarah means “princess” (On this letter of the alphabet, which means grace, it might be fun to note that it also is found in, Elohim and Jehovah). At this news from God, Abraham laughs as he is 99 and Sarah is 90 years old.
In Genesis 17:24-27 Abraham and Ishmael were circumcised along with all male members of his household and all his slaves. In the next chapter, the LORD appeared to Abraham again at Genesis 18:1, and in Verses 10-14 we can read that He tells Abraham it is time for them to have the son as promised. “Sarah listening, laughed within herself, saying I am waxed old and my lord also?” Genesis 21:1-5 gives us the account of the miracle of this son as promised. Abraham and Sarah become the parents of a male child and he was named Isaac…which in the Hebrew Language, Isaak’ means “laughter.” Does God have a sense of humor?
This example demonstrates for us that God does not need any help to bring about His promises, His will or His intention. His will is to save all His Creation and just as it seemed impossible for Abraham and Sarah to conceive a child in their old age, likewise today religion’s leaders say that it is impossible for God to save unbelieving mankind, they are ignoring the words at Luke 1:37 that “It is impossible for God not to fulfill His every declaration.” God said it and so we believe it! God can and will save all of His creation, through Love not Fear!
His fearsome displays of power described as His anger or wrath are for the purpose of proving Who He is. Those who were deceived and the wicked will be raised from the dead and will meet their Creator face to face. Again the purpose is to reconcile them not torture or kill for eternity. Paul tells us at 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 of the attributes of Love and that “Love never fails.” This alone should tell us, God cannot fail in accomplishing His will which is His intention.
God demonstrated His power in the giving of life to Abraham and Sarah, who were waxen old, past child bearing years. He will also show His power and His love to all His creation when all are made alive! His power may cause fear, but it is intended to instill respect for Who He is as the Creator, the giver of life and the Savior of all! It is His mercy and love, which will bring all to the place of being able to return His love. We can remind ourselves of the principal of learning good and evil in this life. Without evil we do not appreciate the good, without fear we do not appreciate security. God loves His creation and He wants us to learn and understand just, Who He is and what His love is. Love is not learned through scare tactics.
Sometimes in the scriptures the word translated as fear is really the word awe, in the manner of respect. But to fear God in the manner of being afraid of Him is not good….why would we fear love, it may be tough love at times but true love always seeks the good, for others. To use fear to gain obedience never works for long. Since fear turns to resentment and then resentment turns to hate. The second reason the denominations use fear is because of not, rightly dividing Gods Word.
So they teach the last book of the Bible is for the Body of Christ when in fact it is not, they are trying to scare people into coming to church. They teach we are in the last days of this world, when in fact we are not. The term “last days” as we learned in previous chapters, found in Israel’s prophetic word applies to Israel and the last days of gentile domination over her and will be the last days of this eon in which we now live.
This eon we live in now is known as this “evil or wicked age or eon” Galatians 1:4 and in this same eon Paul refers to, will be the last days of Israel’s apostasy and domination and persecution by Gentile nations. Christ’s Second Advent is not the end of the world or of Gods plan of Salvation but the beginning of yet another period of time, another eon or age in which Christ saves more unbelievers! The purpose of the eons is to reveal God and His Righteousness along with His Love and Mercy for His very own Creation….through the gift of Grace.
If we accept Paul’s teachings for the Body of Christ we then can believe, that the Body of Christ will be called “to meet the LORD in the air” which is the “snatching or rapture” of the church, before this last Book of the Bible, filled with Prophecy for Israel will begin unfolding for her and the world. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Many denominations spiritualize the scriptures and especially this last book of the Bible. To spiritualize, means they do not take the Bible to be literal. Yes God uses figures of speech and symbolisms and this last book is full of symbolisms but with very real, literal outcomes. Some teach, Babylon is not the literal city of Babylon which is to be rebuilt, but pictures something or someone else, like the Roman Empire or the Catholic Church, some even say it is apostate Christendom. If Holy Spirit uses a name from history and it means something or someone else yet unnamed, the reader would have to speculate on who was being spoken about. God does not want Israel or us to speculate.
If we look at the recorded, fulfilled prophecies in the scriptures we see that they are accurate with exact details. One outstanding example is when the Prophet Isaiah gave the name of the Persian ruler Cyrus, who would be the man who would free Israel from her seventy years of bondage to Babylon. This prophecy given from 140 to 200 years before the man was born! Isaiah 44:28, 45:1 The time differences are due to dating done by different scholars and so depend on which chart we use.
We can trust in the literal fulfillments of prophecy. If the Bible were to be understood spiritually we would be constantly trying to solve riddles. It would be like, if I told you, to wash the dishes but that is not really what I want you to do, it’s a riddle, so you must speculate on what I really want. Perhaps I wanted you to empty the trash or vacuum the rug. If God did this in His Word, how then would any of us figure out what He was saying to us in our lifetimes?
The answer is we would not. The Rule is to take the Bible as Literal unless the laws of language show us a figure of speech of some sort is being used to describe something which is to be literal. So what I am saying is sometimes the descriptions are not literal but what they picture are. Augustine was one of the first to teach not all scripture was literal; he decided that the millennial rule was not to be taken literally. This began the idea of a spiritual kingdom in the hearts of believers. This does not mean that there are not spiritual applications to the scriptures. But the literal must not be cast off in favor of only the spiritual.
The easiest way for me to explain, how I understand the use of figures of speech is that the Holy Spirit paints a “word” picture for the reader. In order to view something literal by means of a symbolism, or a figure of speech. Parables also do this. Jesus used many things familiar to His listeners comparing them to the Kingdom of God. For examples read: Matthew 13:16-35 These laws of language can be quite extensive but are basically simple.
We first look for words that alert us that a figure of speech is being used; Such as, “Man is like or as the grass, springing up, withers and dies.” This figure of speech, is called a simile, and is the use of comparing one thing to another by the words “like or as.” Little words again can pack a big meaning
Grass is something literal which we are all familiar with and man is literal, but man is not literally grass. It is a figure of speech; a picture of man’s life through the fragility of grass, for me, this simile makes me see my mortality in the shortness of the life of a blade of grass, reminding me that we also have a short life, and the temporary nature of our time here. One note, in the land in which this was written, the grass sprang up in the spring but soon withered and died in the heat and dryness of the desert climate as there is very little rain in that part of the world.
Those that spiritualize the Bible, do so because they view the Bible as contradicting itself, they are trying to make sense of it. But they have missed the so simple, yet very important tool which Paul taught us at 2 Timothy 2:15 All of the seeming contradictions will disappear when we learn to “rightly divide or correctly cut the Word of Truth.” God’s Word for us will then, literally open up and it will harmonize.
One popular spiritualizing teaching, you have probably heard of, are the words spoken by Jesus, “The Kingdom is among you or within you” at Luke 17:21 Also Mark 12:34 “Not far from you is the kingdom” These are taken to mean the Kingdom is within each believers heart and so the Kingdom has already come. This denies a physical, visible arrival of Christ to establish His kingdom on this earth.
The spiritualizer will point to this and other similar statements and say, well here we are, 2000 years down the road and no literal kingdom has been established, so what Jesus must have meant, was the kingdom is come when it is in the heart of the believers and so they have a spiritual Kingdom here on earth. I recently read a book, written by a pastor who found hell hard to accept as he could not reconcile a loving God who would torment people in fire for all eternity just for not accepting Christ.
He could not come to accept that God would save all…but felt…that what Jesus was teaching about the kingdom of God and its coming to the earth was this, “by believers doing good in this world, this will bring the Kingdom in through changing the world to a kinder and more peaceful place.” Not very realistic in view of the Bible’s prophetic information, which tells us the world will grow increasingly wicked and that God through Christ must bring about the changes needed in this world, because men will never be able to do so. The one point he did not see was that, a believer is only a believer because God has chosen them and given them His spirit enabling them to believe and he did not recognize the need to “Rightly Divide Gods Word.”
And so because of that, the author could not see that the Kingdom, Jesus spoke of is to be a literal physical Kingdom coming to the land of Israel and will be a literal government under Christ and the Israeli saints with the literal twelve Apostles to be raised from the dead for that place in the Kingdom on the earth. Nor did he recognize that the Body of Christ only are given the heavenly expectation as taught by Paul, separate from Israel’s earthly kingdom or that Paul teaches the literal salvation of all and the reconciliation of the Universe.
The roots of spiritualizing the scriptures began long ago after the “dispersion” of Israel began, first with their release from Babylonian captivity some 400 years before Christ. At that time some Jews stayed in Babylon while others scattered to the surrounding regions and some migrated to different countries. Also due to persecution in the days after the death of Jesus many believing Jews moved to other lands to escape the persecution.
The final destruction of the temple and city of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 caused more Jews to disperse into the world, and this is where different theories came in of the so called “lost tribes.” This is what is meant by “the dispersion,” and refers to Jews living outside of their homeland of Israel and living in other countries. The records of who belong in which of the twelve tribes was also lost in A. D. 70 with the burning of the temple, but God knows who belongs to which tribe. Some teach the lost tribes are the white Nordic race and that they are the true Israel of God.
Again this deception is because they are not rightly dividing but are spiritualizing the scriptures. Someone not knowing the Bible and how to properly study it will be led astray as they teach this false doctrine with great confidence. It falls into that pit filled with errors. A self righteous attitude is taught by the denominations as they apply Israel in her covenant relationship with Jehovah and how they needed to overcome their weak flesh and the wiles of Satan if they wished to receive the blessings in their promised kingdom on earth.
A false sense of pride comes, based on Israel’s works oriented evangel and believers today not rightly dividing feel the whole Word of God now revolves around them and we will see that pride, self righteousness as they are taught they earn Gods grace by walking down that isle and accepting Christ. We have learned that God did the deciding and choosing for us and that we are only part of Gods plan and Word. Our guidance for our relationship in Christ is only found only in Paul’s evangel.
The denominations begin with a false premise for salvation based within the false teaching of free will, that we make the choice to follow Jesus and accepting Christ with our own faith. The Bible does not teach this premise for the Body of Christ. Paul teaches us that we have nothing to do with the Grace given to us in the Body of Christ other than receiving it along with our also being given the faith and ability to believe through the indwelling spirit of God. God chose Israel for a reason, to demonstrate His Righteous Law. Their failure to keep that law is our failure as we would not have been able to either. God through Israel will be glorified as He will restore that nation and He will grace them with belief just as He has done for us!
In later years, The Anglo Saxon movement sprang up in Wales and spread into England, called the British Anglo Israelism movement. They taught that they were the lost 10 tribes and were Spiritual Israel because they believed Israel was lost or cast off by God forever because of her unfaithfulness and rejection of Christ. They teach, God was forming a spiritual nation of Israel.
They then would obviously have to spiritualize all the literal prophecies for the literal nation of Israel in order to be able to then apply those prophecies to a spiritual group of believers. From that belief system came many other denominations also teaching they are Spiritual Israel in one form or another. This is also another reason why Christendom today does not see that Israel is separate from the Body of Christ and so they place all believers, past, present and future into one group, and one church, with all of them going to heaven while sending all unbelievers to Hell. Error spawns more error.
Paul’s fears for his evangel, that it would be distorted, and for those leaving “the sound doctrine” given to him by Christ for the Body of Christ, and that it would be lost and replaced with the “lies and myths” which he warned of indeed has happened. The counsel from Paul to “rightly divide or correctly cut the Word of God” is lost, ignored and even attacked as being foolish and has led saints away from Paul’s sound doctrine to the many errors taught today in every denomination of Christendom.
The book of Revelation Rightly Divided
This brings us to the subject of this Chapter, the book of the Unveiling or Revelation. Let’s first address the subject of “the seven churches” talked about in the first three Chapters of this book. We ask the question, are these “seven churches” the Body of Christ as is taught by Christendom?
For our answer let’s look at John’s opening words at Revelation 1:1-4 “The Unveiling of Jesus Christ, which God gives to Him to show to His slaves what must occur swiftly; and He signifies it, dispatching through His messenger to His slave John, who testifies to the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ whatever he perceived. Happy is he who is reading and those who are hearing the word of the prophecy and who are keeping that which is written in it for the era is near. John to the seven ecclesias which are in the province of Asia”
This prophecy was given to John an Apostle for Israel. If anything in this book would be for the Body of Christ would not Paul our Apostle have written to us about it? We find nothing written in this book which would fit within any of our instructions from Paul. John has told those who “read and keep the things “ written in this book, will be happy because in the following 4 verses John tells them that soon or swiftly, Christ and the kingdom will arrive.
These seven churches are given counsel about their conduct and faithfulness and told if they do not repent they will not be allowed in the Kingdom. These warnings contradict what our Apostle Paul tells us, The Body of Christ is secure in its calling.
Obviously John was not talking about his day as the kingdom did not then arrive before John and all his fellow saints died and 2000 years have passed. What is reasonable to then assume is that John was writing for the day in which these prophecies were intended for and would then unfold. To understand this vision is to see that it was mainly written for the future Remnant of Israel who will make up those “seven churches” and be living in those last days foretold for Israel.
The churches are said to be in Asia and are chastised by Christ for various lapses in their zeal, love or their lack of faith. The churches are all named and in the regions around Israel yet they are in Gentile territory, this most likely because Israel will be again under the Old Covenant during those times of restoration they will be hated and persecuted by Zionist law keeping Jews as false prophets for professing Jesus as their messiah fulfilling the words of Jesus at Luke 12:51-53.
The point being is that those prophecies are not for our part of the world, the USA. A study into those names of those churches may reveal conditions from the past prevalent again in false worship which the modern day remnant will need to avoid in order to be found faithful.
The future day Remnant will be encouraged as they read Daniel and the book of Revelation along with the prophecies Jesus gave for the last days as all these things will unfold before their eyes. They will be able to recognize what is happening in their day, is actual fulfillment of prophecy and this will be alerting them of what comes next. At Matthew 24:1-33 Jesus gives a list of many signs, of things to take place in that time of the approaching Kingdom and He follows with the statement at Verse 34 “Verily, I am saying to you that by no means may this generation be passing by till all these things should be occurring.”
This is speaking to the generation of the modern day remnant who will witness the beginning of those signs Jesus gave, they who see the signs begin will also see the arrival of the Kingdom, for it will arrive (swiftly) in the lifetime of those called out of Israel to Christ and so probably this will be occurring towards the end of the 490 years of Daniels prophecy.
The word correctly translated is “swiftly” rather than shortly as some translations have it. Those saints will be reading the book in the last days and they will see the beginning of their prophecies unfolding describing the man of lawlessness and many events marking the time until the arrival of Jesus and His kingdom, for that generation Jesus spoke of and will be within a generation of people viewing the signs given and so it will be a swift arrival for those people and that day.
When we recognize that, this last book of the Bible is written to and for the Remnant church of that future time, to guide her in those last days it will become easier to understand. The very title of this letter or book, The Unveiling of Jesus Christ is another clue for us that its words are for Israel. She is blind and not able to understand their very own prophetic scriptures. Israel does not recognize that Jesus was indeed their Messiah and so they are in need of Him, to be unveiled for them so they can understand and recognize Him.
This would not apply to us, in the Body of Christ as He has been unveiled or revealed to us by means of the “indwelling Holy Spirit” placed within each one of us along with being given “the faith” to see Him, which is the ability to believe and so we recognize Him as our Saviour and Lord. These are just a few of our many “spiritual blessings” given to us and recorded in Ephesians 1:1-12
And Paul also told us, “we are adopted” into God’s family and so this is why we can say “abba Father” Romans 8:15,16 Galatians 4:6 We are indeed a spiritual entity, given Christ’s allotment to live in heaven, we do not replace Israel or annual her promises, she remains a physical entity separate from the Body of Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:22, 5:5 The Title of this book is so applicable to Israel, She needs Jesus Christ unveiled for her…..we do not.
Jesus Christ is Israel’s Messiah and King, He is neither our Messiah nor the Gentiles messiah. He is Lord and Savior of all and for the Body of Christ He is our Head, we are His Body. This is why Paul tells us we are “His complement,” we complete Christ. Romans 11:25 The word, “Complement” is from the Greek word “ple r o ma” and means filling and is defined as “to make full, something put in to fill it up, not the state of being full”
This word is also used in describing how Christ completes the Father at Colossians 1:19 and 2:9 and Ephesians 4: 9-16 gives us the description of our role in the filling up of Christ. Please read the entire passage but here are the key words to make note of in Verse 13b “to a mature man, to the measure of the stature of the complement of the Christ” Verse 15 “Now being true, in love we should be making all grow into Him, Who is the Head…Christ out of Whom the entire body being articulated together…”
WE must separate Israel and her prophecies from the information given to and for the Body of Christ. Israel’s are literal physical promises and are yet to be fulfilled through her and in her land and are still for the future, they do not begin, until after we have been called home to heaven. Israel is appointed to a “time of indignation” we are not. Please review this at 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 5: 8-11
We are, Ambassadors of peace, who are called home when war is imminent, taken out of harms way If we read 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 We will see what was said, is that we are the dispensation of Grace. Verses 17 through 21 “God is conciliated to the world not reckoning their offenses to them” Who are we? We are Ambassadors of conciliation! I think this is extremely important to recognize. How could God begin His time period of JUDGMENT, if He is conciliated to the world and not holding their offenses against them?
We need to realize this grace is just not ours it has been extended to the world while we are here. That is why this is called the dispensation of Grace! This time of Grace will end when the members of the body of Christ are filled up or completed and as its ambassadors, The Body of Christ will be called home, removed, before judgments and God’s war breaks out. Then God will be free to begin dealing with Israel and the world with His Judgments. We always need to remember, the word Judgment means “to set things right” and is not vindictive punishment as taught by most denominations.
Remembering also Paul tells us at Ephesians 6:12 “we do not fight flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of darkness.” Darkness is void of light. Light describes Gods illumination by means of His Word and words. John 1:1-9. Within our spiritual warfare we fight the darkness, shedding light on Gods truth from Paul’s evangel for us, for humanity and for the entire creation.
The darkness is spiritual darkness and is filled with Satan’s “fiery arrows,” the “lies and myths,” through which he deceives the world and even believers. We are Gods demonstration of Grace, while we once were enemies and in the darkness, without hope until God chose Paul and through the evangel of Grace which God came to Paul to dispense, we then are called into His light. For this reason the body of Christ is not any part of the Book of the Unveiling, it is a book of Judgment and as the Administration of Grace we are “under no condemnation.” Romans 8:1 nor are we “appointed to indignation” Romans 5:9, 1 Thessalonians 1:10.
Those who insist on placing the Body of Christ on the earth when this Book unfolds do not understand GRACE. A.E. Knoch wrote an excellent Book “The Unveiling of Jesus Christ” It is out of print but can be found on the concordant website. www.concordant.org He wrote this book about 75 years ago. I am impressed with his explanation of this difficult book, so I recommend everyone reading it along with his book on Daniel’s prophecies.
I thought I would in this chapter; add some of his thoughts from his book. He divides the book of The Unveiling into sections. I found this really helpful in reading this difficult scary book and so hope it will help the reader of my manual also. Here is the outline. Please have your Bible open to this Book as you study this chapter. Read each chapter in your Bible as we go through them one by one. I will only highlight some of the information in each one but not all of it.
The Sections of The Book of the Unveiling or Revelation “rightly divided”
Introduction by John….Revelation 1:1-3
Prophetic Section … Revelation 1:4 thru 3:22
Throne Section which is Political Deliverance… Revelation 4:1 thru 11:18
Temple or Worship Section which is Religious deliverance…Revelation 11:19 thru 20:15
A Review of each section… Revelation 21:1 thru 22:17
The Conclusion 22:18-21
The INTRODUCTION: Revelation 1:1-3 “The Unveiling of Jesus Christ, which God gives to Him, to show His slaves what must occur swiftly: and He signifies it, dispatching through His messenger to His slave John, who testifies to the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, whatever he perceived. Happy is he who is reading and those who are hearing the word of the prophecy, and who are keeping that which is written in it, for the era is near.
The PROPHETIC SECTION: Revelation 1:4 through 3:22 is prophetic of the years before Christ’s advent written to the seven churches by John an apostles for the Remnant church of the future. They will be reading Johns words. So, although John is now dead, as their apostle they will be learning from what he wrote in Book of the Unveiling for the remnant of his evangel in the future. Information is contained in these chapters for the churches or synagogues of those believers of the future. How exciting for them to find themselves in a prophecy written over 2000 years ago.
The THRONE SECTION: Revelation 4:1 through 11:18. The first two verses let’s us know that this is the throne section. “After these things I perceived and Lo! A door is open in heaven, and Lo! The first sound I hear is as a trumpet speaking with me, saying, Come up here! And I will be showing you what be occurring after these things. Now immediately I came to be in spirit and Lo! A throne, located in heaven and on the throne One sitting.” The Throne is a symbol of rule. It focuses on the false rule in the world and the rightful heir to the throne and thus the rightful ruler of the world, Jesus. So this section deals with political deliverance
The TEMPLE SECTION: Revelation 11:19 through 20:15 shows us the focus has changed by the first verse “And opened was the temple of God in heaven and seen was the ark of God’s covenant in His temple and lightnings and voices and thunders and an earthquake and a great hail occurred.” The temple is a place of worship.
So this section dealing with religious deliverance reveals the many false religions, also exposed, will be the apostasy of Israel a false religion. This false women will be exposed and dealt with, she is described as “the harlot or prostitute” at Revelation 17:3, 4 Israel and the world are deceived by the antichrist and they are in a situation not so pleasant, with Satan demanding to be worshipped. Persecutions reign again and the capital city Babylon will be exposed as the mother of false religion.
The remainder of the Book of the Unveiling is then a review of the previous sections going backward or in reverse order to the beginning. The list of the reviews are as thus.
TEMPLE review ………….. Revelation 21:1-27
THRONE review …….….…. Revelation 22:1-5
PROPHETIC review…...... Revelation 22:6-17
CONCLUSION …. Revelation 22:18-21
I hope this outline helps the book of the Unveiling to be more enjoyable and easier to understand. Everything in this book does not follow in sequence or chronological order but at times overlaps. The Temple and Throne sections at times speak about the same time period but from a different perspective, Political or Religious.
So we start out with, John’s Introduction…then we go into the Prophetic section which will speak to the seven churches which I feel, most likely will be formed before the “last days” which seem to be the last “one seven” which is a seven year period of time from Daniels prophecy found at Daniel 9:24-27
Next, John relates the Throne Section, which will take the reader through the seven years to the arrival of Christ, and then that section is followed the Temple Section, which goes back in time, from the arrival of the kingdom at the end of the Throne section and it begins at the middle of that last seven years. The middle of the seven years, are referred in several different ways, “3½ years” as “times or seasons” “1260 days” and described as “42 months.”
All of these descriptions are the same period of time of 3 ½ years and they are that entire last half of the one seven of Daniel’s prophecy. The Temple section takes the reader to the arrival of Christ and beyond to His advent and into the Kingdom. It tells of Satan’s imprisonment, the raising of the faithful saints and martyrs, the establishment of the Kingdom, the millennial reign and then after 1000 years of how Satan will be let loose for the final rebellion and that fiery end followed by the last resurrection of “the rest of the dead at The Great White Throne” judgment and the “Lake of Fire which is the second death”
Then the Review begins with more details added for the Temple section, followed with more details of the Throne section. Then followed by more details of the Prophetic Section and then the Conclusion which ties back into the Introduction of this book.
Here is an example of linking two like sections, THE INTRODUCTION AND CONCLUSION
(The Introduction 1:1-3 with the Conclusion 22:18-21)
Revelation 1:1-3 “The Unveiling of Jesus Christ, which God gives to Him, to show to His slaves what must occur swiftly; and He signifies it, dispatching through His messenger to His slave John, who testifies to the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, whatever he perceived. Happy is he who is reading and those who are hearing the word of the prophecy, and who are keeping that which is written in it, for the era is near.”
Chapter 22: 18-22 “I am testifying to everyone who is hearing the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If ever anyone may be appending to them, God shall be appending to him the calamities written in this scroll. And if ever anyone should be eliminating from the words of the scroll of this prophecy, God shall be eliminating his part from the log of life, and out of the holy city, that is written in this scroll.
In the Introduction…John said he was “in spirit in The Lords day” this means he was seeing a vision of the future, the Lords day and not as some interpret it as that John was seeing this vision on the Sabbath day. John was shown the future for Israel to tie in with Daniels prophecies and especially of the 70 weeks. He sees the presence (invisible) of the Lord’s working with Israel, in the times of restoration which Peter spoke of at Acts 3:17-21 Peter proclaims, that Israel must repent, but how can they without God’s Spirit? He will begin by drawing them back to the land of Israel, to return to the worship of Jehovah and their covenant with Him.
John sees churches formed in that time by the future Remnant of Israel, chosen out of those returning to Israel during the times of restoration, These coming to Christ will be the “intelligent ones or understanding ones.” Daniel refers to these at Daniel 9:25 11:33, 35 12:3, 10 These ones will have spiritual insight and understand the scriptures written for them by Daniel and many other prophets. What John wrote in the book of Revelation will be describing the times they are living in preceding Christ’s arrival to the earth. Always remember the differences, for the Body of Christ. He calls and we go to meet Him in the Air.
For Israel he will return physically and visibly to Jerusalem, He rescues His people from the antichrist and his advancing armies. He will stand on Mount Olivet and ride into Jerusalem and will be hailed as King. When we take Israel’s prophecies as literal, it clearly shows us the differences between the two groups of saints!
Another example, linking both PROPHETIC Sections; Revelation 1:4-3:22 with Revelation 22:6-17
Please open your Bibles to the Prophetic section which runs thru Revelation 1:4---3:22 and read it first and then read what I have added here, the second Prophetic section from the review section so we can read them together and see how the second part flows right into the first.
The second part begins at Revelation 22:6-17 “And He said to me, “These sayings are faithful and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, commissions His messenger to show to His slaves what must occur swiftly. And Lo! I am coming swiftly! Happy is he who is keeping the sayings of the prophecy of this scroll.” And I, John am the one hearing and observing these things. And when I hear and observe, I fall to worship in front of the feet of the messenger who is showing me these things. And he is saying to me, See! No! A fellow slave of yours am I, and of your brethren, the prophets and those keeping the sayings of this scroll. “Worship God!”
And he is saying to me, “You should not be sealing the sayings of the prophecy of this scroll, for the era is near. Let the injurer injure still; and let the filthy one by filthy still; and let the just one do righteousness still; and let the holy one be hallowed still.” “Lo! I am coming swiftly, and My wage is with Me, to pay each one as his work is. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Origin and the Consummation. Happy are those who are rinsing their robes that it will be their license to the log of life, and they may be entering the portals into the city. Outside are curs, and enchanters, and paramours, and murderers and idolaters, and everyone fabricating and fondling falsehood. I, Jesus, send My messenger to testify these things to you in the ecclesia’s. I am the root and the race of David, the resplendent morning star. And the spirit and the bride are saying, Come! And let him who is hearing say, “Come! And let him who is thirsting come. Let him who will, take the water of life gratuitously.”
See how it has gone back in time to the first section, before the Kingdom is even set up and we see how they flow together. This is a good example of what Knoch showed us and why it would be a mistake to read the last chapter straight through as though it is continuing forward in time from where it speaks of “the New Heaven and New earth” being established.
We can see the seven churches are again referred to with warnings which happen even before the tribulation period had begun. Also, the future tense is in use, with terms which are looking forward and again towards Christ’s Advent, which had already happened in the previous Chapter 19. This is just a brief example of how these sections should be viewed.
I would like to also point out; that we will find the use of “fire” referred to a lot in this book. It is also used throughout the whole Bible but in most instances it is not literal fire but symbolic of war or even a destruction by other means and also of a purifying process, or a cleansing. In Study Manual Three we will go into all the usages of fire in the scriptures, I am sure you can think of some yourself, which did not involve destruction or annihilation such as, “God is a consuming fire” at Hebrews 12:29 or “His messengers are a flaming fire” at Hebrews 1:7 Also “Baptism of fire” Matthew 3:11 Also read Romans 12;20 and 1 Corinthians 33:13,15
Let’s now go through this book Chapter by Chapter and in doing so watch for comparisons between the Throne and the Temple Sections since these two sections overlap each other and speak of that same time period. We will see some similar details as well as some differences with more details added in the Temple section for the same events that were talked about in the Throne section.
Both sections take the reader to the arrival of Christ but are described separately because the throne focuses on political deliverance and the temple on religious deliverance. The temple section goes further forward in time as it will give details of events to come after the arrival of the Kingdom with the establishment of the True Worship and to the end of the millennial reign.
In the Prophetic Section at Revelation 1:4, 5 we read “John to the seven ecclesias which are in the province of Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him Who is and Who was and Who is coming, and from the seven spirits which are before His throne and from Jesus Christ, the Faithful Witness, the Firstborn of the dead and Suzerain of the kings of the earth.”
More explanation on the seven spirits is given later in Chapter 5:6 “as the Lambkin standing, as though slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes which are the seven spirits of God, commissioned for the entire earth.” The word lambkin used here denotes a baby or tiny lamb, a gentle animal. “The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” John 1:29
In Revelation 1:6-8 is the promise for the “seven ecclesias” of the future, who will read this and be reminded of what Christ’s death and His blood bought for them as they are told “He is coming with the clouds and every eye shall see Him” He tells them “He is the Alpha and the Omega” (the first and last) and that “the Lord their God, Who is and Who was and Who is coming, the Almighty.” Powerful words!
In Verses 9-20 John tells them “he is their brother “and how he came by this vision for them, giving them many graphic details of their Lord. This will speak to the spirit within these Jewish remnant believers just as Paul’s words in his letters to the Body of Christ speak to us today.
Revelation 2:1 through to 3:22 John names these “seven ecclesias” and gives counsel for each one of them, Ephesus, Smyrna, Perganum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. We have already discussed these churches as not being symbolic or prophetic for the Body of Christ. Each church has a Jewish history and the counsel given is for the future remnant in their last days, remembering the personal note from John, their brother.
I would refer you now to The Concordant Commentary page 385 and suggest reading A.E.Knoch’s information on these “seven churches,” I think you will find it interesting. He felt, seven refers to them in dispersion in comparison to when the Nation will be one again with the tribes reunited. When we read the counsel given to the seven churches we see the references to their “works” with the warning “to repent or lose their candlestick” Chapter 2:2-5 Chapter 3:22,23 says “To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame and am sat down with My Father in His throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
This is counsel for the remnant of Israel, who are told they must overcome in order to receive the reward of ruling and reigning with Christ in the Kingdom on earth. This kind of counsel was never given to the body of Christ by Paul; we are not any part of these seven ecclesias.
We are now entering into the Throne Section, Revelation 4:1 to 11:18 takes up the next 8 chapters.
In Revelation 4:1-3 John has been told to ascend into heaven and “a door is opened” to him “in spirit” a sound he hears is as a trumpet talking with him. “He sees a throne and One sitting on the throne to his sight it is like jasper and carnelian stones also a rainbow surrounds the throne…which looks like the color of an emerald”
The “opened door” suggests communication between God and the world. Christ appears and deals out justice, openly and publicly. The Throne depicts rule and this throne is covered with gem stones. The stones colors are a bright fiery hue with the combination of jasper, which is purple and carnelian which is red. Gem stones are hard, created through a fiery process into something enduring and beautiful, this is a description of One Who is arrayed for judgment, for the work of judging the earth with fire not to destroy but to purify. 2 Peter 3:10-13
The “opened door” is significant because today the door is closed as Paul has told us that God is “conciliated with the world “at 2 Corinthians 5:17 Some teach the “opened door” is speaking of the rapture of the Body of Christ. I find that hard to believe, since John was an apostle for Israel and so why would he be talking about the rapture of the church of which he was no part of. Also we will already be in heaven when these events begin to occur.
The rainbow may be the hope for mercy in the coming judgments, as we remind ourselves of His promise in Genesis 9:9-17 with “the rainbow covenant.” During the Grace dispensation, the door is closed in that God is not judging the world, if he were; He would have to intervene against evil. This answers the question so many ask of why God does not intervene today against the gross evil in our world. God did make provision for the evil in the world as Romans 13:1-5 teaches us, God has put into place with men’s government, restrainers against evil through laws and law enforcement. Without these governments we would have anarchy.
In Revelation 4:4, 5 John says “and around the throne I perceived twenty-four thrones, and on the twenty four thrones, elders sitting in white robes and on their head golden wreaths. And out of the throne are issuing lightnings and voices and thunders. And seven torches of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God.”
This section of John’s vision is concerned with thrones and government. There are 12 references to these 24 elders. The number 12 is the number of Divine Administration. In the Millennial earth the 12 apostles will rule the 12 tribes of Israel. A.E. Knoch and Bullinger both state these 24 elders are celestial rulers, like those described in Colossians 1:16 There is a vast invisible realm we know little of, Ephesians 6:11-13 lists some of these celestial rulers as “sovereignties, authorities, spiritual forces, principalities, world powers” Other places we see them referred to as rulers, princes and gods. Since we can’t see into their realm it is hard to envision them but the reason for the different names or titles indicates there is a variety, perhaps like humanity, the visible creation with all shapes and sizes and do indicate a caste system with different levels of authority or power. We will see the 24 elders again in Chapter five of Revelation, where more details are given about them.
At Revelation 4:6a we have described, “before the throne is the glassy sea like crystal” Since it is said to be before the throne it most likely is “the laver” which was in the courtyard standing before the entrance to the Holy and most Holy compartments of Israel’s temple. The Priests used this laver for cleansing of themselves and their utensils and the animals sacrifices.
That ancient laver only provided temporary cleansings, and would certainly picture the one in heaven which would provide permanent cleansings. Giving purity to the saints. (This is also found at Chapter 15:2 which is in the Temple Section, for those who conquer are said to be standing on the glassy sea) The rest of Chapter 4:6b-11 gives more details of the throne in heaven with descriptions of “four animals” who are also giving worship to “the Lord God Almighty” Who is Jesus Christ.
Along with “the 24 elders who also fall before Him and cast their wreathes before the throne and worship Him.” These “animals” seem to represent creation and Knoch cites Ezekiel 1:6, 10:20 and 25:20 in support of this. We find descriptions of them in the scriptures being named the Cherubim and Seraphim. Isaiah 6:2-6 refers to seeing seraphim.
The name means Burning Ones. The thought is that they seem to conform to the circumstances of God’s bidding. The cherubim in Genesis 3:24 do not have wings but were assigned to guard the tree of life in Eden. When Ezekiel sees them they have four wings, in Isaiah’s encounter they had six wings. Ezekiel saw the cherubim and relates his encounter in Ezekiel 10:1-20 and in Verse 20 says “This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they were the cherubim.”
These creatures are Gods servants and seem to adapt for their assignment. Some spirit beings seem to be like the animals in our world which live a certain pre-ordained life, while some are trainable by man to do labor type tasks or to entertain man. Such as our elephants, horses, dogs even dolphins and the orca?
Revelation 5:1-7 Speaks of “the one sitting on the throne, with a scroll which is sealed with seven seals and a messenger asks “Who is worthy to open the scroll and loose the seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll”, and so John lamented “that no one could open the scroll or see it but one of the elders tells John not to lament, He who conquers, which is The Lion out of the tribe of Judah…the Root of David is to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals”
In Verses 6,7 we see the “lambkin standing as though slain with seven horns, seven eyes which are the seven spirits of God commissioned for the entire earth and the lambkin takes the scroll out of the right hand of Him Who is sitting on the throne” Here we have an example of two modes or offices held by the One person, Christ.
The lambkin slaughtered at His first advent and the conquering Lion at His second advent. The Lion is Christ in the role as King, who descended from King David, the Lion of Judah, and the rightful king of Israel. Remember we are in the Throne section…dealing with political rule. Who is the rightful ruler of the universe, only Christ is worthy! Make note that the lambkin takes the scroll out of the hand of the Lion sitting on the throne. The lamb paid the price but it is the Lion who will go forth and conquer the enemies and set up the Kingdom of God. The rest of this chapter is devoted to worshiping the Lambkin also said to be sitting on the Throne at Revelation 5:13
Revelation 5:8-10 “And when He had taken the book, the four beasts and the four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps and golden vials full of odors which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song saying Thou art worthy to take the book and to open the seals thereof for Thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation. And has made us unto our God, kings and priests and we shall reign on the earth.” KJAV
There are many differing thoughts about who these “24 elders” might be; some feel they represent the Body of Christ. While in the King James they sound more like Israel since they are promised to “rule and reign on earth as kings and priests”? But we would have to ask if this was speaking of Israel as the 24 elders, why John, would see them in heaven when their role is to rule on earth during the millennial reign
Also how could they be in heaven at the same period of time of the last days on earth, with the drama yet unresolved? Israel is always associated with the number 12 which is used consistently for her with the twelve apostles, the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve gates into the city and twelve thrones. The Body of Christ would be in heaven at the time John was viewing this vision?
The 24 Elders are sitting and not standing which denotes they are waiting or just observing and not participating in any judgments on earth which again could fit us as we are the ambassadors of grace and would not be involved with the warfare on earth. Also, these elders are in “white raiment and wearing gold crowns”. White used for purity, Christ is said to be clothed in white and this is also the clothing given to saints. These things were confusing until I read that this passage was not accurately translated in the King James translation.
So let’s look at this passage correctly translated and see if some of the confusion can be cleared away. Most all older texts do not render Verses 9,10 as the King James has done. Most texts omit, (us and kings and priests) and the (we) is instead translated they and so would instead read “For Thou wast slain and dost buy us for God by Thy blood. Out of every tribe and language and people and nation Thou dost make them a kingdom and priesthood for our God, and they shall be reigning on the earth” CLV
Let’s read these verses again and make note, that there are two different groups referred to in this song the 24 elders are singing. “Worthy art Thou (Christ) to be taking the scroll and to open its seals, for Thou wast slain and dost buy us for God by Thy blood. the us being the 24 elders, also note the period after blood ending this sentence. This breaks the thoughts in two thoughts and is logical because I suspect now the subject changes from the 24 elders who first are speaking of themselves with the word “us” but then they use the words, them and they, in speaking of a different group of beings, notice we have the word also which denotes a change.
Notice this in the next sentence, “Out of every tribe and language and people and nation Thou dost also make them a Kingdom and priesthood for our God, and they shall be reigning on the earth” So the 24 elders, who are a celestial part of Gods overall kingdom refer to Israel being made a kingdom and a priesthood and that they, speaking about Israel will be “reigning on the earth” and not these 24 elders. Perhaps what these elders are really saying in this song is in reference to the complete overall Kingdom of God which takes in both spheres, heavenly and earthly. Also “redeemed” should be translated as “purchases or buys” which would still fit if these 24 elders are celestial beings, as Christ’s blood does buy all creation out of sin and into the reconciliation with God.
By recognizing that two different groups are being spoken of in this song agrees with all other scripture concerning Israel’s role in Gods overall Kingdom. She will rule and reign on the earth…not the 24 elders….nor does Israel go to heaven to rule and reign. Perhaps, the other reading in the King James Version was designed to support the Catholic Church who views themselves as the true church and that they are the kings and priests on earth now?
This cleared up some of the confusion for me but I still have the question as to who are these 24 elders? The Body of Christ or the celestial rulers, who have all along been in heaven? Knoch and Bullinger both think the latter is the case. The passage has these 24 elders saying “Thou dost buy us by thy blood. Christ’s blood did buy all beings…human and spirit. So I can see this referring to either of us and I have to confess I still wonder. Some have expressed questions as to why wouldn’t the body of Christ be with Him or sitting on thrones around His?
We are told by Paul, that we are to be snatched before God begins working with Israel, and so John’s vision would be taking place after we have been taken to heaven. Paul also told us “we go home with Christ and thus shall we always be together with the Lord” at 1 Thessalonians 4:17,18. Paul says that “we shall wear the image of the Celestial.” Corinthians 15:49
Notice, celestial is capitalized when referring to Christ as the Celestial One and speaking of us bearing that Celestial image. I have noticed when referring to the other celestials they are not capitalized as in Ephesians 1:3 and other places, which this must be because we are to be, just like Christ in our new glorified bodies….which will be the image of Him.
This will place us over all other celestial beings in the heavens and Paul also told us, “we will judge angels” and this is found at 1 Corinthians 6:3 Paul spoke of looking forward to receiving his crown of righteousness “Furthermore there is reserved for me the wreath (or crown) of righteousness yet not to me only but also to all who love His advent” 2 Timothy 4:8
So these are some of the reasons why some do wonder if the 24 elders could be the Body of Christ. I have no problem with us as the Body of Christ being at the Throne with Him and viewing the events on the earth, in fact I am anxious to do just that…watching Gods Word as it unfolds for Israel and the world. I also can see us singing and worshipping Christ at the throne but I can not decide one way or the other so I am waiting for more information. We have two choices, are the 24 elders, celestial beings or are the 24 elders the Body of Christ? Enough about us lets get back to the subject at hand…the book of Revelation
In Revelation 5:13,14 John sees, “every creature in heaven and on the earth and underneath the earth and on the sea are worshipping God.” This takes the vision forward in time to the already established Kingdom and beyond, going on into the time when all will be reconciled and will be worshipping God, we could insert here Paul’s words about this at Philippians 2:9-11 which is quoted from Isaiah 45:23 Which perhaps then, there will be no more need for time?
Revelation 6:1-9 The Seven Seals cover the last seven years and so we now go back in time and see a list of 6 of the 7 seals. The seventh seal is not opened until we get to Revelation 8:1 which refers to “The hush in heaven” as the kingdom is soon to arrive, this makes us think of a pause as all are holding their breath in anticipation of something about to happen, of impending importance.
Let’s now go back to the seals and look at them in order which I confess I am not sure when to pinpoint there start. We are told by Daniel the seven years begin with the signing of the peace treaty with Israel and the man of lawlessness. These seals speak of war famine death and pestilence. It would seem that perhaps a peace treaty would follow war? Jesus spoke of this same time period in Matthew 24:3-31, Mark 13 and Luke 21 Knoch feels the opening of the seals begin the last seven years.
The 1st seal would be the false Christ, “a white horse and he who is sitting on it has a bow and to him was given a wreath. And he came forth conquering and that he should be conquering.” Some depict this horseman as Christ, but this is the false Christ the man of lawlessness, the imposter. Daniel 9:27 speaks of him, “he confirms the covenant for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and their oblation to cease.”
Paul refers to this as the time when Israel will believe they finally have “peace and security” which suddenly comes to an end, at 1 Thessalonians 5:3. But it first seems war must follow with then the false christ offering a false peace. Verse 3,4 describes the 2nd seal which depicts war, probably a global war. Verses 5,6 is the 3rd seal which is famine, food shortages, which are also a result of war. Verses 7,8 is the 4th seal which is death from pestilence, again a result of war.
It appears with the next two seals we are at or just past the middle point of the seven years as Verses 9-11 is where we see the 5th seal is opened and it is to be “the death of the martyrs” and then Verses 12-17 relates the 6th seal, stating that “the sun becomes black, the moon is as blood, stars fall and the great day of indignation has come.” These two descriptions fit, after the covenant is broken.
The persecution of the Jews begins after Satan is cast out of heaven; this is when the peace treaty or covenant is broken with Israel. Satan incarnates the man of lawlessness and thus God’s indignation will begin which is what the 6th seal describes.
So we see that the first 4 seals take place in the first half of the seven years or at least before the covenant is broken, while the 5th and 6th seals would begin after Revelation 12 when satan is cast out of heaven and goes off to wage war with the saints, which marks the time left is the second 3 ½ years or 42 months given to Satan. We also have the 7th seal happening as God’s deliberate answer to the persecutions of his saints with further warnings to the apostate Jews. The 7th seal is not opened until Chapter 8:1 since it says “And when opened a hush occurred in heaven as it were a half hour.”
This “seventh seal” consists of the “seven trumpets” and “the three woes” and then “the seven thunders” which these run through the last half of the seven years….so this seems to indicate the seventh seal comprises all of the seals?
Revelation 7:3 John sees the 144,000 are sealed maybe at or possibly even before the middle of the seven years for protection. This is a lot of men, 144,000, it would seem to me to take a period of time to call and empower these men spiritually? I wonder if they are not being gathered long before the seven years begin. At the middle of the seven years as we discussed, Satan is cast out of heaven and is very angry. He naturally would want to destroy this group of men but they are protected, especially throughout “the time of indignation” which technically applies to the last half of the seven, the 3 1/2 years.
That period of time is when the world will see the supernatural judgments from God. Signs are for the world, the antichrist and the apostates that Jehovah is the true God and that He does not approve of Jews being persecuted or of the apostates of Israel’s alliance with the antichrist. It will be hard for us to imagine this time, but God will be demonstrating to the world that He is God, their Creator.
On the subject of sealing, we find in scripture it denotes protection. A seal was also a stamp of approval. This group, the 144,000 will go through this time unscathed given a mark showing that they belong to God. We in the Body of Christ go through our life now, sealed in spirit, making us secure in our calling and placement within the Body of Christ. No one can remove us from this Body, not even our own unfaithfulness will remove us.
Satan can not challenge those in the Body of Christ; we are clothed in Christ’s righteousness. Our sealing is spiritual protection not physical. 2 Corinthians 1:22 Ephesians 1:13, 4:30 Other examples of the use of the word seal or sealed are found at Matthew 27:66 and Revelation 20:3
Since we read of those to be martyred during this time period, this tells us these martyrs are faithful Israelites who had not fled to the wilderness, as the “woman” did and where she is supernaturally protected. There will also be the “144,000 sealed” roaming Israel safe and protected and then we are told about another group, the “Vast Throng” or the “rest of her seed” who are persecuted and so it seems from this 3rd group comes the martyred ones whose blood will be avenged along with all past prophets, killed for being faithful to Jehovah and Christ.
Revelation 7:9 talks about the “Vast throng” which is unnumbered. Because the scripture speak of this group coming out of all languages, nations and tribes some assume these to be Gentiles. But the dispersed Jews are now living in the four corners of the earth and naturally would speak the languages of the lands they come from.
The palm fronds they are holding were used with the feast of tabernacles, Leviticus 23:40 so this indicates these are Jews or proselytes. There could be quite a number of proselytes to Israel during the times of restoration if that time is going to be 490 years. These people are gathered from all four corners of the earth and observing Jewish holydays they would not likely be those who come to Christ and thus did not heed the warning to flee to the wilderness when the abomination is set up in the temple.
Verse 14 tells us these are “the ones who come out of the great affliction” the next few verses sound like in the kingdom as they have “rinsed their robes in the blood of the lambkin and are before the throne of God and are offering divine service in His temple.”
Revelation 8:2 The “Seven messengers” sound the “seven trumpets” “Another messenger steps forward and hurls to the earth, fire from the altar and there are thunders and voices and lightnings and an earthquake occurs.” Revelation 8:5
The phrase, being “hurled from heaven” tells us the next judgments are coming directly from God. “Another” messenger would mean another one, not part of the seven messengers previously mentioned. “The golden thurible” was an incense carrier and was used by the Priests in the temple; it is used figuratively and will then be filled with the fiery judgments of God and used to hurl them to the earth.
Revelation 8:7 The Trumpets begin, The First trumpet from the first messenger says “And there came to be hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was cast into the earth and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees are burned, and all green grass was burned up.” Joel also foretold this time. Joel 2:28-32
Revelation 8:8 The Second trumpet from the second messenger “And as a huge mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood, and a third of the creatures in the sea which have soul, died and a third of the ships decayed.” In this judgment, the focus goes from the earth to the seas or oceans, this mountain is a “simile” of something huge, which falls from heaven into the sea, “as or like a mountain” and so is not a literal mountain.
A “simile” is used to describe something literal with another literal thing, to help paint a picture in our minds, perhaps a very large meteor. Whatever it is, it’s huge and it turns the water to blood, 1/3 of the sea, if literal blood this would result in death for the sea creatures and a tremendous death blow to the shipping industry. Imagine the stench as the tides bring blood and dead and rotting fish onto the beaches of the world affected by this. The use of the term 1/3 makes me wonder if this happens mostly in the region of Israel and Babylon.
I have read that some feel when the Nile was said to have been turned to blood that it was not literal blood. There is a natural occurrence that happens in that part of the world which does turn the water a brownish red and makes it undrinkable if this is true perhaps this is what will happen in the future. I tend to think these events will mostly happen in the land of Israel and surrounding her I do not understand why all sea life would be destroyed to punish the antichrist and the apostates of Israel but perhaps the demonstration of this awesome power from God will be given to the world to show God’s direct involvement and Gods ownership of absolutely everything.
Revelation 8:9-11 The Third trumpet from the third messenger “And a large star falls out of heaven, burning as a torch, it falls on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. And the name of the star is said to be Absinth, a third of the waters became absinth, and many of mankind died of the waters, seeing that they were made bitter.” This next judgment is directed at the fresh water on the earth, springs and rivers, “absinth” is a bitter herb which if enough is ingested it will kill. This also sounds like a meteor shower? These three devastations have destroyed trees and herbage and fish, the water is poisoned, so animals will be dying as a result of drinking the waters.
I recently read about the Threat of EMP, which is an “electromagnetic pulse” It seems since 1940 the capability of shooting a nuclear device into the atmosphere and exploding it has been possible. What this would do is to cause a shower of fire in many ways, but one way would be that it would cause Power plants to explode. Along with that would be the knocking out of all computers, cell phones and etc. One of these bombs detonated over the USA could knock out the power for the whole country.
Today just about everything is tied into computer systems, this would electronically freeze the entire country and it could take years to recover from it, if at all. The article said it would put us back into the 19th century. In the meantime, imagine no power, no fuel, cars and trucking at a standstill, food rotting in warehouses.
Water would become undrinkable, communication systems all gone with crime running ramped. The picture is indeed scary and we may be reading of this type of thing in the Book of the Unveiling. I recently learned Air Force One has shields which will prevent an EMP attack from knocking out its communication system; this government obviously considers this a very real threat!
Revelation 8:12 The Fourth Trumpet from the fourth messenger “And a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were eclipsed, that a third of them may be darkened, and the day may not be appearing for a third of it and the night like wise”
Now the sun which gives warmth and light and causes growth will enveloped in murky darkness, we can imagine how we would react if we woke up in the morning and the sun did not come up that day and that night there was no moonlight or stars shining in the heavens only to awake again to no sunlight? When it speaks of a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars again this makes me wonder if this happens possibly only in that part of the world concerning Israel and the apostasy?
If it is world wide and lasts for any length of time the earth without sun would freeze and all life would end? These first four trumpets in the book of Revelation or the Unveiling do not give a lot of detail in order for us to be able to base any real firm conclusions as what exactly God uses to cause these things or the scope of them.
John was describing what he saw, with words or terms that he understood from his own knowledge and life experiences. The trumpet and the messenger announce each successive judgment and they do sound horrible indeed for mankind. Next a message is given before the next three trumpets are sounded.
Revelation 8:13 inserts the message about the Three Woe’s “And I perceived, and I hear one vulture flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe! woe! woe! To those dwelling on the earth as a result of the rest of the soundings of the trumpets of the three messengers who are about to be trumpeting!”
In Israel eagles are very scarce, it is the “Great Griffon Vulture” which is common there and Knoch points out in his book, the reading here should be “vulture” in place of eagle here and the translators sometimes used angel instead of vulture, another wrong translation. A vulture is not a pretty bird; it seems that the translators wanted to make it a grand eagle or an angel instead. Micah 1:16 describes this vulture. A vulture is the harbinger of death, circling a dying animal or man, waiting to pick the bones clean; it seems that they will be well fed in that day and quite busy.
Revelation 9:1-11 is describing “The First Woe” as Verse 12 says “One woe passed away. Lo! Coming still are two woes after these” This star is described in this passage as coming from God and brings a plague on Satan and his human followers. Some teach this is Satan, but since it is his followers who suffer while the faithful Jews are not afflicted that’s not reasonable. Also Satan has never been in the abyss which is tied in with water and so this is also not Christendom’s mythical hell. The following scriptures show some of the other places where the abyss is referred to as a watery well. Genesis 1:2, 7:11, 8:2 Isaiah 51:10,11 John 4:11, 12
Revelation 9:1 Also told us this, “the first woe is the fifth trumpet” which brings judgment from beneath the earth.
Revelation 9:4-7 “And out of the fumes, came locusts into the earth, and license was granted them, as the scorpions of the earth have license. And it was declared to them that they should not be injuring the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, except those of mankind who have not the seal of God on their foreheads. And it was granted to them, not that they should be killing them, but that they shall be tormented five months; and their torment is as the torment of a scorpion, whenever it should be striking a man. And in those days men will be seeking death, and under no circumstances shall they be finding it. And they will be yearning to die, and death is fleeing from them.”
Five months is the natural life of locusts but the difference being is that these seem to be supernatural beasts and they do not consume vegetation like their literal counterpart, there job is to torment those worshipping the wild beast.
Revelation 9:7-10 “And the likeness of the locusts are like horses made ready for battle, and on their heads are as it were, wreaths like gold and their faces are as it were, human faces, and they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth are as if they were lions. And they had cuirasses of iron and the sound of their wings is as the sound of many chariot horses racing into battle. And they have tails like scorpions, and sting, and their license is to injure mankind, five months with their tails.”
These horses have faces like humans, hair like women, teeth like lions teeth and they have wings and tails like scorpions A third of mankind are tormented by these but are not killed, they torment those who received the emblem of the wild beast and are bitten by the tails which are like scorpions. They have a king over them and his Hebrew name is “Abaddon” and in Greek he has the name “Apollyon.”
This name means destruction. Joel 2:1-11 seems to also refer to what is described in Revelation 9. The smoke is a figure of speech, a simile, “as the smoke of a large furnace” not from real fire, just as or like smoke. These fumes and locusts are supernatural. We need to remember the reasons for these judgments from God and that their primary focus is directed towards Israel’s apostasy and the world’s refusal to acknowledge Him as their Creator and rightful ruler with the purpose of bringing Him the glory He is due. The process towards that goal is also the same process which will reconcile the Universe and bring life to all humanity.
Revelation 9:13-17 “The Sixth trumpet looses four messengers and are authorized to kill a third of mankind a troop of Calvary, two hundred millions”. These also seem to have or be like horses but have heads of lions, with fumes and fire issuing out of their mouths and they have tails like serpents. Now a third of mankind are killed by the horsemen.
Notice the description of these horses as they are different from the locust horses that had faces of men. These have the faces of a lion. The first locusts were not allowed to kill; only torment, while this cavalry is given authority to kill. It is interesting to make note at Verse 20 “the rest spared this calamities do not repent of their idolatrous worship and sins” A demonstration that fear does not bring men to worship God. Satan’s spirit forces no doubt fuel the spirit of anger and rebellion. Let’s remember we are in the throne section, Satan’s rule of power is being challenged by God and His power.
In Revelation 9:18 “By these three calamities were killed a third of mankind” These three calamities are “fire, fumes and sulphur” which issues out of the mouths of these horses.
Revelation 10:1-4 John sees “A strong messenger clothed with a cloud and rainbow on his head and his face as the sun and his feet as pillars of fire…having in his hand a little open scroll and he places the right foot on the sea yet the left on her land and when he cries, seven thunders speak with their own voices.”
I wonder if this is Michael, Israel’s prince or chief arch angel. The placement of his feet denotes possession, perhaps showing the time is close for Israel to receive ownership of the land as promised. The seven thunders are sealed but John was told not to write them down. In the scriptures the sea depicts humanity, and the land depicts Israel.
Revelation 10:7 “No more a delay of time but in the days of the seventh messengers voice whenever he may be about to be trumpeting, the secret of God is consummated also, as He evangelizes to His own slaves and the prophets.” Amos 3:6 7 seems to refer to the secret of God. The advent is getting close
Revelation 10:8 After John is told, “not to write down what the “seven thunders” are saying, he is told to eat the little scroll…it will taste sweet but be bitter in his bowels” Knoch feels the sweet scroll which turns bitter, most likely depicts what John has been learning with this vision about his own people. The sweet message: would be the time is close for Christ’s arrival to establish the Kingdom; this would be sweet news, but the judgments his people must go thru first and leading up to it are bitter indeed.
Revelation 11:1-3 John is told “to measure the temple of God and the altar and those worshiping in it. And the court outside of the temple cast outside, and you should not be measuring it, for it was given to the nations, and the holy city will be treading 42 months.” So this tells us that in this Chapter 11 the time period is at the middle of the seven years as “42 months” are given to Satan to wage war with Israel and this incident will be repeated in Chapter 12, which is the Temple section and it begins at the middle of the seven years, while the throne section began before the seven years began.
The 42 months is also the same time period as the 1260 days, two ways of describing the middle point of the seven years which is 3 ½ years from the breaking of the treaty until Christ’s arrival. This passage seems to indicate that inside the temple are Jewish worshippers but “outside of the temple it was given to the nations the 42 months to persecute the rest of her seed”
Knoch in his book indicates that the worshippers will be some Zionistic Jews fighting the antichrist for their temple. If you have a Companion Bible check out Bullinger’s Appendix 68 He has pictures and measurements of the temple and courtyard which are very impressive. I am not sure if the temple rebuilt during the times of restoration and is the temple which will exist before the tribulation begins will be that big or if these dimensions are for the temple built after Christ returns?
Revelation 11:3b-8. Next we are told about the “two witnesses and they will be prophesying a thousand two hundred sixty days” (1260) and who are “clothed in sackcloth.” It goes on to tell us they, are the “two lamp stands” and the “two olive trees” which stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone wants to injure them, “fire is issuing out of their mouth” and is devouring their enemies as for those who want to injure them, they must be killed. The rest of these verses tell of their power “to hold back rain, smite the earth and then how the wild beast conquers them and their corpses lie dead in the street for 3 ½ days”
Those in the earth, loyal to the antichrist rejoice over this but then God raises them and they ascend into heaven. These “two witnesses” are prophesied about at Zechariah 4:3,11 and then Verse 14 says in answer to who are these olive trees? “These are the two anointed ones that stand by the Lord of the whole earth”
The Hebrew literally reads “the two sons of oil.” I can’t help but wonder if these two witnesses would be men, if they are, why are no names ever given to them in this book? The passage says they are anointed and stand by the Lord of the whole earth which seems to indicate much longer than the lifetime of a mere man? Lamps provide light and the olive oil is what was used as the fuel for the lamps in those days. So these two witnesses are being described as dispensers of light.
There has been much speculation on just who these “two witnesses” will be, some feel they will be Moses and Aaron, some say Elijah and Elisha, who took over as prophet for Israel when Elijah retired. Some point to Enoch as being one of them. Knoch felt they could be Moses and Elijah, his reasons being. Moses instituted the first covenant with Israel and Elijah was Israel’s greatest prophet, who called fired down from heaven and held off the rain from the land to punish the apostates in his day.
His work was mainly against apostate Israel in his time and at one point in time Elijah thought he was the only one left in all Israel, faithful to Jehovah. Jehovah showed him he had 7000 faithful besides him. The scriptures which speak of Elijah returning could mean, in the spirit of or with the spirit of Elijah just as with John the Baptist who was said to have preached in the spirit of Elijah and thus Jesus said it was as though he had come…?
As for Elijah and Moses being the two witnesses, it does sound reasonable, but they would have to be raised from dead and I have a problem with these two men being resurrected before the kingdom is set up and then when they are killed by the antichrist, they are raised and said to be taken up into heaven. Going to heaven is not their calling, but could picture divine protection.
In my research on these “two witnesses” I came across some who wondered if the two witnesses could be Michael and Gabriel since they were Israel’s arch angels, whose assignment in the past was to watch over Israel and they dealt with her for God. Gabriel gave Daniel the vision of the 70 weeks and is called “a man” at Daniel 9:21 and Daniel 10:13 refers to Michael as a prince of Israel.
It seems entirely reasonable that they would take part again with Israel’s final conflict in her last days of apostasy and gentile domination and be the two witnesses for Israel. There is more to suggest they would be spirit beings for me than humans, as it says they will have supernatural powers, not needing to eat or sleep, keeping vigil at the wall in Jerusalem, calling down fire from heaven, killing who they will and withholding the rain and they could feign death, when killed by the antichrist, laying dead 3 days and then it would be natural for them as arch angels to go back to heaven from which they came? Not so for two men of Israel, who are promised to be raised to life in the Kingdom on earth.
The “Sixth Trumpet” has also been “the second woe” which covers the period of time and events found in Chapter 9:13 to Chapter 11:13 We next read in Revelation 11:14 that “the third woe is coming quickly”
Revelation 11:15-18. “The seventh messenger trumpets. And loud voices occurred in heaven, saying, the kingdom of this world became our Lords and His Christ’s and He shall be reigning for the eons of the eons! Amen! And the twenty four elders who are sitting on their thrones before God fall on their faces and worship God, saying, We are thanking Thee, Lord God Almighty, Who art and Who wast, for Thou has taken Thy great power and dost reign. And the nations are angered and Thy indignation came, and the era for the dead to be judged and to give their wages to Thy slaves the prophets and to the saints and to those fearing Thy name, the small and the great and to blight those who are blighting the earth.”
What these verses are telling us is that this trumpeting is that “The Kingdom of Our God has arrived!” This announces the arrival of the Kingdom and that Christ is reigning. It speaks in the past tense of the indignation and the work done in that time period and also relates events which we know are to follow the establishment of the kingdom.
The Second Advent has been “the third woe” for Gods enemies. The reason being, at Christ’s arrival, the armies of the antichrist and anyone left in the city of Babylon will be destroyed. Satan is then thrown into the abyss with his demons and Christ will raise his remnant church 75 days later and they begin “ruling with a rod of iron” with the 144,000 over the nations of unbelievers. This will be yet another era for the bringing of salvation to even more unbelievers.
Revelation 11:1-18 has taken Johns vision from the middle of the seven years to the arrival of Christ with His kingdom. So the Throne section ends with the advent of Christ and so we will now enter The Temple Section in John’s vision. The “Temple section” runs from Revelation 11:19 to Chapter 20:15 so the “Throne section” concluded with the arrival of Christ and dealt with political deliverance.
In the Temple Section, we are taken back again to the middle of the seven years with the focus primarily on religious deliverance and adding more details to that last half of the seven years, the 3 1/2 years, or 42 months, this section will not only go to the Second Advent but beyond. Both sections bring the reader to the establishment of Christ’s kingdom. We will see events sounding like some we find in the Throne section and we will see some differences and some new things.
The two issues between God and Satan and God and man are political and religious rule which God will be taking back from Satan and man. In this last book of the Bible, God brings the reader full circle. The conflict began in Genesis in the Garden of Eden, when Gods rule and worship were challenged by “the adversary” and the deception of humanity began. In the last days described in this book of Revelation, we see that these two issues are dealt with by God. He will be using the Nation of Israel as they were originally the keepers of His Word and His righteous Law. Also God is now challenging Satan’s realm. During the history of mankind, Satan’s realm has dominated every government of the world and every religion even Israel’s when she became unfaithful to God.
Read Chapters 12 and 13 through, and we will then go through the temple section highlighting some of the details in this section. Again we note the opening verse the phrase which lets us know that we have moved from the throne section into the temple section.
We are now entering The Temple Section, Revelation 11:19 through 20:15
In the “Temple Section” we find that there are two different temple openings, the First one is at Revelation 11:19 “And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened, and the ark of God’s covenant was seen in His temple, and lightnings and voices and thunders and an earthquake and a great hail occurred.”
So this is speaking of the “covenant” with Israel and then the second opening is at Revelation 15:5-7 “And after these things I perceived and opened was the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven. And out of the temple came the seven messengers who have the seven calamities, dressed in clean, resplendent linen, and girded about their chests with golden girdles. And one of the four animals gives to the seven messenger’s seven golden bowls brimming with the fury of God, who is living for the eons of the eons.”
This opening is concerned with the “testimony.” The covenant was with Israel as a part of their religious worship, in their covenant they were promised blessings for keeping their covenant and curses for failure to do so. The Law Covenant would be “the testimony” given to them from God. In this Temple section, we will read of the “bowls” which are to be poured out.
The bowls are Temple utensils, as everything in this book is written to and for Israel and relates back to something familiar to this nation and her covenant relationship with Jehovah. The judgments coming out of her own temple utensils, and are filled with judgments from God which are poured out on the Jewish apostates’ and their false worship.
If we also keep in mind the temple God told Israel to construct pictured His temple in heaven. So many of the things spoken of in this book and especially in this temple section should relate to what they know and is familiar for them and their temple and their life in Israel.
In Revelation 12:1-12 “The woman” gives birth and her child, the “male son” is gathered to the Throne by God, picturing protection. We also see “the dragon” who is the head of the heavenly hosts opposed to God and who are in a battle, taking place in heaven and it is “Satan, the adversary, who is the dragon.” He is cast down to the earth, forced out of heaven and so he then makes war with Israel.
We see he tries to destroy “the woman” who is faithful Israel, how do we know she is faithful? Because she obeyed Christ’s words “to flee the city” when they see “the abomination that desolates” Matthew 24:15-18. After Satan is cast out of heaven, he incarnates “the man of lawlessness” and is then officially the antichrist.
He will set up his image at the temple and demand it to be worshipped as god. Notice it is Michael who threw Satan and his followers out of heaven. Michael, one of Israel’s angelic protectors, he will most likely be very happy to finally have ousted Satan. There is another study on the words, heaven and heavens as denoting different spaces. The heaven, singular is our atmosphere surrounding this earth and is Satan’s realm now. While the heavens, plural can denote the celestial realm of Gods throne. Paul also spoke of seeing “the third heaven” at 2 Corinthians 12:2 and is most likely the incident at Acts 14:19,20 when he was stoned and left for dead.
This third heaven is not a place but a time, in the future of “the new heavens and new earth” We are now living in the second heaven and earth. The third heaven and earth depicted in scripture for us will be the time when Satan and his minions will no longer be deceiving anyone in heaven or on the earth.
The “woman” are the faithful remnant church having fled to “the wilderness” and Satan cannot harm them there nor can he harm neither the “144,000” nor the “two Witnesses” so he goes after “the rest of her seed” or “the vast Throng” and this will be worldwide. Any Jew not taking the mark and worshipping the image will be killed, Revelation 13:15,16 This is where the “martyrs” of that time period come from and it is their “blood under the altar calling out, for God to take vengeance.” Revelation 6:9
The “male child” will be the 144,000 called out of Israel. We saw in the Throne Section how they were sealed in Chapter 7:3-8 and then in Chapter 14:1-5 they are seen on Mount Zion with the Lambkin depicting their security and protection as well as their future role in “ruling with Christ, with the rod or club of iron over the nations.”
The “the male son” is protected by God in a different location from “the woman” she goes to the wilderness but they are said to be taken to the throne. Since we know Israel’s calling is earthly, this would not mean that they are literally taken to heaven, but the throne signifies divine protection. Revelation 12:3-6 These ones are seen in both the throne, political section and in the temple, the religious section. There role seems then to be important in the upholding of true worship and true sovereignty of God over all.
In Revelation 12:3,4 the dragon is described as having “seven heads and ten horns and on its heads seven diadems and with his tail he brings with him to the earth 1/3 of the celestial beings” The Heavens have been cleansed! “Woe to the earth for Satan, the original serpent has come down to you, angry, knowing he has a short period of time”
This description is of a ferocious fiery dragon enraged and this is different from his role in Eden. In Eden he played a much different role, a messenger of light offering information to guide the first pair and from then until his ousting, he has thru religion and politics been guiding humanity away from truth and the true God.
Please read 2 Corinthians 11:14, and contrast this verse with 1 Peter 5:8 “a roaring Lion seeking to devour the faithful.” Peters words sound like the second half of the one seven which is the last 3 ½ years, versus Paul’s words in Corinthians where Satan’s mode of operation is deception all along and now? 2 Corinthians 4:4 “Satan the god of this eon or world”
The seven heads and ten horns depict Satan’s vast confederation for controlling the earth in the end time. He will have a One World Government and One World Religion figured by the two wild beasts in Revelation. This verse seems to indicate the earth in seven divisions of some sort and ten horns a federation of power as horns signify power, political and religious. The heads have to do with the confederation of religions and the horns with the confederation of rule. If we compare the Wild beast in Revelation 13:1 these features are described in Chapter 12:3, 4 and 17:3 also in Daniel 7:7
Revelation 12:3, 13:1 The word “diadems” is used only 3 times in scripture, these two are in reference to the dragon. The third is of Christ at Revelation 19:12 this is only in the “temple section” so again this has to do with religious rule or authority. Notice, the diadems are on the heads of the dragon but only on the horns of the wild beast. Christ in Chapter 19:12 is spoken of as having “many diadems” as He comes forth triumphant in His Kingdom displacing evil rule. Christ then will be the sole source of rule and religion, all of the diadems then will be His as the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Revelation 12:13-17 John sees “the woman carried away by a large vulture” perhaps airplanes, which to John would look like the vulture he was familiar with? There is a small community in the wilderness out side of Jerusalem today, it is in the middle of a rocky terrain, and all that is needed is an airfield? There is also a valley or gorge which runs from the city of Jerusalem out to this area and it is referred to in this book also and some may flee through it on foot because “Satan spews water after them trying to drown them.”
The Remnant of Israel as “the woman about to give birth” fled to the wilderness and are being protected there. The Jews in Jerusalem and around the world, who are faithful to their religion, Judaism, even though not yet having come to Christ, know they cannot worship any other God but Jehovah; these will be the ones who face a rough time.
The Jews in Jerusalem will be fighting the antichrist trying to protect their temple meanwhile the apostate Jews are in cahoots with the man of lawlessness and most probably living in Babylon also face a dilemma as they may not be religious but ingrained tradition into the Jewish mentally is that they are to worship only One God, Jehovah. Besides the fact, that this man broke the treaty with them. These are the ones given a warning by Jehovah, to the Jews living in Babylon, they are told to “get out of Babylon or suffer her plagues” as that city is going to be destroyed and never to return, in Revelation 18:4-10, 21
Satan then goes off to battle “the rest of her seed” also called the “vast throng” and as we have read already, he is given a period of time for this warfare, “42 months” this time begins at the middle of the seven years with the breaking of the treaty by the antichrist and the ousting of Satan from heaven. He will erect an image of himself to be worshipped “the abomination of desolation” which is set up in the temple after Satan is cast down to the earth and reincarnates the assassinated man of lawlessness, who seems to be brought back to life by the false prophet. Revelation 13:12,15
All are ordered to worship it or die! Revelation 12:6 Also read Daniel 11:21-23, 28, 31, 36, 37 which describes “the man of lawlessness” as the “despised person” breaking the treaty and some other details about him such as “not regarding the God of his fathers,” KJAV this is why some feel he will be a Jew and the “not understanding the desire of women” So he may be a homosexual or it may because he is incarnated by Satan who has no desire for women?
As we have seen the scriptures give different descriptions for this same time period which we have discussed somewhat but here I will add the other places in scripture for them. Revelation 11:2,3 gives us the 42 months and the “1260 days” which are the 3 ½ years and deals with “the woman” and the “two witnesses” Daniel 7:25 speaks of “The times, time and a half a time” in this verse it is said these times “are appointed,” which means the time periods appointed by God for Israel in prophesy. Daniel 12:7,8 Revelation 12:14 “the woman is nourished in the wilderness for a season and seasons and half a season” Season perhaps refers to growing seasons, their flight would disrupt their farming, but God will provide.
Also Daniel 8:11-13 and 11:30-32 tells us of the breaking of this covenant with Israel. At Revelation 13:5 “42 months given to the wild beast”. We also have the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:15 for this same time, His warnings to flee Jerusalem when they see “The Abomination causing Desolation” in the holy place, which follows the breaking of the peace covenant.
Revelation 13:1-10 deals with the first “wild Beast” Revelation 13:11-18 tells of the second “wild Beast” Both are men who lead the two large confederations, political rule and the worship of the image as god, the first is “the man of Lawlessness” and is the “antichrist” he is the head of the world wide political system and claims to be god and demands worship. The second beast will be the man who will be the leader of the one world religious system, he does signs and miracles, and he will be the antichrist’s main man, in the role of the false prophet, leading the world in worship of “the antichrist” who really will then be Satan.
Revelation 13:3 says the “death blow was cured” and Revelation 13:11 says “And I perceived another wild beast ascending out of the land, and it had two horns like a lambkin and it spoke as a dragon. And it is exercising all the authority of the first wild beast in its sight and making the earth and those dwelling in it to be worshiping the first wild beast, whose death blow was cured.”
Satan does not have the power to give life just to take it and so most likely it is trickery or God raises the man and allows them to think they have that power as God is leading them down the path to their end as is indicated by what is said at,
Revelation 13:13,14 “And it is doing great signs, that it may be causing fire also, to descend out of heaven into the earth in the sight of mankind. And it is deceiving those dwelling on the earth because of the signs which were given it to do in the sight of the wild beast, saying to those dwelling on the earth to make an image of the wild beast, which has the blow of the sword and lives.”
That phrase “which were given” makes me think that, it is God Who gives the power for these signs to the wild beast as the second wild beast playing the role of the false prophet who is most likely the one to raise the man of lawlessness from the dead after he is assassinated describe for us as the death blow was cured. This will be when Satan is cast out of heaven and will incarnate this man. This also imitates Christ’s death and resurrection.
Revelation 13:8 “And all who are dwelling on the earth will be worshiping it, everyone whose name is not written in the scroll of life of the lambkin slain from the disruption of the world” This scroll is for Israel only, it seems as though all their names are in it as His people, but those who are unfaithful have their names removed.
Moses spoke of this at Exodus 32:32 also it is in Psalm 69:28, Daniel 12:1, Revelation 3:5 and 17:8 Even Paul mentions those in the scroll at Philippians 4:3 this is interesting as some who were working with Paul obviously weren’t in the Body of Christ, if they are in Israel’s scroll of life. So I think this shows us both churches did fellowship and Paul was working with those of both as all were believers and so are in Christ.
Control will be maintained by Satan through the use of the “mark” since all in the world must take it on their forehead or hand, showing their loyalty to the antichrist’s government. This is an effort to find those who are not loyal. This is how the Jew will have a problem, they do not have any problem with political allegiance but to worship a man as God is where most will draw the line, making their life very difficult. This mark is nothing new; all religions have had their own particular symbols to mark their followers even Christendom uses the cross to identify themselves.
Revelation 13:18 “Here is wisdom. Let him who has a mind calculate the number of the wild beast, for it is the number of man, and its number is six hundred sixty-six.” Perhaps in that day the “understanding ones” will know how to calculate this, it is a mystery to us, the only thing we know is that the number 6 is mans number as it falls short of the number 7 which is the number for spiritual completeness. All of man’s accomplishments fall short and will never measure up to God.
The number 666 emphasizing the “antichrist” as the “wild beast” which have the form of a man, Satan incarnates the “man of lawlessness” whose history is foretold in the book of Daniel, from his rise from nothing or a “despised person” to a great peacemaker, to a king of a nation, to the sovereign of the world and heading up the one world government and religion, he is killed and raised, incarnated by Satan claiming to be god but falling short as only The One True God can bring life from death and true peace and security to Israel and the world. Daniel 8-11 Daniels words tie into John’s.
We can review here the last 5 verses of Daniel 12 where he is told to “seal up the words for they are for the time of the end” the angel speaks of “the wicked” and of the “intelligent ones” In Verse 11 it takes us to the middle of the 7 years when satan has broken the covenant and sets up the “abomination of desolation” giving the exact number of days until true worship is restored to be “1290 days.” This is when the holy oblation will take place, this is a worship service.
These 1290 days are reached by adding 30 days to the 1260 days. Time always counts from the middle of the seven years and is the 3 ½ years or 1260 days. Then the other number given in Daniel’s prophecy, of “1335 days, is for when Daniel will stand up” Verses 12,13
In other words the resurrection of “the just” of Daniel 12:2 takes place 75 days after the arrival of Christ which is at the conclusion of the last 3 ½ years of the seven years. So we added 30 days for the oblation and then another 45 days to 1290 which is a total of 75 days added to the 1260 for the 1335 days which is when Daniel is said to stand up…this being the first resurrection on the earth of the saints.
Revelation 14:1,2 tells us three things about the 144,000 First, they are standing on Mount Zion with the Lambkin. Second, they have its name (the lambkins) and it’s Father’s name written on their foreheads. Third, they are singing a new song, no one but they are able to learn it. Revelation 12:5 told us “The woman brought forth a male son, who is about to be shepherding all the nations with an iron club.”
They will be used in enforcement in the millennial reign of Christ symbolized by the “rod of iron”. In Revelation 9:4 we learned about how their sealing protects them as “the seal on their foreheads” showed the locusts that they were God’s and were not to be harmed. These ones will be instrumental in Political and Religious deliverance for their people in Israel. The 144,000’s appearance is in the company of the Lambkin and this seems to show us more of their duties. We read of them in the Throne section at Revelation 7:4-8, and then here at Revelation 14:1-7 the “Temple section” This is significant, being in both sections demonstrating political and religious deliverance
Some claim the 144,000 are the Body of Christ, but not so, Paul never gave us a number and these also are said to be taken from the 12 tribes of Israel. We are taken out from all the nations. This description does not fit us.
Revelation 14:3,4 tells us “they are singing a new song, they are celibates and not polluted with women, these following the Lambkin wherever It should be going” This suggests the secret of their superior station. Some believe these men will be celibate Jews while others feel it means they will be celibates spiritually, in that they are faithful to Christ. These ones are sealed by God which as we learned means they are protected from harm during that time of indignation, protected physically and spiritually.
Revelation 14:5, “These are bought from mankind, a firstfruit to God and the Lambkin, And in their mouth falsehood was not found for they are flawless.” Their place in the 144,000 is not paid for by their own efforts. They are purchased by the blood of Christ. The word “firstfruit” speaks of something harvested first, and they are the first to actually enter into the sphere of grace in God’s kingdom on earth by their sealing and protection.
We are the firstfruit of those who will enter the heavenly sphere. We will be first to rise from the dead and first to receive our vivified bodies and enter the Kingdom of God. It would be reasonable to assume the 144,000 were probably chosen for this work long before the last seven years begin. This is a huge number of men having gained credibility with the faithful who see them “sealed” and protected from the Judgments of God.
In the Millennial Kingdom Knoch refers to them as being used as Commissioners of that Kingdom, given the power to enforce Christ’s “rule of the nations with an iron rod.” This is a big world and their duties could consist of enforcing Theocratic rule and True worship in all the nations. This “ruling with the rod of iron” in the world emphasized by their being in both the Throne and Temple sections of this book!
Revelation 14:7,8 The Jews are threatened with torment if they worship the wild beast Verse 9 Out of this group come the martyrs of that day Chapter 14:13-20 Also for any Jews living in Babylon they are warned to leave that city in Revelation 18:4 “Come out of her, My people, lest you should be participating in her sins, and lest you should be getting her calamities”
Another interesting thought to me, is that it does not seem to me that Gentiles in the nations will be judged for accepting the mark of the beast and worshipping its image because at the Glory Throne there are many nations represented, as recorded in Matthew 25:31-46. It is reasonable to assume the nations would obey and take the mark and worship the image. Perhaps the locust plague is a lesson for them?
This would not have been unfaithfulness for them because the nations were never in a covenant relationship with Jehovah, thus how could they be unfaithful to Him? They are not any part of the apostasy of Israel? The judgments are directed at Israel for her apostasy. The nations are going to be judged by Christ after he arrives as the “the sheep and the goats” in this judgment of the nations, nothing is said of taking a mark and being punished for it.
What they are judged for is how they treated Christ’s brethren, the Jews. Another important fact is that this Judgment from Christ at the Glory Throne is not focused on individuals but on the nations, governments and these are who are to be judged. As to their treatment of Israel perhaps not only during that time period called the last days but during Israel’s entire history on the earth. This seems to take place shortly after the Second Advent.
Revelation 14:6,7 The Seven Messengers begin again and these verses tell of bringing forth another or the First messenger who tells us about the “eonian evangel” “Another messenger flying in midheaven, having an eonian evangel to bring to those situated on the earth and to every nation and tribe and language and people saying with a loud voice, Be ye afraid of God and give glory to Him for the hour of His judging came; and worship the Maker of heaven and the land and the sea and the springs of water” The eonian evangel is preached to all on earth, this is countering the antichrist’s demand for worship as god. The true God calling upon men to worship Him as He alone is the Creator of all things.
Revelation 14:8 “And another, a second messenger follows saying, “it falls! It falls! Babylon the great has made all nations drink of the wine of the fury of her prostitution”
Revelation 14:9,10 “The third messenger says…If anyone is worshiping the wild beast and its image and is getting an emblem on his forehead or on his hand he is also drinking of the wine of the fury of God” This reference is dealing with religious worship. So it looks like this plague overlaps both political and religious domains.
The fire, sulphur and fumes and their torment referred to in Verses 10,11 sounds like the same things as in Revelation 9:7-10 Many religions deify the serpent. Christendom has Satan as a red monster with a forked tail, the Chinese worship the dragon, and this may not be coincidental that the horses will have tails like serpents which bite the false worshippers, who worship the dragon in false religions.
Verse 11 speaks of “the fumes of their torment ascending for the eons of the eons and they have no rest day and night those worshiping the wild beast and its image, and those getting the emblem and here is needed endurance for the saints.” These verses are immediately seized on by those who have been taught of an eternal hell of torment. This is happening on the earth and not in its center….which is where they tell us hell is.
The term “eons of the eons” pertains to the next two eons. This word is a study we all should investigate thoroughly. In Manual Three I go into this in depth. But recommend reading Bob Evely’s book. “At the End of the Ages and The Abolition of Hell” Bob goes into this word, eon verses eternal. Also the Concordant website has several articles with research on the mistranslation of the words, Eternal, Everlasting, Forever and Ever which really are not even in the Bible, it is this “Aionian” word, which in the English we would say an age, while in the Greek it is eon.
The Hebrew word Olam and the Greek words for an Eon, both depict periods of time and not endlessness as is the definition of Eternal. God created the ages or periods of time with the Creation of our world. We are bound by time, thus God does not deal with us with the infinite of which we cannot comprehend. How many times have I or maybe you also have tried to comprehend God never having a beginning? As a child I would get a literal headache trying to figure it out. We are now living in the eon or age which began after the flood of Noah and runs until Christ returns. The next age will be the Kingdom age or eon also called the Lord’s Day and following that eon or age will be the Day of God. This eon we are living in is described by Paul as this “evil age or mans day”.
Here are a few verses which refer to different days which are different eons or ages in which God is working out His plan of the ages for the salvation of all and the reconciliation of the Universe. Galatians 1:4 1 Corinthians 4:2 2 Peter 3:12 Revelation 1:10 Acts 2:20
Revelation 14:11 refers to torment, for those taking the mark of the wild beast and worshipping it. WE must notice, it is the “fumes” which are spoken of as ascending for the eons of the eons. Torment has no smoke, this is figurative language. We even use it today…I am fuming mad. Isaiah 34:9-11 describes this scene and also read Revelation 9:18,19 When Christ arrives, this image and the two wild beasts are destroyed; they will not exist in the next two eons.
The two men the antichrist and the false prophet are to be placed in the Lake of Fire. Satan will be imprisoned in the abyss. The armies converging onto Jerusalem are destroyed at Christ’s arrival and they also will not be in the eon in which Christ rules with His faithful. Paul also speaks of this event and some misinterpret it to be hell at 2 Thessalonians 1:9 which correctly translated, refers to “eonian extermination” this means, for this most heinous of crimes, they will be dead throughout the next eon, they will not enjoy the blessings of Christ’s Kingdom on earth.
There will be nations and unbelievers in the Kingdom age or eon, but they will have to obey the rule coming out of Jerusalem and for some this will be “torment” to be ruled by Jews and not allowed to be criminals, as they will be dealt with swiftly. This rule will be enforced through differing circumstances.
Read Zechariah 14:17-19 We know the scriptures do not teach a fiery hell nor that God is going to torment people for eternity. They will have been tormented for 3 1/2 years throughout these judgments from God as described in this book.
So we need to recognize the use of figurative language. “The fumes” and “tormented in fire and sulphur for the eons of the eons” no human could endure that for a couple days little lone a thousand years. Couldn’t this be mental or emotional torment because of losing power and losing their religious and political leaders who they worshipped? Then finding themselves ruled by those they previously hated and they also will be shown the errors of their beliefs and that will reveal the waste of their past life when faced with Gods truths?
Revelation 14:13 talks of “the martyrs as happy” but they have been killed and probably brutally, so we ask how can they be happy? This is speaking of them in a figurative way as these are sleeping in the dust, which spares them from the coming judgments which will make life on earth unbearable. They have total security, in their coming resurrection as vivified saints in the millennium kingdom reign of Christ as they died faithful. Being dead they are unconscious, their next conscious moment will seem instantaneous, and they will be face to face with Christ so this is why they are happy!
Revelation 14:15 The Fourth Messenger says to the one sitting on the clouds “Send Thy Sickle and reap! For the hour came to reap, for the harvest of the earth is dried.” This harvest would be the result of the eonian evangel, preached by the 144,000 and the two witnesses we might compare at Matthew 13:30
Revelation 14:17 “The Fifth Messenger comes out of the temple with a sharp sickle” The hour has come to reap the harvest. The eonian evangel is not a call to repentance but calls all to worship their Creator.
Revelation 14:18-20 The Sixth messenger, “came out of the altar having jurisdiction over the fire and he tells the one with the sharp sickle…pick the clusters of the earth’s grapevine….and cast them into the trough of God’s fury.” The description of the huge trough for that day uses the word, stadia, which is a Greek term; a stadium was 600 Greek feet long, about 606 English feet. Verse 20 says this trough will run for 1,600 stadia!
It is likened to a huge wine trough. A natural ditch or gully runs about this length, it begins outside the city of Jerusalem and there it was known as Gehenna, from Armageddon or Megiddo, and runs through the Valley of Jehosaphat to Bozrah. It is likened to an enormous trough for treading grapes such as was found in almost every vineyard in Palestine. Revelation 14:20 refers to a “1600 furlongs or stadia and the blood filling it”.
A furlong in the Greek language is a stadia. It is 202 English yards which relate to 606 feet. If we multiply just 600 times the 1600 we have 960,000 feet which Knoch says is about what the length of this natural gully which is outside of the city of Jerusalem in Palestine. Other places in scripture where wine troughs are found are at Joel 3:1,2, 9-16 Zephaniah 3:8 and Isaiah 34:1-8.63:1-6
Revelation 15:1 The Seventh messenger, this one is not identified as the seventh but says what was seen were seven messengers with the seven calamities which seem to be “the seven bowls” coming up at Revelation 15:6,7 “The seven messengers with seven calamities and the seven bowls….the bowls are brimming with the fury of God.”
Revelation 16:1 “And I hear a loud voice out of the temple saying to the seven messengers, “Go and pour out the seven bowls of the fury of God into the land.” Bowls 1 through 7 are poured out in Chapter 16 and we can figure out the time for these by the first bowl. As it states; “and he pours out his bowl into the land. And an evil and malignant ulcer came on those of mankind who have the emblem of the wild beast and worship its image.”
This show us these bowls are poured out in last half of the seven years, the 3 ½ years. So much seems to center around the middle of the seven years. It seems to me, it will be impossible for anyone in Israel to read these events and not know when to start counting down the time to the arrival of Christ. Read this chapter through and note that all the events described in the bowls 1-7 will take place in that last 3 ½ years.
The seventh bowl is the destruction of Babylon which seems to happen right before or even at the arrival of Christ, the Second Advent. But in the next two chapters, we find a pause in time, so to speak, as it goes into great detail, describing the evil of the city Babylon and of the figurative use of Babylon for the apostate Jews.
Chapters 17, 18 tells about Babylon and her punishment. The city of Babylon is a literal city, the capital of the One World government and One World religion which will be destroyed and never to be rebuilt. She is described as a woman, the ancient city rebuilt. We also have apostate Israel described as “a Harlot” and as Babylon the Great, this is a figure for the literal apostate Jews who make up this unfaithful woman. The next few chapters give some descriptions of both these women…..and their coming destruction.
Revelation 17:1-4a Apostate Israel is described as a woman, “the harlot sitting on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth commit prostitution and those dwelling on the earth are made drunk with the wine of her prostitution” John sees this “woman sitting on a scarlet wild beast replete with names of blasphemy and having seven heads and ten horns.”
This will be the government that the man of lawlessness has developed. Apostate Israel rides on its back to wealth and power. In the King James, in the Hebrew she is called a whore, in the Greek it is translated as Harlot.
In the Concordant Version it is translated prostitute. The apostates today have the gods of wealth and power and it seems the man of lawlessness can give them more so they give him their allegiance. They will be in a close relationship concerning rule and worship. Apostate Israel, is described as the harlot, because instead of keeping Gods Word of light they in fact have led the world into darkness and moral decay. Israel’s history has been of secretly acquiring wealth so that they would have power over the nations persecuting them through the centuries.
Today they own Newspapers, Movie industries, Magazine publishing, Pornography, Banking and much, much more. The motive seems to be, besides acquiring wealth and power but to also bring the Gentiles down morally and economically. This all fits the scenario for those last days foretold in scripture.
Revelation 17:4b, 6 describes this harlot and her deeds “And the woman was clothed with purple and scarlet and gilded with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand, brimming with abominations and the uncleannesses of the prostitution of her and the earth. And on her forehead is written a name: (Secret Babylon the Great the mother of the prostitutes and the abominations of the earth.) And I perceive the woman drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus.”
Revelation 17:7,8 John describes “the wild beast which was and is not and is about to be ascending out of the submerged chaos and going away into destruction” This again describing “the man of lawlessness” being killed but then brought back to life through the incarnation of Satan at Chapter 13:1 So this puts us at the middle of the seven years again with this description
In Verses 9-14 The messenger explains “the seven heads are seven mountains where the woman is sitting and they are seven kings” Satan ruling through this man and would then be the “eighth king coming from among the seven…and is going away into destruction. The ten horns are ten kings who obtained no kingdom but have authority as kings one hour with the wild beast.”
One hour shows a short reign! These kings of nations give their power to the wild beast…Satan. They will battle with the Lambkin but will be conquered at the arrival of Christ with the Kingdom. Verse 15 The messenger explains, “the waters where the prostitute sits are people and throngs and nations and languages” this showing her world wide rule and power.
But then Verse 16,17 shows that “the wild beast turns on the Harlot and it will desolate her and seek to destroy her” this is apostate Israel also now being persecuted by Satan, but “it is God who imparts it to their hearts to do this” because of her unfaithfulness to Him and her evil deeds in the world and she must be punished for those things and for also fighting her own fellow Jews and the apostates will not be allowed into the real kingdom with the true Messiah.
Revelation 18:1-24 deals with the destruction of the city of Babylon. The apostates will have been living in the city of Babylon, rebuilt to its splendor of the past. That city will be destroyed and we can read about her spoken of as a Queen at Verses 7, 8 says, “As much as she glorifies herself and indulges, so much torment and mourning be giving her, for she is saying in her heart, I am sitting as a queen and am no widow and mourning I may by no means see. Therefore in one day shall her calamities be arriving: death and mourning and famine? And she shall be burned up with fire, for strong is the Lord God Who judges her” The rest of this chapter describes the literal city being destroyed and never to return again.
Chapters 19:1-6 tells of the celebration in heaven because the city and the apostates have been dealt with by God. Verse 7 tells us of the arrival of the Kingdom with these words “Hallelujah for the Lord our God, the Almighty reigns!”
The rest of the chapter describes the arrival of Christ and the destruction of the armies which were seeking to destroy Jerusalem and then of the two men as the two beasts cast into the lake of fire. Before the Kingdom rule is established on the earth these two false elements must be purged. Political rule and Religious rule through deception. The invisible influence of Satan and his demonic forces will be removed from the earth as he and I would think that his spirit forces also would all be “thrown into the abyss” so that these spiritual forces are not allowed to deceive the word for one thousand years.
Chapter 20:1-3 Satan is placed into his prison “And I perceived a messenger descending out of heaven having the key of the submerged chaos and a large chain in his hand. And he lays hold of the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the Adversary and Satan and binds him for a thousand years. And he cast him into the submerged chaos and locks it and seals it over him lest he should still be deceiving the nations until the thousand years should be finished. After these things he must be loosed a little time”
Gods’ kingdom will begin its rule with the first resurrection to come, 75 days after the Advent of Christ. Satan goes into the abyss at Christ’s arrival and this is 75 days before the resurrection of the prophets and saints and apostles of Israel which then will officially begin the one thousand year reign of Christ. Read Daniel 12th chapter.
There are to be two one thousand year time periods running almost simultaneously. Satan’s time began 75 days before the reign of Christ and so he will be released 75 days before the reign of Christ will end. Some may ask, what happens during that 75 day period of time before the saints are resurrected, well…a lot! This could be when the Glory Throne judgment takes place and we know clean up will be necessary.
All Jews in the world will have been gathered to Israel during the times of restoration brought about by a national repentance in Israel as foretold in Zechariah 12:10-14 also read Zechariah 13:1-9 as this passage then seems to describe the time after Christ arrives. There are many other passages in the Old Testament which also relate to this time after Christ arrives. So there are prophecies given about the restoration of Israel which will take place long before the tribulation time described in Revelation and before Christ returns….there will also be many speaking to the millennial kingdom and sometimes these are closely linked and we must work hard to recognize and separate them…those before and those after.
I encourage the reader to take each Prophetic book in the Old Testament and read through them and highlight what you will see as referring to the latter days and the end times which are then followed by the messianic kingdom time on earth as we have learned to do through rightly dividing. Understanding this principal should now make reading the Old Testament a fun thing to do. Perhaps Manual Two will be a help as it is on Israel’s history and her Prophetic future.
Revelation 20:4-10 Tells of “the thrones” which no doubt are for the twelve Apostles who will be judging the twelve tries of Israel and evangelizing the world then and also speaks of the “martyrs” will be raised from the dead, in the first resurrection on the earth, described as the “former or first” in Verse 5, 6 which tells us who will be in the Kingdom with Christ. “And those not taking the mark of the wild beast they will also live and reign with Christ a thousand years. The rest of the dead do not live until the thousand years should be finished.”
Revelation 20:7-15 takes us to the end of Satan’s imprisonment “And whenever the thousand years should be finished Satan will be loosed out of his jail. And he will be coming out to deceive all the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog to be mobilizing them for battle” He instigates a rebellion of the nations who then try to overthrow Jerusalem. Their destruction is swift. Next we are shown the “Great White Throne judgment” with the resurrection of “the rest of the dead” followed by “the Lake of Fire” which is explained to “be the second death” in which “Death and Hades” and “unbelievers” are cast into it.
Satan also is to be cast into the lake of Fire at Revelation 20:10 Since Death and Hades are inanimate things which cannot burn up or feel pain, this should show us, this is not literal fire and definitely not a place of eternal torment. We also wonder, if the second death is a return to the state of unconsciousness for the dead as some believe. I have to ask how would this apply to Hades and Death, not to mention Satan, who did not have a first death and cannot be killed?
These are just some questions which I have asked for years about the second death and my findings are very exciting. In my series of Study Manuals, my third one I will devote it exclusively to the subject of “Death, the Seconds of God and the Lake of Fire” I also would recommend getting Phil Scranton’s book, “Journey To and Through the Second Death.”
The remainder of the Book of the Unveiling is then a review or a second section of each of the previous sections going backwards or in reverse order to the beginning.
Second TEMPLE or review ………………….Revelation 21:1-27
Second THRONE or review… …….….…. …..Revelation 22:1-5
Second PROPHETIC or review..…...... ………Revelation 22:6-17
The CONCLUSION ties to the Introduction …. Revelation 22:18-21
Chapter 21:1-4 Brings the reader to the ushering in of “the new heavens and new earth” and the holy city “New Jerusalem” and of God tabernacling with His people and “death will be no more.” Verses 5-8 Speaks of “He Who is on the throne, the Alpha and the Omega, and of the offering to those who are thirsting, the water of life, to those who are conquering an allotment. Yet to the timid and unbelievers and the wicked their place is in the lake of fire which is the second death.”
Now, because Verses 1-8 references the New Jerusalem and that “death is no more”, we seem to be in the eon which follows the eon in which is found the Millennial reign of Christ. It is said to be the fifth eon and is the Day of God. At Verse 9 it then seems to take the reader back in time and revisits the “seven messengers with the seven bowls with the seven calamities” which we know happened in the last half of the seven years before the Kingdom was established.
Next in Verses 10-23 what is described is “the bride, the wife of the Lambkin” and this takes place during the millennial reign of Christ and then “John is taken away in spirit and showed to him is the holy city New Jerusalem” in minute detail. So this then has us back in the last eon. Next we read in Verses 24-27 of “the nations walking by means of its light (the new city Jerusalem) and the kings of the earth are carrying their glory into it.” The gates are open continually and “there is no night in the city.”
And “no one can enter except those written in the Lambkins scroll of life.” This chapter is a hard one to pin down in time, as it seems to jump all over the place? I would just like to point out a few things which puzzled me and led me to try and understand this chapter. This is the city which comes down out of heaven to the earth in the Day of God. During the millennial reign of Christ, Jerusalem will have a physical temple built on the old site of Solomon’s temple and built to the specifications laid out by Ezekiel.
In the Day of God, the New Jerusalem is the celestial city which is said to come out of heaven to the earth. Some feel it will be like a satellite over the earth but Knoch states it will be on the earth. Faithful Israel will live in this city. There will be no night, no darkness and not everyone is allowed into this city according to this passage as it said “those not found in the lamb’s book of life are not allowed to enter.” Also, there will still be nations with kings on the earth as it describes them coming to visit this city.
My conclusion is, that even in Gods day the salvation work continues. Now if all unbelievers’s were thrown into the second death and literally killed again…why the need of “the waters of life or the leaves of the trees for healing” if everyone was a saved vivified saint at that time? It seems to be describing that there are yet unbelievers?
Also it was said that death is no more. If people are still in the death state of the second death, then how can it be said that death is no more? I truly feel the second death is a process of purification for the wicked and unbeliever which will be a time of learning and change. In that day Israel will no longer be needed as mediatory priests because it says God is tabernacling with His people. To me this means, He is actively cleansing those in the Second Death, God is a consuming fire, and God is the purifier and working in these peoples lives in a way you and I can not comprehend.
Our purifying was done in the spiritual realm; our physical change will be instantaneous from corruption to incorruption. God has something amazing also planned for this last group of sinners to be brought to life and whatever it is it will probably bring Him the most Glory of all the stages for salvation He has previously used to reconcile all to Himself “God will be All in all.” 1 Corinthians 15:28
Chapter 22:1-5 brings the reader to the second Throne section John sees “the river of water of life, issuing out of the throne of God”, He sees “the trees of life producing twelve fruits one for each month. The leaves are for the cure of the nations,” also there is no need for lamps as God will be the light. The trees of life and the waters of life are needed by mankind so all is not yet free of sin and death. Verse 5 says He is told that Israel will be “reigning for the eons of the eons” which may mislead us to think these things all take place in the last two eons. I think John was relating things in the Day of God and then just makes the statement of reigning for the eons of the eons…
I have even wondered if the fourth eon contains an eon. If the next eon starts with Christ’s arrival but the millennial reign of Christ does not begin for 75 days and it is limited to 1000 years, followed by more events listed, like the Great White Throne judgment and before the next eon begins which is the Day of God. Why couldn’t we view the millennial reign as an eon within an eon and this then would make sense of Hebrews 1:8 “The eon of the eon” This is the only place I have seen that this phrase is used….with eon of the eon in the singular?
Chapter 22:6-17 now digresses to the Prophetic section, John returns to Patmos when the vision and prophecy were first given to him. He is looking forward again to “the coming of the Lord” and the era of this vision which is still in the future. “Come Lord Jesus” this will be the prayer and cry of the remnant of Israel in that distant day.
Chapter 22:18-21 brings the reader to the conclusion which ties back to the Introduction as in our example at the beginning of this chapter. So the conclusion takes the reader back to the beginning of the prophecy and vision given to John, looking forward to all in the vision and giving the warning, “no one should add to or take away from this vision or they will receive the calamities written in this scroll and whose part will not be found in the log of life and will not be in the holy city.” John concludes with “He Who is testifying these things is saying, Yea, I am coming, swiftly. Amen! Come Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints! Amen!”
We can again make note of these final warnings given by John in the conclusion, we see they do not apply to the body of Christ. This last book of the Bible, The Unveiling is written to and for Israel. Today she is blind and calloused, unable to understand her Prophetic Word but when “the times of restoration” occur, Israel will be reestablished as a kingdom and nation under Jehovah and the Law covenant once again.
Somewhere in those years given to Israel God will call out of that nation, once again a remnant of believers in Jesus Christ as their Messiah and they will come to “understand the book” as we are told at Isaiah 29:18,24 These will be “the intelligent or understanding ones” Daniel spoke of, able to understand because they will be given Gods spirit.
Some during that time period either by obedience and some through martyrdom will gain access to the “log of life” thereby keeping their names in Israel’s “scroll of life” which grants them entrance into the Kingdom on earth to rule and reign with Christ Jesus.
I hope this chapter has helped the reader to view the last book of the Bible in its proper light. It will not begin its fulfillment until after the Body of Christ is completed by God and called to heaven by Christ.
With our new information of the prophecy given to Daniel for his people, which would be the Jews of the nation of Israel and not the Gentile nations which is foretelling a period of time…the seventy sevens…at Daniel 9:24-27 again we see those prophecies are for Israel and if the new information is correct these too will not begin until the Body of Christ has been removed from this world. The seventy sevens work out to 490 years and so would be the times of restoration which Peter said must come before Christ would leave heaven and return to Israel. Acts 3:17-21
Also, I find it helpful to mark in my Bible the divisions given to us by A. E. Knoch.
The Introduction, The Prophetic, The Throne Section, dealing with political sovereignty follows by, The Temple Section, dealing with religious sovereignty.
Then comes The Review Section a review of each of the preceding sections, going back in time to each and they are in reverse order and then, The Conclusion which goes all the way back in time again to The Introduction.
The Verse numbers were given at the beginning of this Chapter. By writing in the name for each section and possibly highlighting the beginning verses to each will remind us when we are reading the need to recognize the change in time is happening with the events that book is giving as prophecy for the future nation of Israel and the Remnant church called out of her in those last days and the time of indignation and tribulation leading to Christ’s Second Advent..
As said earlier, Israel’s evangel is multi faceted…not easy to understand, but I truly believe the more we try the more we will see and the more our faith will be strengthened in God’s Word and in His great Plan of the Ages laid out to reconcile His own creation…the entire Universe to Himself. Israel’s story is not merely of failure….that is the human viewpoint.
No; their story was planned by their husbandly owner, Jehovah God their very own messiah…the very Christ to bring glory to Him.
They will be His witnesses to all the nations of the world. As told to Abraham, “all families of the earth will be blessed through his seed.” Genesis 28:14