Chapter 1: The Unveiling Of The Risen And Glorified Jesus
Scroll or roll is a translation of the Greek word “biblos” from which we derive the English word Bible and its cognates. It means book. In the Ancient World, and prior to the invention of the printing press by the German goldsmith Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden Gutenberg in 1439, writings were made on clay tablets, stone tablets like the Ten Commandments, ostracon(potsherd), papyrus(leaf of a plant that grows by the banks of the River Nile in Egypt), animal skins referred to as parchments, etc. In ancient Israel, most writing were made on animal skins sewn together and then rolled up. As is the scroll of the Torah venerated by Jews today, there are two handles at both ends sticking out up and down at four corners for ease of handling.
The English word Revelation is a translation of the Greek word “apokalupsis” which means unveiling. Some translations render it “Apocalypse” which is an anglicized Greek, a transliteration. It is the manifestation of a hidden deity. In the Ancient World monarchs were regarded as gods not to be seen too often. They usually spoke to their subjects separated from them by a screen, in low tones and or guttural voices. The interpreter re-echoes their voices in nonguttural and high tones to the subjects. This practice is still in vogue in some parts of Northern Nigeria today. However, from time to time, they were unveiled to their subjects. The unveiling of a hidden deity is called Apocalypse or Revelation.
In the Scroll of Revelation, Jesus The Christ our Lord is being unveiled to His human subjects, the Church. That was the reason why the Scroll of Revelation was addressed to the Seven churches or local assemblies in Asia Minor(Rev.1:4,11). These churches or local assemblies were representative of the whole body of Christ on Earth, in all locations and at all times throughout the whole Church Age. In this chapter of this book “The Scroll Of Revelation”, Which is comments on the Book of Revelation, we shall present a panoramic view of the scroll of Revelation in order that the reader may have an understanding of the overview of the book preludial to an in-depth study of the Book of Revelation.
This Revelation of Jesus the Christ was given to Him by God the Father. Jesus communicated it to His servant John through the mediation of an angel(Rev.1:1). We are not told who this angel was, neither his persona nor rank nor regalia. It was probably the archangel Gabriel who is God’s messenger of good news(Dan.8:16).
The message was intended to be communicated to all bond-servants of Christ, but the Apostle John was chosen by Christ to receive it through the mediation of an angel and to pass it on to all true bond-servants of Christ. In Ancient Israel, a bond-servant was a slave who has completed his period of service to his master. It was usually seven years. He serves his master six years and the seventh is his year of freedom. At the completion of this period of service, the slave ought to be free. If his master had married a wife for him and he had begotten children, the wife and children belonged to his mater. But because he loved his master, and his master had treated him well, and he was unwilling to part with his wife and children, he chose to serve him for ever. Usually a ceremony was performed in which the slave was brought to the gate of his master’s house in the presence of the judges or elders of Israel and his ear pierced with an aul and he served his master for ever(Exod.21:1-6). This is the kind of believers, those who are bonded to Jesus for ever, to whom are addressed the scroll of Revelation. And those who are not, in order that they might become bonded to Him for ever.
John the revelator was one of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb. He was one of the Apostles of the inner circle(Mark 5:37). Jesus called him and his brother James while they were mending their nets with their father Zebedee; for they were fishermen(Matt.4:20-2). Jesus nicknamed them sons of thunder(boanerges) because of their fiery spirit(Mark 3:17). Once when it was time for Jesus to be received up to Heaven, He sent his disciples to prepare for Him ahead of time in one of the villages of the Samaritans. But the Samaritans did not welcome them because it was as though Jesus’ face was set towards Jerusalem. The Samaritans loved Jesus. They had recognized Him as the Messiah. They wanted more fellowship with Him(Jon.4:39-42). But Jesus would not stay because it was time for Him to go up to Jerusalem to be crucified on the execution stake for the salvation of all mankind. The Samaritans had a grouse with Jews over where God ought to be worshipped, in Jerusalem or Mount Gerizim? The samaritans are mongrel Jews(2 Kin.17:24-41). The Samaritans built a rival temple on Mount Gerizim, the Mount of blessings, for the Jews did not permit them to participate in the rebuilding of the Second Temple at the expiry of the First exile(Ezra 4:1-3). Therefore they sabotaged the efforts of the returning exile to rebuild the temple and the wall of Jerusalem(Ezra 4:4-24, 5:4; Neh.4:1-2). It was like Jesus was saying the same thing the Jews believed, and they did not want to be reminded. The Samaritans were offended and did not welcome the disciples Jesus sent ahead of Him to prepare for Him. James and John, the sons of thunder(Aramaic: boanerges), pleaded with Jesus to permit them to command fire from heaven to consume the Samaritans like Elijah did to the soldiers of Ahab(2 Kin.1:1-12). But Jesus turned, and rebuked them and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit you are of. Hey guys, this is a new dispensation. The Son Of Man is not come to destroy men’s life but to save them. And they went to another village(Luk. 9:51-56). In spreading the good news of the kingdom, sometimes missionaries are unwelcome, encounter opposition or outright hostility, it is only wise to relocate. “And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.”(Matt.10:11-15, 23). In this premission address to His disciples, Jesus no doubt spoke to His immediate audience, but He was also looking ahead into the 70th week of Daniel when His disciples expectation of His coming would be acute because of intense and severe persecution of His followers during the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist.
It was James and John whose mother, brought them to Jesus, demanding that they sit, each on His right hand and His left in His kingdom. Jesus asked them whether they were able to be baptized with the baptism with which He was baptized, and also drink of His cup. They both answered in the affirmative. Jesus then affirmed that they would indeed be baptized with the baptism with which He was baptized, and also drink of His cup. But to sit each of them on His right hand and His left in His kingdom, is not His to grant to anyone. But that it is for those for whom it has been prepared by His Father(Matt.20:20-23). Over the years, John had mellowed down in the spirit a whole lot. He was the disciple whom Christ loved, who leaned on His breast at the Passover table in the upper room on Mount Zion(Jon.13:25).
When Jesus told the disciple that one of them would betray Him, they were all troubled and became curious. When Jesus would not openly identify the infidel, Peter sent John to enquire of Him secretly. John did and He told him in a metaphor; “he to him I shall give sop.” And when He had dipped it, He gave it to Judas, the man from Iscara(Jon. 13:26). John was so close to Jesus that after His resurrection from the dead, when He appeared to the disciples at the Sea Of Tiberias, Peter asked, what would this one do? John and Jesus were so close it looked like though John would not survive any longer without Jesus physically on Earth. Jesus answered, if I would that he abide till I come, what is that to you? Then went the rumor amongst the disciples that that disciple would not die. But Jesus said not that he would not die, but that if I would that he abide till I come, what is that to you? It is that disciple that wrote the Gospel of John, the three letters of John and the book of Revelation. He was known to have preached more on love than any other Apostle. He was called the apostle of Love. He prayed so much that his knees developed callosities. It is on record that when old, he used to be carried to the church to speak to the brethren, and his message would be “brethren love one another”. He was the last of the twelve Apostles to go. Church history records that he was thrown into a basin of hot boiling oil, and he escaped unharmed. Little wonder therefore he was chosen of God to deliver such an important message to the church. He was very intimate with Jesus. We also ought to be so intimate with the Lord in order that He might communicate His word through us to the church in our generation. The Lord will do nothing without revealing it to His servants the prophets(Amos 3:7). And it is needful that we prophesy one by one(1 Cor.14:31,39).
Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and do those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand(Rev.1:3). There is an urgency to understand the word of this prophecy and to do them, more so in these last days. It is not just he that readeth, nor heareth but the one who having read or heard the word goes forth also and doeth the word.
“For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”(James 1:23-25).
Therefore, read, hear, heed and hearken.
“Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also who pierced Him: and all the kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen”(7).
Jesus is coming again to reign. He will not come as gently Jesus, meek and mild, but as roaring lion, the Lion Of The Tribe Of Judah. He is coming as conquering Messaiah, Messaiah Ben David. He has the Title Deed of the Earth from the Father. The Father has committed all judgment to Him. He is the Father’s representative in the earthly domain of His Universal Kingdom. He is coming again to reign over the kingdom of His father, David.
“Of the increase of His government and peace, there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”(Is.9:7).
Men may argue about it, disbelieve it, disprove and debate about it, but it is an inviolate biblical truth. It is inevitable.
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”(Rev.11:15).
At the sounding of the seventh trumpet, God Almighty shall reclaim His rule over the Earth which Satan usurped when Adam rebelled against God. Jesus shall finally reclaim physical possession of the Earth at Armageddon at the final outpouring of the seventh bowl judgment.
As a hidden Deity, Jesus revealed Himself through His spokesman John the revelator. Jesus is the author of the book of Revelation; John was His amanuensis. John was taken into the realm of the spirit, and he wrote down what he saw and heard. The Scroll Of Revelation is unique in the canon of the Scriptures in that it is direct communication from God. The Scroll Of Revelation is composed of visions. To understand who Jesus is, we shall employ the three principles of character study used in Literature. What the character says about himself, what others say about the character, and your own opinion of the character. Revelation chapter 1 is an introduction to the whole book of Revelation. There, Christ as hidden Deity reveals or unveils His identity. We may do well to take note of what He says about Himself. He says, I am the Alpha and the Omega, first and the last(Rev.1:11). This claim is also made of the God of Israel in the OT(Isa.44:6). If Jesus were not God, it would be utterly blasphemous for Him to make such a claim. He also said,
“I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of Hell and of Death.”
He died for our sins. His death was utterly selfless. He needed not to die, but He did because He loved us, even while we were yet sinners(Rom.5:8). He needed not to became human in the first place. But He humbled Himself, became human, and therefore subject to death.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”(Phil.2:5-11).
He has conquered sin, sickness, disease and death. It was not possible for Him to be holden by the pangs of death(Acts 2:24). He has overcome. He is risen. The empty tomb is an eternal evidence. Death had no more dominion over Him, nor over those who come to the Father through faith in Him. Sin shall not have the mastery over you; for we are not under the law but under grace(Rom. 6:14). He says, I am He that walketh in the midst of the seven candlesticks and holdeth the seven stars in my right hand(16). Jesus is the good shepherd. We are His under-shepherds. He has the bride, He is the bridegroom(John 3:29).
John the revelator was on the island of Patmos. He was exiled there by Emperor Domitian(81-96 AD). But he claimed he was there for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. What a faith? What a positive mental attitude that turns evil into good, that sees the good in the bad and ugly?
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”(Rom.8:28).
Little wonder therefore shortly after he received the message of revelation of the hidden Deity, Jesus, he was released from incarceration on the island of Patmos, and went on to pass it on to the churches, and to live to a very great age. He became the pastor and an elder in the Church in Edessa which is in modern day Turkey. Of all the twelve Apostles, he was the only one that died naturally. He was the last to go.
Our beloved brother, Apostle John was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard a voice saying to him, come up hitter. There are some biblical scholars like Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg that teach that the Lord’s day is The Day Of The Lord. This interpretation is allegorical; it is tenuous. However it agrees with the Prewrath Rapture position that teaches that the Church shall be raptured prior to the outpouring of the wrath of God at the breaking of the seventh seal. The very day the Church is raptured, the seventh seal is broken, and the wrath of God begins. So the saints are actually in the spirit, taken to heaven with Christ in the Rapture while the wrath of God is meted out on the living wicked earth-dwellers. But literally, the Lord’s day is Sunday, the first day of the week on which Christ rose from the dead. After Jesus our Lord rose from the dead on the first day of the week, the Apostles and early believers named it the Lord’s Day, in His honour. He defied and conquered death.
John went up in the spirit and saw into the realm of the spirit. He saw into the throne room of God. He saw the seven candlesticks, and one like the Son Of Man walking in the midst of the seven candlesticks. The seven candlesticks are the seven local churches in Asia Minor. He saw the risen Jesus. He had seen Him several times before, immediately after His resurrection from the dead(Luk.24:36, Jon.20:19-20,26, 21:1-25). But this time He was vastly different. This is the glorified Jesus. He was clothed with so much glory which John managed to describe in these words in Rev.1:12-17. He is the Son Of Man. He is because He is The Father’s representative on Earth. He was clothed with a garment down to foot. He was girded with a girdle of gold about his paps. He is king. Being girded means readiness. He was ready to take over the rulership of the Earth, being the Son Of Man. This appellation speaks of His representative and kingly role in the earthly domain of His Father’s Universal Kingdom. His head and His hairs were as white as wool. He is the righteous judge. And His eyes as a flame of fire. Judges wear white wigs, except in the case of delivery of death sentence when they don on red garment and wig. He is the righteous judge. He will not brook sin and evil. Therefore His eyes were like a flame of fire. He cannot be bribed or corrupted. There is no unrighteousness with God. He is the God of justice. God the Father has committed all judgment to Him(Jon.5:22,27,30, 7:24, 8:16, 9:39, 12:31, 16:8,11). By Him actions are weighed. He searches the heart and tries the reins(Ps.7:9,17:3; 1 Thess.2:4).
There is no partiality with Him, neither does He respect the person of any man(Rom.2:11; Eph.6:9; Jam.3:17). He shall render righteous judgment, to every man according to as his work shall be. His feet are like fine or burnished brass, and His voice as the sound of many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful. It devours the cedars of Lebanon and discovereth the forest(Ps.29:9). He has the seven stars in His right hand, and out of His mouth goeth a sharp two-edged sword. The seven stars are the representative angels of the seven local assemblies of believers. He is the word of God. By Him all things were made. Without Him, there was nothing made that was made(Jon.1:3). He is the creator of all things(Jon.1:1-2). It is He that made us, and not we ourselves(Ps.100:3). We are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand(Ps.95:7). Therefore, it is fitting of Him as our God, Lord and King to demand of us our absolute obedience and allegiance. Applying the three principles of character study in Literature, we have heard about what John said about Him and what He said about Himself. I have my own opinion of Him. What is yours?
Chapters 2 & 3: The Letters To The Seven Churches In Asia Minor
Chapters 2 & 3 of the book of Revelation deal with the letters to the seven churches in Asia Minor, which happen to be in Present day Turkey. The seven churches put together formed a circle around Asia Minor. They were not the only local assemblies in Asia Minor. They were selectively chosen by Christ as representatives of the seven kinds of churches in existence at that time in Asia Minor. The same is true of other places at all times around the globe. There are some that believe and teach that these churches represent certain periods in the church Age. That is problematic with regards to the issue of authority in determining the beginning and the end of these periods. The classification of the churches can be further reduced to three: faithful, comprising and dead churches. The faithful church is exemplified by the churches of Philadelphia and Smyrna. Neither of these two churches received any condemnation but commendations. Of the two, the church of Philadelphia received unqualified commendation. Therefore the church of Philadelphia is a perfect example of a faithful and uncompromising church. Some would even classify the church of Smyrna as a compromising church. The faithful and uncompromising church is not promised exemption from the wrath of Satan. It is promised protection within the sphere of persecution and lastly final removal from the sphere of persecution. Because it has kept God’s instructions concerning perseverance, God shall keep it from the hour of temptation(peirasmos) which shall come upon all dwellers on Earth(3:10). The faithful church shall not go through the wrath of God.
On the other hand, the compromising church shall go through the wrath of Satan without divine protection in order to purify her. Nevertheless, it shall be exempt from the wrath of God. Four to five of these churches fall within this category. They are the churches of Ephesus, Pergamos, Thyatira, Laodicea. Some commentators include Smyrna, but that is debatable. These churches represent various areas and degrees of compromise. The areas of compromise include, loss of first love(2:4), fear of suffering and persecution(2:19), doctrinal defections(2:14,15), inability to persever(3:11), spiritual deadness(3:1,2), lukewarmness(3:15,16) and moral compromise and departure(2:20).
The church at Sardis was the only spiritually dead church. It had a reputation for being alive, but it was dead. This church had the right activities and ceremonies. The members dressed properly and used the right phrases but they were spiritually dead. Because of their right comportment, they were able to hoodwink other neighboring churches into believing they are alive and well. The church of Sardis shall escape the wrath of satan, being beast-marked, but face the wrath of God. However, there are some in it who had vestiges of life in them. They were admonished of Christ to keep alive what remaineth.
These churches can be seen as individuals. Quite frankly, that is what it all boils down to. Individual professing christians are either faithful, compromising or spiritually dead while outwardly professing to be alive and well. That these warnings apply to the individual at all times and in all places throughout the Church Age is evident by the fact that each letter concludes with “he that has ears, let him hear what the spirit saith to the churches.”
Chapters 4 & 5: The Throne Room In The Temple Of God In Heaven
Chapter 3 concludes the things which are. Thereafter John is invited into the Throne Room in the heavenly temple and shown the things which shall be hereafter. There are some who teach that the Rapture took place in 4:1 when John was injoined by Christ to come up hither. The Rapture is here magically conjured up by pretribs. This is hermeneutical jingoism. They contend that after 3:22, the church is not mentioned again in the book of Revelation until chapter 19. This interpretation is at best tenuous, the church being mentioned in some other ways in the book of Revelation. This interpretation is an attempt to keep the church out of the great tribulation in order to justify the pretribulation Rapture position. The church is mentioned in some other ways in Rev.4-19. These are: every kindred, tongue, people and nation(5:9c); kings and priests(5:10); fifth seal martyrs(6:9); a great multitude(7:9; 18:5,6); thy servants(11:18;19:2,5); our brethren(12:10); the rest of children(12:17); saints(13:7,10; 14:12; 18:20,24); wife(19:7). At this point in the narrative of the book of Revelation, God is dealing with the individual believer rather than the institution called the Church or Christendom in general.
Interestingly, neither the Church nor the saints are present in Throne Room Of The Temple Of God in Heaven in Rev.4 & 5. The absence of the saints in this heavenly scene contradicts the Pretrib Rapture view that John’s solo invitation into Heaven constitutes the rapture. What Apostle John the revelator experienced here is what is called spiritual or inward vision. His physical body was here on Earth, but his soul and spirit were transported to the Throne Of God in Heaven where he saw and heard. In this kind of vision, John was not aware of his physical environment here on Earth at the island of Patmos.
In the Throne Room of God in the temple in heaven, God the Father is seated on His throne enveloped in glory. Closest to the throne and round about it and in the midst of it were four beasts or better still four living creatures full of eyes before and behind. The first was like a lion, the second like a calf, and the third beast had the face of man, the fourth was like an eagle in motion. Each of them had six wings, and they rest not day and night, saying, holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty who was and is, and is to come. These four living creatures are angelic beings representative of the beast of the field, the lion being the king thereof, all domestic animals, humanity in general, and the fowls of the heavens, the eagle being the king thereof. Beyond the four living creatures are twenty and four thrones on which are seated the twenty and four elders. They were clothed in white raiments which signify righteousness. They have crowns on their heads indicating they are sitting kings. Their identity is debated whether they are angelic or human.
Out of the throne proceeds thunder and lightning and voices. There are seven lamps of fire burning which are the seven spirits of God. There is only one Spirit of God, The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. But there are seven attributes of the Spirit. The seven attributes of the Holy Spirit are in perfect manifestations in the Son Of God. There are also some like Dr. Eli Lizorkin Eyzenberg that teach that the seven spirits of God are seven angels. Before the throne was a sea of glass. Some Pretribs identify the sea of glass before the Throne Of God as raptured saints. Another hermeneutical jingoism. In Rev.14:2-3, the resurrected saints stood on the sea of glass from where they ministered to God in the Throne Room Of God in Heaven. The Rapture took place in Rev.7:9-17. Hence the appearance of the resurrected saints in Rev.14. The sea of glass is a platform before the Throne Of God in Throne Room Of the temple of God in Heaven. In the Throne Room Of the Temple Of God in Heaven in Rev:4-5, the resurrected saints were not standing on the sea of glass because the Rapture has not yet taken place. When the four beasts give glory and honour and thanks to Him that sitteth on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worshipped Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne saying, thou art worthy O Lord to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure, they are and were created.
Chapter 5 continues with the description of the throne room in the temple in heaven. Now a wonderful scene is played out. The Father is seated on His throne, with a scroll in His right hand, having seven seals. A strong angel made a proclamation, saying who is able to open the scroll and to break the seals thereof? A search was conducted in Heaven and Earth, and under the Earth, no one was found who was able to read the the scroll, open or look thereon. Whereupon, John the revelator wept sore. Then one of the elders said unto Him, weep not, for behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David has prevailed to open the scroll, and to break the seals thereof.
Since the resurrection, ascension, and session of the Son Of God, He had been seated at the right hand of the Father, angels and authorities being made subject to Him(1 Pet.3:22). He has never left the presence of the Father. But now, He vacates His throne at the right hand of the Father. He is standing in the midst of the Throne room in the temple in heaven, as a Lamb slain. He is about to take the seven sealed scroll, the Title Deed of the Earth from the Father. The sixth millennium is ended. The seventh is about to begin. It is the Shabbat of the Lord. He is about to relocate to the Earth to reclaim God Almighty’s rule over the Earth. Adam’s lease to Satan, the usurper of the throne of the earthly realm of God’s universal kingdom is over. Satan and his hordes of fallen evil angels must be evicted from the starry heavens, the dark void and the Earth’s premesis. The work of redemption finished in His first Advent must be consummated in the second Advent. Man will no longer live in a death-doomed, sin laden body for ever. Therefore, there was a standing ovation in Heaven and on Earth when the Lamb took the seven sealed scroll from the Father. The universal orchestra, consisting of the four living creatures, increasing in geometric progression, recruiting the twenty and four elders, the hosts of heaven and indeed all creation, singing in one synchronous voice, saying, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and honour, and glory and blessing. John heard all creation saying, blessing, honour, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped Him that liveth for ever and ever. Some Pretribs who believe the Rapture occurred in Rev.4:1 also teach the Rev.5:5-10 are the raptured saints. Another theological legerdemain.
Chapter 6: The Breaking Of The Seals Of The Big Scroll; The 70th Week Begins
The Son is standing in the midst of the Throne Room of the temple of God in Heaven. He has the seven-sealed Scroll in His hands. He breaks a seal in heaven and certain events unfold here on earth. This logically leads us to Rev.6. The breaking of the first seal marks the starting point of the 70th seven of Daniel’s 70 seven prophecy(Dan.9:27). There are seven seals on the big Scroll. The seals are on the exterior of the Scroll. All seven seals must be broken before the content of the scroll is revealed. The content of the scroll is the Wrath of God consisting of the seven trumpets and seven bowls.
The Jewish calendar on which the eschatological time scale is based is lunar. A month is 30 days, and a year is 360 days. The 70th seven is divided into two equal halves of three and one half years each, 42 months or 1,260 days. The first half is called the beginning of sorrows or beginning birth pangs(pains: Matt.24:8). The second half consists of the Great Tribulation and part of the Wrath Of God, also called the Day Of the Lord or the Day Of His Wrath. Rev.6 is parallel to Matt.24:1-32. The first seal is broken, and the antiChrist emerges and tries to conquer through subtle peace diplomacy(Rev.6:1,2). He is the rider upon a white horse. He has a bow but there are no arrows in it. The second seal is broken, and there emerges a rider on a red horse. This is war, rumors and threats of war and commotions(Rev.6:3,4). War logically leads to famine and pestilence. This is the third seal, a rider upon a black horse(Rev.6:5,6). This is the end of the first half of the 70th seven, the first three and one half years, the beginning of Sorrows or the beginning of birth pains.
The breaking of the fourth seal marks the starting point of the second half of the 70th seven of Daniel’s 70 seven prophecy(Dan.9:27; Rev.6:7,8). This is also the starting point of the Great Tribulation. At this point, Satan and his hordes of fallen evil angels are cast down to the Earth by archangel Michael, the warrior angel of God and the angels of God under his command.
“Woe to the inhabitants of the Earth, for the devil is come down to them, having Great Wrath, because he knoweth that he has but a short time.”(Rev.12:7-12).
He possesses the first Beast(Rev.13:2) who relocates his headquarters to Jerusalem(Dan.11:45), erects a statue of himself in the rebuilt Jewish Temple, the Third Temple, on Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount, and demands worship of all mortals(Rev.13:16,17). The beast-marked worshipers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast can buy and sell. Those who are not beast-marked cannot. Besides, there will be enlivened images of the Beast-antiChrist installed at strategic locations to identify those who do not have the mark of the Beast, and to cause them to be killed on refusal to accept the mark of allegiance to the Beast(Rev.13:15).
The first four seals constitute the Wrath Of Satan. The fourth seal is the Great wrath of Satan. Though God is in sovereign control, He is not responsible for the death of His saints nor the evil deeds of the wicked. Because God is in sovereign control, the first four seals are administered by the angels of God, the four beasts or cherubim. The fifth seal is a heavenly scene, the consequence of the killings going on here on Earth under the fourth seal. The fifth seal martyrs are kept under the altar of incense in the heavenly temple awaiting the completion of the martyrdom of their fellow brethren(Rev.6:9-11). When the divinely determined number is complete, God interrupts the great tribulation with cosmic and celestial disturbances . This is the sixth seal(Rev.6:12-14). With the breaking of the sixth seal God announces to the living wicked earth-dwellers, the worsippers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast, He is about to punish the them for their evils.
The kings of the earth, the nobles, the chief captains, the great and mighty men of the Earth shall hide themselves in the dens and rocks of the mountains, saying to the mountains,
“fall on us and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne; for His wrath is come and who is able to stand before Him.”(Rev.6:15-17).
Chapter 7: Interlude Between The End Of The Sixth Seal And The Breaking Of The Seventh Seal, And The Innumerable Multitude, And The Sealing Of The 144,000
Rev. 7 is an interlude between the sixth and seventh seals. This interlude protects from the wrath of God(Dr. Alan E. Kurschner). The opening of the seventh seal marks the starting point of the wrath of God upon the living wicked earth-dwellers, the worshippers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast. But before God pours out His wrath on the wicked, He seals the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel for protection from the wrath of God. Though they are men, they are described as virgins(Parthenoi). They were not defiled with women(Rev.14:4,5). They are judaists with vows of celibacy. They are not born again christians at all. Contrary to what some teachers would want us to believe, they are not evangelists. They live in hiding in the red rose city of Petra across the Jordan River, in present day Jordan, the Judean wilderness, and some in cellars and underground bunkers in the vicinity of Jerusalem. They dared not step out. They must needs be rescued and protected, and would they rescue others? It is interesting they were not sealed till now, though they made vows of celibacy to the God of Israel. They were part of the remnant of the offspring of the Woman who keep the commandments of God, but not part of the remnant of her seed who have the testimony of Jesus. They believe in the Messiah, they do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah of Israel, else they would be part of the innumerable multitude who are raptured. They are not exempted from the wrath of Satan. They were protected from within its sphere simply by hiding just as did the faithful saints.
Before God pours out His wrath on the living wicked earth-dwellers, he must also rescue the saints. The Rapture occurs during this interlude at the appearance of the Son Of Man in the heavens. It is the Shekinah in the heavens that dispels the darkness and defrosts the Earth of the frost caused by the cosmic disturbance, the sixth seal.
“Immediately afterward the tribulation of those days, shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the son of man in heaven: then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to another.”(Matt.24:29-31).
Rev.7:9-17 is a heavenly scene, the arrival of a great multitude which no one could number. They included people from all tribes, kindred, families, nations and people and tongues. They stood before the throne, and before the lamb clothed in white robes, and palms in their hands. They were clothed with white robes which signify the righteousness of Christ; and palms in their hands which signify victory. They have come out of great tribulation. They were victorious and triumphant over the forces of the Dragon-Beast. They were singing, salvation to our God who sitteth on the throne and unto the Lamb. The angels rejoiced and worshipped God with them; for there is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than 99 righteous men who need no repentance(Luk.15:7). These are the raptured saints of the Church Age. These are the resurrected saints who have received their glorified eternal immortal resurrection bodies, who shall live and reign with Christ for ever and ever.
We see the raptured saints in the heavenly scene in Rev.7 as well as Rev.14:2,3,14-16. In the heavenly scene in Rev.4 & 5, they are conspicuously absent. If the Rapture occurs in Rev.4:1 as pretribs teach, why are the raptured saints absent in the heavenly scene is Rev. 4 & 5? Their absence in the heavenly scene in Rev.4 & 5 argues against the assertion by pretribs that the Rapture occurs in Rev.4:1 when the Apostle John the revelator was invited into the Throne Room in the Temple Of God in Heaven prior to the commencement of the 70th week of Daniel in Rev.6. Pretribulationism says they were all martyrs, but there is no bliblical evidence they were all martyred for their faith in Christ. How could the antiChrist murder an innumerable multitude from all tribes and nations in a period less than three and one-half years. We know that the Great Tribulation was amputated by the terrestrial and celestial disturbances that it could not last the entire three and one-had years of the second half of the 70th week of Daniel in order that some saints may be preserved to be raptured alive, that is, translated without passing through the intermediate process of death.
Chapters 8 & 9: The Seventh Seal Is Broken And The Wrath Of God In The Day Of The Begins, The First Six Trumpets
At the breaking of the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for the space of about 30 minutes. God Almighty is about to pour out His wrath on the living wicked earth-dwellers and worshippers and adorers of the Beast-antiChrist. The seventh seal has no judgement of its own but opens into the seven trumpet judgments. In the hands of seven angels standing before God were committed the seven trumpets. Before the seven angels begin to blow the seven trumpets, another angel was given incense to mingle with the prayers of the saints and offer it upon the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense mingled with the prayers of the saints ascended up before God. God is about to answer the prayers of the fifth seal matters whose souls called out to God for vengeance from under the golden altar of incense in the Temple of God in Heaven. They are now raptured into heaven. They are now in glory. They are no longer disembodied spirits referred to merely as souls. They have received their glorified eternal immortal resurrection bodies. God is about to fulfill His promise. The number of their brethren, the saints to be martyred is complete. The angel of the altar took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and cast into the Earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and earthquake. These disasters were preludial to the blowing of the seven trumpets.
Rev.8 & 9 deal with trumpets 1-6. The first four trumpets are more or less general over the earth. The last three, fifth, sixth and seventh are concentrated around the areas in the control of the Beast. The last three trumpets are called the three woes or rather culminate in the three woes. At the blowing of the fifth trumpet locusts were released from the bottomless pit to torment those who have not the seal of God in their foreheads for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when striketh a man. At this time men will seek death but will not find it. They shall desire to die but death shall flee from them. These locusts from the abyss have a king over them whose name is Abaddon in Hebrew or Apollyon in Greek. Both names mean the same thing, destruction or destroyer. The expiry of the fifth trumpet culminates in the first woe. The sounding of sixth trumpet leads to the release of four evil angels bound in the Great River Euphrates. These evil angels were prepared for a year, a month, day and an hour. Their release resulted in the mobilization of an army of 200 million soldiers. China has boasted it can field such number of soldiers. These soldiers are amoured divisions, mounted on the kind of tanks which have not been seen before in any war. These killing machines spat fire from the front and the rear end. They annihilated a third of the population of the world at that time. However, this mayhem did not produce repentance in the hearts of the survivors of the living wicked earth-dwellers and worshippers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast, because thy are already locked in unrighteousness. They have blasphemed the name of the Lord and sinned beyond repentance. Sin Sears the heart and deadens the soul.
Chapters 10-14: Parenthesis
These chapters do not advance the chronology of the narrative of the Scroll Of Revelation nor the chronology of the eschatological timeline. Previously mentioned events presented in the panorama are now viewed periscopically, giving further elucidations and new details are added.
Chapter 10: The Strong Angel With The Small Scroll
In Rev.10, a strong angel came down from heaven clothed in glory. The identity of this strong angel is debated amongst biblical scholars. But when we consider the fact that this angel has a small scroll in His hand, has control over land and sea, and swore by Him that liveth for ever and ever, who created the heavens, the Earth, the seas and their appurtenances, and that His voice was like thunder, we have no doubt that He is Jesus Christ our Lord. Neither men nor angels are permitted to make any oats at all under God. And God swears by Himself and no other. The little scroll Rev.10 is the big scroll of Rev.5 with the seven seals broken and about a half or thereabouts of the internal content done away with in the first six trumpet Judgments already fulfilled. If only Jesus could handle the big scroll, He only could also handle the little scroll. It is a matter of who foots the bill. It is a matter of who came, who conquered sin and death, held session at the right hand of the Father in the throne Room in Heaven for two millennia, angels and authorities being made subject to Him. It is a matter of who is God and became man. What remaineth of the big scroll is the seventh trumpet, the sounding of which leads to the completion of the spiritual kingdom of God(the mystery of God is finished), and the seven bowls. John the revelator was commanded by another voice to take the little scroll from the strong angel and to eat it, and he did. It was sweet in his mouth but bitter in belly. The word is a two-edged sword. It heals and kills. It blesses and curses. There is duality in the word. The result of his ingestion of the word is that he shall prophesy again before many peoples, nations, tongues and kings.
Chapter 11: The Ministry Of The Two Witnesses
Rev.11 deals mainly with the ministry of the two witnesses which centers around the Temple Mount. Sometime before the start of the 70th seven of Daniel, the Jewish temple on Mount Moriah shall be rebuilt. How do we know? Because once the antiChrist ratifies the peace pact with Israel, worship, animal sacrifice, drink and grain offerings will resume in the temple. This shall be the Third Temple. Every period of the kingdom has a temple. Therefore each kingdom period is synonymous with the temple. There were the First and the Second Temple Periods. The Third Temple Period which began in 1948 when Israel regained its independence has no temple till now. However preparations have been made, and sooner than later the Third Temple shall be erected. Chronologically this chapter takes us back in time to the midpoint of the 70th week, the Gentile takeover of the Third Temple at which point the ministry of the two witnesses begins.
The revelator John is given a reed to measure the temple and the adjoining area on the Temple Mount. He was instructed to leave out the outer court which shall be given to the Gentiles. The Gentiles shall tread it under foot for forty and two months. This is the three and one half years allotted to the Beast-antiChrist to reign. It commences at the midpoint of the 70th week. It is the second half of the 70th week of Daniel which also corresponds with the period of the ministry of the two witnesses. Whilst the antiChrist and his enforcer, the false prophet are engrossed in the annihilation of those who refuse the mark of the beast, mainly Jews and christians, and a few nonconformists and free thinkers, the two witnesses shall deliver a powerful ministry to the world right there, under the noses of the beasts, on the Temple Mount. If anyone attempts to hurt them, fire shall descend from heaven and make a minced meal of their enemies. They have power to shut the heavens that it rain not in the days of their prophecy. They are God’s messengers of terror. They shall minister for forty and two months, clothed in sackcloth. They are the two candlesticks standing before the Lord of the whole Earth(4).
The identities of these two witnesses are debated amongst biblical scholars and saints. No doubt their ministry is similar to those of Moses and Elijah. But whether they are Moses and Elijah come back to life is debatable. At the expiration of their ministry which corresponds with the last day of the 70th seven, the antiChrist overcomes them, and kills them. For propaganda purposes, their bodies are left in the open, exposed to the elements-in the city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt where also our Lord Jesus the Christ was crucified which is Jerusalem- and viewed throughout the world via satellite. After three days and a half, about the afternoon of the fourth day of the 30-day Reclamation Period that follows the expiration of the 70th week of Daniel, the spirit of life from God entered into them: and a voice was heard from Heaven, saying, come up hither. And they ascended up to Heaven in a cloud, and their enemies beheld them to their utter confusion and consternation. In the same hour, there was a great earthquake in Jerusalem which destroyed one-tenth of the city with seven thousand fatalities. The remnants were frightened and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past and the third woe comes quickly. However their recognition of God at this time did not lead them to repentance. The resurrection of the two witnesses marks the end of the sixth trumpet Judgment or the second woe.
Chapter 11 concludes with the sounding of the seventh trumpet on Mount Zion, at which point God Almighty reclaims His rule over the Earth through His earthly representative, Jesus The Christ. This shall be about the 5th day of the 30-day Reclamation Period. Shortly before this time, on the 3rd of the 30-day Reclamation Period, the mystery of God is finished, as God Almighty completes the spiritual kingdom of God by bringing into saving relationship with the Son the remnants of the offspring of the Woman who keep the commandments of God. With an entourage of angels, Christ descends on Mount Paran- The Holy one came from Mount Paran(Hab.3:3-16)- to the general area of the Rose Red City Of Petra(biblical Sela, Is.16:1), in modern Jordan, where the 144,000 were hiding, across the River Jordan to the Judean Wilderness, rescuing the remnants hidden there and bringing them into saving relationship with Himself; and upwards and northeast to Mount Zion, rescuing and also saving those who were hidden in the Judaean wilderness and Jerusalem and its environs- for the rest of the city shall not be cut off- where He reclaims God’s rule over the Earth, having completed the spiritual kingdom of God. They shall be joined by remnants of Jews from Assyria and Egypt who are reconciled to God when they see that their Messiah has nail-pierced hands(Zech.12:10-14).
The 144,000 are taken into protective custody in Azel with the rest of the remnant of Israel who are reconciled to God after passing through the first six trumpet judgments(Zech.14:6). In biblical geography, there is no known location for Azel. God did it that way for security purposes. Thereafter Christ returns to heaven to hold court at the Bema Seat judgment, and to hold the marriage of the Lamb, while on Earth, the wrath of God is meted out on the remnants of the living wicked earth-dwellers, worshippers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast within the remaining 24 days leading to Armageddon where Christ shall annihilate the armies of the nations and reclaim physical possession of the Earth.
Chapter 12: The Mystical Woman And The Dragon
Rev. 12 does not advance the chronology of end times, but rather gives us a flashback in time to the beginning of the cosmic conflict in eternity past, when Satan rebelled against God in Heaven and succeeded in convincing one-third of the angels of God to join him in the rebellion: The Great Red Dagon drew one-third of the stars of heaven with his tail(12:3). There is another flashback also to 6-4 BC, when the nation of Israel struggled under Roman domination to give the Messiah to Israel itself and the World. The great red Dragon, Satan was there present and ready, in the person of Herod the great, the puppet king of Israel under The Roman Empire, to devour the Son of God as soon as He was born(Matt.2). He is a spirit being without a physical body. But he is the god of this Age(Jon.14:30). Therefore he rules the world by proxy. When Herod learned of the birth of the King of the Jews from the Magi, and his place and time of birth from the scholars of Israel, he sent his soldiers to Bethlehem to nip the king of the Jews in the bud. But Jesus was saved by escape to Egypt; for out of Egypt have I called my son(Hos.11:1). He subsequently completed His ministry. He was crucified, died and was buried. On the third day He rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven. Today He is seated at the right hand of the Father, angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him(Heb.12:2).
There is also a flashback to and a periscope on the middle of the 70th seven when there was war in the heavenlies and Satan and his evil angels were cast down to the Earth by the Archangel Michael and the angels of God under his command. The execution of the sentence against Satan is in stages. First, shortly after the rebellion when he and his co-conspirators were tried and found guilty, they were cast out of the Heaven of heavens, or the third Heaven which is the abode of The Almighty God. But he still has access to the Heaven of heavens to bring accusations against the saints of the Most High. When cast down to the Earth in the middle of the week, he shall be barred access to the Heaven of heavens for time and eternity. When cast down to the Earth, preludial to his subsequent eviction from the Earth’s premises and imprisonment in the abyss for 1,000 years in the New Millennium(Rev.20), he shall be very wrath, and shall belch out a flood to carry away the Woman. When his plot failed, he went to make war with the remnant of her seed who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus. These are the observant Jews who put their faith in the God of Israel, and the christians who put their faith in Jesus as their Saviour and personal Lord. This is the Great Tribulation(Matt.24:21) and the beginning of Jacob’s trouble(Jer.30:7)
Chapter 13: The antiChrist And The False Prophet
Rev.13 is also parenthetical, a persicope on the carriers of the first and second beasts, the antiChrist and the false prophet. The antiChrist is the first beast which rose out of the sea of humanity, the sea-beast. He has seven heads. The seven heads are the seven beast empires of history which persecuted Israel. They are Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome and Nazi Germany. The beast has ten horns with ten crowns. The horns represent powers, authorities or kings. That they have crowns indicates they are sitting kings, contemporaneous with the Beast. The ten horns constitute the 8th and final Beast Empire of Satan. The constituent nations of the ten nation coalition or confederation are Greece(Javan or more appropriately Greek Syria), Babylon(Arphahxad which is modern day Iraq), Persia or Tiras which is modern day Iran( 13:2). The rest are mentioned in Ezek.38:1-6. They are Magog(Germany), Meshech and Tuval( Russia ), Cush(Sudan), Phut or Put(Libya), Gomer and Togarmah(Turkey, Azerbaijan).
Precisely in the midst of the seven, the Dragon possesses the Beast following his downing to the Earth by archangel Michael(Rev.12:7-9). The Beast relocates his headquarters to Jerusalem(Dan.11:45). He erects a statue of himself in the Holy of Holies of the rebuilt Jewish temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, and demands worship of all mortals(Da.9:27; Matt.24:15; 2 Thess.2:4). His programme to get all men on Earth to worship him and the Dragon is enforced by the second beast, the false prophet. Those who are beast-marked shall be able to buy and sell. Those who do not have the mark of the beast shall not be able to buy and sell. It is likely there will be an economic boom prior to this time, and the antiChrist being the smart Alec that he is may well stockpile food, medicine and other supplies. Those who are not beast-marked shall be hounded and ferreted out to take the mark or be killed on refusal. Enlivened images of the beast shall be located at strategic places to identify those who are not beast-marked and to cause them to be killed on failure to recant. The mark of the beast is 666, an 18-digit computer bar code with other biometrics specific to the individual implanted on the right hand or forehead, with which one can purchase anything online and recieve delivery via drones and robots. Besides, those who receive this mark shall have fiat money lodged into their accounts by the government of the antiChrist. By this time, the world would have attained cashlessness. The faith and comfort of the saints are that if any believer is destined to be killed with the sword, the one shall be killed with the sword, and if any believer is destined to go into captivity, into captivity the one goes(13:10).
Chapter 14: Recapitulation Of The Final Harvest And The Three Angelic Announcements Made At The Midpoint Of The 70th Week.
In Rev.14, the Lamb is standing on the earthly mount Zion with the 144,000, with His Father’s name written on their foreheads. We now know what the seal is. It is the name of the Father. As we pointed earlier in Rev.7 these survivors of the great tribulation were rescued from the rose red city of Petra in the Edomite wilderness(OT: Sela; NT: Pella) and the Judean wilderness and from the vicinity of Jerusalem itself, and brought to mount Zion, where the Lamb who came from the heavenly mount Zion(Rom.11:26) to the earthly mount Zion(Is.59:20) reclaimed the rule of God Almighty over the Earth at the blowing of the seventh trumpet. But shortly before the seventh trumpet is blown these survivors were brought into a saving relationship with Jesus, thus completing the spiritual kingdom of God, thus finishing the mystery of God. “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.”(Rev.10:7). This is a very momentous event. The orchestra in heaven, consisting of the redeemed of humanity, sitting on the sea of glass before the Throne Of God in Heaven, sing a song with a loud voice. This is the song of the redeemed. The 144, 000 on Earth could learn and sing this song simply because they were redeemed also. This scene is dualistic: Heaven and Earth in Holy Communion and embrace. There were others there of the household of Israel who do not have the mark of the Beast, who saw the Messiah and came out of hiding, but they were not yet brought into saving relationship with Jesus. Therefore they could not learn and sing this song of the redeemed. These men, the 144,000 were described as Parthenoi, that is virgins. A very strange term indeed to describe men. They vowed a vow of celibacy unto the God of Israel. They never knew any women. They fellowed the Lamb wherever He went. They were the firstfruits of them that were to be redeemed from the Earth after the Rapture of the Church. In their mouths were found no guile: they were without fault before the throne of God.
These two glorious events, the completion of the spiritual kingdom of God- the completion of the mystery of God- and the reclaiming of the rule of God Almighty over the Earth were followed by the three angelic announcements. It is debatable whether these three angelic announcements were an advancement in the chronology of the narrative or a recap and a periscope. Some biblical scholars believe and teach that these three angelic announcements were made precisely at the middle of the 70th seven of Daniel. I share that opinion for the fact that Rev. 11-13 did not advance the chronology of the narrative of the book of Revelation, but were a recap and periscope of some events in the 70th Week. Besides, the nature of angelic warnings demand that they be given at the beginning of the great tribulation rather than a few days to Armageddon. The warnings are fear God, Babylon is fallen, and do not worship the beast or his image nor take his mark. But on the other hand, there was no invitation to believe in Jesus which argues against these warnings being given before the Rapture of the church but rather favours the argument that these warning were given to those who have not yet received the mark of the beast before the final wrath of God is poured out upon the living wicked earth-dwellers and worshippers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast. It appears logical and tenable, but nonetheless doubtful.
Rev.14:14-20 deals with the two angelic reapers sitting on the clouds of glory. The identities of the angelic reapers are also debated amongst biblical scholars. However the Scriptures make it clear the reapers are the angels(Matt.13:39). We must also bear in mind that sometimes the three persons of the Godhead appear as angels. The duty of the reapers is to gather the harvest and cast it into the winepress of the wrath of God. The treading of the winepress of the wrath of God is done by the Lord Himself as also the scripture affirms(Is.63:1-7). The harvest is in two stages, the Rapture of the saints(14-16) , and the final treading of the unrighteous wicked at Armageddon(17-20). This also is consistent with the chronology of the eschatological timeline, the rapture followed by the day of the Lord Judgment of the unrighteous wicked. It is the day of vengeance of our God. The lifeblood of His victims shall reach up to the horse bridle and cover a distance of 180 miles or 288km. The fighting shall start in the vicinity of Jerusalem and move over to mount Megiddo in the Jezrael valley in northern Israel, a natural battlefield said Napoleon.
Chapter 15: Prelude To The Outpouring Of The Bowls
Rev.15 is prelude to the seven bowls. Here the chronology of the narrative that was paused at the end of chapter 9 which corresponds more or less with end of the 70th week of Daniel picks up from where it stopped to give details of previously mentioned events, and to introduce and elaborate on new ones like the ministries of the two witnesses. The seven bowls contain the final wrath of God. There appeared seven marvelous angels having the seven last plagues filled with the wrath of God. Before the final wrath of God is meted out on the beast-marked worshipper and adorers of the Dragon-Beast, the universal orchestra in Heaven, consisting of a select group of overcomers who had gotten the victory over the beast and his image, over his mark and the number of name performs standing on a sea of glass mingled with fire, with harps in hand. They sing the song of Moses the servant of God, the song of the redeemed, the song of overcomers, the song of the Lamb. Here are the lyrics of the song: great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou king of saints. Who shall not fear the, O Lord, and glorify thy name? For thou art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
After this, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened, and there emerged the last seven avenging angels, having the seven last plagues. They were clothed in pure and white linen signifying the righteousness of God. Their breasts were girded with golden girdles, signifying that God is a righteous king. Therefore His judgments are right, just and upright. One of the four living creatures gave unto the seven last avenging angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God. Subsequently the temple of God was filled with smoke from the glory of God and His power; and no man could enter until the last seven plagues of the last seven avenging angels were fulfilled.
Chapters 16-20: The Outpouring Of The Final Seven Bowl Judgments
Chapters 16: The Final Seven Bowl Judgments
In Rev.16, a great voice was heard out of the temple in heaven saying to the last seven avenging angels, go your ways and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the Earth. The Greek word phiale which is translated vial in the KJV is a shallow bowl or saucer the content of which can be easily emptied, unlike the vial used in modern medicine which is a narrow throated vessel, the content of which is not easily emptied. These bowls are quickly emptied, each with a quick swish within a space of 24 days.
The first bowl resulted in grievous sores on the beast-marked worshippers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast. The second bowl turned the seas into the blood of a dead man, thereby killing everything that has life in the seas. The third bowl turned the fresh water sources into blood. At this juncture, the angel of the waters praised God saying, thou art righteous O Lord, who art, and was, and shall be, because thou hast judged thus. They have shed the blood of the saints; therefore God is just in giving them blood to drink, for they are worthy. Another angel chorused from the altar, even so Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments. The fourth bowl caused men on Earth to be scorched with fire from the sun. Yet they did not repent but rather blasphemed the name of the Lord who has power over all these plagues. The fifth bowl caused the Earth to be darkened and cold resulting in painful sores on the men who worshipped the beast. Yet they did not repent. The sixth bowl caused the waters of the River Euphrates to dry up, making way for the armies of the kings of the East to gather at Armageddon. The gathering of these armies was effected by the power and working of three unclean spirits like frogs from the mouths of the satanic Trinity, the Dragon, the Beast, and the false prophet. There is a very pertinent point to note here; until the sixth bowl is poured on the Earth by the sixth avenging angel of God, the three evil spirits from the mouths of the Dragon, first and second beasts cannot effect the gathering of the armies of the nations to Armageddon, indicating once again that Abba is in sovereign control. The warning in verse 15 was given earlier so that no one takes the mark of the beast, and thereby walk naked, and they see the one’s shame.
The seventh bowl which is the last of the last seven plagues is the one that lasts longest and the most severe. When it was poured out, a voice was heard from the temple in heaven, from the throne room, saying, it is done. Then began a series of judgments that culminated in Armageddon. There were voices, thunders, and lightnings; and the greatest earthquake ever in history. The great city, Jerusalem was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came into remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. Every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And in this midst of all these, great hailstones, about 33.33km(100 lb) in weight were skyrocketing from the heavens, crushing anything that has life they hit. Despite all these punishments, men blasphemed God. Naturally, because of the severity of the plagues, for the plagues were exceedingly great, one would think that the beast-marked worshippers would repent. They did not, but rather blasphemed God. Does anyone have doubts that sin hardens the heart and deadens the soul?
Chapters 17-20: Periscope On The Final Seventh Bowl Judgment.
Chapters 17-20 are parenthetical in that that they present a periscope, an expatiation and elaboration on the Final Seventh Bowl Judgment.
Chapter 17: The Seventh Bowl Judgment, Description Of The Judgment Of The Harlot City
In Rev.17, John the revelator was shown the judgment of the great whore who sits on many waters(peoples) by one of the seven last avenging angels. The kings of the Earth cooperated with this woman inasmuch this ingratiated them to the Beast-antiChrist. These kings of the Earth compelled their citizens to practise this false religion. The whore is seated on a scarlet coloured beast full of names of blasphemy, and having seven heads and ten horns. Scarlet is the colour of royalty and nobility. The woman is the false religion established to worship the Deagon-Beast, enforced by the false prophet. The scarlet coloured beast is the antiChrist and the beast nations. It has seven heads and ten horns. The seven heads are the seven previous beast empires of Satan, and the ten horns are the kings and nations of the ten nation confederation. The seven heads are Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medopersia, Greece, Rome, and Nazi Germany. The ten horns are Magog(Germany), Meshech and Tuval(Russia), Babylon(Iraq), Persia(Iran), Greece(Javan), Cush(Sudan), Phut(Put, Libya), Gomer and Togarmah(Turkey, Ukraine). In verse 4, the woman was decked with gold, precious stones and pearls, and a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of het fornication. This woman practised witchcraft which compelled her followers to worship the Dragon-Beast. This practice gave her a position of favour in the antiChrist’s setup which enabled her to garner much wealth. On her forehead was written: mystery Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the Earth. This appellation was given her by God to identify her to His followers. It could not have been given her by the Beast because it is a derogatory designation. She was drunk with the blood of the saints. This is a metaphor. She delighted in killing those who worshipped the true God.
John marveled. The angel said, wait a minute, I will explain everything to you. The Beast is one of the kings who ruled over one of the seven previous beast empires. He died, but he shall come back to life. He was and is not, yet shall be. He shall ascend from the abyss. He shall go into destruction again. Because he is a dead man come back to life, those beast-marked worshippers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast whose names were not written in the scroll of life from the foundation of world shall wonder about him. The seven heads of the beast are seven mountains. Mountains signify kingdoms. And there are seven kings. Kings are synonymous with their kingdoms. These seven kings are the responsible kings of the seven beast empires of Satan which persecuted Israel in exile. At the time of receipt of the revelation five were history. One was, that was Rome. The other was not yet come. But when it cometh, it shall continue but a short time. That was Nazi Germany which had a short history indeed, a mere 12 years(1933-1945). The beast that was and is not, is the 8th and one of the seven. Therefore the antiChrist shall be a man who ruled one of the seven previous beast empires, died, was killed with a military weapon in battle, and shall be raised from the dead to rule over the 8th and final beast empire. Indeed, the antiChrist shall be the one who ruled over the 7th beast empire, and shall rise again to rule over the 8th and last beast empire of Satan. The ten horns are ten kings contemporaneous with the Beast. They shall give their allegiance to the Beast. They shall make war with the Lamb, but the Lamb shall overcome them because He is King of kings, and Lord of lords. Besides, they that are with Him are called, chosen and faithful. The waters on which the whore sitteth are peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues who were compelled by her witchcraft and sorceries to worship the Dragon-Beast. Unfortunately for the whore, it is the ten kings who shall destroy her; for God had put in their heart to do so. They shall make her naked, desolate, and eat her flesh and burn her with fire. To eat her flesh is metaphorical. It means to destroy her and to loot her treasures. Even though they do not think so, God has put it in their hearts to fulfill His will, to agree, and to give their kingdoms unto the Beast until the words of God shall be fulfilled. The woman which thou sawest is that city that reigneth over the kings of the Earth. It is false religion headquartered in a city, Babylon that rules over the kings of the Earth.
Chapter 18: The Execution Of The Judgment Of The Harlot City
Rev.18 is a continuation of the truncated seventh bowl judgment. It is also a continuation of Rev.17. But unlike Rev.17 which deals with the religious aspect of the city, the emphasis here is on the commercial aspect of the city as relates to its fall. A very powerful angel came down from heaven. The Earth was lightened with his glory. He cried with a loud voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen. Repetition is a literary device meant to emphasize and to establish inevitability. The evil angels which were cast down from heaven with their master Satan at the middle of the 70th seven found lounging in Babylon. Therefore it became the habitation of demons, the hold of every foul spirit, and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. This resulted in escalation in her sorceries, immoralities, commercialism. The nations were drunk with the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the Earth committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the Earth became rich trading in her wares. The people of God were warned to come out of her, lest they be partakers of her sins and share in plagues. Her sins have reached up to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. It is debatable when this warning was given. Is it at this point in the chronology or earlier? This warning has been given 2,000 years ago. Therefore the people of God will do well to take heed. Babylon will be rewarded double for her sins. How much she has glorified herself, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore her plagues shall come in one day, death, mourning and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire; for strong is the Lord that judgeth her.
At this point in the chronology of the Scroll of Revelation, the church is in heaven. The 70th week has ended. The Jewish remnant who did not take the mark of allegiance to the Beast, who have gone through the first six trumpet judgments unprotected and survived are now in protective custody in Azel along side the 144,000. The ones that can be referred to as the people of God at this time in the chronology of the end times are the Gentile remnants who had not taken the mark of allegiance to the Beast and had survived both the trumpet and bowl judgments up to this time, and had come to the realization that Jesus is both the Lord and Saviour of all mankind. The fact that they are found in the midst of the adherents of this false humanistic religion headquartered in Babylon indicates they are Gentiles. This events occurs after the rapture of the church, after the close of the 70th week. So the ones referred here as my people are not part of the church.
The kings of the Earth shall bewail and lament for her when they see the smoke of burning. These kings are different from the ones who destroyed her. Those were the kings of the ten nation confederation, the 8th and final beast empire. The merchants of Earth mourned for her because no one buys their goods anymore. Rev.18:12-22 gives an exhaustive list of their merchandise which includes the soul and bodies of men. Make no mistake about it, satanism , witchcraft and sorceries involve ritualistic canibalism. There are human abattoirs in full operations even now.
The heavens, the holy Apostles and prophets were called to rejoice over her, for God has avenged you on her. In a final prophetic act, signaling and signifying the summary destruction of Babylon, an angel took a great millstone, and cast into the sea, saying, thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. No form of human activities whatsoever shall go on in the city anyone; for by her sorceries were all men deceived, and in her was found the blood of the prophets and saints and all that were slain upon the earth. This final prophetic act proves that the great harlot city cannot be Jerusalem: for God will not make a final end of Israel and her Holy city, Jerusalem.
Chapter 19: Armageddon
In Rev.19, the heavenly orchestra is performing, praising God and rejoicing for His righteous judgment of the great whore. Hallelujah; for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife had made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. Blessed are they who are called to the marriage super of the Lamb. The marriage of the Lamb and the Bema seat judgment will take place in heaven while God Almighty pours out His wrath on the living wicked earth-dwellers. The marriage supper of the Lamb is an earthly event. It will be held in Jerusalem in the early part of the New Millennium. John’s attempt to worship the angel that spoke to him, indicates the splendid glory of this angel. But the angel refused to be worshipped, indicating he was a fellowservant and a brother that has the testimony of Jesus, which means that departed saints play angelic roles in heaven. This is in agreement with Christ’s teaching that in the resurrection, the saints neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like angels(Matt.22:30; Mk.12:25; Luk.20:35,36).
Thereafter Christ descends from Heaven to the Earth riding upon a white horse, accompanied by the hosts of Heaven also riding upon white horses and clothed in fine linen, white and clean, which signifies righteousness. He is called faithful and true, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were like flame of Fire, and on His head were many crowns. He is clothed in a vesture dipped in blood. He has a name written that no one knows but Himself. He is also called the word of God. He has a sharp two-edged sword protruding from His mouth. With it, He will smites the nations, and rules them with the rod of iron. The angelic reapers gathered the harvest, but He threaded the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God. On His vesture was a name written: King of kings, and Lord of lords.
An angel stands in the sun and called out to the fowls of the heaven. God is about to organize a feast and a banquet for them called the supper of the great God. On that occasion, they shall eat the flesh of kings, captains, mighty men, horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men both free and bond, small and great. The kings of the Earth and their armies also shall gather at Har Megiddo to do battle with the Lamb and His army. There shall be no battle at all. The beast and the false prophet shall be taken captive and cast into the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone. The remnant of the armies of the nations shall be slain with the sword that protrudes from the mouth of the Lord, and their corpses fed to the fowls of the heavens. This shall be the supper of the great
Chapter 20: The Incarceration Of Satan In The Bottomless Pit And The White Throne Judgment.
In Rev.20, at the end of the war of Armageddon, an angel came down from heaven with the key to the abyss. He seized Satan and imprisoned him in the bottomless pit for a 1000 years. On this day also those who were beheaded for the witness of Jesus were raised from the dead to reign with Christ for a thousand years. This people were not raised from the dead when the rapture took place. God has to organize a special resurrection for them as it were. This view is not shared by all scholars. Alan E. Kurschner believes they were raised from the dead with other dead saints at the rapture. This verse spoke of the commencement of their 1000 year reign with Christ. There is really neither need nor benefit to delay their resurrection from the dead till this time. This is the first resurrection. The rest of the dead were not raised until the end of the millennium. At the expiry of the millennium, Satan shall be paroled, but he shall default as always to lead another rebellion against God by gathering the Magogites against the camp of the saints in the New And Heavenly Jerusalem. God is fed up with man’s intransigence. They were consumed in the heavenly conflagration. The devil that deceived the Magogites was cast into The Lake Of Fire where the Beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. So, in chronological order, the Scroll Of Revelation ends with the White Throne Judgment.
Those who lived and died in the millennium, and the rest of the dead who did not take part in the first resurrection shall be raised from the dead, and the living at the end of the millennium shall be translated to appear before the White Throne judgment. At the White Throne Judgment, there are no attorneys, no defendant counsels. At the White Throne judgment, there are two scrolls opened, the scroll of life and the scroll of works. Every man shall be judged according to his works. Anyone whose name was not found written in the scroll of life shall be cast into the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone. This is the second death, that is, eternal separation from God. Death and Hell itself shall be cast into the lake of fire.
Chapters 21 & 22: The Millennium; The New Heaven And The New Earth
In Rev.21, John saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea. The prophet Isaiah prophesied: behold I create a new heaven and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered nor come to mind. He followed it with a description of life in the new and renovated earthly Jerusalem in the millennium. Here men are still in their mortal bodies. The sinner being 100 years old is cursed. Anyone who died at 100 years of age and under is considered an infant and a sinner( Is.65:17-25 ). But John the revelator described a new heaven and a new earth in which there is no death, men and women are in their glorified eternal immortal resurrection bodies. Therefore what John described is life in the new and heavenly Jerusalem in the millennium. This new Jerusalem came down from heaven as a bride adorned for her husband. This is the fulfillment of God’s promise to tabernacle amongst His people. In the Jerusalem which descends from heaven, man, God, and His angels are in uninterrupted fellowship. Heaven and Earth are in holy embrace. In the heavenly Jerusalem, there shall be no more tears, aches, pains and sorrows; for the former things are passed away. The sinners, the fearful and the unbelieving, the abominable and murderers, the liars, the fornicator have no part in this city. They have their part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone.
This beautiful city was shown to John by one of the last seven avenging angels. This city which descended from the heaven has a hollow at its base where it merges with the millennial temple, the fourth temple described in Ezekiel 40-43. The millennial temple is built on the elevated Mount Zion in the new and renovated earthly millennial Jerusalem. This city has the glory of God. It is decorated with precious stones, clear as crystal. The city has twelve gates. The twelve gates have twelve angels, and the names of the twelve tribes of Israel written thereon. It has three gates on each of the four cardinal points, east , west, north and south. The city has twelve foundations, and on them the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb. The city has the shape and form of a cube. The length, the breadth and the height of it are equal, about 180 miles or 388 km. The thickness of the wall is 144 cubits, about 66 meters. The wall was of jasper, the city is made of pure gold like clear glass. The twelve foundations of the city were garnished with twelve manner of previous stones. The twelve gates were decorated with twelve different pearls. The city had no temple of its own. The Lord is the temple therein. The only temple in the millennium is the fourth temple on the elevated Mount Zion which projects into the new And Heavenly Jerusalem through the hollow at its base. The city has no need of the sun or the moon to shine in it: for the glory of the Lord do lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. The inhabitants of the city are the redeemed of the Lord, the overcomers in their glorified eternal immortal resurrection bodies, who reign with Christ as kings over the nations in the millennium. They shall walk in the light of it; and shall bring the glory of the nations into it. The gates shall not be shut at all by day: for their shall be no night there. The sinners shall in no way enter into it. The righteousness in their mortal bodies in the Millennium cannot enter into it; for their mortal bodies cannot tolerate the glories of it. The focal point of fellowship between the millennial saints, the dwellers of the heavenly Jerusalem, and God and His angels shall be the millennial temple on Mount Zion, in Jerusalem.
In Rev.22, the revelator John continues his description of the heavenly Jerusalem. The emphases here are on the water source of the city, the tree and the fruits thereof. In Ezekiel 47:1-12, the water source of the new renovated earthly Jerusalem, and of the whole earth is described. The water source of both cities is one and the same. The water source is the Throne Room of the fourth and millennial temple on the elevated and renovated Mount Zion in the refurbished earthly Jerusalem. The water from the throne room flows in two directions, downwards towards the earthly Jerusalem and upwards towards the heavenly Jerusalem. In the heavenly Jerusalem, on its Broadway, this pure river as clear as crystal flows. On either side of the banks of the river, and in the midst of it, there are trees of the same type. This tree yields twelve manner of fruits on a monthly basis. These fruits are for the nourishment and maintenance of the health of the dwellers of the city. There is no curse in this city, no pollution, no sickness, no disease no death. The inhabitants are in their glorified eternal immortal resurrection bodies. They cannot be sick. Therefore they do not need physical healing unlike their counterparts in the new renovated earthly Jerusalem who need healing from minor bruises and sores. The throne of God and of the Lamb is in this city. His servants shall serve Him, and they shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. The Son of God is the light of the city. They do not need the sun or candle as the source of light. The dwellers of this city shall reign with Christ for and ever. Truly every man in this city is a light unto himself by virtue of eternal life unstoppered by the death-doomed mortal body.
Jesus is coming again. It is an inviolate biblical truth. He is coming to reward His servants who kept the sayings of the prophecy of this book. John was so overcome with awe he fell down to worship the angel that revealed these things to him. But the angel forbade him, saying, I am thy fellowservant, of the prophets and one of thy brethren that keep the sayings of this roll: worship God. It is obvious from here that departed saints play angelic roles in heaven. The wicked shall continue in their wickedness and the righteousness in their righteousness because the time is short.
Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, and the first and the last. He is the root and the offspring of Jesse, the bright and the mourning star. They that keep His commandments shall enter through the gates into the Holy City. None is permitted to add or subtract from the words of the roll of this prophecy. Those who add, God shall add to them the plagues written in this roll. Those who take away from the words of this prophecy, God shall take away their names from the scroll of life and from the Holy City, and from those things which are written in this scroll. The Spirit and the bride say come. Let him that heareth say come. Behold, I come quickly. Amen. Even so come Lord Jesus. These things are sealed with the faithfulness of God. The grace of our Lord be with you all. Amen.