Thursday, February 24, 2011

The World’s Last Dictator

Revelation Chapter 13

In chapter 12 the conflict in Heaven ended with Satan’s defeat and his final overthrow from Heaven. He is cast out of Heaven onto the earth. Here in Revelation chapter 13 we have a detail description of his all-out effort on the earth just prior to his being cast into the bottomless pit. It is his last drive to defeat the program of God and establish his own kingdom.
Now we know that Satan is a spirit-being and that he cannot operate effectively on earth except as he does through the passions and personalities of man. He embodies himself in men in order to get what he wants (not physically but mentally as he has a body of his own). He knows his time is short, so he comes in rage and fury to do as much damage as he possibly can. In Chapter 12 we saw the fact of Satan’s hostility; here in chapter 13 we see the means of that hostility. The two worst rebels in all of human history appear on the scene. They are called “beasts.” They are not animals, but men. They are called beasts because of the cruelty of their reign.

The Lamb who holds the title deed to the earth is to come shortly and take over His possession. Satan knows this therefore this is his last all-out effort to throttle the divine plan. It is “woe” time for the world, the day of Satan’s greatest miracles. Demonism at its height will produce a reign of terror throughout the earth. This is the period prophesied by the Apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:7-11, when that wicked one shall be revealed, “Whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.”

The chapter before us prophesies the activity of the two beasts on the earth after the church has been caught up to Heaven to be with her Lord. The first beast appears out of the sea [Ref. Rev. 13:1-10)], while the second comes up out of the earth [ref. Rev. 13:11-18]. Both are Satan-controlled men, so that actually there is in this chapter a trinity of the evil dragon and his two associates. Satan always has been a clever imitator, a device he has used successfully to deceive men. Here in the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, we see the Satanic trinity, Satan’s imitation of the divine trinity [Ref. Rev. 16:13].
Rev. 13: 1&2
The phrase “the sand of the sea” indicates Satan’s position as usurper of the earth and of his power over its people. The “sand” pictures the many people who will make up the nations, “the number of whom is as the sand of the sea” [Ref. Rev. 20:8]. Satan sees the sea of nations in their restlessness and political agitation [Ref. Isa. 17:12; 57:20; Rev 17:15], and so he stands upon the earth about to proceed in his final struggle for supremacy.
The first beast has “seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns and upon his heads the name of blasphemy” [Ref. Rev. 13:1]. It is clearly stated that he is a man vs. 18, but it is also affirmed twice that he comes out of the abyss [Ref. Rev. 11:7; 17:8], which means he is in league with Satan and energized by Satan. The heads speak of wisdom, the horns confederated power, and the crowns represent ruling authority. The restless world will be desperate for a leader, and this man will represent to the unregenerate mass of humanity what will appear to be the solution to the world’s ills. But all of his genius and ability only combine in blasphemy against God.
The description of this emerging dictator in vs. 2, namely, “like unto a leopard…a bear…and a lion,” is prophesied by Daniel. We should notice here that this beast is a composite of the previous world powers. He combines in himself the abilities and characteristics of the leaders, of the three world empires preceding the Roman Empire, the swiftness of the leopard, the overpowering tyranny of the bear, and the wild ferocity of the lion.
Rev. 13:3
Three times in this one chapter the wound of the beast is mentioned, and in all three verses it is made clear that the wound brought death, but that the beast was restored again [Ref. vs. 3, 12,14]. Satan’s masterpiece of deception will be a clever imitation of Christ. Christ, the seed of the woman, is God incarnate. Antichrist, the seed of the serpent, might well be Satan incarnate. As God raised Jesus from the dead, Satan will or could raise his representative from the dead, for he has certain powers over death [Ref. Heb. 2:14]. Revelation 11:7; 17; 8, 11 says that the beast goes into the place of departed spirits, and then is raised up out of that place of departed spirits. In Rev. 17:8 four things are said of him: “The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition.” This indicates quite clearly that the antichrist has been on the earth before.
There is a striking similarity between the antichrist and Judas Iscariot in scripture as an identity to the antichrist. These two only are called “the son of perdition” [Ref. John 17:12; 2 Thess. 2:3]. Judas is the only man of whom it is said that Satan himself entered into him [Ref. Luke. 22:3].
The antichrist is not a system, but a person. When the prophetic scriptures speak of the antichrist, the masculine pronoun “he” is used. While he is the head of the final apostate system, he nevertheless a man, the man who is being looked for by many and whose advent seem to be drawing near. After the true Church has been raptured, and the restraining power of the Holy Spirit has been removed, this coming one will become earth’s dictator.
We are moving toward a “one world system,” that is a unified political system and a unified religious system. The first beast will be the head of a great confederation of nations. It will be the final form of the last great Gentile world power prior to Christ’s second coming to the earth. It is this one great world ruler on whom Daniel focuses attention in the last six chapters of his prophecy. He is the “little horn.” In Daniel 7:8, the “king of fierce countenance” in Daniel 9:26, the “willful king” in Daniel 11:16.
A world which has been denying the resurrection of Christ for centuries now accepts the fact that here is a man who has conquered death. After having denied the One who is the Truth, the world in amazement believes a lie. “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness “Ref. 2 Thess. 2:11-12.

The antichrist will possess an attractive and fascinating personality. His exceptional qualities of wisdom, daring, and leadership will draw to himself the highest admiration from people all over the world. He will be admired for his military prowess, for many shall say “who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” [Ref. Rev. 13:4].
Rev. 13:4-6
The wondering of vs. 3 is followed by worship. Spiritism, which is a form of demon worship and which has advanced with rapid strides in the last century, will reach its zenith during the latter half of the tribulation. While the eternally triune God is being blasphemed by the antichrist millions will worship Satan who controls the man of sin. This is he of whom the Apostle Paul wrote, “who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as god sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is god” [Ref. 2 Thess. 2:4].
The worship of the first beast is enforced by another beast that is called three times “the false prophet” [Ref. Rev. 16:13; 19:20]. Like the first beast, he is a real person, a man who is subordinate to and dependent upon the first beast, as the first beast is subordinate to and dependent upon Satan.
This second beast is seen “coming up out of the earth” [Ref. Rev. 13:11], or more accurately, out of “the land,” meaning the ancient land of Palestine where Christ was born and died. In appearance he is “like a lamb” imitating the Lamb of God and Israel’s Messiah. This clever deception arises in the same land where Jewish prophets announced that the Messiah would appear.
We see in this chapter a world religion under one head with all worship controlled by him. In order to procure results in getting people to worship the first beast, he performs miracles thereby demonstrating that he possesses supernatural ability. We should bear in mind first that a miracle is not necessarily of God. The worship of the antichrist in the tribulation will be forced upon the people even as it was in the ancient days. And at last Satan finds a man who will accept what Christ rejected, and through him will direct the worship of the entire inhabited world. Even now Satan has his forerunners of the antichrist leading many to worship him [Ref. 2 Cor. 11:13-15].
Rev. 13:7-12
The beast makes war with the saints. Now the “saints” here are not the believers of the “church age.” Not all saints are in the church. There were saints in Israel before the Church came into being, and there will be saints on earth during the tribulation after the Church has been caught up to Heaven. Israel and the Church are not the same nor does God deal in the same way with each. The saints mentioned in our verse are saved during the tribulation [Ref. Rev. 7].
For some time the beast is quite popular. His personality, military prowess, great intellect, and ability to empress himself will capture the hearts and the worship of the masses. But suddenly he turns against the Jewish saints at Jerusalem. We must remember he has made a covenant with the Jews, but in the middle of the week he will break that covenant [Ref. Dan. 9:27]. When he comes he will promise them peace in the land of Palestine. The nation will accept him as the promised Messiah and the fulfillment of Abraham’s covenant. But the peace he offers the Jews is a false peace. Daniel prophesied that he “by peace shall destroy many” [Ref. Dan. 8:25]. He will move into Palestine, desecrate the restored temple [Ref. 2 Thess. 2:4]; Rev. 11:1-2], and institute a religious system that will become the worship of Palestine and of the entire earth. He will recognize no religion other than the worship of Satan through himself. Because the people refused to kneel to God’s Christ, they must in that day bow to the devil’s antichrist. His subordinate the second beast, called the “false prophet” [Ref. Rev. 16:13; 19:20; 20:10], will assist the antichrist in enforcing his false religious system.
Rev. 13:13
This second beast is the false prophet who works to support the antichrist. He is an administrator of the affairs of Satan. As a means of impressing the people favorably, he performs miracles. This is a means of accomplishing his purposes. He substantiates his claims by demonstrating supernatural control over the forces of nature.
These signs are religious in character. There is the sign of fire from Heaven. This has been one way that God revealed Himself in history. He sent fire from Heaven upon Sodom and Gomorrah [Ref. Gen. 19:24]. He sent fire from Heaven to slay Nadab and Abichu [Ref. Lev. 10:1-2]. He sent fire from Heaven to Mount Carmel in answer to the prayer of Elijah [Ref. 1 Kings 18:38]. Similar miracles will have been performed by the two witnesses [Ref. Rev. 11:3-6], so that the false prophet’s duplication of such wonders will serve an aid in causing the masses on earth to worship the beast. Now consider the last words spoken to the 400 silent years: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” [Ref. Mal. 4:5-6]. Here is a promise that Elijah would come before the second coming of Christ to the earth. We see here that Elijah is one of God’s two witnesses in Revelation 11. We will learn from this the reason why the false prophet calls down fire from Heaven. The devil and his associates know the prophetic Scriptures. So, by imitating the miracles of Elijah through the false prophet, Satan hopes to convince the nation Israel that the false prophet is Elijah, and that the man to whom this Elijah is pointing is none other than Israel’s Messiah, who ought to be worshiped. Oh the cleverness of Satan’s wiles.
Rev. 13:14
Here we see the purpose for the miracles of the false prophet. The real purpose for the miracles was to prepare the minds of the people for the announcement in vs. 14. The false prophet will attempt to lead the people to finance the building of a great image in Jerusalem, thereby making Jerusalem the center of a world-wide religious system. Once again Satan is imitating what is predicted in the prophetic Scriptures. Satan knows that Jerusalem was the center of Christ’s activities when He came to earth the first time, and that it will be His capital city when He comes again at the Second Advent to reign on earth [Ref. Mt. 24:15-24], and see where Christ is referring to these same events [Ref. Mt. 24:21] where our Lord identifies the time period when the false prophet and the antichrist appear on the scene in the Great Tribulation.
Rev. 13:15
We see here that when the image speaks(given breath), the whole world, Jews, Gentiles, Roman Catholics, protestants, whatever they are, will worship the image or be killed if they refuse to.
Rev. 13:16-17
We have here now the mark of the beast. It is an identifying mark indicating that the one bearing it both worship the beast and submits to his rule. To be without the mark will label one as a traitor to government. In order to remain alive one must be able to buy and sell, and these things he will be permitted to do only if he can show the mark of the beast.
There are forerunners today of this intricately planned system which will control world commerce, the latest of these being the European common market. The day will come when the producer and the consumer, the seller and the buyer, will be powerless under the control of the antichrist. Capital and labor are struggling for control of this now, but at that time both will be controlled by the beast. Anyone who is outside of his vast control will be ruthlessly boycotted. No one will employ you or be employed by you. All classes of society are included. No exceptions will be made. All will worship the beast or die.
Rev. 13:18
The Word of God says, “It is the number of a man.” We know that man was created on the sixth day. We know further that seven is the number of completion or perfection. Six then is short of seven, so that man at his best is still imperfect. We know that the antichrist will be the fullest manifestation of man at his best, but any man at his best is a poor imitation of Jesus Christ.
What the world needs is Jesus Christ, not the antichrist. If you have not received God’s Son, do so at once. Trust Him now for eternal life.

Monday, February 14, 2011


The Spirit-filled life is not a mystical, unattainable lifestyle that God offers but keeps just out of reach. It is a life of process--a life of becoming under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Under our Lord Jesus Christ, through His Spirit the essence of each believer priest is shapeable, teachable and flexible; Christ is in the business of building pillars. So we are to deal with foundational truths, to our life in Christ and growth in Him. To do that we must give time to a consideration of the sacraments.

The word “sacrament” is derived from a Latin word that refers to an oath of allegiance. In church terminology, it refers to the practice of a sacred ritual as a declaration that trust is being placed in the potential power of that exercise and that faith is being made manifest by the action taken.

The church’s concept of a sacrament proposes the participation of two parties: God has made the provision, being the initiating party, has made a deposit of gracious provisions. For our part we also have made a deposit; our faith to believe and our willing obedience to participate. The two sacraments most common in the life of the Church are the sacraments of water Baptism and the Lord’s Table.

First, our growth and depth of life as believer priests of Christ’s depend on our moving beyond initiation experiences. Growth requires our seeing those truths and practices we’ve already obeyed (like water baptism) taken on and live out that truth.
Second, we need to rethink discipline of water baptism so we can sensibly and sensitively relay that truth to others. As believer priests, we are given the opportunity to teach and influence new believers, so it is to their advantage and ours that we deepen our insights and understanding of the truths of the Spirit.
Third, there are to many Church’s where water baptism is not being taught, either in the depth of its meaning or in the clarity of its biblical mandate by our Lord Jesus. Water baptism is a personal responsibility, personal in that Jesus has commanded it of each one of us!, It is not a religious idea or ritual. Hear it loved one, Baptism is as important as the great commission, Jesus told His disciples to go to the world, preach the gospel and “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:29). Baptism is a straight forward matter of obedience to Christ. Let’s look at (Acts 10:44-48). Though the group at the house of Cornelius had been filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter still directed that they be baptized in water. Baptism is one of life’s greatest opportunities to be a witness!


Though we have been baptized, fully acknowledging its importance, we’re still called to abide in the truths baptism expresses. So how can we live more fully in the power of those principles as believer priests? The Holy Spirit opens us up to the fullness of the truth, Jesus Himself identified this as a fundamental issue in water baptism (let’s look at Matt. 3:14, 15) Peter tells of the promise awaiting us when we come to the waters of baptism. “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized,” he says “and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).


The apostle Paul reveals to us another aspect of baptismal truth:

(Rom. 6:3, 4) Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Paul shows baptism not only as an act of obedience and an opening to the Holy Spirits fullness to us, but also as an action of Him who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in us. (Rom. 8:11). Being baptized and resurrected with Christ means allowing the life-giving Spirit of God to resurrect you on a daily basis, lifting you above the dead habits of the past and into newness of life for today and tomorrow.


(Col. 2:11, 12) In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

With this picture of our death, burial and resurrection into the newness of life in Christ, God’s Word presents the figure of the Old Testament rite of circumcision. We need to capture this, because a brief moment of insight into the implications of baptism as circumcision can reveal a very powerful but practical truth. In baptism God wants to cut away flesh. That is, He wants to remove carnality from our lives--things that are meaningless to the needs for which He has created us, there are excessive aspects of our behavior that God wants to remove from our lives. There are many realms of fruit bearing capacity in our lives that are only waiting their obedience to Jesus--our circumcision via water baptism. We should see baptism not as a ritual to be performed but rather a truth to be experienced! The analogy of circumcision makes it clear that baptism is a time when God cuts away “flesh” as we come under His order and releases power to bring about His promised life and purpose through us, so these things happen in the privacy of our hearts as our Lord works His will and power in us.


(1Cor. 10:1, 2) Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under a cloud; all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.

A picture of the children of Israel “all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea”. They have come through a pathway of deliverance by the Hand of God. The Bible uses the miraculous moment of the sea’s parting to give us pure insight into the kind of blessing God is ready to impart at our water baptism. Listen, loved one, Water baptism is intended to be our deliverance as well by the hand of God. Things to which we have been enslaved, the fetters by which we’ve been shackled, the snares in which we’ve been entangled through actions of our adversary--when deliverance is needed from hellish oppression, all have been broken by the hand of God. Water baptism is not a church tradition; it is a truth a miracle provision of God to start our lives in His realm of our newness of life as a believer priest.
All this that we may possess the promise and be able to arise and walk in the life-giving power of our living Lord and Savior! These are the truth principles demonstrated in water baptism. Each is a present reality awaiting the believer priest’s obedience. When the sinless Son of God submitted to be baptized, the heavens opened up to Him, the Spirit descended upon Him and the Father spoke from heaven. These blessings also await the believer priest who will follow Jesus in baptism.
“The Heavens opened” means that the realm of invisible reality became perceptible--the spiritual realm became a functional, perceived action for the believer priest’s life. A realm of relationship with Jesus Christ where the invisible is not mysterious to us, but instead is perceived as an action in which we function with confidence with the Spirit dwelling in us. Christ wants us to be as comfortable relating to the things of the Spirit as we are to operating in the physical realm. We need to abide in the fullness that baptism provides, a part of which is seeing (or realizing) the Fathers approval, just as He said to Christ, this is my Son in whom I am well pleased--the same joyous realization will be ours as well--our Heavenly Father say’s I am pleased with you.


Jesus, commanded to all who receive His gift of life, as well as the gift of salvation, is that they be baptized in water. This is a call not merely to observe a duty but, more importantly, to experience the provisional truth of Christ’s Word. Obedience to this command means setting one’s self on a river like pathway of submission to the Lordship of Christ--a commitment to pursue a believer priest’s life as one dead to sin but alive to God through the power of the Holy Spirit.


V. The signs of the Rapture

We may say, and be entirely scriptural, that there are no signs of the rapture as there are of the Second Advent. There never was a sign required to come to

pass or a prophecy to be fulfilled before the rapture. The rapture could have taken place any time in the past since the apostles, and can take place any

time now, or in the future, without a sign or prophecy being fulfilled. If there were certain things to be fulfilled first before the rapture then we would

be looking for those things to be fulfilled first instead of looking for the rapture as the Lord said, and Paul taught.

VI. The Lord’s Comings are Practical Doctrines

These doctrines of the Lord’s events (the rapture and second coming) are two of the most practical and fruitful ones in Scripture. They are real incentives

to holiness [1Jn. 3:1-3]; profitable in exhorting to watchfulness and faithfulness [Mt. 24-25;1Jn. 2:28]; patience [Jas. 5:7-8]; death to self [Col. 3:3-5];

endurance [1Pet. 1:7; 4:13]; holy conversation and godliness [2 Pet. 3:11-13]; soberness and righteousness [Titus 2:11-13]; consolation [1Thess. 4:13-18];

blamelessness [1 Cor.1: 4-8]; pastoral diligence and purity [ 1Pet.5: 1-4]; sincerity [ Phil.1: 9-10]; mildness [ phil.4: 5-6]; and hope [ 1Cor. 15].
The rapture will be to the saints the beginning of eternal and ever increasing joy and glory. The second coming will be to Israel and all righteous earthly

nations the beginning of eternal and ever increasing blessing and favor for believers entering the millennium.

Before considering many proofs that the rapture of the Church takes place before the fulfillment of any event, as revealed in Rev. 4:22, let us emphasize

again the importance of the threefold division of the book of Revelation as stated by Jesus Christ, Himself.

Since “these things” of Rev. 4-22 must be “after these things” of Rev. chapters 1-3 which concerns the churches, then “these things” must be after the

churches. Therefore, any interpretation which mixes the “things” of the Churches with the “things” which must be after the Churches is false and in direct

contradiction to the Lord’s statement and teaching of a threefold division of the Revelation in chapter 1:19; 4:1.

Thus, it is erroneous for instance, to place the historical birth and ascension of Jesus Christ into the 12th chapter of Revelation, identifying Him as the

manchild when the manchild and all that is related thereto are among the “things” which must be after the churches. For the same reason it is wrong to say

that any seal, trumpet, or vial of the book has been fulfilled, or that the 144,000 Jewish remnant could be some religious group of this age, or coming out

of this age.

We must therefore always keep in mind that the fulfillment of all these “things which must be hereafter” including the “things” concerning the two witnesses,

the beasts, the mark of the beast, the great whore (Babylon), and numerous other things will be after the Churches. And, any teaching which violates this

fact in any degree will lead to a wrong understanding of the book of Revelation.

The Rapture of the Church
The rapture of the church is also called “the coming of the Lord” but not ever the second coming of Christ. At this coming He does not appear visibly to the earth but in the air to catch up, or rapture the dead and living saints who rise together to meet the Lord in the air. There are many ideas about these two events, which have made it difficult to distinguish one from the other that it is no wonder that many have found themselves involved in a labyrinth difficulty, from which they are unable to extricate themselves. This event is purely a new Testament doctrine and was first revealed to Paul as a special revelation [1Cor. 15:51-58), while the second coming of Christ is not only a New Testament doctrine, but one of the chief themes of the Old Testament. The Old Testament, prophets never saw the New Testament Church, much less the rapture of the Church.

These two events cannot be mixed and still be clear. The Scriptures that apply to one do not apply to the other. Not one of the passages under the Second Advent refers to the rapture of the Church, and not one of those below refers to the second coming, as can be seen upon examination of them. There is not one passage in the Bible that refers to both events as if they were one. They are two distinct events separated by several years and not two phases or stage of one coming. The rapture takes place several years before the literal advent of Christ to the earth. When Christ meets the saints in the air He takes them back to heaven with Him and presents them to the Father where they remain while the tribulation is running its course on earth. The saints are in heaven before God, and not in the air, from the time of the rapture to their coming again with Christ to reign as kings and priests [Ref. Luke 22:30]. This seems clear from the fact that the saints are judged, and are given their rewards and partake of the marriage supper in heaven and not in the air. Christ departs from heaven at His coming to earth and not from the air, [Rev.19:22:11-21; 2 Thess. 1:7-10. The rapture must first take place before Christ can come back to earth with His saints. At the rapture the Lord is coming from heaven, as far as the air or earthly heavens, and the saints are to be “caught up to meet Him in the air.” At this event the Lord is not to be raptured, but the saints. At the Second Coming the saints are not to be raptured, neither is Christ, but both will come back to the earth together. The rapture takes place before the tribulation, while the Second Advent take place after the tribulation is in place. The rapture may occur any moment. The Second Advent cannot occur until all the signs come to pass and certain prophecies are fulfilled.
We have separated these two events, as they should be separated, for the sake of clearness and because they are always distinct in Scripture. This subject has no part in the chief theme of Revelation, but it forms an integral part of the book. The following points will help the reader to distinguish the rapture from the second coming and give a scriptural understanding of this New Testament revelation.

1. The fact and manner of the Rapture
We need not be ignorant concerning this subject when it is fully and clearly revealed in many passages of the New Testament. The fact and manner of the rapture are clearly revealed in the following Scripture: Lk. 21:34-36; Jn. 14:1-3; 1Cor. 15:23, 51-58; 2 Cor. 5:1-8; Eph. 5:27; Phil. 3:11, 20-21; 1Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:13-17; 5:9, 23; 2Thes. 2:1, 7-8; Col. 3:4; Jas. 5:7-8; 1 Jn. 2:28; 3:2; 1Pet. 5:4. Not one of these passages refers to the Second Advent. We shall not use any verse in Mt. 24 and 25 in this connection, for there is not one in those chapters which refers to the rapture, as will be seen. We shall deal only with those passages which refer to the rapture as follows;

A .Parousia means “personal coming or appearance” and is used of both the rapture and the revelation of Christ. At the rapture, Christ appears personally in the air to meet the saints while at the Second Advent He appears personally to mankind on earth with His saints. This word is generally translated “coming,” hence the rapture and the revelation are both called “the coming of the Lord” but they are two different comings, and for two different purposes. The word is used in this connection in 1Cor. 15:20-23; 1Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2 Thess. 2:1; Jas.5:7-8; 1 Jn. 2:28. All these passages are clear as referring to the rapture [1 Thess. 3:13; 5:23] refer to the time when the Father pronounces the saints “blameless” before His throne in heaven after Christ has first met the saints in the air and has taken them to heaven and presented them “before God.”

“The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints” in these passages refers then to the time of His coming back to heaven with the saints to be presented to the Father at the time of the rapture, and not to the time when He comes to the earth with the saints at the Second Advent. We are made “blameless” to be preserved forever in that state at the time of the rapture, and not at the time of the revelation, 1 Jn. 3:1-3; Phil. 3:21; 1Thess. 3:13; 5:23; Col. 3:4. The last reference (2 Thess. 2:1) refers to the rapture also, as is proven from the Greek esposunagoge, which means a complete collection or gathering of all the dead in Christ and all the living in Christ, from all parts of the earth, and out of all denomination and ages to meet Christ in the air. We are gathered “unto Him” at the rapture and not at the revelation Heb. 21:34-36; Jn.14:1-5; 1 Cor. 15:51-58; 2 Cor. 5:1-8; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 2 Thess. 2:6-8.

This event is called in Phil. 3:11 “the resurrection of the dead,” or literally, “the out-resurrection,” that is, the resurrection from out among the dead” is frequently used in the New Testament and includes the resurrection for the just and unjust, Jn.5:29; Acts 24:15. The “out-resurrection” is used only in the above passage and implies the resurrection of some, the former of these two classes the others being left behind, Rev. 20:1-7. These dead “rise first,” then the living who are saved will be “caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air,” 1Thess. 4:13-18. All the above passages, as well as those below on the rapture, can be easily harmonized by the reader with these few thoughts on the subject.

B. Phaneros, which means “to shine, be apparent, manifest, or be seen,” is used in 1Jn. 2:28; 3:2; 1Pet. 5:4; Col. 3:4. The English translation is “appear” and means that Christ is to appear to the saints in the air at the rapture and will not appear to the world until His second coming. The rapture will include Old Testament saints and the Church saints who are saved in the scope of redemption from Adam until the rapture, 1Thess. 4:13-18; 2 Thess. 2:1, as explained above. We do not mean to say that the scope of redemption ends with the rapture, for it is eternal as we shall see.

The “trump of God” (1Thess. 4:16) is not the same as the seventh trumpet of Rev. 11:15; 13:18. One is at the rapture of the Church and the Old Testament saints, while the other is at the rapture of the man-child; one is the trumpet of God, the other is the trumpet of the seventh trumpet angel; one is to call about one single event which takes place “in the twinkling of an eye” [1Cor. 15:51-58], the other is to call about many events which are days in duration [Rev. 10:7]; one is a trumpet of blessing, the other is a trumpet of “woe” [Rev. 8:13; 12:12]; one is at or before the beginning of the Seventieth Week, the other is in the middle of the Week; one is before the saints (represented by the twenty-four elders) are caught up, the other is after the elders are already in heaven; one is before the seven seals and first six trumpets (Rev. 6:1-9:21), the other is after them. Thus, we do not need to confuse this trumpet and rapture of the Church with the seventh trumpet and rapture of the man-child.

II. The Purpose of the Rapture

The purpose of the rapture is to take all the saints out of the world before the tribulation comes and to resurrect the just who are dead, in order that they may have fulfilled in them, the purpose for which God has saved them. Jesus told the disciples that some would escape the terrible things that were to transpire on the earth in the last days. He said, “pray that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things [of Mt. 24-25; Luke. 21:1-19, 25-28] that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man,” [Luke. 21:34-36]. This passage is practically the same in essence as Jn. 14:1-3.
These two passages are the only ones in the gospels that are clear concerning the rapture. Jesus did not reveal this mystery. It was revealed by Paul many years later by revelation of our Lord to Paul, [1Cor. 15:51. The disciples did not have the slightest idea as to how they were to escape (therefore they were told to pray concerning escape), unless the thought that Christ would deliver them from these things through His power. The “how” was not revealed or even mentioned before Paul explained how they were to escape. Now in the light of the mystery revealed we can see that the rapture is what Christ had in mind when He spoke of some being worthy to escape these things. The Thessalonians were taught that they could expect the living to be taken out of the world, but some were confused as to whether the dead believers would have a part in the rapture, so Paul explained in his first epistle that both the living and the dead would be “caught up” to meet Christ in the air, [1Thess.4; 13-18]. In this passage we have the purpose of the rapture expressed “so shall we ever be with the Lord.” It is to enable the saints to escape the tribulation days and serve God in all eternity in whatsoever capacity He chooses.

This rapture is the first of a series of raptures that will take place during the first resurrection. Beside this rapture there will be the rapture of the man-child [(Rev. 7:1-3; 12:5; 14:1-5], the rapture of the great multitude of tribulation saints [Rev. 6:9-11; 7:9-17; 15:2-4; 20:4], and the rapture of the two witnesses [Rev.11: 3-13]. The teaching of more than one rapture is not only required and stated in the above passages, but necessary to make clear what Paul meant when he said, “every man in his own order,” [1Cor. 15:20-23]. The Greek word for “order” tagma and occurs only here. It is used in the Septuagint of a body of soldiers and an army, [Num.2: 2; 2Sam. 23:13]. It means a company of or body of individuals. In order for every man to be raptured “in his own order” or company there must be different companies of redeemed people saved and raptured at different periods. There are four different redeemed companies for which we will see.

Summarization of the purpose of the rapture:
A. To receive the saints to Himself, [Jn. 14:1-3; Eph. 5:27; 2 Thess. 2:1].
B. To resurrect the dead “in Christ” from among the wicked dead, [1Cor. 15:21-23; 51-58; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; Phil. 3:11; 20-21: Rev.20: 4-6].
C. To take the saints to heaven where they will receive judgment for works done in the body; receive their rewards; and partake of the marriage supper, [Jn. 14: 1-3; Col. 3:4; 1 Thess. 3:13; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 19:1-11.
D. To change the bodies of saints to immortality, [1 Cor.15: 21-23, 51-58; Phil.3: 20-21].
E. To present the saints before God the Father, to be forever with Him, 1 Thess.3: 13; 4: 13-17.
F. To make the saints “whole” in body, soul, and spirit, [1 Thess. 3: 13; 5:23. The Greek word translated “unto” in 1 Thes. 5:23 would better be translated “at” to make the passage clear, as it is translated in [1 Thes. 2: 19; 3: 13.
G. To receive the fruit of the early and latter rain. [Jas. 5:7].
H. To cause the saints to escape the tribulation and “all these things,” and stand before the Son of Man, [Lk.21: 34-36; 2 Thess. 2: 7-8; Rev. 4:1; 1 Thess. 5:9.
I. To remove the hinderer of lawlessness, [2 Thess. 2:1-8].
J. To permit the revelation of the Antichrist, [2 Thess. 2:1-8].

III Qualifications for Partakers in the Rapture
The qualifications for partakers in the rapture are also revealed in the Scripture listed above. The one and only necessary requirement, whether dead or alive, is to be “in Christ,” [1 Thess. 4:16-17; 2 Cor. 5:17; 1 Cor. 15:23].
This qualification is expressed in a nine-fold way in Scriptures; one must

A. Be “Christ’s,” [1 Cor. 15:23; Gal. 5:24]
B. Be “in Christ,” [1Thess. 4:16-17; 2 Cor. 5:17].
C. Be “blessed and holy,” [Rev. 20:4-6].
D. “Have done well,” [Jn. 5:28-29].
E. Be in “the way, the truth, and the life,” [Jn. 14:1-6].
F. Be “worthy,” Luke. 21:34-36].
G. Be in “the Church” or “the body of Christ,” [Eph. 5:27; 1 Cor. 12:13. The body of Christ and the Church are the same, [Eph.1: 22-23; Col. 1:18, 24].
H. Purify “himself, even as He is pure,” [1 Jn. 3:2-3; 2 Cor. 7:1; Gal. 5:16-24; Heb. 12:14].
I. Be without “spot or wrinkle… and without blemish,” [Eph. 5:27]

If one has met these scriptural qualifications, what more could he do? This implies that a person going up in the rapture is walking “in the light as He is in the light,” [1 Jn. 1:7; 2:6; 9-11; 3:8-10; 5:5, 18]. Being “in Christ” means that one is a “new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ,” [2 Cor. 5:17-18]. Again, “They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh (of Gal. 5:19-21) with the affections and lusts,” [Gal. 5:24]. What more qualifications could God require? It will be noticed that these nine points on qualifications are quoted from Scriptures definitely dealing with the rapture of the Church. It is the maintenance of the holy walk “in Christ” at the time of the rapture or at the time of death as the case may be.

Why should some be protected and others have to go through the tribulation and be martyred? This is easily answered when we consider that at the rapture everyone "in Christ" is taken up and there are no real Christians left. Those who are martyred in the tribulation are those who have refused to walk in the light and live “in Christ” and are not ready to go at the time of the rapture; else they would go as well as all others in Christ. They are saved after the rapture, having realized by then their mistake of not heeding the many warnings to be ready at any time. They will become determined to be faithful even unto death, which will be their only prospect of having a part in the first resurrection. Those who are not martyred but are taken through the tribulation and are on earth at the second coming of Christ will be permitted to enter the Millennium as an earthly people, who will make a part of the subjects of Christ’s Kingdom over whom the raptured saints will reign forever.

IV. The Time of the Rapture
The time of the rapture, like the Second Advent, is not definitely stated as to the day or hour but we do know that it will take place before the tribulation and the revelation of the Antichrist, as will be proven.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Revelations 12

This book of Revelation is one of the most wonderful in all the Word of God, and the chapter before us is one of the most picturesque in the book. It is the great “sign” chapter. The word “wonder” in versus 1 and 3 is semeion, translated “sign.” There are two “wonders” (or signs) in this chapter, the first being a “great wonders” and the second called “another wonder.”
This is a chapter of “great” things. Note: “a great wonder” (verse1);” a great red dragon” (verse 3); “great wrath” (verse 12; and “two wings of a great eagle” (verse 14). The signs are only a part of the chapter, for in addition to the signs there is the struggle, the salvation, and the safety.
The Signs:
Rev. 12:1-6 First, there is the sign of the woman clothed with the Sun.
This is the second of four representative women mentioned in the Revelations.
1. Jezebel who represents paganism [Ref. Rev. 2:20].
2. Israel [ref. Rev. 12:6].
3. The scarlet woman who represents the apostate church [ref. Rev. 17:1].
4. The Lambs Wife, the true church [ref. Rev. 19:7].
The woman before us as a “sign” is symbolical. But of whom is she a symbol? Clearly this woman represents Israel, and the rest of the chapter is going to reveal to us that there is war in the spiritual realm, for the control of the universe. The war began with the fall of Satan, and will continue until the great and terrible day of the Lord shall bring this war to a close. All of these symbols mentioned in these versus are found in the earlier chapters of the book of Genesis. The woman, the sun, the moon, the stars, the man-child, the seed, the dragon, “the old serpent which is the devil and Satan;” all of these are to be found in the opening paragraphs of the Bible.
God created the woman who represents the “elect” of the race “Israel” in order that she might become the channel of His redemption through the Son Jesus Christ. We must look beyond mere Israel to the greater vision of the whole plan of redemption as Israel rejected the Savior, now the church is the channel by which God uses to bring forth His redemption through the Son [ref. Gal. 3:16]. Here God takes the promises out of the realm of the mere literal progeny of Abraham and back to the third of Genesis, where we see that Jesus Christ was the focus of view. Why were there a chosen people? In order that there might be a line for the Lord Jesus Christ to complete the Father’s will. Why was there a holy land? In order that there might be a place to erect the cross to crucify the Lord Jesus, that He would be resurrected to Heaven to the right hand of the Father.
Between the second and third versus of our chapter we see that the woman who was clothed with all authority is presented as crying with great travail. This entrance of sin into the human race, the fall, has taken place between these two versus; nevertheless, the promises of God are sure and certain in Christ.
Only of Israel can it be said that she brought forth this “child” who is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ [ref. Heb. 2:16]. He is the Seed of the woman [ref. Gen. 3:15].
There are three significant events in Christ’s life, namely, His Incarnation, Ascension, and Second Coming to earth to rule.
The second sign is of the “great red dragon.” There is no problem identifying the dragon. He is: That old serpent called the devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world [ref. Rev. 12:4].
He is seen by John as having “seven heads.” Seven speaks of completeness, and the head of wisdom. Of him it is written, “Thou sealest up the sun, full of wisdom” [ref. Ezek. 28:12]. The devil is a master strategist and deceiver. His past is recorded in Isaiah 14:12-15. His present activity is seen in part in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; 11:13-15. His “ten horns and seven crowns upon his heads “speak of his usurped authority whole governments are in his power, and through them he operates.
The dragon is seen here standing before “the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born” [ref. Rev. 12:4]. The devil has been at war with God’s Son ever since the divine pronouncement in Genesis 3:15. The devil is determined to obliterate God’s witness in the world [ref. Gen.6; Mat. 2:13; Luke 4:28-29; Mt. 4:6].

The Struggle:
Rev. 12:7-9 this entire chapter is one of conflict. Here we see events to take place during the last half of the tribulation, the last three-and-one-half years of Daniel’s seventieth week. This period actually begins with the blowing of the seventh trumpet in [ref. Rev. 11:15-19] and concludes at the end of chapter 19. It brings Israel to the forefront in God’s plans.
We can see the prophetic gap of the present Age of Grace, between versus 5 & 6, the Church has been “caught up” “Shall be seized” “harpagesometha” for this reason Satan wages war with the woman, who is Israel.
Let us observe an important verse in Daniels prophecy. “Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days” [ref. Dan. 10:14; 12:1; this will all be fulfilled in the Great Tribulation [ref. Rev. 12].
The war is decisively won by Michael and his angels. Satan and his angels are cast out of heavens to the earth. This marks the end of Satan’s rule in the air. The prince of this world is cast out. He had access to all of the heavens, through limited [ref. Job 1:6]. Now his access to them comes to an end.

The Salvation:
Rev. 12:10-12 All Heaven rejoices over the victory won by Michael and his angel. Never again will Satan cross the threshold of Heaven. Little wonder there is spontaneous outburst of praise. “The salvation” is not that of the soul now, nor even of the body at Christ’s coming, but is a wide and comprehensive thought embracing the overthrow of the enemy and the deliverance of creation from its present pain and agony [ref. Rom. 8:21]. “The Power” refers to the irresistible might which shall crush all opposing authority—whether satanic in the heavens or human on the earth. “The kingdom must be understood here in its largest extent, as embracing the heavens and the earth. This is the final phase of God’s great plan of salvation. While it has not already “come,” the end is in sight. In that day there will be no occasion to pray, only praise.
Michaels’s first weapon was “the blood of the Lamb.” The blood of the Lamb is ever the fortress of saints and of angels.
God’s Word, the Sword of the Spirit, forever settled in Heaven. They, who believe it, identify themselves with it, and testify to it, are assured of victory.
The one who yields all to God cannot possibly lose a battle. Battles are fought and won by blood, by the word of God, and by surrendering our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Safety:
Rev. 12:13-17 the prophetic scene before us depicts his complete expulsion from the air, after which the full force of his diabolical work will be against those on the earth at the time [ref. Rev. 12:12].
The result of that war is a blessing in Heaven but “WOE” on earth. This woe is the last in the predicted series of three [ref. Rev. 3:13; 9:12; 11:14; 12:12]. The word “woe” is used as a divine denunciation. Whenever God pronounces a woe there is judgment ahead. This third woe jupon the earth, aimed first at Israel, is more severe than any of the former. There reason is obvious. “He (the devil) knoweth that he hath but a short time.” As soon as he is cast down to the earth, he at once proceeds to make war against the woman (Israel).
Those who are protected are the Jews who are loyal to God. The eagles wings suggest the miraculous swiftness by which God will help them escape [ref. Exod. 19:4: Due. 32:11-12]. The period of time that these believing Jews are protected is referred to a as “a time, and times, and half a time.” This period is further described as “a thousand two hundred and threescore days” [ref. Rev. 12:6], or “forty and two months” [ref. Rev. 11:2; 13:5].
The words “as a flood” indicate symbolic language. A flood of evil propaganda issuing out of the antichrist’s mouth which will spread throughout the world about Israel and her people [Ref. Isa. 59:19].
By divine intervention God raises up a standard against the enemy of His people. God has a wilderness, a place of safety and security for His people in the time of their calamity.
Baffled at every turn, Satan turns against a small remnant of faithful Jews in an attempt to exterminate them. There will be, then, an attack upon the large body of Jews and also upon the remnant that are left behind by those who fled.
This remnant is the witnessing ones of the 144,000 mentioned in chapter seven. But they are destined to survive the attacks upon them, having been sealed for this purpose [ref. Rev. 7:2-4].


Revelation Chapter 11

Rev. 11:1-2 John here tells us of the anticipation of the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem during the tribulation. We also see here that John is given a measuring rod like a staff. John is telling us that the temple is to be prepared for those who worship in it. Some history, there have been three previous temples built in Jerusalem: Solomon’s temple described in 1 Kings 8 and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 583 B.C. [Ref. 2 Kings 24-25]; Zerubbabel’s temple, described in Ezra 3 and destroyed by Antiochus Epiphanies’ in 168 B.C. [Ref. Dan. 11:31-35]; Herod’s temple, referred to by the Lord in John 2:20 and destroyed by Titus in 70 A.D. [Ref. Dan. 9:26].

This temple is to be built in the “Holy City.” This takes us to Jerusalem, for there is no other city so designated in the Scriptures [Ref. Dan. 9:24; Mt. 4:5;
Mt. 27:52-53]. A magnificent temple will be erected at Jerusalem and many worshipers will gather. A system of priesthood and sacrifices will be set up in the midst of an ordered service of worship as shown in Ezekiel 40-48.

In that temple the Antichrist will appear and claim the right to be worshiped [Ref. 2 Thess. 2:4]. This is the abomination of desolation spoken by Daniel [Ref. Dan. 9:2] and attested by our Lord [Ref. Mt. 24:15]. The religious system of the man of lawlessness will be connected with the temple at Jerusalem. The mass of the people will accept him who will come in his own name [Ref. Jn. 5:43].

John tells us that the outer court of the temple was not to be included in the measurement but is to be rejected. The outer court is the court of the Gentiles. “The holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months,” the Gentiles are not being favored by God above the Jews, but rather God is using them for the chastisement of Israel [Ref. Zech 14:1-2]. The “rod” which in the book of Revelation is an instrument of chastisement [Ref. Rev. 2:27; 12:5; 19:25], will be laid upon Israel at the hand of the Gentiles for a limited time only—“forty-two months.” This corresponds to the phrase of Daniel as “a time, times and half time” [Ref. Dan. 7:25; 12:7], meaning one year plus two years plus a half year or a total of “forty-two months,” or a “thousand two hundred and threescore days.”

The duration of Israel’s trouble also know as “the time of Jacobs trouble,” the exact time the beast is permitted to thunder forth his blasphemies [Ref. Rev. 13:5]. This is the period of the exile of the woman clothed with the sun [Ref. Rev. 12:6]. This period is the last three and one half years the Great Tribulation which will come to a close with the personal return of Christ to the earth, when He shall subdue all evil and establish His reign. “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations {Gentiles}, as when He fought in the day of battle. And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south” [Ref. Zech.14:3-4]. Our Lord said that “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled’ [Ref. Lk. 21:24; Rev. 19:17-19].


These two witnesses are not the law and the gospel, or the Old Testament and the New Testament. They speak. They have mouths. They are heard, handled, and hated. They are individuals, for after their martyrdom John sees their “dead bodies” [Ref. Rev. 11:9]. These witnesses wear clothing of “sackcloth”. A word used for a garment worn when one is expressing mourning or declaring the need for repentance [Ref. Mt. 11:21; Lk. 10:13].

These two witnesses are called “the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth” [Ref. Rev. 11:4]. What John saw here is explained in Zechariah’s vision in Zechariah, chapter 4&5, where two olive trees represent two individual persons, Joshua and Zerubbabel, men who were the media whereby the Word of God was transmitted to the people. They are men who have rejoined upon them a position of responsibility in service before the Lord of all the earth. The two together are mentioned by the prophet Haggai as standing together in a united witness for Jehovah [Ref. Hag. 1:1; 2:2, 4]. Thus we see the phrase “two olive trees” is explained in scripture and means two persons.


We must take note here that the Lord calls them, “My two witnesses” [Ref. Rev. 11:3], meaning that they are foretellers and foretellers of Christ and His message. They preach to men on earth God’s message sent from Heaven. We are not told in scripture that the two witnesses are, but we have scripture to base an opinion on whom they may be. We are told in scripture that, “and it is appointed unto men once to die” [Ref. Heb. 9:27]. For then we have two persons who qualify to be these two prophets. We have Elijah who did not experience physical death [Ref. 2 Kings 2:9-11], we also have Enoch, who lived before the flood, was translated without seeing death [Ref. Gen. 5:24], so they could return and experience death as the two witnesses will [Ref. Rev. 22:7-8]. Like Elijah, Enoch was a prophet of judgment [Ref. Jude 14-15], and this is consistent with the ministry of the two witnesses who prophesy judgment. I believe that these two prophets, Enoch and Elijah, fit the case in Revelations 11 more accurately than any others.


John tells us the two witnesses are given power, the Lord gives them supernatural power to defend themselves by sending out fire from their mouths to slay any who would come to hurt them [Ref. Rev. 11:5]. Because they are Christ’s witnesses, they are immortal until their work is done. The whole earth is against these two, but they continue to display divine power to hold back rain, turn water into blood, and smite the earth with plagues [Ref. Lk. 4:25]. This is not in the age of grace as we live and abide in grace as did Stephen and Paul and Peter, Christians do not avenge themselves. These two witnesses, however, are sent forth to the earth in judgment times. The Third “woe” and the “seventh trumpet” are ready to send forth their judgments. Because they are judgment prophets they are given judgment power.


These two witnesses, like all true witnesses of Jesus Christ, are immortal until their work is done. We see from John that the two are not killed until after they had “finished their testimony” [Ref. Rev. 11:7]. The beast that comes out of the abyss cannot harm them until they accomplish their divinely-ordered mission. Satan is unable to silence or slay them. God will not allow anything to interfere with their witness bearing as long as they are in His will. So significant will be the testimony of the two witnesses that their death at the hands of the beast shall cause an international stir. Their dead bodies go unburied and lie in the streets of Jerusalem for three and one half days. John goes on to tell that “this great city” where the witnesses die is also known as “spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified” [Ref. Rev. 11:8]. The bodies of the two witnesses become a spectacle to the entire world. John tells us there will be jubilation and the sending of gifts, every method of communication will be used to spread the news that the two witnesses are dead at last. The world’s superman, the beast, will become the new world’s champion and the hero in the eyes of the morally degenerating mass of humanity. This will be the world’s most ungodly period. It is described in Jude 14-15.


The enemies of God are about to witness an example of divine power that the beast cannot equal. The world will see the dead witnesses coming back to life, and will witness Christ’s vindicated witnesses ascending alive to heaven. Here is a re-enactment, of Elijah’s and Enoch’s first departure to Heaven [Ref. 2 Kings 2:11]. God preserves all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.

Rev. 11:13 this earthquake is not symbolic but literal, an actual visitation of judgment from God. An earthquake attended both at the death and the resurrection of our Lord [Ref. Mt. 27:51; 28:2]. A tenth of the city fell and seven thousand people will be killed. The preservation of God’s two witnesses is followed by the prosecution of the devil’s witnesses. Those left in the city were compelled by this force to recognize divine power on the earth from Heaven [Ref. Phil. 2:9-11].

Rev. 11:14 that crowd in the Great Tribulation in John’s vision was terror-stricken; they were not praising and blessing God, else we would not have the following words, “The second” “woe” is past; and, behold, the third “woe” cometh quickly.”


With the translation (catching up of) of the two witnesses from earth to Heaven, the seventh trumpet sounds. Verse 14 marks the end of the interlude portion of vision between the sixth and the seventh trumpets.

The Anticipation of the Kingdom:

Rev.11:15 the sounding of the seventh trumpet is the official proclamation of the coming coronation of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He is the King of Psalms 2 and 24, and His kingdom is described in Daniel 2:44; 4:3, 6:26; 7:13-14, as well as by the angel in Luke 1:32-33. His government will be a righteous government, the kind that human laws and religions can never produce. Christ’s coming again to the earth will result in a radical change in the government and religion of the world. Christ as king over all the earth does not occur until the events recorded in Revelation chapter 12-18 have been fulfilled.

The Acclaim of the King:

Rev. 11:16-17 immediately of the voices in Heaven announcing the coming kingdom then the elders fall on their faces to worship God and give thanks that the almighty has at last assumed His sovereign right to the earth. Presently the kingdoms of this world are in Satan’s control [Ref. Jn. 12:31; 14; 30’16:11], and admitted that the world was his kingdom [Ref. Mt. 12; 26]. The world kingdom that has been in Satan’s hands must come to an end.

The Anger of the Creation:

Rev. 11:18 those things which cause rejoicing in Heaven stir up anger on earth. The two places and their inhabitants have nothing in common. The earth dwellers who lived for the things of this earth by life must now relinquish all to the Creator and Owner of All. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” [Ref. Psa. 24:1, 1 Cor. 10:26, 28]. In this life “the Church Age” we never see full justice meted out, but when Christ returns to take over, then all will receive their due deserts. The losers will rage in vain, for they will have had their opportunity to join the heavenly family. When Christ comes again there will be winners and losers. Reward will be given to His “servants the prophets,” and also the saints, all those who fear His name. “The small and the great” When our Lord spoke of the reward of the tribulation saints, He emphasized the importance of faithfulness in small things. [Ref. Mt. 25:31-46]. Will our works survive the fire [Ref. 1Cor. 3:5-8]? May God help us to be faithful [Ref. 1Cor. 4:1-2].

The Ark of His Testament:

Rev. 11:19 this verse brings before us an entirely new Prophecy which continues on through chapter 14. It is one which is related chiefly to Israel. The Ark of the Covenant had to do with Israel, not with Gentiles.

It is stated that “the temple of God was opened in Heaven.” There is a heavenly temple after which the tabernacle and temple of the Jews were patterned. When God instructed Moses concerning the building of the tabernacle He said, “And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shown thee in the mount” [Ref. Ex 25:40]. The writer to the Hebrews refers to the tabernacle and its ministries as “patterns of things in the heavens” [Ref. Heb. 9:23]. The earthly worship was copied after the heavenly. But sin has corrupted the earthly worship so that the two are no longer alike. If all were holy on earth now, there would be no need for a place of worship. Our Lord and Savior said, “God is Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth” [Ref. John 4:24].

The fact that John sees the temple in view and the ark indicates that Israel is coming into view and God will once more renew His dealings with Israel nationally must be seen here.

The ark, made of acacia wood and over laid with gold, was the only piece of furniture in the Holy of Holies. It was two-and-one-half cubits long, one-and-one-half cubits in height [Ref. Ex. 25:10-16]. The ark, which God speaks of God’s covenant with Israel, is in the midst of a judgment scene described in terms of “lightenings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.” The Judgment is coming, but the remnant of Israel will be saved.


Revelation Chapter 10

Between the breaking of the sixth and seventh seals we met with a sort of interlude. That interlude was explained in Chapter seven. We saw that God was remembering mercy in the midst of wrath and then seals a host of Jews and Gentiles. I also stated in that earlier study to expect another parenthesis that would appear between the sixth and seventh trumpets. We shall see this here in chapter ten and eleven through VS. 14. These interludes, or parenthesis, are parts of the plan of God, they are not unconnected segments.

The Appearance of the Mighty Angel:

Rev. 10:1 John tells us that “His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength” [Ref. Rev. 1:16]. And “His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace,” [Ref. Rev. 1:15]. We must see here that these are the feet of majesty set for the judgment of the earth. John saw Him “clothed with a cloud.” The cloud of old was the garment of the divine presence and was associated with divine movements. The Lord directed Israel by day in “a pillar of cloud” [Ref. Ex. 13:21]. When Israel murmured, “the glory of the Lord appeared in a cloud” [Ref. Ex. 16:10]. At Sinai He descended in “a thick cloud” [Ref. Ex. 19:9, 16] as we can see the cloud is associated with deity as well as with direction [Ref. Num. 9:15-22]. Clouds, then, belong to the attire of deity. The cloud-clothing then tells us that the mighty Angel is Christ.

The idea that Christ should be called an angel need not trouble us. “Angel,” like “Son of Man or Angel of the Lord” here is a title, and neither implies that the One who bears the title is a created being.

We were told in chapter four of Revelation that the rainbow was “round about the throne” [Ref. Rev. 4:3]; here we see it is upon His head. We know that the rainbow is the symbol of God’s everlasting covenant with the earth [Ref. Gen 9:12-13], therefore we should understand none other than the divine person (Jesus Christ) could wear it upon His head [Ref. Ezek. 1:28]. Just as the cloud is indicative of the coming storm of wrath in divine judgment, so the rainbow is indicative of divine mercy in the midst of judgment, and evident symbol of security for the believing ones. God protects His own when conditions on earth are at their worst.

The Actions of the Mighty Angel:

Rev. 10:2 His planting of the feet down, one foot on the earth and the other on the sea, is His claiming both the earth and sea as His own possession. “For the earth is the Lords, and the fullness thereof” [Ref. 1Cor. 10:26, 28] when our Lord and Savior sets His feet upon the land and the sea He expresses His intention of taking possession of that which is His, and will subdue all assaults of the enemy.

The Assertion of the Mighty Angel:

Rev. 10:3-4 Our Lord and Savior roared as like the Lion roars. Here is the mighty voice of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah [Ref. Rev. 5:5 cf. Heb. 7:14].
Christ is asserting himself prior to the exercise of judgment. In this loud voice to be heard over all the earth Christ asserts His right to rule and His intention of accomplishing it.

Thunder is recognized as a type of God’s voice in judgment [Ref.1 Sam. 7:10; Psa. 18:13]. We do not have knowledge of these awesome peals of thunder for they are not indicated. The number seven is always directive of the completeness and finality of the Angel’s mighty sayings [Ref. also Psa. 29]. Here in Revelation 10 the seven thunders are the judgment thunders of God.

John heard what the thunders said, and when he was about to record what he heard, a voice out of Heaven said: “Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.”

The command was clear and absolute, and John obeyed it. This is the only part of this book which has been sealed. We have revelation and knowledge of all the rest of the book of Revelation.

The Affirmation of the Mighty Angel:

Rev. 10: 5-7 The Mighty Angel lifted His right hand toward Heaven and swore, uttered an oath. The vision is most solemn! Keep in mind that the scene before us does not occur during the age of grace. Under the Law of God which we are observing here in the tribulation period God swore, and here Christ swears to attest the authority and finality of His own statements [Ref. Heb 6:13; Gen. 22:1]. The great events yet to happen in the earth, as announce by God, must surely come to pass. These events have to do with judgment.

The affirmation is “there shall be time no longer” we must see it as that our Lord and Savior is stating that there will be no more “delay”. Explanation is in the next verse.

Christ is saying in the middle or midst of the tribulation that there is one more trumpet judgment. Time will continue long after this event as to what time is meant by man, but what He is saying here is that when the seventh trumpet sounds, all evil in the earth will be put down without further delay. Sin has been reigning, and righteousness has suffered through out man’s day on the earth, but now things must change. There must be reversal of this order to things. The Mighty Angel’s affirmation means that the hour has struck.

We see here that what are stated are that all the counsels and covenants of God concerning His governmental dealings over man and the earth, made known through the penman of Holy Scriptures, will be consummated. When Christ comes to reign, there will be no longer mystery, but manifestation. “The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” [Ref. Isa. 11:9]. But we now wait patiently until that day when the mystery spoken of in this verse will be made known. That which is now unknown will then be revealed and sin conquered.

The Agency of the Mighty Angel:

Rev. 10: 8-10 what does the little book contain? Contains divine revelation, it is the Word of God. Its message is that portion of divinely-revealed truth which pertains to the final judgments and the second advent of Christ to reign on earth. The mighty agent (Word of God) Christ uses in disclosing His sovereign purposes.

John was commanded to take the little book, and when he did so, the might Angel said to John take it and eat it up: Eating the Word of God is, in its more general application, appropriating and assimilating God’s truth; it is meditating in it [Ref. Psa. 1:2]. While it is also “How sweet are thy words unto my taste? Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! [Ref. Psa. 119:103]. But with the digestion of the coming judgments leaves the child of God with great heaviness of heart and bitter anguish of soul [Ref. Rom. 9:1-3]. God’s word is a two-edge sword, it contains the sweet message of deliverance and the bitter message of damnation [Ref. Heb. 4:12]. Never the less God’s Word is His agent in Salvation and in condemnation [Ref. John 3:16-18].

The Assignment of the Mighty Angel:

Rev. 10:11 John tells us here that he was to administer to many more people that of which he himself had received here from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The believer who receives God’s truth is solemnly charged to pass it on to others. The minister who fails to teach the whole counsel of God will be held accountable by God [Ref. Ezek. 33:7-9]. There are “peoples and nations and tongues and kings” who must hear God’s message of salvation. John was faithful as we must be, for in the chapters which follow he prophesies of the final over throw of the Nations, the Great White Throne Judgment and hell.


Revelation Chapter 9

The chapter that occupies us now contains prophecies of dreadful activity to take place on the earth. The fifth and sixth trumpets sound, and the next in order of judgments are unleashed upon the rebellious and unrepentant race of men. These are referred to respectively as the first and second “woe” judgments [Ref. Rev. 8:13). This added description of the three trumpets yet to sound suggests the seriousness and solemnness of those judgments which are to follow. There will be “woe” on the earth when these trumpets sound.

The Fifth Trumpet:

Rev. 9:1 at the sound of the trumpet, John writes, “I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth.” It is definitely a personage, the use of the masculine pronouns “him” and “he”. But who is the Star? The tense of the verb “fallen” tells us that the star had already fallen from heaven. Jesus said to the seventy disciples, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven “[Ref. Luke 10:18]. By this He meant, the fall of Lucifer from heaven, through which he became Satan [Ref. Isa. 14:12-15]. Interpreting Scripture with scripture reference, then there seems to be little doubt that the “star” is Satan, the great enemy of God and man, and that the reference in Revelation 9:1 is to his original fall. The fallen star is given the key to the bottomless pit and permission to open the pit. We may be certain that the pit is a literal place, in as much as beings can go there. Moreover, Christ has authority over the abyss [Ref. Rev.1:18], so it must have been our Lord who gave the key of the “bottomless pit” to Satan. The location of the abyss is said to be in “the lower parts of the earth,” [Ref. Eph. 4:9), the place into which Christ went at death when He paid the full price of redemption from the penalty of sin. We see here that a day is coming when upon the earth the prison house of demons (the bottomless pit) will be opened, and evil spirits who prefer to inhabit human bodies [Ref. Gen. 6:1-7), but who have been imprisoned, will be released to inflict torment upon unrepentant men. In that day men will experience a sample of hell on earth. Ordinarily the abyss is “the place of no return,” but for a brief season Satan will be permitted, by divine authority, to lead forth to the earth some that have been held captive there. A place when “there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” [Ref. Mt. 25:30, a place originally “prepared for the devil and his fallen angels [Ref. Mt. 25:41], will release many strange and wicked things upon the earth.

The Unprecedented Punishment:

Rev. 9:2-10 as the bottomless pit is opened, a cloud of smoke is emitted, and a strange and awesome blackness fills the air and blots out the sun from view. These terrors are more than human; they are demonic. Out, of this darkness comes forth from the pit of the abyss Satan’s demons to do their fearful work of tormenting the souls and bodies of those who have willfully rejected the Son of God. The plague of darkness that God sent to Egypt, “even darkness which may be felt” [Ref. Ex. 10:21-22], and which lasted only three days, was mild compared with the darkness of hell let loose on the earth during the time of the Great Tribulation.

Coming out of the blackness of hell is seen a host of locust shaped like horses. They come to inflict punishment, to torment as a scorpion’s sting would leave its victim in torture. These demons from hell, who have been imprisoned for centuries, are prepared for battle. These demons have combined in them the horse, the man, the woman, the lion, and the scorpion. These are not ordinary locusts such as plagued Egypt [Ref. Ex 10:12-15], for these had no king over them [Ref. Pro. 30:27], but they are intelligent beings who take orders from Satan [Ref. Rev. 9:11]. The duration of the torment is “five months.”

The victims become so weary of the agony that they long to die in order to get released from it, but death eludes them. The day when men shall choose death rather than life is predicted by God through Jeremiah the prophet [Ref. Jer. 8:3]. Oh, the misery of waiting for death when it cometh not! [Ref. Job 3:21]. Such will be the state of men that even death would be a relief. What mercy in our present age of grace that these demons are locked up in the abyss?

The Prince of Destruction

Rev. 9:11 the king over these demons is Satan, who is described in both Hebrew (Abaddon) meaning destruction, and Greek (Apollyon) meaning exterminator. Taking both words to mean “The destroyer” the name being given in both Hebrew and Greek indicate that the judgment will come upon both Jew and Gentile, the only ones escaping being those who have the seal of God in their foreheads [Ref. Rev. 9:4]. Paul states that the gospel of Christ is for both Jew and Gentile [Ref. Rom. 1:16], but that either who reject God’s Son must suffer [Ref. Rom. 2:8-9]. The purpose of Satan, namely to destroy, is the opposite of God’s purpose in Christ, which is to save, this prince of destruction of the demons is called by our Lord “the prince of this world” [Ref. John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11]. After the Church has been caught up to be with her Lord, both apostate Jews and apostate Gentiles will suffer at Satan’s hands.

Rev. 9:12 there has been no exaggeration of the horrors of the coming judgment upon the earth, which judgment is but a foretaste of an eternal hell to follow. Oh, trust in the Lord Jesus Christ at once!

The Sixth Trumpet:

Rv. 9: 13-21 the fifth and sixth trumpet judgments are successive without any overlapping. Now we are not to be surprised at the increased “woe” to be poured out upon unbelievers in the day being described here. We are assured that evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse” [Ref. 2Tim. 3:1], therefore we can expect that God will step up the tempo of divine judgment matching the wickedness in men’s hearts.

The voice John hears as the sixth angel sounds the trumpet comes from the four horns of the golden alter which is before God:

It was from this same alter that the prayers of the saints ascended for vengeance upon those who martyred their brethren [Ref. Rev. 8:3]. The horns of the alter were always available for the sinners sacrifice, but in the days that John saw there is no more room for sacrifice. The “one sacrifice for all sins” was offered by Jesus Christ [Ref. Heb. 10:12, 13]. Now His enemies must be made His footstool. God will speak to men in His wrath and vex them in His sore displeasure [Ref Psa. 2:5]. We see that the alter of divine mercy will one day put forth divine judgment.

The Released Personages:

The voice was heard to say set loose the four angels. These angels are bound, therefore they are fallen angels who followed Lucifer in his rebellion and revolt against God [Ref. Isa. 14:12-14]. These four fallen angels are loosed for the purpose of executing judgment, and their activity commences at the very seat of Satan’s empire. It is all under divine control of the Father. God uses Satan’s own hosts to bring to naught the powers of evil.

God made an unconditional covenant with Abraham, saying, “Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates” [Ref. Gen. 15:18]. This coveted land of inestimable wealth is the desire of nations, but God has promised it to Israel His people, and He will protect it for them [Ref. Ex. 23:31; Deut. 1:7; 11:24; Jos. 1:4].

Greedy and hateful hands will be prepared to siege Palestine about the time of these predicted judgments, but God will intervene in behalf of the Jews.

These four demonic personages go about to slay the third part of the human race. The population will be in the billions, the terrible scourge will reduce it by one third. Just as vegetation and water will be reduced one third [Ref. Rev. 8:7-10], here also the human population will be down by one third. God has set the date for all of this to happen; only He knows when He will bring the events to action. Even now the four angels are being prepared for “the” hour, day, month and year [Ref. Rev. 9:15]. God has a program, and it is being carried out on schedule.

The Unrestrained Power:

A huge army of two hundred million horsemen appears. It is the combined power of the devil and men acting in their own interest, and yet, at the same time, they are ignorantly carrying out God’s judicial will. There is no power on earth able to restrain these hellish horsemen.

The weapons of this mighty army are fire, smoke, and brimstone. While they are weapons of hell, they are the emblems of God’s judgment. Brimstone is the stifling and strangling gas that God sent down from Heaven upon the city of Sodom when he destroyed it [Ref. Luke 17:29]. The coming judgment of Babylon will take on a similar form [Ref. Rev. 14:10], as will the judgment against the beast and the false prophet [Ref. Rev. 19:20], Satan [Ref. Rev. 20: 10], and eventually all unbelievers [Ref. Rev. 21:8]. What a ghastly place this earth will become when hell is let loose! It is but a sample of the torment that unbelievers must endure in hell forever.

The Ones Who Rejected Christ:

We should notice here that there are those who “were not killed.” God will suffer only one third of the race to die under this tremendous “Woe”. He will spare two thirds of mankind, not because they deserve to be spare, but because in wrath, He remembers mercy. God has never delighted in the death of the wicked.

Here God permits us to look into the future and see to what extent wickedness will prevail. More people than ever will be “worshiping devils.”
No such idolatry has been in the world since the fall of man. These invisible, wicked spirit beings, unholy in character, and belonging to Satan’s evil kingdom, seek to control the minds and bodies of living men. When all restraint (Holy Spirit) is taken from the earth after the church is raptured, and man has had an opportunity to repent, we can well imagine the staggering world-wide influence of demons over men.

There will be the revival of idolatry. People will cling to their “idols of gold and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which can neither see, nor hear, nor walk.”

There follows a list of evil practices which correspond to the period of the tribulation. The first of these is “murder,” God’s absolute and eternal law which says, “Thou shalt not kill” [Ref. Ex. 20:13], will be totally ignored.

Then follows “sorceries” impure practice by evil agencies this is by means of drugs, potions, intoxications, and often with magical arts and incantations. “Fornication” mentioned here is the flagrant disregard for the sacred institution of marriage. In the day described in these scriptures restraint (The Holy Spirit) will be withdrawn and human passion for evil will break loose. We shudder to think of our human race in the days ahead. “Thefts,” honor and honesty will be obliterated. There will be no regard for another’s rights. May God grant that these solemn and inspired words from the Holy Scriptures call sinners to repentance and summon Christians to a life of total dedication to Jesus Christ?

Silence in Heaven

Revelation Chapter 8

Chapter Eight records the opening of the seventh and final seal. The period prophesied here is still the tribulation, Daniels seventieth week. With the opening of the seventh seal we are introduced to the sounding of the seven trumpets. The seventh seal includes the seven trumpets. The parenthesis between the sixth and seventh trumpets includes: The sounding of the seventh trumpet appears: This entire period of the tribulation is one of a series of judgments. Not until after the judgments are there voices heard saying, “The kingdom of this world are be come the kingdoms of our Lord, and His Christ; and He shall reign “forever and ever” [Ref. Rev. 11:15].

The Silent Pause:
Rev. 8:1We must notice here that the silence is in Heaven, not on the earth. The silence in Heaven of which our text speaks precedes a time of silence on earth [Ref. Ha. 2:20; Isa. 41:1; Zech. 2:13]. In chapters five and six all of Heaven resounds with the praises of redeemed men and of angels, giving glory to the Lamb. We see here there is stillness and a silence. No voice is heard; no motion is seen. Subsequent to the silence God will speak “Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure” [Ref. Psa. 2:5). These days it is mans turn to speak. God has spoken. “God spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets to Israel,” and He “Hath in these last days spoken to man by His Son” [Ref. Heb.1:1, 2]. The next time God’s voice is heard throughout all the earth, judgment will fall upon the unbelieving world of men.

The solemn Preparation:
Rev. 8:2We have a continued ministry of angels here. These seven before us in this verse will dispense the execution of judgment through the sounding of the trumpets. They are restrained for the space of about half an hour. This interlude is the preparation for that judgment. Not that “half an hour” is not a long period of time when one is engaged in some pleasantry, but thirty minutes intense suspense can be very nerve shattering. These are solemn moments because of the judgment which is to follow. This is the silence; most solemn preparation for the awful judgments ever to come upon the world. These are the judgments prophesied by Enoch [Ref. Jude 14], expected of by the Psalmist [Ref. Psa. 96:13], and verified by the Apostle Paul [Ref. Acts 17:31]. Indeed the wrath of God will be revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men [Ref. Rom. 1:18].
Here we see the executors of God’s will prepared to bring forth judgment. Each of the seven angels holds a trumpet. Trumpets in scripture are used in various ways. Their sounding was a summons of worship [Ref. Num. 10:3, 7; 23:15-24] and warfare [Ref. Num. 10:5-9; Jud. 3:27-30]. The idea of the trumpet originated with God and He controlled its use [Ref. Num. 10:1]. Priests were the only ones qualified to blow them [Ref. Num 10:8]. How important then it was that the summons to warfare be not confused with that which called the people to worship [Ref. 1 Cor. 14:8]! The sound of the trumpet in Israel indicated the intervention of God in the affairs of men on earth concerning Israel. The seven trumpets before us tell of the great final intervention of God in judgment. These trumpets will not be calling men to work or worship. They are warlike in character and they tell us that divine judgment is about to fall upon the wicked ones who dwell on the earth.

The Saints Prayers:
Rev. 8-5 We has here an angel with priestly agendas. We have here an emphasis on the prayers of the saints (tribulation saints- Jews), which are given efficacy through the incense added by the angels. Who are these saints and what are they praying? Under the fifth seal we saw that the souls of the martyred saints cried for just judgment [Ref. Rev. 6:9, 10]. We should see that their petition is being taken up here by the Jewish remnant on earth. Their prayers are introduced to God the Father for divine approval, for they are furthered and benefited by the angel. It should be clear that their prayers have a profound connection with the sounding of the trumpets and the coming judgment. The prayers of the saints in that day will be for vengeance, and God will answer without delay.
Immediately after the prayers ascend before the Father, the judgments descend. These alter from which the angel filled the censer with fire represents the place of judgment. The fire represented the judgment of God upon sin as seen in the Levitical offerings. The alter was the expression of God’s holiness and righteousness in dealing with the sin of the people of old, so the same holies and righteousness will search the earth and judge and punish it accordingly.
The fire from the alter was emptied upon the earth and at once there followed voices, and thundering, and lightning’s, and an earthquake. These disruptions causing disorder in the earth are but the beginning of terrible calamities which follow the sounding of the trumpets. Those on the earth in that day will have rejected the all-sufficient Sacrifice (Jesus Christ), therefore, “there remained no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries” [Ref. Heb 10:26-27].
Our Lord and Savior has become the judge. The casting of the fire into the earth is merely a token judgment indicating that the sound of the trumpets will follow.

The Sinners Punishment:
First Trumpet:
Rev. 8:7 the plagues in Egypt, similar to these, were literal [Ref. Ex. 9:22-25]. There is one major difference, however. Then those plagues were to save Israel; in the tribulation they will trouble Israel and the world. At the sounding of this first trumpet, one-third of all vegetation will be destroyed. This leaves a bleak picture of desolation caused by hail and fire. The wide spread character of God’s judgment under the first trumpet is potent.

Second Trumpet:
Rev. 8:8-9 what ever it is, it looks like a mountain, “as it were a great mountain.” This immense mass resembled the mountain “albaye.” Just as the waters in Egypt were turned to blood and the fish did die, we accept this prediction of forthcoming judgment as literal [Ref. Ex. 7:19-21] [Ref. Psa. 105:29]. Included in the sounding of the second trumpet is the serious effect upon commerce, the third part of the world’s ships being destroyed? This prophecy given to John resembled closely those utterance which the Holy Spirit gave to Old Testament prophets [Ref. Hos. 4:1-3; Zeph. 1:3; Isa. 2:16].

The Third Trumpet:
Rev. 8: 10-11 a beautiful star comes soaring through space, toward earth. In its sweep along the surface it turns one third of the water in the earth into a deadly liquid. It affects rivers, springs, and wells. There is a striking prophecy of this in the Old Testament [Ref. Jer. 9:14-15; 23:15]. We should not think it strange that a great burning star could pour out a poisonous bitterness to the waters upon which it fell. God the Father will use that which He created to affect His ends. He put the stars in their place [Ref. Gen. 1:14-16]; He knows how many there are [Ref. Psa. 147:4]; and He has called each one by name [Ref. Job 9:9-10]. The name of this star is “Wormwood” (bitterness). When our Lord hung upon the cross, his enemies “Gave Him vinegar to drink mingled with gall” [Ref. Mt. 27:34]. But at the sounding of the third trumpet, many wicked men will die from water made bitter by the Divine Judge. How wonderful that in this day of grace God makes available to men the soul-satisfying water of life [Ref. John 4:14; 7:37-39].

The Fourth Trumpet:
Rev. 8:12-13 the events recorded here are similar to those under the sixth seal [Ref. Rev. 6:12-14]. These are predicted clearly by our Lord and Savior [Ref. Luke 21:25-28]. These are the judgments of God going forth in the earth. On the fourth day He brought the sun, moon, and stars into view in order to provide light for man; under the fourth trumpet He shall withdraw the light He Himself created. All of this will affect the health and well being of the people on the earth at that time. This will disturb the seasons and hinder the growth of fruits and vegetables. And yet these are judgments merely preliminary to still greater “woes” to follow. Three more trumpets are yet to be heard. These are called the “woe” trumpets, indicating the severity of the finalization of God’s judgment at the end of the tribulation. Mankind has found false comfort in the lie that “All things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation [Ref. 2Pet. 3:4]. But the day will come when the so-called fixed laws of nature will be changed by our Lord and Savior who is the Source of all things.


Revelation Chapter 7

Chapter seven, though a continuation of the description of the tribulation, is actually a parenthesis. In chapter six we saw the opening of the first six seals and the judgments which are to follow. The Lamb does not open the seventh seal until chapter eight. The parenthesis is here, and it was put here by our Lord for a reason. What was the reason? *Chapter six concluded with the statement, “For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” The answer is: “No One” So dreadful will His wrath be that all men are seen trying to flee from it, calling on the rocks and the mountains to protect them from it.* God pauses to answer the prayer of His prophet Habakkuk, “O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember thy mercy “[Hab. 3:2]. In the midst of wrath, God remembers mercy and suspends judgment. We will also see that God pauses also between the sixth and seventh trumpets, and between the sixth and seventh vials. Chapter seven is the mercy chapter of Revelation:

The Suspension of Judgment:

Rev. 7:1-3 - The instruments God uses in suspending judgment are His servants, the angels. Angels are God’s ministers [Ref. Heb. 1:7, 14].

Here we are introduced to four angels standing upon the four corners of the earth. They are commanded to hold back the four winds of the earth, which halts the process of judgment until God has accomplished His definite purpose. The phrase, “the four corners of the earth,” The wind as an instrument of judgment in the temporal affairs of man; so we see here that the four angels are holding back this wind of judgment upon the earth to allow God’s purpose to unfold. We see a fifth angel, ascending from the east (from the rising sun), he (the fifth angel) restrains the four preceding angels from proceeding, and judgment is suspended.

The judgments which issue forth from the first six seals are only “the beginning of sorrows” [Ref. Mt. 24:8; Mk 13:8]. The “Great Tribulation” referred to by the Lord Jesus [Ref. Mt. 24:21], and by Daniel the prophet [Ref. Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11], begins the sounding of the trumpets, which sounding issues forth from the seventh seal.

The angels are told to “hurt not the earth, nor the sea, the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads” [Ref. Rev. 7:3], *(God’s purpose for the pause).

The fifth angel the sealing angel from the sun rising preserves certain ones from the “hurt” during the tribulation. God acts in sovereign grace in a special way for Israel before the Great Tribulation begins (last 3 and one half years of Daniels seventieth week). In her dispersion Israel has gone to the four corners of the earth, a despised and persecuted people, but the Father will restrain all opposition against her for a season.

The Sealing of the Jews:

Rev. 7:4-8 – Judgment is suspended till 144,000 Jews (God’s Old Testament People) are sealed. In this sealed company, Israel, is plainly and literally before us, twelve thousand from each of the twelve tribes. This sealed remnant of Jews, not having had the gospel explained to them before will turn to Christ after the rapture of the Church.
They will inherit the kingdom under the rule of the Son of Man shortly after they have been sealed. The beast and the Antichrist will not be able to destroy them.

The tribe of Dan is not mentioned here in chapter seven. He is omitted because he was guilty of idolatry. God warned His people that idolatry would cause separation from the rest of the tribes. [Ref. Deut. 29:21). In the place of Dan, Manasseh, Joseph’s son, is given standing along with the other tribes. It is possible that the tribe of Dan will be associated with Satan’s work carried out by the Antichrist during the tribulation [Ref. Gen. 49:17]. In Rabbinic symbolism Dan stands for idolatry and that the Antichrist is to spring from Dan, this is based upon Jeremiah 8:16.

The following is a note about the word seal in scripture. We should notice that, the seal belongs to “the living God.” Only in the living God will His followers find strength in their conflicts with their enemies [Ref. Jos. 3:10]. The 144,000 are sealed with “the seal of the living God.” The seal is the mark of divine possession, protection, and preservation. Paul speaks of the Holy Spirit as the seal in the believer priest, marking us out as God’s property [Ref. Eph. 1:13], and assuring us of God’s protection and preservation until the redemption of the whole of man [Ref. Eph. 4:30; Rom. 8:23]. We believers in the Church Age are sealed immediately upon being born again and we are sealed until the day of our resurrection and or translation to Heaven, where we shall evermore be with the Lord.

The 144,000 of this chapter are sealed with the seal of the living God for protection and preservation through the Great Tribulation that is to come upon the entire world, and which will constitute for Israel the time of Jacobs trouble.

The Salvation of Gentiles:

Rev. 7:9-17 we learned from the first eight verses that there will be souls saved during the tribulation, and that the first ones will be Jews. Here we meet another great multitude, but they are Gentiles, “of all nations, and kindred’s, and peoples, and tongues.” This order follows God’s plan, namely, “to the Jew first” [Ref. Rom. 1:16], and then to the Gentile. The number of this multitude is beyond counting, as far as man is concerned. The exact number is known only to God [Ref. 2Tim. 2:19]. They are the Gentile converts won to the Messiah as to the result of Israel’s restoration, and of whom the prophet Isaiah wrote [Ref. Isa. 49:10-12; 60:1-30). This multitude hears the gospel of good news of the kingdom for the first time through the 144,000 redeemed children of Israel [Ref. Mt. 24:14]. This “great multitude” is the “sheep nations” of whom Christ spoke in Matthew 25:31-40. The 144,000 witnessing Israelites will be persecuted for their testimony. They will be hungry, thirsty, lonely, in need of clothing, and cast into prison. The Gentiles that believe their message will stand with them and minister to them, so that it is to them Jesus will say, “In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto me” [Ref. Mt. 25:40]. This multitude will be preserved through the tribulation, not kept out of it as the Church will be [Ref. Rev. 3:10].

Their position, they “stood before the throne, and before the Lamb.” Their purity, they are clothed in “white robes,” made white in the blood of the Lamb” divinely approved. Their protection “palms in their hands” express the complete joy of deliverance. Their Praise, in their praise they attribute to god and the Lamb “salvation.” The praise of the redeemed ones causes the angelic hosts of Heaven to fall on their faces and worship God. Their privilege, they engage in one glorious, unbroken ministry, it is a glad, spontaneous, unceasing survive to God and the Lamb. Their provision, the Lamb continues to feed and lead them for they are His own. The Lamb is the Shepherd graciously providing for every need. The springs of life with their fountains of living water shall not cease to flow. A final word concerning the Gentiles living in the tribulation period upon this earth. Life had been filled with tears as they took their place in that hour of judgment. Loved ones were killed before their very eyes. But now they are comforted as God wipes the tears from every eye. Sorrow shall not always have the upper hand. The day is coming on earth when God will have removed every semblance of the cause of tears.