Simple Studies in the Scriptures
 
 
The Revelation of Jesus Christ

 

Dr. Stanford E. Murrell

 

 

 

 

 

Leader’s Study Guide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Revelation of Jesus Christ

 

Human Author: John

Divine Author: God the Holy Spirit

Early date prior to AD 70

Late date c. AD 90-95

 

Key word: Christ is Lord

Key Verse: Revelation 19:6

 

And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”

 

 

The Story Behind the Revelation

 

Between AD 66 and AD 70, the prophetic utterances of Jesus in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 began to be fulfilled. Briefly the known facts can be stated. In the summer of the year AD 66, a Jewish revolt broke out in Jerusalem. Led by fanatical zealots this revolt took place against the overbearing Roman procurator named Gessius Florus. From May through November the Jews reacted against his oppressive reign. As a result, Neapolitanus, a Roman military tribune, was sent from Antioch by Cestius Gallus, the Roman governor of Syria, to try to calm the Jews. The Jews refused to be pacified and in the battle that followed they actually gained an advantage against the troops of the governor of Syria. Cestius had to order a retreat, much to the delight of the Jews. It was not long before word finally reached the emperor Nero in Rome about the explosive situation unfolding in Israel. After deliberation, Nero commissioned a seasoned general, Vespasian, to put down the revolt against imperial Rome and to restore the Pax Romana (the Roman peace). War against the Jews in Jerusalem was officially declared in February, AD 67, when Vespasian received his commission from Nero. In the Spring of AD 67, Vespasian finally arrived to take charge of the operations in Jerusalem. But the Jews proved to be a strong and resourceful people, not easily subdued. They desperately wanted to be free of Roman bondage and were willing to die for the cause of freedom. History records that Jerusalem did finally fall to Titus, the son of Vespasian, who took charge of the siege in the late summer of AD 70. For about forty-two months the Jewish people held out against the greatest military power on the face of the earth.

In broad strokes this was the terrible picture of death and destruction, violence and chaos between AD 66 and AD 70. The words of Jesus in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 and the words of John in the Revelation can be used to paint in the details of this period. What will be seen is a historical fulfillment of the great tribulation that Jesus predicted would come upon the generation He ministered to. These were days of vengeance as God poured out His wrath on those who dared to kill His Son (Luke 21:22). For forty-two months, for 1,260 days, for three and one half years, the Roman army made war with Israel and during that awful period of time the four horsemen of the apocalypse rode. The evidence is compelling for a historical fulfillment of the Lord's prophetic utterances of great tribulation upon Israel in particular in AD 70. The instrument of divine wrath and justice would be the Zealots of the Jewish community and the military might of the Roman government. Though Rome would be a terrible instrument in the hand of God the empire would also come under judgment. It is the way of the Lord to use evil to judge evil and then to administer justice on the instrument of wrath. The book of Habakkuk establishes this divine method of operation. Those who were present during the events of the first century testify to the judgment of God upon the earth. One of the leading eyewitnesses for the history of this time was the historian Josephus. His writings are helpful in reconstructing what happened in AD 70.

 

A Date to Remember

Some Bible scholars place the dating for the Revelation c. AD 90. Other Bible scholars argue for an earlier dating of the Revelation, prior to the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70. The primary external witness for a late date is Irenaeus (AD 130-202). All other sources such as Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Victorinus, and Jerome simply quoted from him. The particular statement made by Irenaeus to date Revelation late is found in Book 5 of his Against Heresies (5:30:3.). "We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of the Antichrist [found in Revelation 13]; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who be held the apocalyptic vision. For that [i.e., the vision or “he”, John] was seen no very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian's reign."

At first, the statement seems conclusive until it is remembered that the original work of Irenaeus does not exist any longer. His writings have come down the centuries from the Latin version with some exception. In the translation there is a question as to whether Irenaeus meant to say the vision of the Apocalypse belongs to Domitian's reign or John himself was seen "no very long time since." The truth of the matter is that the Domitianic date cannot be established with absolute certainty from any external evidence. Furthermore, there is no direct evidence in Revelation itself to establish a late date for its writing. However, John was told he was to see things that must shortly come to pass. This is significant for John was writing to seven churches that desperately needed a message from the Lord. There is good reason to accept an early date for the writing of the Revelation in that comfort could be given to the people of God in the first century swept up in turbulent times that their four great enemies, the Dragon (satanic opposition), the Beast (political opposition), the False Prophet (religious opposition) and death (the final enemy), would soon be destroyed. And they were.

 

The Last Letter: Lord of the Church Chapters 1-3

 

The Prologue: A Preview of Coming Glory: Rev. 1:1-4

 

Summary

Revelation Chapter 1

 

Chapter one is a general preface to the whole book. The purpose of the work is decaled (Rev. 1:1-2). There is an apostolic blessing pronounced on all who shall read the book with a view to honoring its principles (Rev. 1:3-8). Finally, a glorious vision or appearance of the resurrected Christ is given to the apostle John (Rev. 1:9-20).

 

REVELATION 1

 

1 The Revelation [lit. unveiling] of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

 

 

 

 

 

1:1 Many truths about the ascended Christ will be unveiled to John for this work is not about the anti-Christ or end time matters. It is about the Lord Jesus coming to judge the nation that crucified Him and vindicate the saints who follow Him.

Matthew Henry notes “These events (it is said) were such as should come to pass not only surely, but also shortly; that is, they would begin to come to pass very shortly, and the whole would be accomplished in a short time. For now the last ages of the world had come.”

 

2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy [divine revelation], and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

 

1:3 There are other blessings to be found in the Revelation.

 

·       There is a blessing for those who die in the sphere of faith (Rev. 14:13).

 

·       There is a blessing for those who are holy (Rev. 16:15).

 

·       There is a blessing for those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9).

 

·       There is a blessing for those who have a part in the first resurrection (Rev. 20:6).

 

·       There is a blessing for those who are obedient to the gospel (Rev. 22:14).

 

 

Commenting on the blessings Matthew Henry observes the following.

 

·       It is a blessed privilege to enjoy the oracles of God. This was one of the principal advantages the Jews had above the Gentiles.

 

·        It is a blessed thing to study the scriptures; those are well employed who search the scriptures.

 

·       It is a privilege not only to read the scriptures ourselves, but to hear them read by others, who are qualified to give us the sense of what they read and to lead us into an understanding of them.

 

·        It is not sufficient to our blessedness that we read and hear the scriptures, but we must keep the things that are written; we must keep them in our memories, in our minds, in our affections, and in practice, and we shall be blessed in the deed.

 

·       The nearer we come to the accomplishment of the scriptures, the greater regard we shall give to them. The time is at hand, and we should be so much the more attentive as we see the day approaching.

 

1:3 The time is at hand. In the following verses it is revealed that God lifts the curtain of time to reveal a portion of the future to the Church. Read Amos 3:7; Daniel 2:28; Matthew 11:25; Luke 8:10.

 

4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits [Holy Spirit Isa. 11:2; Zech. 3:9; 4:10] which are before his throne;

 

1:4 The seven churches were located in the providence of western Asia Minor, which is roughly equivalent to modern day Turkey. Because the Roman province of Asia included more churches than these seven the question arises as to why John singled out only seven.

One possibility is that these seven cities may have been centers of seven postal districts. These seven churches all stand on the great circular road, which formed a rough circle around the west central part of the Roman province of Asia. As such, these seven cites served as good centers of communication for the surrounding districts. Letters in the first century had to be handwritten, and a letter sent to one assembly would be passed on to be read by Christians in other congregations.

 

 

1:4 The letters to the seven churches called for the Christians to repent of sin and return to faithfulness and good works; encouraged them to stand firm for Christ against the temptations, trials, and persecutions of the Roman Empire; and promised specific rewards to the martyrs who faced death without denying Christ (Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary).

 

The Command to Communicate 1:9-20

 

5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead [Rev. 20:6; 1 Cor. 15], and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved [lit. loves], us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood [sanctification],

 

1:5 There are three titles of Christ in this passage. Jesus is the Faithful Witness [of God the Father]; the First Begotten of the Dead [in that He never died again]; and the Prince [Ruler] of the Kings

 

1:5 The death of Christ and His atoning work was limited to those whom He loves and washed “in His own blood.” If Christ had died for all men in the same manner then there are people in hell for whom He made atonement for sin.

 

6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father [glorification]; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

 

1:6 There are four glorious doxologies in Revelation as per Revelation 1:6; 5:11; 5:13 and 7:12.

 

7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him [i.e., every eye without distinction not without exception], and they also which pierced him [i.e., the Jews of the first century]: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

 

1:7 The concept of the Lord dwelling or coming in clouds to the nations of the earth is taught in other passages of Scripture (Psalm 104:3; 18:7-15; Isaiah 19:1; Mark 13:26).

 

8 I am Alpha and Omega [first and last letters of the Greek alphabet], the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos [a small barren rocky island 35 miles off the coast of Asia Minor, 60 miles from Ephesus], for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

1:9 The small, barren rocky island of Patmos is located in the Aegean Sea about 60 miles from Ephesus. It was about ten miles long and six miles wide. Christians were put on the island for political, economic and religious reasons.

 

 

        It is possible that John was no longer on the isle of Patmos when he wrote the revelation for he says that he “was” on the isle of Patmos.

 

Ø     Spiritual application. John becomes an example to all believers to persevere in the sphere of saving faith. Those who endure to the end shall be saved (Matt. 10:22).

 

10 I was in the Spirit on the Lords day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

 

Ø     Spiritual application. The Lord’s Day refers to Sunday, the first day of the week. It is the new day of worship for the believers in honor of the resurrection of Christ (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2; John 20:19-26).

 

11 Saying, I am Alpha [the beginning] and Omega [the end], the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

 

Ø     Spiritual application. The resurrected Lord does not hesitate to identify Himself through various titles as very God of very God. The Saviour of men’s souls is the Almighty One (cf. Rev. 1:8). Christ is able to save to the uttermost those who come to Him.

 

12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks [Ex. 25:37];

13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks [lamp stands] one like unto the Son of Man [cf. Matt. 16:13], clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle [in the robe of a judge].

14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow [a symbol of purity]; and his eyes were as a flame of fire [a symbol of judgment];

15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters [signifying authority].

16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance [face] was as the sun shineth in his strength.

17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell [hades, the sphere of death] and of death.

19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

20 The mystery [hidden truth] of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels [messengers] of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks [lamp stands] which thou sawest are the seven churches.

 

Summary

The seven stars are the angels of   the seven churches; the seven candlesticks are the seven churches of Asia; the sharp two-edged sword is the word of God (cf.   Heb.4: 12); and the keys of hell and death represent authority.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leader’s Study Guide

 

Questions and Answers on Revelation 1

 

1.     What words in Revelation 1:1 and 1:7 suggest that John was speaking to his generation?

 

Answer. In Revelation 1:1 we read of things “which must shortly come to pass” and in Revelation 1:7 we read that “they also which pierced him” shall see Him. Those who pierced Jesus were Jews of the first century.

 

2.     Of whom does the Revelation concern (Rev. 1:1)?

 

Answer. This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

3.     Why was the Revelation given to Christ (Rev. 1:2)?

Answer. The Revelation was given to Christ so that He could show unto His followers events which were to shortly or rapidly come to pass.

 

4.     According to 2 Timothy 3:16 who is the divine author of the Revelation?

 

Answer. God the Holy Spirit is the author of all Scripture according to 2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

 

5.     Who is the human author of the Revelation (Rev. 1:1)?

 

Answer. The apostle John.

 

 

 

 

6.     What title does the author give to himself (Rev. 1:1)?

 

Answer. John calls himself “servant.”

 

7.     How can a person receive a blessing from studying the Revelation (Rev. 1:3)?

 

Answer. There is a spiritual blessing for those who read or hear and keep the words of the prophecy.

 

8.     Study the following passages and tell what other blessings are to be found in the Revelation: 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7; 22:14.

 

Answer.

  • Revelation 14:13 Blessed are those who die in the sphere of saving faith

 

  • Revelation 16:15 Blessed are those who watches unto holiness

 

  • Revelation 19:9 Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper

 

  • Revelation 20:6 Blessed are those who have a part in the first resurrection

 

  • Revelation 22:7Blessed are those who keep the words of prophecy

 

  • Revelation 22:14Blessed are those who are obedient to the gospel

 

9.     Where are the seven churches located to whom John initial writes (Rev. 1:4)?

 

Answer. The seven churches to whom John writes are located in Asia.

 

10.  List the seven churches (Rev. 1:4 cf. 1:11).

 

Answer.

·       The Church of Ephesus

·       The Church of Smyrna

·       The Church of Pergamos

·       The Church of Thyatira

·       The Church of Sardis

·       The Church of Philadelphia

·       The Church of Laodicea

 

11.   The number seven occurs frequently in the Revelation. State what is referred to in the following passages.

 

Answer.

·       Seven letters                Rev. 1-3

·       Seven spirits               Rev. 1:4

·       Seven stars                  Rev. 1:16

·       Seven golden

candlesticks or lamps  Rev. 4:5

·       Seven seals                 Rev. 5:1

·       Seven horns                 Rev. 5:6

·       Seven eyes                  Rev. 5:6

·       Seven angels               Rev. 8:2

·       Seven trumpets            Rev. 8:2

·       Seven thunders            Rev. 10:3

·       Seven heads                Rev. 12:3

·       Seven crowns              Rev. 12:3

·       Seven plagues             Rev. 15:1

·       Seven vials (bowls)    Rev. 17:1

·       Seven mountains          Rev. 17:9

·       Seven kings                 Rev. 17:10

 

12.  In light of Isaiah 11:2 what might be meant by the “seven Spirits which are before the throne” (Rev. 1:4)?

 

Answer. Most likely the passage refers to the gifts of the Spirit found in Isaiah 11:2.

 

13.  List three titles of Christ from Revelation 1:5.

Answer.

·       Jesus is the Faithful Witness [of God the Father]

 

·       Jesus is the First Begotten of the Dead [in that He never died again]

 

·       Jesus is the Prince [Ruler] of the Kings

 

14.  What is the divine attitude towards the saints (Rev. 1:5)?

 

Answer. The Bible says that the Lord has a deep abiding and everlasting love for the saints.

 

 

15.  What has Christ done for His own with His blood (Rev. 1:5)?

 

Answer. Christ washes or releases the saints from their sins by His own blood.

 

16.  Are believer’s kings and priests unto God today? If not, why not and if so, in what way (Rev. 1:6)?

Answer. Believers are indeed presently kings and priests unto God. The kingship of the believer is manifested when the Church stands in judgment upon sin in society.

 

17.  Must Revelation 1:7 refer to the Second Advent of Christ (Acts 1:11 cf. Heb. 9:28) or can it refer to a coming in judgment upon Jerusalem in AD 70? Use Scripture to defend your answer.

 

Answer. The concept of the Lord dwelling or coming in clouds to the nations of the earth is taught in other passages of Scripture (Psalm 104:3; 18:7-15; Isaiah 19:1; Mark 13:26).

 

18.  What title(s) of deity is ascribed to Christ in Revelation 1:8?

 

Answer. Jesus is declared to be the Alpha and Omega, the Almighty.

 

19.  Where was John when he saw the Revelation (Rev. 1:9)?

 

Answer. As a political prisoner of Rome, John was on the isle of Patmos.

 

20.  How does John describe himself in relation to the other saints to whom he writes?

 

Answer. John calls himself a “brother” and “companion in tribulation.”

 

21.  Why was John on the isle (Rev. 1:9)?

 

Answer. John was being held a political prisoner “for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

 

22.  On what day of the week did John begin to write his vision (Rev. 1:10)?

 

Answer. John wrote on “the Lord’s day”.

 

 

23.  What title is given to the voice John heard (Rev. 1:11)?

 

Answer. John heard the voice saying, “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last.”

 

24.  What did John see when he turned to face a voice that spoke to him (Rev. 1:12,13)?

 

Answer. John saw one like unto the Son of Man standing in the midst of seven golden candlesticks.

25.  John says he saw one like unto “the Son of Man”. Who is the Son of Man and how is He dressed in the vision (Rev. 1:13-16)?

 

Answer. Jesus is the Son of Man (Matt. 16:13 cf. Dan. 7:13). This was the Lord’s favorite title for Himself during the days of His ministry. His dress is described.

·       Garment. The garment Christ wore reached down to His feet.

 

·       Chest. Around His chest He wore a golden sash

 

·       Head and hair. The Lord’s head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow reflecting His justice, purity and glory.

 

·       Eyes.   The Lord’s eyes were as flames of flashing fire symbolizing His penetrating gaze of omniscience.

 

·       Feet.    The Lord’s feet were like unto fine burnishing brass, which speaks of judgment.

 

·       Voice.  The Lord’s voice was as the babbling sound of many rushing waters.

 

·       Right hand. He held in His right hand seven stars.

 

·       Mouth. Out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword.

 

26.  Interpret the following symbols: seven candlesticks; seven stars; sharp two-edged sword; the keys of hell and death (Rev. 1:13, 16, 18, 20).

 

 

 

Answer.

·       The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches

·       The seven candlesticks are the seven churches of Asia

·       The sharp two-edged sword is the word of God (cf. Heb.4: 12)

·       The keys of hell and death represent authority

 

27.   What was John’s reaction when He saw the Son of Man (Rev. 1:17)?

 

Answer. John collapsed in the presence of the resurrected and exalted Christ.

 

28.  What was John commanded to do (Rev. 1:19)?

 

Answer. John was commanded to write what he was a witness to.

 

29.  What threefold division is given in Revelation 1:19?

 

Answer.

·       John was to write of things that he had seen in chapter one.

 

·       John was to write of things that were present in chapters two and three.

·       John was to write of things that were to come in chapters four through twenty-two.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personal Application and Reflections

 

1.     Do you believe most of the events in Revelation have been fulfilled historically? If not why not? What part is yet to be fulfilled?

 

2.     Do you believe that Jesus is now, at this moment King of kings and Lord of lords? If so, of whom is He the king? (see Matthew 28:18-20)

 

3.     Have you ever considered yourself to be a king and a priest unto the Most High God, not in the future but now? What are the implications of this concept if embraced?

 

4.     Is the Christian’s Lord’s Day a replacement of the Jewish Sabbath? If so, in what way and if not why not?

 

5.     How does a person distinguish what is literal and what is symbolic in the Revelation? What guidelines would you adopt for understanding the narrative? Be specific.

 

 

 

Hiding God’s Word in My Heart

 

Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

~*~

Summary

Revelation Chapter 2

 

Summary

Revelation Chapter 2

 

The apostle John, having in chapter 1 written about the things which he had seen, now proceeds to write about the things that are, according to the command of God (Rev 1:19). The text concerns itself with the present state of the seven churches of Asia, with which John had a special interest and for which he had a tender concern. The apostle was directed to write to every one of the churches according to their present state and circumstances, and to inscribe every letter to the angel of that church. The ministers are called angels because they are the messengers of God to mankind. In this chapter we have the following. 

 

·       The message sent to Ephesus

Revelation 2:1-7

 

·       The message sent to Smyrna

Revelation 2:8-11

 

·       The message sent to Pergamos

Revelation 2:12-17 and

 

·       The message sent to Thyatira

Revelation 2:18-29

 

REVELATION 2

 

Seven Messages to the Seven Churches

 

The Message to Ephesus      

Rev. 2:1-7

 

1 Unto the angel of the Church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

 

2:1 The city of Ephesus was an important commercial and religious center in Asia Minor. The temple of the goddess Artemis [Diana] was in Ephesus. The other churches in Asia Minor looked to the bishop of Ephesus for spiritual guidance.

 

2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear [tolerate] them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my names sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.

4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans which I also hate.

 

2:6 The teaching of the Nicolaitans included the belief that it was lawful to self-indulge and worship idols. They also taught that God was not the creator of the world. Immorality was permissible in order for the grace of God to flow more freely.

 

 7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

 

2:7 Genesis 3:24 records how God set a cherubim to guard the way of the Tree of Life. The guardian angel was placed there in grace lest man eat of the tree in an unregenerate state and be confirmed in evil. Now, through Christ, individuals are invited to freely eat of the Tree of Life.

 

The Message to Smyrna

Rev. 2:8-11

 

8 And unto the angel of the Church in Smyrna [40 miles N of Ephesus] write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

 

2:8 Located in the Roman province of Asia 50 miles north of Ephesus on the Aegean shore, Smyrna was a jewel of prosperity and culture. A temple dedicated to the Emperor Tiberius had been erected in the city. As a result emperor worship was embraced which led to a period of persecution for Christians who would not show their political loyalty by acts of emperor worship. Polycarp, a former disciple of the apostle John and bishop of Smyrna became the twelfth martyr. The modern Turkish city of Izmir has been built over the ruins of Smyrna.

 

Ø     Spiritual application. The word “church” refers to a called out assembly. Dr. Mark Dever suggests that a true church will be characterized by the following.

 

·       Expositional preaching.

·       A commitment to a biblical theology that seeks to understand God's character and His ways.

·       The Gospel, which is the message of salvation based on Jesus Christ.

·       The necessity of conversion.

·       Evangelism.

·       An active membership in a local church.

·       Biblical church discipline.

·       A concern for discipleship and spiritual growth.

·       Biblical church leadership (Nine Marks of a Healthy Church).

 

9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

 

2:10 Life under Nero was horrendous for the saints. During his reign many Christians were crucified, put into the public arena with wild animals, or wrapped in garments to be set on fire and burned while Nero laughed at their cries. The words of Revelation 2:10 may refer to a literal short and specialized period of persecution. It is instructive to note there were more official edicts of anti-Christian persecution following the death of

Nero. Other crowns in Scripture are recognized. There is a crown of righteousness to be given to all who love the appearance of Christ (2 Timothy 4:9). There is a Crown of Life to believers that endure temptation because they love the Lord (James 1:12). There is a Crown of Glory, which shall be awarded faithful ministers (1 Peter 5:4). Christians are to guard their

crowns so that “no man take thy crown” (Rev. 3:11).

 

Ø     Spiritual application. God does not ask how many talents one has; He asks for faithfulness.

 

11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

 

The Message to Pergamum

Rev. 2:12-17

 

12 And to the angel of the Church in Pergamos [Pergamum in Turkey, 50 mile N of Smyrna, 15 miles from the Aegean Sea] write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

 

2:12 Located about 50 miles north of Smyrna and 15 miles inland from the Aegean Sea, the city of Pergamos [lit. “Thoroughly married”], better known as, Pergamum was the capitol of the Roman province of Asia. Pergamos became the center for emperor worship after a temple had been erected in 29 BC in honor of Rome and Caesar Augustus. The modern Turkish town of Bergama stands over the historic site.

 

13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satans seat is [Pergamos had a throne like altar to Zeus]: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

2:13 The mention of Antipas reminds the Christian community of all the unsung heroes of the faith who have been faithful to the Lord even unto death. The Lord knows those who are His (Rev. 7:3).

 

2:13 The reference to “Satan’s seat” may refer to the throne like altar that the city had built in honor of the god Zeus. There were other temples as well including those dedicated to the worship of the Roman emperor.

 

14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam [selling spiritual gifts for personal profit], who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

 

Ø     Spiritual application. It has been said that if a person will fear God and they will have nothing else to fear.

 

17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna [spiritual food], and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written [symbolic of God’s favorable verdict], which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

 

2:17 During the days of the wilderness journey manna was the main sustenance of life. It became a symbol for Christ (cf. John 6:48-51). For a Jew, to eat of manna was to enjoy life itself and beyond that the blessings of the reign of the Messiah

including fellowship with the Lord (study Exodus 16:11-15, 33, 34).

 

2:17 It was not uncommon in the ancient wold to carry a stone on which was written the name of a deity. To know the name of a god was to have power. The Lord was telling the Church of Pergamos that in as far as they repented and rejected false doctrine they would have renewed spiritual power with Him. The believers would also have fellowship with the Lord for the Church would know the name of the Savior. He is the Lord God Omnipotent.

 

The Message to Thyatira

Rev. 2:18-29

 

18 And unto the angel of the Church in Thyatira [20 miles SE of Pergamos, note Acts 16:14] write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

 

2:18 Located 20 miles southeast of Pergamos, Thyatira [lit. “Continual Sacrifice”] was the hometown of Lydia (Acts 16:14). It was famous for a dye and cloth industry.

 

19 I know thy works, and charity [love], and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

 

Ø     Spiritual application. Sin is not hurtful because it is forbidden, but is forbidden because it is hurtful.

 

21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

 

Ø     Spiritual application. The harvest of judgment is sure as soon as the seed of sin is sown.

 

23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

 

Ø     Spiritual application. The harvest of judgment is sure as soon as the seed of sin is sown.

 

24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths [doctrines] of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth [maintains] my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

 

Ø     Spiritual application. The nations of the earth need righteous leaders in the highest echelons of government.

 

27 AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON; AS THE VESSELS OF A POTTER SHALL THEY BE BROKEN TO SHIVERS [small pieces; Psa. 2:8,9]: even as I received of my Father.

 

Ø     Spiritual application. The rise and fall of emperors and empires, the constant outbreak of plagues, the raging of nature, the universal guilt, shame or blame that is manifested when the commandments of God are broken testifies to the rule of God in the affairs of men. This is a moral universe. God does not wait until eternity to judge the nations but rules them with a rod of iron as Nazi Germany, Communist Russia and Islamic Iraq have discovered in more recent times.

 

28 And I will give him the morning star.

 

Ø     Spiritual application. The world crowns success; God crowns faithfulness.

 

29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leader’s Study Guide

 

Questions and Answers on Revelation 2

 

1.     To whom does the Lord speak (Rev. 2:1)?

 

Answer. The Lord speaks to the angel [lit. messenger] or pastor of the local assembly.

 

2.     To which church is the first letter of love addressed (Rev. 2:1)?

 

Answer. The command is given to write to the Church of Ephesus.

 

3.     What four commendations are known to the Lord about the Church of Ephesus (Rev. 2:2)?

 

Answer.

·       The Lord knows their good works

 

·       The Lord knows how hard the people labor for His cause

 

·       The Lord knows how much the people hate evil

 

·       The Lord knows how false apostles have been tested and found to be liars

 

4.     What condemnation did the Lord make against the Church of Ephesus (Rev. 2:4)?

 

Answer. The people in the Church of Ephesus had left their first love or initial devotion to Christ.

 

5.     What threefold divine counsel is given to the Church of Ephesus (Rev. 2:5)?

 

 

Answer.

·       The Church is to remember from where it had fallen

 

·       The Church is to repent

 

·       The Church is to return to their first works of salvation

 

6.     What threat was given to the Church of Ephesus if they refused to repent (Rev. 2:5)?

 

Answer. The Lord told the Church of Ephesus He would remove their witness from the world.

 

7.     Which religious group did the Church of Ephesus abhor (Rev. 2:6)?

 

Answer. The Church of Ephesus hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans.

 

8.     What was promised to those who avoided the false doctrine of the Nicolaitans (Rev. 2:7)?

 

Answer. The Tree of Life in the midst of the Paradise of God was offered to those who would overcome the doctrine of the Nicolaitans.

 

9.     To whom is the second letter of love addressed (Rev. 2:8)?

Answer. The second letter is addressed to the Church of Smyrna.

 

10.  What title is given to the Lord Jesus in Revelation 2:8?

 

Answer. Jesus is called “The First and the Last.”

 

 

 

 

11.  How is Christ characterized (Rev. 2:8)?

 

Answer. T
Christ is spoken of as He who was once dead but is now alive.

 

12.  What four facts does the Lord know about the situation in Smyrna (Rev. 2:9)?

 

Answer.

·       The Lord knows the good works of the Church of Smyrna

 

·       The Lord knows the sufferings the Church has endured

 

·       The Lord knows the physical poverty of the Church but declares it to be rich spiritually

 

·       The Lord knows the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews but are not

 

13.  How is a false church characterized (Rev. 2:9)?

Answer. A false church is characterized as being a synagogue of Satan.

 

14.  What is the devil allowed to do to some believers (Rev. 2:10)?

 

Answer. Satan is allowed to persecute the saints and cast some believers into prison.

 

15.  How long was the suffering of the saints to last (Rev. 2:10)?

 

Answer. The persecution would be of short duration, ten days.

 

 

 

16.  What shall those who are faithful unto death receive (Rev. 2:10)?

 

Answer. There is a martyr’s crown for some to win and wear.

 

17.  What shall not hurt those who are faithful to the Lord (Rev. 2:11)?

 

Answer. The second death, which is the Lake of Fire (cf. Rev. 20:14) shall not hurt the faithful Christian.

 

18.   To whom is the third letter of love addressed (Rev. 2:12)?

 

Answer. The third letter is addressed to the Church in Pergamos.

 

19.  What three facts does the Lord know about the Church of Pergamos (Rev. 2:13)?

 

Answer.

·       The Lord knows the good works of the Church of Pergamos

 

·       The Lord knows the geographical location of the Church of Pergamos

 

·       The Lord knows how members in the congregation have been faithful to Him even after they saw the death of Antipas

 

20.  What two doctrinal errors were allowed to exist in the Church of Pergamos (Rev. 2:14,15)?

 

Answer. The Church of Pergamos embraced the doctrine of Balaam who had encouraged sexual immorality and led the children of Israel into idolatry (cf. Numbers 31). The Church also allowed individuals to remain in the assembly who held to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans.

 

21.   What is the divine emotional attitude of the Lord toward false doctrine (Rev. 2:15)?

 

Answer. The attitude of the Lord toward false doctrine is said to be that of hatred.

 

22.  What does the Lord promise to do if the Church of Pergamos does not repent (Rev. 2:16)?

 

Answer. The Lord promises to take up spiritual warfare against the Church.

 

23.  What three gifts of divine grace were promised to the believers in the Church of Pergamos if they were to overcome the spiritual battles they faced (Rev. 2:17).

 

Answer.

·       The believers in Pergamos were promised to eat of the hidden manna.

 

·       The believers in Pergamos were promised a new stone.

 

·       The believers in Pergamos were promised a new name.

 

24.  To whom is the fourth letter of love addressed (Rev. 2:18)?

 

Answer. The fourth letter of love is addressed to the Church in Thyatira.

 

25.   What four facts does the Lord know about the Church in Thyatira (Rev. 2:19)?

 

Answer.

·       The Lord knows about the good works of the Church in Thyatira

·       The Lord knows about the acts of love of the Church in Thyatira.

 

·       The Lord knows about the great faith the people have.

 

·       The Lord knows the believers are people of patience.

 

26.  What controversy did the Lord have with the church in Thyatira (Rev. 2:20)?

 

Answer. The Lord was angry that the church allowed false doctrine to be taught leading to immorality and idolatry.

 

27.  What two acts of retribution will the Lord visit upon the woman “Jezebel” (Rev. 2:22, 23)?

 

Answer.

·       The Lord promises to bring Jezebel and her followers into great tribulation apart from gospel repentance.

 

·       The Lord promises to kill the children or followers of Jezebel. There is a sin unto death (cf. 1 John 5:16).

 

28.  By passing judgment upon Jezebel and her children what does the Lord want His church to learn (Rev. 2:23)?

 

Answer. The Lord wants His people to know that He is omniscience in His ability to search the reigns [emotions] and hearts [innermost thoughts] but He is also just in giving to every person a righteous evaluation of their works.

 

 

 

29.  What initial reward is promised to those who do not embrace false doctrine and have not known the depths of satanic depravity (Rev. 2:24-26)?

 

Answer. The Lord has determined to honor those who keep themselves from doctrinal error and moral impurity by giving them authority over the nations.

 

30.  Characterize the present messianic reign of Christ and His saints (Rev. 2:27).

 

Answer. The reign of Christ is the reign of righteousness whereby the wicked are ruled with a rod of iron (cf. Psalm 2:8,9).

 

31.  What secondary reward is promised to those who do not embrace false doctrine and have not known the depths of satanic depravity (Rev. 2:28).

 

Answer. The Lord has promised to give the Morning Star to faithful saints, perhaps a reference to Christ Himself as per Revelation 22:16. “ I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personal Application and Reflections

 

1.     Because there is often a delay of mercy in God’s judgment do you think it is easy for Christians to not believe the Lord will judge His church and so live carelessly? Can you give an example of this happening either personal or otherwise?

 

2.     What shocking sins of the professing saints have you discovered in the church? What does this say about church discipline?

 

3.     How can a Christian believe that the Lord rules the earth with a rod of iron in light of so much evil, sorrow and suffering?

 

4.     Do you believe in the “second death”? If not why not? If you do believe in the second death what might it be like? Be please specific in your description.

 

5.     Is the devil a real personal but spiritual entity or simply a name for an impersonal force of evil?

 

 

Hiding God’s Words in My Heart

 

Revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

~*~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary

Revelation Chapter 3

 

In this chapter there are three more of the letters of love of Christ to the churches: to Sardis (Rev. 3:1-6); Philadelphia (Rev. 3:7-13); and to Laodicea (Rev. 3:14-22).

 

REVELATION 3

 

The Message to Sardis

Rev. 3:1-6

 

1 And unto the angel of the Church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

 

3:1 Sardis was the ancient capital of the kingdom of Lydia, which was known for its wealth. Sardis was located about 30 miles south of Thyatira. The city lay in an important river valley and was a focal point for both trade and military.

 

Ø     Spiritual application. The person and work of the Holy Spirit is vital to effective Christian living. Without the Spirit there is only spiritual death reflected physically in the vast cemetery seven miles from Sardis but able to be seen from the city.

 

2 Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee

4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white [a symbol of righteousness]: for they are worthy.

5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

 

3:5 In the ancient world it was a common practice for city officials to erase the names of the dead from the records. Those who are dead or unregenerate shall be removed by the Lord even though they have a name that they live.

 

6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

 

The Message to Philadelphia

Rev. 3:7-12

 

7 And to the angel of the Church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, HE THAT HATH THE KEY OF DAVID, HE THAT OPENETH, AND NO MAN SHUTTETH; AND SHUTTETH, AND NO MAN OPENETH [Isa. 9:7; 22:22; Jer. 23:5];

 

 

 

 

3:7 Located 30 miles southeast of Sardis and 70 miles east of Smyrna, Philadelphia [lit. “Brotherly love”] was founded in AD 17. The city was located on a mountain pass that provided a trade route to the Anatolian hill country. Philadelphia was destroyed in AD 17 by a massive earthquake. Today, the ancient city has become the Turkish town of Alasehir.

 

3:7 In the Bible a key is a symbol of authority. Jesus is represented as having ultimate and final authority. The Lord claimed all authority for Himself in Matthew 28:19. By referring to the key of David, John was drawing upon an Old Testament incident. There was a king named Hezekiah who ruled over Judah from c. 715-687 BC Hezekiah had a faithful servant called Eliakim who was responsible for his entire house. Eliakim alone would admit those he wanted into the presence of the king. The prophet Isaiah heard God say of Eliakim, “I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David, he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.” (Isa. 22:22). For John, Jesus was Eliakim. Jesus alone has the authority to allow entrance into the New Jerusalem, the city of David.

 

Ø     Spiritual application. Though Christians might have little strength Christ keeps an open door for service and fellowship. Believers can be faithful, not because they are strong but because Christ will not let the enemies of the faith prevail.

 

8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from [Gr. ek, out of not by escape but by endurance, Gen. 6] the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

 

Ø     Spiritual application. It is easy to be animated about the Christian life in moments of spiritual victory. More often than not faith demands patient endurance. The church will not be removed from periods of tribulation on earth because Christ has prayed that the saints not be removed. Study John 17:15 “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.”

 

11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3:12 A pillar is a great and honored support. On the pillar rests the weight of the building. Peter, James and John are declared to be the pillars of the early Church. Galatians 2:9 “And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.”

3:12 The reference to a new name may be found in Numbers 6:22-27 where God told Moses the blessing which Aaron and the priests were to pronounce over the people. "They shall put my name upon the people of Israel". To have the name of God is to have it be known that one is the personal possession of deity.

According to Ezekiel the name of the re-created city of God is, "THE LORD IS THERE" (Ezek. 48:35).

What the new name of Christ is no one knows at this time according to Revelation 19:12. The Church knows other names for Christ.

 

The Message to Laodicea

Rev. 3:14-22

 

13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

14 And unto the angel of the Church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

 

3:14 Located 50 miles southeast of Philadelphia, Laodicea was in the Lycus River valley near Colossae and Hierapolis (cf. Col. 4:13-16). Despite being famous for its great wealth the city had to bring water by way of an aqueduct. By the time it

 arrived the water was lukewarm and produced nausea.

 

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

 

 

3:15 The sin of the believers in the Church of the Laodiceans was that of lukewarmness. The people were neither spiritually hot or cold.

 

16 So then because thou art lukewarm [worthless], and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

 

Ø     Spiritual application. Indifferent people do not change society. Indifferent people do not change anyone. Only people of passion are useful in the Kingdom of Heaven.

 

17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

 

Ø     Spiritual application. Spiritual destruction is characterized by self-justification of evil, self-delusion and self-absorption.

 

18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see.

 

3:18 From 1 Peter 1:7 we learn that gold tried in the fire has reference to the sphere of faith being tested by suffering. Through much tribulation the saints will be tested.

 

3:18 The Laodiceans were very proud of the white robes they wore in public. The clothing from Laodicea was famous all over the known world. The Lord draws from this a spiritual lesson. The spiritual robe of righteousness is more important than the luxury articles being worn. It was a shame to Christ for the Church to be without spiritual garments despite their display of wealth. Christ would have His people clothed in righteousness. The world watches and wonders at professing Christians caught in spiritual nakedness. God's threat to His people by the prophet Nahum was this: "I will shew the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame” (Nahum 3:5). God will let the world look upon the nakedness of the Church unless there is a clothing of righteousness put on.

 

3:18 An eye salve is simply a solution to help the eyes stop burning or watering or itching. But the eye-salve of old hurt when applied which meant that the people were hesitant to use it. Spiritually, the Laodiceans were hesitant to use the eye-salve. It hurt too much. They did not want to see themselves as they really were. Nevertheless Jesus said, "I want you to see. I want you to anoint thine eyes with eye-salve." Spiritually, this means to apply the Word of God for it alone helps believers to see themselves not only as

they are but also as they might be. As Christians look into the perfect law of liberty they see (James 1:25).

 

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

 

3:21 It is easier to understand this verse when it is realized that the eastern throne was more like a couch than a chair. To sit with Christ is to share His victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil. “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

 

22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leader’s Study Guide

 

Questions and Answers on Revelation 3

 

1.     To whom is the fifth letter of love addressed (Rev. 3:1)?

 

Answer. The fifth letter of love is addressed to the Church in Sardis.

 

2.     What does the Lord know about the saints in the Church in Sardis (Rev. 3:1)?

 

Answer. The Lord knows that the Church in Sardis is filled with people whose reality does not match the rhetoric of their reputation. They have a reputation for spiritual life but are really spiritually dead.

 

3.     Define the divine assessment of the works of the saints in the Church in Sardis (Rev. 3:2).

 

Answer. The works of the believers were found to be less than perfect or mature before God.

 

4.     What council does the ascended Christ give to the Church in Sardis (Rev. 3:3)?

 

Answer. The Lord calls upon the saints to remember the gospel truths they had initially heard and embraced and to repent.

 

5.     In what manner will Christ come in judgment to His people (Rev. 3:3)?

 

Answer. The Lord will come in judgment as a thief in the night, which means He will come with power and overwhelming force and when least expected (cf. 1 Tim. 6:20; Matt. 24:42).

6.     In the midst of general apostasy God always has a remnant according to the election of grace. Based on the words of Revelation 3:4, did the Lord have a remnant in the local Church in Sardis?

 

Answer. The Lord did have a faithful remnant in Sardis for we read of those “which have not defiled their garments.”

 

7.     What three promises are given to faithful saints in the Church in Sardis (Rev. 3:5)?

 

Answer.

·       The Lord promised to clothe the faithful in robes of white reflecting purity

 

·       The Lord promised not to blot the faithful from the book of life

 

·       The Lord promised to confess the names of the saints before the Father and holy angels

 

8.     To whom is the sixth letter of love addressed (Rev. 3:7)?

 

Answer. The sixth letter of love is addressed to the angel or pastor of the Church in Philadelphia.

 

9.     List three descriptions of Christ in Revelation 3:7-9.

Answer.

·       Jesus is declared to be holy.

·       Jesus is declared to be true.

·       He is declared to be the possessor of the key of David.

 

 

 

 

 

10.  Does God promise to remove His people from the hour of tribulation (Rev. 3:10)?

 

Answer. God does not promise to remove the Church from the hour of tribulation but to keep or protect it when others are tested.

 

11.   Does Revelation 3:11 teach that salvation can be lost?

 

Answer. Revelation 3:11 does not teach that salvation can be lost. The salvation of a born again believer is secure. However, it is possible for the crowns of service to be lost.

 

12.  What four promises are given to the saints in the Church of Philadelphia (Rev. 3:12)?

Answer.

·       The saints are promised to be made pillars in the temple of God.

 

·       The saints are promised to have written upon them the name of God.

 

·       The saints are promised to have written upon themselves the name of the city of God.

 

·       The saints are promised to have written upon them the new name of Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twenty Names of Christ in the Revelation

 

1.     Jesus Christ           Revelation 1:1

2.     The Faithful Witness

Revelation 1:5

 

3. The First Begotten of the dead

Revelation 1:5

4. The Prince of the kings of the earth

Revelation 1:5

5. The Alpha and Omega

                        Revelation 1:8

6. The Son of Man       Revelation 1:13

 

7. The First and the Last

Revelation 1:17

8. The Son of God       Revelation 2:18

9. The Lion of the Tribe of Judah

Revelation 5:5

10. The Root of David

Revelation 5:5

11. The Lam                Revelation5:6;

16,17; 7:17

13.  Our Lord               Revelation 11:8

14. The Man Child      Revelation 12:5

15. King of Saints        Revelation 15:3

16. Faithful and True   Revelation 19:11

17. The Word of God Revelation 19:13

18. King of kings         Revelation 19:16

19. Lord of lords         Revelation 19:16

20. Beginning and End

Revelation 22:13

21. Bright and Morning Star   

Revelation 22:16

 

13.  To whom is the seventh letter of love written (Rev. 3:14)?

 

Answer. The seventh letter of love is written to the angel or pastor of the Church of the Laodiceans.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. What three titles are ascribed to Christ (Rev. 3:14).

 

Answer.

·       Jesus is called the Amen. Amen is that special word which is put at the end of a solemn statement for the expressed purpose of affirming its truthfulness. To call Jesus the Amen is to affirm that He is to be believed.

 

·       Jesus is called the Faithful and True Witness. Because Christ is the Faithful and True Witness He can be trusted.

 

·       Jesus is called the Beginning of the Creation of God. It is the Christian view that the God of creation is also the God of redemption.

 

  1. What was the spiritual condition of the believers in the Church of the Laodiceans (Rev. 3:15)?

 

Answer. The believers in the Church of the Laodiceans was that of lukewarmness. The people were neither spiritually hot nor cold.

 

  1. What was God determined to do to the Church of the Laodiceans (Rev. 3:16)?

 

Answer. The Lord was going to spue the Church out of His mouth which means that He was sick of their spiritual status.

 

  1.  What was the cause for the self-delusion of the believers in the Church of the Laodiceans (Rev. 3:17)?

 

Answer. The believers at the Church of Laodicea had grown financially prosperous to their spiritual ruin.

           

  1. What threefold divine counsel was given to the Church of the Laodiceans (Rev. 3:18)?

 

Answer.

·       The Church was advised to buy gold tried in the fire in order to be spiritually rich.

 

·       The Church was advised to purchase white raiment in order to be spiritually clothed.

 

·       The Church was advised to anoint their eyes with eye-salve in order to discern spiritual truths.

 

  1.  Why does the Lord discipline believers (Rev. 3:19)?

 

Answer. Out of love the Lord rebukes and chastens believers.

 

  1. Is the promise of Revelation 3:20 primarily for the believer or for the unbeliever (Rev. 3:20)?

 

Answer. By way of interpretation the promise in Revelation 3:20 of renewed fellowship is for the believer. By way of application the unbeliever is invited to come to Christ.

 

  1. What does the Lord promise to the believer who overcomes the sin of being lukewarm (Rev. 3:21)?

 

Answer. The Lord promised a place on His throne for those who overcome the sin of being lukewarm.

 

Personal Application and Reflection

 

1.     Much stress is placed upon faithfulness in the Revelation and good works. What part does works have in salvation or sanctification?

 

2.     Do you believe that believers shall escape great tribulation? If so why?

 

3.     What are five of your favorite titles for Christ?

 

4.     Many Christians have a reputation for spiritual life but they secretly struggle with an addictive sin pattern. What practical counsel could you give a person to help them have a connection between the rhetoric of their profession and the reality of the practical experience?

 

5.     Have you ever had a feeling the Lord is sick of you because of your spiritual condition? If so, what did you do to restore fellowship with Him?

 

Hiding God’s Word in My Heart

 

Revelation 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

 

 

 

~*~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary

Revelation Chapter 4

 

In this chapter the prophetical scene opens. As the initial part opened with a vision of Christ (Rev. 1), so this part is introduced with a glorious appearance of the great God, whose throne is in heaven, compassed about with the heavenly host.

In this chapter John first records the heavenly sight he saw (Rev. 4:1-7) and then the heavenly songs he heard (Rev. 4:8-11).

 

REVELATION 4

 

Lord of the Earth Chapters 4-20

 

The Vision Unfolds from the Throne of God

 

A doorway to heaven’s delight

Rev. 4:1

 

1 Behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

 

Ø     Spiritual Application. While John was not physically or literally lifted up from earth to heaven, he was given a fantastic vision of things to come. Being in the midst of tribulation himself and suffering for his love for and loyalty to the Saviour, John becomes a fitting example of how believers in every age can endure great tribulation. Throughout the vision, the people of God are constantly in view. Though the specific term “Church” is not found until Revelation 22:16 the believers are represented by such terms as “saints” (Rev. 14:12 cf. Rom. 1:7);

“fellow servants” (Rev. 6:11 cf. Col. 4:11); “people washed in the blood” (Rev. 17:14 cf. 1 Cor 6:11); “called, chosen by God, faithful” (Rev. 17:14 cf. Eph. 1:4; 2 Thess 2:13); “His servants” (Rev. 19:2,5 cf. Eph. 6:6); “the dead who died in the Lord” (Rev. 14:13 cf. 1 Thess. 4:14). The whole purpose of the Revelation is to give courage to God’s people in the midst of great tribulation (John 16:33).

 

 2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

 

4:2 It is instructive to observe that no where in the Revelation does the body of John leave earth though His spirit is transported into the heavenlies. Nor is John ever said to be a picture of the Church removed from the sphere of tribulation. John is a brother and companion in tribulation (Rev. 1:9), not someone who is removed from it.

 

3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper [quartz] and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

 

4:3 The reference to the rainbow would remind a person familiar with the Old Testament of two things. First, the rainbow would remind a reader or listener of the covenant God made with Noah after the flood (Gen. 9:11-17). In biblical terms a covenant is a gracious under-taking entered into by God for the benefit and blessing of men, in particular men of faith who had received the promises of God and committed themselves to the obligations which the undertaking involves.

 

 

 

Genesis 9 records the covenant God made with Noah. The sign that God used to confirm this covenant was the rainbow in the sky.

 

Ø     Spiritual Application. Every rainbow today is a reminder of the faithfulness of God in keeping His word. When John saw the rainbow around the throne of God he was reminded of the God who keeps His word. John might also have been reminded of Ezekiel's vision as well for that great prophet also saw the glory of God and a rainbow around His throne (Ezek. 1:28).

 

The throne of God

Rev. 4:2-3, 5-6

Twenty-four Elders and four Beasts

Rev. 4:4-8

 

4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts [living creatures] full of eyes before and behind.

 

 

 

 

 

4:4 While the identify of the twenty-four elders remains uncertain it is possible they may be a symbolic representation of the church in all the ages in that there were twelve patriarchs and twelve apostles. The unity of the patriarchs and apostles is found again in the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:12,14).

They wear white robes, which are promised to all who are faithful (Rev. 3:4).

They wear crowns that are promised to all that are loyal unto death (Rev. 2:10).

And they sit on thrones that Christ promised to all who love and follow Him (Matt. 19:27-29).

 

4:5 The lightening and thunder and voices that emanated from the throne impressed John. Once again the mind turns to the Old Testament. Ezekiel saw lightening come out of the fiery veil around the throne (Ezek. 1:13). The psalmist writes of the voice of the thunder of God being heard in heaven (Psa. 77:18). Job observed that God sends His lightening to the ends of the earth (Job 37:4). However, the most familiar scene is the description of Mt. Zion. When the Law was given the Bible says, "that there were thunders and lightning, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled" (Ex. 19:16).

 

7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

 

First Beast like a lion              Rev. 4:7

Second Beast like a calf          Rev. 4:7

Third Beast like a man            Rev. 4:7

Fourth Beast like an eagle       Rev. 4:7

 

 

 

8 And the four beasts [creatures] had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

 

4:8 The early church fathers found much symbolism in the four living creatures as they associated them with the four gospels. Augustine's identification became the most commonly accepted. The lion was viewed as representing the gospel of Matthew because in it Jesus is demonstrated to be the Lion of Judah, the One in whom all the expectations of the prophets came true. The man best represents the gospel of Mark because it is the nearest approach to a factual report of the human life of Jesus. The ox best represents the gospel Luke because it presents Jesus as the sacrifice for all classes and conditions of men and women everywhere. The eagle best represents John. Of all birds the eagle flies the highest and is said to be the only living creatures that can stare straight into the sun. In the gospel of John the highest height of thought is reached (William Barclay, Revelation).

 

Ø     Spiritual application. The heart of every Christian should seek to soar to be with Christ.

 

Ø     Spiritual application. Much can be learned from the four beasts for they teach the Church the importance of being near the throne and the Lamb. The four beats or living creatures are always found near the throne (cf. Rev. 4:6; 5:6; 14:4).

 

9 And when those beasts [creatures] give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,

10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

 

4:11 These twenty-four elders appear often in the Revelation. In Revelation 4:10 they cast their crowns before the throne. In Revelation 5:11, 14; 7:11; 11:16 they worship and praise God In Revelation 5:5 they comfort John In Revelation 5:8 they bring the prayers of the saints before God In Revelation 7:13 they interpret one of the visions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leader’s Study Guide

 

Questions and Answers on Revelation 4

 

1.     As the vision of the Revelation continues what does John see in heaven that is opened (Rev. 4:1)?

 

Answer. After hearing the seven messages for the seven churches of Asia John is witness to an open door in heaven.

 

2.     When the command is given to John to “Come up hither” does His body ever leave earth (Rev. 4:1,2)?

 

Answer. It was not the body of John that

was caught up into heaven but his spirit.

 

3.     Describe the throne, which John saw and the items surrounding it (Rev. 4:2-6).

 

Answer.

·       Rainbow. There was a rainbow around the throne with the color of an emerald.

 

·       Twenty-four seats. These seats circled the throne.

 

·       Twenty-four elders. Twenty-four elders who were dressed in white garments and wore crowns of gold upon their heads occupied the seats.

 

·       Violent forms of weather. There were flashes of thunder and lightning which emanated forth from the throne.

 

 

 

 

·       Voices. John heard the sound of voices.

 

·       Seven burning lamps. The seven lamps were located before the throne. They are defined as being the seven Spirits of God.

 

4.     In this part of the vision John sees four “beasts” or literally “living creatures”. Describe each one (Rev. 4:7-8).

 

Answer.

·       The First Beast was like a lion.

 

·       The Second Beast was like a calf.

 

·       The Third Beast had the face of a man.

 

·       The Fourth Beast was like a flying eagle. Each of the beasts had six wings and they were full of eyes.

 

5.     What were the four beasts [living creatures] saying day and night (Rev. 4:8)?

 

Answer. Circling the throne the beasts cried “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.”

 

6.     What did John witness the twenty-four elders doing and saying before the throne (Rev. 4:10-11)?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answer. John saw the twenty-four elders fall down before the One who sat upon the throne and worship him while casting their crowns before Him saying, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”

 

Personal Reflection and Application

 

1.     A popular teaching declares John is a picture of the church which is translated from earth to heaven during the difficult events unfolding in Chapters 4 – 19. Would you support this teaching? Why or why not? Appeal to Scripture to support your response.

 

2.     Have you ever had an out of body experience or even an exalted spiritual state of emotions? Please share.

 

3.     What do you think Christians will do with their rewards at the judgment  (Rev. 4:10)?

 

4.     Something more is being said about God’s character more than “Separate! Separate! Separate! (Rev. 4: 8). What do you think the angels mean?

 

5.     How can creation bring pleasure to Christ when there is so much sin and suffering (Rev. 4: 11)?

 

Hiding God’s Word in My Heart

 

Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

 

~*~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary

Revelation Chapter 5

 

In the previous chapter the prophetical scene was opened in the sight and hearing of the apostle. John had a sight of God as the Creator and ruler of the world and the great King of the church. He saw God on the throne of glory and government, surrounded with His holy ones and receiving their adorations.

Now the counsels and decrees of God are set before the apostle as in a book, which God held in His right hand.

This book is represented as sealed in the hand of God (Rev. 5:1-9), but taken into the hand of Christ the Redeemer to be unsealed and opened (Rev. 5:6-14).

 

REVELATION 5

 

The scroll (book) sealed with seven seals Rev. 5:1-14

 

The scroll in the right hand

Rev. 5:1

 

1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

 

5:1 The right hand was considered to be the hand of power and authority. Whatever the scroll contained was safe and secure in the hand of the Sovereign.

 

5:1 There is a parallel to be found in life. Under Roman law the will of a person was sealed with seven seals observed by seven witnesses.

 

The search for one worthy

Rev. 5:2-5

 

2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

 

5:2 The question is more rhetorical in nature than a search for an answer for the reality is that neither angels nor man nor animal nor any created thing is worthy to open the scroll or even to look upon it. The secret things belong to the Lord.

 

3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

 

Worthy is the Lamb

Rev. 5:6-7

 

5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda [Gen. 49:10], the Root of David [2 Sam. 7:16; Isa.11:1], hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

 

The rejoicing of the saints

Rev. 5:8-14

 

8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts [creatures] and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials [bowls] full of odours [incense], which are the prayers of saints.

 

5: 8 The Bible does not say that the twenty-four elders presented the prayers of the saints to God in an official capacity for there is only one Mediator between God and men the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5). The prayers of others, while recognized, need no assistance. The ear of God is open to catch the faintest whisper of any call for help. “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” (Jer. 33:3).

 

9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

 

5:9 The reference to the redeemed is not universal and indiscriminate but particular and limited, referring to the world of the elect.

 

10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

 

 

 

 

5:10 The Church does reign now on earth, the Church shall yet reign on the earth in a more gloried manner following the Second Advent of Christ. One day the Church shall judge the angels (1 Cor. 6:3). One day the meek shall inherit the earth (Matt. Psalm 37:11). One day the Church shall occupy the redeemed and renovated new earth (2 Peter 3:13).

 

Ø     Spiritual application. This song says something wonderful concerning the death of Christ.

 

First, the death of Christ was a sacrificial death. Jesus was slain as a substitute for all who shall ever be saved. He literally took the place of you and me and all who shall be saved. Jesus was a perfect substitute for He was without sin.

 

Second, the death of Christ was a liberating death. Jesus came to deliver us from the power of sin, the domain of Satan, and the curse of the Law.

 

Third, the death of Christ was a definite redemption. One of the great theological questions of all times that has been endlessly debated is the question, "For whom did Christ die?" The biblical answer is that Jesus Christ accomplished something definite at the Cross-of Calvary. He redeemed us. Jesus did not provide a potential redemption. He actually redeemed “us”, those who are the heirs of salvation (1 Pet. 1:19). The purchasing price was His own precious blood. Jesus has made us kings and priests. This is a spiritual reality. And we shall reign on the earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Christian does reign on the earth even now by faith as the Church assists in the pulling down of bad governments, bad laws, and set up a spiritual kingdom that circles the globe. The reign of the Church is spiritual but real with materialistic overtones for the Church does own buildings and property. But these things do not constitute the essence of the reign of the saints. Rather, there is the triumph that is found in victorious Christian living regardless of the circumstances of life. “In the world, said Jesus, you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).

 

11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts [creatures] and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

14 And the four beasts [creatures] said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leader’s Study Guide

 

Questions and Answers on Revelation 5

 

1.     What did John see in the right hand of the One who sat on the throne (Rev. 5:1)?

 

Answer. John saw a book or scroll written on both sides.

 

2.     How many seals did the book have (Rev. 5:1)?

 

Answer. There were seven seals on the scroll.

 

3.     What question did the strong angel ask concerning the book (Rev. 5:2)?

 

Answer. The angel cried, “Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?”

 

4.     Why did John began to weep (Rev. 5:4)?

 

Answer. John began to cry bitterly because no one was found worthy to open and to read the book.

 

5.     What caused John to stop crying and be comforted (Rev. 5:5)?

 

Answer. John was comforted and able to stop crying when he learned that Someone had been found worthy to open the book.

 

6.     What two titles are given to Christ (Rev. 5:5)?

 

 

 

 

 

Answer.

·       Jesus is called the Lion of the tribe of Judah

 

·       Jesus is called the Root of David

 

7.     Describe the resurrected Christ that John saw (Rev. 5:6).

 

Answer. John saw a bleeding Lamb in the center of the four beasts [living creatures] and twenty-four elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes.

 

8.     What divine interpretation and explanation is given to the seven horns and seven eyes on the Lamb (Rev. 5:6)?

 

Answer. The seven horns and seen eyes are said to be the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

 

9.     Who came and took the book out of the hand of John (Rev. 5)?

 

Answer. John says that “he” came and took the book referring to the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David, the Bleeding Lamb even Jesus Christ.

 

10.  What divine interpretation and explanation is given to the golden vials full of odours or incense in Revelation 5:8?

 

Answer. The golden vials full of odours are said to be the prayers of the saints.

 

11.  What are the words of the new song sung to the Bleeding Lamb in heaven (Rev. 5:9, 10)?

 

 

 

 

Answer. “Thou are worthy to take the book, And to open the seals therefore; For thou was slain, and hast Redeemed us to God by thy blood Our of every kindred, and tongue, And people, and nation.  And hast made us unto our God kings and priests; And we shall reign on the earth.”

 

12.  Is the making of kings and priests something that is in the future or is this divine undertaking to be considered a present spiritual reality (Rev. 5:10)?

 

Answer. The cautious answer is both. On behalf of the completed church the symbolic twenty-four singing elders testify to a present reign and spiritual ministry with a view to a future reign on the earth.

 

13.  How many angels did John see in heaven praising the One on the throne along with the beasts [four living creatures] and the twenty-four singing elders (Rev. 5:11)?

 

Answer. John saw the number of the angels as being very large, ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.

 

14.  What were the words of the angelic songs (Rev. 5:12)?

Answer. “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain To receive power, And riches, and wisdom, And strength, and honor, And glory and blessing.”

 

15.  What were the words of the general creation that John heard sung (Rev. 5:13)?

 

 

 

Answer. “Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, Be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, And unto the Lamb, For ever and ever.”

 

16.  What was the final word the four beasts [living creatures] said at the ending of the three heavenly songs (Rev. 5:14)?

Answer. The four beasts said simply enough, “Amen.”

 

Personal Reflection and Application

 

1.     In the Scriptures spiritual weeping is part of the journey in grace (Rev. 5:4). Have you ever wept for the lost, or over sin or in sorrow over the sufferings of others? If not why not ask the Lord for holy tears (Psa. 126:5)?

 

2.     Singing is also part of the journey of grace (Rev. 5:9). Do you speak to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord (Eph. 5:19)?

 

3.     Write out your own doxology to Christ following the pattern of Revelation 5:12.

 

4.     The twenty-four elders fell down in prayer and worship. What position do you take when you pray and worship? Have your ever-kneeled in prayer before the Lord? Have you ever lain prostrate before Him?

 

5.     How many angels do you think there might be in light of Revelation 5:11?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hiding God’s Word in My Heart 

 

Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

 

~*~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary

Revelation Chapter 6

 

With the book of the divine counsels firmly in His hand the Lord loses no time but immediately enters upon the work of opening the seals and publishing the contents. However, the way Christ reveals the contents of the book is in such a manner as to leave the predictions very dark and difficult to understand. The prophecies of this book are divided into seven seals opened, seven trumpets sounding, and seven vials poured out.

 

In this chapter six of the seven seals are opened, and the visions attending them are related.

 

·       First seal               Rev. 6:1, 2

·       Second seal           Rev. 6:3, 4

·       Third seal              Rev. 6:5, 6

·       Fourth seal            Rev. 6:7, 8

·       Fifth seal               Rev. 6:9-11

·       Sixth seal               Rev. 6:12, 13-17.

 

 

REVELATION 6

 

The breaking of the Seals

Rev. 6:1-8:5

 

First Seal: a rider on white horse

Rev. 6:1-3

 

1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts [creatures] saying, Come and see.

2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.

 

6: 3 An attempt is often made to identify the rider of the white horse as Jesus Christ. However, The White Horse rides with the other three not in contrast to them. Together they convey calamities. Furthermore, it the Lamb is the one who has opened the seal in distinction to the vision itself. The picture presented is not that of Christ the victor but of the terrors of the wrath of God being poured out.

 

Second Seal: a rider on a red horse

Rev. 6:4

 

Third Seal: a Rider on a black horse

Rev. 6:4

 

4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

 

6:4 In the turbulent time period following the ascension of Christ to the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70 peace was often taken from the earth. For all the fame of the Pax Romana, there were periods of great bloodshed and violence on a massive scale within the confines of the Roman republic reflected in the civil war in Rome. From AD 30 to AD 70 no fewer than eight men ruled the Imperial Empire.

The men who ruled came to the throne and kept the throne by keeping the edge of their sword whet with the dripping blood of their would be rivals As Roman fought

Roman so Jew fought Jew. Brother fought against brother, and neighbor against neighbor. There was religious unrest illustrated by the persecution of Jewish leaders towards Jewish Christian. There was political unrest as the general public wanted to be free from the rulers of Rome. They did not like the humiliating laws such as the one that compelled a Jew to carry the burden of a Roman citizen one-mile. Contributing to the religious and political unrest in Palestine were a group of nationalist called The Zealots. These violent fanatics were willing to assassinate any Roman they could kill. As the year AD 70 approached, it seemed as if peace was taken from the earth. People by the hundreds of thousands took a sword to kill one another. The Rider of the Red Horse heard the Divine summons and responded.

 

5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.

6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts [creatures] say, A measure [one quart] of wheat for a penny [Gr. denarius], and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

 

Fourth Seal: a rider on a pale Horse

Rev. 6:7-8

 

7 And when he [the Lamb] had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.

8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell [Hades] followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts [creatures] of the earth.

 

Fifth Seal: the souls of the saints

Rev. 6:9-11

 

9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

 

6: 9-10 In the vision John noticed that the souls of the saints went to heaven and resided under the altar. There are some Bible teachers that believe there is a literal altar in heaven based upon the following passages.

 

·       Exodus 25:9 According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle,  and the pattern of all the instruments  thereof, even so shall ye make it.

 

·       Exodus 25:40 And look that thou make  them after their pattern, which was  shewed thee in the mount.  

 

·       Numbers 8:4 And this work of the candlestick was of beaten gold, unto the shaft thereof, unto the flowers thereof, was beaten work: according unto the pattern which the LORD had shewed Moses, so he made the candlestick.

 

 

 

 

6:9-10 The souls beneath the altar would remind one of the fact that the lifeblood of the saints were poured out as an offering to God. The apostle Paul said of himself in sacrificial terms in Philippians 2:17. “Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.” The good life, the godly life in Christ is an offering to God.

 

11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

 

Sixth Seal: changes in the universe

Rev. 6:12-17

 

12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

 

6:12-13 Both John and Jesus spoke of great cataclysmic events characterized by the heavens falling. History records that there was a time when symbolically the sun became black as sackcloth and the moon became as blood. There was a time when the stars of heaven fell upon the earth even as a fig tree caseth her untimely figs, when she is shaken out of a might wind. There was a time when the heavens departed as a scroll when it rolls together and when every mountain and island moved out of its place.

There was a time when the kings of the earth and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondsman, and every freeman, hid themselves in the dens and rocks of the mountains. History records that these things happened not once but several times including AD 70. The poetic symbolic language of many other passages of Scripture indicates periods of universal upheaval from a divine point of view. Notice the apocalyptic language of the following passages: Obadiah 1-21; Jer. 48:1-47; Jer. 9:26; 25:21; 49:6; Dan. 11:41; Amos 1:13; Zeph.2: 8,9; Acts 2:16-21 cf. Joel 2:28-30; Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 21. For John to appeal to earthquakes and a darken sun and the falling of stars and the folding of the heavens was for him to appeal to familiar language to Jews. The prophets had spoken of the great wrath of God in terms of earthquakes (Amos 8:8; Ezek. 38:19; Joel 2:10; Haggai 2:6); a darken sun (Amos 8:9; Isa. 13:10; 50:3; Ezek 32:7; Joel 2:31); falling stars (Isa. 34:4); folding of the heavens (Isa. 13:13; Psa. 102:25,26).

 

6:12-13 Apart from the familiar, terrible language of the prophets representing God's strong dealings with the nations of the earth, history does record that during the time of AD 66 to AD 70 there were unusual events in the sky. There were earthquakes and the kings of the earth were afraid of what was happening to the world.

 

14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman [slave], and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

 

A Comparison of Revelation 6 with the words of Jesus in Matthew 24

 

What Jesus said would happen,

John saw would happen.

 

First Seal. Jesus said there would be wars and rumors of war (Matt. 24:6). John saw "a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering and to conquer.” (Rev. 6:2).

 

Second Seal. Jesus said that nation would rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom (Matt. 24:7). John saw "another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat there on to take peace from the earth and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.” (Rev. 6:3-4).

 

Third Seal. Jesus said that there would be famines, and pestilence, and earthquakes in diviers places (Matt. 24:7). John saw "a black horse: and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, “A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see that thou hurt not the oil and the wine" (Rev. 6:5-6).

 

 

 

 

Fourth Seal. Jesus said that there would be much sorrow during this period (Matt. 24:8-12). John saw a pale horse, “and his name that sat upon him was Death and Hell followed him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth" (Rev. 6:7-8).

 

Fifth Seal. Jesus said that the saints would be killed (Matt. 24:9). John saw the altar "and under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony, which they held" (Rev. 6:9-11).

 

Sixth Seal. Jesus said that in the days of great tribulation the sun would be darkened, and the moon would not give light, and the stars would fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens would be shaken (Matt. 24:29). John saw "a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.” (Rev. 6:12-13).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leader’s Study Guide

 

Questions and Answers on Revelation 6

 

1.     Who has the power and authority to open the first of the seven seals on the scroll (Rev. 6:1)?

 

Answer. John saw the Lamb open the first of the seven seals on the scroll.

 

2.     Describe what John beheld as the first seal on the scroll was opened (Rev. 6:2).

 

Answer. When the first seal was broken and the scroll was unrolled John saw a white horse being ridden by a personage with a bow.

 

3.     What was given to the rider of the white horse and for what purpose did he ride (Rev. 6:3)?

 

Answer. A crown was given unto the rider on the white horse that he should go forth to conquer.

 

4.     With the opening of the second seal what did John witness (Rev. 6:3,4)?

 

Answer. The opening of the second seal brought forth a rider on a red horse. The rider was given a sword that peace should be taken from the earth.

 

5.     The third seal brought forth a third horseman. Describe what was given to him and the results of his ride (Rev. 6:5,6).

 

Answer. The third horseman of the apocalypse, riding on a black horse, was given a pair of balances or scales to record the inflation of prices in the market place.

6.     What was the color of the fourth horseman John saw with the breaking of the fourth seal on the scroll and what followed him (Rev. 6:7, 8).

 

Answer. The fourth horseman of the apocalypse rode on a pale horse. Death and hell followed him.

 

7.     How much of the earth was to be destroyed at once by the four horsemen (Rev. 6:8b)?

 

Answer. Power was given unto the four horsemen to kill one fourth of the current populace with the sword, hunger, death and the beasts of the earth.

 

8.     Review the four colors of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

 

Answer.

·       The color of the first horse was white.

 

·       The color of the second horse was red.

 

·       The color of the third horse was black.

 

·       The color of the fourth horse was pale [green].

 

9.     What did John witness when he opened the fifth seal on the scroll (Rev. 6:9)?

 

Answer. The breaking of the fifth seal brought into view the souls of the saints who had been slain. They were under the heavenly altar.

 

 

 

 

10.  What was the cry of the martyred saints beneath the altar (Rev. 6:10)?

 

Answer. The saints beneath the altar were pleading with God to avenge their death by crying out, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, does thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on earth?”

 

11.  What was given to the martyred saints (Rev. 6:11)?

 

Answer. John saw that white robes were given unto each of the martyred saints.

 

12.  Does God foreordain the death of His children (Rev. 6:12)?

 

Answer. God does indeed foreordain the death of His children even in a violent way for it is said the martyred saints rested for a little season “until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”

 

13.  What did John witness when the sixth seal was broken (Rev. 6:12, 13)?

 

Answer. With the breaking of the sixth seal John witnessed a violent earthquake while the sun became black as sackcloth and the moon turned to the color of blood. John gazed with wonder as the stars of heaven fell upon the earth and then the heaven rolled up like a scroll. Every mountain and island was removed out of its place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14.  What was the two fold response of men on earth to the great judgments that were unfolding (Rev. 6:15, 16)?

 

Answer.

First, the rich and the poor, the powerful and weak fled and tried to hide from the wrath of God in caves and dens in the rocks of the mountains. Second, men cried out in fear to be hidden from the wrath of the Lamb.

 

15.  Review the six seals John saw opened and what was witnessed with each seal being broken.

 

Answer.

·       The First Sea.  John saw a rider on a white horse able to make war

 

·       The Second Seal. John saw a rider on a red horse with power to take away peace.

 

·       The Third Seal. John saw a rider on a black horse with power to inflate prices       

 

·       The Fourth Seal. John saw a rider on a pale horse followed by Death and Hell

 

·       The Fifth Seal. John saw the souls of martyred saints under the heavenly altar

 

·       The Sixth Seal.            John saw violence in nature and men hiding in terror

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personal Reflection and Application

 

1.     Do you find the creatures of heaven disturbing and frightening as many creatures on earth are disturbing and frightening?

 

2.     Is God unjust to sovereignly cause war, famine, inflation and plagues in the affairs of nations (Rev. 6:1-8)? Comment on the following thought: “God is the Author but not the actor of evil?” The word “evil” is used to speak of the calamities of life.

 

3.     Despite pain and suffering the heart can become so hardened it invites death (Rev. 6:16) rather than repent. Have you experienced such a hardening in your own life or have you witnessed it in others?

 

4.     The day of wrath is a large theme in Scriptures. From what you know of the church today, do you think the love of God is spoken of at the expense of His righteous wrath? What is not more said about the wrath of God? 

 

5.     One modern prevailing concept is the God of the Old Testament is a God of anger and vengeance while the God of the New Testament is a God of love, mercy and forgiveness. Is this a fair characterization? If not why not?

 

Hiding God’s Word in My Heart

 

Revelation 6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

 

~*~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary

Revelation Chapter 7

 

The events contained in this chapter came in after the opening of the six seals which foretold great tribulation in the world and before the sound of the seven trumpets, which gave notice of great corruption arising in the church. Between these events there is comfort for the people of God in times of great tribulation. The chapter records an account of the restraint laid upon the winds (Rev. 7: 1-3); the sealing of the servants of God (Rev. 7:4-8); the songs of angels and saints on this occasion (Rev. 7:9-12); and finally a description of the honour and happiness of those who had faithfully served Christ, and suffered for him (Rev. 7:13-17).

 

REVELATION 7

 

First Interlude

Before the opening of the Seventh Seal, there was the first of Six Interludes. John is a witness to the sealing of the 144,000 Jews (Rev. 7:1-8) and a great multitude of Gentiles washed by the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 7:9-17).

 

1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

 

7:1-3 To seal something was to indicate source or possession. God sealed the saints. In the early Church the picture of being sealed by God was connected with the physical act of water baptism and the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the mark to be placed on the forehead was for the entire world to see. God has an easily identifiable mark for His own.

 

4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

 

7:4 The number of those saved is not small but great. By referring to the 12 tribes by name it must be kept in mind that the early Church saw itself as the real Israel. National Israel had lost faith. National Israel had been set aside (cf. Rom. 11:25). All the gospel privileges and promises belonged to the Church (cf. Rom. 2:28,29; 9:6,7; Gal. 3:29; 3:3; 1 Pet. 2: 9). Examining this passage as a whole, Dr. Dr. William Barclay observes three great truths in this section. There is a warning that sin brings judgment (Rev. 7:1-2). There is a promise that God will avenge His own (Rev. 7:1). There is an assurance for the saved are sealed (Rev. 7:3).

 

5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.

6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nephthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand.

7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.

8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.

9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

 

7: 9 Both the white robes and the palms speak of victory. Roman generals would wear white garments during their victory parades and people would lay down palm branches for the horse to tread upon. The scene is one of great joy.

 

10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,

12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

13 saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they?

14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

 

7:13 From Genesis to Revelation the doctrine of election flashes forth from the pages of Holy Scripture.

 

7:14 There are other historical examples in which God has brought His people out of great tribulation. Noah and his family were brought out of great tribulation that fell upon the world, not by being translated into heaven but by being sealed inside the safety of an ark. When God delivered Lot and His daughters from the wrath that fell on Sodom and Gomorrah, He did not translate them but gave Lot and his family a word of warning and sent holy angels to guide them to safety. When the Jews were in the land of Egypt and God judged the land, the faithful were not translated but protected by being sealed wit the blood of the Lamb. In AD 70, when Jerusalem fell to the Roman soldiers God delivered His people, not by translating them but by helping them to flee as the Christians remembered the words of their Lord and obeyed His instructions.

 

15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sunlight on them, nor any heat.

17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

 

The Church in Revelation

It would not be consistent to use the same terminology for the Church in Revelation 4-19 that is found in the rest of the New Testament and then deny that the Church exists on earth during the Great Tribulation period Jesus spoke of and John saw visualized.

Too much has been made over the absence of a specific term for the Church, ekklesia, while ignoring the many other references to the Church in Revelation 4-19. If the absence of the specific term for the Church, ekklesia, means that the Word of God does not speak of or to the Church directly then the following books of the Bible must also be for someone other than the people of God because the specific terminology, ekklesia, is not found in them either.

The word Church is not found in Mark, Luke, John, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, or Jude! No one would suggest that these books be discarded as not speaking directly to the Church simply because a specific term is not found. The saints of the Church are indeed in view throughout the Revelation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is the Church found in Revelation 4-19?

 

 

Matthew-Jude           Revelation 4-19

Saints                          Saints

Romans 1:7                 Rev 14:12

1 Cor 1:2                     Rev 15:3

Eph 1:1                        Rev 17:6

 

Fellowservants           Fellowservants

Col 4:11                      Rev 6:11

Col 1:7

 

Brethren                     Brethren

1 Thess 1:4                  Rev 6:11

Col 1:2

2 Thess 1:3

 

People washed           People washed

 in the blood                in the blood

1 Cor 6:11                   Rev 17:14

 

Called, chosen by       Called, chosen by

God, faithful               God, faithful

Eph 1:4                        Rev 17:14

2 Thess 2:13

 

The servant of Jesus His servants

Eph 6:6                        Rev 19:2,5

Phil 1:1

 

Those who sleep        The dead who died in the Lord                     in the Lord

1 Thess 4:14                Rev 14:13

 

Prophets                     Prophets

1 Cor 12:28                 Rev 16:6

1 Cor 14:29

1 Cor 14:32

Eph 2:20

 

 

 

 

Leader’s Study Guide

 

Questions and Answers on Revelation 7

 

1.     In the opening verse of chapter 7 what does John see?

 

Answer. John sees four angels standing on the four corners of the earth holding back the four winds of the earth that they blow not.

 

2.     What power was invested in the four angels (Rev. 7:2)?

 

Answer. The four angels had power to hurt the earth and the sea.

 

3.     In Revelation 7:2 John sees an angel coming from which direction?

 

Answer. John sees an angel coming from the East having the seal of God.

 

4.     What command did the fifth angel give to the four angels holding back the wind (Rev. 7:3)?

 

Answer. The four angels were told not to hurt the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till the servants of God were sealed in their foreheads.

 

5.     In John’s vision where does God place His seal on His servants (Rev. 7:3)?

 

Answer. God seals His servants on their foreheads.

 

6.     How many servants of God were sealed (Rev. 7:4)?

Answer. A total of 144,000 saints were sealed, 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel.

 

7.     List the twelve tribes of the true spiritual Israel (Rev. 7:5-8).

Answer.

·       The Tribe of Judah

·       The Tribe of Reuben

·       The Tribe of God

·       The Tribe of Aser

·       The Tribe of Nepthalim

·       The Tribe of Manasses

·       The Tribe of Simeon

·       The Tribe of Levi

·       The Tribe of Issachar

·       The Tribe of Zabulon

·       The Tribe of Joseph

·       The Tribe of Benjamin

 

8.     The number 12 is prominent in the book of Revelation. List what is referred to in the following passages.

 

Answer.

  • Revelation 7: 4-8       

12,000 from each of the twelve tribes

 

  • Revelation 12:1A crown of twelve stars

 

  • Revelation 21:12         Twelve gates

 

  • Revelation 21:12         Twelve angels

 

  • Revelation 21:14         Twelve foundations

 

  • Revelation 21:14         Twelve apostles

 

  • Revelation 21:16         12,000 furlongs

 

9.     Whom did John see standing before the throne, what were they wearing and what did they hold in their hands (Rev. 7:9)?

Answer. John saw standing before the throne a great multitude, which no man could number. The saints were dressed in white robes and carried palms in their hands.

 

10.  What did the vast multitude before the throne say in a loud voice (Rev. 7:10)?

 

Answer. “Salvation to our God Which Sitteth upon the throne, And unto the Lamb.”

 

11.   Who are those which were arrayed in white robes and where did they come from (Rev. 7:13,14)?

 

Answer. Those whom John saw clothed in white robes are those who were martyred during the great tribulation.

 

12.  Make a chart showing the saints of the tribulation period are members of the royal family of God, which constitutes the church of Jesus Christ.

 

Matthew-Jude           Revelation 4-19

Saints                          Saints

Romans 1:7                 Rev 14:12

1 Cor 1:2                     Rev 15:3

Eph 1:1                        Rev 17:6

 

Fellow servants          Fellow servants

Col 4:11                      Rev 6:11

Col 1:7

 

Brethren                     Brethren

1 Thess 1:4                  Rev 6:11

Col 1:2

2 Thess 1:3

 

People washed           People washed

 in the blood                in the blood

1 Cor 6:11                   Rev 17:14

 

Called, chosen by       Called, chosen by

God, faithful               God, faithful

Eph 1:4                        Rev 17:14

2 Thess 2:13

 

The servant of Jesus His servants

Eph 6:6                        Rev 19:2,5

Phil 1:1

 

Those who sleep        The dead who died in in the Lord     in the Lord

1 Thess 4:14                Rev 14:13

 

Prophets                     Prophets

1 Cor 12:28                 Rev 16:6

1 Cor 14:29

1 Cor 14:32

Eph 2:20

 

13.  List eight specific blessings that were given to the Christians who came out of the great tribulation.

 

Answer.

·       The saints were privileged to reside before the throne of God

 

·       The saints were allowed to serve God day and night in His temple

 

·       The saints were well fed so they were hungry no more

 

·       The saints were never thirsty again

 

·       The saints were not to suffer under the oppressive heat of the sun

 

·       The saints were never hungry again

 

·       The saints were allowed to drink of the living waters

 

·       The saints were comforted as God wiped away all tears from their eyes

 

Personal Reflection and Application

 

1.     Do you believe there is an essential unity between the church and spiritual Israel or, does God have a plan for the church and a plan for Israel and never the two shall meet or mix? Explain.

 

2.     Compose the third stanza of a song of three verses. Use Revelation 7:10 as the first stanza and Revelation 7:12 as the second. Add the third.

 

3.     If the church were to be taken away from earth at the beginning of some special future great tribulation period, how would people come to faith for Revelation 7:14 speaks of those “which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 7:14). How would that be possible?

 

4.     What service would you like to render Christ for all eternity (Rev.7: 15)?

 

5.     Is it your practice to memorize the Word of God so that it can be a source of strength and comfort to you in time of trial and tribulation? If not why not?

 

Hiding God’s World in My Heart 

 

Revelation 7:15-17 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

~*~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary

Revelation Chapter 8

 

Having already seen what occurred upon the opening of six of the seals, John now comes to the opening of the seventh seal, which introduced the sounding of the seven trumpets. A dreadful scene opens. In this chapter there is the preface or prelude, to the sounding of the trumpets (Rev. 8:1-6) and the sounding of four of the trumpets (Rev. 8:7-13).

 

REVELATION 8

 

The Seventh Seal was broken Rev. 8:1 Then there was silence in heaven for the space of half an hour. Divine preparations were made by seven angels which stood before God. They were given Seven Trumpets. Another angel was given a golden censer to offer incense, with the prayers of the saints (Rev. 8:3-5) offered upon the golden altar which was before the throne.

 

1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.

 

8:1 The silence may be attributed to the terrible events that were about to be unleashed on earth much like a calm before a great storm or the silence on the eve of a great military battle. The silence may be attributed to something else namely the importance of the place of prayer before God.

 

2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.

3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.

4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angels hand.

 

8:2-4 Concerning this golden altar before the throne several things should be observed. First, the altar appears often in the vision of heaven (Rev. 6:9; 9:13; 14:18). Second, the altar must be identified as the altar of incense and not the altar of burnt offering. The altar of incense stood before the Holy Place in the Temple (Lev. 16:12; Num. 16:46), which indicates that God wants His people near to Him in fellowship. The altar of incense was a small piece of furniture measuring only 1 1/2 feet by 1 1/2 feet and 3 feet high being overlaid with gold. The spiritual lesson is that it is not the length of a prayer that will avail much but the fervent prayer of a righteous man. The wood overlaid with gold speaks of the humanity of our Lord enhanced by His deity so that He is able to function as our great High Priest (Heb. 7:25; 8:1). There were four horns on the altar of incense located at the four corners. These were made of wood overlaid with gold. Horns are associated in Scripture with power which serves to remind the saints that there really is power in prayer. In addition, horns are associated with salvation (Luke 1:60; 2 Sam. 22:3). The gospel is the power of God unto salvation. The horns on the altar in the Old Testament were sprinkled with blood from the brazen altar once a year on the Day of Atonement. 

We must never forget the privilege of prayer comes through the shed blood of Christ. The altar of incense was hollow but covered over with a gold plate, and around it

was a little railing to keep the burning coals from falling off. The believer is reminded that the Lord protects those prayers which are pleasing to Him so that, like His sheep, none are lost. Finally, the altar of incense was placed according to divine plan in the Tabernacle. Our prayers are directed according to Divine sovereignty so that we always pray, "Not my will but thine be done, O Lord." The one major difference between the altar of incense in heaven and the altar of incense in the Tabernacle is that the altar of incense in the Tabernacle was before a veil. In heaven there is no barrier. The saints have direct access to God.

 

5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

 

The sounding of the seven trumpets

Rev. 8:6-11:19

 

First Trumpet hail, fire, and blood

Rev. 8:6-7

 

6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

 

 

Second Trumpet: pollution of the seas

Rev. 8:8-9

 

8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;

9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.

 

Third Trumpet: pollution of the rivers

Rev. 8:10-11

 

10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;

11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood [bitter]: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter [poisonous].

 

Fourth Trumpet: sun/moon/stars affected Rev. 8:12-13

 

12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

 

8:12-13 Understanding the violent, political upheaval that took place between AD 66 and AD 70 makes it easier to find a literal fulfillment of John's vision in many ways. For example, the land of Palestine during this period was devastated so that wood became scarce. One reason why wood could not be found was that up to 500 people a day was being crucified during one phase of the struggle (Rev. 8:7). Volcanoes did erupt (Rev.8: 8) which killed off fish, polluted streams, made the water bitter (Rev. 8:9,10,11) and turned the sky blood red in color. The stars fell from the heavens in unusual numbers. While the Christian community was vindicated the inhabitants of the earth knew misery upon misery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leader’s Study Guide

 

Questions and Answers on Revelation 8

 

1.     What seal does John see opened (Rev. 8:1)?

 

Answer. John sees the Lamb open the seventh seal.

 

2.     How long did the period of silence last (Rev. 8:1)?

 

Answer. There was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

 

3.     What was given to seven angels in this part of the vision (Rev. 8:2)?

 

Answer. Seven trumpets were given to the seven angels.

 

4.     What is the divine interpretation and explanation of the incense on the golden altar (Rev. 8:3, 4)?

 

Answer. The smoke of incense represents the prayers of the saints which ascend up before God.

 

5.     Where did the angel throw some of the censer from the altar (Rev. 8:5, 6)?

 

Answer. The angel took the censer, filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth.

 

6.     When the first angel blew the first trumpet what happened (Rev. 8:7)?

 

Answer. The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

7.     When the second angel blew the second trumpet what happened (Rev. 8:8)?

 

Answer. With the blowing of the second trumpet by the second angel John saw “as it were, a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood.”

 

8.     What was destroyed with the blowing of the second trumpet (Rev. 8:9)?

 

Answer. With the blowing of the second trumpet by the second angel “the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.”

 

9.     List four great catastrophic events that took place when the third angel blew the third trumpet (Rev. 8:10,11).

 

Answer.

·       The blowing of the third trumpet by the third angel caused the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, to die.

 

·       The blowing of the third trumpet by the third angel caused the third part of the ships of the sea to be destroyed.

 

·       The blowing of the third trumpet by the third angel caused a great star to fall from heaven into the waters. The star burned as if it were a lamp.

 

·       The blowing of the third trumpet by the third angel caused many men to die of the waters that had been made bitter.

 

10.   When the fourth angel blew the fourth trumpet what happened (Rev. 8:12)?

 

Answer. With the blowing of the fourth trumpet by the fourth angelthe third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.”

 

11.  What did the flying angel of Revelation 8:13 say to the inhabitants of heaven?

 

Answer. “Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!”

 

12.  Review the events associated with the four angels blowing four trumpets.

 

Answer.

·       The First Angel blowing the First Trumpet killed one third of the forests and all of the green grass

 

·       The Second angel blowing the Second Trumpet caused one third of the sea to become blood thereby killing one third of the sea creatures while destroying one third of the ships.

 

·       The Third Angel blowing the Third Trumpet caused one third of the waters to become bitter.

 

·       The Fourth Angel blowing the Fourth Trumpet caused one third of the sun, moon, and stars to be darkened.

 

q      Leader’s study note. Understanding the violent, political upheaval that took place between AD 66 and AD 70 makes it easier to find a literal fulfillment of John's vision in many ways. For example, the land of Palestine during this period was devastated so that wood became scarce. One reason why wood could not be found was that up to 500 people a day was being crucified during one phase of the struggle (Rev. 8:7). Volcanoes did erupt (Rev.8: 8) which killed off fish, polluted streams, made the water bitter (Rev. 8:9,10,11) and turned the sky blood red in color. The stars fell from the heavens in unusual numbers. While the Christian community was vindicated the inhabitants of the earth knew misery upon misery.

 

Personal Reflection and Application

 

1.     John speaks of silence in heaven (Rev. 8:1). Meditation is to be part of the Christian’s discipline.  Though you might read the Bible, do you meditate upon it? Do you write down the thoughts the Lord gives you, which come from time spent in His Word? What plans will you make to do so?

 

2.     Christians are a praying people (Rev. 8:4). How often do you pray? Are your prayers long or shot? What is the main content of your prayer life: praise or petition?

 

3.     The angels cry out, “Woe! Woe! Woe!” Do you witness to others and tell them to flee from the wrath to come? If not will you pray right now, earnestly and sincerely, for the opportunity to witness to someone before the week is over?

4.     Do you believe there is a divine purpose and a spiritual understanding of history behind the plagues that affect the nations of the earth?

 

5.     Does the violence of serial judgments in the Revelation alter your concept of a meek and mild Jesus? In what way?

 

Hiding God’s Word in My Heart

 

Revelation 8:2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. 3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand 

 

~*~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary

Revelation Chapter 9

 

In this chapter an account is given of the sounding of the fifth and sixth trumpets and the events that were to follow the fifth trumpet (Rev. 9:1-12) and the sixth (Rev. 9:13-2).

 

REVELATION 9

 

1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit [lit. abyss].

 

9:1 To assist understanding of this passage, it must be remembered that in the historical setting Israel was under the dominion of Rome and desperately wanted to be free. It was not going to happen for the wrath of God was being poured out upon the land. Israel had rejected the Messiah. Israel had dared to crucify the Son of God. Israel had cried and pleaded that the blood of Christ be upon their head (Matt. 27:25). The foolish prayer was heard. Jesus had stated plainly that great tribulation would be poured out upon the nation before the generation He spoke to vanished (Matt. 24:34). There would be days of vengeance (Luke 21:22). Beginning in AD 66 the full fury of the wrath of God began to be unleashed. What Jesus said would happen the apostle John saw would happen. In his vision of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, John saw the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse ride. He witnessed the scenes of Divine wrath in the Seal Judgments and then in the Trumpet Judgments.

 

 

 

 

 

9:1 In the Trumpet Judgments John saw nature itself being used by God to administer discipline upon those who were the enemies of the saints (Rev. 8:1-13). John now beholds the picture of terror once more as it mounts in its awful intensity. The terrors coming upon the people of the earth are beyond nature; they are demonic. John watches in fascinated horror as a fallen star opens the abyss.

In biblical imagery and in Jewish thought a star was a living thing representing some great personage. Revelation 1 states, "the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches" (Rev. 1:20). To this fallen angel a key was given to the abyss.

A key represents power or authority. Who is this fallen angel? The most famous of all the fallen angels is Lucifer. Authority or power was given to Lucifer. Lucifer has no independent authority. As a creature he too is subject to the Sovereign. Lucifer received his evil authority and he uses it. To Lucifer it is better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven. Lucifer has always wanted to be like the Most High God. Lucifer, being given permission, opened the door to the black abyss and when he did, "there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit" (Rev. 9:2).

Commenting on this scene Matthew Henry wrote, “The devil carries on his designs by blinding the eyes of men, by extinguishing light and knowledge and promoting ignorance and error. He first deceives men, and then destroys them; wretched souls follow him in the dark, or they durst not follow him."

 

 

2 And he opened the bottomless pit [abyss]; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.

6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

7 And the shapes of the locusts were [appeared] like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.

8 And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.

9 And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.

10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.

 

9:3-10 From the symbolism of the locust a number of observations can be made about demons and demonic activity. Demons are under the immediate leadership of Satan himself who is called in the Hebrew tongue Abaddon (destruction) and in the Greek tongue Apollyon c (the Destroyer). Demons are limited by the sovereign will of God. They were commanded not to hurt the vegetation that would have been their normal diet (Rev. 9:4). They were commanded not to hurt the elect of God that had been sealed in their foreheads (Rev. 9:4b). They were commanded to only torment the non-Christian community (Rev. 9:5). Demons are powerful creatures of darkness, which is why so many people became enslaved to sin in the form of pornography, drugs, alcohol, anger, money, power, and all the other works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21). The power of demons is manifested by: the symbol of authority in the crowns of gold (Rev. 9:7); the show of wisdom in the faces of men (Rev. 9:7); the allurement of beauty reflected in the ornamental hair some have (Rev. 9:8); their strength as the teeth of lions, and by their armor of iron defense (Rev. 9:9).

 

11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

 

Fifth Trumpet: killing of men

First Woe: plague of locusts

Rev. 9:12

 

12 One woe [trouble] is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

 

 

 

Sixth Trumpet: a great slaughter

 

Second Woe: an army of horsemen

Rev. 9:13-21

 

13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,

14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.

 

9:13-14 The Euphrates River was the boundary for the nation of Israel. God promised Abraham, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates.“ (Gen.15: 18). The angels are sent to judge the whole land of Israel. As a people of the covenant they had rejected the Messiah. Now they would be judged fully.

 

15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.

16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.

 

9:15-16 By using the imagery of a Calvary, John may have been instilling a sense of dread of foreign invaders for the Parthians, who dwelt beyond the Euphrates were the most dreaded Cavalry in the world. It had attacked Rome in 53 BC and again in AD 62. John saw a vast host of 200 million, which means they were beyond numbering like the chariots of God (Psa. 68:17).

 

17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth [a precious blue stone], and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.

18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.

19 For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.

20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils [demons], and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:

21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

 

9:17-21 Since men do not repent God will not cease to express the righteous judgments of His wrath. It is all very sad. After seven seal judgments, after six trumpet judgments, the earth still remains steadfast in sin. Men are judged because they have sinned against God and hurt His servants. But the voice from the altar (Rev. 9:13) reminds all of the power of prayer and the justice of the resurrected Savior.

 

 

 

 

It is important to see in these verses, not an apocalyptic timetable but a message for God's people. John was writing to his seven churches a great letter of hope and encouragement in the midst of tribulation. Over and over he emphasized that Jesus

Christ would triumph over the rulers of this world and that the prayers of the saints would be heard. May that message be heard afresh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leader’s Study Guide

 

Questions and Answers on Revelation 9

 

1.     John sees a “star” fall from heaven to the earth. Whom might the “star” refer to (Rev. 9:1)?

 

Answer. The star that fell from heaven may be a reference to Satan.

 

2.     When the fifth angel blew his trumpet what was given to him (Rev. 9:1)?

 

Angel. To the fifth angel was given the key to the bottomless pit.

 

3.     What happened when the fifth angel opened the bottomless pit (Rev. 9:2)?

 

Answer. When the pit was opened “ there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.”

 

4.     What suddenly arose from out of the pit (Rev. 9:3)?

 

Answer. Locusts came up out of the pit.

 

5.     What commandment was given to the creatures from the pit (Rev. 9:4)?

 

Answer. It was “commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.”

 

6.     What power was given to the creatures from the pit (Rev. 9:5)?

 

Answer. Power was given to the creatures to torment men for the space of five months with the sting of a scorpion.

7.     What will the Lord not allow the unrighteous to do during the day of divine visitation of the scorpions?

 

Answer. Though men desire death, the Lord will not allow individuals to die.

 

8.     Describe the appearance of the locusts from the pit (Rev. 9:7-10)?

 

Answer.

·       The shape of the locusts. The shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle.

 

·       The head of the locusts. On their heads were, as it were crowns like gold.

 

·       The face of the locusts. Their faces were as the faces of men.

 

·       The hair of the locusts. They had hair as the hair of women.

 

·       The teeth of the locusts. Their teeth were as the teeth of lions

 

·       The breastplate of the locusts. They had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron.

 

·       The wings of the locusts. The sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.

 

·       The tails of the locusts. They had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails.

 

·       The power of the locusts. Their power was to hurt men five months.

 

 

 

9.     What is the name of the king of the scorpions in Hebrew and in Greek (Rev. 9:11)?

 

Answer. The name of the king of the scorpion in Hebrew is Abaddon but in the Greek it is Apollyon.

 

10.  How many more woes could John anticipate (Rev. 9:12)?

 

Answer. There were to be two more woes.

 

11.  What happened when the sixth angel sounded the sixth trumpet (Rev. 9:13)?

 

Answer. When the sixth angel blew his trumpet a voice was heard from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God.

 

12.  What did the voice say to the sixth angel with the trumpet (Rev. 9:14)?

 

Answer. The voice commanded the angel to “Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.”

 

13.  How long were the four angels released to slay one third of all mankind (Rev. 9:15)?

 

Answer. The angels were to administer death for one year, one month, one day and one hour.

 

14.  How large was the army let loose by the blowing of the sixth trumpet (Rev. 9:16)?

 

Answer. The number of the army was two hundred thousand thousand (200 million).

 

15.  Describe the attire of the horses in the vision (Rev. 9:17).

 

Answer.

·       The breastplates. The breastplates were of fire and of jacinth and brimstone.

 

·       The heads. The heads of the horse were as the heads of lions.

 

·       The mouths. The mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.

 

16.  How much of mankind was destroyed by the army (Rev. 9:18)?

 

Answer. The fire and the smoke and the brimstone that issued out of the mouths of the horses killed one-third part of mankind.

 

17.  Describe the tails of the horses (Rev. 9:19).

 

Answer. The tails of the horses were like serpents with heads and power to hurt.

 

18.  Despite the spiritual condition of those who were not destroyed by the plagues (Rev. 9:20).

 

Answer. Those who were not destroyed by the plagues repented not of their sins.

 

19.  Describe the sins of men not destroyed by the plagues (Rev. 9: 20,21).

 

Answer. In addition to idolatry those not destroyed by the plagues engaged in acts of murder, sorcery, fornication and theft.

 

 

 

 

 

Personal Application and Reflection

 

1.     Some Bible teachers believe hell is in the center of the earth (Rev. 9:1-2). Do you believe this is probable or even possible? Why or why not?

 

2.     Why is so much attention paid to the mark of the Beast on the forehead and so little attention is paid to the mark of God on the forehead (Rev. 9:4)?

 

3.     What are modern forms of idol worship (Rev. 9:20)?

 

4.     What makes sin so strong the heart will not repent of murder, drug addiction, sexual immorality or stealing (Rev. 9:21)?

 

5.     Sin drives some individuals to seek death (Rev. 9: 6). Do you think suicide is a sin? Is it forgivable? Can anyone die apart from divine permission?

 

Hiding God’s Word in My Heart

 

Revelation 9:20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: 21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

 

~*~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary

Revelation Chapter 10

 

This chapter is an introduction to the latter part of the prophecies of the Revelation. In this chapter there is a remarkable description of a very glorious angel with an open book in his hand (Rev. 10:1-3) followed by an account of seven thunders which the apostle heard. However, what was communicated to John was not allowed to be recorded for the moment (Rev. 10: 4). As the unfolding scene continued John saw a solemn oath taken by Him who had the book in His hand (Rev. 10:5-7). Instructions were then given to the apostle and observed by him (Rev. 10: 8-11).

 

REVELATION 10

 

Second Interlude

 

During this second interlude, John bears witness to a little scroll Rev. 10:1-11 and saw two witnesses Rev. 11:1-14.

 

1 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:

2 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,

3 And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.

 

 

 

 

 

The verses in chapters 10:1-11:14 form an interlude between the sounding of the sixth and the seventh trumpets. The sixth trumpet blast has been sounded but the seventh is silent until Revelation 11:15. In between the sixth and the seventh trumpets are terrible sights to see.

 

4 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.

 

10: 4 “I heard a voice.” Adam and Eve heard the voice of God before the Fall and enjoyed fellowship with the Divine. Then they heard the voice of God after the Fall and fled. “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden” (Gen. 3:8). 

 

·       Abraham heard the voice of God and spared the life of his son Isaac. Genesis 22:11-12 “And the Angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.”

 

·       Moses heard the voice of God and gave to Israel the Law. “And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice” (Ex. 19:19).

 

·       Samuel heard the voice of God and was able to speak with prophetic authority. “And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle” (1 Sam. 3:11).

 

·       Paul heard the voice of God and the world was turned upside down for the cause of Christ. Acts 9:4 “And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”

 

·       John heard the voice of God and wrote of those things which were yet to come. “And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters” (Rev. 1:15).

 

5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,

6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:

7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

8 And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.

9 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.

 

10:9 There was a Jewish custom that was used to help young children learn. The letters of the alphabet would be made from flour and honey. Then, when the child was able to identify the letters correctly, he was able to eat them much like alphabet cereal today. Words formed from sugared cereal can be very sweet. However, as the Word of God can be sweet, it can also be very bitter as it pronounces judgments upon individuals. At such time it is more of a challenge to be a messenger with a mandate. Still, the servant of the Lord will be careful to communicate what the Lord has given and when the Lord would have His message given.

 

10 And I took the little book out of the angels hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.

11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues [languages], and kings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leader’s Study Guide

 

Questions and Answers on Revelation 10

 

1.     Describe the Mighty Angel John saw coming down from heaven (Rev. 10:1-3).

 

Answer.

·       Head. There was a cloud and rainbow upon his head.

 

·       Face. His face was shining as the sun.

 

·       Feet. His feet were as pillars of brass.

 

·       Hand. In his hand was a little open book.

 

·       Right foot. He set his right foot upon the sea.

 

·       Left foot. He set his left foot upon the land.

 

·       Voice. He cried with a loud voice as the roar of a lion.

 

2.     What command was John given (Rev. 10:4)?

 

Answer. John was told to “Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.”

 

3.     The sounding of seven thunders serves to remind the Church of whose voice?

 

Answer. The sounding of the seven thunders reminds the Church that part of the spiritual experience of many people is to hear the voice of God.

 

 

4.     What did the Mighty Angel lift up his hand to heaven and swear (Rev. 10:5,6)?

 

Answer. The Mighty Angel swore, “that there should be time no longer.”

 

5.     What is said to be revealed to the prophets (Rev. 10:7)?

 

Answer. God is pleased to reveal to His servants great mysteries.

 

6.     Review the seven trumpet judgments (Rev. 10:7).

 

Answer.

·       The first trumpet judgment brought fire and hail and caused the destruction of vegetation (Rev. 8:7).

 

·       The second trumpet judgment turned a third of the sea into blood (Rev. 8:8,9).

 

·       The third trumpet judgment made a third of all the fresh water bitter (Rev. 8:10,11).

 

·       The fourth trumpet judgment made a third of the celestial lights dark (Rev. 8:12).

 

·       The fifth trumpet judgment was to bring a five-month period of torment (Rev. 9:1-3).

 

·       The sixth trumpet judgment results in the death of a third of the survivors from the other plagues (Rev. 9:13-15).

 

·       The seventh trumpet judgment contains the seven final bowl judgments and thus the consummation of the ages. There is also an explanation for all things. (Rev. 11:15-19 cf. 16:1).

 

7.     What instruction did John receive from the voice he heard in heaven (Rev. 10:8)?

 

Answer. John was instructed to “Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.”

 

8.     What did John tell the Mighty Angel to do (Rev. 10:9)?

 

Answer. Going to the Mighty Angel John said to him, “Give me the little book.”

 

9.     When the book was given to John so was an unusual commandment. What was John to do with the book (Rev. 10:9)?

 

Answer. John was instructed to take the book and eat it.

 

10.  When John was obedient to the heavenly command what happened (Rev. 10:10)?

 

Answer. When John took the book and ate it upon gospel instruction it was sweet as honey to his taste but bitter in his belly.

 

11.  To whom was John to become a witness (Rev. 10:11)?

Answer. John was going to become a witness to “many people, nations, and tongues, and kings.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personal Application and Reflection

 

1.     Why is the Word of God sweet to some and bitter to others?

 

2.     John speaks of “time no longer.”  What do you think this means? What are the implications of such a thought?

 

3.     Do you believe God reveals the future to some men (Rev. 10:7)? Why or why not?

 

4.     Since the church is to speak to many people, nations and in many languages which personal responsibly do you have in getting the gospel out to the ends of the earth?

 

5.     What is the greatest “mystery” you have had revealed to you concerning the Christian life (Rev. 10:7)? In other words, what is the single greatest spiritual truth you have learned?

 

Hiding God’s Word in My Heart

 

Revelation 10:11And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.

 

 

~*~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary

Revelation Chapter 11

 

In Revelation 11 an account is recorded of a measuring-reed given to the apostle to take the dimensions of the temple (Rev. 11:1-2). John also recorded the appearance of the two witnesses of God (Rev. 10:3-13), the sounding of the seventh trumpet and what followed (Rev. 10:14-19).

 

REVELATION 11

 

Attention was paid to these witnesses: their association with the temple

Rev. 11:1-2

 

1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

 

11:1 The measuring of the Temple, like the sealing of the saints (Rev. 7:2,3), was for the purpose of protecting the faithful one's from the demonic terrors about to descend upon the Earth. God will always protect His saints, not in the sense of excluding them from suffering but in the sense that after the danger passes the Church lives on.

 

2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months [3 ½ years].

 

 

 

 

 

11:2 The presence of impending danger just outside the inner Temple area of security has a historical basis. In AD 70 when the Roman army was attacking the city of Jerusalem the Jews began to retreat. Fighting was taking place in the Court of the Gentiles, the Court of the Women, the Court of the Israelites, and the Court of the Priests which contained the altar of burnt offering made of brass, the altar of incense made of gold, and the Holy Place. In this court only the priests could come. As the fighting grew fierce, the Zealots urged their fellow citizens to fall back to the priestly court where God would stop the Gentiles (Romans) advance. For John, there was a spiritual reality for the true Temple of God, the Church (1 Pet. 2:5; Eph. 2:20,21; 1 Cor. 3:16 cf. 2 Cor. 6:16) would be protected. No harm would come to it. The terror was to last for only a limited time reflected in the 42-month period.

 

The Duration of their Ministry

Rev. 11:3

 

3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days [1,260], clothed in sackcloth.

 

11:3 It is not difficult to trace the origin of the phrase 42 months. It goes back to the reign of terror under Antiochus Epiphanes, king of Syria, who dared to force Greek language and Greek culture and worship on the Jews. When the Jews resisted, a blood bath followed. There was a great slaughter of Israelites that was finally stopped by the efforts of Judas Maccabees and his followers. Waging guerrilla warfare, the Maccabees won some stunning victories. Finally, Antiochus and his soldiers were driven out of the land and the Temple was restored. The whole terrible time had lasted

42 months, from June 168 BC to December 165 BC. Today, the Jews still celebrate Hanukah to commemorate this period of restoration and cleansing. The phrase 42 months was stamped upon the ancient Jewish mind as a time of terror, suffering, and martyrdom. In the midst of the physical suffering there was to be spiritual suffering as well for God would send His two prophets. Clothed in sackcloth, commissioned to preach for 3 1/2 years the prophets did not offer hope but condemnation.

 

Their Personal Protection and Power

Rev. 11:4-6

 

4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks [lamp stands] standing before the God of the earth.

 

11:4 There are several possibilities in identifying the two witnesses. If the passage is viewed as an allegory the two witnesses might be the Law and the Prophets or the Law and the Gospels, or the Old Testament and the New Testament. Another possibility is that the two witnesses are Elijah and Enoch for these two men never died (Gen. 5:24; 2 Kings 2:11). A third understanding is that witnesses are Moses and Elijah who appeared with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration (Mark 9:4).

 

5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.

6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

 

11:5-6 Moses and Elijah exercised the power attributed to the two witnesses. The two witnesses had power to devour their enemies (2 Kings 1:10,12; Hos. 6:5). They could stop the rain from falling (Rev. 11:6 cf. 1 Kings 17:1). The two witnesses could turn water into blood (Ex. 7:14-18) and then smite the earth with plagues.

 

The Termination of Their Ministry

Rev. 11:7-10

 

7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongue [languages] and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer [allow] their dead bodies to be put in graves.

10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.

 

Their Ultimate Translation

Rev. 11:11-14

 

11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

14 The second woe [trouble] is past; and, behold, the third woe [trouble] cometh quickly.

 

The Seventh Trumpet sounded to announce the sovereign reign of the Lord over the nations of the earth (Rev. 11:15-19). The nations resisted the reign of the Sovereign with violence.

 

15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD ARE BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST; AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER [Ex. 15:18; Dan. 2:44; 7:14].

16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,

17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leader’s Study Guide

 

Questions and Answers on Revelation 11

 

1.     What instrument was John given in Revelation 11:1?

 

Answer. John was given “a reed like unto a rod.”

 

2.     What was John to measure (Rev. 11:1)?

 

Answer. John was to measure the temple, the altar and those that worshipped.

 

3.     What area of the Temple was John told not to measure and why (Rev. 11:2)?

 

Answer. John was instructed to measure not the Court of the Gentiles for that area and the city of Jerusalem was to be under divine judgment for forty-two months.

 

4.     How long were the two witnesses to minister (Rev. 11:3)?

 

Answer. The two witnesses were to minister for 1,260 days or forty two months (30 months x42=1.260 days)

 

5.     Can the identity of the two witnesses be established from the text (Rev. 11:3,4)?

 

Answer. The only identity of the two witnesses is that they are said to be the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

 

 

 

 

6.     What divine protection was given to the two witnesses (Rev. 11:5)?

 

Answer. The two witnesses had power to destroy with fire out of their mouths anyone who opposed their ministry.

 

7.     What three miracles were the two witnesses able to perform (Rev. 11:6).

 

Answer.                                                 

·       Rain. The two witnesses had power to shut heaven that it rain not for 42 months or 1,260 days.

 

·       Water. The two witnesses had power to turn water into blood.

 

·       Plagues. The two witnesses had power to produces plagues at will.

 

8.     Who made war with the two witnesses and when were they killed (Rev. 11:7)?

 

Answer. At the end of a 42-month period of ministry the two witnesses were said to be killed by “the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit.”

 

9.     Where were the bodies of the two witnesses placed following their murder (Rev. 11:8,9)?

 

Answer. John saw the dead bodies of the two witnesses being left in the open in the city of Jerusalem which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt. The bodies were left for three and a half days.

 

10.  What was the reaction of the general population to the death of the two witnesses (Rev. 11:10)?

 

 

Answer. With the death of the two witnesses there was general rejoicing even to the exchanging of gifts.

 

11.  What happened after three and a half days to the two witnesses (Rev. 11:11)?

 

Answer. After three and a half days the spirit of God entered into the two witnesses and they lived to the amazement and fear of the general population.

 

12.  What did a voice from heaven say to the two witnesses (Rev. 11:12).

 

Answer. A voice from heaven called the two witnesses home saying, “Come up hither.”

 

13.  In the same hour that the two witnesses ascended into heaven what happened on earth (Rev. 11:13)?

 

Answer. In the same hour of the ascension of the witnesses into heaven there was a great earthquake in which a tenth part of the city of Jerusalem was destroyed.

 

14.  How many people died in the earthquake (Rev. 11:13)?

 

Answer. Seven thousand died in the earthquake.

 

15.  What twofold change was produced in the hearts of many following the earthquake (Rev. 11:13)?

 

Answer. There was a twofold change in the hearts of many. The first change was that of fear and the second change was a willingness to give glory to the God of heaven.

16.  How many woes are left after the passing of the first two (Rev. 11:14)?

Answer. There was one “woe” left in a series of three.

 

17.  Review the type of judgment associate with the three “woes”: Revelation 9:12 cf. 9:1-11; Rev. 11:14 cf. 9:13-19; Rev. 11:14 cf. 11:15-19.

 

Answer.

·       The first woe in Revelation 9:12 is associated with the judgment of the fifth angel which opened the bottomless pit to release an army from hell that tormented men.

 

·       The second woe in Revelation 11:14 is associated with the judgment of the sixth angel to whom power was given kill one third of mankind.

 

·       The third woe in Revelation 11:14 is associated with the seventh angel which poured forth lightening and voices and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

 

18.  What did the voices of heaven say after the ascension of the two witnesses, the earthquake and the two-fold change in the hearts of many (Rev. 11:15)?

 

Answer. “And the seventh angel sounded;  and there were great voices in heaven, saying,  The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord,  and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”

 

19.  What did the twenty-four elders say as they worshipped God (Rev. 11:16, 17)?

 

 

Answer. The twenty-four elders fell on their faces saying, “We give thee thanks,  O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.” “And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.”

 

20.  What was seen or heard when the temple of God was opened in heaven (Rev. 11:19)?

 

Answer. John saw in the temple the “ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”

 

Personal Reflection and Application

 

1.     Spiritual power is needed for ministry (Luke 24:49; Rev. 11:3). How can the average Christian receive this power from on high?

 

2.     Do you ever feel you are in a spiritual warfare (Rev. 11:7)? What form does this battle take?

 

3.     Why do so many nations hate Christ and Christianity (Rev 11:18)?

 

4.     If a Christian became familiar with the Tabernacle of the Old Testament do you believe the Christian might be more comfortable with the sights of heaven (Rev. 11:12)?

 

 

 

 

5.     Judgment is pronounced on those “which destroy the earth” (Rev. 11: 11). Do Christians have a responsibility toward the earth’s environment? What s that responsibility?

 

Hiding God’s Word in My Heart

 

Revelation 11:16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

 

~*~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary

Revelation Chapter 12

 

It is likely that Revelation 12-14, from the sounding of the seventh trumpet to the opening of the seven vials, is not a prediction of things to come, but rather a recapitulation and representation of things past. As God would have the apostle to foresee future events so He would have him review what these events were in the past so that he might have a more perfect idea of them in his mind. The Lord would have John to observe an essential unity between prophecy and the Providence that is always fulfilling the Scriptures. In Revelation 12 there is an account of the contest between the church and antichrist, the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. The angelic conflict which began in heaven (Rev. 12:1-11) is carried on in the earth (Rev. 12:1217).

 

REVELATION 12

 

Seven Personages:

Rev. 12:1-14:20

 

First Person: the woman clothed with the sun Rev. 12:1-2

 

 1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

12:1-2 Concerning the woman the best understanding is that the Woman is spiritual Israel, which means that she represents all those who have the faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Collectively, in the Old Testament, spiritual Israel was considered to be the Bride of God. In Isaiah 54:5 we read, "For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of Host is His name." As the wife of Jehovah, Israel was the mother of His son, the Messiah.

 

Second Person: a great red dragon

Rev. 12:3-4

 

3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

 

12:3 The concept of a Red Dragon was well known to the ancient world. In Babylon, where the Jews were once exiled for 70 years, in the temple of Marduk, the creating god, there was a great image of a red-gleaming serpent that represented the defeated dragon of chaos. The Old Testament has reference to a dragon. The dragon appears as Rahab, a poetical name for Egypt, in Isaiah 51:9. The dragon is associated with Leviathan, which may refer to the crocodile, a symbol for the ruling powers of Egypt (Psalms 74:12-14). The dragon is associated with behemoth, a terrible creature of uncertain identity in Job 40:15.

 

4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

 

Third Person: a man child

Rev. 12:5-6

 

5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days [1,260].

 

Fourth person: the archangel

Rev. 12:7-12

 

7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

 

12: 7 In Jewish thought Michael was the great champion of the people of God (cf. Daniel 10:13, 21; 12:1). Being an elect angel confirmed in holiness, Michael and his angels fought against Lucifer and his angels and prevailed. Here is a marvelous passage of Scripture for in it we have a glimpse of a civil war in heaven. Just when the great angelic conflict first began is not certain. It may have taken place prior to creation or more likely after the creation of the world. Only one thing is certain about the timing. The angelic warfare did occur prior to the fall of man for it is Lucifer who tempted Adam and Eve to join him in his revolt against God. From this passage several conclusions can be noted about Satan.

v    He lost the war in heaven

Rev. 12:8a

v    He lost his position in heaven

Rev. 12:8b

 

 

v    He was cast out into the earth

Rev. 12:9

 

v    He retained the ability to deceive the

whole world    Rev. 12:9

 

v    His angels (demons) were cast out with

Him     Rev. 12:9

 

v    His exile was witnessed by Christ                                    Luke 10:18

 

v    His power on earth was broken by Christ                         Rev. 12:10 cf. Luke 10:17

 

v    He still stands to accuse the saints before

God     Rev. 12:10

 

v    He knows that his time is short                                          Rev. 12:12

 

v    He has a tremendous amount of anger                               Rev. 12:12

 

v    As he once declared war on spiritual

Israel so he has turned to making war

with the Church Rev. 12:13, 17

 

 

8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out I into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

 

Fifth person: the woman with child

Rev. 12:13-17

 

13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time [three and one half years], from the face of the serpent.

15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed [drank] up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leader’s Study Guide

 

Questions and Answers on Revelation 12

 

1.     Describe the first great wonder of the woman of John’s vision in Revelation 12:1,2.

 

Answer.

·       Clothing. The woman was clothed with the sun.

·       Feet.    The moon was under her feet.

·       Head.  A crown of twelve stars was upon her head.

·       Stomach. The woman was great with child.

 

2.     What was the second great wonder of John’s vision at this point (Rev. 12:3)?

 

Answer. The second great wonder John saw at this point in his vision was a red dragon. Having seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns upon his head.

 

3.     How many stars of heaven did the tail of the dragon extinguish (Rev. 12:4)?

 

Answer. The tail of the dragon drew a third of the stars of heaven and cast them upon the earth.

 

4.     What was the intent of the dragon in regards to the woman (Rev. 12:4)?

 

Answer. It was the intent of the dragon to destroy the woman’s child as soon as it was born.

 

5.     What happened to the baby that was born (Rev. 12:5)?

 

Answer. When the woman gave birth to the man-child, her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

 

6.     While the man-child was caught up to heaven, what protection was given to the woman (Rev. 12:6)?

 

Answer. The woman fled into the wilderness where she was divinely protected for 1,260 days or 42 months.

 

7.     Who fought against the dragon in heaven (Rev. 12:7)?

 

Answer. In the angelic conflict of heaven Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels.

 

8.     What was the twofold result of the angelic conflict in heaven (Rev. 12:8,9)?

 

Answer.

First, Michael and his angels prevailed against the dragon and his angels.

 

Second, the great dragon was cast out of heaven into the earth along with his angels.

 

9.     List three other names for the great dragon (Rev. 12:9).

 

Answer. The great dragon is also called that old serpent, the Devil, and Satan.

 

10.  What did John hear the unseen voice in heaven say (Rev. 12:10)?

 

Answer. John heard a loud voice saying in heaven,  “Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.”

 

 

 

11.  How were the brethren able to overcome the accusations of the Devil (Rev. 12:11)?

 

Answer. The saints overcame him “by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

 

12.  What was to be the attitude the inhabitants of heaven with the departure of Satan and his angels (Rev. 12:12)?

 

Answer. There was to be rejoicing in heaven by the casting out of Satan.

 

13.  What was to be the attitude of the inhabitants on earth knowing that Satan was now present (Rev. 12:12)?

 

Answer. The inhabitants of the earth are to tremble for Satan is angry knowing his certain doom.

 

14.  Whom did the great dragon try to harm (Rev. 12:13)?

 

Answer. When the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

 

15.  With the great dragon chasing her how did the woman escape (Rev. 12:14)?

 

Answer. “To the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”

 

16.  What spewed forth from the mouth of the serpent to try and destroy the fleeing woman (Rev. 12:15)?

 

Answer. “The serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.”

 

17.  What supernatural intervention took place to protect the fleeing woman (Rev. 12:16)?

 

Answer. The “earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.”

 

18.  Because he was not able to destroy the woman on whom did the dragon turn his rage (Rev. 12:17)?

 

Answer. “The dragon was wroth [angry] with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed [the church], which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

 

Personal Reflection and Application

 

1.     The idea of war in heaven between Michael and his angels and Lucifer stirs the imagination (Rev. 12:7). What are your thoughts on this matter. Why was there war in heaven?

 

2.     Satan is called an accuser (Rev. 12: 10). Has the Evil One ever accused you in your conscience? What is your response when these accusations come? Are they true?

 

 

 

 

 

3.     Why must mankind be caught up in the angelic conflict between God and Lucifer and between Michael and his angels? If there had been no Devil to tempt man do you think there would have been a Fall?

 

4.     A command is given to rejoice in heaven (Rev. 12: 12) in relation to events on earth. How much of the events are earth do you think is known in heaven?

 

5.     Yes, or no. Do you keep the commandments of God? Do you have a vital testimony for Jesus Christ? Would your pastor agree with your answer? Yes, or no.

 

 

Hiding God’s Word in My Heart

 

Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

 

~*~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary

Revelation Chapter 13

 

Revelation 13 reveals the discovery and description of the enemies of the church. These enemies are not really new though they are represented as two beasts. The record of the first beast is found in Revelation 10:1-10 while Revelation 10:11-18 describes the second beast. The first beast may represent Roman pagan authority while the second beast represents Roman ecclesiastical authority all of which was abused.

 

REVELATION 13

 

Sixth person: the beast out of the sea

Rev. 13:1-10

 

1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

 

13:1-2 For John, the Beast which he saw rise out of the sea embodied all the base characteristics of previous empires (cf. Daniel 7:3-7). John's Beast was like a leopard with bear's feet and a lion's mouth which is the say that for the apostle the Roman Empire included all the terrors and fears associated with all the evil empires which had gone before. The Beast, which John saw, had seven heads and ten horns.

These heads and horns could easily stand for the various rulers and emperors of Rome. The emperor's were as follows.

 

·       Julius Caesar         49-44 BC

·       Augustus                31 BC - AD 14

·       Tiberius                 AD 14-37

·       Caligula                 AD 37-41

·       Claudius                AD 41-54

·       Nero                      AD 55-68

 

Between AD 68-69 there was a period of 18 months in which three men tried to rule Rome:

Galba, Otho, and Vitellius.

 

·       Vespasian              AD 69-79

·       Titus                      AD 79-81

·       Domitian               AD 81-96

 

3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered [followed] after the beast.

 

13:3 The seven emperors together with three other rulers, Galba, Otho, and Vitellius made up the ten horns. However, as John saw, one of the heads, perhaps representing Nero, was wounded unto death. But the wounded head was restored. Something like this happened in history. When Nero committed suicide the news was too good to be true. Rumors spread leading to the legend of Nero redivivus or Nero resurrected. It was whispered that whatever deadly wound Nero inflicted upon himself was healed.

 

4 And they worshipped the dragon, which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?

5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months [3 ½ years].

6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

 

13:4-6 On the heads of the Beast were blasphemous names. The emperors of Rome often took titles of deity unto themselves. For example, Nero has inscribed on his coins, "The Savior of the World." In order to enforce worship of themselves the emperors of Rome created an elaborate organization of magistrates and priesthood.

 

7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongue [languages], and nations.

8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

 

13:7-8 The election to salvation was not a general, racial, or indiscriminate selection. Rather, God chose particular individuals to be the heirs of salvation and wrote their names in the Book of Life before the foundation of the world.

 

9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.

10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

 

Seventh Person: the beast out of the earth Rev. 13:11-18

 

11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

 

13:11-17 The complete picture presented in Revelation 13 teaches that evil can totally dominate the soul of a person. A person can so abandon themselves to the works of the flesh that they actually become the property of Satan, devoted to him and remain forever under satanic authority, without genuine faith but happy in the evil that is committed. Jesus told certain religious people, "You are of the devil and the lust of your father you will do." Those who do not follow Christ do not consider themselves slaves of the devil nor workings out his lusts— but they are and they do.

Concerning the number of the Beast the suggestions as to the meaning of 666 are endless. It is possible that the number has something to do with Nero. Many ancient manuscripts give the number as 616. If we take Nero in Latin and give its numerical equivalent, we do get the sum of 666. N = 50 E = 6 R = 500 O = 60 N = 50. The name can equally well be spelled without the final N, which would give the number 616. In Hebrew the letters of Nero Caesar also add up to 666. It may well be that the number of the Beast from the Land for Nero but again it is speculation at best and best not to speculate. What is not idle speculation is that the composite picture of speaks of two beasts.

There is the Beast from the Sea reflecting the abuse of political power. There is the Beast from the Land reflecting the abuse of religious power. Opposing the Beast from the Sea and opposing the Beast from the Land was the Church which was exhorted to be faithful unto the death to Christ while pledging ultimate allegiance only to Him and His kingdom.

 

18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six [666].

 

Beast from the Sea

Looked like a leopard with feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion

 

Beast from the Earth

Looked like a lamb with two horns

 

Beast from the Sea

Received a moral head wound which healed

 

Beast from the Earth

Never wounded

 

Beast from the Sea

Able to communicate effectively while           speaking blasphemies

 

Beast from the Earth

Able to communicate effectively while speaking like the dragon

 

Beast from the Sea

Not able to perform miracles

 

Beast from the earth

Able to perform miracles such as making

fire come down from heaven

 

Beast from the Sea

      Empowered for 42 months

 

Beast from the Earth

      No time limit is given

 

Beast from the Sea

      Made war with the saints even unto death

 

 

 

 

Beast from the Earth

      Hurt the saints economically if they refused the act of honor by the placing a mark, name of number (666) of the first beast on their right hand or in their forehead.

 

Beast from the Sea

      Received personal worship

 

Beast from the Earth

      Caused people to worship the first beast from the sea by deception in making a dumb idol speak

~*~

 

Spiritual Lessons from Revelation 13

 

1.     Satan as “the Dragon” will empower certain world leaders and governments. Rev 13:2 “and the dragon gave him [the Beast from the Sea] his power, and his seat, and great authority.” There is no question but Satan can empower individuals who open themselves up directly or indirectly to his influence and guidance.

 

2.     Because the devil and man want to be like God and be the object of worship the heart must guard against such idolatry. Rev 13:4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him? The cult of emperor worship, the making of “movie idols” or “Teen idols” is a direct violation of the principle of the commandment of God forbidding such activity.

 

3.     Evil can persuasively present its ideologies while being bold to defy the righteousness of God. Rev 13:5 And there was given unto him [the Beast from the Sea] a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies.

 

4.     Whatever power evil may exercise it is under the sovereign control of God. Rev 13:5 “and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” Why God gives power to men to do that which is evil is a great mystery.

 

5.     As Christians are part of the angelic conflict they will come under demonic persecution in the normal affairs of life. Rev 13:6 And he [the Beast from the Land] opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. 7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

 

6.     The elect shall be faithful and never worship man or the devil. Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

 

7.     Christ has a chosen remnant, redeemed by his blood, recorded in his book, sealed by his Spirit; and though the devil and his antichrist might overcome their bodily strength, and take away their natural life, they can never conquer their souls, nor prevail with them to forsake their Savior and revolt to his enemies (Matthew Henry).

 

8.     The assurance is given in Revelation 13:10 that when God has accomplished His work on mount Zion, His refining work, then He will turn His hand against the enemies of His people. Those who have killed with the sword shall themselves fall by the sword. Those who led the people of God into captivity shall themselves be made captives. Until the Lord comes to deliver His people they are to exercise patience and faith in times of persecution. There is to be patience under the prospect of great sufferings; there is to be faith in the prospect of a grand and glorious deliverance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leader’s Study Guide

 

Questions and Answers on Revelation 13

 

1.     Describe the terrible image John saw rise up out of the sea (Rev. 13:1,2)?

 

Answer.

·       Heads. The beast had seven heads upon which were written the names of blasphemy.

 

·       Horns. The beast had ten horns.

 

·       Body. His body was like unto a leopard.

 

·       Feet. His feet were as the feet of a bear.

 

·       Mouth. His mouth was shaped like that of a lion’s mouth.

 

 

2.     Who empowered the beast from the sea (Rev. 13:2)?

 

Answer. “The dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.”

 

3.     What happened to one of the seven heads on the beast from the sea (Rev. 13:3)?

 

Answer. One of the heads was mortally wounded but the deadly wound healed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.     When the head of the beast from the sea was healed whom did the world worship (Rev. 13:4)?

 

Answer. The world worshipped the dragon that gave power unto the best.

 

5.     What was given to the first beast to seduce the world (Rev. 13:5,6)?

 

Answer. A mouth speaking great blasphemies was given unto the first beast to deceive the world for 42 months.

 

6.     How extensive was the power given to the first beast (Rev. 13:7)?

 

Answer. The authority of the first beast extended over the saints and “over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”

 

7.     Who is said to worship the first beast (Rev. 13:8)?

 

Answer. Those whose names are not written in the book of life shall worship the first beast.

 

8.     When was the Lamb slain (Rev. 13:8)?

 

Answer. The Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world.

 

9.     What gospel call and words of warning are issued in Revelation 13:9-10?

 

Answer. “If any many have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.”

 

10.  John saw a second beast but this one comes from out of the earth. Describe the appearance of this second beast (Rev. 13:11).

 

Answer. This second beast which came from the earth had two horns like a lamb but he spoke like the dragon.

 

11.  Detail the strength and activity of the second beast that came from the earth (Rev. 13:12-17).

 

Answer.

·       Power. The second beast exercised all the power of the first beast.

 

·       Worship. The second beast caused the world to worship the first beast whose deadly wound was healed.

 

·       Miracles. The second beast made fire to fall from heaven in the sight of men to their amazement.

 

·       Idolatry. The second beast by satanically induced miracles gained credibility to suggest that an image be made to the first beast which had been wounded by a sword.

 

·       Artificial life. The second beast was able to give artificial life to the image of the first beast so that the image should speak and command the death of those who did not worship.

 

·       Markings. The second beast had power to mark people on their right hand or on their forehead so that they were not able to buy or sell unless they had the mark, the name or the number of the first beast.

 

·       The Number of the Beast. The number of the first beast was 666.

 

12.  By way of review, compare and contrast the beast from the sea with the beast from the earth.

 

Answer.

Beast from the Sea

·       Looked like a leopard with feet of a bear      

 

Beast from the Earth

·       Looked like a lamb with two horns and the mouth of a lion

 

Beast from the Sea

·       Received a mortal head wound which never healed

 

Beast from the Earth

·       Able to communicate effectively while                      

 

Beast from the Sea

·       Able to communicate effectively speaking blasphemies while speaking like the dragon 

 

Beast from the Earth

·       Able to perform miracles such as making fire come down from heaven

 

Beast from the Sea

·       Empowered for 42 months

 

Beast from the Earth

·       Made war with the saints even unto death       Hurt the saints economically by causing them to receive a mark, name, or number (666) of the first beast on their right hand or in their forehead

 

 

 

Beast from the Sea

·       Received personal worship   

 

Beast from the Earth

·       Caused people to worship the First

 

~*~

 

Personal Application and Reflections

 

1.     Why are the rulers of the earth likened to animals (Rev. 13: 1-2)? If you were an animal which one would you be based on character traits?

 

2.     Why do men at times worship the creature more than the Creator?

 

3.     Why does God allow the enemies of the church to overcome them (Rev. 13: 7)? What purpose does the triumph of evil serve?

 

4.     How can the Christian distinguish between a genuine miracle and a false (Rev. 13:14)?

 

5.     What do you think the number 666 refers? Why? What would you say to the idea the modern bar code on items contain the number 666?

 

Hiding God’s Word in My Heart

 

Revelation 13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

 

~*~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary

Revelation Chapter 14

 

After an account of the great trials and sufferings that the servants of God had endured, a more pleasant scene is presented. The day begins to dawn with the Lord Jesus at the head of His faithful followers (Rom. 14:1-5). Three angels are sent successively to proclaim the fall of Babylon and the events associated with so great an event (Rev. 14:6-13). The vision of the harvest is given in Revelation 14:14-20.

 

REVELATION 14

 

Third Interlude

Rev. 14:1-20

 

After the description of the seven personages, John heard various announcements proclaimed concerning:

 

The Lamb on Mount Zion and the 144,000 Rev. 14:1-5

 

1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the Mount Sion and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Fathers name written in their foreheads.

2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

 

14:1-5 It is possible that the reference is to spiritual adultery. Many times in the Old Testament it is lamented that the people of Israel went "a whoring" after strange gods (Ex. 34:15; Deut. 31:16; Judges 2:17; 8:27,33; Hos. 9:1). Unfortunately, the passage in Revelation 14:4 does not read as if it is to be understood in a metaphorical manner.

Honesty compels an understanding hat exalts celibacy and virginity. History records that the idea soon appeared in the early Church hat the highest Christian life was possible only if marriage was renounced. One of the leading Church fathers, Origen, had himself castrated to ensure virginity.

There is on record a Roman trial at which the Christians are charged with being "the people who impose upon silly women and tell them that they must not marry and persuade them to adopt a fanciful chastity" (Ruinart: Acts of the Martyrs, 27 April, AD 304).

While the Church must hold an exalted view of celibacy, it is not the only view of the Church on sexuality. In Matthew 19:4-6 Jesus glorifies marriage and warns that what God has joined together, no man should put aside. The apostle Paul idealized marriage and compared it to the relation between Christ and the Church (Eph. 5:22-23). The gospel warning foretold that in the latter times the doctrine would be taught not to marry (1 Tim. 4:3).

Ø     Spiritual application. Heresy is doctrinal error carried to extreme. The Christian must be very careful to stay close to the text. To speak when the Scriptures speak and to be silent when the Scriptures are silent is a great antidote to spiritual pride, which is tempted to teach what is not warranted.

 

The proclamation of the everlasting gospel Rev. 14:6-8

 

6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

 

14:6-8 Historically, the original Babylon fell to Cyrus the Persian (d. 529 BC). It was one of the most shattering events of ancient history though the prophets of Israel foretold it. Isaiah cried, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground." (Isa. 21:9) Jeremiah said, “Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed." (Jer. 51:8). For John, Rome was his contemporary Babylon ripe for divine

judgment. As Babylon was a golden cup in the hand of the Lord (Jer. 51:7) making all the earth drunken so Rome was also a corrupting force luring the people of the world into immorality.

 

Ø     Spiritual application. Because God operates a moral universe He does not wait until eternity to deal with the nations of the earth.

 

The worship of the beast

Rev. 14:9-13

 

9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

 

14:9-11 Hell is the ultimate expression of the wrath of God (Rev. 14:10). It is a just expression of Divine anger. Hell is the place of no mixture of mercy with judgment; it is the place of total fury. Hell is a place of endless torment. The agony of hell is known to the holy angels and to the Lamb. Once the Christians were thrown to the lions while the world sat in the bleachers and watched. In eternity, it is the ungodly that shall suffer

while the holy angels and the Savior who suffered looks on. Hell is a place where the smoke of the torture ascends us forever and ever. The Jewish mind would recall the Old Testament account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Genesis 19:28 says that, "the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace."

Unlike Sodom and Gomorrah the eternal death, the second death offers no relief by day or night. Time ceases in eternity. The concept about an eternal unceasing place of torment for the wicked has troubled many people. It has been argued that the punishment does not fit the crime.

Eternal torment for sin is said to be too harsh a penalty to have to pay. The response is that men do not consider sin as horrible as God does. It has been suggested that the concept of eternal punishment go against the ethical teachings of Jesus.

The response is that the whole concept of hell is ethical for it declares that there is justice in the world. For God not to punish sin would be unethical. It would make God unjust and even unmerciful towards those who have suffered.

To turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to acts of brutality and cries of pain is wrong. It has been suggested that God will one day redeem all of mankind. In response, it can be said that neither the plain language of Scripture nor the vision of John offers any hope for such a possibility as nice as that concept appears to be.

 

Ø     Spiritual application. The lessons of this passage become compelling and terrifying: Turn or burn. Those who will not worship the Lamb shall suffer the fate of the damned and the doom of the Beast.

 

12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

 

The blessed dead and a great harvest Rev. 14:14-20

 

14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of Man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by [during] the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs [200 miles].

 

14:20 The amount of “blood” that resulted from the winepress speaks of the severity of the judgment to fill a stretch of earth 184 miles, the full length of Palestine. The height of the horse’s bridle is about four feet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leader’s Study Guide

 

Questions and Answers on Revelation 14

 

1.     Describe the scene that John sees in Revelation 14:1.

 

Answer. John sees the Lamb standing on Mount Sion surrounded by 144,000 souls with the name of the Father written in their foreheads.

 

2.     What three sounds did John hear in this part of the vision (Rev. 14:2,3)?

 

Answer.

·       John heard a voice sounding like that of a babbling brook.

 

·       John heard a voice sounding like that of a thunderclap.

 

·       John heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps.

 

3.     Who could understand the song that was sung (Rev. 14:3)?

 

Answer. The new song sung before the throne was not understood by anyone but the 144,000.

 

4.     List five facts associated with the 144,000 (Rev. 14:4,5).

 

Answer.

·       They were virgins.

 

·       They followed after the Lamb wherever He went.

 

·       They were the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

 

·       They were pure in speech.

 

·       They lingered before the throne of God.

 

5.