THE STORY OF THE EARLY CHURCH
Verses preaching the "Gospel of Jesus"
59 - BOOK
Most of Revelations is here;
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I - PROLOGUE
59.1 JOHN INTRODUCES THE REVELATION JESUS CHRIST MADE KNOWN TO HIM
Revelation 1:1-3 - This is a Revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him (Christ) so that he might show his servants what must very soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who is the witness of all that he saw - the message of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Happy is the man who reads this prophecy and happy are those who hear it read and pay attention to its message; for the time is near.
59.2 JOHN SENDS HIS GREETINGS TO THE SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA
Revelation 1:4-6 - John, to the seven Churches in Asia:
Grace and peace be to you from him who is and who was and who is coming (God the Father), from the seven Spirits before his throne (possibly the Holy Spirit), and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, first-born of the dead, and ruler of kings upon earth (Christ the Son). To him who loves us and has set us free from our sins through his own blood, who has made us a kingdom of priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and power for timeless ages, amen.
59.3 THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS
Revelation 1:7-8 - See, he is coming in the clouds and every eye shall see him, even those who pierced him, and his coming will mean bitter sorrow to every tribe upon the earth. So let it be!
"I am Alpha and Omega (the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, the beginning and the end, the alphabet from which all words, the Word, are formed), says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is coming, the Almighty."
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II - THE FIRST VISION OF CHRIST
59.4 JOHN TELLS HOW CHRIST TOLD HIM TO WRITE TO THE CHURCHES
Revelation 1:9-11 - I, John, who am your brother and your companion in the distress, the kingdom and the faithful endurance to which Jesus calls us, was on the island called Patmos because I had spoken God's message and borne witness to Jesus. On the Lord's day I knew myself inspired by the Spirit, and I heard from behind me a voice loud as a trumpet-call saying, "Write down in a book what you see (in a series of visions), and send it to the seven Churches - to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea!"
59.5 HE DESCRIBES THE AWESOME APPEARANCE OF JESUS CHRIST
Revelation 1:12-16 - I turned to see whose voice it was that was speaking to me and when I had turned I saw seven golden lamp stands (representing the seven churches, in turn representative of all churches), and among these lampstands I saw someone
'like a Son of Man' (Daniel 7:13).
He (Christ, now described in essentially Old Testament priestly terms) was dressed in a long robe with a golden girdle around his breast; his head and his hair were white as snow-white wool, his eyes blazed like fire, and his feet shone as the finest bronze glows in the furnace. His voice had the sound of a great waterfall, and I saw that in his right hand he held seven stars (representing the angels, or possibly guardians or leaders of the seven churches). A sharp two-edged sword came out of his mouth, and his face was ablaze like the sun at its height.
59.6 CHRIST REPEATS HIS INSTRUCTIONS, AND EXPLAINS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STARS AND LAMPSTANDS
Revelation 1:17-20 - When my eyes took in this sight I fell at his feet like a dead man. And then he (Christ) placed his right hand upon me and said, "Do not be afraid. I am the first and the last, the living one. I am he who was dead, and now you see me alive for timeless ages! I hold in my hand the keys of death and the grave. Therefore, write down what you have seen, both the things which are now, and the things which are to be hereafter. The secret meaning of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and of the seven golden lampstands is this: the seven stars are the angels of the seven Churches and the lampstands are the Churches themselves."
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III - SEVEN COVERING LETTERS TO THE CHURCHES OF ASIA
Chapters 2 and 3 in Part 31, Travels and Acts" are John's individual covering letters to the seven churches in Asia.
The seven letters to the churches of Asia are followed by GOD'S JUDGMENT ON THE UNIVERSE.
The heart of this major section is three sets of sevenfold judgments:
(1) The opening of Seven Seals (chapters 6:1-8:1);
(2) The sounding of Seven Trumpets (chapters 8:7-11:15);
(3) The pouring out of Seven Plagues (chapters 16:2-16:21);
Sometimes preceding, sometimes interposed within, sometimes following these judgments are a variety of other visions and deeds:
(1) The opening of Seven Seals (chapters 6:1-8:1):
- The opening of the First Seal (6:1) is preceded by John's vision of heaven and the Revelation that only Christ, the lamb of God is worthy to open all Seven Seals (4:1-5:14);
- Before the Seventh Seal is opened (8:1), there is an interlude in which the Jews of Israel and a multitude of mankind are marked or identified for rescue before God's final judgment (7:1-17);
(2) The sounding of Seven Trumpets (chapters 8:7-11:15):
- Before the First Trumpet sounds (8:7), an angel appears with an incense burner. The incense and the prayers of the saints rise up before God (8:2-6).
- Before the Seventh Trumpet (11:15), another angel hands John a "little book" to eat and he is told to prophesy (10:1-11). The Temple is measured (11:1-2), two witnesses are killed by Satan but taken up into heaven (11:3-12), and an earthquake takes place (11:13-14);
(3) The pouring out of Seven Plagues (chapters 16:2-16:21):
- After the Last Trumpet sounds (11:15) but before the First Plague is poured out (16:2), there are a number of major visions:
- Between the Sixth Plague (16:12) and the Seventh (16:17-21) a great struggle, the Battle of Armageddon takes place (16:13-16)
- The pouring out of the Last Plague leads to the Fall of "Babylon" and approaching victory for those Christians who endured (17:1-19:10)
The conclusion of Revelation, Chapters 19:11-22:21 has its own Introduction
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IV - VISION OF HEAVEN
THE THRONE OF GOD
59.7 JOHN'S VISION - THE THRONE OF GOD, THE 24 ELDERS, THE SEVEN SPIRITS
Revelation 4:1-6a - Later I looked again, and before my eyes a door stood open in Heaven, and in my ears was the voice with the ring of a trumpet, which I had heard at first, speaking to me and saying, "Come up here, and I will show you what must happen in the future."
Immediately I knew myself to be inspired by the Spirit, and in my vision I saw a throne had been set up in Heaven, and there was someone seated upon the throne. His appearance (could not be described in human terms, but ...) blazed like diamond and topaz, and all around the throne shone a halo like an emerald rainbow. In a circle around the throne (of God) there were twenty-four thrones and seated upon them twenty-four elders (... possibly 12 patriarchs and 12 apostles representing the entire Church and all mankind saved by God) dressed in white with golden crowns upon their heads. From the central throne come flashes of lightning, noises and peals of thunder. Seven lamps are burning before the throne, and they are the seven Spirits (or sevenfold Holy Spirit) of God. In front of the throne there appears a sea of glass as clear as crystal.
59.8 THE FOUR LIVING CREATURES, WHO WITH THE 24 ELDERS WORSHIP GOD ETERNALLY
Revelation 4:6b-11 - On each side, encircling the throne, are four living creatures (or "beings", perhaps representing all living creation) covered with eyes in front and behind. The first living creature is like a lion, the second is like a calf, the third has a face like a man, and the fourth living creature appears like an eagle in flight. These four creatures have each of them six wings and are covered with eyes, all around them, and even within them. Day and night they never cease to say, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is coming."
The ceaseless worship of Heaven
And whenever the living creatures give glory and honour and thanksgiving to the one (God) who sits upon the throne, who lives for timeless ages, the twenty-four elders prostrate themselves before him who is seated upon the throne and worship the one who lives for timeless ages. They cast their crowns before the throne and say, "You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things and by your will they exist and were created."
THE SEVEN-SEALED BOOK, AND JESUS THE LAMB OF GOD
59.9 THE BOOK WITH SEVEN SEALS IN GOD'S HAND; THE CALL FOR ONE WORTHY TO OPEN IT; THE LION OF JUDAH IS PROCLAIMED WORTHY
Revelation 5:1-5 - Then I noticed in the right hand of the one (God) seated upon the throne a book (presumably containing the world's destiny - God's final judgment) filled with writing both inside and on its back, and it was sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel who called out in a loud voice, "Who is fit to open the book and break its seals (and release God's judgments)?"
And no one in Heaven or upon the earth or under the earth was able to open the book, or even to look at it. I (John) began to weep bitterly because no one could be found fit to open the book, or even to look at it, when one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. See, the lion from the tribe of Judah (... one of Christ's titles), the root of David, has won the victory and is able to open the book and break its seven seals."
59.10 JOHN'S VISION OF THE SACRIFICED LAMB WHO TAKES THE BOOK; THE CREATURES AND ELDERS WORSHIP HIM
Revelation 5:6-10 - Then, standing in the very centre of the throne and of the four living creatures and of the elders, I saw a Lamb that seemed to have been slaughtered. He had seven horns and seven eyes (symbolically holding all power and all wisdom respectively), which are the seven Spirits (Holy Spirit) of God and are sent out into every corner of the earth. Then he (the Lamb) came and took the book from the right hand of him (God) who was seated upon the throne.
The new hymn of the created and of the redeemed
When he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders prostrated themselves before the Lamb. Each of them had a harp, and they had golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. They sang a new song and these are the words they sang, "You (Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God) are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for you were slain, and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth."
59.11 THE WHOLE OF CREATION PRAISES AND WORSHIPS THE LAMB
Revelation 5:11-14 - Then in my vision I heard the voices of many angels encircling the throne, the living creatures and the elders. There were myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, crying in a great voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honour and glory and blessing!"
Then I heard the voice of everything created in Heaven, upon earth, under the earth and upon the sea, and all that are in them saying, "Blessing and honour and glory and power be to him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, for ever and ever!"
The four living creatures said, "Amen", while the elders fell down and worshipped.
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V - THE SEVEN SEALS ARE BROKEN
THE LAMB BREAKS THE FIRST FOUR SEALS - THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE ARE RELEASED
59.12 THE FIRST SEAL IS BROKEN BY THE LAMB - A WHITE HORSE APPEARS, ITS RIDER "CONQUEST"
Revelation 6:1-2 - Then I watched while the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice of thunder, "Come out!"
I looked, and before my eyes was a white horse. Its rider carried a bow, and he was given a crown. He rode out conquering and bent on conquest (empire and domination).
59.13 THE SECOND SEAL IS BROKEN - A RED HORSE, THE RIDER "WAR"
Revelation 6:3-4 - Then, when the Lamb broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature, cry, "Come out!"
And another horse came forth, red in colour. Its rider was given power to deprive the earth of peace, so that men should kill each other. A huge sword was put into his hand.
59.14 THE THIRD SEAL - A BLACK HORSE, "FAMINE"
Revelation 6:5-6 - When the Lamb broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come out!"
I looked again and there before my eyes was a black horse. Its rider had a pair of scales in his hand, and I heard a voice which seemed to come from the four living creatures, saying, "A quart of wheat for a shilling, and three quarts of barley for a shilling (... a day's wages for one man's food for a day) - but no tampering with the oil or the wine!"
59.15 THE FOURTH SEAL - A SICKLY GREEN HORSE, "DEATH"
Revelation 6:7-8 - Then, when he broke the fourth seal I heard the voice of the fourth living creature cry, "Come out!"
Again I looked, and there appeared a horse sickly green in colour. The name of its rider was death (from the disease and pestilence that follows hard on the heels of famine), and the grave (Hades or hell) followed close behind him. A quarter of the earth was put into their power, to kill with the sword, by famine, by violence, and through the wild beasts of the earth.
THE LAMB BREAKS THE FIFTH AND SIXTH SEALS
59.16 THE FIFTH SEAL - THE MARTYRS OF GOD CRY OUT FOR JUSTICE
Revelation 6:9-11 - When the Lamb (of God) broke the fifth seal, I could see, beneath the altar, the souls of those (martyrs) who had been killed for the sake of the Word of God (the Gospel of Christ) and because of the faithfulness of their witness. They cried out in a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell (in prosperity) on the earth?"
Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to be patient a little longer, until the number of their fellow-servants and of their brethren, who were to die as they had died, should be complete.
59.17 THE SIXTH SEAL - UNIVERSAL CATASTROPHE; MANKIND, IN TERROR, HIDES FROM THE ANGER OF GOD AND THE LAMB
Revelation 6:12-17 - Then I watched while he (the Lamb) broke the sixth seal. There was a tremendous earthquake, the sun turned dark like coarse black cloth, and the full moon was red as blood. The stars of the sky fell upon the earth, just as a fig-tree sheds unripe figs when shaken in a gale. The sky vanished as though it were a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was jolted out of its place. Then the kings of the earth, and the great men, the captains, the wealthy, the powerful, and every man, whether slave or free, hid themselves in caves and among mountain rocks. They called out to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of his wrath has come, and who is able to stand against it?"
INTERLUDE - VISION BEFORE THE SEVENTH SEAL IS OPENED
- There is now a pause before God's final judgments, while those who are to be saved are marked and identified:
59.18 GOD'S SERVANTS FROM THE TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL ARE MARKED FOR PROTECTION
Revelation 7:1-8 - Later I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth holding in check the four (destroying) winds of the earth that none should blow upon the earth or upon the sea or upon any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending out of the east, holding the seal of the living God. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who had the power to harm the earth and the sea: "Do no harm to the earth, nor to the sea, nor to the trees until we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads."
I heard the number of those who were thus sealed and it was 144,000 (or 12 x 12 x 1,000 - a symbolic number based on the square of twelve representing completeness or a great multitude of people), from every (one of the twelve Jewish) tribe(s) of the sons of Israel. Twelve thousand were sealed from the tribe of Judah; twelve thousand from the tribe of Reuben; twelve thousand from the tribe of Gad; twelve thousand from the tribe of Asher; twelve thousand from the tribe of Naphtali; twelve thousand from the tribe of Manasseh; twelve thousand from the tribe of Simeon; twelve thousand from the tribe of Levi; twelve thousand from the tribe of Issachar; twelve thousand from the tribe of Zebulun; twelve thousand from the tribe of Joseph; and twelve thousand from the tribe of Benjamin.
59.19 THE EVEN GREATER MULTITUDE OF MANKIND WHO ARE SAVED BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB
Revelation 7:9-17 - When this was done I looked again, and before my eyes appeared a vast crowd (of presumably the world's Gentiles, saved by God and carried to heaven) beyond man's power to number. They came from every nation and tribe and people and language, and they stood before the throne of the Lamb, dressed in white robes with palm-branches in their hands. With a great voice they shouted these words: "Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb!"
Then all the angels (of heaven) stood encircling the throne, the (twenty four) elders and the four living creatures, and prostrated themselves with heads bowed before the throne and worshipped God, saying, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and strength be given to our God for timeless ages!"
The countless host explained
Then one of the elders addressed me (John) and asked, "These who are dressed in white robe - who are they, and where do they come from?!
"You know, my Lord," I answered him.
Then he told me, "These are those who have come through the great oppression (or the tribulation and saved by God): they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. That is why they now have their place before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple. He who sits upon the throne will be their shelter. They will never again know hunger or thirst. The sun shall never beat upon them, neither shall there be any scorching heat, for the Lamb who is in the centre of the throne will be their shepherd and will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
59.20 THE SEVENTH SEAL IS OPENED - SILENCE
Revelation 8:1 - Then, when he had broken the seventh seal, there was utter silence in Heaven for what seemed to me half-an-hour.
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VI - SEVEN TRUMPETS ARE SOUNDED
59.21 SEVEN ANGELS BEFORE GOD ARE GIVEN SEVEN TRUMPETS
Revelation 8:2 - Then I saw the seven angels who stand in the presence of God, and seven trumpets were put into their hands.
59.22 THE EIGHTH ANGEL AND THE INCENSE-BURNER; THE PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS
Revelation 8:3-6 - Then another angel came and stood by the altar holding a golden censer (a pan for burning incense). He was given a great quantity of incense to add to the prayers of all the saints, to be laid upon the golden altar before the throne. And the smoke of the incense rose up before God from the angel's hand, mingled with the prayers of the saints. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it upon the earth (as a symbol of disaster). And at that there were thunderings and noises, flashes of lightning and an earthquake. Then the seven angels who were holding the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.
FOUR ANGELS SOUND THE FIRST FOUR TRUMPETS
59.23 THE FIRST TRUMPET - HAIL AND FIRE DESTROYS A THIRD OF THE EARTH AND ITS VEGETATION
Revelation 8:7 - The first angel blew his trumpet. Hail and fire mingled with blood appeared, and were hurled upon the earth. One-third of the earth was burnt up, one-third of all the trees was burnt up, and every blade of green grass was burnt up.
59.24 THE SECOND TRUMPET - A FIERY MASS DESTROYS A THIRD OF THE SEA AND ITS CREATURES AND SHIPS
Revelation 8:8-9 - The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a vast mountain (a mass as large as a mountain) blazing with fire was thrown into the sea. A third-part of the sea turned into blood, a third of all live creatures in the sea died, and a third-part of all shipping was destroyed.
59.25 THE THIRD TRUMPET - A BLAZING STAR POISONS A THIRD OF THE WORLD'S FRESH WATER
Revelation 8:10-11 - Then the third angel blew his trumpet and there fell from the sky a huge star blazing like a torch. It fell upon a third of the rivers and springs of water. The name of the star is said to be Apsinthus (Wormwood). A third of all the waters turned into wormwood, and many people died because the waters had become so bitter.
59.26 THE FOURTH TRUMPET - A THIRD OF THE UNIVERSE IS DESTROYED
Revelation 8:12 - The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third-part of the sun, a third-part of the moon and a third of the stars were struck. A third-part of the light of each of them was darkened, so that light by day and light by night were both diminished by a third-part.
59.27 THE THREE CRIES OF WOE BECAUSE OF THE THREE REMAINING TRUMPETS
Revelation 8:13 - Then in my vision I saw a solitary eagle flying in mid-heaven, crying in a loud voice, "Alas, alas, alas for the inhabitants of the earth for there are three more trumpet blasts which the three angels shall sound!"
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The Book of Revelation is full of symbolism, no more so than in the remaining chapters. Some of the symbols are outlined here together with their possible interpretation, both contemporary and eternally:
THE SERVANTS OF GOD
THE PREGNANT WOMAN - possibly representing God's chosen people, both Jew and Christian; possibly the mother of the Messiah and the Church
JESUS CHRIST, THE MESSIAH - possibly the male child born to the pregnant woman. Also THE LAMB and THE RIDER ON THE WHITE HORSE (but not the rider of Revelation 6:2, one of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse)
THE CHURCH OF CHRIST; also THE BRIDE
ARCHANGEL MICHAEL - the Protector or guardian angel of Israel (Daniel 10:13,21; 12:1)
THE SAINTS - God's people, Christians, the saved
POWERS OPPOSED TO GOD
THE DEVIL or SATAN - possibly the Star fallen from heaven, the Angel or star of the Pit, Angel of the Abyss; personified as "Abaddon" (destruction) in Hebrew or "Apollyon" in Greek.
HELL or THE GRAVE - the fathomless pit, the Abyss, "Sheol" or "Abaddon" (destruction) in Hebrew, "Hades" or "Apollyon" from the Greek; the place of the dead, where fallen angels are imprisoned, eternal separation from God
DEMONS, EVIL SPIRITS - the locusts or scorpion locusts
THE ANIMAL FROM THE SEA - the Beast from the Sea, an anti-God power, an authoritarian godless state
THE PROSTITUTE OR HARLOT; also "BABYLON", THE WOMAN
THE ANIMAL FROM THE EARTH - the Beast from the Earth, an anti-god power, state-sanctioned, state-dominated religion
A NOTE ON TIMES
"TIME, TIMES AND HALF A TIME" - "one year, two years and half a year" from Daniel 7:25, the 3 1/2 year period 168-165BC when the Jerusalem Temple was desecrated. Also equal to:
1,260 days or 42 months
THE FIFTH AND SIXTH TRUMPETS
59.28 THE FIFTH TRUMPET - A STAR FALLS WITH KEYS TO THE ABYSS; THE FIRST WOE STARTS
Revelation 9:1 - The fifth angel blew his trumpet. I saw a star (... the Angel of the Abyss, possibly Satan), that had fallen down from Heaven to earth, and he was given the key (of Death and Hades) to the fathomless pit (... the Abyss).
59.29 THE ABYSS IS OPENED, SMOKE ASCENDS, LOCUSTS APPEAR WITH THE POWER TO TORTURE THOSE WITHOUT GOD'S PROTECTION
Revelation 9:2-6 - Then he (the Angel of the Abyss) opened the pit and smoke like the smoke of a vast furnace rose out of it, so that the light of the sun and the air itself grew dark from the smoke of the pit.
Then out of the smoke emerged locusts (evil spirits or demons) to descend upon the earth. They were given powers like those of earthly scorpions. They had orders to do no harm to any grass, green thing or tree upon the earth, but to injure only those human beings who did not bear the seal of God('s protection) upon their foreheads. They were given no power to kill men, but only to torture them for five months. The torture they could inflict was like the pain of a scorpion's sting.
In those days men will seek death but they will never find it; they will long to die but death will elude them.
59.30 THE APPEARANCE OF THE LOCUSTS; THEIR KING, THE ANGEL NAMED "DESTROYER"; THE FIRST WOE ENDS
Revelation 9:7-12 - These locusts (possibly now symbolising mounted Parthian archers as instruments of Satan's purpose) looked to me in my vision like horses prepared for battle, On their heads were what appeared to be crowns like gold; their faces were like human faces, and they had long hair like women. Their teeth were like lion's teeth, their breasts were like iron-breastplates, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of a host of chariots and horses charging into battle. They have tails and stings like scorpions, and it is in their tails that they possess the power to injure men for five months. They have as their king the angel of the pit (possibly Satan), whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek Apollyon, (meaning the destroyer).
The first disaster (or woe) is now past, but I see two more approaching.
59.31 THE SIXTH TRUMPET SOUNDS - FOUR ANGELS OF DEATH ARE RELEASED; THE SECOND WOE STARTS
Revelation 9:13-15 - Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a solitary voice speaking from the four corners of the golden altar that stands in the presence of God. And it said to the sixth angel who held the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates (... the eastern boundary between Rome and her enemy, the Parthian Empire)!"
Then these four angels who had been held ready for the hour, the day, the month and the year, were set free to kill a third-part of all mankind.
59.32 A VISION OF 200 MILLION MOUNTED TROOPS; THE HORSE'S "BREATH" KILLS A THIRD OF MANKIND
Revelation 9:16-19 - The number of their horsemen (the possible Parthian invaders?) was two hundred million - I heard what their number was. In my vision I saw these horses and their riders, and their breastplates were fiery-red, blue and yellow. The horses' heads looked to me like the heads of lions, and out of their mouths poured fire and smoke and sulphur. A third of all mankind died from the fearful effects of these three, the fire, the smoke and the sulphur which pours out of their mouths. For the power of these horses lies in their mouths and in their tails. Indeed their tails are like serpents with heads, and with these they inflict injury.
59.33 THE REST OF MANKIND CONTINUES TO SIN
Revelation 9:20-21 - The rest of mankind, who did not die in this fearful destruction, neither repented of the works of their own hands nor ceased to worship evil powers and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone or wood, which can neither see nor hear nor move. Neither did they repent of their murders, their sorceries, their sexual sins, nor of their thieving.
INTERLUDE - VISIONS OF THE POWERFUL ANGEL WITH THE LITTLE BOOK; THE TWO WITNESSES
59.34 ANOTHER ANGEL APPEARS, HOLDING A LITTLE BOOK; THE VOICES OF SEVEN THUNDERS SPEAK BUT ARE NOT REVEALED
Revelation 10:1-4 - Then I saw another mighty angel (like the "mighty angel" who called for someone to open the seven-sealed book, Revelation 5:2) descending from Heaven. He was clothed in a cloud, and there was a rainbow around his head. His face blazed like the sun, his legs like pillars of fire, and he had a little book lying open in his hand. He planted his right foot on the sea (Rome?), and his left foot on the land (the province of Asia where John is writing?), and then shouted with a loud voice like the roar of a lion. And when he shouted the seven thunders (perhaps another set of visions that John is told not to reveal) lifted their voices. When the seven thunders had rolled I was on the point of writing but I heard a voice from heaven, saying, "Seal up what the seven thunders said, but do not write it down!"
59.35 HIS WARNING; WHEN THE SEVENTH TRUMPET SOUNDS, GOD'S PURPOSE WILL BE COMPLETED
Revelation 10:5-7 - Then the angel whom I had seen bestriding the sea and the land raised his right hand to Heaven and swore by the living one of the timeless ages, who created Heaven, earth and sea and all that is in them: "There shall be no more delay! In the days which shall soon be announced by the trumpet-blast of the seventh angel the mysterious purpose of God shall be completed, as he assured his servants the prophets."
59.36 JOHN TAKES AND EATS THE ANGEL'S LITTLE BOOK; HIS DUTY TO PROPHESY
Revelation 10:8-11 - Then the voice which I had heard from Heaven was again in my ears, saying, "Go, and take the little book which lies open in the hand of the (mighty) angel whose feet are planted on both sea and land."
So I went off towards the angel, asking him to give me the little book.
"Take it," he said to me, "and eat it up (... absorb the "little book's" contents and message). It will be bitter to your stomach, but sweet as honey in your mouth (... the sweetness of God's words, but the bitterness of his judgments)."
Then I took the little book from the angel's hand and swallowed it. It was as sweet as honey to the taste but when I had eaten it up it was bitter to my stomach.
John is instructed to prophesy
Then they said to me, "It is again your duty (John's) to prophesy about many peoples, nations, languages and kings."
59.37 THE INNER TEMPLE OF GOD IS TO BE MEASURED; THE OUTER COURT IS FOR THE GENTILES
Revelation 11:1-2 - And I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, "Get up and measure the Temple of God, and the altar (... suggesting the Temple is to be preserved and protected), and count those who worship there. But leave out of your measurement the (Gentiles) courtyard outside the Temple - do not measure that at all. For it has been given over to the (pagan) nations, and they will trample over the holy city for forty-two months (or desecrate it for "time, times and half a time")."
59.38 THE POWER OF THE TWO WITNESSES UNTIL THEIR TESTIMONY IS FINISHED
Revelation 11:3-6 - "And I will give authority to my two witnesses (... the minimum legal requirement in Jewish law. There are various theories about their identity, but they bear some resemblance to Elijah and Moses who appeared with Jesus at his Transfiguration ...) to proclaim the message, clothed in sackcloth for twelve hundred and sixty days ("time, times and half a time")."
These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands (related to the message of Zechariah 4) which stand before the Lord of the earth. If anyone tries to harm them, fire issues from their mouths and consumes their enemies. Indeed, if anyone should try to hurt them, this is the way in which he will certainly meet his death. These (two) witnesses have power to shut up the sky and stop any rain from falling (as Elijah did, 1 Kings 17:1) during the time of their preaching. Moreover, they have power to turn the waters into blood, and to strike the earth with any plague as often as they wish (as Moses did with the plagues of Egypt, Exodus chapters 7-12).
59.39 THEY ARE KILLED BY THE BEAST OF THE ABYSS; MANKIND GLOATS OVER THEIR UNBURIED CORPSES
Revelation 11:7-10 - Then, when their work of witness is complete, the animal will come up out of the pit (... the first appearance of the Satanic Beast of the Abyss) and go to war with them. It will conquer and kill them, and their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is called by those with spiritual understanding, "Sodom" and "Egypt" - the very place where their Lord himself was crucified (... the great city is Jerusalem in this instance, but more likely Rome - "Babylon" in the rest of Revelation). For three and a half days (in return for three and a half years of preaching by the witnesses) men from all people and tribes and languages and nations will gaze upon their bodies and will not allow them to be buried. The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will hold celebrations and send one another presents, because these two prophets had brought such misery to the inhabitants of the earth.
59.40 GOD BREATHES LIFE INTO THEM; THEY GO UP TO HEAVEN
Revelation 11:11-12 - But after three and a half days the Spirit of life from God entered them and they stood upright on their feet. This struck terror into the hearts of those who were watching them, and they heard a tremendous voice speaking to these two from Heaven, saying "Come up here!" And they went up to Heaven in a cloud in full view of their enemies.
59.41 AN EARTHQUAKE KILLS 7,000; THE SECOND WOE ENDS
Revelation 11:13-14 - And at that moment there was a great earthquake, a tenth-part of the city fell in ruins and seven thousand people were known to have been killed in the earthquake. The rest were terrified and acknowledged the glory of the God of Heaven.
The second disaster (or woe) is now past, and I see the third disaster following hard upon the heels of the second.
THE SEVENTH TRUMPET
59.42 THE SEVENTH TRUMPET SOUNDS - THE END TIMES HAVE COME; THE THIRD WOE STARTS
Revelation 11:15 - The seventh angel blew his trumpet. There arose loud voices in Heaven and they were saying, "The kingship of the world now belongs to our Lord and to his Christ, and he shall be king for timeless ages (... the end-times and the kingdom of Christ have come)!"
59.43 THE TWENTY FOUR ELDERS WORSHIP GOD, AND GIVE THANKS FOR HIS JUDGMENT
Revelation 11:16-18 - Then the twenty-four elders, who sit upon their thrones in the presence of God, prostrated themselves and, with bowed heads, worshipped God, saying: "We give you thanks, O Lord God Almighty, the one who is and who was and who is to come, because you have taken your great power and reigned. The nations were angry, and your wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should reward your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear your name, small and great, and should destroy those who destroy the earth!"
59.44 GOD'S TEMPLE IS OPENED AND THE ARK REVEALED; THE ELEMENTS RAGE
Revelation 11:19 - Then the Temple of God in Heaven was thrown open and the ark of his agreement (or covenant) within his Temple could be clearly seen (... the sacred and previously hidden ark of the covenant is revealed to all mankind with the coming of the Messiah). Accompanying this sight were flashes of lightning, loud noises, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a violent storm of hail.
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VII - A SERIES OF SIGNS:
THE WOMAN; THE DRAGON AND WAR IN HEAVEN; THE TWO BEASTS AND WAR ON EARTH
THE WOMAN AND THE DRAGON
59.45 A PREGNANT WOMAN APPEARS IN HEAVEN
Revelation 12:1-2 - Then a huge sign (or symbol) became visible in the sky - the figure of a woman (probably representing God's chosen people - both Jew and Christian, and the mother of the Messiah and the Church) clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars upon her head. She was pregnant, and cried out in her labour and in the pains of bringing forth her child (the Messiah who will defeat Satan).
59.46 A DRAGON APPEARS, READY TO DEVOUR HER NEWBORN
Revelation 12:3-4 - Then another sign (or symbol) became visible in the sky, and I saw that it was a huge red dragon (representing the primeval Serpent, the devil or Satan) with seven heads and ten horns (representing empires and rulers, the significance of which is outlined below), with a diadem upon each of his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them upon the earth (... perhaps the fallen angels who joined Satan). The dragon took his place in front of the woman who was about to give birth to a child, so that as soon as she did so he might devour it.
59.47 SHE BEARS A SON; HE IS TAKEN TO GOD'S THRONE, SHE FLEES TO A DESERT REFUGE
Revelation 12:5-6 - She gave birth to a male child (the Messiah and the Church) who is to shepherd all the nations "with a rod of iron". Her child was snatched up to God and to his throne, while the woman fled into the desert where she has a place prepared for her by God's command. There they will take care of her for twelve hundred and sixty days ("time, times and half a time").
59.48 A HEAVENLY WAR WITH THE DRAGON - SATAN, WHO IS THROWN TO EARTH
Revelation 12:7-9 - The war broke out in Heaven. Michael (one of the seven archangels of Judaism; the Protector, Defender, or guardian angel of Israel, Daniel 10:13,21; 12:1) and his angels battled with the dragon. The dragon and his angels (... Satan and the angels, soon to become "fallen") fought back, but they did not prevail and they were expelled from Heaven. So the huge dragon, the serpent of ancient times, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world, was hurled down upon the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him.
59.49 THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB OVERCOMES HIM; SATAN, IN FURY, THREATENS THE EARTH
Revelation 12:10-12 - Then I heard a great voice in Heaven cry: "Now the salvation and the power and kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ have come! For the accuser (Satan) of our brethren has been thrown down from this place (heaven), where he stood before our God accusing them day and night. Now they have conquered him through the blood of the Lamb, and through the Word to which they bore witness. They did not cherish life even in the face of death!
"Therefore, rejoice, O Heavens, and all you who live in the Heavens! But alas for the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you in great fury, knowing that his time is short (... Satan, thrown down from heaven to earth is determined to wreak vengeance)!"
59.50 THE DRAGON PURSUES THE WOMAN; WITH EAGLE'S WINGS, SHE FLIES TOWARDS SAFETY
Revelation 12:13-14 - And when the dragon (Satan) saw that he had been cast down upon the earth, he began to pursue the woman (the mother of the Messiah and the Church) who had given birth to the male child (the Messiah). But she was given two great (symbolic) eagle's wings so that she could fly to her place in the desert, where she is kept safe from the serpent (Satan) for a time and times and half a time.
59.51 HE SPEWS OUT A RIVER TO SWEEP HER AWAY; SHE ESCAPES, HE MAKES WAR ON GOD'S SAINTS
Revelation 12:15-17 - Then the serpent (Satan) ejected water from his mouth, streaming like a river in pursuit of the woman, to drown her in its flood. But the earth came to the woman's rescue, opened its mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon (Satan) had emitted from his mouth. Then the dragon raged with fury against the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her children (of the Church) - those who keep the commandments of God and bear their witness to Jesus.
THE FIRST BEAST - FROM THE SEA
59.52 THE BEAST IS GIVEN THE DRAGON'S THRONE AND POWER
Revelation 13:1-3 - Then, as I stood on the sand of the sea-shore, there rose out of the sea before my eyes an animal (the Beast from the Sea) with seven heads and ten horns (see below). There were diadems upon its horns and blasphemous names upon its heads. The animal which I saw had the appearance of a leopard, though it had the feet of a bear and a mouth like the mouth of a lion (... the description derives from Daniel 7:1-7). Then the dragon gave it his own power and throne and great authority (... Satan delegates his powers to the Beast from the Sea, the world empire, the Roman Empire?). One of its heads appeared to have been wounded to death but the mortal wound had healed (... possibly referring to the dead emperor Nero, who it was believed at that time would return from the dead).
59.53 THE WORLD WORSHIPS THE DRAGON AND THE BEAST, WHO IS THOUGHT INVINCIBLE
Revelation 13:4 - The whole earth followed the animal (the Beast from the Sea) with wonder, and they worshipped the dragon (Satan) because he had given authority to the animal (the Beast, the world empire, Rome?). Then they worshipped the animal, too, saying, "Who is like the animal? Who could make war against it?"
59.54 THE BEAST BLASPHEMES GOD; WITH AUTHORITY OVER ALL MANKIND, HE WARS AGAINST THE SAINTS; THEY ARE COUNSELLED TO ENDURE
Revelation 13:5-10 - It (the Beast, Rome?) was allowed to speak monstrous blasphemies (against God) and to exert its authority for forty-two months ("time, times and half a time").
So it poured out blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling place and those who live in Heaven. Moreover, it was permitted to make war upon the saints (the Christians) and to conquer them; the authority given to it extended over every tribe and people and language and nation. All the inhabitants of the earth will worship it (in the form of emperor-worship) - all those whose names have not been written in the book of life (for saved Christians) which belongs to the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Parenthetical: a word to the reader
Let the listener hear this: If any man is destined for captivity he will go into captivity. If any man kills with the sword he must himself be killed with the sword. Amid all this stands the endurance and faith of the saints.
THE SECOND BEAST - FROM THE EARTH
59.55 HE FORCES MANKIND TO WORSHIP THE FIRST BEAST
Revelation 13:11-12 - Then I saw another animal rising out of the earth (the Beast of the Earth, the high priest of emperor-worship), and it had two horns like a lamb (representing the anti-christ) but it spoke in the voice of a dragon (like Satan). It uses the full authority of the first animal (the Beast from the Sea, Rome?) in its presence. It compels the earth and all its inhabitants to worship the first animal (the Beast from the Sea) - the one with the mortal wound which had healed.
59.56 HIS MIRACLES DECEIVE MANKIND; THEY MUST HONOUR THE FIRST BEAST'S IMAGE, OR DIE
Revelation 13:13-15 - It (... the Beast from the Earth, the high-priest of emperor-worship, the anti-christ) performs great signs: before men's eyes it makes fire fall down from heaven to earth. It deceives the inhabitants of the earth by the signs which it is allowed to perform in the presence of the animal (the Beast from the Sea, Rome), and it tells them to make a statue (of the emperor) in honour of the animal which received the sword-thrust and yet survived. Further, it was allowed to give the breath of life to the statue of the animal so that the statue could speak (through priestly trickery and mechanisms) and condemn to death all those who do not worship its statue.
59.57 UNLESS MANKIND IS "MARKED" NONE CAN BUY AND SELL; THE MARK OF THE BEAST IS "SIX SIX SIX"
Revelation 13:16-18 - Then it (the Beast from the Earth, the high priest) compels all, small and great, rich and poor, free men and slaves, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads (... possibly a real identification mark allowing economic control to be exercised). The purpose of this is that no one should be able to buy or sell unless he bears the mark of the name of the animal or the number of its name (... the mark of the Beast). Understanding is needed here: let every thinking man calculate the number of the animal. It is the number of a man, and its number is six hundred and sixty-six.
INTERLUDE - VISIONS OF THE SAVED IN HEAVEN AND DOOMED ON EARTH; THE SIX ANGELS
59.58 THE LAMB ON MOUNT ZION; THE 144,000 MARKED BY GOD; THE HEAVENLY CHOIR
Revelation 14:1-5 - Then I looked again and before my eyes the Lamb (of God, Jesus Christ) was standing on Mount Sion (or Zion), and with him were a hundred and forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father's name written upon their foreheads (either the same group from Revelation 7:1-8, or saved Christians in general; the Mark of God contrasts with the mark of the Beast). Then I heard a sound coming from Heaven like the roar of a great waterfall and the heavy rolling of thunder. Yet the sound which I heard was also like the music of harpists sweeping their strings. And now they are singing a new song of praise before the throne, and before the four living creatures and the (twenty-four) elders. No one could learn that song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been redeemed from the earth. These are the men who have never defiled themselves with women, for they are celibate (possibly a literal meaning. Alternatively, as celibacy is not considered more Godly than marriage in the Bible, it may mean those who have been obedient to God's commandments). These are the men who follow the Lamb wherever he may go; these men have been redeemed from among mankind as first-fruits to God and to the Lamb. They have never been guilty of any falsehood; they are beyond reproach.
59.59 THE FIRST ANGEL PROCLAIMS THE GOSPEL; A LAST CALL TO EVERYONE TO WORSHIP GOD
Revelation 14:6-7 - Then I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven, holding the everlasting (eternal) Gospel to proclaim to the inhabitants of the earth - to every nation and tribe and language and people. He was crying in a loud voice, "Reverence God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment has come! Worship him who made Heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water."
59.60 THE SECOND ANGEL ANNOUNCES THE FALL OF WICKED BABYLON
Revelation 14:8 - Then another, a second angel, followed him crying, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great (pagan Rome?)! She who made all nations drink the wine of her passionate unfaithfulness (or adultery - idolatry in Old Testament terms)!"
59.61 THE THIRD ANGEL DECLARES THAT ALL WHO WORSHIP THE BEAST WILL KNOW GOD'S WRATH; THE SAINTS MUST STILL ENDURE
Revelation 14:9-13 - Then a third angel followed these two, crying in a loud voice, "If any man worships the animal (the Beast from the Sea, Rome?) and its statue (raised by the Beast from the Earth, the high priest of emperor-worship) and bears its mark ("666") upon his forehead or upon his hand, than that man shall drink the wine of God's passion, poured undiluted into the cup of his wrath. He shall be tortured by fire and sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb (of God). The smoke of such men's torture ascends for timeless ages, and there is no respite from it day or night. Such are the worshippers of the animal and its statue and among their number are all who bear the mark of its name ("666")."
The call to stand fast
In all this stands the endurance of the saints - those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.
The security of the saints
Then I heard a voice from Heaven, saying, "Write this! From henceforth happy are the dead who die in the Lord!"
"Happy indeed," says the Spirit, "for they rest from their labours and their deeds go with them!"
59.62 THE "SON OF MAN" SEATED ON A CLOUD, HOLDING A SICKLE
Revelation 14:14 - Once again I looked, and a white cloud appeared before me with someone sitting upon the cloud with the appearance of
'the Son of Man' (Daniel 7:13).
He (presumably Christ) had a golden crown on his head, and held a sharp sickle in his hand.
59.63 THE FOURTH ANGEL CALLS FOR THE "SON" TO HARVEST THE EARTH
Revelation 14:15-16 - Then another angel came out from the Temple, calling in a loud voice to the one sitting on the cloud, "Thrust in your sickle and reap, for the time of reaping has come and the harvest of the earth is fully ripe!"
Then the one sitting upon the cloud swung his sickle upon the earth, and the reaping of the earth was done (Christ has harvested the "saved"?).
59.64 THE FIFTH ANGEL APPEARS, ALSO WITH A SICKLE
Revelation 14:18 - Then another angel came out from the Temple in Heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle.
59.65 A SIXTH ANGEL ORDERS THE EARTH'S GRAPES TO BE HARVESTED, AND THROWN INTO GOD'S WINEPRESS; BLOOD FLOWS DEEP AND FAR
Revelation 14:18-20 - Yet another angel came out from the altar where he had command over the fire, and called out in a loud voice to the angel with the sharp sickle, "Thrust in your sharp sickle and harvest the clusters from the vineyard of the earth for the grapes are fully ripe!"
Then the angel swung his sickle upon the earth and gathered the harvest of the earth's vineyard (the wicked?), and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. The grapes were trodden outside the city (probably Jerusalem), and out of the winepress flowed blood for two hundred miles (or 1600 stadia, possibly another symbolic number - 4 x 4 x 100, representing the destruction of all evil) in a stream as high as the horses' bridles.
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VIII - SEVEN ANGELS POUR OUT THE LAST SEVEN PLAGUES OF GOD'S WRATH
59.66 JOHN SEES THE ANGELS AND THOSE WHO ENDURED PERSECUTION; THEIR SONG GLORIFIES GOD
Revelation 15:1-4 - Then I saw another sign (or symbol) in Heaven, vast and awe-inspiring: seven angels are holding the seven last plagues, and with these the wrath of God is brought to an end.
The hymn of the redeemed
And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass shot through with fire, and upon this glassy sea were standing those (the Christians who had endured persecution) who had emerged victorious from the fight with the animal (the Beast from the Sea, Rome?), its statue (erected by the Beast from the Land) and the number ("666") which denotes its name. In their hands they hold harps which God has given them, and they are singing the song of Moses the servant of God (sung after the crossing of the Red Sea, Exodus 15:1-21), and the song of the Lamb (of God), and these are the words they sing: 'Great and marvellous are your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O king of the saints! Who shall not fear you, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before you, for your judgments have been manifested!" (The Song of Moses may represent the 144,000 saved of Israel, and the Song of the Lamb, the great Multitude of Gentiles, Revelation 7).
59.67 SEVEN ANGELS LEAVE THE TEMPLE WITH THE PLAGUES; THEY RECEIVE THE BOWLS OF GOD'S WRATH
Revelation 15:5-16:1 - Later in my vision I saw the Temple of the tabernacle of testimony in Heaven wide open, and out of the Temple came forth the seven angels who hold the seven plagues. They were dressed (as priests) in spotless shining linen, and they were girded round their breasts with golden girdles.
Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God who lives for timeless ages. The Temple was filled with smoke from the glory and power of God, and no one could enter the Temple (to plead with God for further mercy) until the seven plagues of the seven angels were past and over (and the doom of the wicked complete).
(Chapter 16 ....) Then I heard a loud voice from the Temple saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out upon the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God!"
59.68 THE FIRST ANGEL ON THE LAND - SORES BREAK OUT ON THE WORSHIPPERS OF THE BEAST
Revelation 16:2 - The first angel went off and emptied his bowl upon the earth. Whereupon loathsome and malignant ulcers (similar to those of Exodus 9:8-12) attacked all those who bore the mark ("666") of the animal (the Beast from the Sea) and worshipped its statue.
59.69 THE SECOND ANGEL ON THE SEA - EVERYTHING IN IT DIES
Revelation 16:3 - The second angel emptied his bowl into the sea, which turned into a fluid like the blood of a corpse, and every living thing in it died.
59.70 THE THIRD ANGEL ON THE FRESH WATERS - HE SPEAKS OF GOD'S JUDGMENT
Revelation 16:4-7 - Then the third angel emptied his bowl into the rivers and springs of water, and they turned into blood (the last two judgments are similar to those of Exodus 7:17-21). And I heard the angel of the waters say, "You are righteous, O Lord, the one who is and who was and who is to be, because you have judged these things. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due."
And I heard the altar say, "Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are your judgments."
59.71 THE FOURTH ANGEL ON THE SUN - THE PEOPLE ARE SCORCHED
Revelation 16:8-9 - The fourth angel emptied his bowl over the sun, and the sun was given power to scorch men in its fiery blaze. Then men were terribly burned in the heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has control over these afflictions; but they neither repented nor gave him glory.
59.72 THE FIFTH ANGEL ON THE BEAST'S THRONE - IT'S KINGDOM IS IN DARKNESS, MEN ARE IN AGONY; BUT STILL THEY WILL NOT REPENT
Revelation 16:10-11 - Then the fifth angel emptied his bowl upon the throne of the animal (the Beast from the Sea, the City of Rome?). Its kingdom was plunged into darkness; men gnawed their tongues in agony, cursed the God of Heaven for their pain and their ulcers, but refused to repent of what they had done.
59.73 THE SIXTH ANGEL ON THE RIVER EUPHRATES - ITS WATERS DRY UP
Revelation 16:12 - Then the sixth angel emptied his bowl upon the great River Euphrates (separating the Roman and Parthian empires). The waters of that river were dried up to prepare a road for the kings from the east (Either to allow the Parthians or these kings to invade the west at their leisure, or for them to join with the Beast in his attack on the Lamb).
59.74 THREE SPIRITS GATHER THE KINGS OF THE EARTH FOR THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON
Revelation 16:13-16 - And then I noticed three foul spirits, looking like frogs (mythological miracle-working demons or agents of Satan; also related to the plague of frogs in Exodus 8:2-6) emerging from the mouths of ...
the dragon (Satan),
the animal (the Beast from the Sea, Rome?) and
the false prophet (the Beast from the Earth, the high priest of emperor-worship). ...
... They are diabolical spirits performing wonders and they set out to muster all the kings of the world for battle on the great day of God, the Almighty (drawing together all the nations and forces of evil to resist God's judgment).
So they brought them together to the place called, in Hebrew, Armageddon.
The words in the background
"See, I am coming like a thief! Happy is the man who stays awake and keeps his clothes at his side, so that he will not have to walk naked and men see his shame."
59.75 THE SEVENTH ANGEL INTO THE AIR - NATURAL CATASTROPHES STRIKE MEN AND CITIES, ESPECIALLY BABYLON
Revelation 16:17-21 - The seventh angel emptied his bowl into the air. A loud voice came out of the Temple, from the throne, saying, "The end has come!" (The final judgment, this time not poured out on the earth, but in the air.)
Then followed flashes of lightning, noises and peals of thunder. There was a terrific earthquake, the like of which no man has ever seen since mankind began to live upon the earth - so great and tremendous was this earthquake. The great city (usually considered to be "Babylon" - Rome) was split into three parts, and the (remaining) cities of all the nations fell in ruins. And God called to mind Babylon the great and made her drink the cup of the wine of his furious wrath. Every island fled and the mountains vanished. Great hailstones (as in Exodus 9:18-26) like heavy weights fell from the sky and men blasphemed God for the curse of the hail, for it fell upon them with savage and fearful blows.
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IX - THE FALL OF BABYLON
THE PROSTITUTE BABYLON SITTING ON THE BEAST
59.76 AN ANGEL ANNOUNCES THE PUNISHMENT OF THE GREAT WORLD PROSTITUTE, BABYLON
Revelation 17:1-2 - Then came one of the seven angels who held the seven bowls, and said to me, "Come, and I will show you the judgment passed upon the great harlot ("Babylon", Rome?) who is seated upon many waters. It is with her that the kings of the earth have debauched themselves and the inhabitants of the earth have become drunk on the wine of her filthiness (Old Testament imagery for accepting the overlordship of "Babylon", the worship of Rome and its paganism)."
59.77 JOHN SEES THE WOMAN SITTING ON A SCARLET BEAST, DRUNK WITH THE SAINT'S BLOOD
Revelation 17:3-6a - Then he carried me away in spirit into the desert. There I saw a woman ("Babylon", Rome) riding upon a scarlet animal (the great political and military power of the Roman Empire. Scarlet represents the pomp and splendour of that power), covered with blasphemous titles (imperial titles claiming divinity) and having seven heads and ten horns (see below). The woman herself was dressed in purple and scarlet, glittering with gold, jewels and pearls (symbols of her incredible wealth). In her hand she held a golden cup full of the earth's filthiness and her own foul impurity. On her forehead is written a name with a secret meaning - BABYLON THE GREAT, MOTHER OF ALL HARLOTS AND OF THE EARTH'S ABOMINATIONS.
Then I noticed that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and of the martyrs for Jesus.
59.78 THE MYSTERY EXPLAINED; THE BEAST OF THE ABYSS WILL BE DESTROYED
Revelation 17:6b-8 - As I watched her, I was filled with utter amazement, but the angel said to me, "Why are you amazed? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman (Rome) and of the animal (the Roman Empire, perhaps now personified as the dead emperor Nero) with seven heads and ten horns which carries her. The animal, which you saw, once lived but now is no more ("Nero"?) - it will come up out of the pit (or Abyss of the dead) only to meet with destruction. The inhabitants of the earth, whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will be utterly astonished when they see that the animal was, and is not, and yet is to come (Nero supposedly returning from the dead?).
59.79 THE BEAST'S SEVEN HEADS REPRESENT THE RISE AND FALL OF KINGS; THE BEAST IS THE EIGHTH KING
Revelation 17:9-11 - (Here we need a mind with understanding.)
"The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman takes her seat (Rome, the city on seven hills). There are also seven kings (emperors or empires); five have been dethroned, one reigns and the other has not yet appeared (this would then be the emperor Titus, AD79-81) - when he comes he must remain only for a short time. As for the animal which once lived but now lives no longer, it is an eighth king (possibly the returning dead "Nero"? Domitian AD81-96 who was nicknamed "Nero", actually succeeded Titus) which belongs to the seven, but it goes to utter destruction.
59.80 THE TEN HORNS ARE TEN MORE KINGS WHO WILL WAR UNSUCCESSFULLY AGAINST THE LAMB
Revelation 17:12-14 - The ten horns which you saw are ten kings (perhaps Roman emperors or province governors, or minor kings of Parthia who will ally themselves with "Nero") who have not yet received their power to reign, but they will receive authority to be kings for one hour (a short period equivalent to the short reign of "Nero") in company with the animal ("Nero"?). They are of one mind, and they will hand over their power and authority to the animal. They will all go to war with the Lamb (of God), and the Lamb, with his called, chosen and faithful followers, will conquer them. For he is Lord of lords and King of kings."
59.81 GOD WILL ALLOW THE BEAST AND TEN KINGS TO DESTROY BABYLON
Revelation 17:15-18 - Then he said to me, "As for the waters which you saw, on which the woman took her seat, they are peoples and vast crowds, nations and languages. The ten horns (minor Parthian kings?) and the animal ("Nero"?) which you saw will loathe the harlot (Rome?), and leave her deserted and naked ("Nero" will take his revenge on Rome for his enforced suicide in AD68). Moreover, they will devour her flesh, and then consume her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by making them of one mind, and by handing over their authority to the animal, until the words of God have been fulfilled.
"The woman that you saw is the great city ("Babylon", Rome) which dominates the kings of the earth."
THE FALL, EARTHLY LAMENT FOR, AND DESTRUCTION OF BABYLON
59.82 AN ANGEL ANNOUNCES THE FALL OF WICKED BABYLON
Revelation 18:1-3 - Later I saw another angel coming down from Heaven, armed with great authority. The earth shone with the splendour of his presence, and he cried in a mighty voice, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great (Rome?)! She has become a haunt of devils, a prison for every unclean spirit, and a cage for every foul and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk the wine of her passionate unfaithfulness and have fallen thereby. The kings of the earth have debauched themselves with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the extravagance of her dissipation (reflecting Rome's vast wealth and power)!"
59.83 GOD'S PEOPLE ARE TOLD TO LEAVE AND ESCAPE THE JUDGMENT ON BABYLON
Revelation 18:4-8 - Then I heard another voice from Heaven, crying, "Come out from her, O my people, lest you become accomplices in her sins and must share in her punishment. For her sins have mounted up to the sky, and God has remembered the tale of her wickedness. Pay her back in her own coin - yes, pay her back double for all that she has done! In the cup which she mixed for others mix her a drink of double strength! For the pride in which she flaunted herself give her torture and misery! Because she says to herself, 'Here I sit a queen on a throne; I am no woman who lacks a man and I shall never know sorrow!' So in a single day her punishments shall strike her - death, sorrow and famine and she shall be burned in the fire. For mighty is the Lord God who judges her!"
59.84 THE WORLD'S RULERS AND MERCHANTS LAMENT HER DESTRUCTION
Revelation 18:9-17a - Then the kings of the earth, who debauched and indulged themselves with her, will wail and lament over her. Standing at a safe distance through very fear of her torment, they will watch the smoke of her burning and cry, "Alas, alas for the great city, Babylon the mighty city, that your judgment should come in a single hour."
The merchants of the earth shall also wail and lament over here, for there is no one left to buy their goods - cargoes of gold and silver, jewels and pearls, fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet, all kinds of scented wood, every sort of ivory vessel, every kind of vessel of precious wood, of bronze, iron and marble; cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour and corn; cattle, sheep and horses; chariots, slaves (and gladiators to die for public entertainment), the very souls of men.
Those who bought and sold these things, who had gained their wealth from her, will stand afar off through fear of her punishment, weeping and lamenting and saying, "Alas, alas for the great city that was dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and was bedecked with gold and jewels and pearls - alas that in a single hour all that wealth should be destroyed!"
59.85 THE SEAFARING TRADERS OF THE WORLD JOIN IN THE LAMENT
Revelation 18:17b-19 - Then every shipmaster and seafarer - sailors and all whose business is upon the sea - stood and watched the smoke of her burning from afar, and cried out, "What city was ever like the great city?"
They even threw dust on their heads and cried aloud as they wept, saying, "Alas, alas for the great city where all who had ships on the sea grew wealthy through the richness of her treasure! Alas that in a single hour she should be ruined!"
59.86 AN ANGEL DESCRIBES THE VIOLENT END OF BABYLON AND ITS PEOPLE
Revelation 18:20-24 - Rejoicing in heaven is now heard:
"Rejoice over her fate, O Heaven, and all you saints, apostles and prophets! For God has pronounced his judgment for you against her!"
The words of Babylon's doom
Then a mighty angel lifted up a stone like a huge mill-stone and hurled it into the sea, saying, "So shall Babylon the great city (Rome?) be sent hurtling down to disappear for ever (never to rise again)! Never more shall the sound of harpists and musicians, flute-players and trumpeters be heard in you again! Never again shall a craftsman of any craft be found in you; never again will the sound of the mill-stone's grinding be heard in you! No light of a lamp shall ever shine in you again, and the voices of bridegroom and bride shall be heard in you no more! The fruit of your soul's desire is lost to you for ever. All your luxuries and brilliance are lost to you and men will never find them in you again!
"For your merchants were the great ones of the earth, and all nations were seduced by your witchery!"
For in her was discovered the blood of prophets and saints, indeed the blood of all who were ever slaughtered upon the earth (possibly both Jews and Christians, but only during Rome's period of power).
HEAVEN'S JOYFUL RESPONSE TO THE FALL OF BABYLON
59.87 A HEAVENLY CHOIR SINGS OF GOD'S JUDGMENT ON BABYLON
Revelation 19:1-3 - Afterwards I heard what sounded like the mighty roar of a vast crowd in Heaven, crying, "Alleluia! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for his judgments are true and just. He has judged the great harlot (Babylon, Rome?) who corrupted the earth with her wickedness, and he has avenged upon her the blood of his servants!" Then they cried a second time, "Alleluia! The smoke of her destruction ascends for timeless ages!"
59.88 THE ELDERS AND LIVING CREATURES WORSHIP GOD; THERE ARE MORE CALLS TO WORSHIP
Revelation 19:4-5 - Then the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures prostrated themselves and worshipped God who is seated upon the throne, saying, "Amen, alleluia!"
Then out of the throne came a voice, saying, "Praise our God, all you who serve him, all you who reverence him, both small and great!"
59.89 REJOICING THAT THE LAMB IS TO MARRY THE BRIDE; BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO ARE INVITED
Revelation 19:6-10 - And then I heard a sound (from heaven) like the voices of a vast crowd, the roar of a great waterfall and the rolling of heavy thunder, and they were saying, "Alleluia! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, has come into his kingdom! Let us rejoice, let us be glad with all our hearts. Let us give him the glory, for the wedding-day of the Lamb (Christ) has come, and his bride (the beloved Church, Ephesians 5:25) has made herself ready. She may be seen dressed in linen, gleaming and spotless - for such linen is the righteous living of the saints (the simplicity of the bridal Church is contrasted with the gaudiness of the prostitute Babylon)!"
Instruction to John
Then he said to me, "Write this down: Happy are those who are invited to the wedding-feast of the Lamb!"
Then he added, "These are true words of God."
At that I fell at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, "No! I am your fellow-servant and fellow-servant with your brothers who are holding fast their witness to Jesus. Give your worship to God!"
(This witness to Jesus inspires all prophecy.)
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